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"Jeff Fullerton" <tcmajorr at westol_com>: NANFA-- Fw: Blackstripe Topminnows

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From: "Jeff Fullerton" <tcmajorr at westol_com>
To: <nanfa at aquaria_net>
Subject: NANFA-- Fw: Blackstripe Topminnows
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 21:51:22 -0500
Message-ID: <199801190309.WAA29971 at oak_westol.com>

> From: Jeff Fullerton <tcmajorr at westol_com>
> To: nanfa at aquaria_net
> Subject: Blackstripe Topminnows
> Date: Sunday, January 18, 1998 9:37 PM
> Dear Native Fish Enthusiasts

This is a response to the message posted earlier by Geoff Kimber who
reports collecting Fundulus notatus in Arkansas - oops I almost deleted
by mistake !
> Those are great fish ! 
> I have always wanted to try them in my pond ever since I saw an
> illustration of one in "Your Garden Pond" by KH Weiser & P. Loiselle
> I bought in 1987 ! (which by the way has a very comprehensive coverage
> US natives) 
> It was not until the summer of 96 when I finally caught 11 myself out
> the St. Mary's River in Ohio , just a stone throw from the Indiana
> They survived well the transport and were acclimated to my pond water
> released a week later (July 96). Unfortunately they did not survive the
> long term. 
> At first I blamed a small heron which I chased off several times and
> eventually disuaded from returning with a warning shot from a 22 ! This
> a common tactic used by fish hatcheries , except they fire special
> to scare off birds.(Keeping fish outdoors has both its advantages &
> disadvantages! and then we also have raccoons) But even after the heron
quit coming around , the topminnows were still disappearing one by
last few to go had this
> lean and hungry look , despite frequent feedings of flake to supplement
> their foraging for mosquito larvae & stranded insects. This I attribute
> maladaptation to my water which is derived primarily from rainfall and
> very soft and slightly acidic. About 6.4 - 6.8 , occasionally rising as
> high as 7.0. This was in sharp contrast to their natural habitat which
> a gin clear stream that had the heavy growth of pondweeds and
> and that characteristic sweet smell as unique as the astringent aroma
> tannic water at the opposite extreme. The water was very alkaline out
> there- tested right off the high end of the scale. At least 8.0 !
> I hear that it is easier to take fish from acidic waters which tend to
> lower in mineral content and adjust them to higher levels of pH &
> mineral contents than to go in the opposite direction. Apparently the
> fishes of tannic waters will adapt to circumneutral conditions and even
> prosper if the change is done slowly enough. My success with
> bluespotted sunfishes seems to suggest this. On the other hand , fish
> coming from alkaline waters with higher mineral content find themselves
> literally starving for vital trace elements which the tannic water
> are able to make do with less , even though they will gladly take more
> This is probably the reason that many tannic species are restricted to
> limited ecological niches. They may not necessarily be obligates to
> conditions , but refugees from a more aggressive circumneutral fauna
> is either hard pressed to survive or cannot reproduce under such harsh
> conditions. 
> As for the Blackstripe Topminnow , there should not be too much trouble
> in keeping it if you can give it the hard water it wants ! There is not
> written about the breeding of that species , nothing that I know of ,
> assume they might spawn in a densly planted tank , or spawning mop like
> most killies. I don't know if the climate will permit you to do what I
> on doing with my Starheads - F. escambiae. I caught a few dozen down in
> Florida and plan on introducing some to my pond and set up breeding
> both in tanks and kiddie pools with lotsa fine leafed plants - millfoil
> fontainalis moss. 
> Good luck to anyone dedicated enough to work with the species. One of
these days I will try Fundulus notatus
> again. Either in a tank or new pond with filtration thru bluestone
> a local limestone to buffer my water and increase hardness.
> Jeff From PA
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