Honey Blue-eye - Pseudomugil mellis
The Honey Blue-eye was scientifically described by Allen & Ivantsoff in 1982. Its scientific name is Pseudomugil mellis. Earlier, it was considered a variety of Pseudomugil signifier.
This small fish does not exceed 3 cm (0.8 inches) in length. It is called Honey Blue-eye since its colouration has the same shade as pale honey with bronzy sparkles.
The mature Honey Blue-eye male can be recognized on the distinct black submarginal bands that are present on his dorsal, anal and caudal fins. These fins also feature white margins. In some males, the first dorsal fin forms a (short) filament.
Geographical distribution, habitat and conservation
The Honey Blue-eye lives in streams and ponds near the coast in the south-eastern part of Queensland, Australia. Its natural range is very limited and consists of so called Wallum country between Brisbane and Fraser Island. The typical Honey Blue-eye habitat is a tea-coloured creek or dune-lake with really slow or virtually nonexistent current. Wallum is the local name for an Australian ecosystem characterised by deep, nutrient-poor acidic sandy soil.
The Honey Blue-eye is known to appreciate the protection offered by water lilies and grassy bank. The pH-value in the waters where you can find Honey Blue-eye ranges from 4.4 to 6.0.
Land clearing and housing developments have affected the small area where the Honey Blue-eye lives. Until 1996, the Honey Blue-eye was listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species. Since then, it has been listed as “Endangered”.
Keeping Honey Blue-eye in aquariums
A 25 litre (6 ½ gallon) aquarium is large enough to house a small group of Honey Blue-eyes, as long as you know how to keep the water quality up in such a small aquarium. Strong current is not recommended in the aquarium, since the Honey Blue-eye lives in slow moving waters in the wild. This species is known to congregate along grassy banks and among water lilies and it is therefore a good idea to use plants – including floating species – to create hiding spots in the aquarium.
The recommended water temperature is 22-30 degrees C (72-86 degrees F). As mentioned above, the Honey Blue-eye is used to soft and acidic conditions and it is therefore best to provide it with such water in the aquarium. This species is however known to adapt to alkaline water up to a pH of 7.5 if necessary.
Keep your Honey Blue-eyes on a varied diet in the aquarium. You can for instance combine high-quality dry food with live meaty food, e.g. brine shrimp and daphnia.
Breeding Honey Blue-eye
The Honey Blue-eye reaches sexual maturity when it is roughly five months old and can be bred in pairs or groups. Keep your fish on a nutritious diet that contains plenty of live food and make sure that the aquarium contains a suitable spawning medium, e.g. java moss, floating plants or spawning mops.
Unlike many other rainbows and blue-eye, the Honey Blue-eye is more likely to spawn in the afternoon than in the early morning. The female can release up to 10 eggs each day, but most females release a much lower quantity. It is safest to move the spawning medium with the eggs to a separate container, since the adult fish might eat eggs and fry.
If you keep the water temperature is the upper part of the recommended range, you can expect the eggs to hatch within 9 days. You can feed the fry infusoria until they are big enough to devour newly hatched brine shrimp.
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