Rob is correct. I have been keeping Greensides for the past couple years and have
definitely noticed that they are more skittish than other members of their genus
such as rainbows and fantails. Also, they do not compete as well as the rainbows
and fantails and seem to be a little more awkward due to their larger size. Many
friends and associates have stated that they do not eat as well as the other
dartersin captivity and tend to wither away from malnutrition.
I keep my adult Greensides in a 20 gallon long tank. I have kept them with
cyprinids (no more than 3 or four individuals) in a community setting and I have
also keept them in a species tank on their own. I have definitely noticed, that
on their own, they tend to hide until feeding time. I prefer them in a community
setting. In a community setting, they tend to display and forage more. The
cyprinids provide them security. The only drawback being that the cyprinids
should be stuffed on flake foods first, then the greensides should be fed live
(brine shrimp, glassworms, small earthworms) or frozen foods (brine shrimp and
bloodworms) until they appear full bellied. This is a little tediuos but I have
had the same greensides for more than two years now.
Darter life expectancy in general seems to be relatively short, I would think
roughly 3 to 5 plus years in aquaria, depending of course on the species. With
that in mind, I would like to try to spawn my greensides but have been
unsuccessful due to a lack of proper overwintering which is required in many
cases. Also, the Greenside spawning behavior is associated with algae mats and
foilage to which they attach their eggs. This type of structure in your aquarium
should help to induce spawning. Their colors tend to display better in a darker
tank with adequate algae growth. Lighter tanks and substrate tend to wash them
Tessellated darters tend to prefer more open water settings with less structure.
In a rocky tank they will almost always haunt the more open portions of the
aquarium. They do best in a tank with some sand and fine gravel and minimal
structure (enough to suppress squabbles). They eat basically the same foods as
the other mentioned above. I have also noticed that they are not nearly as
aggressive as Rainbows and Fantails and tend to get chased around if housed with
these type of species.
Frauley Elson wrote:
> 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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