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Dermogenys pusilla (pusillus)
Malayan Halfbeak, Wrestling Half Beak

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Malayan Halfbeak - Dermogenys pusilla

Photos & Comments

Dermogenys_pusilla_1.jpg (18kb)
Photo Credit: Alex Kawazaki

I bought a pair of these guys from the LFS, who couldn't tell me much about them. I knew they were livebearers. I brought them home and put them in a planted 120x60x60 cm tank. Being the smallest fish in the tank, they haven't bothered their tankmates, but like to squabble between themselves. The female once grabbed the male in a mouth to mouth lock and carried him round the tank for over 10 minutes! Well today I was emptying the diatom filter and found a couple of new borns! I knew she was pregnant, but had hoped to get her into a breeding net before she gave birth. The fry are now in a tank with some tiny neons and I'm hoping it won't be the last brood she brings forth. I recommend these fish for anyone who likes something a bit different. My fish accept flake, ground pellets, live and frozen bloodworms. The pH is 7, Temp is 24C and no added salt.

Contributed by Ron Salter

When I saw these at the LFS I quickly got a pair. I asked the LFS keeper if they'd be OK with angels that I already have in the tank, and they said it should be fine as they are rather long. As soon as I put them in the tank they were fully in the mouth of my angels...and shredded to bits before I even had the chance to close the aquarium lid. I can't tell you how gutted I am!

Contributed by Maz

I have kept halfbeaks for years. At the present time I have four in a 60 L tank with fancy guppies, loaches and cory's. They have lived in that tank for over three years. I also have eight (two different species) in a heavily planted 40 L aquarium. I have found that if they are the only fish in the tank they occupy all levels. I was going to add another type of fish to this tank, but after watching the halfbeaks utilizing the whole tank I believe I will just set up another tank for the other fish I want. They will eat anything and I also wanted to add that two of mine have lost most of their lower jaw and are still thriving. In fact, I bought one of them in that condition because I didn't think anyone else would want to buy him.

Contributed by Richard Moore

We purchased a male halfbeak almost a year ago for a 110 liter community tank. Within a week 7 ghost shrimp had vanished. We had no idea what had happened until we caught the halfbeak swallowing the last shrimp. He also attempted to eat a 2 cm guppy (again caught in the act) and shredded the fins on two larger guppies. We have moved him to another tank with larger fish. I would not recommend halfbeaks in a tank with smaller fish.

Contributed by Julie

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