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"Jay DeLong" <jdelong at nwifc_wa.gov>: Re: NANFA-- Longear Sunfish

--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: "Jay DeLong" <jdelong at nwifc_wa.gov>
To: Rick Phillips <rap at tricon_net>
Cc: nanfa at aquaria_net, "Bock, Robert" <BockR at hd03_nichd.nih.gov>
Subject: Re: NANFA-- Longear Sunfish
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 09:16:06 +0000
Message-ID: <199709131655.JAA22277 at chinook_nwifc.wa.gov>

Hello Rick.

> I have recently begun keeping native fishes in an aquaruim.  I now have
> few longear sunfish from the Clinch River in Hancock County, TN.  I
have a
> few questions that I hope could get some info on.  Can more than one
> longear coexist in a 55 gal aquarium?  

Be sure to read Robert Rice's article on the aquarium rearing of the 
fish.  The longear sunfish is an excellent aquarium fish that isn't 
shy or terribly difficult to raise and even spawn.  Regarding your 
question about coexistence: Longear are different in temperament than 
bluegills.  One bluegill male will kill other tankmates.  This can 
happen by it either pummelling other fish to death or through some 
stress or physiologically-related mechanism.  With this second 
method, the other fish succumb over time.   

Longear males, on the other hand, coexist well.  Even though one may 
appear to be the dominant fish in the tank, its actions towards the 
other fish aren't deadly.  There isn't any fin-nipping or 
head-ramming-- just displays that involve short chases.  

Perhaps the key is in having a minimum number of fish, like with some 
aggressive tropical fish.  I don't know.  I've got 5 in my tank and 
if there were just two, then the more aggressive one might harrass 
the other more than if there were several to contend with.  I have a 
feeling this isn't the case, though, and that just 2 longear would be 
fine together.

> So far of the 10 or 15 longears I
> have caught on hook and line I have not taken a single female...is this
> unusual?  I can't seem to get them to eat anything except mealworms and
> crickets...what would be some good prepared foods to try to wean them
> onto? 

This tip was passed to me by Bob Bock: try pre-soaked Hikari gold 
pellets.  I found that some of my longear took them instantly, and 
still do.  The ones that did are the largest of my longears.  Others 
snub the pellets to the extent that they'll go without food until I 
give them  mealworms or other live food.  I recently found they'll 
readily accept freeze-dried krill.  Generally I feed pellets until 
the pellet-eaters are full, then drop live or freeze-dried food in 
to allow the smaller fish to eat.

>  Finally, in regards to hybrids, their seem to be many redbreast
> sunfish in the same locations which show an awful lot of blue-green
> spotting on the sides yet retain the long, narrow ear-flaps.  I wonder
> their could be hybidization between longears and redbreasts.  Thanks
> the info.  I really enjoy the information here.

I've seen redbreast with colorful vermiculation on their operculum, 
similar to the longear, but never the spots on the side like you 

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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