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Re: Three-spine sticklebacks and other folk

Sticklebacks tend to have attitude problems generally and get much worse 
if they are getting ready to breed, in which case they will get 
downright nasty, especially with other males.  I have about a dozen 
nine-spine sticlebacks at the moment and fully expect all out war when 
they come into breeding condition, which will require that they be moved 
out of the 5 gallon they are all peacefully co-existing in (with lots of 
plants to hide in)  and set up in several much larger tanks.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives you can try.  Plants are not 
only advisable, they are downright necessary for many sticklebacks to 
construct their nests, which are tubes of fine plant fragments glued 
together - sort of looks like a bird nest turned on its side with a hole 
through it.  Sticklebacks are visually oriented, especially in breeding 
season, and will drive any fish, except females which indicate 
willingness to breed, out of their visual area.  What this means is that  
heavy plantings can be used to provide escape cover for the females and 
visual barriers to keep the males from seeing each other, which should 
minimize aggression and damage to the fish.  Alternatively, tank 
dividers ($7-10) can be used to physically isolate spawning groups, 
however, plants should be present for nest building and escape cover for 
females.  I would not advise too small of an area for each breeding 
group as the post-spawning females will need to be totally out of sight 
of the male or they may be killed if not removed immediately after 

PS: keep me in mind for trades if you can acquire some more of the 
three-spine sticklebacks. There should be more in the surrounding area.  
I can provide info on shipping protocols, etc.

>From owner-nfc at actwin_com Thu Sep 24 00:14:33 1998
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>Message-ID: <3609F355.66A6 at internet-frontier_net>
>Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 00:23:01 -0700
>From: Dale Dodson <dale at internet-frontier_net>
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>Subject: Three-spine sticklebacks and other folk
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>Hello folks,
>     I've started out my native fish adventure with three refugees from
>a dried-up creek in Northern California.  I've decided two of the fish
>are three-spine sticklebacks.  The third is currently a mystery.  The
>person who saved it sniffed 'squawfish', but the mouth faces downwards
>more like a suckerfish.  It's only an inch long so I guess I'll have to
>wait.  The three fish currently share a 55-gallon for now.  My question
>is really about the sticklebacks.  I have been feeding them frozen 
>shrimp and glass worms.  The larger one spends most of his time 
>the snot out of the smaller one.  They both have developed nice
>rosey-colored breasts so I believe they are both males.  Are they so
>territorial that they cannot share a 4-foot long tank?  Is there
>anything I can do the allieviate the situation like add more objects or
>plants?  I would like to add females next year(if I can find them).  
>anyone had success in keeping sticklebacks?  Thanks.

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