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  1. #1

    Native Fish as a pet

    I have a 4ft fishtank that needs a resident. I am contemplating an australian native for the lease. Can anyone recommend a native fish that would happily live in my tank without trashing the joint, or demand renovations. I dont mind upgrading to a larger tank in 2-3 years, but I dont have the room to go bigger than around 7-8ft. Any advice would be most welcome


  2. #2

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    I have found Saratoga to make good pets in a 4 footer - although they tend to be very skittish for the first year or so and tend to stress out a bit. This in turn can cause white spot or fin rot - not really desirable when you consider a 4 inch fish will set you back the best part of $100. Guess it depends on how experienced you are with aquariums.

    Barra have an awesome personality and don't have the complications of getting stressed as easily. They are also very entertaining when you let guests slip the odd feeder fish in (I used to use bronze comets). You will, however need to get that bigger tank in about 2 years because they grow VERY quickly. They're reasonably cheap at about $10 to $15 for a 3 inch fingerling.

    I would not recommend any of the grunters, silver perch or Australian Bass unless you are going to keep one fish only. They're agro bastards and will beat the living daylights out of any tank mates.

    Mangrove Jack (if you can find them) are an awesome one in a 4 footer, but again you will need to keep it by itself.

  3. #3

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    Thanks MM
    I do intend on having only 1 fish so any of those would be good. I dont think I will go a barra , i dont want to have to find a home for it once it has outgrown the tank or any other tank I could get. Have heard good reports of jacks but I agree getting one could be a problem as I am in Yass, NSW. The research will continue....

  4. #4

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    You should be able to get one in through the new aquarium shop over in Fyshwick. There is also a new supplier down in Kambah who runs a solid business out of her garage. I don't remember the business name - she should be listed in the yellow pages. I've been to her a couple of times and her prices are excellent. Just depends on what the wholesalers have in stock at the moment.

    I wouldn't recommend Bob at Jem Aquatics. He gets good stock but his prices ... well let's just say that at least Ned Kelly used a gun to rob people

  5. #5

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    Got a bass and a barra in my 4ft tank at the moment. Barra is only 5cm long and hand feeds already
    The old eel tailed catfish are a hardy bugger. Yellow belly, murray cod etc are all available for aquariums now days but like you said finding a home for them when they get bigger can be a problem.
    I've had several jacks in my tank. They are an awesome predator and light up well in a tank - costly $$$ to keep the livies up to them.

  6. #6

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    I called a lady from A2Z aquatics in Kambah, unfortunately she is no longer trading(at least that is what she told me). I have found them thru Fibaquaria in Pialligo. Thanks for the info I do believe that I will get a jack in the vacant premises......if his references check out ok.

  7. #7

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    barra's and togas don't make good choices for a standard 4ft as they will outgrow it in under a year.

  8. #8

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    My 18 inch "jardini" Toga loves his sumped 4x2x2. Had the tacker since 3 inches long. At the end of the day a fishes growth will be stunted by the parameters of the environment it grows in - either physical or chemical barriers ... much like the size of the Redfin in Googong Dam or Lake Tuggeranong.

    Fair call on the Barra though - they do grow faster than a Viagra patients ding-dong Always better to provide as much room as possible in the interests of being humane.

  9. #9

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    Your 4ft would be twice the volume of a standard 4ft. Yes, it's best to give them plenty of room. It has been said that the optiumum tank dimensions should be at least 3x the length of the fish and for the width 1-1.5x for togas. They can grow at 2in a month up to about 18in then growth slows dramatically.

    How old is your jardini?

  10. #10

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    Had it a little over 4 years now. Hasn't put on much growth since the third year. Fed on a diet of crickets, cichlid pellets and the occasional goldfish.

  11. #11

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    im getting a saratoga or a barra for christmas and my tank because my old one cracked

  12. #12

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    The following is what I've had & my opinions of them.

    - Bass. Fairly active & are quite good if you get them when small. Can often harrass other fish, even larger ones.
    - Barra. Great in a tank. Hand feeding is always popular with guests! Boof!
    -Saratoga. Very active & beautiful fish. Rather timid if not used to people. Very sensitive to any chemicals, be very careful!
    -Archerfish. Excelent tank fish. can be trained to jump, hand feed & spit. Very active fish.
    -Murray/Mary Cod. Pretty fish but tend to just sit there alot if the time unless it is feeding time, then they're ok for 10 seconds until they race back into their hideout.
    - Sooty grunter. Not a bad tank fish. Tough as nails. Can be trained to hand feed off the surface. Will kill any other fish smaller.
    - Sleepy cod. Boring.
    -Yellowbelly. Similar to cod. Fairly boring really.
    -Grunters (Silver/Barcoo/Leathery/Welches). Will tail pick the hell out of any other fish. Quite active.
    -Eel tailed catfish. not a bad tank fish. quite active, mainly at night. Very hardy.
    -Spangled perch. Keep a lid on your tank or they WILL jump out.
    -Fork tailed catfish. ok I spose. Quite active & easy to care for. Can't kill them.

    My Favourites are toga, archerfish or barra.


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  13. #13

    Re: Native Fish as a pet


    send me a message via Ausfish and I'll send you the contact details for Australian New Guinea Fishes Assoc. who have an active branch in the ACT.

    I have had the Southern saratoga S leichardti, and it jumps and will grow too big for a 4' tank. I have had bass and yes they are ok. I currently have a jack, and one day it will grow too big for a 6x2x2.

    You need to be clear what you want. Archer fish, yes. Spangled perch, yes. Jungle perch, probably. Rainbowfish, of course.

    Next time, assuming I can find a legal one, I am considering a jp. The southern saratoga is a nice fish, but grows huge, and you will need weighted lids. Everything else that is trendy grows big. Hence my future interest in jp's, spangleds, or perhaps some of the grunters.

    At the end of the day, it has to be acknowledged that an oscar has more personality than any of the above. But, I don't currently keep an oscar

  14. #14

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    i ahd a few forkies that didnt stop fighting they eventually died

  15. #15

    Re: Native Fish as a pet

    I had an Eastern Spiney Cray about fifteen inches long in a four foot tank for ages,he was quite happy eating mince and required very little care to stay healthy,cleaning the tank was bloody risky untill I got one of those magnetic scrubers though.Also had a Bullrout for a while,interesting looking fish but didn't do much.

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