Why haven't Coldwater species have been popularized yet?

warmouth

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Jul 19, 2008
1,934
4
36
missouri
I have always loved Blue Gills/ Sun Fish but my understanding was they are REALLY aggressive and cannot be kept with other fish ..

I would love to have several sunfish in a tank if i believed it was possible
Its possible if you have the right sized tank, structure, dithers and sex ratios for your sunfish. Certain species are fairly docile while some species are downright belligerant.
 

warmouth

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Jul 19, 2008
1,934
4
36
missouri
timetraveler/Brian, I agree there are some really beautifull species of North American native fish, I wish there were more sold at LFS's but due to many laws in some areas the only way you can get them is to buy them online at one of the native LFS's online like Jonahs aquarium at http://jonahsaquarium.com/JonahSite/fishlist.htm, Zimmermans fish at http://www.zimmermansfish.com/Price.html, Sachs aquaculture at http://www.aquaculturestore.com/Fresh-Water-Vertebrates/, Smith Creek farms at http://smithcreekfishfarm.com/live-aquarium-fish.cfm, and Btdarters at http://www.btdarters.com/content/pages/catalogs/fish/catalogs_fish.htm.
 

chrissfishes

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Jan 15, 2010
32
3
38
Metamora, IL

The Masked Shadow

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Jul 19, 2020
3,835
3,721
154
Southern California (San Diego)
Only if they didn't cost as much would I get them
 

Moontanman

Polypterus
MFK Member
Mar 6, 2008
1,182
110
96
66
Cape Fear, NC
blogs.scienceforums.net
I mean seriously, there are so many beautiful, and in some cases, exotic looking fish that sometimes are more intriguing than tropical fish(grunt sculpins, and hillstream loaches). I was in Georgia and Tennessee area and I collected some of the most prettiest cyprinids that I have ever seen. What has halted the vast majority of collecting any type of coldwater species? Is there a day that a Florida Boy like me will ever be able to see a larger collection of coldwater shiners in my lfs, or is that only a dream that will never come true?
I too at one time thought that if everyone could just see the beauty in Native fishes they would be instantly popular, here in the Southeastern US a great many aquarium plants were collected from the wild in the "good old days". Plants like banana plants, cape fear spatterdock, vallisneria, elodea, and many more all originated in the wilds of the US southeast. I have bred fish like black banded sunfish, blue spotted sunfish, redfin pickerel to name a few. A great many species of North American native fish from Dace to shiners, silversides, darters, pygmy sunfish, some gamefish, and many oddballs like sirens, mudpuppies, even a small species of sturgeon. This list is by no means complete and more than enough species of colorful of odd fish exist here to almost make tropical fish unnecessary. many of them do well at tropical temps, only needing a seasonal cool down to breed.

The truth of it is that many state and federal laws discourage the keeping of natives if not outlawing them completely but the reason we seldom see natives in pet stores is that the tropical fish trade actively discourages the keeping of natives for no other reason that they don't want us to keep anything we could potentially go out and catch for free. Promoting tropicals and discouraging natives is simply good business. I have been keeping natives and tropical together for 60 years or more, going out and catching your own aquarium fish is very satisfying and a fun way to experience the out of doors.

Breeding natives can be done with varying amounts of ease and the breeding habits of native run the gauntlet of behaviors from live bearers to fish that take care of their young in various ways. For anyone who is interested the North American Native Fishes Association is a great place to start to obtain knowledge and skills to catch, keep, and even breed native fishes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Itsadeepbluesea

Itsadeepbluesea

Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Apr 6, 2008
2,800
1,058
179
37
I too at one time thought that if everyone could just see the beauty in Native fishes they would be instantly popular, here in the Southeastern US a great many aquarium plants were collected from the wild in the "good old days". Plants like banana plants, cape fear spatterdock, vallisneria, elodea, and many more all originated in the wilds of the US southeast. I have bred fish like black banded sunfish, blue spotted sunfish, redfin pickerel to name a few. A great many species of North American native fish from Dace to shiners, silversides, darters, pygmy sunfish, some gamefish, and many oddballs like sirens, mudpuppies, even a small species of sturgeon. This list is by no means complete and more than enough species of colorful of odd fish exist here to almost make tropical fish unnecessary. many of them do well at tropical temps, only needing a seasonal cool down to breed.

The truth of it is that many state and federal laws discourage the keeping of natives if not outlawing them completely but the reason we seldom see natives in pet stores is that the tropical fish trade actively discourages the keeping of natives for no other reason that they don't want us to keep anything we could potentially go out and catch for free. Promoting tropicals and discouraging natives is simply good business. I have been keeping natives and tropical together for 60 years or more, going out and catching your own aquarium fish is very satisfying and a fun way to experience the out of doors.

Breeding natives can be done with varying amounts of ease and the breeding habits of native run the gauntlet of behaviors from live bearers to fish that take care of their young in various ways. For anyone who is interested the North American Native Fishes Association is a great place to start to obtain knowledge and skills to catch, keep, and even breed native fishes.
I have to say, one of the best part of natives is the fun of going out and collecting. NANFA is a great resource, though seems to have slowed a bit these day as far as traffic 😞.
 

The Masked Shadow

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Jul 19, 2020
3,835
3,721
154
Southern California (San Diego)
I have to say, one of the best part of natives is the fun of going out and collecting. NANFA is a great resource, though seems to have slowed a bit these day as far as traffic 😞.
I like that Forum/website as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Itsadeepbluesea

dogofwar

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Jan 3, 2006
4,965
717
150
47
Maryland
www.capitalcichlids.org
Almost all of my fishroom is "cold water" fish - fish from Uruguay, goodeids from Mexico and U.S. natives.

I think that the biggest barrier to people keeping "cold water" fish is that most aren't prepared to give them the annual seasons that they need. Many "cold water" fish can have warm weather in the summer but need some cooler temps in the winter... and not "tropical" temperatures all year long.

I let my fishroom get into the 80s in the summer and down to the 50s in the winter to follow the seasonal temperatures in Uruguay. Works like a charm.
 

dogofwar

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Jan 3, 2006
4,965
717
150
47
Maryland
www.capitalcichlids.org
By the way, especially in the case of Uruguayan fish, keeping them cool all year doesn't serve them well either. I used to have my fishroom in the basement and kept the Uruguayan fish on the bottom rack of tanks, which was always coldest. I'd get spawns when the temps would rise but it wasn't until I moved the fishroom to the garage and started allowing the place to get really hot - upper 80s - for a couple of weeks per year that literally all of the Uruguayan fish would spawn like clockwork... and until I started letting temps get chilly in the winter until I started having success keeping these fish for many, many years: I have Uruguayan fish that I caught nearly 10 years ago still spawning regularly!



Almost all of my fishroom is "cold water" fish - fish from Uruguay, goodeids from Mexico and U.S. natives.

I think that the biggest barrier to people keeping "cold water" fish is that most aren't prepared to give them the annual seasons that they need. Many "cold water" fish can have warm weather in the summer but need some cooler temps in the winter... and not "tropical" temperatures all year long.

I let my fishroom get into the 80s in the summer and down to the 50s in the winter to follow the seasonal temperatures in Uruguay. Works like a charm.
 

AaronKWolfe

Piranha
MFK Member
Oct 24, 2019
276
251
77
45
I know I'm super late to the thread, but I think a big reason is legality. In a lot of places it is illegal to keep native fish. I think another big reason is that these fish can get very big and produce a lot of waste and not many people can afford to have a couple hundred gallon tank to keep a school of sunfish, a LMB, bullhead catfish, etc.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store