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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i picked up a few of these at a water garden store for a pond in the backyard. after seeing the colors on some of them id like to put them in my tank. will they do well in a planted aquarium? ive read that theyre fairly compatible and dont disturb plants but i thought they might bother the shrimp. anybody know?
 

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Since dace are fished and caught on live bait as maggots,read a bit more on them,also dace are cold water fish and might feel uncomfortable during winter when the heater is on..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i dont have a heater on my tank. the guy that i got them from said they usually die in the winter even here in houston since theyre mostly found more south than here. my tank stays basically the same temp year around cuz i keep the house the about the same temp in winter as i do now, maybe a little warmer
 

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You will probably have a difficult time finding info on the internet about this fish, since it goes by so many "common" names. It sometimes is referred to as a Red Shiner. However, don't confuse it with the Rainbow Shiner, which is an altogether different fish. I can give you more detailed info later today, but rest assured this fish, along with other dace such as the the southern red belly (http://www.nanfa.org/fif/srdace.shtml), is an excellent choice for a planted aquarium, as are most native fish. Don't worry about the temparature too much. This fish isn't technically a cold-water species, because it can be found all the way down into FL. However, I don't think it will die in your Houston winters, since I'm pretty sure it's habitat goes pretty far north above TN, and our winters are probably just like yours. It will tolerate a heated tank very well, as long as you don't crank it up to 80 or so. Also, keep in mind this fish is probably in mating colors right now, and for the majority of the year will be a rather dull, pinkish metallic color.
 

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This is most likely the fish you purchased as a Rainbow Dace. That is an old common name used for it. It is actually referred to now as a Red Shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis). It is in fact native to TX on down into Mexico, and is one of the most common minnows in the US. Also, its habitat stretches as far north as Minnesota. It has also been introduced in many other areas due to accidental release as a bait fish, and it has shown to be detrimental to native fishes in areas where it has been introduced. It should overwinter perfectly well in your pond, and the ones you bring inside should fair well if you decide to add a heater.

The coloration you find attractive now is probably the deep red coloration of the males' fins, tail, and especially the top of their heads, correct? That color will probably fade, but the fish will show a nice irridescent blue/lavender body, with faintly red/orange fins. However, all my native fish tend to stay very colorful in my planted tanks, and stay sexually active throughout the year. I personally think it is a combination of the security they feel in the heavily planted tanks, as well as the diet of frozen blood worms they receive.

One more interesting fact about this fish is that it was a very popular US Aquarium fish before the steady import of more exotic species. It was sold under the common name of African Fire Barb. Funny, since it's neither African nor a barb. Hope you enjoy your natives and decide to branch out to other native species.
 
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