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Eel-tail? ID help needed.


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#1 Ombry

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 05:23 AM

This cute fellow was labelled a 'golden eel' in the tank at the shop, they guy at the counter thought it was a yellow eeltail catfish which I thought was a closer guess, other than it not having yellow fins. Does anyone have a clearer idea of what it might be? The photo is a bit deceptive, it isn't really that bright bronze in real life, more of a darker grey/bronze. It is about 12cm long.



Currently in a 30L tank at 24 degrees C, not entirely sure what to feed it, I'll stick with bloodworms+tropical food for the moment, but would axolotl pellets be alright? The axolotl won't eat them and I don't want to waste them.

#2 mummymonkey

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 08:59 AM

Neosilurus?

#3 scotcat

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 12:28 PM

Certainly a Neosilurus sp. narrowed it down to either N.glencoensis, N.ater or N.hyrtlii.

A couple of questions, did you mention that the fins are yellow and what part of Australia are you from as this may pinpoint the catchment area.
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#4 scotcat

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 12:38 PM

Just seen your location on the Welcome forum, Western Australia. N.ater comes from the Northern area of your country so it might count this species out. It kind of narrows it down to either N.glencoensis or N.hyrtlii but could be a good idea to ask your Aquarist shop where the species came from.

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#5 wayne the pain

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Posted 18 August 2007 - 01:59 PM

Maybe this may help, some captive bred ones too mellow.gif

http://www.ausyfish....ian_catfish.htm

#6 Ombry

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:18 AM

Thanks for the replies, I think you are right about it being Neosilurus. I am from south-western Australia, but I suspect it may not be local, since it seems to prefer warm water, and as far as I am aware the only freshwater eeltail around here is Tandanus bostocki (though I may be wrong). It doesn't really have the silver/yellow colouration of the yellow eeltails in Wayne's link, it is more bronze/grey with lighter bronze/brown fins. Maybe the colour is off because it is young?

Asking at the shop is a good idea, I'll probably be in the area sometime this week, and I'll see if I can get a better photo this evening.

#7 Ombry

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:53 AM

Unfortunately I didn't manage to get back to the shop, and it looks like I won't be able to for a while.

Here is a better photo, ignore the white blotch, it is just a reflection:



#8 medaka

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 02:09 PM

Certainly fits the bill for Tandanus sp, maybe Tandanus blostocki. but it looks to me more like Tandanus tandanus

Be interesting though to find out for definite, T tandanus is widespread in your area, whereas T blostocki is restricted to the Frankland to Moore rivers in Sth Western; Western Australia. Are you near to the area for T blostocki?
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#9 scotcat

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 02:55 PM

I can see where medaka is coming from as it does look like a Tandanus in colouration maybe bostocki. Could you let us know how far back the Dorsal/caudal fin is on the back. If it starts in the middle of the back it could be T.bostocki but if the fin starts well back on the back it will probably be Neosilurus ater. It does look like the latter which would make it N.ater but I would like your answer just to confirm.
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#10 Ombry

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 05:21 AM

The fin starts well back, only just before the tail tip. Sounds like it is probably a N. alter then, thanks for all of your help everyone. One more quick question, is it possible to tell males from females?

#11 scotcat

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 05:46 PM

The two pics of your species just shows how difficult it is to I.D. these Tandanus/Neosilurus species and as you say the dorsal/caudal starts well back on the back of the fish it is then a Neosilurus species. At the moment we think it is N.ater but I will investigate further just to make sure. The thing that puts me off is the distance between where you live in the south west of your country whereas N.ater is found well up on the north/west part in the Carson River range, Cape York Peninsula and the Jardine and Starcke Rivers but I suppose it would be easy to transport them into Aquarist outlets all over Australia. We have a factsheet on this species at http://www.scotcat.c...ilurus_ater.htm.

The sure way to sex the Tandanus species is the males urogenital is cylindrical whereas the females is triangular in specimens over one year old. I would imagine that this would also be the trait in the Neosilurus species also.

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#12 Ombry

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 06:17 AM

I went to the biological library at my university today and saw a couple of other possibilities (which may both be the same fish). The first was from an old book on freshwater fish of australia, I forgot the title but it was by J. S. Lake, the fish was just called a 'mottled tandan' the only scientific name given was Neosilurus sp., all it said was that it was 15cm long, found in northern Australia and 'a small attractive species suitable for aquaria'. It did have a picture of a fish with a very similar body shape to my fish, especially the short snout:


(sorry for the poor quality image, it's a scan of a photocopy)

The second one was from a very good book called 'Field guide to the freshwater fishes of Australia' (Allen, Midgley & Allen 2002) it's called Rendahl's Catfish Porochilus rendahli it has pretty much the same distribution as the mottled catfish and the same stubby snout, and the same fin positions and so on.




The main thing that makes me think it could be one (or both) of these is the snout shape, as my fish has a very short snout while Neosilurus ater does not, also the book mentioned a golden sheen which I would say my fish definitely has in the right light. Do you think I might be on to something?

#13 scotcat

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 08:00 PM

You may have a point here as it does look like a Porochilus species possibly rendahli The information that I can glean is that the eye is very close to the mouth which is very much the Porochilus genus. The other difference is that they have a steep head up to the insertion of the dorsal fin which again could point to your cat. There is a mention of the pectoral fin being bumpy or barbed on the inner surface which you may not be able to see at close quarters. Well done on your Detective work smile.gif
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#14 Ombry

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 11:42 PM

I went back to the pet store a little while ago, they couldn't tell me what it is, apparently the supplier has stopped selling them for the time being so the store can't find out what it is until they start selling them again.

The other two catfish of the same kind were still there so I bought the smallest one as a friend for mine (this is why I try to stay away from fish shops, I can't seem to leave empty handed) as well as some more fake plants to make them feel safer as they are nervous little critters. Mine startles very easily and hoons around like a lunatic slamming its nose into the gravel, maybe it's trying to stir up a cloud of mud to hide in or something, a trick which might work in a billabong, but not in a fish tank. The plants seemed to help, or maybe it was the addition of another fish, either way they don't panic as much now. They seem to go everywhere together, it is so cute.
Another interesting thing that I noticed is that they do change colour, when I first added the new fish it really was bright bronze like my other fish in the first photo, once it calmed down it turned a bit darker (though still more bright than my other fish), and over the next few days it gradually got darker until it was about the same as the other one.

Also I asked at another catfish forum, I only got one reply but that person thought it was Porochilus rendahli. I don't think there is much chance of me being able to see if the fin is barbed though, I'll try to get a macro photo if I get a chance but they rarely rest with their pectorals on a good angle to photograph.

#15 scotcat

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 04:41 PM

Hi There,

I have actually added your species to the Photo Gallery as P.rendahli as it certainly now points to this species. Have a look here.http://www.scotcat.c...us_rendahli.htm
Thanks for the pics. smile.gif
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#16 Ombry

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 12:04 AM

Cool. smile.gif
I hope they are P. rendahli, otherwise I might have to go shopping for a much bigger tank very soon. As it is I will eventually need to get a bigger tank (mine is only 30L) but I am hoping to put that off until I move out sometime next year.




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