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Very excited to be receiving about a dozen Southern Redbelly Dace today (Chrosomus erythrogaster / Phoxinus erythrogaster).

I’ll be uploading photos, but I do t expect them to be in vibrant breeding dress in spring / summer.

I found an excellent public domain journal article on NANFA here. They seem to maintain a diet of filamentous algae in the wild, along with micro invertebrates, etc. Aquarists seem to find success feeding them finely crushed flake food, frozen brine shrimp, etc. I’ll be trying out Omega One Kelp Flakes, Bug Bites Spirulina Flakes, and Frozen Spirulina Brine Shrimp. Of course, each week, I’ll also be feeding the entire fishroom freshly hatched brine shrimp.

Stay tuned… I shall update. 


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Here’s a helpful email sent by my source for U. S. Natives re: acclimating cold-water fish from cold shipping to room-temp. aquaria…

Rapid warming will kill your fish!  Your box of fish may be quite cool when it arrives at your door. You must acclimate the new fish carefully to keep them safe.  Do not open the bags.  Do not float the bags in your tank.  Instead, open the box and see how cold the water in the bags feels as compared to your tank, feel it from the outside of the bags.  Keep the bags closed!  If it feels cooler in the bags, follow this procedure:  Leave the bags sit, closed, in the room air until they slowly warm to room temperature.  This may take some hours.  Be patient.  The fish can stay in the closed bags as long as needed.  Opening the bags will let the oxygen escape, and the fish will die.  When the bags have reached room temperature, you can float them, still closed, in the tank until they reach tank temperature.  Then the bags can be opened and the fish immediately released.  Maintain good aeration in your tanks.  The warming will cause the fish to need more oxygen.”

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Here’s a look at the typical sexual dimorphism between male / female Southern Redbelly Dace — male above, female below…


Reports indicate that large females will color up just like the males during spring spawning season as daylight lengthens. 

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So, it turns out that Dace as _very_ sensitive to vibrations, air-bubbles, etc. in their tank, and are notorious for jumping.

So, I’ve added a plastic guard along to back to limit escape holes…


And you can hear them jumping up against the styro lid as I add an air bubbler to their water…


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Bah-humbug! Dace have Ich. Here’s the discovery. I was so unready for it, I couldn’t believe it at first…

I’m treating with Ich-X. Problem is I cannot raise temp like I do with Tropical fish. Best result is some live, and I don’t spread it to other tanks. Seasons of temperature changes tend to see increased Ich break-outs. One theory is that Ich may have a dormancy period, and crops up at different times, having always been there. I’m not sure about that theory. But I definitely failed to quarantine and treat these fish before adding. Basic fail…


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
On 3/14/2022 at 1:16 PM, Wonder Boy said:

I love these fish. Super cool project. Are you planning to breed them?

Yeah. I'm looking to get a clear butter-dish top to invert, place small landscaping rocks in, and slot down in line with the hydor powerhead flow.


You used to be able to get these at any dollar store. But they've been designed differently of late.

I use cube-like clear glass containers for breeding Rainbow Shiners, but I'm wanting a longer one...


I do have a small bread-loaf glass dish I could use. Maybe I'll go this route since I've already got it...


If these are indeed Southern Redbelly Dace and not Northern Redbelly Dace, they rock / pebble tray should trigger them. Here's an excel comparison article on NANFA examining breeding differentiation between the two:


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  • 1 month later...

Time for a SRBD update! (Southern Red-Belly Dace)

So! Males are coloring up nicely…



I’ve got a stone tray set under a small hydor powerhead in a 20 gal. long…


Here’s 30-sec of footage…

They do not seem to be focussed on the stones.

I’ve reached out to two experienced breeders. Here’s some initial feedback;

(1) lengthen photoperiod to 12 hrs

(2) They might be spawning over the plants, etc rather than the stones. A bare tank with only one good option to spawn might yield better.

(3) Maybe try putting a few plants in the stones to bring them over to them

(4) Look at the females to see if they’re ready

So, I did a water change, reorganized the stones, removed some excess algae, lengthened photoperiod, and slightly buried the stone tray in the sand.


Now it looks like they’re grouping up (maybe spawning?) in the back… behind the bleachers… 


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Alrighty, ye NERMs!! Today is a good day. For reasons better than this. But this also happened…

I came upon my SRBDs behaving like this…

So i decided to check the stone tray for eggs. WARNING ⚠️ LONG, BORING VIDEO…

I got some eggs! Here’s what that looks like…

In a photo, basically this is the breeding setup now…


I added a cover over the floating fry tray, and added some M-blue. Stone tray returned for more breeding.

This video explains the setup…


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