Darters

 
  • Group: Freshwater
  • Size: Small
  • Temperament: Community
  • Swimming Region(s): Bottom
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Minnows, Livebearers, Rasboras, Tetras
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly

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Darters are a type of small freshwater fish similar to perch that can be found in freshwater streams throughout North America. These fish generally remain fairly small, growing to an average length around 3 inches, though males tend to be a little larger than females. While each species is different, most darters tend to live in groups so they may be a good choice for a community tank.

Darters are a type of small freshwater fish similar to perch that can be found in freshwater streams throughout North America.

These fish are most commonly found in the Mississippi River Basin, though some species are endemic to particular streams. Most prefer clear, fast-flowing waters with low pollution levels.

There are dozens of different species of darter, though most exhibit some combination of brown, tan, green, black, or gray colorations. Many have spots or similar markings on their bodies and fins. Some species of darter are more brightly colored, though most are colored in such a way as to blend in with their surroundings.

Darters are a type of small freshwater fish similar to perch that can be found in freshwater streams throughout North America. The habitat requirements vary depending on the species, but most darters enjoy aquariums decorated with rock piles for hiding places and sandy substrate. Because most are found in North American streams, cool, clean water is recommended for the aquarium. The ideal pH level varies slightly depending on the species and its natural habitat, though most prefer slightly alkaline water. High water quality is a must, so expect to make frequent water changes.

Most darters enjoy aquariums decorated with rock piles for hiding places and sandy substrate.

Different species of darter have different habits, but most darters are insectivorous, feeding on insects, insect larvae, and small crustaceans. Darters are generally bottom feeders so you may be able to feed them sinking wafers and pellets as well as some live or frozen foods.

The breeding habits of darters vary from one species to another, though they are all egg layers. They tend to spawn over rocky areas and they generally do not display any parental care once the eggs have hatched.

There are over 150 species of darter but some of the most common species include the Rainbow Darter, Sand Darters, Snubnose Darter, Stippled Darter, Orange Throat Darter, Saddled Darter, Banded Darter, etc.

Photo credit: heeeerod/Bigstock


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  • Group: Freshwater
  • Size: Medium
  • Temperament: Non-Aggressive
  • Swimming Region(s): Middle
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Cardinal Tetras, Congo Tetras, Red Nosed Tetras, Clown Loaches, T-Bone Rasboras, Rams, Clown Plecos, Bristle Nosed Plecos and Corydoras
  • Difficulty Of Care: Daily care- recommended for the experienced aquarist