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Successful Fallfish keeping


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#1 1apollofish1

1apollofish1
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  • Massachusetts

Posted 10 May 2019 - 09:27 AM

Hello, pretty new to this forum

Throughout the last two years, I have kept mainly panfish, eels, and yellow perch. The fish that I have utterly failed to keep, despite many attempts to overcome this, were Fallfish.

Each time, the fallfish repeatedly attempts to jump out of the water, hitting the aquarium cover. They died eventually. Some I kept away from other species concerning stress from aggression. The last attempt, I tried cooler water at ~66F. The same behavior persists in both large(90gal) and size 40 aquariums.

I lost interest in Fallfish, but I want to know if somebody also experienced this, or maintained Fallfish with success.

#2 littlen

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 12:17 PM

Being a big, powerful, Cyprinid, they can really book it if spooked--even at a small size.  I'm guessing that's what your fish are dying from (impact trauma).  I've had 4" Muskie "brain" themselves in a 75 gallon, even in a quiet area.  Fallfish aren't difficult to keep and there isn't much that can really push a Fallfish around, aside from a much larger fish.  Not sure where your tank it set up, but if in a high-traffic area your previous fish could have been spooked and rammed the glass.  A 40 or 90 is sufficient for small/juvenile fish so tank space shouldn't have been the problem if properly stocked.

I wouldn't give up on them.  Try another one especially if you decide to relocate your tank.  Jumping can't be avoided, but minimized.  You could try lowering the water level a bit.  When do you collect your fish?  Summer can be a hard time for fish transport and pathogen loads. Maybe the culprit isn't jumping?  Just a thought.


Nick L.

#3 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 03:09 PM

You might need to start with juveniles.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#4 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 04:15 PM

My WBN Dace committed seppuku 2 weeks ago by jumping. He had injured himself a few months ago from hitting the canopy. This time, despite having duct tape over the small feeding hole in the canopy, it was wet and loose and he jumped through that small opening because the tape was loose.

Like said above, Cyprinids tend to be jumpers. Try to get them very small. It seems that they tend to jump less when you catch them very small and raise them in a tank. All of the older Cyprinids I have ever had jump a lot.



#5 bullhead

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 12:04 PM

The traditional aquarist solution is to "install" floating vegetation. 



#6 UncleWillie

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:29 AM

Over a decade ago when I had a large group of blacknose dace, jumping was an issue.  I notice that fish were constantly trying to jump out in the area closest to the HOB filter.  I put a powerhead in the tank (river manifold style) and kept the output in a relatively low position within in tank.  The fish focused their swimming efforts near the powerhead, and attempts to leap out of the tank greatly reduced.  Over the years I noticed that species that live in swift runs or riffles tend be jumpers in a slow-flowing tank.  However, increase the flow to mimic more natural conditions and the jumping was reduced.  Might be worth trying.


Willie P
Roswell, GA


#7 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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Posted 14 May 2019 - 02:46 PM

Well,  guess that the WBND will never do that again.... He came out of a nice little pothole in a slow stream. However, I think that they're more a riffle fish. My central stoneroller jumps too, but this time I put a glass insulator overtop the duct tape covering the feed-hole. I also duct taped the open areas around the HOB filter. So that about covers it. It might not stop them 100%, but they'll have a HARD time making it out of a hole that's smaller than they are.

Might give the powerheads a try when I decide to reset the tank.

Thanks

 

Chris M.



#8 1apollofish1

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 06:10 PM

These answers are greatly helpful. I may start again in my next tank; probably in the basement to minimize spooking which can happen in upper floors with stairways. Your answers have tempted me to try out power heads for the first time. Thank you for the replies. As Matt suggested, I will try Fallfish fry when I get working on this project.

#9 El Todd

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 10:59 AM

I've been very interested in fallfish lately. How big do they generally get? I hear lengths from as small as 5" being typical to 10". Really big ones get about 18" from what I have read; but how rare is that?



#10 littlen

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 11:20 AM

18" rare?  5-10"?....maybe you're thinking of a Creek chub?  Fallfish are a huge fish if you categorize them as a 'stream fish'.  Think SMB sized, except rounder.  Huge mouth.  Big fish.  Big tank needed.


Nick L.

#11 El Todd

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 12:06 PM

18" rare?  5-10"?....maybe you're thinking of a Creek chub?  Fallfish are a huge fish if you categorize them as a 'stream fish'.  Think SMB sized, except rounder.  Huge mouth.  Big fish.  Big tank needed.

 

Of any species I've ever looked at, the fallfish by far has the biggest disparity in length as stated in various sources. Wikipedia(not really reliable) has them averaging 5", Peterson(probably the most reliable) has them at a little over 20". In between those you have things like USGS at a little over 6", NH DNR describing 10" as on the larger end, MD DNR saying 15" is on the large end - you get the idea. I'm very curious about why there is so much disparity in listed sizes for this particular species. I wonder if they vary size wise throughout their range depending on the climate etc. or if it's more of a human error thing.



#12 littlen

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 12:13 PM

Interesting.  I've only ever known them as a larger fish....lets say at least 10-12" on the smaller side to the upper teens.  Wiki's 5" seems off. 

Are you just inquiring because you've seen such a range in sizes, or because you're interested in keeping one/some?  If the latter, get a big tank.


Nick L.

#13 El Todd

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 01:17 PM

I'm building a 500 gallon tank approx 12' long x 3' wide x 2' tall. I'm roughly half way through the project and it will be finished and ready for fish in the next 4 - 10 weeks depending upon various seen and unforeseen circumstances. I've seen fallfish in person hanging out with sunfish in a stream in Virginia; I thought they were really cool looking with the black outline of the scales. My wife actually noticed them first and said "Look at those, they're really cool!" I think the nest building behaviour is pretty neat also. I'm on the fence because of the large size. I guess the two directions I'm thinking of going are a common/striped shiner, goldfish, stoneroller, fallfish, pumpkinseed and green sunfish combination or bluehead chub, dace(mtn redbelly, longnose, redbelly, rosyside), stoneroller, goldfish, common/striped shiner. The size of fallfish is making me hesitant about the first option.



#14 littlen

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 05:20 PM

They will absolutely eat anything that fits in their mouth. Youd get more diversity if you leave them out of your stocking plans. But 500gal is more than enough to hold a few. Might be cool to have a few with sunnies, bullhead cats, and some Bass.
Nick L.

#15 Chasmodes

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 03:54 PM

Todd, I have personally caught them as large as 18" long while fishing 4" plastic worms (easily the size of an adult longnose dace).  They fight nicely on light tackle and are pretty acrobatic.  They have a reputation among anglers as trash fish, undeservedly so, simply because they bit their lure or bait rather than their prized stocked trout or smallmouth bass.  Creek and river chubs also get quite large, about a foot long or so.  All of these fish can eat the smaller sized minnows and darters.  That said, smaller specimens are quite entertaining in a tank.  I kept a creek chub in a 55g years ago that grew to about 8" long.  I had other minnows, dace, shiners, darters and small sculpins in the tank.  My population of smaller minnows, dace and darters declined over time, unless, I went out collecting again.  That creek chub was well fed!


Kevin Wilson


#16 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 24 May 2020 - 03:15 AM

3 Lbs. 9 Oz. is the IGFA record fallfish. That is huge! I hadn't realized how large they could get.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#17 FirstChAoS

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Posted 25 May 2020 - 12:23 AM

I kept one for about a year before summer heat wave induced die off got him. (The longest I had the species). He got 6 or 8 inches.

However, though you will not get a world record. A well kept Aquarium has abundant food and clean water so many fish will get large.




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