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#388588 09/30/14 09:18 AM
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Yesterday I ordered some new bait for my forage pond and managed to get bluntnose minnows, spotfin shiners, and lake chubsuckers from Jonah's Aquarium. After I sent my money to Jonah's I received a reply to an earlier e-mail I sent to Zimmerman's Fish and he said they have 150 1-2" lake chubsuckers they are selling for $4 a piece, down from $6 they usually charge. I thought this might be useful information for anyone else looking to buy some lake chubsuckers for a forage pond or a new pond without predators, since they are only 1-2" they probably would be eaten up quickly in a pond with predators.

http://www.zimmermansfish.com/

Last edited by RockvilleMDAngler; 09/30/14 09:18 AM.

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Thank you - I left him an email. His web site shows 1/4" fish for $6 each. Does anyone have any idea if 1-2" LCSs would survive in a floating cage that is only 3 feet deep (in central Indian)?

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LCS do not do well in a cage. Been there done that very unsuccessfully.


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Thanks for letting me learn from your experience! How about an aquarium? How many gallons per 1-2" fish?

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
LCS do not do well in a cage. Been there done that very unsuccessfully.


I've watched LCS in an aquarium, and, not surprisingly for a "sucker", they're extremely bottom oriented. Last year, I had some in a 2x2x2ft screen cage with a solid bottom, which I covered with gravel--they overwintered fine in TN, although I don't think they grew at all over the winter. After watching them feed and on and relate themselves to the bottom in an aquarium, I can imagine that they would do very poorly in a floating cage with a mesh bottom.

They'll do fine in a 20 gallon long aquarium. They really like shrimp pellets and algae wafers. They're very active and fun to watch as they pick though the bottom sand and gravel.

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Will they eat regular fish food and do OK?

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I wonder if they will stir up the bottom as much as koi do?


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I've seen them eat some flakes, but they really prefer the shrimp pellets and algae wafers-both of which you can get at most pet stores.

I doubt they stir up the bottom much at all-they have small mouths, and typically orient themselves nearly vertically as they pick through stuff on the bottom. They'll pick up little pebbles in their mouths, roll them about, then spit them out, but don't really stir up large areas, at least in my observations of the juveniles.

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Yolk Sac provides good observational information about feeding behavior of the LCS. A few reports that have studied the LCS noted that they did not noticeably make the water turbid as koi, carp, and bullheads tend to do. Natural food items are things found in the sediments such invertebrates (insect larvae and worms), small crustaceans and some organic materials. Some filamentous algae has been found in their stomach contents, but the algae may have been eaten together with the bugs tangled in the algae.

LCS and LMbass.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=nebgamepubs

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/01/14 04:25 PM.

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My son has a poorly maintained fish tank full of swordtails that has a bunch of debris in the bottom. It has a heater also. Do you think the LCS would do well in this tank (eat some of the gunk)?

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If you acclimated them to the temp, they likely would do OK. I wouldn't want temps over 84 degrees though. My experience with LCS in aquaria was they were fairly easy to maintain.

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Thank you - I'll check the temp. It may be a mute point as I have not seen a reply to my email. Maybe they are all gone.

Last edited by RAH; 10/02/14 10:53 AM.
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1/4" are small fish, and aren't swordtails "pecky" at smaller fish?


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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I know it shows 1/4" fish on the website but the ones he has now must have grown. They are now 1-2" now. Mine arrive on Friday as Jonah's Aquarium had bought some from him and re-sold them to me. I hope they take fish food!


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Got an email today and will order the fish. Now I just need to keep them alive. What is the best way to set up a large horse trough to keep the water suitable? I filled a 20 gallon (tall) tank from one of the ponds and started the filter and air stone (for the winter). Do I need to buy shrimp to feed them or will fish flakes be OK?

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I would ask Zimmerman what he was feeding them...

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He has them in a plastic-lined pond and says he does not feed them. I'll try the fish food and adjust as needed.

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is there seariously such a demand for LCS??


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Only time will tell... For now, Zimmerman is filling a small niche market. Ideally, you would purchase a small number of the LCS, say 20-25 and stock them when you stocked the FHM into your pond. Give them a jump start on the predators. Then allow those original stockers be your brood fish for the future. Adding LCS in low numbers at that cost into an already established pond would be a waste of money.

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RAH--try these. You can get them at almost any petstore [or on Amazon], and the LCS love them.

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Thank you - I will stop by a pet store and see if I can find some. Update - Looks like Petsmart has them.

Last edited by RAH; 10/04/14 11:16 AM.
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The fish arrived on Friday and my Dad acclimated them and released them into the forage pond. He said they were all lively and 2"+ which was great news. I arrived the next day and there were no floaters and I didn't see any of them but I didn't expect to either. I threw some food in and they were not interested but the weather was in the low 60s and the fish in my other pond were barely eating when their feeder went off.


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Anyone ordering LCS probably needs to submit a request for fish import permit from their state DNR UNLESS these are for your aquarium and not your pond. In NE they require one to complete an import permit and request disease testing certification/paperwork from Brian Zimmerman. I helped him get those fish tested by certified Vet in OH, and I know he has the qualifying paperwork - so you shouldn't have any issues on that front. Just trying to protect you guys from violating state regs as they are cracking down and I know a few personally who have unintentionally violated the law and are suffering consequences.

Of course, if these are destined for your aquarium, you have nothing to worry about, as states cannot possibly and do not monitor or regulate aquarium fish sales/imports/exports. Speaking from experience only here guys, and don't want to see anyone get jammed.


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Probably lots of other forage species besides LCS that would be great food for thought/discussion on this forum and good food for the bigger fish as well.

I don't think all the emphasis or excitement is on the LCS per se, but just that it is exciting to have other options for forage, especially unique options that fill a special niche in the forage 'ladder'.

more FYI:


From Brian's newsletter:
Copyright 2014 Zimmerman's Fish, All rights reserved.
We send this email to our customers who wanted to be informed about recent news on available fish, new species, or projects.

(he has given me permission to use although the pictures didn't reproduce, others may know how to get the pictures in, the blue nose shiner is very cool looking!)

-------------
After a busy summer of breeding lots of fish, we are now harvesting the results. Some of our big successes for this year have been the bluenose shiners, tricolor shiners, and a large variety of sunfish again!

The bluenose shiners are very difficult to produce in captivity because of their need to breed in a sunfish nest. To our knowledge, we are only the second persons to successfully breed large numbers of this species. In our case we had them in a pond with a single pair of redear sunfish and a group of longear sunfish. There were 6 pairs of bluenose shiners that we very active all summer mostly over the redear nest. There were several potted plants in this 20x20 rubber lined pond, and this resulted in 300 young that are now currently 1-1.5. We tried an additional 6 pairs in a different pond with western dollar sunfish, and did not have any results. Overall, we are very happy with this success!


We also tried to breed several different species in our newly built outdoor stream. We put several cyprinids, darters, and brindled madtom catfish to start. We had great success with the tricolor shiners and started seeing young almost immediately. We think that the other species might have been placed in the stream a little too late for their breeding season to spawn. Now that things are in place, we predict that next year we will be able to start sooner for species that spawn in early spring. Hopefully we have more success with several darter species and many more minnows.


Once again we are successful with quite a few different sunfish species including a couple of new longear sunfish varieties. We had a strain from the Mobile River Basin in Alabama that display red and blue speckling on the body. We also attempted to breed a strain from the Blackwater River Basin from the Florida panhandle. This longear was less successful and only got a few young out of the pond. We hope to try them again next year for better results. This variety has an abundance of blue speckles all over resembling that of an extra-large dollar sunfish.

As for the other sunfish species, we had pretty good success with Missouri River Basin longear, green, western dollar, northern longear, bantam, redear, and raised redspotted sunfish for the first time in several years.
Lastly, we also raised some other odds and ends which included: lake chubsuckers, western banded killifish, pygmy killifish, russetfin topminnows, golden topminnows, starhead topminnows, gulf coast pygmy sunfish, least killifish, brown darters and iowa darters.

We still have a few ponds to clean out and harvest which may have blackbanded sunfish, central mudminnows, and banded sunfish. We strive to keep our website up to date with the sizes and species available, so keep your eye out for any new additions this fall.



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Probably should have asked earlier, but I now have read that LCS like clear water. Will ponds of normal clarity be suitable?

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What is normal clarity??????? For most members here on the forum who are have fertile ponds either from fertilizer or natural soil fertility average clarity for best growing fish with plankton the ""normal"" water clarity is 2 ft +/- 8".

Many less fertile ponds have water clarity of 2.5 to 3.5ft. IMO the preferred clear water designation for LCS is more intended for lower suspended silt concentrations rather than reduced clarity due to plankton blooms. Perpetually silty pond conditions due to suspended silt and clay probably have a negative influence on some life stage of the LCS. IMO many ponds that have reduced clarity the reduced clarity is more due to suspended detritus, silt and clay (brown-tan-gray water color) rather than plankton density (green hues).

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Thank you. I do not have suspended particle problems except after heavy rain events. My clarity varies, but probably averages over 2 feet in terms of seeing fish.

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My lake chubsuckers came in today in great shape and are in the tank.

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Mine came in a couple of weeks ago, also in great shape, a few extra too. Great packing.

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What is the secret of keeping fish alive in a bag for 3 days?

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Cool temperatures, pure oxygen in the above air space, smaller fish, and very few fish per gallon. Fish 3 days in a bag is very risky business and a good way to have dead fish.

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Apparently his kill rate is about 5%. That is why I asked.

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RAH, can you tell me how many grams/ounces of fish per gallon of water and O2 were in the bag? Or where did you get 'em from and I can call them.


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I got them from Brian Zimmerman and there was little water compared to the "air space". In thinking about this, it makes good sense. What you need is high oxygen in the water, not lots of water. I do not have the quantitative numbers, but the results sure surprised me. He knows what he is doing! If you are ever west of Indy, I hope that you might stop by our place.

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Thanks, I'll give him a call. I might need to ship fish a ways away....

How far are you away from Freedom, Indiana?


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I am between Indianapolis and Crawfordsville, just south of I74. A bit north of Freedom.

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Just an update. All 12 lake chubsuckers from Zimmerman's are growing well in the fish tank on shrimp and algae pellets. Thank you for the tip on the fish and the info on feeding them. Merry Christmas!

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Good deal!

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RAH - Any pictures of your lake chubsuckers in the aquarium? Drop some food near the front glass for a good pic.


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Not the best pics, but you can see them sorta...











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Pictures are okay to get a current general size of them. They look healthy. How big do you plant to grow them before stocking into you pond or forage pond?

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Thanks for sharing the study you listed earlier Bill Cody. I see where it stated LCS normally spawn at the same time as LMB, so I`m assuming only 1 spawn per year from the LCS?


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Yes, only one spawn per year. Spawning seems to last about 1-2 weeks sometime in April here in Virginia.

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I have 25 adult YP and RES in the pond, so I am guessing they should be 4" to be safe?

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Yes with YP as the main predator in the pond 3"-4" LCS will be very safe especially if there are FHM in the pond. FHM is an easier to catch prey fish for the YP than LCS. LCS are quite a bit better at avoiding predators than FHM.


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What is the reason for adding these to your pond RAH? I thought they do not reproduce in ponds. Just a novelty and fun?

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There are lots of FHM in the pond. I will likely need the LCS to get off a good spawn (along with the YP) before adding SMB. (LCS will reproduce while CCS will not, as far as I have read).

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My LCS reproduce in the 0.34 acre mud bottomed pond they are in with no issues.

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I guess I was getting them confused with the other kind, the ones in creeks. Thanks for denoting the difference between the two.

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Do male and female chubsuckers grow at different rates? We seem to have two size classes among the the ones in the aquarium.

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How do you distinguish VHS from red-sore disease?

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IMO virus testing.


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Just wondering if there are visual clues. The fish in question came from a certified VHS-free source.

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VHS is pretty rare in private waters and red sore disease is pretty common in comparison. If you have fish that appear to have red sores it is likely red sore disease.


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That is good. It was just 1 of 12 LCSs.

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LCS show no/little difference in growth rates and maximum size between the sexes. My LCS stocked in June 2009 as 1" YOY are now 12" to 14" and likely maxed out in growth. My LCS first spawned in 2012, those born that year are now mature and run 6" to 8" in size. They've been spawning hard the last week or so.

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CJBS, do you have any pictures of the various sizes of the LCS and perhaps pictures of their spawning structure or any changes in their appearance while spawning?

I stocked mine a year ago (2" size maybe) and haven't seen since, or if I have seen them I don't know what to expect for their appearance. It sounds as if they grow slowly if it took from 2009 to present to grow to 12". I might have to look for very small fish.

If I knew what to look for or saw pictures it would help. I see a few pictures online but not in 'real life'.

Did you create a special spawning structure?

Thanks!

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Good info. Thanks. I did not realize they got that big.

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No pictures, I have a hard time catching them. Seining is difficult in pond because of steep banks and they don't readily enter fish traps for me.

The only time I see the larger ones in in April when they come shallow to spawn. I see pods of 3-9 cruising the edge. Then you see commotion and you see a handful of what I suspect is one female and a few males. They spawn in about a foot of water over roots and packed mud. The female seems to undulate as the males release milt.

I then see schools of YOY LCS cruising the bottom in the summer months. Sometimes dozens together. They act very different than FHM and the YOY have a very intense obvious horizontal stripe.

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RAH and canyoncreek,
How are your LCS doing? The last time I saw mine was in early Fall 2015. RAH curious on how much growth you are getting in an aquarium. Thanks.



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They escaped and I have not seen them since.

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