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Hello from Denmark

10 replies to this topic

#1 Andersen

  • NANFA Member
  • Denmark

Posted 25 August 2016 - 07:05 AM

As I have recently joined the forum, and NANFA as well, I thought it would be polite to introduce himself. Living in Europe, more specific Denmark, one of the Scandinavian countries. After many years of keeping and breeding tropical fish (and also a snorkeling trip to Africa to observe them in their natural habitat), I have become more and more interested in native coldwater fish, especially riverine species. Unfortunately Denmark is a lowland country and heavily agricultured, and only some 50 freshwater species are found here, many of them getting way too big for aquarium keeping. I have not yet set up a native tank, but hope to have one running the coming spring with a couple of the small riverine species that can be found here, European Minnow, Phoxinus phoxinus and Gudgeon, Gobio gobio.

While looking around on the internet for inspiration for a riverine setup, I stumbled upon videos and pics of North American native fish, and was really amazed by the number of species, and not least the look of them. I always knew the fish fauna of north America held more species and were more complex than Europe's, but I was stunned to see you have so many beautiful, and highly interesting groups of smaller fish, like Darters and small minnows, which cannot be found on my side of the pond. I must admit I've spent much time on the NANFA website and forum the last couple of weeks reading up on these fascinating fish! I'm very tempted to set up a north American native riffle tank, but suitable fish are very rare in trade here in Europe. Right now a couple of darters are available (Rainbow, E. caeruleum and Orangethroat, E. spectabile), as well as a few minnows (Notropis lutipinnis, N. chrosomus, Cyprinella lutrensis, Chrosomus erythrogaster), but all are quite expensive ranging between 17-28 $ a piece. A tank with 6 Orange Darters, 10 Yellowfin Shiners and 10 Southern Redbelly Dace would cost over 500 $ + at least 100 $ shipping! It would actually not cost much more to buy a return flight to the US for a snorkeling trip to see these species in their natural habitat (600-750 $).......oh well, I guess I'm dreaming now, but could be nice to do some day.

Cheers, Thomas

#2 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 25 August 2016 - 07:47 AM

Welcome Thomas. I'm always glad to see some international flavor added to our membership.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#3 Andersen

  • NANFA Member
  • Denmark

Posted 25 August 2016 - 01:33 PM

Thanks Michael, looking forward to learn and find inspiration in here.

#4 mattknepley

  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 25 August 2016 - 06:35 PM

Welcome, indeed, Thomas! Glad you have enjoyed NANFA and found it useful and inspiring. I wish you the best in acquiring some of our North American natives, and if the opportunity arises to come, our next annual convention will be next year in Missouri. Plenty of good snorkeling there and you'd probably find a member or ten to share the waters with!

Again, welcome aboard! Great to have you!
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#5 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 26 August 2016 - 08:21 AM

I have to say, that reading your post really reemphasized how fortunate we are to have these fish in our backyards, and very inexpensive to acquire (food and gas is all is costs most of us to take a trip collecting).  I don't mean that in a snarky manner at all.  I wish that they were more readily available to the rest of the world so enthusiasts like yourself didn't have to pay that much to enjoy them in your tanks.  It would also help bring more attention to the species and habitats that are being lost if they were appreciated globally.  I'm sure if Neon tetras take a big nose dive, they'll get a lot of attention and protection.


In the optimistic portion of my post, If you were to acquire any of those species available in Denmark you would be able to breed them under the right conditions.  So maybe an initial investment of $100 might get you a big return---or at least enlarge your collection.  Might be worth it.  Let us know if you ever want to try that.  There are a lot of great aquarists on here who have done a lot of breeding.

Good luck.

Nick L.

#6 Andersen

  • NANFA Member
  • Denmark

Posted 26 August 2016 - 08:23 AM

Thank you Matt! Coming over for a NANFA convention is certainly something I'll consider. Has city and dates been decided yet?

#7 olaf

  • NANFA Member

Posted 26 August 2016 - 08:40 AM

The exact schedule and location(s) are still being worked out, but I think it's tentatively scheduled for the 2nd weekend in June (perhaps Thursday through Monday or Tuesday?). You'd need to get to St. Louis (or maybe Chicago). I'd bet that you could use this forum to find people who will be driving to the convention and would have room in their cars for you and your gear. Missouri would be a pretty great state for your first experience of North American natives.
Redhorse ID downloads and more: http://moxostoma.com

#8 Andersen

  • NANFA Member
  • Denmark

Posted 27 August 2016 - 08:26 AM

Thanks Nick. If I aquire some north American species, I will certainly try to breed them, not least to secure them in the hobby over here. If I could get my investment back, it would be nice of course, but it would not be mandatory. Keeping coldwater fish in general does not seem to be popular here, beside of course the pond-keeping of goldfish, koi etc., the vast majority being into tropical fishes. This may change in the years to come, as there are a growing concern here on the enviromental impact of being an aquarist, and the paradox of keeping tropical fish in northern countries and the huge amount of electricity involved in running these tanks. Until now the commercial response has been to introduce LEDs, power saving powerheads etc., but not a shift to coldwater species, which would eliminate the biggest enviromental problem, heating of the tanks. I think the majority in Europe think of a coldwater tank as something very oldschool, when compared to a "modern" heated tank with loads of equipment - quite a shame really, hopefully it will change in the future.

Thank you, Olaf. St. Louis would be pretty easy from here, so that's perfect. The idea of coming over for the convention is really tempting!

#9 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 27 August 2016 - 12:06 PM

Coolwater fishes (other than goldfish) will always be a specialty niche market in the aquarium hobby.  There are some very colorful species, but many of them take special effort to show their colors in captivity (live foods, temp & photoperiod control, etc).  They're just not like bright colored platies, guppies, Malawi cichlids, barbs, gouramis, and other mainstream tropical community fish that keep their bright colors all the time, and are easy to mass-produce on farms.  The cost of heating a tank is a "drop in the bucket" compared to heating the house that the tank is in.  I doubt whether heating cost is really a significant consideration. 

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

#10 Andersen

  • NANFA Member
  • Denmark

Posted 27 August 2016 - 04:22 PM

Heating a tank is certainly something to consider over here, especially if you have multiple tanks, electricity is very expensive in Scandinavia.

#11 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 28 August 2016 - 08:31 AM

Welcome Anderson! Yeah, Missouri has great snorkeling opportunities in many crystal clear streams. Great species diversity as well. There is always a crew of very experienced snorkeling enthusiasts at every convention. I imagine they would be thrilled to have you go out with them. I believe they do a great deal of pre-convention research to locate prime waters in the vicinity. Many of this group are also awesome underwater photographers. You would have a great time.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

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