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  • Source: Copyright Aqualog

Dermogenys pusilla (Common Halfbeak)

A small halfbeak that sometimes does best in slightly brackish water (specific gravity around 1.003).

Halfbeaks generally stay close to the surface, but this species will swim to lower levels. It does not normally take food from the substrate though. Halfbeaks prefer live foods, but readily accept frozen bloodworms and other similar foods. Flake food may be taken, but this varies, some fish never really enjoying it.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Both sexes can be very aggressive towards one another. Fights usually involve biting the head and body, and the aquarium should be treated with fin-rot remedy if the the fish seriously damage themselves. Best kept in a tank with only one male and several females. Otherwise benign towards their tankmates, and can be mixed well with other peaceful species.

Breeding is tricky because females tend to abort their young if disturbed or stressed. Once born, the fry are easy to raise on small live foods, frozen lobster eggs and bloodworms, and eventually powdered flake. They grow quickly.

Family Group: Livebearers
Distribution South and South East Asia
Temperature 22-27C
Size Around 5 cm
Water Parameters Neutral freshwater preferred, will adapt to slightly brackish as well
Water PH 6.5-7.5

Useful sources of information:

The single best book on halfbeaks by far is the Aqualog - All Livebearers and Halfbeaks volume, that you can buy here. On the web, Neale Monks' web site has some useful information on keeping and breeding halfbeaks.

Shop stock

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