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Hello Everyone! Would Like To Start Keeping Natives After Many Tropicals!


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#1 Guest_Ramiro_*

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 02:52 AM

So I'm 22 years old and attending college Salem State (though not this semester) for Marine Biology. I lynn in Lynn, MA and there are quest a few docks around into the harbors and salt marshes. I was wondering if anyone around here has had any luck catching sticklebacks anywhere. I've been reading online and four-spined sticklebacks make good aquarium fish, as well as 3-spines, but I am unsure if there any any around here or where they would be. I saw these sticklebacks on youtube and really like the colors on a displaying male. . Does anyone local keep any sticklebacks or other US native fish?

Also, I've really become fascinated by the darters, especially the colorful rainbows and orange-throated. Are there any good websites where these are sold along with other natives? I'd also be willing to buy some sticklebacks if I can't catch my own.

I've done a lot of dwarf cichlids and cories, and while I still like them, I'd like to see if I can't get some of our natives to breed. My dream fish was the zebra pleco until just recently. Now I think it's the tippecanoe darter, but unfortunately I've read that they are in peril. Hopefully someday I'll be able to keep them. In the meantime, I'd be perfectly happy with some other native darters.

#2 Guest_jimv8673_*

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 05:14 AM

So I'm 22 years old and attending college Salem State (though not this semester) for Marine Biology. I lynn in Lynn, MA and there are quest a few docks around into the harbors and salt marshes. I was wondering if anyone around here has had any luck catching sticklebacks anywhere. I've been reading online and four-spined sticklebacks make good aquarium fish, as well as 3-spines, but I am unsure if there any any around here or where they would be. I saw these sticklebacks on youtube and really like the colors on a displaying male. . Does anyone local keep any sticklebacks or other US native fish?

Also, I've really become fascinated by the darters, especially the colorful rainbows and orange-throated. Are there any good websites where these are sold along with other natives? I'd also be willing to buy some sticklebacks if I can't catch my own.

I've done a lot of dwarf cichlids and cories, and while I still like them, I'd like to see if I can't get some of our natives to breed. My dream fish was the zebra pleco until just recently. Now I think it's the tippecanoe darter, but unfortunately I've read that they are in peril. Hopefully someday I'll be able to keep them. In the meantime, I'd be perfectly happy with some other native darters.


Hi and welcome, :smile2: Youve certainly come to the right place for anything Native!!. The folks on this forum as you will learn are very friendly and helpful, and in my short experience in this hobby, as ive went from tropicals (chiclids, discus etc.) to saltwater (including reefkeeping) and now to Natives (current focus on smaller sunfish), this new section of the fishkeeping hobby in general is very fresh and enjoyable, and the excitement of either trying to catch your own or get from others, then learn from the long time members of this forum some of the tricks they already know about keeping natives successfully is very satisfying indeed. As for your Darter fasination, Go to BT Darters, one of this forums members they seem to have a good supply and lots of knowledge, and right now if you cant catch any sticklebacks Aquabid has a few for sale by other breeders and hobbyists. Again welcome, enjoy, and good fishing.

Edited by jimv8673, 04 October 2008 - 05:16 AM.


#3 Guest_fundulus_*

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 06:40 AM

Welcome to the Forum. Sticklebacks are pretty much all along the Massachusetts coast in salt marshes, especially the more permanent creeks running through them and salt ponds. Even as industrialized as Lynn has been there should be sticklebacks around; if not, the large marsh along the northern shore (Route 1A, past the North Shore) should offer opportunities. I used to catch lots of them on the southern shore of Cape Cod, hopefully you shouldn't have to go that far.

#4 Guest_mikez_*

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 09:17 AM

You should have no trouble finding them somewhere close to the City of Sin.
Read through this thread to get ideas.
stickleback thread

#5 Guest_ashtonmj_*

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 12:35 PM

If you haven't checked out the dealers forum you could find some darters of interest available. I found sticklebacks to be very interesting. I've only kept them once and that was several years ago but they had alot of personality.

#6 Guest_Runan_*

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 10:22 PM

Hey, I go to Salem State too! Although I'm majoring in bio, not marine bio specifically.

I'm planning to get my darters from either Sachs System Aquaculture or BTDarters, haven't decided yet. I got 5 rainbow shiner juvies from SSA, though, and they arrived in great shape and are doing wonderfully in my tank.

(my dream fish are bluenose shiners and candy darters...sadly, my chances of getting any are probably pretty slim.)

#7 Guest_mikez_*

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 09:48 AM

Hey you North Shore guys, I happened to be in Gloucester yesterday for non-fishing reasons and took a few minutes to walk on Good Harbor Beach. In the little creek that runs behind the beach, around the foot bridge that crosses it, I netted two fourspine sticklebacks and saw but failed to catch a small school of threespines. Limited time and extreme high tide limited my success but I could see that at low tide you could do well there.

The 4 spines were collected by blind grabs through the rock weed. The 3 spines were observed schooling in the open a foot or two out from the rocks.
Don't get distracted by all the silversides hanging in the current or the schools of mummichugs running up and down the shore line. The sticklebacks will be in the quiet water around the rocks that the bridge is built on.

#8 Guest_BTDarters_*

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:33 AM

Guys,

Thanks for the kudos! Ramiro has emailed me and we're looking at getting him set-up with some darters and sticklebacks. As a matter of "information", here's a downloadable copy of my care sheet for Brook Sticklebacks (Culea inconstans).

Attached File  brook_stickleback.pdf   83.39KB   9 downloads

If you're looking to set-up a tank specifically for natives, you might want to check out my "Creating a Tank for Natives" series of articles on my website. That link is here. Thanks again guys!

#9 Guest_Ramiro_*

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:46 PM

Hey you North Shore guys, I happened to be in Gloucester yesterday for non-fishing reasons and took a few minutes to walk on Good Harbor Beach. In the little creek that runs behind the beach, around the foot bridge that crosses it, I netted two fourspine sticklebacks and saw but failed to catch a small school of threespines. Limited time and extreme high tide limited my success but I could see that at low tide you could do well there.

The 4 spines were collected by blind grabs through the rock weed. The 3 spines were observed schooling in the open a foot or two out from the rocks.
Don't get distracted by all the silversides hanging in the current or the schools of mummichugs running up and down the shore line. The sticklebacks will be in the quiet water around the rocks that the bridge is built on.


Hey, I'd like to go up there and collect some sticklebacks myself... Does anyone recommend using cast nets? Are there any out there with very fine mesh that will work? Would a large fine mesh regular net work? If you could give me the address of some local business or house close to that I could plug it into my gps and get there with no problems... Thanks a lot.

#10 Guest_Ramiro_*

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:49 PM

I'm also liking those small bluespotted sunfish. Ive never had a sunfish spawn and that would be awesome but unfortunately most get to big and the really small elassoma are tricky to feed. What sunfish get it the 1-3" range besides elassoma and blue-spotteds? Any others?

#11 Guest_Ramiro_*

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 02:59 PM

I'm also liking those small bluespotted sunfish. Ive never had a sunfish spawn and that would be awesome but unfortunately most get to big and the really small elassoma are tricky to feed. What sunfish get it the 1-3" range besides elassoma and blue-spotteds? Any others?


I think i'm still a little confused about the whole fourspine, threespine, and brook sticklebacks' names. Could someone clarify them for me with latin names? Also, what common names typically go with which common names? I've googled threespine and fourspine sticklebacks and I get several latin names for each one which makes it confusing. I'm guessing it's because these fish are very common throughout the world and they're able to evolve and adapt so readily.

#12 Guest_mikez_*

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 05:02 PM

The threespine stickleback in Massachusetts is Gasterosteus aculeatus. Here's some good info.
threespine in Ma

The fourspine in Ma. is Apeltes quadracus.

A seine would be difficult to impossible in the habitat I described above as the sticklebacks were in and around the boulders that the foot bridge was built on. In a more open habitat such as a salt marsh or salt pond, a seine would work but you would need the smallest size mesh available. I'm not even sure there is a mesh small enough. A stickleback that gets into the mesh beyond the spines and gets stuck would be impossible to extract.

Bluespotted sunfish are beautiful when in prime color but overall I would call them overrated. I say that for tow reasons; one, they are rarely in prime color. Two, they are timid and tend to hide alot.
Overall, I rate the banded sunfish, E. obesus, as a better captive. Although they are not as colorful as a prime bluespot, what color they have is displayed more consistently. Also, they are more bold. They don't hide anywhere near as much as bluespotted.
Best of all from a New Englander's point of view, banded sunfish can be easily collected locally.

Edited by fundulus, 06 October 2008 - 05:41 PM.


#13 Guest_Ramiro_*

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:24 AM

Do bandeds get arond the same size as the blue-spotteds? I choose fish more on size than color because I like small fish.

#14 Guest_mikez_*

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 04:05 PM

Do bandeds get arond the same size as the blue-spotteds? I choose fish more on size than color because I like small fish.


Yes.

BTW, I misread your post when you asked about a cast net. I answered as if you asked about a seine. If you can find mesh small enough, a cast net will work when you can see your targets.

#15 Guest_jimv8673_*

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 07:03 AM

Do bandeds get arond the same size as the blue-spotteds? I choose fish more on size than color because I like small fish.


I keep both bluespots and banded (obesus) and find them equally enjoyable and colorful. The blues are in a 30 , lots of live plants, driftwood etc. i keep other fishin this tank including some chiclids and they all are happy and look good, no shyness in the bluespots at all. The obesus have lots of color i again provide lots of plants, and added an oak leaf/peat moss sock to the filter which provides water conditioning and a pleasant brown color to the water here again no shyness, these 5 are in a 15 breeder tank. I like smaller fish as well and think you would be happy with either one. Or BOTH :biggrin:

#16 Guest_Marshall_*

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 08:48 AM

Do bandeds get arond the same size as the blue-spotteds? I choose fish more on size than color because I like small fish.


Earlier I started a thread on banded sunfish, you may have already found it but none the less people posted some really helpful information!

http://forum.nanfa.o...?showtopic=6098

#17 Guest_Ramiro_*

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 10:27 AM

Earlier I started a thread on banded sunfish, you may have already found it but none the less people posted some really helpful information!

http://forum.nanfa.o...?showtopic=6098



has anyone had any luck catching sticklebacks on those 2L soda bottle fish traps? Im thinking about making a bunch of them and then setting them out in waters where I know they live from surveys and such.

#18 Guest_mikez_*

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 01:26 PM

has anyone had any luck catching sticklebacks on those 2L soda bottle fish traps? Im thinking about making a bunch of them and then setting them out in waters where I know they live from surveys and such.


Dude you're really hot to get after those sticklebacks!
Tell you what, I'm finally getting away to the beach [RI] for the long weekend. I'll grab up a bunch of sticklebacks for you. I work in Wakefield now which is like 15 minutes from Lynn. We can hook up some afternoon and I'll get you a few.
In the mean time, scout out some access in the area and I'll show you how I catch 'em.

#19 Guest_JohnO_*

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 04:10 PM

You'll love it. With natives, you don't buy them, you go out and find them. That's two thirds of the fun, and you learn a lot about them in the process. It's a blast to pull up the dip net, see a flash of color, and -- hey, what's this? Found my first banded darter like that - looked down into the net, saw a flash of emerald and blue, wow, what a beautiful fish. After a while, you'll find that you can't pass by a creek without wanting to run over with a dip net and see what's in there.

They list brook sticklebacks where I live (KY), but I have yet to find them. However, we're up to our eyeballs in darters down here. I have a creek that cuts through my farm that's packed with rainbow and fantail darters. Very expressive fish, you can almost see what they're thinking.

Hm... some time next spring, if you have any luck catching them, I might swap you some rainbows for a few four spine sticklebacks.



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