RE: NANFA-- Bowfin in Captivity

Mark B (
Wed, 8 Dec 1999 10:02:05 -0500

At 11:01 AM -0800 12/7/99, Jay DeLong wrote:
>Mark Binkley has one really nice one. Watching them swim is a incredible
>experience. Their dorsal fin ripples like waves.
>Don't you also have another bowfin in a tank with oscars, too, Mark? If I
>recall, that bowfin didn't fare so well with its tankmates :-)

Yeah, really cool fish. I'm looking for a source of juveniles which I will
then make available to interested parties. If you want first crack at
them, give me your address now and I'll get back to you if I find them. I
had three bowfin, two caught on hook and line in Michigan, and one from a
friend here who's father bought it with some feeder fish. Yes, I have seen
juveniles for sale on occasion in pet shops. My friend had given me his
fish, which had outgrown his 20 gal tank, in hopes that I would give it a
happy home. I found that it wasn't feeding well in my 200 gal with the
more aggressive oscars, etc. I moved it in with the other two bowfin in a
55. The smaller of the wild fish was being harrassed in the 55, so I
removed it. The larger wild fish and my friend's fish were displaying some
interesting behavior towards one another, which I expectantly interpreted
as foreplay to a spawn. Unfortunately, the next time I checked on them,
the smaller, domesticated bowfin had its tail chewed off down to the bone,
a gruesome sight, and I gave it no hope of recovery. I euthanized him in
the freezer, and had to admit to my friend what a poor host I had been to
his retiree. Anyway, that gave me a vivid demonstration of the aggression
that bowfin are capable of. Now I keep the two wild fish in separate
tanks, alone.

The two I have are on Tetra Cichlid Sticks (formerly Doromin), and I feed
them my oscar culls and other unwanted, but presumably healthy fish. They
also have tapeworms. Perhaps this is common in wild bowfin. If anybody
has a source for Praziquantel, I would like to try some on them. I'm
handling their tanks gingerly, as I don't want to tansmit the parasites to
other fish or to me!

Mark Binkley
Columbus Ohio USA <))><

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