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"Jeff Fullerton" <tcmajorr at westol_com>: Starhead Topminnows

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From: "Jeff Fullerton" <tcmajorr at westol_com>
To: <robertrice at juno_com>
Subject: Starhead Topminnows
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 09:51:09 -0500
Message-ID: <199711151450.JAA09946 at oak_westol.com>

Dear Robert Rice
I have been a long time native fish enthusiast. I keep a variety of small
sunfishes and minnows in an outdoor pond. Recently I have begun
experimenting with the Eastern Starhead Topminnow - Fundulus escambiae
which I discovered while searching for a certain type of water plant in
Florida Panhandle in the fall of 1996. The habitat was a lily covered
streach of water bisected by a road somewhere in Bay or Washington
The water was very tannic and acidic , so I had at long last found a nice
species of Killyfish that would thrive in my pond - fed predominantly by
rain water and on the acid side.Blackbanded Sunfish thrive in it !
	I tried some Blackstripe Topminnows earlier that season collected
in W.
Ohio. These came from a pungently sweet alkaline stream in corn field
country and these fish did not thrive at all and gradually disappeared.
limited success with the Banded Killy which is obtainable locally , it
survive an breed a little in my pond.
	But I have taken a liking to the Eastern Starhead. It is a much
fish than our Banded Killies and surprisingly they take to flake almost
right away ! I started out with 6 individuals and lost half to fungus.
remainder fared well over winter in a tank and even more astonishing ,
thrived in the pond over the past summer and nobody disappeared like the
Blackstripes did last year.
	I made another trip down to Florida in early September and
collected 32
more specimens. This time I think I have mastered the art of preventing
fungus , as mortality was very low. I am keeping the second batch indoors
like I did last year and will attempt to spawn them next summer , now
I have a large population. I am leaving the three from the prevoius batch
outside to test their hardiness. We are in zone 6 and it gets pretty cold
here. Would be nice if it were possible to adapt Fundulus escambiae to
climate. Then maybe someday I might be able to get the northern species -
F. dispar. But I don't think they are as pretty.
	I would be interested in hearing from you in regard to the
husbandry of
Fundulus escambiae or similar species you might be breeding. Also I'm
looking for Taillight Shiners - we looked all over Florida for them over
the past two trips and so far come up empty. Have you ever had any
experience with them or know someone else who has ? Is there anywhere
fish might be caught and if so , is it even worth the effort to keep them

Sincerely Jeff Fullerton
tcmajorr at westol_com


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