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NFC: Breeders Club EZINE

Native Fish Conservancy's Breeders Club EZINE
Volume 2 number 2
Febuary -  March 2000

Well we made it to our third issue! Our last efforts were well received
and before the collecting season started I thought Id better get a second
issue out. You will notice we now have 3 articles in addition to our
usual club business.  A trend we want to continue so send in your
articles to president at nativefish_org. We plan on doing six ezines this
year no guarantee on their spacing. Feel free to pass on the ezine in its
entirety to newsgroups, friends, and aquarium clubs anyone with an

On the fish front we continue to acquire unusual and unique species for
the breeders program including the recent addition of Ellasoma boehlkei.
Commonly known as the Carolina pygmy sunfish. We hope to have an auction
of our f1's and f2's of common species in the summer to raise funds for
further activities. Remember to be in the breeders club you must join the
NFC and the Breeder's Club and agree to follow all state and federal
regs. After that we start sending you fish. So if your serious about fish
and conservation please join us today online at www.nativefish.org .

If you find someone else is in the club is breeding the fish you were all
excited to work with relax. We only have 10% of the worlds fish species
to do life histories before we can call our North America job complete.
So I am sure there is something else to work with. J

Until next time good luck and good spawning

The Breeders Club Guys
 (Bill D, Charles A, Klaus S and always in the background R.R. )

Jordanella floridae

Ray Ravary
South-eastern Michigan Aquarist League

For a picture follow this link 


The American Flagfish, a patriotic name, implying an apple pie type of
fishe exhibiting the traits of the United States. While the species is
not limited to the U.S. only, it extends from Mexico to Florida. I've
collected this species in southern Florida, and found it in fish stores
up here in snowy southeastern Michigan. I collected this fish in boggy
ditches, canals, and swamps in Florida between Ft. Meyers and the
Everglades. I also collected some up in the Orlando area from the same
type of slow water environments that I found them in further south. This
species is part of the generic "killifish" family. It is the only member
of the Jordanella family. Not being a taxonomist I would guess the
species is related to the pupfish, because of its body shape. Flagfish
exhibit the same deep-bodied form seen in the pupfish family. While some
consider many pupfish to be dull colored, the Flagfish is resplendent.
Depending on your source of the fish, they exhibit reds, blues, greens,
yellows, as well as pale whites and browns. The forms I've gotten usually
have red tinted fins. The body is a pale green or brown background with
red horizontal stripes; the counter striping can range from metallic
green to blue. Pale white to yellow speckling is interspersed across the
body. Hence the name, the Flagfish--it has the red and blue with the
white stars spangled across the body. The very center of the body shows a
prominent black spot. Sometimes dark horizontal bars show on the body. I
think the minor variations in the coloring are due to care given to the
fish. Keep in mind food, water chemistry, lighting, temperature,
planting, and substrate color all affect fishes coloring. The more
natural the situation the more vibrant the coloring. I found livefood
seems to maximize color as well as the specimens readiness to breed. 
I've had success spawning these fish in two different situations. I use
tanks of 20+ gallons with dark gravel (dark brown). The tanks were
heavily planted with hornwort and had duckweed on the surface. I also
have had success with tanks that had a good supply of Java moss in them.
My tanks were low light tanks with 1 to 2 Watts/Gal. My water is liquid
rock Detroit water with a pH of at least 8. Feeding was live blackworms
and brineshrimp, spirolina, freeze dried ocean plankton, and live
mosquito larva. The tanks were not highly monitored and the fry were left
to survive as they could--too many plants. Algae and spirolina seem to be
necessary for healthy fish. The fats (HUFA) in the live food and the
ocean plankton seem to help all my other fish spawn. 
The other set ups I've had success with are 8-12 inch deep kiddy pools
between 4 to 6 feet in diameter. I dig them into the ground till they are
level with the ground surface. They had water hyacinths that spread all
across the surface. I observed males staking out territories near/under
the root zone of the water hyacinths and inticing the females to them by
shimming and displaying. The beginning water parameters were the same as
the tank setups. The exception is that the season would only bring one or
two water changes all summer, verses trying to do weekly 20% water
changes. The water was topped off with the hose or rain. Mosquito's breed
freely and were the primary food of the fish, the fry thrived on the
green water that periodically bloomed in the pond (so did the mosquito
larvae). Production dropped off when the green water dropped off. I felt
the fish were egg eaters also. While the hyacinths limited the nutrients
for the green water, it provided heavy cover for the eggs as well as
easily delineated and dependable sites for spawning. My pond fish grew
rapidly and spawned freely. Their colors were magnificent and the closest
to my wild caught right after their capture.


If you want your ad to be added or deleted to/from the wish list drop me
a note at lepomis3 at email_msn.com to or Join the Fish Wish List at
FWL at actwin_com by sending a note to Majordoma at actwin_com with the
following message in the body subscribe FWL. This list is provided a
service to interested parties and emails lists. I accept NO
responsibility for any bad trades or illegal actions resulting from
contacts made on this list. Deadbeat traders will be kicked off the list.
All parties are expected to act in good faith and follow all applicable
laws. (I just type the list folks ) All ads subject to rejection solely
at my discretion. This list is affiliated with The NFC breeders Program
and may be reposted in it's entirety without permission. If you want to
look at these fish or the Breeders program go to the NFC website at
www.nativefish.org and check out their HUGE photo gallery.
THE NFC Breeders Club has LOTS of neat native fish available for free to
people willing to share their breeding success with the NFC. Check them
out on the NFC website at www.nativefish.org or contact the breeding guy
at president at nativefish_org 

Todd Daniels. (507) 365-8081 Thurs. through Sundays; or email
daniels.todd at mayo_edu ; or snaildarter mail 73323 270th Ave. Hayfield, MN
55940..Want a few Orangespotted sunfish. Young of year or older is fine.
Have to trade: YOY dollar sunfish (1/2"), green sunfish(1-2"), rock bass,
really cool fish(1-2") or smallmouth bass(2-3"). What would you like? 

Hanford High School Biology class attn.: Scott Page email
HanfordSci at aol_com website-
http://www.rsd.edu/schools/hanfordhigh/aquatic/nfc.html :
Has Fundulus linelatus , Wild caught ERP Cichlids , Heterandria Formosa,
Fundulus Chrysotus, bluefin killie, bluespotted sunfish, orangethroat
darters and tons of other unique native fishes for sale/ trade. If you
are a school teacher ask me how to turn your class room into a
conservation tool that is financially self supporting. People in
Washington State check out what we are doing locally . 

Robert Rice-Email Lepomis3 at email_msn.com JOIN A GAINESVILLE FLORIDA

John Brill- 61 Brookside Ave. Livingstone, NJ 07039 HAS FOR TRADE:
Enneacanthus chaetodon , E.gloriosus , E.obesus, Umbra pygmaea ,
Aphredoderus sayanus (Pirate Perch very rare in NJ) , Etheostoma
fusiforme , Fundulus heteroclitus , Cyprinidon variegatus ovinus ,
Lucania parva, Syngnathus fuscus, Mendina beryllina and many other
Atlantic coastal plain and estuarine species. WANTS: Lota lota ,
Archoplites interrupts, Hiodon spp. , Aplodinotus cycleptus, Ictiobus and
other sucker species, or anything else I haven't had before. Write or
call first; all correspondence answered. Some recent bad experiences with
deadbeat traders. Only interested in hearing from people who are serious
about trading and willing to reciprocate. 

Tim Wolfe -2911 Belle Aire Blvd. Theodore, AL 36582 Phone #: (334)
HAS FOR TRADE: Flagfin shiners, sailfin shiners, Elassoma species, many
others. ALSO HAS: tropicals including angels,guppies , Corydoras catfish
for trade. WANTS : Various darters andCarolina shiners for breeding

Ray Katula - Missifishppi Aquatics, Box 58, Genoa, WI 54632. (608)
689-2726 email: missfish_aqua at hotmail_com 
Has for sale/trade: 3 bucks a piece plus shipping.Species List: Flame
chubs, Variegated darters, Phalen Lake Rainbow darters, Squamosum
Orangethroat darters,Red shinersHighline Carpsuckers, Spotted
Suckers,Flame Chubs, Southern Redbelly Dace Redside Dace. 

Bruce Scott 520 E. Lake Hazel Rd., Meridian, ID 83642 Email:
br0630 at aol_com 
HAS FOR SALE OR TRADE: H. Formosa, [tadpole madtoms (N. gyrinus), some
less than 1" long, and dwarf crayfish (C. shufeldtii); can get small
pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch, white crappie at certain times of the
year. WANTS: margined matoms (N. insignis), orangefin madtoms (gilberti),
leastmadtoms (N. hildebrandi), Neosho midget crayfish (O. macrus), any
pygmy sunfish (Elassoma)and any or all kinds of crayfish. Please write or
e-mail me on shipping crayfish as I have a pretty surefire way of doing
it with minimal losses. 

Ron Romigh 604 Allen Avenue, Monaca, PA 15061-1606. Phone #: (412)
775-6112. Email: rromigh at ccia_com . WANTS TO BUY: Lucania goodei, F.
Zebrinus ,colorful breedable darters, E. evergladi, E. okeefenokee,
E.boelkei , E. okatie, E.spring , Ennecanthus obesus, E.chaetodon ,
Lepomis marginatus, L. humilus and L. symmetricus.

Andrew Borgia, P.O Box 4346, Key West, FL 33041 Phone # (305) 294-8739.
Email noturus2 at aol_com HAS FOR TRADE: A great variety of marine specimens
and inverts for trade, also has some Key West herps for trade.
WANTS:Interested in a great variety of North American species for a
private preserved collection.

DWIGHT D. MOODY P.O. Box 214, East Montpelier, VT 05651 Phone #: home -
(802)476-0685; work (802)241-3482. Email address:dwightmoody at hotmail_com
HAS: Hetandria Formosa for sale or trade. ALSO HAS OR CAN GET: a wide
variety of Vermont species between mid-Apriland the end of November,
including Fundulus diaphanous, northern Redbelly dace , slimy sculpins
,trout-perch, burbot, various minnows, catfish, shiners, etc.

John Laurent, P.O. Box 1018, Bartow, FL 33831Email: jfranklaurent at msn_com
WANTS: I am interested in buying and 8Rearing information on the
Following species: Blue nose shiners, red shiners,pygmy Sunfish, flagfin
& sailfin shiners, blue spotted sunfish, Orange spotted sunfish, and
rainbow darters. HAS: For Commercial sale Shovelnose sturgeon , Florida

Ray Suydam - email : raysuy at webtv_net , Long Island NY Wants :Colorful
Daces- Minnows-Plants. Has for trade asst. exotickillifish custom
spawning mops- shipping boxes. Serious replies only. 

Dan McMonigle, 3896 Boston Rd., Brunswick, OH 44212-1262, ph#440-238-8336
email Mcdaphnia at aol_com : Sell or Trade: Live Daphnia, Cypris, or Cyclops
$5/portion Spotted Gambusia holbrooki-southern Florida strain with nearly
all spotted males, some spotted females $15/pair Can get sticklebacks,
darters for trades Want small species of sunfish 

Bruce Bernard: Email : bruce_bernard at yahoo_com  WANTED: Olympic
Mudminnows. Buy or trade for killies, native or exotic.

Josh Wiegert Email: Joshuaw at paul_paulsmiths.edu , Paul Smiths College Box
1294, Paul Smiths, NY 12970 (Sept-Mid Dec, Jan-May. e-mail for address
outside of this): Wants : ANY Darters, esp. Riffle and Twig Spawners.
Willing to trade for anything else. Has (or can get): Wide variety of
plants. Some small perch. E. olmstedi, E. nigrum, some tropicals, esp.
Cichlid. Currently living in the middle of nowhere, far from any pet
shops. Interested in talking to people willing to trade tropicals, as

Jeremy Carroll- email: eagle at on-net_net : Wants to buy: flathead catfish
fry, channel catfish fry, blue catfish fry, ANY MADTOMS ! I love catfish,
looking to share with others with similar interests. Also any info people
have on the Iridescent Shark (pangasius suchi).


Ron Brooks email- orchid at kellnet_com , Want to buy : Java Moss , Notropis
Chrosomus - Rainbow Shiner, Elassoma Boehlke - Carolina Pygmy Sunfish
Etheostoma Acuticeps - Sharphead Darter, Etheostoma Caeruleum - Rainbow
Chris AKA - Skiwee10 at aol_com writes: I have/can get the following native
species and they are sold at reasonable prices. Bluegill ,Juvenile
Largemouth Bass- 1 -2 inch range specimens seasonally available, 6 inches
or more available year round .Yellow bullheads/ Black bullheads Channel
Catfish above 8 inches , Green Sunfish, Softshell turtle juvenile
specimens ,Green turtle juvenile specimens ,Crawdads year round and very
cheap! Green frogs/bullfrogs year round contact me if you have any
specific species you are wanting to buy by emailing me at
Skiwee10 at aol_com, chances are I may be able to get it for you.Wanted-
Channel, White, Bullhead(any species), Flathead, or Blue catfish
juveniles in the 1 to 3 inch range, if you can get any or all of these
email me for trade or buying info. Chris 

Imraan Seedat e-mail: iseedat at bigfoot_com -Please add my request for
Lepomis megalotis sent to South Africa 

Dollar Sunfish:  Spawning Two Varieties of Lepomis  marginatus
by: R. W. Wolff
for a picture follow this link

     I have spawned two varieties of the three marginatus that I know of.
 The first is from North Carolina, and the second is from Louisiana.  I
will describe the differences in the two populations and the methods I
used to spawn them.
      Distinguishing the two strains:  The two distinct strains, or
distinct variations, of the dollar sunfish are unique, as even the
females are distinguishable.  The North Carolina, or eastern variety is a
pastel fish with larger than average fins and a golden orange background
color.  The Louisiana variety has dark blue markings and a dark
orange-red background color. The fins are of typical size for Lepomis. 
Both males have extended ventral fins rays of the front.   The other
difference, rather than being color orientated is the feeding habits and
construction of the mouth.  The eastern variety has a more down slung, or
subterminal, mouth.  It prefers to feed in the mid-water areas, where as
the Western variety has a superior mouth, and will more willingly feed
off the surface than the bottom.  Both strains enjoy the same foods, and
adapt to commercial prepared foods readily.

     Feeding for proper breeding conditioning:  Prepared foods are not to
be used except for filler.  Proper feeding must include a variety of live
foods.  The best foods for this are earthworms from rich soil, but not
manure piles, tiny fish,  small crustaceans  or pieces of larger ones,
and crickets dusted with a vitamin powder.  Fish must be fed heavily at
least once a day.   I like to feed non- aquatic foods in the morning, and
aquatic ones late in the day.  The reason is during the day the fish will
pick up some of the uneaten foods.  The aquatic foods will be alive the
next morning for the fish to eat.

     Other considerations to preparing fish for spawning:  I do no other
things other than start a feeding program to get dollar sunfish to spawn.
 I'm sure a cooling period, coinciding with a shorter photoperiod would
help the process along, but this was never an option in my set-ups in the
past due to other inhabitants of the fish room requiring heat.  So this
being the hardest part of inducing spawning, and being able to forgo it,
that makes dollars that much nicer for breeding.

    Three methods outlined:  I have spawned dollar sunfish in three
different ways.  The first is what I refer to as cheating (although there
is nothing at all wrong with this method) is conditioning the pair or
group to spawn with the feeding regimen above.  Then move the fish
outside to a pool.  The pool should consist of two depths, a shallow
gravel covered area, protected by gnarled roots and some floating weeds. 
The deep area should be heavily vegetated.  The second method is in a
larger 3-4 foot tank, set up in a natural way with weeds and roots etc. 
The third method is in a ten gallon.  You will need two ten gallons side
by side, or a sturdy divider in the one tank.  The breeding pair should
not be raised together in the ten gallon, but in the tank from option
two.  The ten-gallon should have a nice layer of gravel and a floating
mass of plants.  I used no filtration in the pond, and foam filters in
the aquariums.  Two 40-watt bulbs, one warm white and one cool white in
the fixture do lighting the aquariums.

     Pool spawning method detailed:   Having set up the pool as mentioned
above and having  water temperatures of the mid to upper seventies you
can add fish, if they are not already in the pool.  Keep feeding the fish
as you would in an aquarium, but be careful none of the live foods are
something that will consider your fish fry to be food for them.  The male
should set up a nest in the shallow part of the pool, maybe underneath
roots or weeds.  You may not notice the nest, but if he stays in his spot
when disturbed, he most likely has a nest fanned out.  Sunfish will spawn
at any time in the day, so you will have to watch for eggs.  As soon as
the male is guarding eggs you will want to remove the female(s).  The
easiest way to do this is to actually fish them out with hook and line
from the deeper part of the pool.  You don't want to catch the male off
his nest, although he should not quit guarding it if this happens.  After
fry are noticed not staying in the nest area, the male should be removed
too.  You can supplement the fry's diet with baby brine shrimp, or
daphnia, but there should be plenty of this naturally.  

     Large aquarium spawning:  Set up a 30 to 75 gallon aquarium as a
natural set-up.  Make sure the plant and driftwood cover is very thick. 
One or two males and two to four females can be added.  Males should
start defending areas and fanning nests.  Heavy feeding is important, as
are water changes.  The females should start to fill up with eggs.   If
this all works as planned, spawning will commence.  Remove any males that
are not nesting.  After spawning remove females as soon as possible, as
the male dollar sunfish will kill them.  Eggs will hatch in three days
approximately.  Continue to let the male guard the fry.  He should not
eat them, but may clean fry with his mouth, and catch any "early nest
leavers" and put them back in the safety of the nest.  It is important
that the plant growth is thick, this will stimulate small infusoria to
grow.  The fry will feed off this when the yolk sack is depleted.   Once
the yolk sack is depleted, the fry should be free swimming and taking
baby brine shrimp.  Remove the male at this time, and any possible
remaining adults.  Continue to raise the fry in the tank.  Feed as many
times as possible, but make sure all food is eaten.  It is very hard to
clean a tank  full of fry.  The fry should grow quickly and begin to
accept other small live foods, what ever you may have available.  Keep
trying to feed the fry larger food items as they can handle them, this
seems to increase growth speed.  Once the young fish reach quarter size
they may accept prepared foods.  I have not had dollar sunfish accept
prepared foods until they were almost tow inches in length.  Why this is
I'm not certain, as most other species will take prepared foods from the

     Ten-gallon spawning method:   This method is the first method I
employed.  It is nice for someone with limited space.  It is more time
consuming and  is more work.  Have two ten-gallon aquariums set up side
by side.  Put the same gravel in each, some thick mass of floating
plants, and a foam filter.  Have a divider cut for one of the ten
gallons.   Condition the male and a female in each tank.  If the male is
to busy watching the female, slip a piece of paper between the tanks. 
When the male has fanned the nest, and the female is ripe with eggs (
this is a full looking belly, even long after feeding), place the divider
in the tank with the male, then add the female.   Flip the divider up to
let the female in with the male, and watch carefully.  The male will
continue the courtship dance, which consists of a display, by a blinding
dash around the perimeter of the tank.  If the female wants to spawn with
this male, she will take on female spawning coloration.  This consists of
dark and light bars alternating down the side, gray and black looking. 
The transformation is so different from the original coloration, she
looks like a different fish.  If this happens you are likely going to end
up with eggs that are fertilized.  The two fish will go to the nest, the
female will lie on her side, the male will stay upright, and they will
circle the nest, stopping every so often to drop a few eggs and fertilize
them.    Usually when the male is done, he will drive the  female from
the nest.  It is important to remove her, or put her on the other side of
 the divider , or she will be killed quickly.   This is one of the
functions of the floating weeds, to provide refuge for the female once
spawning is complete.  The other is it provides food for the fry when
they hatch.  Once the fry are free swimming, remove the male or both
parents.  Then the cycle can be repeated in another set up, while the fry
begin growing in this tank.

     The fry:   Now, out of the three methods mentioned, I hope you have
more fry then you thought possible.   Within a little over a year, these
fish should be able to spawn themselves.   Be sure to pass the extras
along to other Aquarists that may be interested.    It is also nice to
have a garden pond to put them into.  Dollar sunfish show off nice colors
when the sun shines on them as they swim through a garden pond.   Dollar
sunfish are not usually aggressive to non-sunfish type fish, granted
these are not small enough to be a meal.  You could have a nice natural
set-up with some of the killifish or  other small fish that are found in
its habitat.

   Other important notes:   Do not mix strains of dollar sunfish, unless
this is to be carefully documented, and none of the F1s passed
unwittingly to other Aquarists.  Due to the uniqueness of this, as well
as other species of fish throughout their range it, would be near to
hybridization to mix them.   The way I keep my fish straight is to add a
location name onto there Latin name on the tank label.  I borrowed this
from the killifish keepers, because it works for these fish, why not our
native species.  You never know, after more study is done, you might have
a new species in your tank already at home.

Finny Critters Care And Maintenance
Konrad Schmidt
St. Paul MN.

Too Much TLC - This Editor's many hats includes a stint in a pet store
selling tropical fish. The most common problem, which confronted novice
Aquarists, was overfeeding their fish. Cloudy water and copious amounts
of food accumulating (and rotting) on the bottom were rarely acknowledged
in time to prevent the imminent disaster. Some well meaning fish keepers
would feed three times a day just like people when actually once a day is
just fine and if you miss a day or even a weekend - no problem. In fact,
as long as it does not become a regular practice. Fish are much tougher
than they appear!
Carrying Capacity - One of the most frequently asked questions in fish
husbandry is how many fish can be comfortably maintained in an
established and filtered aquarium? A rough rule of thumb is one to two
inches per gallon (e.g., 10 - 20 inches in a 10-gallon aquarium). This
guideline can be exceeded, but the aquarium will require more frequent
water changes and a power failure or disease under crowded conditions can
cause a major wipe out.
An Ounce of   Prevention - One very simple, safe, and inexpensive disease
preventive is the addition of salt to the aquarium water. Dosages range
from one-half to two teaspoons per gallon. Aquarium salts are available
at pet stores, however, non-iodized table salts are much cheaper and work
just as well. The only drawback occurs when aquarium water spills on the
outside glass and evaporates leaving a film, which can be difficult to
Landscaping With Rock - Many aquatic habitats contain rock, which
provides structure, and cover for fish. This natural and also attractive
feature can be realistically duplicated on a small scale in aquariums.
Shale and limestone are the easiest to work with and the latter also
doubles as a buffer, which prevents the pH of water from going acid. The
Editor favors contouring gravel with rocks to form terraces, which are
honeycombed with crevices and caves for fish. Live or plastic plants add
a nice final touch on the upper level. Rocks can be purchased from pet
stores or collected from streams, lakes, or quarries. However, avoid
railroad beds where spills and leaks occur from a myriad of nasty
chemicals. I have heard several tragic tales from Aquarists who
helplessly watched their favorite fish gasp its last breath shortly after
adding a pretty, but tainted stone or two.
Natural Vegetation - Live, aquatic plants provide cover for fish, reduces
algae growth, and also greatly enhances an aquarium's aesthetics. Several
species will work in the aquarium, but the grass-like, Valisineria (wild
celery), and bunch plant, hygrophilia, are two favorites of the Editor. I
prefer to purchase these from pet stores, but remember to leave the root
crown above the gravel with Val and remove any lead weights or rubber
bands from bunch plants. Plants also can be collected in lakes and
streams, but restrict harvests to early season when plants are actively
growing. Late season transplants, at least in Minnesota, often die back
to the root system. Keep lights on for only about 6 hours per day because
longer photoperiods promote excessive algae growth. Like fish, plants
will need periodic water changes to prevent water from getting too
acidic. A 25% change once a month should be sufficient. Finally, one
plant to avoid is duckweed, which floats on the surface. To its credit,
aquarium lights are nicely filtered through the canopy, but no other
plants can survive in the understory and once introduced is almost
impossible to eradicate.
Jumpers - Some natives have this suicidal tendency more than others and
is often most prevalent in the first few days of captivity. In Minnesota,
examples include the redside dace (Clinostomus elongatus), and both
southern (Phoxinus erythrogaster) and northern (Phoxinus eos) redbelly
dace which the latter, by the way, is often sold as jumpers in bait
stores. The only solution is a full hood on the aquarium, but sometimes a
temporary cover restrains the newcomers long enough to adjust and accept
their new surroundings. 
Coldwater Tempering - Generally, floating new fish in an opened bag for
about 20 minutes in the aquarium is sufficient time to equalize
temperatures. However, when collecting in trout streams or at northern
latitudes in early spring or late fall, much more time may be required to
prevent losses. The Editor uses a simple guideline: if there is more than
10 degrees difference in water temperature, fish are put to bed overnight
in a non-insulated bucket with an air stone. The next day, if the bucket
temperature is still too low, begin partial water changes, which are
replaced with the target aquarium's water. 
Those Other Things - There are several other fascinating organisms which
frequent fish environs that are either ignored or overlooked. Some work
well in community aquariums while others must be kept alone or with their
own kind. Some compatible critters include tadpoles, newts, snails, ghost
or glass shrimp, fiddler crabs, and small crayfish and mudpuppies.
Another option is a bug or macroinvertebrate tank. Streams, ponds, and
lakes carry a myriad of insect larvae, crustaceans, and zooplankton.
Possibilities include larvae of dragonflies, mayflies, damsel flies,
stonefiles, caddis flies (junk bugs), dobsonflies (helgramites),
mosquitoes, midges, craneflies, water scorpions, giant water bugs
(warning-they bite), daphnia, scud; and fairy, opossum, seed, and clam
shrimp. Many of these bugs are predators and will happily prey before
your eyes on feeder guppies, goldfish, or minnow fry. Many zooplankton
species can be kept separately in very small aquariums and observed in
incredible detail under a microscope. For more information on the realm
of possibilities, refer to the Audubon, Golden, or Peterson Guides for
reptiles, amphibians, and insects. All should be available at most book
Timers are very handy for many of us who are forgetful about turning
aquarium lights on and off. For as little as $6, this task is taken care
of every single day and also on vacations. Most timers have an override
switch, which is handy for after hours viewing. One thing to remember -
never plug the air pump into the timer!
Stream Aquariums - Powerhead submersible pumps have been around for a
long time, but most are simply used on the top of an undergravel filter
tube. Why not try something just a little more creative? Next time the
aquarium is cleaned, insert the intake port directly into the filter
plate and the outlet nozzle pointed toward the front glass of the
aquarium. If the fit is not tight, try the adapters, which come with the
powerhead or use silicone to glue it in place, but avoid plugging the
intake screen. Make a sprinkler wand from a rigid plastic tube (try pet
stores) which should come within an inch of the front glass and plug one
end with silicone. Drill a straight line of holes into one side of the
tube which will direct current lengthwise across the bottom of the
aquarium. Select two slabs of limestone or shale, which will fit between
the powerhead and the front, glass and carefully sandwich the wand
between slabs. Lodge small rocks in the crevice to keep weight off the
wand and support the upper slab. Landscape with additional rocks to hide
powerhead and cover with gravel to fill in gaps. Fish will enter the
current and find a preferred velocity. Carpsucker and buffalo usually
remain in a school preferring the slacking currents farthest from the
powerhead. While longnose dace take turns charging the crevice where
their bodies vibrate violently in the high velocity turbulence. In large
aquariums, two powerheads can be used and the opposing currents collide
in the middle. The only drawback is powerheads greatly enhance the
filtering capabilities of undergravel filters and the gravel must be
vacuumed on a more frequent basis.
Garden Ponds - Most native fish keepers have mastered the fine arts of
aquarium care and maintenance. Why not try something more natural? Not a
great deal of space is needed, even an unused corner in the backyard, but
preferably shaded. Probably the easiest thing to do is dig a hole for a
children's wading pool and add some gravel, rocks, and plants (Lilly pads
and arrowheads look great). Either air stones or small submersible pumps
provide sufficient dissolved oxygen in uncrowded conditions. Seeding
flowers around the pool adds a nice final touch. However, creativity
knows no bounds and even more natural ponds can be made with plastic
liners. A friend of the Editor built a pond with two bays that were
connected by a small stream, which actually flowed. A rebuilt parts
washer pump was used to draw water out of one bay up to a waterfall at
the other end. Native bog plants were also landscaped around the
exterior. All summer long, the back yard was filled with sounds of a
babbling brook, croaking frogs, and countless song birds checking out the
new bird bath.
Collecting Fish Foods - Ever consider shopping the great outdoors for
several types of live foods, which are excellent, treats or staples for
native fishes? Over a series of upcoming issues, selected tasty morsels
will be critiqued. First and foremost, glassworms, which are perhaps one
of the better known native grown food crops. However, they are not worms,
but actually the insect larvae of phantom midges (Chaoborus sp.) which
are found in fishless ponds from about the end of September into April
(in the upper Midwest). During this period, populations often become
incredibly dense and are very easy to collect. In the fall and spring,
the only equipment needed are waders, a large, fine meshed aquarium net,
waders, and bucket. Twenty minutes of dipping should produce enough food
to last from one to several weeks. Winter conditions requires some
modifications which include an ice auger, smaller net to fit through the
hole, and an extension handle for the dip net to reach down to open
water. However, a little practice is required to develop the right wrist
action to efficiently scoop beneath the ice. As long as the water
temperatures are kept cold, but above freezing (33-50 degrees),
glassworms can be kept alive for several weeks. Refrigerators or unheated
basements usually do the job. Also, complete water changes should be done
about twice a week. The pungent odor and appearance of white (dead) worms
indicate when it's time. Glassworms also make an excellent frozen food
and occasionally freezing packets (ziploc bags are ideal) throughout the
harvest season may cache enough supplies to make it through the summer.
One word of warning, pupae start showing up in the spring and begin
hatching into midge flies which may result in a minor indoor bug
infestation. However, one consolation-they don't bite.
Daphnia Delicacy - This very common plankton frequently exhibits dense
blooms in fishless ponds usually in the spring, and also, erratically in
lakes during the summer. Massive quantities can be easily collected with
a fine meshed dip net or seined and frozen as an excellent fish food.
Small amounts can be kept alive, but keep the water cool and well
aerated. Often, other tasty treats such as fairy shrimp and glassworms
are present and make a splendid mix, which your fish will die for!
Daphnia does have a hard shell (exoskeleton) which may turn off some
finicky fish initially, but after a week on the new menu, most hold outs
develop more than just a casual appetite for these scrumptious scallops.
A New Brine Shrimp On The Block - For decades, the Editor has used frozen
brine shrimp, which my fish dined on happily, but always, clouded the
aquarium water. Now there is an almost crystal clear alternative, which
is harvested from the plains of Saskatchewan and packaged by Fish King of
Chicago. It's definitely worth a try!
I'll Have Mine Decapped - Sounds like a coffee commercial, but
decapsulated brine shrimp eggs really do provide an excellent food for
fish fry. I received a sample from a private hatchery for feeding one
week old blue suckers and they just can't get enough of it. The eggs come
in one pound cans and are normally sold by the case, but the distributor
will sell single cans on a prepayment basis plus postage. For more
information contact: INVE Aquaculture Inc., P.O. Box 136, 598 W. Clark
St., Grantsville, UT 84029 Phone: (801) 884-3406/Fax (801) 884-6492.
(Item #1SFPT5)
Gravel Washers or shotguns have been around for some time and are an
incredible and valuable tool used in aquarium maintenance. Typically this
simple device consists of a siphon tube connected to wider funnel intake
which vacuums the gravel. Aquariums should have about a 25% water change
per month and the gravel washer accomplishes both tasks at once. Thrust
the funnel deep into the gravel and slowly pull up. The siphon action
removes only the finer, lighter waste particulates and leaves the gravel
behind. Extremely plugged gravel beds may require two passes and once a
year, remove all plants and rocks to vacuum the entire bottom in
conjunction with about a 75% water change. If this schedule is followed
and the fish are not overfed or overcrowded, the aquarium should never
have to be torn down and cleaned ever again. However, the Editor must
admit at being somewhat negligent in this department and still goes
through the age old ritual about once a year.
Algae Management - Probably the best practice is controlling the amount
and duration of light entering the aquarium. When setting up for the
first time, select a room, which does not receive, direct sunlight (e.g.,
south exposures). Light fixtures should provide sufficient light to see
into the aquarium, but avoid wattage overkill - more is not always
better. Duration should ideally be around six hours a day and an electric
timer is an excellent and inexpensive convenience. Another option is
live, rooted plants, which compete for the same nutrients as algae and
when established usually gain the edge while adding a nice natural touch.
One final must is a scraper that won't scratch the glass and has no
detergents. The best and cheapest is a green 3M scrub pad available at
grocery stores. However, when working in or near the bottom, watch out
for gravel sandwiched between the glass and the pad. On thick pastures, a
single-edge razor blade provides a close shave, but one strip at a time
and avoid slashing the glass.
Drugs, Chemicals, And More - Professional Sporting Goods, Inc. (Formerly
Jungle Laboratories) has everything under the sun for keeping fish
healthy and frisky. Some of the items advertised in their Bait Products
Catalog include Baitsaver, Bubble Tabs, Catch and Release, Ace Ammonia
Chloramine Eliminator, Bait Food, Bait Salt, Foam Kill, Hypno (fish
calmer), Net Soak, and Parasite Guard. The catalog also provides a Bait
Problem Solver Chart that describes the problem, appearance, cause,
proper action, and applicable notes. Only dealer quantities are listed,
but when it was still Jungle, smaller orders were also graciously
accepted. Catalogs can be requested from (800) 835-2248 and don't forget
to check out the introductory offer coupons on the last page.
Pills, Potions, And Powders - The Fishy Farmacy carries scores of mail
order medications to keep your fish happy and healthy. Catalogs are
available from (800) 423-2035 or CA callers: (800) 32-FISHY.
DC Power - Air pumps that run on batteries can be very useful on
collecting trips and a life saver for aquariums in the event of a power
failure. Unfortunately, most pumps available from bait stores last only a
few hours and the airline constantly falls off the poorly designed
nipple. However, there are two that fit the bill. Hagen (ART.#A-790) and
Bubbles air pumps run on D batteries which last for days. The Hagen pump
costs about $10 and is available through pet stores and the Bubbles (Item
363-223) is $20 and can be mail ordered from Bass Pro Shops (800)
227-7776. Before you buy, request a catalog and check out the larger DC
air pumps and submersible powerheads that will run off 12 volt batteries.
Fish And Lake Management Supplies - The Aquacenter carries a wide array
of mostly aquaculture merchandise which includes pools and tanks, water
and air pumps, inf. videos, chemicals, feed and feeders, filters,
chillers, heaters, water chemistry/quality meters, and nets. Catalogs are
available from (800) 748-8921.
Shipping Fish 101 - The old guard must plead guilty to elitism from time
to time in not providing enough information on the basics, but we
definitely got the message and will try to make amends. The following
pointers have worked well for this trader which includes one episode
where the box was lost for 9 days and miraculously still had 100 percent
survival. First, find a sturdy and insulated box such as the type
tropical fish stores use. Sometimes there is a charge and sometimes you
can find perfectly good ones dumpster diving. Bag size is a personal
preference, but I use either 2 half box bags laid horizontal or one box
liner. Pour just enough clean aquarium water into the bag that will allow
the fish to swim upright or with a slight list and also able to turn
around. Never over crowd (4 - 8 minnow size fish per half box bag). It's
optional, but some swear by additives such as Start Right or ammonia
chips. If available, fill the bag with oxygen (try bait stores). Seal it
with heavy duty rubber bands and insert the bag upside down into another
bag and reseal again. When sending only one bag, use some type of packing
material to prevent rolling. Place a duplicate mailing label inside just
in case and seal the box with nylon strapping tape. Cross out old
addresses with a magic marker. In the summer, postpone shipment when
current or forecasted temperatures exceed about 90 degrees (F) or below
32 in the winter. In borderline temps, use over night services, but
spring and fall shipments can usually go first class priority. Good luck
and enjoy.

Breeders Club INFO

Here is a list of Breeders Club Members as of 2/00 and the projects they
are working on. All Breeders Club Members follow all state and Federal
regulations. You will notice the distribution of fish to new members has
begun.We have also picked up over a dozen new species since our last
update. We can expect written life histories with in the next 6 months.
Keep up the good work and contact president at nativefish_org with any
questions or comments. If you are a recent Breeders Program member and
were left off the list please contact president at nativefish_org and we
will update the list. If you are awaiting fish or want to donate legally
collected specimens please contact the NFC Prez at
president at nativefish_org .

* Bill Duzen Theduuz at aol_com 
* Elassoma okefenokee 
* Black banded sunfish 
* Dollar sunfish 
* Rainbow darters 
* Fantail darters 
* Greensided darters 
* Heterandria formosa 
* Gambusia affis sp. holbrooki 
* Poecilia mexicana 
* Lucania goodei 
* Fundulus crystotus melanistic 
* Fundulus cingulatus 
* Flag fin shiner 
* sailfin shiner 
* Bluehead shiner 
* Fathead minnow 
* Long nose dace 
* tadpole madtoms 
* chain pickeral 
* Cyprinodon nicholsi 
* Fish I have distributed: R. Page mr_page at hotmail_com - Bluehead
shiners, Sailfin shiners, fathead minnows 
* Ted Taft- Elassoma okefenokee, Orangethroated darters, Sailfin shiners,
F. cingulatus 
* Jeff Mckee- Elassoma evergladei, Fundulus chrystotus melanistic 
* Jeff Kilker- Fundulus chrystotus melanistic 
* Klaus Schoening- Sailfin shiners, Fundulus chrystotus melanistic 
* Robert Rice- Fundulus chrystotus melanistic 
* Al Morales- Sailfin shiners, Lucania goodei 
* Jeff McKee Killie at compuserve_com 
* E. zonatum 
* E. evergladei 
* Pygmy sunfish 
* livebearers 
* F.chrysotus 
* Klaus Schoening klaus.schoening at jungle_org 
* Fundulus chysotus melanistic 
* Pteronotropis hubssi 
* Wright Huntley huntley1 at home_com 
* Heterandria formosa 
* Cyprinodons 
* J.floridae 
* Charles Anderton dakota at startext_com 
* Elassoma spp. 
* J.floridae 
* John Sellers jsellersiv at yahoo_com 
* Heterandria formosa 
* Elassoma zonatum 
* Enneacanthus gloriosus 
* Fundulus spp. 
* David Hall dahall at lightspeed_net 
* Fundulus cingulatus 
* fundulus chrysotus 
* Elassoma evergladei 
* Heterandria formosa 
* Ray Wollf choupiqu at wctc_net 
* Bantam Sunfish 
* Bowfin 
* Many Small Killies 
* Pygmy Sunfish 
* Dwight Moody DMoody3042 at aol_com 
* Fundulus escambia 
* Fundulus cingulatus 
* Leptolucania ommatta 
* Tom DiCola MRUARU2 at aol_com 
* Still awaiting first fish shipment
*Jack Lehman lehmanwell at aol_com 
*awaiting shipment, interested in pygmy sunfish and pupfish
*ICQ 55526
* Others will be added in next months issue