Lungfish care

We are CITES approved for breeding, sales and export of the Australian Lungfish.

You can have a living fossil in your aquarium fish tank. Australian Lungfish make ideal aquarium fish. They are very hardy, almost indestructible (they have existed for 350 million years) and can have a lifespan of 100 years. (You may like to make some provision for them in your will). These fish are easy to care for and undemanding regarding tank conditions and feeding.

As the fish grow, they will need a large tank, approx 5ft-6ft or a heated outdoor pond. With good care they should reach approx 18in to 2 feet at approx. 3 to 5 years of age. Their growth rate will then slow to reach 3ft at 10 to 15 years of age.

Juveniles should not be crowded because they will nibble on each other's pectoral fins.

They may be kept in a community tank as they are not aggressive towards other fish, though they will eat small fish and the tank should be kept covered as they will jump.

They can be stroked and patted in the water and can be handled out of the water as long as you have wet hands. With time, you can train them to feed from your hands.

Live - freshwater shrimp, snails and garden worms.
Frozen - Beefheart (with all fat and gristle removed), fish fillets, freshwater mussel meat.
Mince these together and add some dry pellet fish food and then freeze.
Dry - Occasional algae wafers

Water Conditions
Temp : 10 degrees to 29 degrees celcius
50 degrees to 80 degrees farenheit
pH : 6-8
Hardness : 200 - 400

About Ceratodus

Scientific Name: Neoceratodus forsteri
Common Names: Ceratodus, Cerat, Australian Lungfish, Burnett River Salmon
Aboriginal Name: Djelleh (pronounced jel-air)

Scientists first discovered the Australian (Queensland) Lungfish during the 1870s in the Mary and Burnett Rivers in South-East Queensland. Today it is found in several other river systems in Queensland (possibly through translocation) including at least the Brisbane and Pine Rivers. Recent studies have found it to be thriving in its natural and translocated habitat.

The Australian Lungfish (scientific name Neoceratodus forsteri) is recognisable as a large, robust fish (they grow to 1.5m in the wild) usually with a murky green / brown back and sides fading to an orange / pink belly. They have no natural predators and move in an unhurried sinuous way through water. It is also capable of slithering over wet grass with the aid of a downhill slope.
N. forsteri is one of only four living species of the Lungfish family (dipnoi) the others existing in Africa and South America. It can easily be distinguished from the other three as it most closely resembles the fossil lungfishes, being much more heavyset than the others with large fins and scales. Additionally it has a single lung where all other species have a pair.

Wildgrove Pty Ltd. are the first (and currently the only) fully licenced commercial exporters of this totally unique fish.
We obtained our broodstock under the supervision of DPI fisheries and these fish have become quite tame to the point where they enjoy being stroked and petted. During November 2000, the lungfish spawned in controlled conditions in 4m by 4m concrete tanks on the property at Howard, near Hervey Bay in Queensland. They produced between 20 000 and 25 000 eggs none of which developed into viable juveniles. In 2001, one pair produced 8 812 eggs, resulting in 400+ juvenile lungfish. In 2003 two different pairs spawned resulting in 1200 + juveniles.

All our lungfish juveniles are microchipped using passive internal transponder (PIT) tags, and DNA tested, for identification purposes. These are some of the many requirements by the Department of Environment and Heritage for export approval.

Neoceratodus forsteri are listed under CITES Appendix 2

Neoceratodus forsteri have recently been classified as vulnerable on the endangered species list - for further information visit the Department of Environment and Heritage website.

Additional information on N.forsteris is available from Australian Museum Fish Facts - Neoceratodus forsteri and other online sources.

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