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Various things about cockabillys

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Today I was watching the the cockbillies in the lake, they look amazing swimming in their huge schools along the bottom between the grass like plants. I was thinking about how I could create this in my tank.

I have always wondered if cockabilles were natives and if they are, are they actully bullies of some kind?

I was also thinking about if I had a heap of cories would they school like this? or danios maybe?

This got me thinking that maybe aquarium dont school that much is because they have not need to as they have no predators and there food comes to them. I would love to see my lemons and neons school in groups like that more. Do I just need bigger numbers.

Just thought I would share this with everyone. I am open to diccus these things.

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They are more correctly call bullies (cockabully is often used, but wrong, more correctly applied to marine triplefins I think).

Yes they are indeed native and are really cool in the tank! :bounce: Real characters.

However you say they were schooling..... bullies don't do that..... Smelt do, as do inanga.

Just looked through a book of mine with distribution maps. I assume you are talking about the lake Queenstown is on? ( :oops: ) The only native fish I know are in there are koaro and common bullies. Koaro may school a little when young.... very young, and are very beautiful fish. Sorry I don't have any up in my album yet.

I imagine in aquariums the schooling behaviour is seen less because the small volumes and low numbers of fish.

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They are more correctly call bullies (cockabully is often used, but wrong, more correctly applied to marine triplefins I think).

Yes they are indeed native and are really cool in the tank! :bounce: Real characters.

However you say they were schooling..... bullies don't do that..... Smelt do, as do inanga.

Just looked through a book of mine with distribution maps. I assume you are talking about the lake Queenstown is on? ( :oops: ) The only native fish I know are in there are koaro and common bullies. Koaro may school a little when young.... very young, and are very beautiful fish. Sorry I don't have any up in my album yet.

I imagine in aquariums the schooling behaviour is seen less because the small volumes and low numbers of fish.

Iv seen them "school"

They dont school like smelt, koaro and inanga. But they do group in large numbers and swim in the same direction/pattern at times

Iv also noticed that they are quite happy upside down on objects, such as under pontoons icon_upside.gif

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I am meaning lake hayes, it is a smaller warmer lake than lake Wakatipu. They are a brown colour and swim in huge schools of maybe 50+ all in the sam direction, they are about 6cm long. I think they maybe baby Koaro or bullies. How big tank do you need to keep them?

I also noticed a small brown but more camoflauged than the other fish they was more flat but about the same size that swam in a similar way to a pleco. I was swimming on its own and would swim then stop and sit, then swim again.

There is an aquatic plant that grows in patches. It is grass like, Similar to hair grass but shorter and further apart. Is this a native maybe lilaeopsis novae zealandiae?

What to you need specifcally for a native tank. ie. size, equipment.

There is book at the libary about native fish found in the otago region, I think I will get this out. I know we can get freshwater crayfish and know were to find them. Now that I think of it you can get galaxids on the Routeburn too.

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I would love to see these schooling bullies one day HaNs, it fascinates me that they do it! :)

I don't know where Lake Hayes is, would probably be harder to see on my little distribution maps. Try googling. It may take a bit of hunting, but if the lake area is obvious there are distribution maps here for every freshwater fish in the country... http://www.niwa.cri.nz/rc/freshwater/fi ... fishfinder

6cm long with a strong schooling habit.... could be smelt or inanga, they look the same from above. Inanga would only be there if there was sea access. To tell them apart: inanga don't have scales, smelt have very silver scales, smell very cucumbery and have a purble sheen. I imagine koaro would be over schooling by that stage, possibly not though.

Smelt and inanga are great in tanks, inanga are less twitchy and less inclined to die in transit. Find out what fish are in there then we can get more into specifics :)

The other fish sounds like a bully. There are six species, but to narrow it down if it is landlocked you are looking at possibly common or upland, sea-access: upland, common, redfin, near estuary: common, giant.

I also find the torrentfish swim very much like plecos, but they live in very fast water usually.

Native fish need:

COLD water, preferably under 20 degrees. Can be a huge issue in summer.

Hiding places: lots of rocks and little caves

Invertebrates: they eat bugs. Either live food or frozen bloodworms. Many also love heart meat and some will take trout pellets.

Length is much better than depth for all native fish.

They are highly susceptible to whitespot in the early stages or if it gets too warm etc. Be prepared.

Sorry, I don't know much about plants. This is handy though: http://www.niwa.cri.nz/ncabb/aquaticpla ... ch/species

Also hunt through the archives here, a lot has already been asked and answered on various native fish.

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i catch them and feed them to my axies only the little ones as the big ones are to strong and end up dead and half chewed on the floor

From the lake? :o

Hope they dont have any diseases :o

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Depending on what 'they' are, it might be illegal to take them - must protect the trout food! :roll: :x

There are three native species in the lake:

Smelt: can only take as whitebait

Koaro: can take as whitebait or older

Common bullies: cant take ever

oh and:

crayfish: can't take ever unless you belong to the appropriate tribe.

Merely passing on the information ;)

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ah ok, that would be fine, it is Lake Taupo those laws are for.

But using.... native fish as food......? :cry::o

Gazillions of bullies in the lake aye

They are everywhere! Its crazy

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The common bullies are not naturally in Lake Taupo, they were put there as food after the introduced trout collapsed the tremendous original koaro population.... :evil:

At least the bullies are doing well...

Do you really mean a 16 litre? That would be way too tiny, the temperature fluctuation would be terrible for them.

I just realised I hadn't had my air conditioning on all day and some of my tanks were way too hot, particularly the torrentfish at 25 degrees! Did emergency massive waterchange and now they are down to 21. Not good but not fatal either! Also turned off one of the lights on that tank, it was way too warm under them...

(chillers, fans and ice are other options. Unfortunately my entire house faces north, be good if I had a cold room for all these fish)

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also possible option is to keep in the an a water through/bath pond I am planning. But that would rule our goldfish as the goldfish would eat fish that size.

I just realiesed that lake hayes does have sea axcess but its is very far way. This would bring up a few more option on what the fish are.

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They are Koaro, I think from looking at profiles on the web. They are about the only galaxid found in the lake hayes/ lake wakatipu area. From the top they look stripey.

It is getting cold now so they are the in deeper waters and it is freezing trying to catch them. I really need a bigger net.

I am considering getting them In a frog tank but I understand they get very large. Maybe with goldfish in tub/bath thing I am going to eventually do when I get around to it. :lol:

Thanks Guys for helping me.

(No sarcasm intended)

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Cool! Koaro are beautiful and real characters. Definitely would look stripey from above.

I found a trickle of a stream recently with them in. Took a few home but despite my best efforts they died. I have no idea why, it was rather peculiar.

It seems they can be a bit sensitive to the transition, though maybe I was just unlucky. They are very sensitive to raised temperatures. All galaxiids are good at getting ich/whitespot and columnaris when under stress.

They like rocks to hide under. Normally I would say heaps of current... actually, are there streams going into hte lake? Would be much easier catching them in that. Apparently when landlocked they often replicate the marine migration by going into the lake as fry and out into the tributaries as whitebait. Though remember juveniles are much easier to adjust.

I don't know how fast they grow, but it would probably take a few years to get very large. Of course they grow fastest when smaller.

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There are a few tiny streams going in and one large one going out. The stream going is fairly fast flowing but not to much. But that end of the lake is covered with reeds and there are suposibly eels living there.

Do they have an annual breeding cycle? What time of year do they lay their eggs?

How big do Koaro get in aquariums usally?, The site says a 27cm one was found in lake wanaka.

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They spawn in autumn.

Spawning is cued by floods. THey wriggle out on the edge of the stream and spawn there. Then the water goes down leaving the eggs high and dry. They will only hatch if they are resubmerged in another flood in 3-4 weeks time. The fry are swept out the sea (in most case). They bum around in the sea for six months then swim back as whitebait.

They possibly live for six or more years, become sexually mature at one or two.

No idea about how big they get in aquariums. Should be as big as they would get in the wild is properly looked after and suitably housed. The thing about fish being stunted in aquariums is because they are usually not healthy enough to grow big.

27cm would be enormous (and droolworthy!) 20cm would be big. We were catching them last weekend up to 15cm. Need to get the photos off my camera....

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On 3/30/2008 at 7:07 PM, Stella said:

I would love to see these schooling bullies one day HaNs, it fascinates me that they do it! :)

 

I don't know where Lake Hayes is, would probably be harder to see on my little distribution maps. Try googling. It may take a bit of hunting, but if the lake area is obvious there are distribution maps here for every freshwater fish in the country... http://www.niwa.cri.nz/rc/freshwater/fi ... fishfinder

 

6cm long with a strong schooling habit.... could be smelt or inanga, they look the same from above. Inanga would only be there if there was sea access. To tell them apart: inanga don't have scales, smelt have very silver scales, smell very cucumbery and have a purble sheen. I imagine koaro would be over schooling by that stage, possibly not though.

 

Smelt and inanga are great in tanks, inanga are less twitchy and less inclined to die in transit. Find out what fish are in there then we can get more into specifics :)

 

The other fish sounds like a bully. There are six species, but to narrow it down if it is landlocked you are looking at possibly common or upland, sea-access: upland, common, redfin, near estuary: common, giant.

I also find the torrentfish swim very much like plecos, but they live in very fast water usually.

 

Native fish need:

COLD water, preferably under 20 degrees. Can be a huge issue in summer.

Hiding places: lots of rocks and little caves

Invertebrates: they eat bugs. Either live food or frozen bloodworms. Many also love heart meat and some will take trout pellets.

Length is much better than depth for all native fish.

They are highly susceptible to whitespot in the early stages or if it gets too warm etc. Be prepared.

 

Sorry, I don't know much about plants. This is handy though: http://www.niwa.cri.nz/ncabb/aquaticpla ... ch/species

 

Also hunt through the archives here, a lot has already been asked and answered on various native 

i know this is two years late . but bullies are amaizing fish . i kept ten in a tank . you want to have the tank looking just like a river bed . fast oxygenated water and lots of rocks plants and hidy spots. they will eat anything that moves. whitebait cloud minnows any fish tail it can catch . they are best kept on there own as they will destroy your fish . blood worms baby brine shrimp worms mosquitoes they will eat the lot. they have great personalities . i just collected a whole lot of eggs from a clutch 

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Hello 

Would a 70L be too small for native cockabillys?

My tank size is 61cm long 36 wide and 44 high ( Is this too small?)

Im a kid and just starting a fish tank + Live near local river with heaps of beautiful Natives 

Im planning on getting 5 small natives (Because they look cooler than normal 1s)

Thank you heaps 

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Hi Benjamin. I asked Stella McQueen (NZ's native fish guru) abpout this and she said it was difficult to answer as there was so much other stuff you need to know.

To answer your direct question she said; That's fine when they are small (and it is best to get them small as they adjust easier, 5 cm or less). Small tanks are very hard to keep cool over summer. That will be the biggest battle. So much depends on your location, what the room is like etc. Best not to have more than 2 males in that size as they get very territorial. Make sure that there are lots of hiding places. The more hiding places the safer they will feel. Treat every new fish with 7 ppt salt for four weeks to eradicate whitespot. Table salt is fine.

If you are able to get a copy of her book The New Zealand Native Freshwater Aquarium (or find it in the library) it is full of information. It was produced by Wet Sock Publications, Palmerston North. ISBN - 978-0-473-17935-9

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Hello 

Thanks for your reply

Males show red correct??

Females are blacky and pale?

I am planning on have a river based tank with live plants up to 15 of them 

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