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"Jay DeLong" <jdelong at nwifc_wa.gov>: NANFA-- keeping sunfish

--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: "Jay DeLong" <jdelong at nwifc_wa.gov>
To: Majnipnor at aol_com
Cc: nanfa at aquaria_net
Subject: NANFA-- keeping sunfish
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 08:29:05 +0000
Message-ID: <199711221632.IAA00685 at chinook_nwifc.wa.gov>

Hi Dennis.  You said:

>  I need to know of a practical way to get some orange-spotted or
> longear (or both) sunfish to add to my wonderful natives. 
> Mark has offered longears but currently they are 1-1 1/2" in length and
> my largest bluegill is over 4"!  I tried adding a few different minnow
> species (bought from a local bait shop) but the two inch variety (I
> fatheads) were eaten by the bluegills over a one week period.  I now
have four
> three inch minnows in the tank, but I don't know for how long.
> Do you know of anyone who can "share" "sell" and ship 3-4" sunfish
> (orange spotted or longears or punkinseed).  One thing that makes it
> for me is that I feel that I have nothing to trade for them in the
Trading post.
> Hopefully, by next summer, I will be less limited physically, and able
> collect on my own.  My family and I really enjoy our native beauties. 
> I get more experience with the sunfish, I hope to convert my 110 gallon
> tank over to natives.

If it's not convenient for anyone to locate fish for you right now, 
the Trading Post has this ad:

Tyson Lagillandaie, 8483 Blue Lake Dr., San Diego CA 92119
Phone #:(619) 462-1643. 
HAS FOR SALE: Captive raised Longear Sunfish (Kansas subspecies - they
are the beautiful subspecies as seen in Robert Rice's TFH articles),
tadpole madtoms (domestically raised - a first perhaps?), bluefin
killies and many new species (including Dollar Sunfish and Orangespot
Sunfish) in the spring of 1998! $4.00 per fish plus shipping or will
trade for other Lepomis species.

I think you'll have trouble adding other sunfish to the bluegill 
tank.  Bluegills by themselves are difficult, too.  I've tried them 
but wasn't happy with the results.  Everyone I know has also found 
that a dominant fish will usually harass the others to submission and 
eventual death.  I'm just not a domestic bluegill fan and I think our 
more experienced (and more tolerant) bluegill keepers would recomend 
a tank no smaller than your 110-gal tank for bluegills or mixed 
sunfish species.

Longear and orangespotted by contrast, are peaceable cohabitants.  
Robert has aquarium magazine articles on both of them, and both 
articles are on our web page.  These fish are far less aggressive 
than bluegills and a smaller tank will be fine (55 gal).  I've got 5 
adult longears in a 55 gallon tank with a juvenile carp, and they 
all get along fine.  Ocassionally my largest male sunfish makes short 
aggressive runs of a foot or so towards the others.  They flee 
temporarily but don't avoid him after that and when it's feeding time 
they all compete fairly equally.  I have items for cover in the tank 
and they use them.  I think that helps a lot.

I wish you luck with them.  Can you tell us of your bluegill 
experiences so far?  I'd like to know if you've seen the aggressive 
behavior that I just described.  

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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