NANFA-- northern redbelly dace

Frauley/Elson (
Wed, 15 Dec 1999 07:53:34 -0500

I've been keeping three northern redbelly dace since July. They come
from a small, blackwater stream in 'southern northern' Ontario. They
maintain their flaming red coloration for at least half the time, and I
truly appreciate that sight. It does, however, seem that their
coloration varies more than I've seen with fish from other continents,
and I can't catch the pattern on what's going on. I see no courtship,
just placid, colourful fish in 16C water, pH 7.4, 140 ppm. I know they
like it more acid, but they look good and are staying healthy in my
tapwater conditions. They're on a diet of flake, whiteworms, frozen
bloodworms and occasional bugs. The only constant is the farther from a
water change, as the water acidifies, the more colour they have, but
they usually bounce back within 24 hours of a change anyway.
What are the factors for maintaining colour in these fish, from the
experience of the much more experienced native-fish keepers out there?

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