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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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Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
saint_abyssal #524725 08/14/20 08:41 PM
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I'm interested in reading about alternative non fish foods.


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
CityDad #524726 08/14/20 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
I'm interested in reading about alternative non fish foods.

I saw a video the other day, I think it was maybe by The Wooded Beardsman on YouTube. He basically took two 5-gallon buckets, and stuck them together, and punched some holes in them. He laid leaves on the bottom of the first bucket, and then added some old deer meat he had in the freezer. The concept was to allow flies to lay their eggs in the meat, and when the maggots hatch, they would drop to the bottom bucket and out the holes, into the water. It actually worked really well, but the huge downside was the putrid smell given off by the decaying meat in the hot sun. Neat concept though.

Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
Steve_ #525489 09/03/20 05:28 PM
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Love the wooded beardsmen!

Thought the fish feeder was funny but only borderline worthwhile


Im going to ask a lot of questions, but only because I'm clueless
Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
CityDad #525490 09/03/20 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CityDad
Love the wooded beardsmen!

Thought the fish feeder was funny but only borderline worthwhile

Haha yeah, but kudos for thinking outside the box. I saw an ad on here one time, that I might try out. It was basically just a solar-powered bug zapper that you hang off the end of your dock... free fish food all night.

Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
saint_abyssal #525506 09/03/20 11:47 PM
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Maggot box is no joke.. road kill or culled fish repurposed into high protein fish food. Panfish of many species respond incredibly well to this.


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Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
Snipe #525552 09/04/20 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Snipe
Maggot box is no joke.. road kill or culled fish repurposed into high protein fish food. Panfish of many species respond incredibly well to this.

Any critter that died and floats in the pond does the same thing. Raccoons will float for a LONG time...........


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Re: Abyssal's guide to alternative forage fish
saint_abyssal #525565 09/05/20 06:54 AM
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Make sure you understand the normal prevailing winds. Being downwind from a maggot factory is a mistake that I made.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

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