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Michigan Native Fish for 10 Gallon


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I've got my stocking set for the foreseeable future so my 10 gallon QT tank is no longer needed, as I have a 2.5 Gallon in case I need emergency quarantine or something like that. 

Are there any Michigan natives I could keep in the tank for the summer? I was thinking fundulus (star head blackstripe or banded) or umbra as I've caught those before but I'm not sure if they would be too large. The NANFA forum talks about people keeping them in tanks as small as 5 gallons but I'm not really sure. I also have local access to dace and shiners but I'm not sure of the exact species. Maybe I could keep a native crayfish too

Does anyone know have any experience with these species?

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Not sure but be careful.  The Land of Freedom(TM) usually has strict laws about keeping native fish, with big fines and even prison time as consolation prizes.  Results may vary from state to state, but definitely check.  

Imagine doing time for a bluegill. 

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I’m not overly concerned about this as I’m not planning on keeping any protected species and the fish I listed are found in my backyard. I’ll definitely check with the Dnr before I decide, just looking for options for now

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On 6/21/2024 at 7:43 PM, macdaddy36 said:

Just did a bit of research, starhead topminnows are protected but luckily the rest seem to be fair game

Keep in mind it's not just about protected species.  You need to check if there are regulations on keeping any native fish.  Raising trout, for example, often requires a permit. 

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On 6/21/2024 at 12:58 PM, macdaddy36 said:

I've got my stocking set for the foreseeable future so my 10 gallon QT tank is no longer needed, as I have a 2.5 Gallon in case I need emergency quarantine or something like that. 

Are there any Michigan natives I could keep in the tank for the summer? I was thinking fundulus (star head blackstripe or banded) or umbra as I've caught those before but I'm not sure if they would be too large. The NANFA forum talks about people keeping them in tanks as small as 5 gallons but I'm not really sure. I also have local access to dace and shiners but I'm not sure of the exact species. Maybe I could keep a native crayfish too

Does anyone know have any experience with these species?

Well, I am not expert (notwithstanding @Rube_Goldfish kindly calling me out as such). Here are some tips:

(1) You need to carefully obey the fish and game laws in your state. Be 100% sure that you're legal.

(2) Never bring a fish home to a tank unless you know exactly what species it is, and have carefully studied it beforehand. 

(3) Bear in mind that many species will require a more expensive diet. Frozen bloodworms are typical. Other frozen foods are good -- Daphnia, etc. Just beware that the cost is higher than flake foods.

(4) 10-gallons is a small volume of water. Be sure that you select legal species that can actually thrive in that volume of water.

(5) NANF -- i.e. "North American Native Fish" -- should not ever require a heater. Some require cooler temperatures than normal. Many require extra dissolved oxygen. I build DIY Spray-bars [here's a great video link], add extra sponge filters and air stones.

For my part, I do _not_ keep natives from our area due to State regulations. However, I _buy_ US Natives that are in the hobby trade as long as they are not blacklisted by my state. I do wish  that I could keep and propagate natives from the creek near me. Just today, I was out micro-fishing with my kid, and he caught some HOT Rosyside Dace all colored up. Check these out:

Rosy-1.jpeg.beef33b4a551bf825fd6de04f67ec47f.jpeg

 

Rosy-2.jpeg.3c794d8f5f2097c50615cbf18d7cc813.jpeg

But to keep and propagate natives from my waterways, what I would need is an up to date Aquaculture License from the State. That's not terribly hard or expensive to come by, but it gets tedious.

So . . . I buy fish from out of my area. Here's a smattering of species I have kept (all photos are from my own tanks) . . .

Rainbow Shiners (Notropis chrosomus)

IMG_9181.jpeg.39670ca9ce57074fd0e0e0921637d341.jpeg

Catawba Greenhead Shiners (Notropis chlorocephalus)

IMG_6254.jpeg.69bca1a5215aba269e98f17343e4501f.jpeg

Fireyblack Shiner (Cyprinella pyrrhomelas)

IMG_6299.jpeg.32267bd08b621f4a2b4797d56d3051e0.jpeg

Southern Redbelly Dace (Chrosomus erythrogaster)

IMG_2064.jpeg.b1c4f763e00d970ada331d9aa8cec8ad.jpeg

Mountain Redbelly Dace (Chrosomus oreas)

IMG_6243.jpeg.e8344dafc3d1f4d22d034394ebb00a98.jpeg

Banded Sunfish (Enneacanthus obesus)

IMG_6259.jpeg.8b61c3b047c65af5cc7bd7de2ba393bc.jpeg

Florida Flagfish (Jordanella floridae)

678F8E6D-850D-4616-A779-1DBD1BBFF832.jpeg.09ebda658375c0f3ceec5651f9dbcc84.jpeg

Bluefin Killifish (Lucania goodei)

IMG_6285.jpeg.e65d395bc9b30c8781c3954eb59113f4.jpeg

Okefenokee Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma okefenokee)

Gulf Coast Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma gilberti)

IMG_6353.jpeg.e8971543926e5de0107ae72e28bef36d.jpeg

Rainbow Darter (Etheotoma caeruleum)

IMG_2027.jpeg.1bd0ee5f32d4ec7b254f7d23e77e8072.jpeg

Banded Darter (Etheostoma zonale)

IMG_8475.jpeg.37d2dd1f68489bdf3a130c64a594270c.jpeg

Orangethroat Darter (Etheostoma spectabile

IMG_6842.jpeg.8ac69396c5df19f486eca0b5b1c84097.jpeg

Lowland Shiners (Pteronotropis stonei)

IMG_1353.jpeg.3d7b127a9a0a92affc28c5df299ddc15.jpeg

Tessellated Darter (Etheostoma olmstedi)

IMG_6256.jpeg.5e6669f399aed1e8d89dc710bc1c6ea5.jpeg

I am pretty sure there's more . . . but I have now lost track. 

I recall watching a fascinating video from an aquarist in MI a while ago catching Sticklebacks and designing a tank for them. Beware! These are some of the meanest little fish on the planet. But his species-only setup was inspiring.  (I am not sure exactly how LEGAL this was)

Feel free to message me if you have followup questions. I'm less on the CARE Forum lately, but always happy to help if I can!

Edited by Fish Folk
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On 6/22/2024 at 2:33 PM, daggaz said:

He's perfectly tropical.  That's in the US?? Are you in Florida?

Actually very temperate (cool) water. I try to keep my AC down to 67-69°-F. The Banded Darters are found all over the midwest.

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On 6/22/2024 at 8:37 PM, macdaddy36 said:

No one has any fundulus info?

I have several pairs of Fundulus dispar — Starhead Topminnows — arriving next week. These will be my first foray into Fundulus. Here’s what they look like…

IMG_9905.jpeg.92f47777ace54a90020c197a4e9514c9.jpeg

There is some information on Fundulus over at NANFA archived articles. Follow this link, then do a CMD+F — “find” search for “Fundulus.” There are several dozen articles to check out there.

Check out this guy’s video (SW Michigan)…

 

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