Native Fish Keepers

Native Fish Keepers Native Fish Keepers

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Hello,my name is Pedro and I have been in the aquarium hobby for 30 years and have been keeping natives just as long. This channel is dedicated to the collecting,keeping,breeding and the conservation of North American Native fishes. Also have DIY,native aquarium set-up,aquatic plants,aquatic insects,and crustaceans. If you enjoy aquarium and want to learn more about native fish. Then this is the channel for you.


Rainbow Darter
Rainbow DarterPřed rokem
Tadpoles Madtoms
Tadpoles MadtomsPřed 2 lety
Native fish talk
Native fish talkPřed 3 lety
Native Fish Talk
Native Fish TalkPřed 3 lety
one more try
one more tryPřed 3 lety
Plans for 2017
Plans for 2017Před 3 lety
I'm Back Update
I'm Back UpdatePřed 3 lety
Update Nov  5, 2015
Update Nov 5, 2015Před 4 lety
Update May 29,2015
Update May 29,2015Před 5 lety
CatastrophePřed 5 lety
Keeping it cool
Keeping it coolPřed 6 lety
Brindle Madtom
Brindle MadtomPřed 7 lety
Grass Pickerel Fry
Grass Pickerel FryPřed 9 lety


  • How do you care for these fish in terms of what you feed them everyday, the temperature you keep them at, water hardness, and ph

    • Native Fish Keepers thanks a lot

    • @Sniper Hacker They can be hard to get on prepared foods but will usually take frozen easily. Oh, and darters like snails.

    • Native Fish Keepers Thanks I appreciate it. I’ve been wanting to keep these for a while but just couldn’t find good information about how to care and feed them.

    • I feed frozen bloodworms, frozen shredded shrimp, live mosquito larva and bloodworms, flake food and small pellets. Temp is just room temp. I don't pay to close to hardness or ph but our tap water is very hard and a ph around 8.4

  • Could you explain more about the current setup?

    • I have a canister filter with a spray bar on one side near the bottom and the intake on the opposite side of the tank. This creates a directional flow throughout the tank.

  • That was a nice tank. The green sides looked a little starved. I read that you need to have a steady supply of snails to feed them.

    • You are correct they do need a steady supply of snails. This was one of the first times I have ever kept them, long before I knew about them needing the snails.

  • Lem apaan itu Mana bhs inggris gue merah lg

  • I love that you put animals in particular ranges instead of mixing different animals together

  • WOW 👀 those fish have plenty of room & a beautiful habitat . 😎👍 I wondered what would live in a tank with a gar ,,, or 2 .?. 🐟👀

  • That looks great!

  • That looks like a snubnose dace at :39 and those are critically endangered

    • @G Petro Not a Pugnose shiner either. They are Blacknose face and Redbelly dace. Pugnose shiners have only been found in Lake Erie here in Ohio and have not been seen since 1931. And these were collected nowhere near Lake Erie or any of its' drainages. I assure you I make it a point to no what I collect and know what fish are endangered, threatened or are a species of concern. And if I catch one accidentally it is returned immediately. I have only caught three species that were protected. The Tippecanoe darter, Spotted Darter, and the Tonguetiedt minnow and all were returned unharmed. Thank you for your concern, I hope you enjoyed the video.

    • @Native Fish Keepers sorry i meant pugnose shiner.

    • At that time frame, there are Two Rainbow Darters and a Logperch darter. We don't have Snubnose in Ohio.

  • Awesome aquarium! I cant wait to have a North American tank. Once I get the space. Only got a 100 gal South American tank right now..... and my betta

  • Do they eat the snails whole? I had a problem a while back where some ramshorn snails died in my tank without me noticing (they were hiding under rocks and driftwood) and rotted a bunch. It created a lot of issues, and I don't want a repeat of that. I'm willing to remove the shells if I need to, but it would obviously be more convenient to just leave them. Do the darters just 100% clean them out, or are there still snail bits inside?

    • Honestly, I couldn't tell you if there were still pieces left inside. I just assume they suck the whole thing out of its shell. I have never had any ammonia spikes or any other ill effects from leaving the empty shells in the tank.

  • Fascinating to see their technique at such a small size. My gar is 10 inches and hides his head in leaves and just waits for an unsuspecting morsel to swim by. Forget the look- the way they crawl around the tank and hunt is so crocodilian!

  • Does Styrofoam pillar last in fresh water aquarium and how to make it sink in water?

    • Yes, it will last for more than 4 years as that is the longest I have had a background in an aquarium. When I removed it it was still in really great shape. As for making it sink, maybe try adding a brick or a rock in the center or try soliciting it to bottom of aquarium.

  • My freshwater aquarium is 30" tall, I would like to make the tower kind of decoration in middle of aquarium so that fish can swim around the center pillar/tower(built somewhat as your video), any guidance/suggestions for my project?

    • @Native Fish Keepers It sure does sound a goog way, does styrofoam piller last in aquarium and how to make it sink in water

    • So let think, you are wanting to make a center pillar that would be square/rectangular in shape? If so, I would make your pillar out of styrofoam board. Then add the great stuff and sand to one side at a time allowing it to dry before rotating and doing the next side. I hope that makes sense.

  • Would love to see an update, is it still running?

    • Still up and running. I have neglected the up keep lately so there is algae on the front glass and some black beard algae growing throughout the tank. When I get it cleaned up nice again I will do an update. Thanks for asking.

  • How big is he now

    • It died last summer at 19 inches. I forgot to replace a lid on the tank and it jumped out.

  • What is phenomenal native Creek stream tank phenomenal

    • @Cameron Blanton FIll the high side with something that isn't too heavy and takes up a lot of room. Then fill the remainder with your substrate. I use a brick covered with great stuff foam to take up room. I then used a large rock to hold the sand back,

    • @Native Fish Keepers how do you even do that

    • Thank you!

  • Where do u find the wood for the tank

    • @Ryan Stein How big is it? I collect my plants so not sure about where to buy them.

    • Native Fish Keepers I have a native 55 with a baby grass pickerel. Do u have any recommendations on a reliable food source and where to get plants

    • Along local rivers and creeks

  • Wow , i really like that...😎👍

  • the result is very good !!!

  • Very creative!.Thanks for sharing, man. Going to play with this technique for my 75 gal mbuna tank.

  • Love this tanl and inspired me to rescape my 150litre aquarium. What stone did you use to create the drop off

  • Beautiful aquarium nice job👍😊👌

  • Do you know the Latin binomial for your pygmy killies? They dont look like what I know as Pygmies/ Leptolucania ommata

    • Leptolucania ommata, the video doesn't really show them good enough to make out what exact;y they look like.

  • Is your wood waterlogged? If not how do you attach it to the bottom? It is illegal to collect natural wood from freshwater here in Florida.

    • It is now but when I added it wasn't. I screwed it to a piece of flat slate or limestone

  • Do you have a video of the background in the tank? I can't seem to find it on your channel.

  • Tried this and thanks a lot it came out great but I would love to see your finished product all set up. I have a 33 and 55 gallon tank and plan on having a 100 gallon tank and I will be using your techniques.

    • Thanks man, it is more beautiful than I imagined. Working on two tanks now my wife thinks I'm insane. A tank with DIY decorations and a live plant tank. You're the best


  • Im surprised this is 33 gallons it looks like a 55

  • This is like what you'd see at an Aquarium or a Zoo. Such an amazing job!

  • All those babies and their supreme leader lol 🤣

  • Are the germs your polyfill picked up from your dirty floor beneficial bacteria? Just sayin'

  • What kind of foam is that? Is it Great Stuff Foam? Thanks for this video by the way, I'm glad I researched before spending. I was looking at nearly $400 for three tanks. 😏😏

  • What kind of plant is that, it looks like a type of Sagitaria

  • do the darters crossbreed?

    • @Native Fish Keepers thank you very much

    • @River Dweller They can crossbreed but usually don't. I have kept several ethestoma together throughout the years and never have i had them crossbreed. Unless done purposely it is unlikely to happen.

    • @Native Fish Keepers they are all Etheostoma so i guess i cant do an aquarium with multiple darter species

    • They can crossbreed within the same genus

  • I really like the way it turned out! I brought a bunch of styrofoam home from work tonight and at first I tgmtgt I would carve it up and paint with cement but after watching this I now think I will go this route! Thanks for the idea bud!!!

  • What a cool tank, great set up!

  • Beautiful tank! I live in Tennessee, and have several darters myself along with shiners, top minnows, and blacknosed dace. My darters all eat snails I get from the TN and Cumberland rivers. Trumpets, ramshorn, pond and bladder, and Pagoda snails can be found in these waters along with trapdoor, and mystery

  • Setting up my first tank and so excited to try this. Thank you for such a creative and unique tutorial!!!!

  • Nice background man do u have still that background want to make voor mij 3000 liter aquarium

    • Thank you, no I torn down the tank last year. The background was still in really nice shape.

  • Like I said

  • Great idea. 4 years later would be interesting to get an update on what it looks like. Durability? issues?

    • I pulled it from the tank this past summer and it held up great. No issues what so ever. You can see pics of another one I made that was the same age on Native Fish Keepers Facebook page

  • روعه

  • That's an awesome tank! May I ask what size it is??

  • This is a pretty old post, but for whatever it's worth...if you wanted to just put your camera in front of your tank for an hour; with no sound; I'd watch it. Meantime, is there a way to just play the same video over and over? I'm a canoeist, fisherman, tree hugger, and general purpose admirer of the amazing ecologies that exist in the rivers and lakes right here in eastern north america. So this is right up my alley.

    • Thank you, I'm not sure if there is a way replay a video over and over.

  • What size tank is this.

  • Looks nice , but you took up most of your tank room.

  • Very good I'm impressed. Good job.😎🐠🐡

  • Beautiful fish!

  • How many water changes does this need? Before it’s safe for fish to be put in tank

  • Is that safe to put it in the fridge?

    • putting them in the fridge will slow down the growth of your culture

  • Wont the polyurethane be poisonous for fish? Is it solvent based?

  • Is the minwax polyurethane fast drying clear gloss oil based or water based because all I can find is oil based

  • Why'd you stop posting?

  • Look like mine glad i got a back up for id , wish me luck breeding them!!

    • Good Luck, they are not hard to breed. Feeding is more of a chore than actually breeding them. A pair or trio in a one-gallon glass jar packed full of hornwort and they will breed.

  • My sand didn't stick to the foam:(

    • You have to get the sand on quick! Otherwise it won’t stick.

  • waste felloe

  • Can you purchase darters? I've tried catching these but no luck. This tank is pretty sweet, the best native I've saw....

    • Thanks, there are a couple places online. Try Jonah's Aquarium and Zimmermans Fish.

  • Thx so much for this. I just tired this and it came out really cool. Wish i could attach a pic.

  • Nice tank! How long did your silverside live because they are awfully delicate. I read that max life span is 1 year.

  • Impressive! Thanks for filming this. Been trying to get a concept down, and you've landed it.

  • As I'd like mine a light or medium grey do you have any idea what I can use? I suppose standard sand sprayed grey can't be used as the spray would have a bad effect on the water. Thanks

    • I would look for grey colored sand or coat it in a watered-down cement mix.

  • Was that your mum phoning to check you had clean under wear on? 🤣 Nice video, I'll be making an Aquarium in the recess between my outside wall & my chimney breast which is around 46 inches long by 19 inches from front to back, the height cam be what ever I want it to be, from floor to ceiling but I'm going to have a hight of around 2.5 to 3 feet, I've been wondering what type of back ground to have, this has helped a lot. I want mine to be a light/medium grey. So frustrating it cut off, couldn't you have edited it after by showing it in the aquarium? Any way, thanks from here in England, U.K

    • @Native Fish Keepers Just viewed it & Liked it, thanks. it's 02:35 here in the U.K.

    • At the end of the video the video link shown titled North American Native Stream Tank is it in the tank.

  • Awesome

  • wow no muskellunge?

  • Awesome

  • You can use great stuff pond &stone it’s black

  • Damn this is bad ass

  • Cool shit bro bass or crappies?

  • 👍🏾 So, is there a part 2??

  • I wish I’d seen this video before I spent $150 on a 3D background. And it just arrived today. Yours looks better than mine and it wasn’t all that difficult to make!

  • Where did you go to get the sand. I used play sand and it didn’t turn out like I expected

  • Hey bro! I breed johnny darters in tye spring but I have recently found a couple of greenside darters I was wondering how you sex them when not in spawning season

    • @Michigan Aquatic's Yo that's awesome, I'd love to breed native darters - though I'd have to actually start keeping them first, haha. How did you get the water to 60 degrees? Keep them outdoors or something?

    • @Timothy W water temp has to be low around 60 sand bottom with a rock on the bottom of the tank with a rock slate leaned up against it

    • Never mind I guess that's the kind I have in my tank how u breed them??

    • Also I subbed

    • How much for a johnny darter

  • do you sale the pygmies lol I need a female

  • This is my favorite tank. One day I hope to create something similar.

  • Can you go through the process of getting it so the water flows from one side to the other?

  • Needs a perch

  • nice video! please check out my seining video on my channel!

  • Are you selling them?

  • Are they still alive?

  • What is this spray name ?

    • Supply List: Great Stuff Foam Minwax Clear}} DAP 100% Silicone-}} Foam}}

  • I hope everything is going ok. Hope you post more videos

  • Brown trout is native to Europe change description of your video. It's non native to America but here in Europe it's native. Fortunately for some reason rainbow trout isn't breeding on its own in European waters but brook trout thrives

  • Nice tank. Thats kind of what im shooting for in my 125 build. May I ask what that substrate is? Looks like a nice mix of sand and gravel which is what im going for. Thanks!

    • @d_boss_mx K thanks, I only collect sand that is exposed and completely dry. That way there is nothing alive that will effect the fish. Then when I get home I rinse it then it's ready for the tank.

    • Well i love how it looks. Thought about doing the same thing. Did you boil it? Or treat it in some way? Or just rinse really thoroughly?

    • Thanks, the substrate is sand/gravel I collected from a local river.

  • Ponds don’t usually have that much current and trout do fine in those

  • I have a dream : to keep and breed margined madtoms (noturus insignis) ! Opinion is 125 enough space up to like 180 /240 ? Chiller options? Long term seasonal cycling any clues appreciated!!!!!

    • Yes, a 125 is enough but bigger is always better. Seasonal cycling is probably best but not sure if it is needed or if just a warm temp would work. I haven't been able to breed any Madtoms yet so not sure what will work. Also lots of hiding places under rocks and wood is needed. I wish you the best but have heard they are really hard to breed. I wish I could help more. Keep me updated on your progress.

  • What is the minimum tank size for a long nose gar?

    • @Native Fish Keepers thank you

    • For life, you would need a huge tank as they will get to be around 4 feet long. But you could keep one for several years in a 300 gallon. As long as it's 36 inches from front to back of tank and 8 feet long. They grow very quickly at first, 18 to 24 inches in their first year, so you would need a large tank just to keep on for a short time. So a 180 or 240 would work for a year or two.

  • Hi there, what polyurethane spray are you using (water or oil based)? I have called minwax and they do not recommend ANY of their polyurethane products to be submarged and they all leach out chemicals once they absorb water. They also warned that the product will discolor and peal, hence it's not recommended even for outdoor applications. Please advise, Luke.

  • Where'd you get that gravel? Looks amazing

  • Plz tell me what you feed them??? I have no idea what to feed mine.

    • Native Fish Keepers mines about 1-2inches and attacked small minnows but never ate them. Finally got brine shrimp and am hatching them. Hopefully before he dies... been struggling to get him to eat anything for a week

    • How big are yours?

  • How do u keep your water temp under 75? Just don't run a heater?

    • @Native Fish Keepers very cool thanks for the info man, can't wait to get my darter tank going.

    • No heater, but my temps do make it into the upper 70s and sometimes 80 degrees in the summer. Most natives are temperate fish and not cold water as many people believe. They can handle temps into the lower 80s for short periods of time. And do well with temps ranging from 72 to 78 degrees. Highly oxygenated water is more important than temp. Fish such as trout and healings are true cold water fish and require temps below 70 degrees.

  • Is that black filter with the air pump on the pygmy tank all you need?

    • @erik amann you're welcome, can't wait to see your tank.

    • @Native Fish Keepers forsure thanks for the help man I'll post my new tank when I get it going. I'm getting tired of my largemouth bass setup he's getting way too big

    • @erik amann I only collect sand that is from a dry sand bar. Look for sand that is exposed and completely dry. This insures that nothing aquatic is living in the sand. Then when I get home I rinse it in a bucket with garden hose until the water is clear. Now it's ready for my tank. I don't boil it at all. No need if the sand is dry.

    • @Native Fish Keepers when you get the sand from the creek and bring it home how do you clean it?

    • @Native Fish Keepers thanks man miss your videos. I love the one native stream tank vid I literally watched it like 20 times lol my 100g is going to try and be something close to it.

  • Nice setup but get a good white and pink colour enhance light and get cabinet doors u tight prick

  • The sunfish in your tank are very pretty. We also have them here in austria, but they are invasive and idk why, but apparently they love to spawn near the places where I like to go for a swim, so they constantly attack my feet when I‘m standing in the water. But seeing them in a native aquarium alongside fish they should be with in nature is beautiful.

  • Thanks again for answering all my questions. Im going to give it a try and see what comes out.

  • U should put a bass in there

  • Fantastic

  • Im not sure if I missed a detail or not? When you apply the spray foam and then sand over it does the foam swell up into all those rocky shapes or did you actually put rocks in that? Im very impressed if it made those rock shapes by itself. I would have thought it wouldnt look so natural if forming itself. Very impressive. Will you add plants later?


    • @Don Wells if you want the sand to expand more use less sand. So if you want a smoother look use more sand. The weight of the sand is what keeps the foam from expanding. I have an old video of a 20 long stream tank that will show you what it will look like if you use more sand.

    • @Native Fish Keepers thanks a million. So to get all the deeper recesses in your background did you apply more sand in those areas or the foam just swelled into these varied rock shapes by itself? Im wanting to try this technique fir a vivarium background and want less broken up rock look and more bigger rock expanses.

    • @Don Wells the more sand/ weight you and the less the foam expands. It helps to control the sand if you make a frame around background so the sand doesn't slide off. I built one out of 2x4.

    • Thanks. Im gobsmacked how realistic the foam swells up like this when sand is added. Is it possible to make the stones ( foam) bigger sized so not so busy and broken up looking? Ive got a project where I want to copy as close as possible a waterfall that spills over lava rock here where I live in Asia. If I can control the shape and sizes and use volcanic sand it would be awesome.

  • beautiful fish new sub

  • Ever think about putting a yellow perch in that tank

    • Yes and no, I have thought about it but would like to keep this one mainly sunfush.

  • nice tank. would love to see some crappies in there

    • Thanks, I use to have crappie and plan on keeping them again.

  • What kind of sand did you used?