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Temperate Fishkeeping: Something Worth Looking Into

Fish Folk

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One of the adventures I’ve begun this year as an aquarist is exploring temperate (non-tropical) aquariums. In particular, I’ve been exploring some U. S. Native species, rarely available at local pet stores.

For one example, is the small, friendly Banded Darter (Etheostoma zonale). I got attracted to these for their beauty, but also because they live right in streams where I enjoy fishing. Here’s a couple videos of mine…

And here’s feeding time…

I will say that you’ll need to refine some of your expectations to fully appreciate these fish if you’re new to U. S. Natives. But it’s a good adventure! 

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On 10/17/2021 at 9:37 PM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

What do you mean by refining one's expectations?

Good question. Well, first off, if you’re already really familiar with some less traditional species — perhaps like Scorpionfish, Gobies, loaches, etc. — then you’re prepared for how they like to live in the tank. These are often still, tucked-away shy guys. To enjoy them you have to sit still awhile and watch attentively. They’re also vulnerable to slow starvation if kept with fast, hungry minnow species that gobble up food before they can manage a turn. To bring out their best colors, lighting needs to simulate the seasons. They’re photosensitive, triggered by Trans-Appalachain seasonal cycles. In spring, they’ll color up if kept this way. This also relates to breeding. It may be necessary to simulate “winter” for a few weeks — less light, less food, cold / ice water temperature drops. And for the absolute best, a selection of some live foods is advisable. I’ll be treating mine to black worms in the near future. So, I guess… I mostly mean that they’re not as easy as adding a few pinches of flake food every day. 

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On 10/18/2021 at 12:29 AM, CalmedByFish said:

@Fish Folk At the end of the first video, the way the darter is sitting in the plant reminds me of a seahorse wrapping its tail around a stem.

Super interesting. I don't remember seeing many crawling types of fish. 

They really can be adorable! Younger ones, especially, can twist and bend in fun ways.

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