Rainbow Darter (Etheostoma caeruleum) in a Hillstream Setup

Dkapp

Hi all!

I’m planning on setting up a 75-gallon tank rank, and for one of these tanks I’m interested in doing a Hillstream-style tank. It’ll be a relatively open setup, with a tangle of Manzanita branches atop river stones interspersed through the tank over a primarily sand substrate, with Vallisneria americana, Cryptocoryne balansae, Bolbitis heudelotii, and various Anubias and Echinodorus planted within the wood tangle of the tank. I’m aiming for a moderate to higher flow, as of now the pump I’ve picked out is a Jebao SCP-70 Sine Cross Flow Pump positioned at the top of the tank to sufficiently circulate the water column.

As for the current planned species, I’ve picked out some of the following:
- Gastromyzon (Borneo Sucker Loaches)
- Corydoras habrosus (Dwarf Spotted Cory)
- Baryancistrus beggini (Blue Fin Panaque)
- Danio margaritatus (Celestial Pearl Danio)
- Garra spilota (Spotted Garra)
- Pseudomugil gertrudae (Gertrudae Rainbowfish)
- Stiphodon ornatus (Ornate Rainbow Goby)
- Lamontichthys llanero (Royal Whiptail Catfish)

It’s an extremely loose planned stocking at the moment, however as I was trying to search for other suitable species to add to this list, I came across a North American native that caught my attention, the Rainbow Darter (Etheostoma caeruleum), and I’m wondering if anyone had experience with this species and would be able to offer advice as to whether or not it would be able to thrive within this type of setup?

Prior to now, I have not so much as heard of this species, and I've only conducted a brief quantity of research regarding it. But, as it is a peaceful obligate carnivore that naturally inhabits streams and other fast moving, highly oxygenated clear waters, I imagine a setup such as the one planned would be ideal. However, if anyone has experience with this species or this genus as a whole and was willing to share some advice, or any general thoughts/advice regarding the planned setup overall, it would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

ChrissFishes01

While I'm not sure about the rainbow darter specifically, a lot of the darters prefer very cool water (50-70). I'm sure some of them do okay in tropical temps, as I know some are native to Florida, but still.

There are some I find here in Kentucky living in streams that are barely 60 degrees even on 90 degree days.
 
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Dkapp

While I'm not sure about the rainbow darter specifically, a lot of the darters prefer very cool water (50-70). I'm sure some of them do okay in tropical temps, as I know some are native to Florida, but still.

There are some I find here in Kentucky living in streams that are barely 60 degrees even on 90 degree days.
For the species I've picked out, minus the Baryancistrus beggini of which I need to omit for a separate more suitable Plecostomus as it prefers warmer temps than the rest, I planned on maintaining the temperature a bit over room temp (~75 Fahrenheit/~23.8 Celsius), so would this be adequate, or teetering on too warm?
 
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ChrissFishes01

It seems that the rainbow darter is a northern species, so 75 may not be lethal, but I doubt it'd be optimal.

Rainbow Darter

That said, this is all just from a bit of online research. I have no experience keeping them myself.
 
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