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Threadfin shad aquarium?

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#1 Leo1234

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  • san clemente, california

Posted 15 November 2015 - 11:32 AM

I know they are a challenge to keep alive, but I'm looking to challenge myself with trying to keep them. Is it okay to get them at 2in? can they handle current? I would assume that frozen rotifers and baby brine would work for feeding them?

I have read the article on here about them, but I'm still a little confused.


Edit: I'm probably not going to get them, but I'm going to keep this topic here because I'm writing care sheets in a notebook. 

#2 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 15 November 2015 - 11:38 AM

Pretty much all of the Shad, herring, and Cisco/coregonus species are extremely difficult to keep alive. I was going to attempt to keep alewife in June but they died about 3 minutes after being acclimated to a heavily aerated bucket at the collection site. I encourage you to try and see if you have success but I don't think many people can speak from experience about these species.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#3 Leo1234

  • NANFA Member
  • san clemente, california

Posted 15 November 2015 - 11:46 AM

These have been captive bred, but they are still most likely going to be hard to keep I guess. I'm not going to get them I guess because it wouldn't be worth the price for them to just all die... ($50 if you include shipping)

#4 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 15 November 2015 - 01:33 PM

Typically people can't even use them for live bait. They die in the bait cooler before they make it on the hook. Certainly an interesting fish. I have a pretty decent school in my pond. I did not mean to stock them, I suspect there were some eggs mixed in with the water willow that I collected and planted. Quite a few 8-10 inch fish.



Oh, and I have heard that they do keep longer in a round container than they do in a square one. If there is any truth to this, then an aquarium would make an already difficult fish even tougher.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

#5 Mrfipp

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  • Runaway Bay, Texas

Posted 15 November 2015 - 03:00 PM

That last bit is particularly interesting. I wonder if a bowfront corner or a hex tank would improve odds over a rectangle or cube?
There's something fishy about this place...

#6 Moontanman

  • NANFA Member

Posted 15 November 2015 - 07:38 PM

I've kept gizzard shad, I thought they were threadfins but it would more reasonable for them to be gizzard but they did have the threadfin, catching very small individuals and a large tanks seem to be the trick, they also like hikari micro pellets and live daphnia. I scooped up a bunch near my home and they survived the 10 minute or so trip quite well. 


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#7 gerald

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  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 15 November 2015 - 07:40 PM

A short wide hexagon or octagon tank might work.  Not a bowfront - the back corners are too square.  Use salt during transport.

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#8 centrarchid

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 15 November 2015 - 08:15 PM

To  mitigate stress associated with transport and possibly while in the display tank, increase salinity to  between 5 and 10 ppt.  You should see a marked increase in their ability to survive stress.

Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#9 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
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  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 15 November 2015 - 09:00 PM

While we're on the topic, has anyone ever attempted to keep American Shad? If there is one Shad species that seems like it would survive it captivity, I'd say they'd be the most likely to do so.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#10 Betta132

  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 16 November 2015 - 12:19 AM

You'll probably want to get them as small as possible- the smaller the fish, the quicker they adapt. I haven't dealt with anything as fragile as a shad, but I keep blacktail shiners, and the larger ones take much longer to adapt. Also, I once had several full-sized ones just up and die right after capture. The small ones just panic for a few hours (lots of hiding, lots of fast breathing) and then are fine. 

#11 Josh Blaylock

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  • Central Kentucky

Posted 16 November 2015 - 09:41 AM

I'll second using a round bucket to transport.  I kept a few gizzard shad, a couple years ago.  They about beat themselves to death in the cooler on the way home.  Those that made it cornered themselves in the aquarium and died quickly.  I thought they were cool when I caught them, once in the aquarium, those are some ugly fish.  

Josh Blaylock - Central KY
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#12 sbtgrfan

  • NANFA Member
  • Charleston, SC

Posted 17 November 2015 - 07:02 PM

I collected two threadfins throwing a cast net for mullet from the Charleston harbor several weeks ago after all the floods here in SC (salinity of the harbor dropped to 8-10 ppt). They came from an outgoing tide where the current was ripping by a dock. I managed to acclimate them to full freshwater and have them eating live adult brine shrimp. So far they're living and eating well. I'm about to try to transition them from live brine to frozen mysis, but I'm not sure how easy this will be. They're approximately 4" or so. If I can fully transition them to frozen foods, I think they will continue to do well.
Stephen Beaman
Freshwater Aquarist
South Carolina Aquarium
Charleston, SC

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