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Rainbow Shiners & Darters Breeding Set Up

Fish Folk

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Rainbow Darter is starting to color up. Read a NANFA spawning report that one aquarist had success breeding them using spawning mops (!) So, made a mop that blends in pretty well. We’ll see... 

Rainbow Shiners coloring up. Did light timer narrowing for a bit, now expanding to simulate seasonal change. Males have begun chasing females. Added a spawning tray. We shall see...




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1 minute ago, Paul_Obermiller said:

Try some dark colored marbles or nice round black river rocks.

Probably a good idea! I kept seeing German breeders use white stones. Best I can tell, the shiners like some contrast. @WhitecloudDynasty is very experienced with breeding them. He has a clever setup where he uses a pond basket suspended 1/2 way into an outdoor tub with a few shiner pairs all fired up and full of eggs ready to spawn. Just a few random rocks in the bottom of the basket. They go to town . . . and the eggs drop through the holes in the basket down into the tub, and hatch from there. Very effective! Check out his channel. 

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1 minute ago, Steph’s Fish and Plants said:

How did you get your hands on them? I need to look into legality and collecting and such.

Very interesting fish to work with. Check out Jonah's Aquarium in Columbus Ohio. jonahsaquarium.com They keep a list of available species. That's where we got ahold of our Darters. He gets them wild-caught out of the Ohio River drainage. The Shiners are trickier to come by. For Rainbow shiners, look them up for sale by their scientific name: Notropis chrosomus. Expect to pay between $5-15 each for them. We got ours from a breeder. These were actually his culls! when they're really all "fired up" with color, they're one of the most beautiful little fish in the world, especially when kept outside. See video below.


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Just now, David Ellsworth said:

I would try water changes every day with cooler water for the rainbow shiners. I had them in a quarantine tank when I first got mine and did lots of daily water changes to reduce nitrates and keep them low and they spawned in the quarantine tank. 

Thanks for sharing that! 

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I bred rainbow darter a long time ago, did get a few fry from 2 set but very little, I wouldn't say it was a success...I got lucky

It was a 10 gallon with an aquaclear 70 on the side. With gravel at the bottom and a few big rock. Also had a sponge on the inlet. 

The filter was overkill but thats how they like it and the spawn next to the side wall of the bigger rock. 

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