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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any North American native fish keepers here? This is my second year keeping natives. I want to start more tanks, but don't have the space.

Current setup: 20 gallon long with southern red belly dace, rainbow darters, fantail darters, shiners, bluntnose minnows, two banded killifish and one central mudminnow.

I know it's a bit overcrowded at the moment, but everyone is doing well.
 

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I'm in the process of setting up a native species tank. Ive had some concerns with the species I am looking at and the temp requirements. I am picking up a 60g this coming week that is going to be a native tank and like I said I have some temp concerns for my chosen species. I live in Illinois and am planning on using all local fish and flora. Fish will be mud darters, red fin shiners, and black strip top minnows. Flora will be Potamogeton illinoensis and a few others. I am testing a diy canopy and cooling system on my shrimp tank and if it works I will apply that to the 60g and get started on my first native.

I also have a 125g sitting empty that I am going to do a native setup once I get moved to my downstairs apartment. I am looking at a cache river biotope or similar for it with the main fish species being banded sunfish.

I wouldnt be surprised if the majority of my tanks in a few years are native. A lot of really cool native life that not a lot of people have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm in the process of setting up a native species tank. Ive had some concerns with the species I am looking at and the temp requirements. I am picking up a 60g this coming week that is going to be a native tank and like I said I have some temp concerns for my chosen species. I live in Illinois and am planning on using all local fish and flora. Fish will be mud darters, red fin shiners, and black strip top minnows. Flora will be Potamogeton illinoensis and a few others. I am testing a diy canopy and cooling system on my shrimp tank and if it works I will apply that to the 60g and get started on my first native.

I also have a 125g sitting empty that I am going to do a native setup once I get moved to my downstairs apartment. I am looking at a cache river biotope or similar for it with the main fish species being banded sunfish.

I wouldnt be surprised if the majority of my tanks in a few years are native. A lot of really cool native life that not a lot of people have.

That sounds like a great plan! I don't know the specific care requirements of the fish you have in mind, but mine have been fine in temps as high as the mid-70s. I do have central AC and keep an airstone in the tank at all times.

Check out the NANFA forum for more info and advice on natives. I bet your fish will be fine without a chiller.

There are so many awesome natives. At this point, I'm only keeping fish from my state -- Minnesota. I'd like to have a dedicated brook stickleback tank and another one for more darters. I don't have the space, but a sunfish tank would be cool, too.

I'd also love to keep madtoms, but I've read that even the small ones will eat darters.

Maybe one day I'll get into some of the flashier natives from the south.
 

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That sounds like a great plan! I don't know the specific care requirements of the fish you have in mind, but mine have been fine in temps as high as the mid-70s. I do have central AC and keep an airstone in the tank at all times.

Check out the NANFA forum for more info and advice on natives. I bet your fish will be fine without a chiller.

There are so many awesome natives. At this point, I'm only keeping fish from my state -- Minnesota. I'd like to have a dedicated brook stickleback tank and another one for more darters. I don't have the space, but a sunfish tank would be cool, too.

I'd also love to keep madtoms, but I've read that even the small ones will eat darters.

Maybe one day I'll get into some of the flashier natives from the south.
I'm a member of on the nanfa site. Was that your post asking about the sticklebacks? I went to wiki and looked them up after reading it. Interesting fish. So many fish so little room for tanks lol. Madtoms are a neat species and I may setup a dedicated tank for them one day. I go by the same name on nanfa, I posted a build plan you can read with the only changes being instead of a 20H I am using a 60.
 

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The cooling system I am testing is simply pc fans in a diy canopy, nothing spectacular.
 

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BTW that tank of yours looks nice. Did you collect the natives yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you; appreciate it. I like to keep my ranks simple and low-maintenance. I collected these fish with the local aquarium club, which is half the fun. We're lucky that we have a several native enthusiasts in our club.
 

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I got all excited about the concept of keeping natives until I found out it's flat out illegal to do so here in Alberta, Canada. Even went up to the Fisheries Biologist for our province and he confirmed, nope, not legal for anything other than research (and no, I couldn't qualify).

Made me sad.
 

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I have done the same in the past and am trying to get a tank ready for natives here in SC. Small sunfish of sorts. I want the tank growing first before I put fish in it.
 

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I have done the same in the past and am trying to get a tank ready for natives here in SC. Small sunfish of sorts. I want the tank growing first before I put fish in it.
Pygmy sunfish are just plain ol bad ass. I'm looking forward to getting some. The breeding colors are awesome.

Bump:
I got all excited about the concept of keeping natives until I found out it's flat out illegal to do so here in Alberta, Canada. Even went up to the Fisheries Biologist for our province and he confirmed, nope, not legal for anything other than research (and no, I couldn't qualify).

Made me sad.
Kind of hypocritical to. You can go to the lake and kill all you want to take home but by gosh dont keep them alive.
 

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I got all excited about the concept of keeping natives until I found out it's flat out illegal to do so here in Alberta, Canada. Even went up to the Fisheries Biologist for our province and he confirmed, nope, not legal for anything other than research (and no, I couldn't qualify).

Made me sad.
Who would know?

They sell emerald shiners, (hard to keep alive), fathead minnows, silver sides, darters, etc for bait, just take them home.
 

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@AdamTill Are they illegal to own or illegal to collect or both? A lot of native species can bought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry to hear that. I know some places are concerned that allowing natives to be kept may harm their population, but it seems like keeping and releasing tropicals (and environmental degradation/pollution) is the real threat to our btiave fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have done the same in the past and am trying to get a tank ready for natives here in SC. Small sunfish of sorts. I want the tank growing first before I put fish in it.
Cool. I bet you guys have really nice natives down there, too. I'm mostly familiar with natives of the upper Midwest.
 

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Sorry to hear that. I know some places are concerned that allowing natives to be kept may harm their population, but it seems like keeping and releasing tropicals (and environmental degradation/pollution) is the real threat to our btiave fish.
I tend to agree with you. How many species of fish are no longer threatened because of the hobbyist? Its several I know.
 

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Both, in our case.
That's kinda crazy. So if you buy a bucket of bait fish, go fishing and have half the bucket left what do you do with them, kill them all, let them go and maybe introduce a disease into the general pop? You would think saving them for the next time you go fishing would be reasonable..

Bump: I myself am about to go out and collect a school of shiners for my paludarium. There are some neat little bottom dwelling shiners that shoal very nicely in the stream next to my house. Can't wait to get them into quarantine and figure out exactly what they are!
 

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Good native fish story.

I used to have a 7" tiger musky, and it kept bumping into the glass when eating live food. It got larger, and I decided to sell it on craigslist. It kept getting flagged, and then I explained that it's legit. Finally someone came and bought it. The huge guy came over with a 5 gallon bucket and I showed him the fish. Then he flashed his DNR badge at me and confiscated the fish. I told him I didn't know it was illegal to sell native species. I told him that I got it from the local pet store. He said it's illegal to sell no matter who sells it. He went to the pet store and they had a license to sell it. Then he emailed me. I made fun of him and asked if he was the pet detective. He warned me to not push any buttons, because he could still charge me for a list of things. Later, he gave me my money back, and we're cool now.

Before that, I had a 1" largemouth bass along with baby panfish, too. At the pet store, I saw some baby walleyes, perch, crappie and smallmouth bass as well. Whatever you do, don't let the pet detective come get you.
 
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