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#1 Guest_reebok_*

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 02:26 PM

Hi everyone,
Having anonymously skirted around the Nanfa forum for a few months I though it was high time I registered myself. I'm based in Bolton, England and my main interest is British native fish species (of which I'll mention more at another time) but I do keep a small number of US species such as rainbow dace, pygmy sunfish, fathead minnows, rainbow shiner and diamond spotted sunfish. North American species of fish are very difficult and expensive to obtain the the United Kingdom and a few species such as redbelly dace and pumpkinseed are actually illegal to keep without a license. Great pity on both counts as you are so lucky to have such a fabulously rich diversity of native species in the USA. In the UK there are only a few dozen natives and many of them are really to big to consider keeping in aquaria so I restrict myself to the smaller-growing species.
I've learnt a great deal from the Nanfa forum about keeping of the few US species that I do have so thanks to everybody who has contributed. Sadly, there is no equivalent of Nanfa in the UK. Maybe I should start one...

#2 Guest_fundulus_*

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 04:02 PM

Welcome to the Forum, we're always glad to hear that it's educational as well as fun.

#3 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 06:09 PM

Hi everyone,
Having anonymously skirted around the Nanfa forum for a few months I though it was high time I registered myself. I'm based in Bolton, England and my main interest is British native fish species (of which I'll mention more at another time) but I do keep a small number of US species such as rainbow dace, pygmy sunfish, fathead minnows, rainbow shiner and diamond spotted sunfish. North American species of fish are very difficult and expensive to obtain the the United Kingdom and a few species such as redbelly dace and pumpkinseed are actually illegal to keep without a license. Great pity on both counts as you are so lucky to have such a fabulously rich diversity of native species in the USA. In the UK there are only a few dozen natives and many of them are really to big to consider keeping in aquaria so I restrict myself to the smaller-growing species.
I've learnt a great deal from the Nanfa forum about keeping of the few US species that I do have so thanks to everybody who has contributed. Sadly, there is no equivalent of Nanfa in the UK. Maybe I should start one...

Welcome reebok (love the footie reference, which I assume it is, since you are in Bolton),

Just a couple of quick questions... do you have the scientific binomials for a couple of the fish you mentioned?

What is a rainbow dace (I would have thought rainbow shiner, but you already mentioned that)?
What is a diamond spotted sunfish (we have L. Punctatus, which we call spotted sunfish, but no one over here would think of them as diamond spotted... so should I guess that you mean E. gloriosus? which we call bluespotted... but I could imagine them being called diamond spotted)?
Which pygmys do you have (everglades, okefenokee, banded)?

Sorry for all the questions, don't take it like an interegation or anything... I'm just curious about what you have over there.

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

#4 Guest_rjmtx_*

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 07:23 PM

I've seen Red Shiners called rainbow dace in a LFS. At $8.99 apiece, I thought about an early retirement selling red shiners to pet stores. They had to have been $2-3 wholesale... Dollar signs in my eyes.

#5 Guest_reebok_*

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 01:13 PM

Welcome reebok (love the footie reference, which I assume it is, since you are in Bolton),

Just a couple of quick questions... do you have the scientific binomials for a couple of the fish you mentioned?

What is a rainbow dace (I would have thought rainbow shiner, but you already mentioned that)?
What is a diamond spotted sunfish (we have L. Punctatus, which we call spotted sunfish, but no one over here would think of them as diamond spotted... so should I guess that you mean E. gloriosus? which we call bluespotted... but I could imagine them being called diamond spotted)?
Which pygmys do you have (everglades, okefenokee, banded)?

Sorry for all the questions, don't take it like an interegation or anything... I'm just curious about what you have over there.

MW


Hi Michael,

Delighted that Bolton Wanderers are even known to you so far away. It is indeed a homage to the Wanderers' home, the Reebok Stadium. And your reference to 'footie' gives me to think you may be an ex-pat Brit. Is this so?
Now to thje scientific names of the US natives I keep. I'm a great believer in using scientific names, very remiss of me not to use them first time round!

Rainbow dace = Cyprinella lutensis
Rainbow shiner = Notropis chrosomus (stunning creatues)
Diamond sunfish = Enneacanthus gloriosus
Pygmy sunfish = Elassoma evergladei
Fathead minnow = Pimaphales promelas (natural colour form)

I'll create a post later about the native UK species I'm keeping, if anyone would be interested. Incidentally,do any native European fish ever find their way in the tanks of American aquarists?

#6 Guest_reebok_*

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 01:17 PM

I've seen Red Shiners called rainbow dace in a LFS. At $8.99 apiece, I thought about an early retirement selling red shiners to pet stores. They had to have been $2-3 wholesale... Dollar signs in my eyes.


And in the UK the same fish at a tiny 1 inch size are typically 6 or so - about $12 !! They're all males too, the Czech breeders hold back all females. They must think that home breeders are a threat to their own industrial-scale production!

#7 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 01:54 PM

Delighted that Bolton Wanderers are even known to you so far away. It is indeed a homage to the Wanderers' home, the Reebok Stadium. And your reference to 'footie' gives me to think you may be an ex-pat Brit. Is this so?


No, just a big 'football' fan!

Rainbow dace = Cyprinella lutensis
Rainbow shiner = Notropis chrosomus (stunning creatues)
Diamond sunfish = Enneacanthus gloriosus
Pygmy sunfish = Elassoma evergladei
Fathead minnow = Pimaphales promelas (natural colour form)

I'll create a post later about the native UK species I'm keeping, if anyone would be interested. Incidentally,do any native European fish ever find their way in the tanks of American aquarists?


OK, so rjmtx guessed right on that one raindow dace = red shiner = C. lutensis

And I guessed right on one diamond sunfish = blue spotted sunfish - E. gloriosus

And I was not sure about the pygmy sunfish as both banded and everglades are pretty common and hardy. I have kept the E. everladei before and they are great fish.

No, I have not ever seen much in the way of European natives over here... in fact I can't really think of any in aquariums... there are a couple that are kept in ponds I think... can't recall names right now.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#8 Guest_khudgins_*

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:05 AM

I'll create a post later about the native UK species I'm keeping, if anyone would be interested. Incidentally,do any native European fish ever find their way in the tanks of American aquarists?


Can't say I've heard of any European fish being kept, but I'm interested in hearing about your experiences. I'm also curious about the laws and culture regarding the collection and maintenance of fish across the pond. It varies here in the US from location to location - the eastern states tend to be far more permissive than the westernmost.

#9 Guest_reebok_*

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 11:43 AM

Can't say I've heard of any European fish being kept, but I'm interested in hearing about your experiences. I'm also curious about the laws and culture regarding the collection and maintenance of fish across the pond. It varies here in the US from location to location - the eastern states tend to be far more permissive than the westernmost.


The legal situation in the UK with regard to native and non-native fish is, to say the least, hugely controversial! It is covered by a series of laws issued by the govermnent's Department of Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) which are widely held by aquarists to be draconian but rightly based on a desire to protect native species from threats by introduced non-native fish species and diseases they may bring with them. It's the application of those laws that aquarists often see as ill-thought-out. I'm no expert but the essential points as they apply to native fish are as follows.

1) No fish (native or otherwise) can be removed from waters or transferrred from one body of water to another without possession of a license. It's not clear (to me anyway) whether this applies to to the small-growing minor species that are not of commercial or angling interest - other than one or two known protected species.
2) DEFRA has produced a list of non-native fish species which are illegal to keep in the UK without possession of a DEFRA-granted license. The retailer has to have his own license to sell them to you. On this list are redbelly dace, pumpkinseed, ictalurid catfish, some darters and many natives to continental Europe that do not naturally occur in the UK. The purpose is to control species that could potentially establish themselves in UK waters to the detriment of native fish. There are many inconsistances with the DEFRA list not least that there must be many US species not listed that must be capable of surviving in UK water therefore these could be kept quite legally without a license - if you could source them! The result has been that aquatic suppliers in the UK no longer stock the once-popular US species purely because of the difficulties in obtaining the necessary licenses. The US species I keep are, of course, not restricted so can be kept without license. A couple of anomalies are that Red Shiners and Fathead minnows can be kept only in aquaria and not in ponds. Also, the fascinating Burbot (Lota lota) was native to the UK but became extinct in the last 25 years but strangely it appears on the list as a species to avoid!

It puzzles aquarists here that anyone having bought very expensive fish imported from the US (or anywhere) would then go and release them into the local river !

The other side of the coin is that there are good reasons for us in the UK to be concerned about 'alien' fish introductions. We have a growing problem with a small Asian cyprinid Pseudorasbora parva which has established itself in many waters and is spreading rapidly. As well as reproducing at a phenomenal rate, it very effectively eats the eggs of native species and carries a disease that affects other cyprinids to which it is immune itself. There are also a couple of lakes in England where there are established populations of pumpkinseed and largemouth bass. Introduced American Signal Crayfish (escapees from failed farming ventures in the seventies) are also out-competing the native British cray. However, none of these problems have originated from the the serious aquatic hobby trade.
In short, the legislation is a mess!

Returning to native UK species, as I touched on earlier historically there has been no real interest in keeping these amongst British aquarists - tropicals ruled the roost - but this is slowly changing as our own fish become better understood and appreciated and a few such as gudgeon (Gobio gobio), stone loach (Barbatula barbatula) and stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) have been available in the last couple of years in retail shops.

#10 Guest_butch_*

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Posted 21 April 2009 - 06:51 PM

I can't wait to see some of your British native fishes as im really fan of European freshwater fishes and eager to study them. I might getting European common minnow, sunbleak and European threespined stickleback from a supplier, only if I knew how to breed them.

#11 Guest_boringname_*

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 05:15 AM

I figure this is as good a thread as any to ask a question I have been thinking about for a while, why are fish from colder climates drabber in appearance? Even here in the US the most sought after fish are from the South and very often from Florida, as far south as you can go. Even on the Asian continent, most of the fish people are interested in seem to come from the southern portion, the Paradise Fish would seems to be a lonely exception. I figure on the aquarium market Australia alone produces fish that are more desired than that of NA and Europe and northern Asia combined.

#12 Guest_Brooklamprey_*

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 06:59 AM

I figure this is as good a thread as any to ask a question I have been thinking about for a while, why are fish from colder climates drabber in appearance?


Never knew they where drab, as they are not at all whatever that is supposed to mean. I must be seeing totally different fish than your thinking of.

Anyhow welcome to the NANFA forum Reebok. It is always good to see international interest in North American fish.

#13 Guest_Uland_*

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 07:09 AM

I believe many people seek fishes from the south in order to more closely match temperatures in the home aquarium. If you wanted to make a statement about regional colors, I think it would be an east vs. west debate to be honest.

#14 Guest_khudgins_*

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 10:21 AM

Thanks so much for your thoughts and insight. It's always great to learn about how things are done in different places.

#15 Guest_reebok_*

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:30 PM

I can't wait to see some of your British native fishes as im really fan of European freshwater fishes and eager to study them. I might getting European common minnow, sunbleak and European threespined stickleback from a supplier, only if I knew how to breed them.


Butch, you won't be disappointed. 3-spine stickles are feisty, characterful fish that are quite easy to breed. In fact, the thing that sticklebacks do best in life is making more sticklebacks! I've raised hundreds without much effort! There's also a second (and rather different) species, the 9-spine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) which I'm hoping to do some work with this year.
I have a large 30+ group of European minnows (Phoxinus phoxinus) which are just now starting to come into breeding condition and they are my main breeding project for this season. There's virtually no information available about captive breeding them so it's all experimentation. I'll post an update later on which I hope will help you.
Sunbleak ( Leucaspius delineatus) are found in continental Europe but are not native to the British Isles and they are on the DEFRA restricted list I described earlier so it's illegal for us to keep them in England.

#16 Guest_butch_*

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:07 PM

Can't wait to see your results of European minnows soon. What other British native fishes you keeping? And post these PICTURES of them! :)

Excatly how you breed European threespined sticklebacks?

#17 Guest_Ethan_*

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:55 AM

Howdy :D/

#18 Guest_reebok_*

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 03:14 PM

Can't wait to see your results of European minnows soon. What other British native fishes you keeping? And post these PICTURES of them! :)

Excatly how you breed European threespined sticklebacks?


Okay, here are two breeding methods.
If you happen to have already an established planted wildlife pond with no fish simply introduce a group of stickles in the spring. Over the summer they'll breed readily, the young feeding on natural foods present and they'll have find of hiding places. By the following spring you will have a good population.

The second - tank breeding - is essentially the same but in miniature and it works fine for me. In late March or early April, set up a 20 or 30 gallon tank outdoors in a cool shady, quiet spot or in an outbuilding. This is important as the fish feel more secure when breeding if there is no commotion going on around them. Paint the outside back and sides of the tank with black paint for the same reasons. Fill the tank with either clean pond or stream water and introduce a couple of handfuls of decaying tree leaves. Avoid oak, beech or chestnut as they tend to acidify the water too much. Best I've found are poplar (Populus spp.) as they break down readily. If you can't get stream or pond water by all means use tapwater but leave it a week to age before adding the leaves. Then leave the whole thing for a month. After that time you will have created what is a large infusoria culture. The important thing is not to overdo the leaves - you want just a light covering on the bottom. In late April or early May introduce a male who is in breeding colour and two or three plump females. In a matter if a few days the male should begin building his nest on the bottom using leaf remains. This nest is not usually the intricate tubular structure described in books, often it's just pad or open pouch. Keep any eye on things and when you see a clutch of eggs in the nest, remove the females. The males will tend and fan the nest until hatching in about a week on average but the exact time is very dependent on temperature. After hatching he will continue to look after the fry but at the point they become free-swimming, remove him. The fry will immediately find plenty of food on the form of infusoria from the decaying leaves. At this point, begin to introduce quantities of live daphnia - I keep a separate culture for this purpose. The growing young will feed on the youngest daphnia which are continually produced by the adults which are yet too large for them to eat. The adult daphnia will be sustained by the infusoria as well. After a few weeks the fry will be about half an inch long and will be eating daphnia of all sizes, so keep introducing more as necessary and start to wean then onto other foods such as chopped bloodworm, tubifex and pulverized frozen (and defrosted) prawn. Their appetites are huge so feed them well. In the summer they will also clear up an mosquito larvae that are unfortunate enough to find themselves in their aquarium. Unlike many temperate fish, they will continue to feed over the winter even in freezing conditions so continue to offer food. By the following March ( in England, anyway) most will be well over an inch long and the males will already be starting to colour up in preparation for another breeding cycle.
You'll find European 3-spine sticklebacks are extremely hardy little fish which are full of energy. The tankfull of growing youngsters will quickly recognise you approaching with food and feeding time is a crazy mayhem ! Good luck with them.

Other species I'm keeping are :-

European minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus)
Gudgeon (Gobio gobio)
Stone loach (Barbatula barbatula)
Bullhead (Cottus gobio) - you refer to this family as sculpins in the US
Perch (Perca fluviatilis)
Silver bream (Blicca bjoerkna)
Bitterling (Rhodeus sericeus) - not a true British native but a long-established 'alien' from continental Europe.
Tench (Tinca tinca)

I'll post pictures a little later in the season.

You know, I'm really delighted by the warm welcome I've received from NANFA members and the interest you've shown in what I'm doing over the pond. I though I was the only one enthusiastic about British natives - even in Britain!

#19 Guest_Aphanius_*

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 03:04 AM

I should add that Pungitius pungitius are extreamly interesting fish to breed and watch. They are very viable as Gasteosteus are are. Often there are differencies from pond to pond and we have many small ponds here in Denmark. Pungitius are my favorite native fish here. I keep them in ponds along with my european pond turtles where they take up the competition and often do really well in numbers. We really need an european english speaking equivalent to NANFA.

Martin

#20 Guest_MAZUREL_*

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 01:50 AM

Hello,
I am looking for Elassoma a longer time already and it looks like they are not available anymore in Europe, as everywhere were I go people are looking for these little gem fish and cant find them in Germany, Netherlands, Ostria. Now it seems somebody in the UK has them.

When I read this forum, people are interested in stickelbacks. I have some experience with them and have been breeding them. One thing, they do not eate flake foods, they just eat daphnia, food alive
Regards,
Casper



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