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amd all as the heat subcides a bit I will be makeing my weekly forays out
to hthe swamps (assuming the stock market behaves :) ) I will then again
have nice supplies of pygmys, shiners, and various sunnies.....SOON 

Robert Rice

Save A Native Eat An Oscar <:)((((<
Check Out the Native Fish Conservancy at
email  NFC at actwin_com   or  website  http:\\nativefish.interspeed.net\

On Tue, 4 Aug 1998 17:21:33 -0500 "J.F. Laurent"
<jfranklaurent at email_msn.com> writes:
>    I would be interested in the dollar sunfish and any pygmy sunfish 
>let me know.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: robert a rice <robertrice at juno_com>
>To: nfc at actwin_com <nfc at actwin_com>
>Date: Tuesday, August 04, 1998 3:53 PM
>Subject: $ SUNFISH
>><HTML><PRE>   The Dollar Sunfish  (Lepomis Marginatus) as an Aquarium
>>                           Species
>>                       by Robert Rice
>>     Hiding in the back waters, swamps and small ponds of
>>the Southeast is a seldom seen gem that is so beautiful , so
>>pleasant to keep that it puts many tropicals to shame. It's
>>behavior in captivity and ease of care are worthy of an
>>entire book not just an article. It's life colors and habit
>>remain basically ignored by the various professionals who
>>have come across this shining star. It's size or lack of it
>>(under 5 inches) relegate it to bait status and thus it is
>>totally forgotten by the local sportsmen. With this
>>ignorance comes apathy and  sadly it is, quietly
>>disappearing from it's traditional homes. The victim of our
>>increasing pressure on the environment.
>>     Who is this you wonder, some unusual fringe species ?
>>Some really cool orchid ? A hard to please environmental
>>elitist? Nope this fella is the Dollar Sunfish one of  the
>>hardiest guys you will ever come across! I have yet to find
>>a true species definition, the standard definition is see
>>Longear description as they are so similar in appearance. My
>>observations are as follows, the Male Dollar sunfish is a
>>bluish hue with light colored vermiculations across the
>>face, gill plates, and lips. The eyes can be encircled with
>>colors ranging from red to white. Maximum size 5 inches
>>typical size 4 or less. They display sexual dimorphism in
>>the typical Sunfish manner. The males being more colorful
>>and aggressive than the females. They are predacious feeding
>>on insects and small fish. There is an extreme amount of
>>color variation from location to location which leads me to
>>suspect that the species possesses plastic genes. For the
>>aquarist this is a terrific bonus, the chance to develop new
>>color strains is always exciting!
>>     Collecting this species is the most time consuming and
>>difficult problem that the Aquarist must tackle. For those
>>outside of it's native range ( Eastern Texas east to the
>>Atlantic and South of Central Oklahoma) I recommend trading
>>with Aquarist who already possess and are breeding the
>>species. For starters I'd recommend that you check into the
>>North American Native Fish Association which regularly posts
>>a trading post section in it's publications or the North
>>American Native Fish Echo (NANFE) on the fido net which has
>>become an electronic gathering place for those of us who
>>keep and enjoy Native Fish. NANFE has become the quickest
>>place for people to negotiate their trades. Which ever is
>>convenient for you I recommend you check them out first.
>>     For those of you within the Dollar Sunfishes Range who
>>are bound and determined to collect a local strain, get a
>>dip net, a fishing license and some waders because this
>>little guy hides in some of the murkiest , weediest off the
>>beaten path places you will ever collect in. I've found them
>>commonly in back washes, ox bows and swamps. You might as
>>well accept the fact that you are gonna get sweaty , muddy
>>and bitten by something before it is all done. Of course for
>>me , that is the major part of the fun, for you it may not
>>be. After I collect sunfish specimens there is a small
>>problem with field identification. In areas where the Dollar
>>Sunfish and the Longear Sunfish overlap you sometimes find
>>juveniles of both species very hard to tell apart. I have
>>found the simplest solution is to take home a few and study
>>them at the house. You will find with a little time and
>>effort proper identification will come to you. As the
>>specimens grow the differences will become clearer. You can
>>then release unwanted specimens back to their homes with no
>>harm done.
>>     Once in the Aquarium they are a joy to keep They take a
>>variety of foods without a problem. I feed mine frozen
>>crawfish, raw oysters and a mix of worms and other live
>>insects when available. They adapt very quickly to domestic
>>life, they are not even a little shy as long as there is
>>sufficient structure  to make them comfortable.. Within a
>>week you can expect to see typical Dollar Sunfish behaviors.
>>The males will begin to establish a hierarchy for everything
>>from feeding to breeding. The females will float between
>>territories with little ill effects. One of the most
>>pleasant things about the Dollar Sunfish is that it's small
>>mouth allows you to keep a variety of darters, shiners and
>>Madtoms in a community atmosphere. So instead of relegating
>>your sunfish to single species tank in a back room you can
>>put them up front in the main display tank and not worry
>>about  your latest catch becoming a sushi bar !
>>     For  the Aquarist serious about breeding these fella's
>>I have a tip, get an outdoor pond! I know many people who
>>have successfully bred the Dollar Sunfish in an outdoor pond
>>, but only a handful who have had similar success in an
>>aquarium. They seem to be the perfect species for a small
>>outdoor pond. They are aggressive insectivores, very
>>tolerant of water conditions and extremely tolerant of
>>temperature extremes. I have been fortunate enough to have
>>observed a successful spawn in one of my tanks and can add
>>the following observations. The Dollar Sunfish needs a
>>chilling period to induce a spawn, like many temperate
>>species without a season of cold (-60 F) the females just
>>don't  become gravid. They seem to be continual spawners
>>when finally induced to spawn, at a temperature of  74 F my
>>specimens spawned regularly for over a month until the tank
>>temperature reached 80 F. Then suddenly the spawning ceased.
>>During that time they ate HUGE amounts of foods of all types
>>with relish.
>>     If there ever was the classic example of a species that
>>needs the Aquarist help the Dollar Sunfish is that species.
>>He has no advocate anywhere except a few of us collectors.
>>We have collected and kept him for generations trying to
>>learn as much as we can about this little jewel, with the
>>hope we can contribute to it's continued survival. Those
>>same collectors are many times not taken seriously by either
>>our local Department of Natural Resources personnel or the
>>local Aquarist we meet. We who know the species best are
>>allowed to contribute the least. I believe that now is a
>>time for change, a time for action. Imagine if a local
>>Southeastern Aquarium Club in Atlanta for example, decided
>>they were going to get involved in keeping, rearing, and
>>studying the Dollar Sunfish. Keeping detailed notes on
>>collection sites and breeding behaviors. With the sheer
>>number of members and the added influx of time and resources
>>they would make huge impact ! Detailed collection and
>>breeding data would prove invaluable and even more the
>>public awareness could be priceless. When someone said
>>habitat for Dollar Sunfish was threatened people would care,
>>people would react.
>> This species is very well suited to the Aquarium and has
>>been ignored for so long that he has practically disappeared
>>from many texts. That is a mistake. We as Aquarist can do
>>more to put these species back on the map. As you can tell I
>>really enjoy the Dollar Sunfish and a great many more of our
>>native fishes. If you seek more information  about native
>>fishes I recommend you check out the following resources
>>NFC (see side bar) , Petersons Field guide to North
>>American natives by Larry Page and Brooks M. Burr or a
>>Our Native Fishes by John Quinn are excellent resources for
>>the Aquarist who wants to learn and do more for our Native
>>Fishes. You can also reach me at RobertRice at juno_com or 2213
>>Prytania Circle Navarre Florida 32566
>>Robert Rice
>>Save A Native Eat An Oscar <:)((((<
>>Check Out the Native Fish Conservancy at
>>email  NFC at actwin_com   or  website  
>>You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
>>Get completely free e-mail from Juno at http://www.juno.com
>>Or call Juno at (800) 654-JUNO [654-5866]

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
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