RE: NANFA-L-- California Natives - Now Suckers

Crail, Todd (tcrail-in-UTNet.UToledo.Edu)
Wed, 24 Aug 2005 22:26:56 -0400

From: on behalf of Peter Unmack

>> You could always try another "Pantosteus" species (some consider them a
full genus, others a subgenus of Catostomus, but they are ecologically
quite distinct to other Catostomus species, thus you must use a
Pantosteus), but I doubt you'll manage to keep them alive in the long term
as feeding them is problematic, but few have really tried. >>

I'm doing quite well with eastern Catostomus, don't know if that crosses over,
or if the Pantosteus need really cold aerated water (like jumprocks). I have
full confidence in keeping most sucker genera occurring in the Mississippi and
blacktails from the Mobile... It requires starting with VERY young fingerling
specimens (to hint-in-the Collecting thread ;), a LOT of food, and a system
that can take that amount of food going into it. But when you do, you get
into this other problem, which is... They grow really fast. I guess it's one
of those all or none type dealies. And yes, it's a line item on my "to do"
board for an AC write up :)

Anyway... A run down if you're interested.

White sucker - Euthenized just shy of 2 years when I took down the whirling
infected tank. Was 13" and was well on his way getting too big for a 75
gallon. Good species to start with. Be ready to put 'em down when they start
klunking the sides too much if you don't have large aquaria. They get nasty
lesions if they do that too often, and it'll happen faster than you'd like it
to. Once they're able to eat frozen krill... they gain volume VERY quickly.

Northern hogsucker - went a year and a half from fingerling to 8" and then
went down in a water change snafu that also killed two other recent fingerling
hogsucker additions. Also killed my Mobile River P. shumardi and most of my
redside and rosyside dace. I now use dechlor in ADDITION to a carbon block
filter. I can't trust anything-in-school :(

Spotted sucker - 1.5 years, about 7" now. One of my favorite fish.

Shorthead redhorse sucker - 1 year 9", died when the tank overheated because
someone was heating the entire basement floor of an academic building to 86 to
heat iguanas in one room and we couldn't find the thermostat for 3 weeks.

Black redhorse sucker - 1 year, about 10", growing too danged fast now that
it's on frozen krill. I may be talking to one of you public aquarium fellas
here soon about this guy.

Golden redhorse sucker - Had for 6 months and is now about 4". He's just now
hitting critical mass to eat krill, so I expect his size to increase as the
black redhorse did, and can probably expect the same for any redhorse species.

Blacktail redhorse - These fish are SCHWEET and haven't grown all that fast.
Had them for 8 months and they're still only 4", with very steady, but stable

Again, all these specimens are taken as fingerlings less that 2". I feed very
very heavy with frozen PE mysis, bloodworms and krill. There is enough food
laying around on the bottom for them to browse on for-in-least 3 hours a day.
I use deep sandbeds with clay topsoil underlayers, bright lights and lots o'
plants which I regularly harvest.

So... There's a start for my article, but I'll write up the system design
first since I promised that already. If interested, check it out in upcoming
AC's (I ain't throwing out all my pearls here ;)

The Muddy Maumee Madness, Toledo, OH
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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