Originally Posted by Marlaina
Where would one find "mosquito fish"? Do pet stores have them? (Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I have honestly never heard of them)!
Mosquito fish are often given away free by local governmental agencies in an attempt to control mosquitoes. Try locating whatever agency is in charge of mosquito control in the area to obtain some. Also, in many areas, they occur naturally in bodies of water, including ditches, ponds, lakes, streams, and anything else containing water for any length of time. I do not know of any restrictions on collecting them from the wild (aside from getting the land owner's permission). Jan Jordan alerted the rec.ponds newsgroup that in Washington state, it is illegal to transport mosquito fish but the state will give you some. There is some confusion as to whether the species in question are native or introduced species that cannot survive the winter. Please e-mail me if you have any info on this law or those of other states.
If you or someone you know works at a school, university, or at a science-related business, Carolina Math and Scientific will send you a catalog there. They will ship to individuals homes, just not send the catalog there. I got my mosquito fish from them. I ordered 12 but got only 8 alive and 2 dead. No matter, in just a few months, their numbers were up to nearly 100 in only two tubs with 10 gallons of soil and 10 gallons of water! Of course, after a few years, they all died. Their number is 1-800-334-5551.
Here are a few places that sell mosquito fish:
Fattigfish - http://www.fattigfish.com/mosfish.htm
HT Aquatics - also has information - http://www.htaquatics.netfirms.com/
Autumn Koi - also sell albino mosquito fish (they e-mailed me this; I cannot find the mosquito fish on their web site though) - http://www.autumnkoi.com/
Liveaquaria.com - part of Drs. Foster and Smith.
I looked online and basically every state and county's health department is giving them and picking them up for free. So look up yours and call!
ETA: Since they are only native to the East and South, it is illegal to release them into local water sources if you live elsewhere. So if you no longer want them in your barrel, please call to have them picked up. We have a lot of problems already due to non-native animals.