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mbinkley at earthling_net (Mark Binkley): Re: NANFA-- Collecting sites around Houston

--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: mbinkley at earthling_net (Mark Binkley)
To: nanfa at aquaria_net
Subject: Re: NANFA-- Collecting sites around Houston
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 10:06:00 -0600
Message-ID: <afd83f6a050210040233@[]>

>        I've seen the prices on the chillers and they are pretty steep.
>thinking is the same about the temperatures in their natural habitats in
>the summer. So far all of my fish have tolerated 80 degree temperatures.
>I have had to float ice cubes in one of my tanks once. How difficult is
>it to keep darters and sculpins, because I'd really like to keep both as
>well as brook sticklebacks. I've got good fishkeeping skills but have
>stuck to tropicals and saltwater, because its easier than collecting,
>but collecting is a lot more fun.
>                        Keith

Now I'm confused.  Is your name Barry or Keith???

Anyway...yeah, collecting is great!  A zoologist friend of mine
freezing two liter bottles of water and floating them in the tank as a
cheap chiller.

I have found that darters and sculpins are not too hard to keep, though a
few things should be understood.  Wild caught specimens will usually
require live food to start out, some will accept frozen stuff right away.
I buy live and frozen brine shrimp from the pet shop.  Earthworms are
good too and can be collected for free. Chop them to fit the fishes mouth
size.  I try to train all of my fish to take freeze dried and flake or
stick food if possible.  Some will adapt to this diet and some won't.  It
may depend on your patience for the training process.  I have some
experiences and theories about this if you are interested.

Sculpins are risky with other fishes since they will swallow anything up
about half their own body length.  Darters are a favorite treat for them.
Make sure the sculpins are small or kept separate (warmouth sunfish, L.
gulosus, are stealthy predators as well- I've fed them lots of darters!)

Some darters seem to be particularly sensitive to chlorine in tap water. 
sometimes lose fish after doing a large volume water change, mixing
dechlorinator in the tank (Hartz All-in-One).  Perhaps Columbus uses
chlorine in their water supply?

Just be sure to maintain good aeration.  Once acclimated, temperature is
less important.

Mark Binkley
Columbus, Ohio, USA
mbinkley at earthling_net

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