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The Gold Wrestling Halfbeak (Dermogenys pusilla) is a very interesting oddball livebearer that is excellent for the nano or planted aquarium. In its natural form, the Wrestling Halfbeak is green-gray in color, but we are proud to offer a tank-raised gold color morph. This fish is a nearly exclusive surface dweller. While it is not a schooling fish, it can be kept in groups in a larger tank over 30 gallons. The “wrestling” part of its common name is due to competitive behavior between males during territory disputes. During these disputes, the males will interlock mouths and wrestle with one another. This can lead to serious injury to one or both males in the confines of a smaller aquarium, but such skirmishes are typically brief and harmless in larger aquariums. This fish is completely peaceful with other species.
Care is fairly simple for the Gold Wrestling Halfbeak. It is naturally found in a variety of water parameters, including somewhat brackish water up to a salinity of 1.005. However, it is somewhat intolerant of sudden changes in water parameters, so smaller, more frequent water changes are recommended. It will thrive on a variety of high-quality frozen and flake foods and, if available, gut-loaded fruit flies.
The Gold Wrestling Halfbeak is a somewhat nervous fish and it can easily damage its long lower jaw by bumping into the aquarium glass when startled. This can be prevented by positioning plant vegetation along the sides and back of the aquarium walls. The Gold Wrestling Halfbeak is a proficient jumper, so a secure lid or at least plenty of surface vegetation is necessary in the aquarium.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Interesting oddball surface dweller
- Beautiful gold coloration
- Small size, perfect for planted aquariums
- Peaceful disposition
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 75° - 82° F (24° - 28° C)
- pH: 6.5 - 8.0, though a maximum of 7.5 is ideal
- KH: 6 - 18 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 20 gallons for a small group, though a larger tank is recommended for multiple males
- Diet: Frozen foods such as bloodworms, gut-loaded fruit flies, and/or high-quality flake food.
- Social behavior: Somewhat social with its own kind, but not a schooling fish. Males will often fight excessively in smaller tanks. Keeping this fish in groups often reduces nervous behavior.
- Origin: Tank-raised, but indigenous to India and Southeast Asia
- Average adult size: 2 - 2.8 inches (5 - 7.1 cm). Females are much larger than males.
- Average purchase size: 1 - 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm)
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