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Old 04-12-2004, 02:01 PM   #1
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New Fish--Halfbeaks!

I've got HALFBEAKS!! Dermogenys pusillus: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=11298&genusname=Dermogenys&speciesname=pusilla

Wow! I saw them in one NYC store several months ago, but didn't have any space or time for them. Now I have a new tank, I've got lots of space for them!

So, these guys are really hard to find. I've never seen them in any other fish store. The coolest things about them...

1) They look like (cooler than) needle-nose gars, but stay small, only 2". The ones I have are only about .75" right now.
2) They are viviparous!! Livebearers!! How neat is that?
3) They are a unique fish, but they accept flake food (HQ)
4) They have a really cool morphology. As the name suggests, they have a long lower jaw and a shortened upper jaw (to facilitate surface eating). See images below...
5) When they get more sexually mature, the males show off a brilliant red anal fin. Right now, they all have lightly colored anal and adipose (or dorsal, I can't tell) fins.

Anyhoo, just had to tell somebody. I'd be interested in hearing a) whether anybody else has heard of these guys (I've wanted them for so long) and b) if anybody else has ever seen them in their LFSs.
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Old 04-12-2004, 02:03 PM   #2
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Last 2 pics
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Old 04-12-2004, 02:06 PM   #3
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Oh, and btw. They are in no way related to gars, even though they look a lot like them.
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:18 PM   #4
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Poor lil buggers look like they are in desperate need of orthodontry LOL

Very cool Jon; looking forward to meeting em!
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:30 PM   #5
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madasafish congrats on these guys and the plecos! keep us posted on their progress!
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:31 PM   #6
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Yeah... a horrible underbite!
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Old 04-12-2004, 06:30 PM   #7
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I kept some Dermogenys pusillus many years ago and found them to be fascinating little buggers! I haven't seen them available in years so you've made a good find! Glad to hear yours are eating flake right at the start....I remember having to fight with mine to get them to eat anything but live brine shrimp and live daphnia.

I did see another really cool fish at one of my local shops on my last visit. They had a tank full of 'four-eyed' fish, Anableps, which I also haven't seen in many years. Too bad they get fairly large or I would have picked up a couple!
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Old 04-12-2004, 06:57 PM   #8
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Very interesting fish!
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:11 PM   #9
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Madasafish, you know they're brackish fish right?
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Old 04-12-2004, 10:09 PM   #10
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That really depends on where you get your info, dawson. fishbase says they're FW, brackish and occasionally fully marine: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=11298&genusname=Dermogenys&speciesname=pusilla

And it says that they inhabit streams, estuaries and mangroves. So, brackish and FW--mainly the Chao Praya River and Mekong river/delta.

I think in a lot of these cases, these fish can be kept in either FW or brackish environments. Though I might try reducing or increasing salinity to stimulate breeding. I think the young are often found in mangrove swamps, so perhaps they swim to more saline waters to breed.
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