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Hello everyone, new from Maryland


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#1 El Todd

El Todd
  • NANFA Guest
  • Silver Spring Md

Posted 16 August 2018 - 11:20 AM

Hello everybody. I am so glad this group exists, it has been really  helpful in setting up my first native tank. Currently I have a couple species of minnow and two darters in a 55 gallon tank. I caught everything by hand in the creek down the street from me a couple weeks ago and so far the fish are doing pretty well as far as I can tell - I probably spend an unusual amount of time watching them; my wife jokes about it by saying I'm watching "fish TV". I spent a lot of time doing research on the laws regarding fish collection in Maryland, there are lots of restrictions on netting, but other things are less restrictive - it actually ended up being easier to get the fish I want by catching them by hand. A problem I'm having now is I'm getting more algae than I want. I was thinking of collecting some snails from the same creek as the fish came from, but I am uncertain of the legalities of this. The only other thing I have not been able to get any information on is collecting wild aquatic plants -  I don't think it's legal anywhere in Maryland to do this, but if anyone knows different please let me know.

 

Thank you,

 

Todd



#2 riverman1

riverman1
  • NANFA Guest
  • Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

Posted 16 August 2018 - 12:29 PM

Welcome to the site my friend!



#3 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 16 August 2018 - 12:30 PM

" I probably spend an unusual amount of time watching them"  ... not among this crowd.  Welcome to NANFA.  Depending on the types of algae, snails might or might not help.  The ones without an operculum (usually Physa, Helisoma, and Planorbis) generally do better in aquaria than those with an operculum (Pleurocera, Leptoxis, etc) collected in streams.  You can certainly collect plants on private property with owner's permission.  On public lands such as state or county road right-of-way, I don't know. 


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


#4 El Todd

El Todd
  • NANFA Guest
  • Silver Spring Md

Posted 16 August 2018 - 02:28 PM

There are numerous species of snails in Maryland - I have a bit of research to do. The guy from the DNR got back to me today, he said the only two snail species with restrictions are the New Zealand mud snail (illegal to possess at all), and the Chinese mystery snail (illegal to release if taken into possession) - in case anyone from Maryland was wondering.

 

Mostly I'm looking to get rid of the algae on my glass, it's a greenish brown color, and also would like to clean up some of the snot on my driftwood. I don't think there are any sucker fish that would be good for my tank; it seems as if a small white sucker would clean it up, but they get way too big and it's illegal to return fish to the wild in Maryland so I don't know what I would do with them once they get big. I was wondering if a central stoneroller would scrape algae clean off glass, the only problem is getting and identifying small ones - I don't want anything too big in the tank at the moment.



#5 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 16 August 2018 - 02:52 PM

Welcome to NANFA!  I don't think that there are restrictions on collecting plants in Maryland unless the location is protected (like a wildlife sanctuary or other protected area) or the plant is a protected species.  Having a planted native tank might be the solution to your algae problem.  The key is to set up your tank so that the plants out-compete the algae for nutrients.  I've read that using potting soil under your gravel is a good way to get grasses to grow in your tank.  I have yet to try it, but I'm also setting up a river tank, and that is one of my goals, to get star grass growing in there once the tank is set up.  Also, another way to control algae is to grow it outside of your tank, in a sump or by using a algae turf scrubber, aka ATS.  

 

I live in Maryland as well, so it's good to see others here local to me.  As far as nets go, as long as you aren't near a creek mouth, you can use a 4' seine to aid in your collecting, or minnow traps.  Rules about where you can collect are somewhat more strict.  For example, you can't collect in a designated trout stream.  The definition of "designated trout stream" isn't as easy to find as you'd think.  Even if you had the strict definition handy, it matters more what the DNR officer thinks it is.  At least we are allowed to keep native species here, so I'd say we are blessed!


Kevin Wilson


#6 El Todd

El Todd
  • NANFA Guest
  • Silver Spring Md

Posted 16 August 2018 - 05:37 PM

Thank you for the response Chasmodes. The rules as I've seen are consistent with everything you say - so it's a bit of a relief to get that extra confirmation that I've covered my bases and haven't overlooked anything. I will say that people from the DNR have been really responsive to any questions I have and get back to me really quickly. Maryland is kind of weird in that it is kind of difficult to navigate, or even access COMAR, and some of the definitions of certain things seem a little fuzzy at times. I just err on the side of caution and it has been fine so far.

 

Since you are from Maryland, have you ever attempted to collect banded sunfish? My ultimate goal for the first setup is to move what i have now into a larger (125 gallon) planted tank and have sunfish, darters, bluntnose minnows, and central stonerollers. I know the compatibility might be a little difficult; I would have to find the right salinity level to keep everyone happy, maybe someone here has tried that kind of setup before.

 

Also, does anyone know about the basic rules for collection in Virginia? I know a fellow aquarist who is really interested in a native tank for his next project, but he is convinced it is illegal to keep native fish in Virginia.


Edited by El Todd, 16 August 2018 - 05:38 PM.


#7 El Todd

El Todd
  • NANFA Guest
  • Silver Spring Md

Posted 26 August 2018 - 02:59 PM

" I probably spend an unusual amount of time watching them"  ... not among this crowd.  Welcome to NANFA.  Depending on the types of algae, snails might or might not help.  The ones without an operculum (usually Physa, Helisoma, and Planorbis) generally do better in aquaria than those with an operculum (Pleurocera, Leptoxis, etc) collected in streams.  You can certainly collect plants on private property with owner's permission.  On public lands such as state or county road right-of-way, I don't know. 

I went to the creek Wednesday and found a snail. I lucked out because it was a Physa Acuta - which is exactly what I wanted (I did a bunch of research before I went collecting). It's eating the brown algae on the side of the tank, but it's going at a snail's pace (haha) - so, luckily for me it laid 3 clutches of eggs. There could me more egg clusters, but I was able to spot 3. 

 

It's name is Chad. (we should have given it a more non gender specific name given that this species is hermaphroditic, but my wife was set on Chad. Oddly enough, it does look like a Chad for some strange reason).

 

P.S. For anyone in Maryland, I contacted the DNR about snails and they told me there are 2 species to watch out for. The first is the Chinese Mystery Snail which is OK to possess, but should not be released back if caught. The second is the New Zealand Mud Snail which is invasive and therefore is not allowed to be kept at all.


Edited by El Todd, 26 August 2018 - 03:09 PM.


#8 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 27 August 2018 - 07:18 AM

P.S. For anyone in Maryland, I contacted the DNR about snails and they told me there are 2 species to watch out for. The first is the Chinese Mystery Snail which is OK to possess, but should not be released back if caught. The second is the New Zealand Mud Snail which is invasive and therefore is not allowed to be kept at all.

 

Thank you for the information!


Kevin Wilson




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