Re: [RML] Ross River blueeyes

Gary Lange (gwlange at
Tue, 9 Jun 1998 22:53:18 -0500

I have to comment on this one because I have photographic evidence as to just
how boring a Ross River can look in "regular water". I kept them that way
about 5 years ago. Now I wasn't hardnening my water though. My water is 120
ppm GH and about 3 degrees KH. 50% water changes if kept up, keeps the pH up
at 7.2. Nice beautiful fins but not a whole lot of breeding action. The color
that I captured really really sucked. I was filing my entire slide collection
over the weekend and I found 4-5 really boring looking, washed out yellow Ross
Rivers. Eventually the fish died out for me (KH crash) and the others that
were keeping it in this sort of condition. Even the people in the US with
fairly hard water eventually lost them.

I think that it's been reported on the list that Ross River has a lot of salt,
(tidal) so why not give the fish what they enjoy? Salt is relatively cheap and
it really made a difference with this fish. This group that I got from Mach
was kept under the conditions that he started with as he said he was getting a
LOT of eggs. I'm keeping them in 1/2 seawater, which is 4 tablespoons per
gallon (sorry you'll have to do the conversions) with a specific gravity of
1.013, if you're interested. This group was starting to throw eggs in 3 months
after hatching from eggs themselves. Now they throw them all over the place,
especially after a water change. They aren't quite as prolific as the neon
"guppy" blue-eye (cyanodorsalis) but they do spend a lot of time in the mops.
And the color differences! Really nice yellows and oranges. Don't forget the
blue and the spangles. And males that flare and pop at each other. When you
see them under these conditions versus the way I was keeping them there just
isn't any comparison. If Bruce wants to use the common name of "neon blue-eye"
for the cyanodorsalis that's fine, but I think you all should think of renaming
the Ross River sig the Butterfly Blue-Eye. When the males set their sails and
start soaring and sailing around the tank it is a sight indeed. It's like the
butterfly house underwater!

Now I haven't kept my "butterflies" in 20 degrees KH so I don't know if they
show as bright of a color as I'm seeing in 1/2 salt. Adrian, what sort of
plants are you keeping with those fish at that hardness? That is one of the
things that would really be nice to add IF they still kept the great colors.
I'm also wondering about the egg production at that sort of hardness. It seems
like Pseudomugils live so quickly so you would be best to start making your
next generation if you wish to keep them. They are well worth the space. I'm
looking to evict a group of NG Melanotaenias soon to give the butterflies some
more room. A 2 foot tank is really necessary to truly enjoy a group. Maybe
I'll get lucky and get a photo out of it too. So far nothing but blurs, maybe
we should call them the Michael Jordan Blue-eye :-)

Gary Lange
gwlange at
Rainbowfish Study Group of North America

> I know some (many) people recommend the addition of salt to their water and
> they get good results however, as I have often said it is not necessary,
> they will do fine in straight fresh water. I know they don't like acid water
> and react badly when the pH plummets.
> Feeling a little guilty because I haven't really been too worried about
> breeding them I have decided to investigate this matter a little further and
> I have this morning moved them into a newly established tank 36x18x15
> (inches) and will see what eggs I collect then will add some salt and see if
> it improves their performance.