Darters

fast facts

About Darters

Aquarium Size
Medium
Difficulty Of Care
Weekly
Group
Freshwater
Size
Small
Suitable Tank Mates
Minnows, Livebearers, Rasboras, Tetras
Swimming Region
Bottom
Temperament
Community
Fish Water Condition
Cool, Slightly Alkaline Water
Darters General Description


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.


Origins


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.


Color


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.


Maintenance and Care

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.


Feeding


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.


Breeding Info


The breeding habits 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.


Aquarium Varieties


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

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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