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Giant Mudskipper Profile, Care, Tank Setup & More

The giant mudskipper (Scientific name: Periophthalmodon Schlosseri) is a unique fish that offers many different interesting things for the huge fans of the aquascape.

Not only due to its fun appearance, but also to its unique behavior. The amphibious fish can make a great addition to the tank of the bizarre lovers.

So, what can you know about this fish? Read this post until the end before deciding.

Species Overview

Level of CareModerate to hard
AppearanceIt comes with a rounded nose & eyes and a thin & long body
Life ExpectancyAround 5 years
SizeUp to 7 inches
DietLive or frozen foods
Tank Size60-gallons or more
Tank EnvironmentHalf land and half brackish water
Tank MatesBetter to keep them alone

As the name suggests, it is probably one of the largest things you’ll ever see in your tank. You can learn that it has a unique body pattern at night than during the daytime. You will see the best of the fish every night.

Natural Habitat

These skippers are often seen in the mudflats and black mangroves. There will be a lot of individuals at the low tide. At high tide, they tend to climb the tree roots to keep themselves safe and sound.


The most noticeable physical clues are their black stripes along the side of their bodies. At night, there are dark bars across the back.

Many people often mistakenly think the juvenile giant mudskippers are the yellow-spotted mudskippers or vice versa.

But there is a way to differentiate the species.

The Yellow-spotted mudskipper does not have a black band along its body.

Mudskippers have a rounded nose and eyes which resemble a goggle shape. Their bodies tend to be long and thin.

They can sit on the substrate and mud. They have elongated front fins. As they are sitting in the mud, they look like fish doing push-ups.

While it is fun to see them that way, it is much better to leave them alone. When they are angry, they look terrifying because they will raise their dorsal fins.

The coloration of the argentilineatus revolves around the silvers, browns, and grays in the environment. The juvenile coloration might be silly.

But the adult argentilineatus will show more stunning varieties in coloration. The colors come with red and yellow traces.

Each amphibious fish is measured from 15 to 27 cm long or more. It is the largest of the mudskippers.


You can find giant mudskippers in trustworthy pet shops. It is best to ask around trustworthy stores first about the availability of the fish.

In Singapore, the giant mudskipper is listed as a threatened animal. It is because of the loss of habitat. You might want to ask your local authority first if you are not sure about permission to adopt this species as your pet.

Tank Setup

The giant mudskipper tends to be easy to care for and maintain. It does not matter if you are a new aquarist, a beginner, or an occasional hobbyist, you don’t have to deal with any complex matters to take care of the fish.

The tropical freshwater aquarium will be the best dwelling for this fish.

There are some different scenarios where you could add these mudskippers to your aquarium. The best way to make your mudskipper thrive is to mimic the original habitat of the particular species.

Some experts recommend a paludarium set up to root for the species maximally. But this method is not for beginners.

You could also design a simple habitat that all the owners can use.

The simple habitat of the mudskipper requires at least a 20-gallon aquarium. But wait for it. You will need to install a turtle dock or floating log. In their natural habitat, the argentilineatus fish spend most of their time in the mud.

Here is where the log or turtle dog can fill in the gaps.

It attaches to the aquarium glass with a strong suction connector. In this case, you could adjust the water depths to the likeness.

For the filtration system, you will want to use a simple sponge filter to provide good quality biological filtration and water circulation and flow.

Don’t overlook the bottom part of your aquarium as well. You will need to add a half-inch of sand at the bottom. Stick the background of the aquarium around the tank.

With the sponge system, you can easily vacuum the tank.

Consider adding some plants and rocks to mimic the natural habitat of the fish.

Lighting should be a bit dimmer to provide a calmer and more convenient ambiance for the fish.

If you are a more advanced aquarist, this simple habitat might be less challenging for you. But it does not require much money and time to conduct. You can rest assured that your giant mudskipper will be happy to live in the particular setup environment.

If you have improved your skills and equipped yourself with ample knowledge about paludarium, there is nothing wrong with trying it out at home.

Giant mudskipper in natural habitat

Giant Mudskipper Care

The argentilineatus is a hardy species. They can survive in the harsh environment in their natural habitat. But there is no reason to overlook the best setup for the wellness of your fish.

It is important to understand its main nature. It won’t be ideal to keep more than one fish in a tank.

You will want to make a dedicated tank for your giant mudskipper pet.

In some cases, aquarists can use a much larger aquarium to separate it into several sections where the mudskippers can be used to dwell among the other tank mates. But still, it is pretty risky if the tank mates come to the particular territory of the mudskipper. It will trigger a brawl between them. Unless you have a pretty large tank, you should not proceed to mix your mudskipper with the other fish.

Since the mudskipper lives half on land and half in the water, the real challenge in caring for this fish is to maintain a good salinity level to keep the habitats conducive for them to thrive.

Most of these species have a high tolerance to salinity level differences. However, they are not so tolerant of stagnant water.

It is imperative to maintain the filtration system and change 10% of the water portion at least once a week. You could also choose to change 25% of the water every fortnight. That would be the same.


It is important to find the perfect balance between the aquatic and terrestrial elements. The habitat of the mudskipper is not like any other. Thanks to its amphibious nature, there will be half land and half water with a gradual slope from one to the other. As mentioned, the turtle dock can do the magic if you want to simplify the tank setup for your mudskippers.

The other objects that you need to add to your tank are rocks, mangrove roots, etc. If you plan to add plants there, it would be a great idea to add saltwater-tolerant plants.

For the substrate, consider not using something that can build deposits in the filters. It will just mean a lot of homework to do. Instead, you could use fine-grain sand and tiny gravel since these materials won’t hurt your filters.

The gradual slope is one of the most dynamic parts of your aquarium. It will be one of the hardest things to maintain. Add some larger stones and mangrove roots to stabilize the slope. If necessary, you could also add plastic plants so that you don’t need to get rid of the dead plants.

The other challenge in caring for your mudskippers is to keep the air in the environmental tank humid. Your giant mudskippers need the humidity to dry out their skin.

Tank Mates

Two giant mudskippers on land

Mudskippers are territorial. They also require some specific maintenance. Tank Mates are possible if you have a larger tank. They will have a larger space to share. You will also need to separate their habitats into several sections with wood, plants, rocks, and other objects.

Add enough depth to the tank to cater to the tank mates’ needs. Here are some of the best tank mates that you can add to your large aquarium: guppies, goby, mollies, and archerfish. It will be difficult to sustain such a peaceful community.

If you are a beginner, I wouldn’t recommend adding tank mates to your mudskipper aquarium.

Food & Diet

In captivity, they are not picky eaters. You could give them anything that you have in your storage, whether it is live or frozen foods. They are fond of smaller creatures like crickets, worms, small crabs, and so on. You can also add the flakes and pellets to balance their diets.

Keep in mind that your mudskippers will only feed on land. So, if you add the foods to the water, they will ignore them. Crabs that burrow are also less appealing to your mudskippers. Your skipper buddies will feed during the day and night. Ideally, you should feed them twice.

An Interesting Fact

Did you know that giant mudskippers can interact with you?

You can train them to eat from your hand. You can start training them a few days after they have been living in their new home.

There are many video tutorials about this kind of training that you can find on the net. Check on them. It is easy to train your pet to feed off your hands.