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Mud Skipper

Mud Skipper
Periophthalmus barbarus

Mud Skippers look like fish with large bulging eyes that can leave the water and walk on land. They are probably one of the strangest looking exotic pets to own and are easy to keep as long as basic requirements are met.


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What does a Mud Skipper look like?

These strange looking fish have the ability to leave the water and walk on land. They breath through blood vessels located in the mucus wall of the mouth and pharynx. The gills must remain moist at all times.

Their eyes are situated on top of their head and bulge out, this gives them a good overall view of the world. The colour can vary from a olive to brown, most will have blue speckles around their head and gills. They have tiny sharp teeth and two front fins that are use both in water for swimming and on land for walking. Two dorsal fins are present which they erect whilst swimming and we believe when competing for territory/basking areas on land.

Where are Mud Skippers from?

Mud Skippers live within mangrove swamps and can often be seen basking on muddy banks, rocks and logs. They are distributed in West Africa and are mainly exported from Nigeria.

How do you keep Mud Skippers?

You must provide an aquarium filled with at least 8-10cm (3-4 inch) of brackish water. Size depends on how many you want to house, adequate space must be given to prevent fighting. A minimum aquarium size of 61x30x38cm (24x12x15) would be required to house two Mud Skippers.

Use sand or small pebbles on the bottom of your aquarium with large rocks and logs emerging from the water, provide extra resting areas if you add more Mud Skippers. An aquarium filter will be required to keep the water clean and allow a nice steady flow in the water. Maintain a water temperature between 26-28C (79-82F), you can use a low wattage basking light above some of the rocks and/or a low percentage UV lighting.

The water needs to be brackish, you should add one tablespoon of salt to every 4.5 litre (1 gallon) of water. We would recommend doing a part water change every one to two months.

Feed your Mud Skipper on bloodworm, crickets, mealworms, earthworms and we have read that they will also take fish flakes and pellets. They will also eat fish, make sure you do not keep smaller fish with them, otherwise there is a good chance of them being eaten.

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