Hey, that's my fish! He is still going strong, although not as dark. Still
has some nice color though. Aggressive feeder. Two females in the tank
"If we ignore nature.....maybe it'll go away."
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark" <markb_at_columbus.rr.com>
Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 12:17 PM
Subject: Re: NANFA-- breeding darters
> At 8:18 PM -0500 1/16/03, geoff wrote:
> >While I await spring, I wonder if I might talk my variagate darters into
> >breeding when the garage warms up.
> >Any ideas?
> Geoff, I have one word for you. One word. Are you listening?
> Yes, Mr Fish-breeding-know-it-all.
> Plasti- ...no wait, Daylength!
> That's a word. I think.
> OK, two more words: Bob Muller. Bob is a darter breeding expert. He has
> covered the essentials in his email. But, I feel strongly that the
> long-short daylength cycle is critical. Yeah, some fish might spawn
> regardless, but if you can control the photoperiod to mimic short winter
> days followed by lengthening spring days, you should be in the zone. Then
> bring the temp up to near 70. If the females are plump with eggs, you
> should have a spawn-fest. They might not get as plump as wild conditioned
> fish, but that will just be fewer mouths for you to feed. I have observed
> wild conditioned E osburni (a close relative of variatum) spawning in an
> aquarium. I suggest you use a loose gravel like the red flint fine or
> medium on the bottom. The actual spawning site will be unpredictable. I
> am too lazy to pick eggs like Bob M does. I just cover the bottom with
> gravel (I use an undergravel filter) and let them do it wherever they
> Then, once the females have lost weight or you have observed the spawning,
> remove all of the adults and wait. Hatch time will vary with species and
> temperature. Three to five days is a good standard. The hatchlings will
> be on the bottom until they absorb their yokes and then in the water
> after that. They will feed for a while and then drop out to their normal
> bottom dwelling darter lives. They may be entirely invisible to you for
> this whole time unless you have very good eyesight. The eggs will likely
> be deposited in the gravel, buried shallowly and somewhat adhesive. The
> fry will look like tiny slivers of glass drifting in the water. In a 55
> gallon you will have to really hunt to see any. I have raised E osburni
> fry on new-hatch Artemia (brine shrimp). So, hopefully, the variatum fry
> will be large enough to take that too. Otherwise, Bob is the guy who can
> suggest smaller feeds. I think it would be really great if someone can
> produce this species for distribution. They are large and attractive in
> the tank. Captive reared fish should be much easier to feed too. It
> will likely take a long time to grow them, since they are so large as
> adults. I have collected fry in New York in mid summer that were about 1
> to 1.5 inches long.
> If you have never seen one (not you Geoff!), here's a photo:
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