> While I didn't get the chance to collect any this weekend, I did spend
> time observing the fish in my ponds and streams. There was a lot more
> on than I would have imagined. While I still have much to do to get the
> ponds finished such as rockwork and plantings around the edges, the
> inhabitants seem quite happy.
> First, in the upper part of the stream, I discovered a little Heterandria
> formosa that I have no idea how it got there. It seems to think it's now
> either a fieryblack shiner or a yellowfin shiner. Constantly darting back
> and forth with them and there was no way I could catch it since it
> dives into to pebbles on the bottom whenever I tried to catch it. In the
> lower part, I found many lined topminnow fry. There were several
> sizes so there has apparently been more than one spawning. I'm sure there
> were many more than I could see since about half of the surface area is
> covered in Azolla.
> In the first pond, I keep blackbanded sunfish, banded topminnows, and four
> bluenose shiners. There were, as best I could count, six blackbandeds
> aggressively guarding cleared spots on the bottom. One particular sunnie
> was guarding two spots next to each other. They would chase any fish that
> came near, except what I'm guessing were female bb's. For these they
> display and try to lure back to the cleared spots. I noticed several
> occasions where the welaka would dive into the nest, sometimes a pair,
> sometimes singly, when the chaetodon was chasing the killies off. Hope
> were spawning but I think probably eating bb eggs. Also noticed pairs of
> the cingulatus diving into algae clumps and plant clumps. They may be
> spawning as well but I have yet to see any fry.
> In the next pond I have golden topminnows, bluefin killies, and pygmy
> livebearers. The male Heterandria were doing their thing, constantly
> chasing the females. The bluefin killie males were displaying-in-each
> and chasing other males away from their little territory. I'm always
>-in-the bright colors in the fins of these little fish. The chrysotus were
> not observed spawning but I did notice on many occasions, the males doing
> little water splashing displays (which I've also seen the cingulatus and
> lineolatus doing). A particular note about these chrysotus. They come
> a spot in SC that will remain secret for now but they are by far the most
> colorful I have ever seen! The males have extremely vivid greens and
> yellows with bright red spots, blood red fins, and very prominent bars
> blue highlights.
> The last pond in the yard has not yet been setup completely. I'm still
> working on the plants and getting it seeded with scuds and daphnia. My
> plans are to stock it with pygmy killies (Leptolucania ommata) and
> Okefenokee pygmy sunfish.
> More info to come as I get them setup and see more or any fry.
> Chip in SC
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