RE: [RML] Cichlids in Australia

(no name) ((no email))
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 06:33:26 +-1100

From: Greg Williamson[SMTP:jayavant at]
Sent: Sunday, 26 January, 1997 01:57
To: rainbowfish at
Subject: Re: [RML] Cichlids in Australia

Someone told me the other day that there are large populations of
feral cichlids - including Jack Dempsey and various other species
living in the warm water streams which flow from the power stations
in Central Qld - Bundaburg etc.

Anyone heard of these?

There are several introduced populations of cichlids in Queensland

Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus )
I know of populations in several places around Brisbane City (Tingalpa Reservoir, North and South Pine Rivers, Cabbage Tree Creek, Kedron Brook). They are also in the upper Brisbane River, (Somerset and Wivenhoe Dams).

Tipalpia appear to be spreading north with recent specimens coming from Bramble Bay, Deception Bay and the lower Caboolture River. As they are tolerant of marine conditions they are likely to keep spreading.

Tilapia also occur in the Ross River (Townsville) and near Cairns (Port Douglas, Barron River, Trinity Inlet). The tilapia around cairns appear to have orriginated from hybrid stocks, as they are genetically dissimilar from the southern populations. There

is also a pop[ulation in the upper Barron river on the Atherton Tablelands. Local lore suggests that this population may have existed for twenty years.

Tilapia (Tilapia mariae)
There are two types of tilapia around Cairns. The second appears to be T. mariae.

There is a small population of oscars in the Ross River in Townsville.

Red Devils
Ditto for oscars.

Egyptian Mouthbrooders
have also been reported from the Ross River, but there have been no confirmed sitings.

I don't know of any other breeding populations of cichlids around Bundaberg or elsewhere in Queensland, but nothing would surprise me.

As for Unmacks comments "Qld, being so much
better than the rest of Oz, also has several feral populations of other
neat fish like platties, guppies, and swordtails"

We also have carp, goldfish, gambusia, in plague proportions, but at least we don't have trout everywhere. (OK so we have a few).


Rob Wager
Freshwater Fish Biologist

Raintree Aquatics Pty Ltd
Aquatic Environment, Fish and Aquaculture Specialists

1002 Caboolture River Road, Rocksberg, Queensland, Australia, 4510.
Phone 07 5496 7939, Facsimile 07 5497 0022, International +61 7 5496 7939
Email raintree at