[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: NFC: Flagfin shiners

I want to say thank you for all the great articles!
This is one of the best groups on the net! I have met
a few aquarist from other countries through my
involvement in Apistos and Killies and they love our
native fish. One of my friends in Scotland did a
presentation for his aquarium society on collecting
and the environment of our fish. Gambusia affinis is a
highly sought after fish in Scotland! Especialy the
nice marble males!H.formosa is another fav not to
mention the pygmy sunfish. ANyway I am glad to see
others love our native fish too.


--- robert a rice <robertrice at juno_com> wrote:
> The Flagfin Shiner (Pteronotropis signippinnis) as
> an Aquarium Species
> by Robert Rice
> Lying quietly back in the small tannic coastal
> springs of Florida and
> Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana is the Flagfin
> shiner . He lives as a
> virtual unknown to those who live around him. He is
> one of the most
> colorful and tolerant aquarium species around. He
> also is one of the most
> obscure. This common Southeastern shiner should be a
> shining star of the
> aquarium. He rivals all the well known tropicals in
> looks and he
> surpasses almost all of them in toughness. He takes
> flake , frozen and
> every other kind of food with relish. Once
> established in the tank he is
> gentle, almost disease free, and showy. He is an
> excellent community tank
> member. Unfortunately he has remained an unknown
> species to the Aquarist,
> and to a greater degree the general public. Only a
> few odd collectors,
> NANFA members and fisheries personnel even know he's
> there.
> In this country there has developed a shyness of
> sorts against keeping
> common native species. Why ? Who knows? Fortunately
> this species is one
> of literally hundreds of North American Native
> Species that are suitable
> aquarium species. They pass the Aquarist test they
> are colorful , durable
> and breedable. All the priorities a serious Aquarist
> should have . The
> only missing factor for most Aquarist is information
> . Is there public
> information on breeding habits, food requirements
> etc. ? In this case the
> answer is no. There are little or no public records
> available on most
> North American Native Species in general , and the
> Flagfin Shiner in
> specific. With the exception of the odd article this
> species has remained
> anonymous. While this lack of species documentation
> presents a challenge
> , it is not an insurmountable one .
> Aquarist unique skills in breeding and rearing
> unusual species would
> change the published life history for this species
> and so many others in
> a heartbeat. Imagine the day when all the State
> agencies have full and
> complete life histories on this and other species
> without spending a dime
> . This input from Aquarist could help preserve the
> species. The agencies
> would know the how, when and why of breeding, they
> would know the
> intricacies of raising and rearing. In short they
> would know the Flagfin
> Shiner or any other species Aquarists set there
> sights on. How could the
> state agencies get all that information for free ?
> The answer is simple
> and can be summed up in one word , Communicate .
> Aquarist can do that !
> If we can breed and raise and document habits of
> rare Discus and Cichlids
> , then unusual temperate water species should be a
> snap. We should share
> our results with the local fisheries personnel and
> Colleges then the
> whole country and the Flagfin shiner could benefit!
> Fisheries personnel
> would then take our requests for expanded legislated
> access to Native
> Fishes more seriously if we shared breeding, rearing
> and collecting data
> with the greater fisheries community.
> You decide the Flagfin sounds like an interesting
> fish and you'd like to
> try this native species for your next tank. You have
> a few questions
> first. You want to know is it worth the time and
> effort to do a serious
> attempt at breeding and rearing ? Will it be
> colorful ? Will I be proud
> of my Native Species tank ? Basically , is this fish
> one I should spend
> my time, money and efforts on ? The answer to all
> the questions is yes.
> For a unbiased opinion here is what the benchmark of
> native fish guides
> Peterson's Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes by Larry
> M. Page and Brooks
> M. Burr says about the Flagfin Shiner (keep in mind
> this excellent book
> is written for the Scholar/Biologist in the field
> not the Aquarist ( page
> 118 ) " Identification : Olive Gold above; upper
> side yellow front red at
> rear: broad blue black stripe along side with
> vertical orange dashes;
> pale gold lower side; gold snout. Red orange edge on
> yellow dorsal,
> caudal, anal, and pelvic fins ; yellow pectoral fins
> deep compressed
> body, strongly tapering to caudical
> peduncle..........". Beautiful,
> common, unloved and unknown , a prime candidate for
> the efforts of the
> serious Aquarist .
> Certainly the Flagfin Shiner is a colorful fish and
> when compared with
> the various tetra's and danios out there, it is
> defiantly worthy of a
> serious look . Let's say you are a Naturalist at
> heart . You have decided
> you want to take the challenge and rear and breed
> the Flagfin Shiner .
> Well first off, I congratulate you , and second off
> , I warn you. Most
> likely you will fail several times before you
> succeed. You are venturing
> into uncharted waters. There is scant documentation
> out there. Do not be
> discouraged that is part of the learning process.
> Here is my experience
> with this "Rose of the South". When I have collected
> this shiner it is
> always in coastal seepage springs. Seepage springs ,
> are springs with no
> particular head to them. All along the bed of the
> spring are very small
> little seeps that bubble a small amount of spring
> water. What this does
> is equilibrate the temperature all along the small
> creek beds that this
> species occurs. You see , with no central
> concentration of spring water
> there is no hot or cold end to the spring. It
> bubbles along with a bit
> here , and a bit there , and in general maintains a
> very constant
> temperature , pH and salinity all the while
> remaining pretty
> insignificant (usually less than 6 feet across).
> During a creeks long
> ramblings it picks up large amounts of leaf litter
> and pine needles thus
> it maintains a tannic , acidic quality throughout
> it's stretch. This leaf
> litter gives it it's tannic nature. Typically these
> "springs" vary only
> slightly in temperature ( 65-71 degrees F) and pH
> (6.0.- 6.5) during a
> year. This constancy is the key to rearing this
> species .
> The Flagfin is often the most common fish in the
> places it inhabits. It
> is easy to collect and a lot of fun . If you are
> able to collect the
> species yourself with a day or weekend trip, by all
> means do so. It is
> the type of collecting many people pay thousands of
> dollars for. It's
> tannic home and the variety of flora and fauna you
> encounter during your
> collecting trip will make you believe you are in a
> deep , dark foreign
> land. Luckily for you may be able to collect the
> Flagfin Shiner for the
> cost of gasoline, time, lunch and a fishing license.
> The streams in which
> it occurs are cool , comfortable and a pleasure to
> seine or dipnet. These
> tannic creeks usually carry few if any predatory
> species and a nice
> variety of Darters, Shiners and plants. Check your
> Peterson's Guide, your
> local Department of Natural Resources folks or a NFC
> member for suitable
> locations to collect and local regulations. With a
> bit of research you
> will find them an ease to find and collect. 
> Suddenly you realize you have caught the dreaded
> Native Fish fever . What
> now ? You sadly realize collecting this species is
> just not a possibility
> ? Perhaps your physical limitations preclude you
> from collecting this
> fish? What if you live in Alberta Canada or Des
> Moines Iowa ? Inspite of
> all this you are still burning with the fever to
> rear and breed this fish
> ! Relax, there are regular trading post which can
> help you get suitable
=== message truncated ===

Do You Yahoo!?
Try FREE Yahoo! Mail - the world's greatest free email!