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Hey Roberto:

From the way the stock market has been behaving in the past two weeks, I'd
suggest you get your shorts on and go out  collecting for natives to sell. 


> From: robert a rice <robertrice at juno_com>
> To: nfc at actwin_com
> Subject: Re: $ SUNFISH
> Date: Tuesday, August 04, 1998 12:40 PM
> John, 
> 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:
> >Robert:
> >
> >    I would be interested in the dollar sunfish and any pygmy sunfish 
> >-
> >let me know.
> >
> >John
> >-----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
> >>
> >>
> >></PRE></HTML>
> >>
> >>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\
> >>
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> >
> >
> >
> >
> _____________________________________________________________________
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