Just an idea
>From: "Todd Crail" <farmertodd-in-buckeye-express.com>
>Subject: NANFA-- Hogsucker husbandry secret revealed?
>Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2004 23:57:00 -0400
>I've watched this too many nights in a row now... I can't help but wonder
>if having sand available isn't the key to northern hogsucker husbandry. I
>know Moon has had long term success with them with sand as a substrate...
>There's got to be something there.
>While on the Grand River trip May 29th (report to come, I'm "in the parking
>lot" on Saturday morning of Tippecanoe right now ;), I brought home two
>hogsucker juveniles, each about 2.5" long. I have them in a 30 long with
>with "special needs" feeders such as banded, greenside and johnny darters,
>pirate perch, trout-perch, silverjaw minnows, and the beefy orangethroat
>darters, that I like to keep in there cause, well, they look so cool
>There was no problem getting them to feed on frozen foods, which I think
>anyone who's kept one has had a similar experience.
>What I've observed is a normal "routing" through the substrate... Sand goes
>in the mouth, out the gills. No big deal, no secrets there, and is very
>engaging to watch... What a fun fish.
>What I'm getting-in-is... Something _very_ different happens when there's
>actually food present. I noticed this right before I left with the
>Zarlingas for Pre-Convention fun and have been watching closely since I've
>been back. Nick and I kinda kicked it around, guessing that there were
>micronutrients fixed in algae or something like that in the sand, or just a
>constant flow of larvae et al that they were grazing on all day.
>Initially, they stuff their mouths with food and kinda "chew" on it. Their
>lips are super extended and you can see them working their pharyngeal
>They then sort of suck-in-the black brush algae on some of the rocks (which
>does have sand trapped in it, but my guess is there would also be
>microinverts, in addition to loose "greens" in a real system).
>Then it starts. They go for the sand. They'll suck in a mouthful (you can
>see the depression they leave) and none or very little comes out the gill
>plates. The kicker? They spit the larger granule Seachem Flourite out
>through the mouth, but no sand! And still nothing has passed for the last
>few seconds out the gill slit! They're sifting, sorting it in their mouths
>and swallowing it!
>I wonder if there isn't any info out there about hogsucker gut contents and
>stuff? It may be that it's an obligate part of digestion, like a chicken's
>gizzard, and that's what been the missing link for many lost sucker souls
>aquaria. I think it's pretty established you'll never find hogsuckers (or
>just a completely odd one) in silted to heck streams, and so I'd say this
>a decent whack-in-a possiblity. Might even make a decent life history
>theiiiissssss..... Wait. I shouldn't be sharing this huh? ;)
>Agreeably, it's only been a short run-in-barely a month. But these fish
>have already shown growth, their bellies are convex, as opposed to the
>normally flat to concave. They seem to be flourishing. And they do this
>_every_ time they eat!
>I've also seen this happen, but to a much more limited degree, with a
>juvenile spotted sucker I've been maintaining and growing since the
>Tippecanoe trip, a 5" shorthead redhorse I've maintained in robust fashion
>since early May.
>Interestingly... I've never seen this behavior in the white sucker. I need
>to watch him more carefully before I just casually say that's a real
>It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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