NANFA-- Some eye candy and stuff...

Todd Crail (
Sun, 28 Dec 2003 01:26:26 -0500

Greetings NANFAns,

Got some shots tonight of the natives in my care. Guess I'm starting to
settle into my winter habits :) Hope you enjoy. I didn't take the time to
really format beyond what Photoshop did... Sorry that the formatting is
below my usual standards and I hope you don't mind scrolling a little bit if
you're at lower resolution.

Things of note:

- The RainbowDarter_Ottawa is the more blue genotype from the Maumee
watershed (Great Lakes), compared to the others which are Scioto watershed
(Missississippi). The pictures are totally untelling of the amount of extra
blue these fish have... Guess you'll just have to see them in person ;)

- The megalotis_x_humilis is what I believe the hybridization is on this
fish. It will be interesting to see this one grow up. I brought it home as
a "longear" and got a real suprise when I got a peek at him in the tank.

- The stoneroller is the guy I ranted and raved about last year... He's
all <sniff> grown up now and <sniff> getting his tubercles.

- The longear is believed to be of the northern subspecies... 'cepting
this one has the southern color (if that wasn't obvious ;) He doesn't seem
to be getting any bigger... Just gets brighter and brighter. This guy is
only about 3.75"! I wonder if there isn't some hybridization with
pumpkinseeds going on the further north you get? Or more likely, the less
intense coloration is the selective advantage in the clearer streams headed
north...? These guys come from fairly turbid water. Nick, you have that
shot of the Grand River genotype? I can post that up here to compare...
Anyone else with northern pics, shoot 'em my way. This is pretty cool :)

Let's see... I had a few things I wanted to talk about...

Redside dace, yes... I brought a mess of them home a few weeks ago
(featured in my little ditty). I'd heard that they were prone to all sorts
of infection and what not. I didn't have a problem with any of them, I
didn't treat them with anything, I really did nothing. I acclimated them
over 24 hours, with 3 "drip" applications using airline hose tied in a knot
to slowly drip the aquarium water to warm them up (if you wanna be high
tech, you can get an adjustable valve ;). That was about it.

I think the cooler/colder weather is the time to bring them home. It almost
seems to me that they're at some stress threshold in the summer, at least in
Ohio... And that coupled with capture and transport is enough to diminish
the rest of their immune system and let the infections begin. Guess it's
just something to consider... I still haven't lost a fish during acclimation
that I took from water below 60 degrees :)

Sandbeds, sandbeds, saaaaandbeds! I recently worked through a bug, with a
great amount of discussion and help from Nick Zarlinga. When you get stuck,
it is ever so helpful to have to defend your situation with someone with a
slightly open mind and get a good helping of devil's advocate :)

I was having some "ichy" issues in my rainbowfish aquarium again... Nothing
bad like Tank Nuke 1.0 (tm) from back in July... Just it was present on the
rainbows, loaches and some rasboras. No problems in the labyrinth fishes or
siamenisis algae eaters. And nothing analogous in the native systems.
Hmmm.... Sounds like cooler water or the ability to suck air offers an
advantage? DO2 anyone?

This time, I had the advantage and very little had changed, as opposed to
the first time I ran into this and _everyting_ had changed. Most notably,
the stocking of the rainbowfish system had recently jumped when my wife sent
me off to the LFS with a blank check after the dam-n-kid incident. It was
as if some threshold had been crossed and the system was offering a small
amount of stress. Nick and I kicked this around, he got me straightened out
with how DO2 and CO2 work, and we came up with a test solution to put on an
air pump and greatly increase the surface aggitation.

Bingo! The ich went away within 4 days without treatment... The system was
"breathing" too much and taking the DO2 into the basement outside the
photoperiod. I checked downstairs before work the morning after I put on
the airpump... All fish were all hanging out at the surface aggitating the
water with their mouths. Within two days, the behavior stopped. They all
pop up from the plants when I kick on the lights now. Well, except the
gouramis... They still like to splat at the surface just 'cause ;)

So everything was fine and dandy, the flaw removed, and I'm still not having
to change water like I used to (Which I think nitrate is a serious "flaw"
;) Well, fine and dandy except for the plants. Algal alleopathy
(chemical inhibition of other competing organisms) dumped like a bad habit.
Apparently, I was blowing off too much CO2 and this was causing some
physiological problems for the plants... With the animals back in good
health, it was time to experiment again. I put the air pump on a timer so
that it countered the photoperiod, as it seems the plants produce enough
oxygen during the photoperiod to take care of things. It's been a week
now... The alleopathy has begun again, most plants are beginning to push off
the accumulations of algae on old growth... New growth is just fine.

I've also added this trick to my native fish systems too... It doesn't seem
to be a problem for them now because the water is 60 degrees... But it will
be interesting to see how it affects the systems in the summer. I did loose
a mess of spotfin shiners last year in the summer, along with some SRBD when
tank temps were up at 78. This little tidbit of information certainly isn't
going to hurt anything...

This whole situation also lends credibility to my hypothesis that the
"breathing" of the system produces enough CO2 for healthy plant growth in
more intense lighting. I have no external CO2 devices... The inhibition of
alleopathy was a pretty clear case point since the only thing that changed
during this period was more CO2 was getting blown off than before with the
increased aggitation. Neat stuff. Now to just get some danged equipment so
it becomes much less of an anecdote :)

I also feel that this was the same situation that began Tank Nuke 1.0 (tm)
in July... I was responding to the ich light by feeding more food while
trying to uncover what the problem was... Which the food was also spoiled
and took a bad situation straight into morbid. Live and learn I guess...
And never change too many things at once ;)

Okay... Our last Christmas celebration is tomorrow. I prolly should get
going to sleep so I can be full of cheer one last time (and hopefully score
that GPS I asked for ;)

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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