FAQs about Sticklebacks
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Any info on species? Stickleback f'
Is anybody familiar with the species Indostomus paradoxus? I
found two of them at an LFS and couldn't resist. But, I can
find very little on the internet on this fish, and it does not
appear in any of my books. Any word on the proper conditions to
keep it in? Right now it's just guesswork.
I have them in a 5-gallon tank shared with a small clown killie
and I'm using 50% tap water and 50% RO water to keep the pH
and hardness down.
Photo of the fish is attached.
<Hi Rick. Indostomus have suddenly appeared in the UK trade as
well, and while little is know about their long-term care, they
don't seem much different to their close relatives, the
pipefish. In other words, the main issue is diet. Live foods are
essential, and because these are tiny fish, that's going to
be brine shrimp nauplii and very small daphnia. To some degree
they'll also eat copepods and other small organisms found in
mature aquaria. They aren't fussy about water chemistry --
and aiming for slightly soft to moderately hard, neutral water
sounds about right. In the wild they live in stagnant pools and
ditches, so air-powered filtration is recommended, probably
essential given their tiny size. Otherwise these fish seem to be
quite hardy and easy to keep. Cheers, Neale.>
|Re: Any info on species?
I am using a sponge filter, so no problem there.
They are living in a fairly new setup, so I'm not sure how many
organisms have developed in the tank yet, though I did add a bag of
very old activated carbon that I always keep in one of my HOB
filters. I have been feeding finely ground flake as well as frozen
daphnia and dust from the bottom of a Tubifex worm container. I did
observe one of these guys put something into its mouth, which is a
<Yes, but they do need more than the occasional copepod.
I've heard little evidence that they consume flake, and the
ones I've watched here in England do seem to be eating tiny
live foods only.>
These are very timid fish and difficult to observe, though when one
or (rarely) both are out they seem active as far as a fish that
hides all the time can be considered active.
<Indeed. I wouldn't mix them with anything beyond shrimps,
but once settled and kept in reasonable numbers, they do appear
I have some brine shrimp eggs though I've never hatched any
before. My main concern is that the directions say to bring the
temp up to 80F and I don't have the capability to get it over
75 (fixed setting heater) until summer when it starts getting hot
here, so I'm not sure if they will hatch at 75.
<I see. Well, they should hatch; it might just take a little
I did read an account online of somebody actually breeding these
(or I. crocodilus) inside pvc pipe sections, though I have no idea
how reliable the account is. I dropped in a couple 3" pieces
as a long-shot.
<Ah yes, they breed much like Sticklebacks so far as is know.
But the fry are minuscule, and need foods such as infusoria. I dare
say that in a large, mature aquarium with lots of plants and
ideally some direct sunlight, there should be rotifers and copepods
and other small organisms growing in sufficient quantity to rear a
Stickleback Holiday 8/6/10
Hi Do any of you have any experience keeping /rearing stickleback?
<Never kept any but do have a small amount of info on the Three
Spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) I can share with
I caught a few (three spined) in my local Cornish stream a while ago
and am keeping them in an aquarium for the moment as they are very
small. I am feeding with frozen bloodworm and daphnia (defrosted in
warm water) and they seem to be doing well. I want to grow them to
adult size and then release them into my wildlife pond. However I am
going away for 10 days in just over a week, and have no idea if they
will survive this long unattended. I feed them a very small amount
<In the growing stage, they will require feeding. Do you know anyone
who could feed them while you are away? Better yet, return them where
they were found and try again when your schedule permits. As far as
Stickleback info, here goes, and hopefully Neale won't cringe. They
are a cool water species so a heater is definitely not required. They
mature sexually at a length of about 2 inches. The majority of them
live their whole lives in estuarine situations. But it are equally at
home in sea water as in fresh water. <<Neale cringing
here, James; the UK subspecies include strictly freshwater ones that
shouldn't be kept in saline conditions.>> Their diet
consists of copepods, isopods, and small shrimps, other small
crustaceans, and, they are very voracious eaters likely requiring
several feedings per day. They are nest builders in which the male
builds a barrel shaped nest, and after spawning occurs, the male guards
the eggs driving away intruders big and small. Incubation generally
last 6-10 days depending on water temperature. The males will continue
to guard the fry until they can fend for themselves. That is about the
extent of the information I know about Sticklebacks. Bob and/or Neale
may chime in on the dailies with additional info.>
Any help appreciated. Thanks.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Sticklebacks Hi. I'm tom and I was on your website and
just wandered if it is possible to keep sticklebacks domestically and
if so what set up and size tank are we looking at also what tank mates
will they enjoy being with in a fresh water not salt water tank.
<Some good info here:
I would check with your state's Fish and Game Department about
keeping native fish. Don>