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So yesterday, I finally got out to the river and collected these guys. Sorry for lousy quality pics, but these guys don't sit still for long. There's also a female guppy in the group, the hold out I couldn't net out of the tank.









They're bluefin killifish, got the definite ID from folks over at nanfa.

There were lots of other critters I netted at the river also - two madtom cats, tons of grass shrimp, small sunfish, and lots of sailfin mollies. The mollies all went back, the others I took ovet to a buddy who has a pond.

It was fun - even the wading through the mud, duckweed and tons of Hygro. :D
 

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That's too cool Bert. :D Are you going to try to spawn them too?
 

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Excellent! These are my favorite of all the natives. They tend to have great personality, and really become accustomed to their owner. At feeding time, mine are like a bunch of puppies at the edge of the tank. If you've never kept them before, you'll have the best luck feeding them frozen bloodworms at first. They are very easy to breed by the way, but they'll need some plant cover to lay their eggs, as well as for the fry to hide out. I spawned mine in a tank, where Bacopa australis had run amock. Good luck!
 

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Are you going to try to spawn them too?
I will just let nature take its course. :) I don't expect to provide any different conditions than what they encounter in the tank. For now, I just hope they take to the tank conditions.
 

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Mine are only with other natives such as golden topminnows, swamp darters, flagfish. I have seen some people try to keep them in a community tank, but not very successfully. It is fairly difficult to train wild-caught natives to take prepared foods for at least several months. Therefore, the natives tend to suffer in a community tank. I'll post some short videos of my bluefin babies later today.
 

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Very nice, do you have a special tank for them or will they just become part of a community tank?
They've got their own 10 gal atm. I wasn't planning on putting them in with others for now. Though I might add some H. formosa in the future.
 

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Excellent! These are my favorite of all the natives. They tend to have great personality, and really become accustomed to their owner. At feeding time, mine are like a bunch of puppies at the edge of the tank. If you've never kept them before, you'll have the best luck feeding them frozen bloodworms at first. They are very easy to breed by the way, but they'll need some plant cover to lay their eggs, as well as for the fry to hide out. I spawned mine in a tank, where Bacopa australis had run amock. Good luck!
I was watching them last night, and can imagine what you mean by 'personality'. For the time they seem to school pretty tightly. Have you ever fed them frozen brine shrimp? If they don't take that, I will have to go look for frozen bloodworms. Do they ever adapt to flakes?

I was really impressed by the beauty of the males with the iridescent blue and the reds. Almost all the pics I had seen showed the blue, but I hadn't seen anywhere as much red as these have.

They are in a heavily planted tank, so time will tell if they breed or not. Mostly fine leaved, though. So if they need large leaved plants, I will have to add something like that in there.

I really hope they adapt to it.
 

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I was watching them last night, and can imagine what you mean by 'personality'. For the time they seem to school pretty tightly. Have you ever fed them frozen brine shrimp? If they don't take that, I will have to go look for frozen bloodworms. Do they ever adapt to flakes?

I was really impressed by the beauty of the males with the iridescent blue and the reds. Almost all the pics I had seen showed the blue, but I hadn't seen anywhere as much red as these have.

They are in a heavily planted tank, so time will tell if they breed or not. Mostly fine leaved, though. So if they need large leaved plants, I will have to add something like that in there.

I really hope they adapt to it.
They will continue to school in a somewhat tight group. However, as the males get comfortable with their surroundings, you'll see them split up and chase the females non-stop. You'll also see some displays between the males that rival any tropical ornamental fish out there. However, the displays never turn violent or aggressive. These fish really are stunning, and underappreciated. As for the color, there is quite a bit of variance based on local populations. You might even see quite a bit of yellow and orange on the fins as they mature.

I've never had luck with frozen brine shrimp with any of my natives, but particularly the the bluefins. They will nibble at them, but they mostly end up on the bottom for the shrimp or other scavengers. They will accept frozen tubifex worms very eagerly, but I've found their favorite is frozen blood worms. They will eventually adapt to flake foods, but not for at least a couple months. Even hungry bluefins will typically spit out the flakes, and eventually starve to death. I've trained mine over a period of time by giving them flake and freeze-dried foods, but honestly, I prefer to feed them frozen blood worms.

They will adapt very nicely to your havily planted tank. You'll find that they go in and out of the plants, and they inhabit all areas of the tank. They like to breed in overgrown "tangles" of plants like Bacopa australis, Micranthemum umbrosum, Hemianthus micranthemoides and even Java moss. The babies also need the shelter of the tangles of plants. If you want to bring them into breeding mood, turn off your heater for just a couple days, and then bring the temp back up to the upper 70s. You'll see some serious chasing and displaying going on.
 

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They really like their worms. :) One of the vids shows 2 or 3 other larger fish. Are those natives also? If so, what are they?
 

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There weren't any other fish in with the bluefins. There are some harlequin rasboras in another tank though. They do love their worms. Little gluttons! There were 26 babies that survived that batch. They're all grown now, and living in a 400g planted tanks at the TN Aquarium with lots of shiners and darters.
 

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Nice fish Bert! You guys make me jealous! When you feel like it you guys just grab a net and travel to your closest natural LFS, dip your net a few times and bring home healthy fish! I really like the colors on those bluefins, nice fins with a natural colored body. I think they make any aquarium pop without detracting from the plants. How big do those fish get? Thanks again for sharing those killer pics!
 

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Actually, I don't catch mine myself. I'm a few hundred miles from their habitat. I get mine from my LFS as by-catch in the ghost shrimp shipments. They give them to me for free, because they can't legally sell native fish. If your LFS gets their shrimp from FL, they probably get bycatch too, but they probably cull them out and throw them in the feeder tanks. The ones I don't "adopt" unfortunately become feeder fish, along with the ghost shrimp. It's a shame, because I can't take them all. I get all kindsa good stuff: Fundulus chrysotus (Golden Topminnow), a very pretty fish; Jordanella floridae (Florida Flagfish), males are a bright red, along with several others.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
cool catch bert. btw did you ever find luck finding that foreground plants we stumbled upon in FL?
I went there a couple of weeks ago, but was not able to find them. I found the place where you guys were, but it had rained lots during the week, and the water was high, and wading in knee high water where I can't see the gators, etc, didn't quite appeal to me. :) I still have some in one tank, but it's just sitting there, not growing. Is yours growing?
 

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I went there a couple of weeks ago, but was not able to find them. I found the place where you guys were, but it had rained lots during the week, and the water was high, and wading in knee high water where I can't see the gators, etc, didn't quite appeal to me. :) I still have some in one tank, but it's just sitting there, not growing. Is yours growing?
yes i notice some new growth however its VERY slow paced I think I have yet to find this plants "ideal" growing requirements, Im back in california for the next 2 weeks so im going to pass some off to tom
 
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