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#1 Joshaeus

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 03:37 PM

Hi everyone! I am considering setting up a 10 or 29 gallon hi-tech planted tank with groups of small fish. I am really considering making it a native tank, with groups of Heterandria and Elassoma (plus Leptolucania if I went with a 29 gallon). How would this work? Obviously I would need to spawn the fish in another tank. Thanks! :)

#2 Doug_Dame

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:45 PM

Elassoma I've kept seemed to mostly stay near the bottom. Heter tend to like shallow water. Leptolucania I've most often caught 6-18" deep, in water 2-3 ft deep, although sometimes in shallow ditches too. I suspect that in a well planted 29g, the three species might segregate. The Leptolucania ("LO") have very small mouths, they might not be able to eat even a newborn Heter, which tend to stay right at the surface and might never be seen by the Elassoma lurking deeper down. 


Give it a try. You might be able to raise all three together. Certainly the adults are unlikely to bother each other.


Well-conditioned LO can be spectacularly gorgeous little fish, not sure I've ever seen a picture that really captures what I've had in my hand. (Maybe it's location location location.)


I think of Elassoma as requiring live food, and that's generally true for the LO as well, although some have had success just leaving them alone in a well-planted tank exposed to good sunlight. (e.g., Robert Rice, years ago.)  Tiny fish that need live food in a big tank can be a bit difficult. Moina or D. pulex probably better than baby brine shrimp because they'll just keep hopping around until they're found and eaten, whereas excess BBS will die and potentially pollute the water.

Doug Dame

Floridian now back in Florida

#3 Joshaeus

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:04 PM

Here's a question...what can you do if you go on vacation while owning tiny, live food requiring fishes?

#4 JasonL

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  • Kentucky

Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:08 PM

I have gotten Elassoma zonatum to take frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms. When I went on vacation I embedded a little stash of it in some thick areas of plantings I had in the tank. I presume they nibbled on it throughout the week and seemed fine when I returned about a week later.

#5 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 10 December 2018 - 11:21 AM

Here's a question...what can you do if you go on vacation while owning tiny, live food requiring fishes?


Live snails in the tank

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

#6 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 10 December 2018 - 03:53 PM

Blackworms would work well too.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

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