Jump to content


Photo

Cavefish questions


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Hecklad

Hecklad
  • NANFA Member
  • Ooltewah, TN

Posted 08 January 2020 - 12:57 PM

(I know there are a bunch of other threads on the topic of cavefish but none of them have really answered my questions, or I just wasn't paying enough attention)

Ever since I was little I've been fascinated with obligate cave dwellers, with cavefish being my favorites. I am not under any notion to collect any since that is highly illegal (and even if it wasn't I'd be afraid I'd kill them), but I am very curious about how species such as the southern/spring/Ozark cavefish would fare in aquariums. Are they able to be acclimated to warmer temperatures, or do they need the constant low temps found in caves? Would it be possible to breed them in captivity? I guess the big question here is whether anyone, either on this site or in labs, has ever actually attempted to keep/breed them (I have a hard time believing that no one has), and if they have, what the results were. 



#2 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 08 January 2020 - 01:28 PM

The guys at CFI might have some knowledge on this topic.  https://www.conservationfisheries.org/

 

Located in Knoxville.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#3 Hecklad

Hecklad
  • NANFA Member
  • Ooltewah, TN

Posted 08 January 2020 - 01:35 PM

Awesome, thanks for sharing! I'll definitely ask them about it

#4 Hecklad

Hecklad
  • NANFA Member
  • Ooltewah, TN

Posted 08 January 2020 - 08:38 PM

Just got a reply from them, apparently they have never worked with any (which is weird considering what they do imo)



#5 JasonL

JasonL
  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 08 January 2020 - 08:55 PM

I’ve captured Spring Cavefish (Forbesichthys agassizii) in water temps as high as 70F.  That said, they are not totally obligate cave dwellers like other cavefish.

 

My guess is that you’d need well oxygenated sculpin like water temps to keep other species of cavefish.  Just a guess though.



#6 Hecklad

Hecklad
  • NANFA Member
  • Ooltewah, TN

Posted 08 January 2020 - 09:28 PM

I’ve captured Spring Cavefish (Forbesichthys agassizii) in water temps as high as 70F.  That said, they are not totally obligate cave dwellers like other cavefish.

 

My guess is that you’d need well oxygenated sculpin like water temps to keep other species of cavefish.  Just a guess though.

 

Oh wow, so then I guess spring cavefish would probably be the first contender as far as possible breeding goes.

 

What do you mean by "sculpin like" water temps though?



#7 JasonL

JasonL
  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:02 PM

Cooler than room temp preferably.  Think an unheated basement would be ideal to keep them happy.

 

Spring cavefish are protected in many states.  They are for sure here in Kentucky.  My understanding is they are mostly nocturnal and  have cannibalistic tendencies.  I’m guessing you’d need a lot of space, hiding places and cool temps to breed them.  Not sure if it’s ever been done in captivity.
 

You could consider pirate perch as an alternative.  They are relatives of cavefish and behave somewhat similarly.  There are some folks on this forum that have had some success with them if you search for the threads.



#8 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:21 PM

Swampfish - Chologaster cornuta would also be another similar more legal option.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#9 Hecklad

Hecklad
  • NANFA Member
  • Ooltewah, TN

Posted 08 January 2020 - 10:58 PM

I am definitely interested in having a swampfish or pirate perch tank, although the reason I'm interested in breeding/keeping cavefish is because I'm hoping that some day I may be able to legally attempt it. 



#10 centrarchid

centrarchid
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 09 January 2020 - 10:11 AM

I have pondered keeping cavefishes and have exceptional resources for doing if path taken. Minimal experience here with swampfish where they proved difficult to condition. I think they need quality live food with lots of fat during winter conditions to promote gonad maturation.  Pirate Perch have proven relatively easy to close life cycle with once feeding a cover issues are resolved.  They also do not mature with respect to gonads unless temperatures are low.  A good quality crustacean culture incubated at low temperature may be an asset.


Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#11 Hecklad

Hecklad
  • NANFA Member
  • Ooltewah, TN

Posted 10 January 2020 - 02:01 PM

I have pondered keeping cavefishes and have exceptional resources for doing if path taken. Minimal experience here with swampfish where they proved difficult to condition. I think they need quality live food with lots of fat during winter conditions to promote gonad maturation.  Pirate Perch have proven relatively easy to close life cycle with once feeding a cover issues are resolved.  They also do not mature with respect to gonads unless temperatures are low.  A good quality crustacean culture incubated at low temperature may be an asset.

Could you elaborate on the exceptional resources?



#12 centrarchid

centrarchid
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 10 January 2020 - 02:16 PM

I can setup a small cave stream using oxygenated well water with at least a couple hundred square feet of simulated stream with a combination of pools and riffle areas.  Would require modest funding and permits to make it real. My lab is a university aquaculture facility where we always have some over-capacity in terms of tanks and water.


Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#13 Hecklad

Hecklad
  • NANFA Member
  • Ooltewah, TN

Posted 11 January 2020 - 01:26 PM

I can setup a small cave stream using oxygenated well water with at least a couple hundred square feet of simulated stream with a combination of pools and riffle areas.  Would require modest funding and permits to make it real. My lab is a university aquaculture facility where we always have some over-capacity in terms of tanks and water.

 

It seems like if you were able to get to the right people they could make it happen, especially if it's in the name of conservation. What university is the lab at?



#14 centrarchid

centrarchid
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 11 January 2020 - 03:41 PM

Lincoln University in Missouri. Interest in such efforts not been apparent so far.


Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#15 Hecklad

Hecklad
  • NANFA Member
  • Ooltewah, TN

Posted 15 January 2020 - 10:09 AM

I find that baffling. Imo, they're the most interesting freshwater fish and I would love to be able to work with them. Maybe it's just because the cavefish populations in Missouri are all fairly stable that no one feels the need? I wonder if anyone in Alabama has attempted work with the AL cavefish as they're critically endangered?

#16 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 17 January 2020 - 12:02 PM

I find that baffling. Imo, they're the most interesting freshwater fish and I would love to be able to work with them. Maybe it's just because the cavefish populations in Missouri are all fairly stable that no one feels the need?

Yup --  Non-game species enthusiasts will always be "baffled" by state fishery agencies' weak show of interest. That's why NANFA exists!


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





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users