NANFA-- fishkeeping

Frauley Elson (
Wed, 09 Aug 2000 08:46:49 -0400

I'm pondering something here, and I'd appreciate feedback from more
experienced native fishkeepers.
As an aside, this list is great for the collecting side of the hobby.
But I'm willing to bet we keep some of the stuff we look at in the wild,
and aquarium husbandy of these animals is a subject we rarely discuss.
I'm surprised by the darters I caught in Ohio (greensides and rainbows).
Their adjustment to aquarium life has been very easy, although I haven't
had them for more than a few days. My first impression is my opinion
that my E. olmstedi were easy to keep in relation to the rest of their
family may have been an illusion. The pattern for the greensides and
rainbows is the same as when I brought in my tesselated darters - they
eat everything I give them, and as much as I give them.
I use a paste food for my dwarf cichlids and killies, made of shrimp,
'mystery crabmeat', veggies, and colour enhancing powder. My Umbra limi
are the only fish (native or tropical) in my tanks that won't eat it,
but the darters wolf it down. I also feed frozen foods, live foods, but
no flake. They already come to the glass when I approach. It's striking.

What got me to Ohio was giving a talk on South American Apistogramma,
"demystifying" their keeping as the books say they are tough, but if you
watch their water and feed them right, they're easy fish for an
experienced aquarist to keep. I'm starting to think darters are in the
same league.
What kind of aquarium lifespans are people finding with their darters,
and, in general, what are you feeding them? And, bearing in mind
Robert's advice about greensides, what goes wrong to give these fish
their reputation as difficult?
-Gary Elson

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