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Advice for 39g SC natives set-up


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#1 ccoyle

ccoyle
  • NANFA Guest
  • Taylors, SC

Posted 06 March 2018 - 03:33 PM

Hello, all. Our office just received a donation of a 39-gallon bow-front tank that I would like to set up for native fish. My main issue with natives is that they are not cichlids; I have a lot of experience with the latter, but not the former. So, I'm starting off with some assumptions and ideas which may or may not be valid -- please feel free to chime in with corrections and/or recommendations.

 

> First, is there any recommended literature on this subject that I might obtain through my local library?

 

> Our ambient air temperature in the office is probably between 65 and 75 F. I know this is in the spawning range of some natives, and I hope their metabolism and behavior won't be overtaxed at this temperature range?

 

> I'd like to start off with local fish I can collect myself from creeks in the area. I assume these fish would appreciate some flow in their tank? With that in mind, I'm considering what sort of filtration to use. Under-gravel with power head? Internal canister or powered foam?

 

> The tank will be near a northeast-facing window that only gets a little bit of direct sunlight in the early morning. I don't expect this to be a problem.

 

> As I mentioned in another thread, I have collected creek chubs (which don't seem very attractive) and greenhead shiners in the creek behind my house and have observed green sunfish there as well; this is a tributary of Brushy Creek in Taylors. Any recommendations on other suitable local species and good places to collect them in the Greenville-Spartanburg area?

 

> Any problems weaning any of these species onto staple flakes or pellets? Best to collect them as juveniles for this purpose?

 

> I'll have to use Greenville's local water, and I believe they use chloramines, so I'm prepared to treat and age water.

 

> Recommended substrate(s)?

 

Anything I'm overlooking? Allow me to say thanks in advance, since I know it can be tiresome to answer the same "rookie" questions repeatedly.

 

Cheers,

CDC


Edited by ccoyle, 06 March 2018 - 04:32 PM.


#2 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 06 March 2018 - 06:21 PM

Welcome!  It terms of aquarium setup and basic care, native sunfish are virtually identical to cichlids, and minnows (shiners, chubs, and dace) are virtually identical to danios, barbs, and rainbowfish.  The bigger sunfishes (Lepomis) dig; the dwarf sunfishes (Enneacanthus) don't.  Minnows and Lepomis sunfish quickly learn to eat flake and pellet foods, although live and frozen foods are best for getting them adjusted to captivity.  Enneacanthus and darters may or may not adapt to dry foods.  65 to 75 F is a good range for any/all SC species.  Sand and/or small gravel are good for substrate.  For plants, there's not many natives in western SC that do well in aquaria, except Ludwigia palustris; the Coastal Plain has lots more suitable plants.  Many of us use non-native (tropical) plants with our native fish, for convenience.  We have several NANFA  members in upstate SC you can probably connect with for outings, plant trimmings, live food cultures, etc.  Also consider our next NANFA convention, June 7-10 in NE GA - might be many years before it's this close to you again!


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


#3 Michael Wolfe

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

Posted 06 March 2018 - 08:20 PM

Agree with all that Gerald said... But I will throw in a couple of additional thoughts based on your questions:

 

> Most creek fish to not "require" the flow.  I would suggest powered foam and a powerhead.  That would be more than enough.

 

> greenhead shiners are excellent fish to start your foray into natives.  they are peaceful and will accept flakes on the first or second day.  add a couple of bluehead chubs and you have a near perfect native aquarium with room for a few other fish.

 

 

> I'd like to start off with local fish I can collect myself from creeks in the area. I assume these fish would appreciate some flow in their tank? With that in mind, I'm considering what sort of filtration to use. Under-gravel with power head? Internal canister or powered foam?

 

> As I mentioned in another thread, I have collected creek chubs (which don't seem very attractive) and greenhead shiners in the creek behind my house and have observed green sunfish there as well; this is a tributary of Brushy Creek in Taylors. Any recommendations on other suitable local species and good places to collect them in the Greenville-Spartanburg area?

 


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

#4 ccoyle

ccoyle
  • NANFA Guest
  • Taylors, SC

Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:13 PM

Thank you, gentlemen. I will take your recommendations under advisement.



#5 Doug_Dame

Doug_Dame
  • NANFA Member

Posted 06 March 2018 - 11:02 PM

I offer this modest insight:

    

    "All [fish trade] fish are native to somewhere."

 

Which is to say that everything you have learned about fish and fish-keeping to date does not fly out the window simply because "native fish" are found on the same continent where you live.

 

The main systematic difference between [North American] native fish and non-native fish you encounter is that the large majority of the former come from temperate weather zones. Other than that, they have a variety of preferences, behaviors, etc. Many do well in aquariums, especially the smaller species, and some do not, for a variety of reasons. 

 

Also, organizing a collecting trip to nearby creeks is a lot simpler, and cheaper, than expeditions to the Amazon or Cameroon.


Doug Dame

Floridian now in Cincinnati
 


#6 ccoyle

ccoyle
  • NANFA Guest
  • Taylors, SC

Posted 07 March 2018 - 09:14 AM

Thanks, Doug. Yes, all fish are native to somewhere. I did quite a bit of work in trout hatcheries in my college days, so you could say I have some experience raising certain native fish on a commercial scale. And when I mentioned cichlids earlier, I should have been more specific; I raised Africans from Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika, a group with specific management needs based on their physiology and behavior (aggressive species that live in liquid rock). So I do understand that my fish-keeping skills are broadly applicable even to species with which I am unfamiliar, e.g. those native to this little corner of Upstate South Carolina. I'm just looking for some pointers to make our mutual "getting acquainted" period a little easier on both keeper and fish.

 

Cheers,

CDC



#7 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 08 March 2018 - 02:57 PM

First pointer that comes to mind is avoid collecting when water is warmer than 75 F, and add salt in the collecting bucket (1 teasp /gal) before adding fish, to minimize the fright-induced ion loss that occurs within the first few minutes after capture. 

 

 I'm just looking for some pointers to make our mutual "getting acquainted" period a little easier on both keeper and fish.   Cheers,  CDC


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


#8 ccoyle

ccoyle
  • NANFA Guest
  • Taylors, SC

Posted 18 March 2018 - 08:17 PM

Hello again, all.

 

I just wanted to say thanks again to everyone for their advice. Sadly, the higher-ups in our office decided they did not want to have 39 gallons of potential water damage sitting around and torpedoed the project (bunch of wet blankets!).  :(   So now we are considering setting up a nice, dry terrarium instead. Oh, well!

 

Cheers,

Chris






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