Re: NANFA-- Rainbow Shiners

Bruce Stallsmith (
Wed, 20 Jun 2001 21:29:26 -0400

I should have thought right off the bat to research Carol Johnston... I've
been feeding the surviving male and he actually looks like he might make
now. I have another tank with a mixed population of rainbows and Coosa
shiners (N. xaencocephalus) that I _think_ spawned about 4 weeks ago, with
no obvious resulting fry but also no adult casualties. I was struck by how
Pacific salmon-like this process has been over the past week, with intense
coloration preceding spawning preceding very fast physical deterioration.

In Little Willis Creek in Collinsville, AL, I was able to find rainbow
shiners of a variety of sizes last summer/fall. But now that I think about
it, almost all of the adults I captured were female. That would be
consistent with male kamikaze-like breeding behaviors. I suppose this is in
some way consistent with their intense breeding colors, at least by human
standards: live fast, die young, leave a good looking body.

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A
(Madison rather than Monroe County...)

>You should read Carol Johnstons paper on rainbow
>shiners and rough shiners. In her paper she states
>that rainbow male shiners exhaust themselves in
>spawning and die shortly thereafter. It seems they
>live about 15 months tops in nature. I visited a
>rainbow shiner site in Monroe County, Alabama twice
>this year. The first time was April 28th and
>although the males were in color, the females were
>still in prespawning color and no spawning fish or fry
>were evident.... no fish were noticed over the Nocomis
>nests in the stream. When I returned to the stream
>almost two weeks ago, absolutely no adults were
>evident and the only rainbow shiners that I found were
>about 6 or seven mm long....definitely this years
>recent spawn. In my own experience in my tanks, its
>very important to feed the spawning fish a rich food
>like ocean plankton whle they are spawning and after
>spawning. Mine looked a little rough afterwards but
>quickly recovered. Its imperative to feed them
>without missing a day while they are in spawning
>condition. I have a pair that are approaching three
>years of age and still look great. And they spawned
>for me both last year and this year.

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