Re: NANFA-- swimming in troubled waters

Tony (
Thu, 14 Sep 2000 19:55:07 +0700

I had got this book too. After reading the book for a week I feel that overall it
is a good book though it could have more complete info. Here is some babbling about
various issues about this book:

About the comment on not many color pics - actually there are quite a number of
color pics [+118] but unfortunately they are all on a few color pages. This is
understandable because I think if all the pics are in different pages associated
with the fishes in text then there will be lots more color pages and the book may
become more expensive. At least the pics come with captions on where the pics are
taken so the readers would know what race the fishes are etc.. For b/w pics you can
find comparable pics in newer editions of Axelord's atlases anyway. BTW, where is
Black river in FL that is captioned under the sailfin shiner B/W pic?

Christopher Scharpf wrote:

> re: Goldstein's book, Dave Neely has written:
> >He then turns around and excludes some taxa for being "uninteresting"
> >(lampreys, mooneyes, smelts, trouts/chars, eels, temperate basses, mullets,
> >herrings, snooks, surfperches, and mojarras" Come on, like a mimic shiner is
> >more interesting than an american eel? What's Bob been smoking?
> I was a bit flabbergasted by the omission of lampreys and eels...and the
> inclusion of paddlefish and sturgeons. Lampreys and eels are easy to keep in the
> aquarium (I recently sold 2 articles on them to TFH magazine). While sturgeons
> and paddlefish, IMO, are not fishes for the home aquarium because of their size.

I do not know about lampreys but here people keep fin - eating sea catfish, South
American cetopsid and candiru - like catfishes by puting a number of feeder goldfish
or tilapia in the same tank to provide fins, scales, and blood for the catfishes.
Personally I think this should be left for one who really like the catfishes [who
would prepared for long term care] and not some impulse buyers who will be tired of
them with the bad end for the catfishes. Trout, herring and silverside have special
need that are not easy for most people to provide long term care for them. Stripe
basses and mullets can grow quite big. Sturgeon and paddlefish combine both
problems. All these species are only for ones who are willing to meet the fishes'
special need like chillers, food, space etc. Actually in the book maybe these
fishes should have some keeping guidelines with big warning explaining their special
need rather than ignoring them altogether. Other non US examples are pikeheads,
paradise threadfins, freshwater stingrays, snakeheads, dwarf rasboras, and many
other species.

> Actually, Goldstein's gripe about eels is that they always escape. True, but
> there are ways around it. shameless plug --> See my TFH article when it comes
> out. :-)
> >His statement about not releasing captive fishes back into the wild is weak.
> >It needs to be run along the top of every page. In bold. All caps.
> This is a problem with every native-fish-in-aquarium book, including Schleser's
> and Quinn's.
> >Multiple endangered taxa are presented in the body of the text without any
> >mention of their status (oh, except for that incomplete table in the front).
> I'm not defending Goldstein, but his original ms. was much longer and contained
> much more information. The editors and TAMU Press chopped and compressed in
> order to get it to a manageable size. I know from experience that when that
> happens, errors and oversights abound.

May anyone give me an estimate on how much info were cut off?

> >on Oregonichthys crameri, an endangered species...
> >
> >"provide a 5- to 10- gallon aquarium with a sand bottom, sponge filter,
> >abundant Vesicularia or Nitella..."
> >
> >So are we to assume that the author has already done this? Ahhh, he just
> >pulled it out of his nether regions with a LOT of the other breeding
> >information presented in here...
> Wasn't the spawning of this fish in the aquarium documented by Markle et al in
> Copeia? I believe Goldstein was simply recommending conditions that would be
> optimal should an aquarist -- including professional aquarists -- ever be
> allowed to touch this fish. However, the way the material is presented makes it
> sound tried-and-true definitive.
> Another example of this is his account of the aquarium spawning of shovelnose
> sturgeon, which has never been spawned in aquaria. (Hatcheries, yes, but
> aquaria, no.) I asked Goldstein about this and he said that they are his
> SUGGESTIONS for a possible aquarium spawning. But the way it is written (or
> mangled by his editors), one gets the impression that Scaphirhynchus have been
> bred in the manner he prescribes.

Agree. Such info should be written clearly as suggestion.

> >He elevates several taxa by mentioning them in the book, but does not
> >provide diagnoses or descriptions(ie., Notropis micropteryx). This is a
> >major no-no in the scientific community.
> Dave, is this name still available after Goldstein's slip? And didn't this
> happen before, in Sigler & Sigler's FISHES OF THE GREAT BASIN book, in which
> salmonid names provisionally used by Behnke suddenly found their way into print?
> >It is often contradictory, incomplete, or incorrect.
> Dave, I'd be interested in learning what some of the other errors are.
> Dr. Golstein has agreed to print errata and addenda in a future American
> Currents. But he needs careful readers to point some of these mistakes out to
> him.
> Chris

Some more info on new taxa update would be nice, but maybe this is lost via cutoffs.

Some spawning datas are either not widely avaliable [stoneroller, bluenose, etc.] or
quite recent [flame chub, etc.]. On the other hand fish like bluehead shiner have
breeding info that I do not know previously. Guess you cannot have the perfect
book, eh? Maybe there should be a list of US fishes that had been spawned that
would be sent to magazines like TFH, FAMA, AFM so it would be references widely
avaliable and would be easy to look for.

A question: It seems to be that some people on this list are living close to Mexico
or had been to Mexico before. I wonder has anyone been to Mexico collecting or
trading non-cichlid and non-livebearer Mexican native fishes at all? In Mexico
there are at least many beautiful Cyprinella shiners that should do fine and not
hard to breed...


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