Bluenose Shiner (Pteronotropis Welaka)

Bluenose Shiner -The Best Freshwater Fish Care Guide

Bluenose Shiner (Pteronotropis Welaka)

Bluenose Shiner (Pteronotropis Welaka)

Bluenose Shiner (Pteronotropis Welaka)

It always has amazed me that North American fish have never really caught on for aquariums in North America!

You are more likely to see tank-bred species of North American fish in Europe or Asia than in the US or Canada.

There is really no reason for it especially as we have been looking at some truly beautiful species.

Despite growing up in the USA, the first time I saw the Bluenose Shiner was in an aquarium in Germany.

I was amazed at the unusual coloring of the males. It is not uncommon to see fish with red noses, but blue?

Almost never.

Unfortunately, due to habitat degradation, this fish’s population has fallen in the last few decades so if you are interested in keeping some it is best to obtain captive-bred specimens.

If you are in a position where you can collect them, check the local laws first. They have protected in some parts of their range…but a baitfish in others! (Small fish with no economic value are often ignored by lawmakers)

They are very peaceful fish and can easily be combined with other peaceful fishes.

They are ideal companions for the dollar sunfish I highlighted last weekend and in a large tank or pond, they can even be kept with larger sunfish.

They occur in areas inhabited by sunfish in nature and have a special relationship with them. Bluenose Shiners are sunfish nest bandits.

That is not saying that they rob the nest of eggs. Instead, while the male sunfish is distracted (displaying to a female or chasing another male away) bluenose shiners rush into the sunfish nest, lay their eggs, and dash out.

The whole process is completed in just a matter of seconds! The father sunfish then protects the shiner eggs and fry with his own.

Fortunately, they do not require the presence of sunfish to breed in aquariums. Without sunfish, they simply scatter their eggs over the substrate.

If you hope to see the beautiful displays the males put on, you need to keep a group of fish that contains more than one male.

The displays are harmless battles with rivals. They never display to the females. They have a lifespan of about two years.


Southeast USA


6cm/ 2.5 inches


Room temperature is fine. They can handle temperatures usually reserved for our tropical fish but need a period of cooling to condition them for spawning.


Easy. Even wild individuals accept flake food. They need live food if you are considering breeding them.


Bluenose shiners love a heavily planted tank. The water should have a slight current. The substrate should be gravel and sones of various sizes can be used as decoration. They live in tannin-rich waters so the addition of dried leaves may be appreciated. They live in waters with a pH of just under neutral but reports from people who keep them indicate they are flexible in that regard.


Egg scattered in captivity. No parental care is given

Bluenose Shiner 1

Bluenose Shiner 1

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