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Mudskippers for Paludariums

Periophthalmus barbarus


Mudskippers are truly a strange creature which spends most of its time outside of water. They have extremely large eyes that seem to be always watching, observant of its surroundings. They can climb trees and walls of the paludarium however they are considered to be a fish. These guys are perfect for the paludarium setup due to the fact that they require land to crawl up on but also water to live in. There are about 35 species of mudskippers living in brackish waters in the coast.

mudskipperMudskippers are about 10-12cm in length, a body of dark long slightly shiny sides. The eyes are incredibly large occupying nearly a third of the torso’s head which can bulge and rotate in different directions independent of each other. The male is bigger and brighter than the female, perhaps to attract mates. Powerful chest and tail fins help the fish not only to move in the water but also to move on land. They are very quick and agile even on land.

Keeping Mudskippers

Mudskipper Paludarium

These fish are incredibly difficult to keep and require a specific setup to do so, it should be about 50% land and 75% water just the way a paludarium should be. The aquarium should be very broad and shallow, the depth of the water in the deepest parts should not exceed 7-10cm. The transition into land should be like that of a shore so that the mudskippers can easily get from water to land. Mudskipers naturally live in mangrove swamps located in marshes or in coastal regions. They like to cling to these mangroves and consider them to be their natural habitat. Keeping Mangroves inside of Paludariums is not very difficult and should make the mudskippers feel safe at home. Mudskippers need to live in brackish water, so be prepared to add a bit of salt water to the tank. A PH Balance of about 8 to 8.5 is required for these guys to feel at home.

Feeding Mudskippers


Feeding these fish is not very difficult, they will take almost all frozen and dry food but they must eat on land. If the food falls into the water it will usually be ignored, to feed them easier you can create little islands made out of Styrofoam. After a few days the mudskippers are even likely to feed straight out of the owners hand. Mudskippers will even eat crickets.

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