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Re: NFC: Tadpole Madtoms, More Info

At 9:06 AM -0500 12/31/99, Jim Capelle wrote:
>Mark;  Tadpole Madtom,  what size do they get?  What do they need to live?
>What tank size and environment is a good setup? ...

Mark B replies:

The tadpole madtom, Noturus gyrinus, is perhaps one of the best North
American catfishes, and fishes in general, for the home aquarium.  The
bullhead catfishes, blue cats and flathead cats are large, nocturnal
predators that demand large tanks and tough tankmates.  The little tadpole
madtom, on the other hand, reaches a maximum length of about 4.5 inches and
in my experience has been very peaceful with other fishes.  In addition to
its small size, the tadpole madtom is unlike most of the madtom catfishes
in that it prefers, quiet vegetated waters.  It can be found in lakes as
well as in backwater areas of streams.  It does not need the high current,
high oxygen habitat that many native stream fishes require.  A planted tank
or any tank with a few good hiding places will work well for this species.
Practically any size tank will work as long as the number of residents is
appropriate for the size of the tank.  The tadpole madtom is not normally
territorial, though this may change if they are induced to breed.  So you
can keep as many in one tank as you have room for.

Being catfishes and bottom feeders, tadpole madtoms make good scavengers of
uneaten food.  I keep them with darters, dwarf sunfishes and fishes that
are finicky eaters to clean up any leftovers.  Just feed a little extra of
whatever you put in the tank.  The tadpoles are easy to please and will eat
any reasonable fish foods.  In the wild, their diet consists mainly of
insect larvae and crustaceans, thus, a high protein diet is prefered.  This
species is one of the few madtoms that have been spawned in aquaria.  The
spawning triggers have not been clearly documented, but like other North
American fishes, are likely associated with warming water and lengthening
days in spring and summer as well as a rich food supply.

As I said, I have this species for sale.  Please write me privately for
price and arrangements.  I also have small pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis
gibbosus) available.

Mark Binkley
Columbus Ohio USA            <))><
mbinkley at earthling_net