This is the start of posts about using red shiner as a forage fish in ponds. This topic began in a thread titled - Spottail Shiner In Ponds in this linkhttp://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=515184&page=1Bill Cody
- Does your state have red shiners? They are same genus (Cyprinella) as spotfins and likely will spawn in similar habitats. Literature says they are tolerant of numerous conditions and tolerate suspended silt. Spawning is variable and not quite as specific as most of the other Cyprinella species. Pond spawning should be possible since they reportedly scatter eggs over similar areas as GSH and also in crevices. Sometimes one has to make a road trip to an area known for the species to probably do some self collecting. Sometimes you might be able contact local bait shops where the species occurs and buy some of them from the bait shop.
Some of the distribution maps show red shiners extending up into south central North Dakota. One may have to take a long weekend vacation to a place that sells red shiners as bait fish.http://ninnescahlife.wichita.edu/node/367
Generally the numbers of eggs that hatch and survive to mature adults is strongly dependent on the amount of competition of the same species and predators. In a fish empty pond, several to a few dozen healthy reproducing adults can quickly populate a one acre pond with thousands of individuals. This assumes the adults minnow specie is "normally" prolific as far as true minnows are concerned in the minnow family - Cyprinidae. My experience is - survival of fry is highly dependent on amount of competition present. I've raised in one season, thousands of spotfins from a 'handful' of spotfin adults in an 0.3 ac pond with no other species present except 40-50 bluntnose (BNM).Snipe
- Thanks for bringing this up, Bill!
For those reading this Bill is helping me with an experiment of my own with Red & Spotfin shiner and bluntnose minnow.
After a "fair" amount of research I've found that all 3 of these species are available but it's mostly dealers for the aquarium hobbyist and they are EXPENSIVE.
BUT...If one has a forage pond of any sort, I believe-from what I can find- the red shiner will play just fine with spotfin and bluntnose.
My research on SPOT TAIL shiner suggest they will not "prosper" in a closed system or small pond. They seem to have very similar traits to that of emerald shiner. That does not mean they won't reproduce but my findings suggest with predators present they won't last long, so I chose the 3 species listed above to go with my GSH FHM and Gams I have present in pond. I'm starting cultures of all 3 with hopes of getting reproduction in the new forage pond. I've placed several pairs in my 60 gal aquarium and hope to observe some behavior patterns at the least. My red shiner males have started to color up as my timed light passed through roughly 11 hrs 30 min. I'm increasing 5 min of light every 3rd day to 'mimic" photo period. I am able to determine females in all 3 species now and with the Red shiner, the Males were obvious first.
Should be fun if nothing else!
Snipe - ewest, here's one of my "Cody shiner discs".Bill Cody
What kept the BNMs from similarly proliferating and then out competing the spotfins?
saint_a these two species have different a niche thus direct competition is not real significant. Thus for me, both reproduced almost equally to put the pond at carrying capacity; almost a poly- culture thing.
snipe pull out our spawning device and measure the distance between the disks. They look too far apart. You want spacing to be 3-4-5mm (about 1/8"-3/16" no bigger) Your spacing looks to be 1/4" or more. Too wide of spacing and you will get few if any eggs. Spotfins are fussy. I suggest for your aquarium project add a couple more disks at the narrow spacing and see which spacing the shiner prefer. Let them educate you!
REMINDER - To those reading this thread; spottail shiner and spotfin shiner are two completely and entirely different species with very different spawning habits. Don't confuse them.Canyoncreek
When I made my stacks of old CDs I bought the smallest diameter of all thread rod that they kept at the hardware (looking online it was 1/4" course thread. I used a 1/4" course thread nut that matches to hold the stack of disks at top and bottom.
In between the CDs I used I believe 2 thin washers stacked to try to achieve that 1/8" spacing. The washers have to be big enough to not fit through the hole in the middle of the CD and you also need some pressure from the nuts top and bottom to compress things so the CDs stay rigid. I can't recall for sure but probably got 1/4" washers (meaning inside diameter of the hole was just right to fit over the all thread and the outside diameter was 5/8".
Online it says those washers are usually 1.5 to 2mm thick, which means I'm pretty sure I used 2 of these stacked between each CD.
I made the all thread rod about 3' long with the CD stack right at the top. I found it easy to push these into the bottom of my pond and pull them back out again in the fall. I pulled them out to power wash them every fall as they silt in pretty easily and it is also fun to see how many sticky egg remnants are on the CDs or in between them.
I found that how far the CD 'tower' is off the bottom and simultaneously how far it is under the surface mattered a bit too. Mine were bottom mounted, most people hange them off the edge of a dock. Not sure which is best.
I used some plastic cardboard stacks too thinking that the natural holes on the endgrain of the cardboard would be perfect for the shiners but when powerwashing I saw very little use of these stacks. I wonder if part of it might be that they were square pieces rather than curved pieces and also the cardboard flexes so the gap between the layers of cardboard changes alot, which is unlike natural crevices which don't give or open and close with time.
An old post somewhere suggests using the plastic ring that is left behind when you screw off the plastic cap of a gatorade bottle, water bottle, or plastic gallon milk jug cap as a spacer. A good idea!Snipe
- I put them at "exactly" 3/16" per your instructions..I can sure tighten them a hair to 1/8". In fact there are some eggs already on the back side, they're using it as of this am, but it's the spotfins and not the RSH as I expected.
I should back up... the Red shiner use technics similar to GSH but will also lay eggs in BG/GSF/RES nests too and I've found some literature that suggests they will (at times) also spawn in crevices.
I used 2 washers between on this one, I have 3 disc structures in tank but this is the only 1 so far with eggs and as you can see it's closer to bottom than the other 2.Canyoncreek
- how far in do the eggs go in between the disks would you say? I'm always curious how they 'shoot' the eggs way in the crevice or if in a deep crevice like you have between your disks if the eggs stay right at the opening?Snipe
I see there are some (very small group) right on the edge now that weren't there this am.
Learning/schooling is in full session today..
Been raising temp 1/2-1 deg per day from 69 (room temp) to 75 today. Light on 12hr 43 min today via timer.
Spotfin really took off today, aggressively guarding disc area. It (Male?) chases anything off that gets within 6-8".. busts up the Reds and the bluntnose-get out is clear.
Bluntnose are being observed cleaning underside of disc area until the male spotfin pops them. Bluntnose are spawning on the 45 deg upline of several big rocks I have in the tank and are also aggressive but looks like the spotfin started their regime first around 72 degs. Red shiner are colored but no behavior changes noted.
I have noted Red shiner can eat a very large chunk of pellet-and they eat a LOT. Red shiner also LOVE algae wafers! Spotfin will peck at that a bit but I have not seen BN doing much around the algae wafers.
I had also stated above that eggs appeared to be 1/4-1/2" inside rim of disc, however, it is very clear now the mass of eggs is way less than 1/4" from edge. I'd say 1/8-1/16" is where most of eggs are.
This is cool to watch but I can also tell spotfin seem to be very territorial and a disc structure is guarded by 1 male-as far as I can tell. I kept my eyes on a male for nearly 2.5hrs and he never left that area and runs everything off but females(assumption) because he circles them and they pull up to disc, swing sideways and underside is directly against disc when egg/s are expelled-very low number. Maybe 1-3 eggs per visit but it's really hard to see them, only accumulation after several hours.teehjaeh57
- This is new science for us - very valuable - these species could fill the forage niche for limited gape, cool water species fisheries. Since this is my specialty I'm intrigued. Thank you for performing these experiments for the benefit of us all and the scientific community - you could publish a paper on this subject.
- Interesting to hear the RS are taking to algae aggressively, this is a benefit.
- SFS appear to be the dominant species - are they larger than anything else in the tank, or is it just their nature? Maybe it's just because they are guarding eggs, and aren't truly more aggressive than RS?
- How do RS spawn? Like GSH - in vegetation, or are they cavity spawners, like RS? Hoping they won't compete in a fishery over spawning areas but can coexist and both species proliferate.
- Are BNM spawning habits like FHM - underside of surfaces? From your observations it appears so.
I'm hopeful your tank research data suggests these 3 species can successfully coexist - would be a big win for us all.Snipe
-TJ, It seems the SFS are very aggressive and eagerly attack BNM when they get near the disc structure, but I can't yet determine the stage either species is specifically in. The BNM may get super aggressive as well as they get deeper into spawn mode.
The RS are spawners in both Macrophyte type growth and Literature says they will utilize sunfish nests as well, so similar in some aspects to GSH, but I haven't seen any patterns developing there, yet.
I can see with some of the fish I have, there is a niche for the sizes they can attain very quickly when considering SFS- Not as large or quite as deep bodied as GSH but I have some 3.5-4". The BNM are showing growth as well and are roughly 2.5-3.75" but shaped very similar to fathead.
The RS seldom exceed 3", maybe 3.25 (I read) but mine are 2.5-2.75" and are shaped more similar to the reference family-Carp.
The RS are also occupying the upper part of the water column here, they really don't interact with the other species in the tank until you chuck some crushed pellets or flake food in, then they aggressively chow down regardless of others present. They hang in the upper 6" or so where the other 2 species seem to prefer the lower 10" of the tank, mostly near the very bottom. Tank is only 22" deep so just a tank observation.Bill Cody
- Red shiners belong to the genus Cyprinella which contains exclusively all the crevice spawning shiner species. Although a few authors have reported red shiners to spawn in other areas or habitats of steams, even open water (see below).
Red shiners (C. lutrensis) are non-guarders, brood hiders and speleophils (crevice spawners) (Simon, 1999; Hassan-Williams and Bonner, 2012). The male establishes his territory around a crevice and makes display passes along the spawning site. Occasionally males will swim toward females directing them towards the crevice. Males will approach and circle females, flicking their fins forward every few seconds. Courtship can last several hours, with females revisiting the spawning site over 200 times prior to egg release. During spawning the male swims above the female passing directly over the horizontal crevice. The female contorts violently expelling the eggs into the crevice. The first expulsion may be followed by another pass and expulsion. Females produce sounds to attract the males (Delco, 1960).
Eggs may then be deposited in a variety of environments; within crevices over a range of different substrates (gravel, sand, mud), near the surface over beds of submerged aquatic plants, in clear ponds or in association with green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) and orangespotted sunfish (L. humilis) nests (Minckley, 1959; Cross, 1967; Minckley, 1972; Pflieger, 1975; Wang, 1986; TPWD, 2012). Spawning may also occur in midwater as the male and female swim through the water column (Minckley, 1972).
Females may release up to 16 batches of eggs per day, with up to 71 eggs per batch. An average clutch size may equal around 585 eggs and males and females may spawn 5-19 clutches over the reproductive season (Gale, 1986). Laser and Carlander (1971) reported that 485-684 eggs were laid per gravid female.
All the above from Advanced Reading:https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/86206
I commonly see spotfin eggs 1"-1.2" interior of the outer edge or perimeter of the spawning disks. However these are eggs deposited by large 3.5"-4.5" adults.
Note - it takes quite a bit of effort to extract (copy and paste) an active topic and place it in its own or new topic. It would be much easier and quicker to just change the title of this thread to include spotfins, red shiner.Snipe
- Appreciate you posting this Bill.
Maybe it's size and age that's keeping the Red shiner away from any spawning activity.. or possibly the fact they are in a tank. Aquarium hobbyist report success with this species in aquarium confinement.
I have 3.5 months of winter left to observe.
It appears obvious the BNM and SFS will do fine with proper spawning substrate. We'll see how the RS do in the forage pond.jpsdad
- There are red shiner in a drainage ditch near my house. My son and I have collected some to fish with and to also put in his aquarium. His aquarium had two small bullheads (now bigger than anything else), 3 goldfish, a pleco, and eight Gams. We put 2 red shiners in the tank which I think were both female with no bright red fins. From bait catches I noticed that males with breeding color were less common.
From the get go in the aquarium, the red shiner were very robust swimmers and very skittish around our movements. They out competed every other fish in the tank at feedings and displayed aggressive behavior towards Gams and to a lesser extent the goldfish. Their harassment of Gams was so great that we decided to return them to the ditch.
In the water of the ditch they are very robust swimmers and difficult to catch with a hand net. Of course, this only heightened my son's interest in catching them.
Snipe, I am following your observations and hope you continue posting on the results if not in this thread one of your own making. We can delete posts ... so ... each could move his own to the new thread via a repost.Snipe
- jpsdad, I have not found any data or pictures that show "red" fins on the red shiner, maybe a local trait?
I think they started running out of colors and names, ie, Red shiner aka Rainbow dace, Redfin shiner and redhorse shiner. Some of this-to me-has been like being asked to identify which of 2 6" LMB is a FLMB..:-)) jpsdad, I guess I should say the KS guide I'm referencing does not show the red fins.. I do see some descriptions showing true "red" fins on these, just not in my tank.