NANFA-- Bluenose Shiners & Pond Update- Recovery from Winterkill

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Mon, 22 Sep 2003 13:29:58 -0400

> Of course, another way is to throw them in a pond with pumpkinseeds or other
> centrarchids. Welaka are facultative nest associates; once the pumpkinseeds
> starts spawning, the welaka should too.
Chris & Others

That would be very easy for me to do. Dollar Sunfishes ought to work
too, but Pumpkinseeds are easy to come by if for some reason they don't.

One other change I would like to try hubbsii instead of welaka-
partially because I like them better and because they are supposably a
little more better off than the latter and also they have a more
northerly range and have a better chance of surviving outdoors here or
even in my greenhouse pond which holds steady in the low 50s in winter.

This would make a great surrogate species to work out a husbandry
routine for welaka and I would happily dedicate a pond to these and a
few other associated species and share surplus fish and info with other
interested parties and individuals.

Lately I have not been contributing much about my ponds to the list
because of preoccupation with the greenhouse so I'm long overdue on a
report regarding the outcome of the recovery of my ponds from a severe
winterkill. I lost a good many species including tadpole madtoms and
bluespotted sunfishes and a few others- leaving mostly Northern Redbelly
Dace, Eastern Mudminnows and just a handfull of Golden Shiners.

Oh, almost forgot- Brook Sticklebacks and a few Pearl Dace and Brassy

Well, I decided because of what I heard regarding the appetite of Golden
Shiners for other fish fry and their tendency to munch on tender plants-
I decided to exclude them for the time being and see how things go.

The few surviving NRBDs spawned and the water is now swarming with young
of the year fry like never before. This after years of trying to get
them to breed at least enough to maintain a stable population , a
breakthrough! I'm convinced now that the Golden Shiners were the reason
they couldn't in the past. The experience has enlightened me to the fact
that I can't have everything- at least not without constant restocking
or alot of work to maintain separate spawning facilities- a
contradiction to my origional goal to have the pond as a self-regulating
system that requires minimal maintenance.

Small systems work better with lower species diversity. If I ever did
get a start of P. hubbsii, or Taillight Shiners the same would probably
be true- I'd have to narrow my focus to a small set of species or else
I'd likely loose them. But success with them would be well worth giving
up something else!

Maybe I'd even switch from Dollar Suns to the locally availible
Pumpkinseed and that would be one less species to have to worry about
loosing in a hard winter- and winter some shiners in a tank, or in the
greenhouse for insurance would not be so taxing.

I still like Dollars, so I'd always winter a couple pairs and some young
to keep them around.

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