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Old 02-25-2004, 09:13 PM   #1
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Orange throated darters...

I thought I had posted something about them before a LONG time ago but couldn't find it... Anyone know much about them? They are one of my favorite local fish... They only get about 3 inches or so and are bottom feeders. I don't know how many people have actually kept them as pets but I'd like to. I have before but they were always ones that I have caught. Obviously a few eyebrows would be raised if I did that sort of thing too often... First off, I don't know how legal it is to take them from the wild, though I'm not that concerned about it, and second, they usually always have parasites... I don't know, I think they are a neat fish but I don't know of any stores that sell them... anyone have any thoughts?
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Old 02-25-2004, 09:31 PM   #2
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I don't know anything about this fish, sorry. I am wondering if you have any photos though, for curiosities sake. Thanks
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Old 02-25-2004, 09:40 PM   #3
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The Orange-throated Darter, Etheostoma spectabile, is a fairly common and wide-spread darter species that inhabits hard-water, gravelly streams of the Central and South-Central United States (we even have them in Texas). They prefer smaller streams with less current than their relative the Rainbow Darter, Etheostoma caeruleum. I don't know what the laws about collecting non-game species in Arkansas are but I shouldn't imagine that anybody would get excessively bent out of shape if you collected a darter or two or three (as long as it is legal).

Most pet stores don't sell native fish so your main source for darters is going to be in your local streams and rivers.

Oh....you will always have to worry about parasites with wild-caught fish but keep in mind that a lot of our aquarium fish are raised in outdoor fish farms in Florida and they can be susceptible to parasites too.

A site with some good pictures can be found at http://www.theaquariumexchange.com/orthdarter.html
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Old 02-25-2004, 09:46 PM   #4
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What length do they get to and what do they eat? They're quite cute
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Old 02-25-2004, 09:54 PM   #5
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orange throated darters...

Thanks for the info and the link. I'm quite familiar with what they look like but didn't have a link to show anyone else yet.
Most of those pics appear to be males, the females of course are not quite as pretty. They grow to be about three inches long, at least that's about the size I normally see... and I believe I have read that they usually eat live food, although, I've kept them before and didn't feed them live food... they do prefer it I'm sure... I was thinking I could keep them with my guppies someday and that way they could eat some of the babies... the adult guppies in my tank don't keep up with them all... I've kept a few "natural tanks" mostly when I was in college... I had a few of those darters, a few little minnows or something and quite a few other things, insect larvae and such... I had a lot of fun with those setups... When I say they usually have parasites, what I have seen on a lot of wild fish is a black spot here and there... I've always assumed them to be an internail thing but I don't really know... I once caught a bunch of baby catfish and kept them in a 5 gal... needless to say they ate each other and one day I saw this reddish colored worm type thing clinging to a fake plant I had... Anyway, I doubt I'll be setting anything up for them too soon but if and when I do, what could I treat such fish with for such parasites? Any ideas on that?
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Old 02-25-2004, 10:01 PM   #6
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Just for your information....I just read through the 2003 Arkansas fishing regulations and it appears that it is legal in Arkansas to keep up to 6 of each species of fish as 'Aquatic Pets' as long as they are caught using certain types of nets as listed on page 20 of the booklet. Endangered species (like the leopard darter...but NOT the orange-throat) cannot be kept as pets.

I'm sure that you could use the same types of medications on wild-type fish as you would on tropicals. The black spots you saw on the wild-caught fish were probably fish 'lice', Argulus, which often infest goldfish ponds and occasionally show up on tropicals as well. My preferred weapon of choice when battling external parasites like that is a product by Jungle called Parasite Clear. Works wonders!!
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Old 02-25-2004, 10:29 PM   #7
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fruitbat...

hey fruitbat... you must have some time on your hands... you just read through the 2003 arkansas fishing regulations.... where did you get that by the way? That would be a handy thing for me to have around... I like to catch things... I knew I could catch a certain number of frogs for pets but didn't know about the fish... Anyway, what are the chances that someone would be sitting around with that info handy waiting to answer a question? Thanks... almost weird but thanks....
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Old 02-25-2004, 10:47 PM   #8
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Not as weird as you might think, millipede! While I'd LOVE to claim that I have every resource on the planet sitting here at my fingertips (and I do have a rather extensive library at home with over 400 books on various topics)....I simply went out to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission web site and clicked on the link for the Fishing Guidebook. Actually....the 2004 Fishing Guidebook is available there as well (in pdf format so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader). The pages of importance for you would be page 32 for the section on Aquatic Pets and page 20 for the approved catching methods.

A link to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is:
http://www.agfc.com/

The link to the 2004 Fishing Guide with all the regulations is:
http://www.agfc.com/pdf/2004fishregs.pdf

Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing?????!!!!!
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Old 04-04-2004, 10:23 PM   #9
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Well, I'm definitely going to look into getting a few after we move. I was at the local creek today and, well they are very common, I can see hundreds and hundreds in a given day... anyway, I saw the most beautiful specimen I've ever seen... however it was dead... now that I think of it, I could have taken it anyway and preserved it or something. The color in this one was unbelievable... the blue stripes were VERY blue... all the colors were soooooo bold... but it was dead, how sad. After the move I suspect I'll have lots of good pictures for everyone...
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