Captive Care Notes: Hornyhead Chubs (Nocomis, Family Cyprinidae)

Nocomis are seldom kept by home aquarists, probably because of their drab non-breeding color (at least in the aquarium) and potential large size. Seining them can be difficult. Nocomis are wary and are usually among the first fishes to flee when collectors start stomping in the shallows. Perhaps the best way to collect Nocomis is by flyfishing (they'll take streamers, nymphs and spinners), or by flipping over rocks in riffles and hoping they rush into a net held downstream. Nocomis are initially shy in aquaria but soon learn to accept prepared foods. Despite their large size, they're usually placid with smaller tankmates.

The only reported spawning of Nocomis in aquaria comes from Robert J. Goldstein, who one day noticed bluenose chub fry in a low 40-gallon minnow community aquarium with a pebble substrate, powerhead flow, trickle filtration, and fluorescent lights on for 12 hours a day. The chub had been eating trout chow. One male had constructed a mound which, when disturbed, was reconstructed on the other side of the aquarium in only a day. About 30 fry were recovered swimming in the tank's upper corner, ignored by the minnows. They were removed, fed Artemia nauplii, and attained almost two inches by four months of age.

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