Fire-tail gudgeons are a small (usually 2-4cm) Australian native freshwater fish which are indigenous to the coastal rivers of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. In the wild they can form large populations, in small areas, but they do not school under normal conditions.
They are a gregarious, omnivorous fish which can tolerate a wide variety of environmental conditions. Fire-tail gudgeons can live in waters high in minerals, low in oxygen, and can live in mildly saline waters up to 10ppt. Although they are commonly found in quiet waters with plentiful aquatic weeds, they do best in a cool (15-25°C) environment which is well aerated (high oxygen).
In their native habitat, they commonly form the staple diet of many small native predators, such as turtles, wading birds, spangled perch, purple-spotted gudgeons and bass.
Fire-tail gudgeons are commercially produced as live food for a variety of aquatic animals and can be used as an environmentally friendly, biological control of mosquito larvae.
Fire-tail gudgeons are an inactive, slow swimming fish, devoid of any unpalatable spines and, hence, make an excellent live feeder fish for many species of aquarium fish, turtles and some aquatic birds.