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Blacknose Dace

36 replies to this topic

#1 Bulldarter

  • NANFA Guest
  • NoVa

Posted 28 December 2015 - 03:47 PM

Hey guys, I tried searching the forums but not a ton of posts involve these guys, at least in detail. These are one of my favorite fish, so I was wondering who is keeping them and how you would describe them(in behavior). These are two of the adults I found today. Sorry for the distortion of the bottom of the fish, it's a package for an aerator. :)

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Edited by Bulldarter, 28 December 2015 - 03:48 PM.

#2 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
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  • Central Kentucky

Posted 28 December 2015 - 03:50 PM

I love Blacknose Dace.  They are super easy to keep, very tolerant of water quality, and will eat about anything.


As far as behavior, they are just a mild stream fish.  I see them picking at algae an just swimming.  Can't say I've ever seen on aggressive.  Enjoy them!

Josh Blaylock - Central KY
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#3 MtFallsTodd

  • NANFA Member
  • Mountain Falls, Virginia

Posted 28 December 2015 - 04:03 PM

I have a group of 3. They are always schooling together and have never shown aggression towards any other fish. I haven't found them to be any problem at all to feed. really nice looking fish IMO.

Deep in the hills of Great North Mountain

#4 Bulldarter

  • NANFA Guest
  • NoVa

Posted 28 December 2015 - 05:04 PM

Yeah, for some reason I really like their look. I have a tiny stream maybe 4' across at most that has only blacknose dace by the hundreds near my grandparents house. 

#5 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 28 December 2015 - 06:00 PM

The only "hard" part about Rhinichthys is keeping them IN the tank.  Carefully block every opening, especially around hang-on filters, or they will likely jump out.  That's the natural behavior of fish that specialize in tiny rocky headwater creeks - always looking for a path upstream.

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
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#6 Sean Phillips

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

Posted 28 December 2015 - 07:25 PM

I used to keep a school of 6. Mine were hyper-active and would out compete all of the other Cyprinids and darters in the tank for food, including turning upside down to surface feed! They're cool, hardy fish, but keep them only with fish that are as quick to food as them, unless you don't mind target-feeding.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#7 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 28 December 2015 - 07:38 PM

Those two look to be males to me... in breeding colors (who knows what's going on with this weather front, I've got frogs peeping and hydrangea budding).  Females don't get orange like that as far as I remember.  And yes, please cover your tank... they will swim upstream and jump to the next riffle...or the floor. 

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#8 Bulldarter

  • NANFA Guest
  • NoVa

Posted 28 December 2015 - 08:17 PM

Yeah, they do have that red. I find them with this in this particular stream year round, and during the breeding season it intensifies even more. It is a little bit more distinct than usual, probably due to the weather. I will try to keep them covered, but in my pond it will be a little difficult. Once I get my 20 or 29 [-o< they will have a safer home.

#9 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 29 December 2015 - 02:41 AM

I find adding an impellor or powerhead for current does wonders for keeping Rhinicthys in a tank. 

#10 Riffledace

  • NANFA Guest
  • Massachusetts

Posted 29 December 2015 - 08:27 PM

Mine swim right into my hand and even wriggle up out of the water to get bits of shrimp. They're so conditioned in fact that they do it regardless of whether there's any food.

#11 smbass

  • Board of Directors

Posted 04 January 2016 - 01:18 PM

First native I ever kept in an aquarium as far as I remember and I still usually have a few in my stream tank today after about 20 years of keeping native fish. My local ones really color up nice when you have two or three males that compete with one another and spar in the tank. They get a darker body and bright red stripe when in the mood. Females get a light gold stripe and darker rest of body when in the mood too. They are very aggressive feeders and can get a little territorial with other fish in the tank but never seem to actually cause damage to anyone else. I too have had fish that will force their way into a nearly closed hand to get food. Makes them really easy to catch out of the tank if you want to...



Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage

#12 FirstChAoS

  • Regional Rep

Posted 04 January 2016 - 01:31 PM

From the orange stripe I know that is a western. Here is a colored up eastern,



#13 smbass

  • Board of Directors

Posted 04 January 2016 - 05:53 PM

Correct, I have actually kept both Eastern and Western in the same tank before. You can tell them apart. My local ones are westerns.

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage

#14 Kanus

  • Board of Directors

Posted 07 January 2016 - 12:41 PM

Good looking BNDs! They are great aquarium fish and were the first native Cyprinid I ever kept (and I'm sure many NANFAns can say the same). I still have not decided whether I prefer the easterns or westerns, but to me also, they look very very different. And it is rather fortunate that I live on the dividing line between the two.


Here's a handsome Western from the upper Holston drainage here in SW Virginia


Derek Wheaton

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#15 smbass

  • Board of Directors

Posted 08 January 2016 - 11:01 AM

I think we should call that a "Southern Blacknose Dace" you should describe it... I have seen them from the upper TN and then look nothing like my great lakes and Ohio River basin "Westerns". The red is not as much of a stripe on those southern ones but rather a broad band that extends down lower on the sides and even lower side of head, your photo shows that really well.

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage

#16 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 08 January 2016 - 01:22 PM

I don't mean to take this post in another direction, but I feel as those the OP's questions have been answered to a degree.

With that said, Brian (or anyone else), do you have any pics that you could post of your "Westerns"?  I'm curious to see the variety of color/pattern that exists in dace from different areas.


I would assume behavior, personality, etc. is the same?  Or has anyone noticed a unique behavioral difference b/t East and West?


Nick L.

#17 Bulldarter

  • NANFA Guest
  • NoVa

Posted 08 January 2016 - 08:27 PM

I would also be interested in seeing all the various locales or subspecies.

#18 smbass

  • Board of Directors

Posted 10 January 2016 - 12:18 AM

Here is what I have...


First my Ohio ones, I see no difference between Great Lakes and Ohio River basin individuals here...









Only have one photo of a Eastern and it is not a great one. I think this fish is from the Roanoke basin and the one thing I notice about them is more color on the pectoral fins than westerns. Can't see it well on this fish but it is present...




Lastly one photo from the upper TN basin from a tributary to the Emory River, this one looks a lot like Dereks from above. This is not my photo it is Dustin's from a trip we were on together and I kept the photo...



There are at least those three forms with this last one with no name.

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage

#19 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 10 January 2016 - 12:32 AM

Just me or does the head shape of our supposed southern blacknose dace favor longnose dace a bit as well?

The member formerly known as Skipjack

#20 smbass

  • Board of Directors

Posted 10 January 2016 - 12:38 AM

Yes I would agree the upper TN fish have a little longer nose too.

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage

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