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: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #1131

Steve wrote:
"Hi all, My son and I have been traveling the countryside down here in Texas
for the past two weekends looking for indigenous aquatic plants. We have had
a little success. Our nicest discovery so far was a nice little sword plant.
We are a bit surprised that we have only found one swordplant so far. We are
even more surprised to have captured some fish. The first group from last
week seem to be Gambusia affinis (Mosquito fish). Last week we noticed some
red flashes in the water and thought we saw a red finned fish. I read
through my old Innes book and found a reference to the only Characin in the
USA (Astyanax fasciatus mexicanus). We returned to the site this weekend
with a net and caught about a dozen fish. One is much more colored than the
others. I have two photos of them at the bottom of this web page:
20 1,%202001/07012001exp.html (I know that this is a lot to type, but you
may be able to just click on it and go to the page, or at least cut and
paste the address.) I also have a picture of the sword plant on the page. If
anyone knows anything about these fish (and the plant) I would appreciate
the info. 
Steve Pituch,
 in sub-tropical TX "
Astyanax Fasciatus is commonly known as the "Mexican Tetra". It is the only
indigenous Characin to Mexico and apparently Texas as well. I have collected
them in several locations in Mexico from Vera cruz to the Panuco Basin but
they are found in almost every freshwater watershed. They are a rough
customer as far as Tetras go and will hold there own against many of the
cichlids found with them. They will even prey on the young of many Hericthys
species in a mob like fashion, rendering the normally effective cichlid
parental care strategy useless. When collecting them they tend to shock
easily and many will not make the trip home. However, once safely in a well
maintained aquarium will flourish should you desire to keep them. 
Gambusia Affinis or Mosquito fish are found just about everywhere in the
south, Texas included. They were originally stocked for reasons implied by
their common name, for mosquito control. This has come under much scrutiny
of late with reports that they are really not a as effective of a predator
on mosquito larvae as once thought. Although diminutive in size they are
also a rough customer as far as aquarium fish go. Both fish will do well in
moderately hard to hard water and are not demanding of conditions.
I was not able to access your link to the photos. 

Larry Lampert
Dallas, TX