It would be really cool to get a brackish water aquarium type thing with mudskippers and archer fish. So what are good species to own, and the more interesting or colorful ones? What do you have experience with? Can you breed them?
Good to see you take it as self-evident that there are different kinds of mudskippers.
I've kept three kinds and found out they differ quite a lot from each other.
Too many years ago I had four specimens of a small (4 inches) species of an undefined (Indian?) mudskipper species.
Another species I've kept is Periophthalmus barbarus
known as Atlantic mudskipper. I had just one of these.
The third species and the one I know best is the one I'm keeping as we speak, Periophthalmodon septemradiatus
Now the smallest species I had was an easy fish to keep in a small group. They were not overly aggressive among each other.
on the other hand has a reputation of potentially killing each other if kept in the same tank. The male I had surely was able to take care of itself
It grew up to almost ten inches (25 cm).
The ones I have in a tank at the moment are temperamentwise somewhere in between the ones mentioned above. They (males) establish territories and defend them from each other, but the fighting is not serious enough to do any damage. So far, at least (had them for a few years now).
All of the species I've kept are equally interesting, I think. Given the tank they thrive in and kept in a group suitable for the tank they all make very good inhabitants.
Coloration differs a little, males being more colorful. Dorsal fins are the most stunning character of mudskippers, but all in all they can't compete with many other ornamental fish, colorwise.
Females are duller in color and smaller in size.
In choosing the species I would consentrate on fitting them in the tank rather than appearence. That being said, the male barbatus
was the most colorful of the mudskippers I've had.
Archers differ in size quite a bit as well. The largest archer I've had grew up to about 11 inches (27 cm). So choosing which species to get is important with archers as well.
They are all active swimmers and thrive best when given enough space in the tank.
Combining archers and mudskippers is possible, I'm sure. I would start planning the container with a combination of a large water part and a wide lateral "dry" area.
To my experience mudskippers prefer spending time in shallow pools, bellies wet but eyes above water. Providing a set of separate pools gives an opportunity to keep several skippers in one tank. Even better, if the pools can be restricted from sight of each other.
A traditional "mudflat"-style tank with a sloping profile houses one skipper, or perhaps a pair of some of the smallest species. For more fish the mudflat would have to be huge, I think.
As for breeding, I'm sure it can be done with any given species.
I'm equally sure they don't all breed the same way. This I can tell by knowing a skipper has bred in a tank with no mudflat, tidal arrangement or dug channels, but with a lot of driftwood instead.
Hope some of this babble feeds your inspiration.