Jump to content


Rainbow and/or Yellowfin spawning?


21 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_scottefontay_*

Guest_scottefontay_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 January 2009 - 01:20 PM

Who here has actively tried and been successful spawning either of these species and how did you do it? Does anyone have good life history information? I can't find anything on-line, at least i don' tknow where to look, thanks.

Scott

#2 Guest_dafrimpster_*

Guest_dafrimpster_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 January 2009 - 01:31 PM

I believe Paul Sachs is breeding rainbow shiners.

www.aquaculture.com

#3 Guest_jim graham_*

Guest_jim graham_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 January 2009 - 01:33 PM

Who here has actively tried and been successful spawning either of these species and how did you do it? Does anyone have good life history information? I can't find anything on-line, at least i don' tknow where to look, thanks.

Scott

Article by Gerald Pottern


Breeding the Alabama rainbow shiner (Notropis chrosomus)

The rainbow shiner is a lovely three-inch minnow from the
Coosa and Cahaba River basins in Alabama and northwest Georgia, and just
barely extends into southeastern Tennessee. Mine were collected in
Centreville, Alabama by a friend from Mobile in 2000. Assuming they were
born the previous year, they are now nearly 5 years old (in February
2004), and still look great and produce plenty of healthy offspring. The
male in the accompanying picture was photographed in the spring of 2003,
probably around his 4th birthday. Females look similar, but with less
blue and a more pronounced gold stripe. The blue color comes from
irridescence (light refraction), not a true pigment, and thus varies from
silvery blue to turquoise to deep blue-violet, depending on the lighting
type and angle. The photo was taken in late afternoon sunlight.

Rainbow shiners eat flakes, small pellets, frozen foods, worms, crushed
green peas . just about anything. They are very hardy provided that you
keep up with regular water changes and don't let their water get too
acidic; a pH range of 6.5 to 8.0 is good. I add "crushed coral"
(aragonite) gravel in the filter to add extra calcium and magnesium to my
very soft tap water, and to keep the pH up. Their native streams
typically have limestone bedrock and are not too warm, rarely exceeding
26C (77F). My tanks can get up to 29C (84F) in summer, which the
wild fish, eggs, and fry seem to tolerate pretty well. You can even mix
them with tropical barbs, danios, tetras, rainbowfish, and small African
cichlids. Unlike many North American minnows that are colorful for only a
few months per year, rainbow shiners look good year round, and in
captivity can breed year round. The males are remarkably tolerant of each
other, so several males can display good color even in a fairly small
tank (15 gallons). Strangely, their gaudy red-violet and turquoise
colors are conspicuous when viewed from above, unlike nearly all other
freshwater fish. This seems especially strange considering their
habitat of small, shallow, rocky streams, where it seems they'd be easy
pickings for kingfishers and herons.

In nature rainbow shiners spawn in spring and early summer on the gravel
nests of larger nest-building "hornyhead" minnows: the chubs (Nocomis)
and stonerollers (Campostoma). Dozens to hundreds of rainbow shiners and
other colorful minnows may all spawn simultaneously on chub and
stoneroller nests -- a spectacular sight to watch. Not surprisingly,
hybrids of communal-nesting minnow species are fairly common, including
crosses between different genera. (Come to the North American Native
Fishes Association (NANFA) meeting in Columbia SC, June 18-20, 2004, and
you may see chub nests in action!) My rainbow shiners live at room
temperature year round (66 to 84F) with lights on 14 hours a day.
Apparently winter chilling and photoperiod manipulation are not crucial
for breeding in captivity, although these may be important cues in
nature.

To breed rainbow shiners in an aquarium, put a 1 inch deep layer of
smooth, rounded gravel or marbles (about 1/2 inch average diameter) in a
wide shallow bowl or container to duplicate a chub nest. ("Hornyheads" do
this by carrying pebbles in their mouth and pushing them with their
snout.) Position the "nest" close to a filter spillway or powerhead so it
gets moderate current, but not so strong that it blasts the eggs out
before they can settle between the gravel. The eggs are very weakly
adhesive to non-adhesive. My group of six shiners usually spawn between
7:00 to 8:30 am, which is great because I can watch them and harvest eggs
before I leave for work. Their melanophores contract during breeding, all
dark pigment vanishes, and the fish turn a translucent red-pink-gold
color. Females can get even brighter red than males, but the males have
more silvery-blue to turquiose irridescence on the fins and head. All
the fish chase each other around the tank awhile, then gather in a
squirming mass atop the gravel nest for a few minutes to lay a few eggs.
The chasing and spawning sequence is repeated many times for about an
hour, but rarely have I seen a scale lost or a fin torn. Soon after they
spawn (or during spawning, if I need to leave for work) I pour out the
eggs into another container, holding back the gravel with my hand.
Refill, jiggle, and pour the container 2 or 3 times to get most of the
eggs out. If the eggs stay under the gravel too long the embryos will
suffocate or develop spinal deformities, since they won't get as much
circulation as they would in a real chub nest in a stream, and there's
likely to be bits of rotting food under the gravel. I usually get 50 to
100 eggs per spawning event, but I can't tell how many of the three
females are actually contributing eggs. Remove any food bits, snails,
flatworms, and other debris or potential egg predators, then place the
container in a dimly lit spot and aerate gently. The eggs hatch in 2 days
and fry start feeding 5 days after hatching (at 25C, 77F). Once
they're free-swimming I add small snails to clean up excess food. I use
freshwater rotifers (actually a mixed culture of Philodina and other
rotifers, plus various protozoa, which are easily grown using dried green
split peas) for the first couple days, then newly hatched brine shrimp.
After 2 to 3 weeks on live food I start feeding fine flake food, but
supplement with brine shrimp at least until they're one inch long.
Rainbow shiners could probably be raised entirely on dry food, but I
suspect survival and growth rates will be better if they're started with
live foods. With frequent feeding the young will start showing red colors
at four or five months old, and the irridescent blue fins and head of
males will appear around eight or nine months. They start breeding at
about one year old. The rainbow shiner is arguably the best all-around
minnow (maybe best fish ??) for introducing tropical fish enthusiasts to
the wonders and beauty of North American native fishes.

Gerald Pottern
Raleigh Aquarium Society

#4 Guest_farmertodd_*

Guest_farmertodd_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 January 2009 - 01:42 PM

Hi Scott,

I had success spawning (at least in the act) a variety of Hydrophlox minnows this past year. I cold conditioned them down to 45 degrees (about 3 weeks at this temp, my plants all went, ahem, dormant) and then brought them back up to temp gradually coinciding with day length (there are windows all across that room). I placed a pile of rocks mimicing a Nocomis chub nest in the tank at the beginning of April, which immediately caused a response (ie I went and messed around on the computer, returned to get something, and they were already fired up). There was a juvenile male bluehead chub in the tank, I don't know that it's so much necessary that he's in there or not. The greatest amount of brillance happened a week and a half later where I actually made observations of eggs going into the nest. You can see the progression here:

http://www.farmertod.../reefle/040708/ (night nest was inserted)
http://www.farmertod.../Reefle/041508/
http://www.farmertod.../Reefle/041908/ (actual spawning event)

I would imagine you could do something similar with wild conditioned fish if you don't have control over your temperature. However, after the spawn, I lost about half of the fish, mostly the larger males. I pulled the nest out about a week after the event as I started to see mortalities. They just don't know when to quit. Upon removing it, the fireworks stopped (which makes me think the nest is the cue, not the actual chub). Being the curious man I am, I put the nest back in a few weeks later to see what happened. The younger males fired right back up.

So I would key in on cold conditioning and the presence of something that at least looks like a chub nest. It would be interesting to see if someone could reproduce the event without a chub.

Good luck! It was one of the coolest things I've been fortunate enough to watch in my house :)

Todd

#5 Guest_scottefontay_*

Guest_scottefontay_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 January 2009 - 01:59 PM

Great info all around, thanks. I will see what happens just putting a "chub nest" in the tank. Anythoughts on potential for hybridization between rainbow and yellowfin shiners? Should I spawn them seperately? That's what I planned to do anyways, just curious. Thanks again guys.

#6 Guest_farmertodd_*

Guest_farmertodd_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 January 2009 - 02:51 PM

Yes, they will definately hybridize, it's a relatively recent radiation, and that's been some of the trouble in the wild getting species moved across watershed boundaries. As you can see in my pictures, it was a big ball of sex, regardless of species :) The females seemed a little more picky about when they rushed in, which seemed to correspond to the right species of males, but they were immediately jumped on by "sneakers".

Todd

#7 Guest_fundulus_*

Guest_fundulus_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:53 PM

I've had rainbows spawn without a cold cycle or building a chub nest, just putting a one inch layer of pea gravel on the bottom. Lots of eggs were shed in a very intense spawning session, but I wasn't able to raise any young since I didn't have free tanks at the time.

#8 Guest_scottefontay_*

Guest_scottefontay_*
  • Guests

Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:35 PM

I definately have seen mine color up a few times this winter, they are in the basement which stays above 60 degrees and as warm as 80 when the woodstove is cranking. They will be moving into the insulatated fish room soon so we shall see if I can't get them to spawn. I will do the yellowfins as well as the SRBD Mikez sent me last year. I have some rearranging to do first though...

#9 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 06 January 2009 - 10:36 PM

So I would key in on cold conditioning and the presence of something that at least looks like a chub nest. It would be interesting to see if someone could reproduce the event without a chub.


As I've mentioned before... my yellowfins fire up about three quarters of the way for a cool water change or a couple of days of sunshine or a good meal or... well just about anything...

I kept this group in the basement in cooler condisiotns for about a year and they would regularly color halfway up with no nest and no chub...

Moved them into a larger tank with a chub and more current and they seem much happier and color up as mentioned at just about anything...

They went through a particularly firey period earlier this year when everyone was all fat and sassy... and I lost a couple after that... but I definitely had the act... and the bluebreasts and logperch made a meal of it all...

We discussed this once before and I think the only thing that Todd didn't mention specifically this time was the food... he feeds lots of high quality food, and it takes that to keep then running when they are gooing at full blast... and their bodies seem to know it and only go into a full blaze when there is enough food to support them, so I would say that if you want to see the display... do everything else that has been mentioned (visual nest cue, cooler water, current, etc.) and add lots of good food.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#10 Guest_mikez_*

Guest_mikez_*
  • Guests

Posted 07 January 2009 - 10:43 PM

Good timing and good info. I'm getting ready to spawn my SRBD who are already colored up [including last year's babies]. Although my rainbows never show any blue, they are fat and sassy and I think I'm gonna mix them in with the SRBD and let them share the same artificial chub nest.
It'll be interesting to see how that works out and how the fry get along.

BTW, do rainbows occur in the same streams as SRBD and might they breed together in the wild?

#11 Guest_farmertodd_*

Guest_farmertodd_*
  • Guests

Posted 08 January 2009 - 03:23 PM

Rainbow shiners do not.

I'm trying to think of any case where I've seen Phoxinus and Hydrophlox occur sympatrically... Seems they're in two different stream orders. Maybe nubilus does in the Ozarks and in Iowa. So take that hypothesis with a grain of salt :)

Thanks for pointing out the food thing Michael, I totally don't think about that, I just do it lol. And yeah, I had them color up for me before and even go through the motions of spawning... But I have NEVER had such a ridiculous response to a pile of rocks as I did when I put that nest in. I'm not kidding about going to check email, coming back, and finding what I found. It was THAT discrete. And with its removal and reintroduction, it was like a switch. That's pretty convenient if you're taking a vacation or something :)

We can test it this spring. We know some people won't be able to cold condition, so if you can, do it. We can use this thread to report our findings and build this annecdote a little more.

Todd

#12 Guest_mikez_*

Guest_mikez_*
  • Guests

Posted 08 January 2009 - 07:31 PM

Rainbow shiners do not.


Bummer! As a rule I try to keep my communities as close to natural as possible. I was making the assumption that rainbows and SRBD were found in the same streams.
Are they at least similar types of streams?
Either way I will most likely put them together to share the same artificial chub nest.



We can test it this spring. We know some people won't be able to cold condition, so if you can, do it. We can use this thread to report our findings and build this annecdote a little more.


My stream tank cools down significantly in my cellar but it is near the furnace. That means as the really cold part of winter sets in, the furnace runs more and the tank doesn't go much below 60 F. The SRBD don't seem to care, they colored up and spawned at this time last year and they look ready now.
I was planning to set up a tank against a very cold wall far from the furnace and next to the cellar bulkhead door. I used to brumate [captive hibernation] native snakes and turtles there and could keep temps below 50 F and even cooler all winter. With no windows to worry about, I can use a timer to reduce photoperiod. My original plan was to put banded sunnies and my pair of mud minnows in the chill tank. Now I'm considering using a tank divider and also putting the six rainbows in there as well. The tank divider is to protect the shiners from the attention of the sunfish and mud minnows.
IF I follow through [no promises], I'll try and record the temps and time spent in the chill zone.

#13 Guest_fundulus_*

Guest_fundulus_*
  • Guests

Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:44 PM

In Alabama, SRBD are a Tennessee system species in the northern tier of the state, and rainbow shiners are found to the south and east in the Mobile drainage. But, tennessee shiners (also Hydrophlox) are probably sympatric with SRBD in a lot of streams in the middle part of the Tennessee system, i.e. Tennessee & northern tier AL. Rainbows are undoubtedly the most eyepopping of the group, but tennessees are pretty dramatic in full color too.

#14 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 08 January 2009 - 10:08 PM

I'm trying to think of any case where I've seen Phoxinus and Hydrophlox occur sympatrically...


Don't we have video of Mountain Redbelly Dace spawning with Redlip Shiners in Virginia???

So I would yes, it happens, I saw Phoxinus and Hydrophlox together on a Bluehead Chub nest (saw it live and got some small format video clips from another NANFA member... Sean Flowers I think).
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#15 Guest_tricolor_*

Guest_tricolor_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:39 AM

IIRC there seems to be reports of hybridization of shiners/minnows spawning on chub nest in the wild.

Good timing and good info. I'm getting ready to spawn my SRBD who are already colored up [including last year's babies]. Although my rainbows never show any blue, they are fat and sassy and I think I'm gonna mix them in with the SRBD and let them share the same artificial chub nest.
It'll be interesting to see how that works out and how the fry get along.

BTW, do rainbows occur in the same streams as SRBD and might they breed together in the wild?



#16 Guest_teleost_*

Guest_teleost_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:24 AM

Last year kept a group of N. chrosomus and fed them a very wide range of foods including: dry flake (vitamin enriched forms as well as spurlina), frozen bloodworm and chopped market shrimp, freeze dried earthworm and tubifex and live blackworms. I had hopes of spawning them and intended to move them once I saw signs of spawning behavior to a suitable tank to raise young. I regularly travel on business and have a family member feed while I'm away. One late Friday night after a week out of town I returned home to have a family member tell me they thought something was really wrong with my fish. I was told the night after I left all of the fish turned bright pink and kept swimming in a ball :tongue: I took the below video the following morning and apparently they lost much of their color after the majority of the spawning was complete. I had to go back out of town the following day and could not care for the fish aside from portioning food for the adults.

Sorry for the terrible video quality (youtube really takes all of the detail out of videos).





#17 Guest_ashtonmj_*

Guest_ashtonmj_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 January 2009 - 10:26 AM

Man I thought this was a family website! :rolleyes:

I've got to get my SRBD videos up sometime. Wish I would have got video of the swamp darters, that was never ending.

#18 Guest_farmertodd_*

Guest_farmertodd_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 January 2009 - 12:37 PM

Yeah, Michael, you got me on chiliticus. I forgot they poked up on the Dan. But in looking at F of VA, it looks like there's evidence those are introduced, so we'll call it a draw ;) lol

Leuciodus might, but I've never seen them sympatrically, and unless someone can tell me they have in the wild (not some danged range map), I ain't buying it. I think they're again in two different stream orders. Same with rubellus.

I'm trying to think now about rubricroceus and P. tennesseensis occurring sympatrically. Has anyone ever found this?

I really think there's a partition in resources here between the genera. What would be interesting is knowing which is the older genus.

Again, take the hypothesis with a grain of salt.

MikeZ, yes, chrosomus and lutipinnis will occurr in a similar habitat and stream order as Phoxinus.

Todd

#19 Guest_scottefontay_*

Guest_scottefontay_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 January 2009 - 01:50 PM

Uland, so no cold-conditioning was performed, just a variety of quality foods, as others have noted?

#20 Guest_teleost_*

Guest_teleost_*
  • Guests

Posted 09 January 2009 - 02:25 PM

Uland, so no cold-conditioning was performed, just a variety of quality foods, as others have noted?


Yes Scott and thanks for bringing my post to point. I didn't "do" anything (or anything right) and they spawned. I had a fixed photo period, my basement is cool but no attempt to play with temps and the substrate isn't right. I could have just been lucky since even a stopped watch is right twice a day.



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users