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Banded darter care


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#1 Leon

Leon
  • NANFA Guest
  • Los Angeles

Posted 08 May 2018 - 03:56 AM

Around 4 months ago, I received a trio of banded darter from a friend. These bandeds only accept blood worms, I've been training them since but to no avail, they ignore frozen brine shrimp, frozen mysis shrimp, fully chopped shrimp meat...

 

So far I feed them once a day, and twice on weekends. They've been doing OK until last week I noticed their belly is becoming very flat, flatter than before, and even looks a little bit sunken. They are still eating well, get rounded belly during every feeding time, but next day they will look entirely flat again.

 

 

I don't think it's a normal sign, healthy fish will be plump.

 

Maybe it is bad food quality? Or water temp is too high? it's almost 80f in the tank. Or internal parasites?

 

 

These pics are taken in healthy days...

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#2 littlen

littlen
  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:40 AM

While they can live in 80, I would remove the heater.  They prefer cooler water.  Higher temps lead to a higher metabolism.  Bloodworms aren't very nutritious.  So the fact that they are only being fed once a day (5 out of 7 days a week) and la low-nutrition food item at that I'm not surprised they are getting thinner.  Darters have small stomachs and feed all day long.  Filling their bellies once during the day isn't going to cut it in the long run.  I'm surprised they aren't taking to mysis.  That is a good food source.  

(What is the blurry fish in the last picture?)


Nick L.

#3 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 08 May 2018 - 08:55 AM

Agree with Nick - warm water can make cool-water darters and minnows lose weight, and frequent meals are crucial.  Keep trying other foods: maybe blackworms, grindal worms, fresh-hatched BS (I GUARANTEE they will eat that), chopped earthworms ...  Also it might help to add Heterandria or similar small non-aggressive fish that eat a wide variety of foods.  The "Mikey" effect (from the old LIFE cereal commercial).


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


#4 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 08 May 2018 - 07:44 PM

I think these guys are right. I would try to lower temps, increase feedings and add variety. I see some snails. Maybe add many more smaller sized pond snails for them to graze on. Do something quick. Once they get that sunken look, often it is hard to bring them back. Lots of easy to get food. They can expend more calories searching for food than they are taking in. Fresh hatched brine shrimp will be eaten as Gerald said. Take a fine net and scoop up micro stuff from a local pond. Do it at night with a flashlight. They will congregate on the light and are then easier to net in decent quantities. Scuds might be easy to come by as well.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#5 Leon

Leon
  • NANFA Guest
  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 May 2018 - 12:30 AM

Nick. Gerald and Matt,

 

Thank you so much for the advise! So I confirmed the causes: food source,feeding frequency and temperature.

 

For food, plan to buy some live daphnia and I'm going to hatch brine shrimp. these bandeds live with rainbow darters and rainbow shiners and some other fish, which are all happy to see BS and mysis, can't figure out why they don't eat BS and mysis

For temp, I currently have 2 led setups and will cut 1 to reduce the heat, and plan to buy an usb fan. there is no heater in the tank  though.

For feeding frequency, there's little I can do during weekdays, but will add 1 more meal on weekends.

 

Let's see how it goes



#6 Leon

Leon
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  • Los Angeles

Posted 09 May 2018 - 12:34 AM

While they can live in 80, I would remove the heater.  They prefer cooler water.  Higher temps lead to a higher metabolism.  Bloodworms aren't very nutritious.  So the fact that they are only being fed once a day (5 out of 7 days a week) and la low-nutrition food item at that I'm not surprised they are getting thinner.  Darters have small stomachs and feed all day long.  Filling their bellies once during the day isn't going to cut it in the long run.  I'm surprised they aren't taking to mysis.  That is a good food source.  

(What is the blurry fish in the last picture?)

Nick, that is a scarlet goby(Rhinogobius Zhoui), a type of  small goby that can live along with darter. There is another one in the first picture.






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