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Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
saint_abyssal #521113 05/16/20 07:35 PM
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I found a site that discusses how to distinguish adult bullhead males from fatheads. The bullhead male develops only 9 tubercules on its head while fatheads develop 16 or more. The bluntnose develops three rows tubercules but I haven't been able to find out how many.

The webpage can be found HERE. By the way the txstate.fishesoftexas.org is a decent resource as web based resources go. On each species, if one scrolls down there will be a subheading "Phylogeny and morphologically similar fishes" which might prove helpful where the identity is uncertain.

I'll try to collect an adult when they grow up and hoping they don't migrate downstream before that happens. In James' tank 2 dozen have be reduced to 1 by his <2" GSF shocked. He was fat. Interesting thing about the GSF is that he was getting along fine with the shiners and gams. Some of the gams are no longer than the Pimephales were. We returned the GSF and the 2.5" BH from whence they came and so we will be able to collect some more Pimephales for the tank. We will try to grow them to adults in the tank.

More research has me doubting my shiners are red shiner and I am wondering if they may be mimic shiner which native range we are also in. My male is coloring up but is lacking the blues associated with red shiner. Tubercules have developed on its head and the top of its head and fin margins have reddened. The appearance matches mimic shiner description of males entering puberty. I have a lot to learn about species identification particularly with the small fish and invertebrates.

On another note, my son, focused observer that he is, discovered our drainage ditch is teaming with some type of amphipod. I think it is Hyallela Azteca but not for sure exactly. They are small reaching lengths of only 4 mm or so. I know they are sexually reproductive at this length because I noticed several of that size coupled with mates. I suspect they are helping to support the remarkable minnow populations in the ditch. James now has decided to culture them on the back porch to feed to the tank fish.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/16/20 10:08 PM.
Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
saint_abyssal #521114 05/16/20 09:47 PM
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jpsdad, don't give up on the reds yet. None of the 300+ I've raised show the blue as I see in pictures, at best, if at all it is very faint. I do see more color in the males in the forage pond than I did in aquarium.


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Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
saint_abyssal #521116 05/16/20 10:22 PM
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snipe, I'll keep watching and researching. They are really robust minnows in terms of speed and body mass for their lengths. Sturdy, like little brick &#^@houses. I will say that they haven't developed a strong population in the ditch. Not sure just why but I presume that the young migrated downstream. The last time I looked before the rains flooded the ditch I wasn't able to positively identify that any shiners remained. Water flows in this ditch year round .. not much ... but enough to allow migrations where no small fish is stranded.

Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
saint_abyssal #521185 05/18/20 01:08 PM
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OK so here is photo of an adult. It is 3.75" TL. I did notice that the pores of the lateral line were visible along the entire length of its body. Notice the snout the extends a beyond the mouth a bit and the mouth is underneath the snout. This is either a female or of a different genera than Pimephales. I just don't know.

[Linked Image]

Snipe, now that the flow is down, quite a large number of shiners are in the ditch. They are spawning and numerous colored up males are visible. Will try to capture on and will post in your thread on shiners.

Last edited by jpsdad; 05/18/20 01:59 PM.
Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
saint_abyssal #521204 05/18/20 07:53 PM
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When you take pictures of another bullhead adult and some of the shiners "colored up". Try putting them in a water filled small zip loc plastic bag. The get the picture. Experiment with different amounts of water to see which depth and bag water width works best for pictures. Fins in natural position sometimes helps with ID. The picture above is a little out of focus. Can't see the features clearly. It could be a female bullhead minnow.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 05/18/20 07:54 PM.

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