NANFA-- A Fundulus observation

Bruce Stallsmith (
Sat, 12 Jan 2002 19:45:43 -0500

I've been keeping a variety of Fundulus species over the past two years and
now I realize that there's some pattern to their feeding habits in
captivity. There's a big difference between studfishes (northern and
southern, catenatus and stellifer respectively) on one hand and topminnows
on the other (notti, notatus, olivaceus, chrysotus). The central difference
is acceptance of flake foods: the studfishes won't, and the topminnows will.
I've been growing out a group of catenatus from the Paint Rock River, AL,
system on a diet of chopped earthworms and blackworms for about a year now,
and the original two look great; some more recent additions are still coming
up to snuff. A group of stellifer from Raccoon Creek, GA, adults and YOY,
are starting to bulk up on the same diet after several months.

I give the live foods to the topminnows too, but they don't visibly lose
weight if they're only on flakefood for a week.

This observation was largely inspired by talking to Charlie Grimes about
keeping and conditioning rainbow shiners, Notropis chrosomus. They also are
happy to take flakefood, but mine look much better after sustained feedings
of various worms and bugs (it's a greenhouse, I got bugs...). Charlie's
rainbows, from the same location in Collinsville, AL, didn't look nearly as
colorful on a flake-only diet.

None of this is new, that natives will do better with more live foods. But
it's easy to fall into a rut and let things slide from day to day, I know I

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

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