Keeping a North American Native Fish Tank?
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:16 PM   #1
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Keeping a North American Native Fish Tank?


Does anyone keep a North American native fish aquarium? I have had passing interest in this lately. Though I don't have the right setup to keep bluegill, perch, or largemouth bass at the moment. I'm tempted to look into doing it. I might also think about keeping shiners in my 75 gallon. If I do, what kinds of plants would be appropriate for a native tank?
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:08 PM   #2
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I keep Brown Darters and Bluenose shiners. I do not concern myself with trying to keep native plants exclusively though. You do need plants that will handle cooler temps as you will not generally heat the tank. Keep in mind that depending on where you live it may be illegal to keep some natives.
There is a ton of information about keeping native fish and plants on the NANFA forums here: http://forum.nanfa.org/index.php/for...orum-of-nanfa/
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:16 PM   #3
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I started a Florida native tank a few months ago.. There a lot of local lakes and canals around here.
I grabbed some Jungle Val, 2 types of Bocopa, Hair Grass and some Ludwigia.
for a start. Also picked up some Cypress Knees from up-state.
Hopefully the knees will water log soon or I'll have to screw some slate on the bottom.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua nut View Post
I started a Florida native tank a few months ago.. There a lot of local lakes and canals around here.
I grabbed some Jungle Val, 2 types of Bocopa, Hair Grass and some Ludwigia.
for a start. Also picked up some Cypress Knees from up-state.
Hopefully the knees will water log soon or I'll have to screw some slate on the bottom.
Do you have a journal of that tank? Would like to see that.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:53 PM   #5
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I have a 33 long Minnesota stream tank with rainbow and fantail darters, southern redbelly dace, a small shoal of mixed shiners and a lone banded killifish, which is not a stream fish. I would love to keep longear and pumpkinseed sunfish, but I don't have the space for a tank that big.

Unless you're going for a biotope aquascape, you can use any tropical plant you'd like. Temperature is not going to be an issue for the plants in an unheated tank. There are many native plants, like val and hornwort, that will do great, but I've also read that many other native plants require a dormancy period and aren't suitable for home aquariums. I'm from the upper Midwest, so maybe that is not an issue for plants from the southern U.S.

A great aspect of keeping natives is getting out there in nature and collecting them yourself. It can be a ton of fun and very educational. There are so many beautiful natives, and the further south you go, the more colorful and amazing they become. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with your local laws and to be safe in the water.

If laws don't permit collection of certain fish you want, there are great online vendors and aqaubid. Good luck!
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cav2201 View Post
I keep Brown Darters and Bluenose shiners. I do not concern myself with trying to keep native plants exclusively though. You do need plants that will handle cooler temps as you will not generally heat the tank. Keep in mind that depending on where you live it may be illegal to keep some natives.
There is a ton of information about keeping native fish and plants on the NANFA forums here: http://forum.nanfa.org/index.php/for...orum-of-nanfa/
Thanks for the link, I'm difinitely going to have look.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotCousteau View Post
I have a 33 long Minnesota stream tank with rainbow and fantail darters, southern redbelly dace, a small shoal of mixed shiners and a lone banded killifish, which is not a stream fish. I would love to keep longear and pumpkinseed sunfish, but I don't have the space for a tank that big.

Unless you're going for a biotope aquascape, you can use any tropical plant you'd like. Temperature is not going to be an issue for the plants in an unheated tank. There are many native plants, like val and hornwort, that will do great, but I've also read that many other native plants require a dormancy period and aren't suitable for home aquariums. I'm from the upper Midwest, so maybe that is not an issue for plants from the southern U.S.

A great aspect of keeping natives is getting out there in nature and collecting them yourself. It can be a ton of fun and very educational. There are so many beautiful natives, and the further south you go, the more colorful and amazing they become. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with your local laws and to be safe in the water.

If laws don't permit collection of certain fish you want, there are great online vendors and aqaubid. Good luck!
I was definitely thinking of a VA biotope. I guess I have a lot of research ahead of me if I want to pursue this route.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:43 PM   #7
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Virginia? Then you have to get yourself some warpaint, fieryblack and saffron shiners! You've got great options. I'm JEALOUS. Good luck.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Virginia? Then you have to get yourself some warpaint, fieryblack and saffron shiners! You've got great options. I'm JEALOUS. Good luck.
I will look those up. I was also thinking of pumpkinseeds (Lepomis gibbosus).

Just looked up VA Dept of Game and Inland fisheries policies. It seems I can collect up to 20 specimens of non-game fish per day and 5 specimens of game fish per day for personal use, not for sale. Sweet!
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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Look into orangespotted sunfish. Very pretty fish. Keep a male and three females, the male will show his colors better with somebody to show off for. Beautiful orange-bodied fish with green/blue fins... thought I was looking at a released cichlid or something the first time I saw one, because the colors were so different from most sunnies.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:49 PM   #10
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Ive got a 210g native tank. with long ear sunfish. the plant that grows the best for me in the cool water is moss. I'm constantly trimming it.


If you wont to no more about natives this is the site for you. plus if you go down to the vender forum you can by some nice fish.

http://forum.nanfa.org/
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua nut View Post
I started a Florida native tank a few months ago.. There a lot of local lakes and canals around here.
I grabbed some Jungle Val, 2 types of Bocopa, Hair Grass and some Ludwigia.
for a start. Also picked up some Cypress Knees from up-state.
Hopefully the knees will water log soon or I'll have to screw some slate on the bottom.
I was in jacksonville this past weekend and in one of the canals there was like at least 20 big patches of either dwarf hair grass or just reg floating around it was awesome XD
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:19 AM   #12
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I officially decided on a single species tank of pumpkinseed sunfish. NotCousteau, I took your advice and joined the NANFA forum. I got a lot of inspiration and now feel confident in this course of action. My name on that forum is powerguy85. I am still going to plant the tank (natives only) so I will continue to update my journal here, it's in my signature.
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:38 AM   #13
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That's great. Pumpkinseed are beautiful. I'm also on NANFA under this same screen name.
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