My problem is that I haven't found a creek or lake
that hasn't been stocked with crappy, large mouth
bass, hybrid sunfish, channel cat, and gambusia. And
I need not mention the pine lumber industry, the
kaolin mines, and the 200 years of terrain
modification for cotton, soybean, and cattle farming?
Fish other than game, gambusia, and escaped bait
shiners may be present, I just haven't found them. The
prettest fish around here are mounted on walls.
Here is the introduction that I have been typing:
This is my introduction to the list.
My name is Michael and I keep fish.
(and the group says "Hi, Michael")
My list address is midgatutordigests_at_yahoo.com.
I only use this address for mailing lists.
My regular address is midgatutor_at_yahoo.com and any
personal communication should be directed there.
I live in Rural Georgia, centrally isolated just east
of the middle of nowhere.
I have a BS in biology, and an AS in natural science.
I have been keeping fish for about 4 years now, though
most of my fish were lost during a black out last
The survivors are in a 15 gal, henceforth referred to
as "my personal tank". They are a collection of
unremarkable tetra and a petsmart washed out
The reason that I have joined is for educational
support. I am currently a substitute teacher, I will
start next month as an aid in the behavioral problem
class, and in August I start as a Biology teacher.
I am assembling ideas for lesson plans involving
aquaria and a "teaching collection" of plants and
fish. I am coming to teaching though an alternative
program and will be starting education courses soon.
I am basing my teaching style on the use of concrete
examples. That is: things that you can actually point
to that are present in the room. Thus I am taking my
hobby to work.
I have 3 tanks that I will be moving into my classroom
that I am currently stocking. A 20 gal, a 35 gal, and
a 55 gal. There will also be a 10 gal for incidental
usage under the stand for the 55.
The 20 is for cool water fish. It is currently empty.
I am looking for Bitterlings, European stone loach,
and North American natives. I am also looking for
cool water plants for this tank, preferably North
American. Filtration is a Whisper. Tank is unheated
except for the heat of the other tanks.
The 35 is a planted tropical "peaceful community". I
plan to use this tank to teach plant/animal
interaction, convergent evolution, basic biological
cycles, and habitat niches. I currently have 4 small
tetra, 5 "Mexican livebearers" and 10 pygmy corys in
this tank, as well as 6 SAE's. Most of the SAE's will
be moved to other tanks. The tetra were a donation
form a South American Cichlid importer who got them as
bycatch. One is a cardinal, the other three are
smaller and less easily identified. I'll offer a
reward for the first student who gets me a Latin name
for them. The livebearers are a small species the
same size as the tetra. I got them from the same
source and cannot find an epitaph for them. The tank
is planted with an "aquabid" package, the list of
spices for which I accidentally deleted. They seem to
be doing pretty good though. There is a piece of
driftwood. Filtration is a Penguin 330 biowheel. Tank
temp is targeted at 76 F.
I am looking for identified species of plants, small
rasbora, small tetra and perhaps Endler's livebearer
for this tank. (yes, I am begging. Public School
The 55 gal is probably the most interesting. I am
stocking this planted tank around Rainbowfish. They
are large enough to be seen from the back of the room,
the species can be determined by the color, and they
are peaceful. The lesson plan almost writes itself:
"One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish: Divergent
Evolution". But I haven't found any yet (if anyone
would care to help correct that).
I have had more luck assembling tankmates. For the
bottom of the tank I have some baby Juli ornatus (or
maybe yellow reganni, we forgot which tank I chose,
and at one inch I can't tell em apart). The will be
my representative colonial cave spawner cichlid. To
school with the rainbows I have Cypnichromis
leptosomia, a peaceful, zooplankton feeding, mid water
spawning, mouth brooding, Tanganyikan cichlid slightly
larger than a rainbowfish. These are also 1 inch.
Next week a shipment of 1 inch Congo tetra will be
arriving (amazing what you can find at discount when
you beg). These will be used as an example of an egg
scattered and a convergent example for the
rainbowfish. I am looking for a shell dweller to
round out the parenting styles lecture. N.
multifasciatus has been suggested as the best one for
my purposes. I hope to find them and the rainbowfish
in the 1 inch size so that they will grow out together
as an integrated community (wishful thinking I know).
Filtration on the tank is a Penguin 330 biowheel, and
a HOT Magnum 350 (which needs a flow diverter, second
hand). One heater on each end with a stable temp of
My water is rather hard, as would be expected for a
county with a Calcium Carbonate mine. The tetra in
the 35 don't seem to mind, but then, they arrived from
Columbia in a box with 40 deal altum angels, so they
aren't complaining about being in a tank with plants.
I hope to get my students more interested in ecology
by showing them fish from North America. The fish
that my students are most familure with are the deep
fried variety. All of the waters in these parts have
been stocked by game species, so except for escaped
bait shiners (and goldfish), few other natives exist.
Gambusia has been dispersed for mosquito control, so
most of the other small fish seem to be locally
extinct. I'll find out for sure when I offer a reward
to any student who finds anything else.
In the meantime, donations would be appreciated as I
do not intend to keep the local "bream". The kids
already know them inside and out and I will be using
them instead of frogs for the dissection, followed by
the fish fry.
I would like to have a native in all 3 of my tanks.
The 20 should be easy, as there seem to be plenty of
non-predatory, cool water fish. The only difficulty
is in balancing between pretty, interesting behaving,
and "What the Heck is that Mr. C". I have been going
through the picture archive picking out candidates,
but suggestions will be helpful. I will start treads
on the candidate species to discuss them later. I
don't want to post all of them at once because I don't
want to flood the list.
The 35 shouldn't be too difficult either, as there are
plenty of fish in Florida that wouldn't mind tropical
I defiantly want American Flag fish and Pygmy sunfish.
I know a mixed community isn't the best for the
pygmies, but I don't plan to breed them and I want
both in the tank for a particular lecture. That will
be on the difficulties facing taxonomists. The AFF
and the PSF were once placed in the same family due to
superficial similarities. Then the AFF was considered
a cichlid. Now it is a "pupfish". I understand the
tankbred PSF are less shy than wild caught, so If
possible I would prefer tankbred.
Other candidates for the 35 would be FL killies and
whatever else is suggested.
The tough one is the 55. Given the nature of the
cichlids and rainbowfish planed for that tank, the
only fish that I can think of would be the larger type
(3-5 in) of sailfin molly found in LA or some dace or
shiner from FL or TX. Anyone have a suggestion for a
native that can deal with 78 F year round and hold
their own in a tank with the bottom dominated by
territorial cichlids and the mid and upper water
occupied with shoaling 3-5 inch fish, who also won't
eat the plants?
Also, does anyone have any experience in culturing FW
clams or mussels? I would like to maintain some for a
future bitterling tank.
I also plan to offer a free test grade to students who
start aquariums and keep logs on them. I hope to be
able to provide the plants and some livebearers for
them. I can get gravel for free at the cement
factory. That will just leave the tank and filter for
the students to buy at Wal-Mart. You will probably
see me begging for old filters in August but I wont
start doing that before then. Allot of things can
happen in 9 months. That is why Im not submitting
proposals to corporations yet.
Any technical or material support on these issues
would be greatly appreciated.
This is my mailing list address.
Please send any offlist responses to
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