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E P Sunfish continued

Hey Darren via Josh,
	Neat stuff regarding the E P Sunfish! I've also observed the

 beauty of the males in there best territorial colors. Here are some

 interesting things I've noticed. Obviously each male maintains an 

area in the tank as a territory. I have two males that have staked out 

lower areas (i.e the bottom) as their territory. The third male was 

forced to make his territory the surface. Not very desireable from a 

breeding and protection from certain predators stand point. 

Its intersting that you say that the males spend lots of time wagging 

but rarely result in injuries because my males are definately 

aggressive to the point of belligerance (sp?). My thought was that the 

E P Sunfish are more primitive than cichlids in that where dwarf 

cichlids have very ritualized displays involving dominance conflicts 

the E P Sunfish just attack. The E P Sunfish do a very cichlid-like 

movement with their dorsal fins (a kind of alternating extension), but 

if they were cichlids I would expect them to go up to each other side 

by side flaring their fins (which they do not , they just attack). The 

females on the other hand skulk around the bottom freezing if a male 

comes near unless in breeding condition at which point they will 

follow them to their favored breeding spot. I have gotten my E P 

Sunfish to eat frozen brine shrimp (at least I've seen the males 

eating) but I do occassionally supplement with live foods. I guess if 

there is any conclusion to be had from this discussion so far is that 

an extremely heavily planted tank is the helpful in succesful raising 

of E P Sunfish. Oh and maybe a heavy surface cover is helpful. I have 

at least 2-3" of Salvinia on the surface of my tank, in fact layer 

apon layer of the stuff and that is where I first noticed the E P 

Sunfish fry. Another neat thing about the males is that they can hold 

there own against much larger fish as they are so aggressive and quick 

(as long as the other fish cant swallow them) OK I'll stop here its 

exciting to hear another perspective on the care and raising of E P
	Hi Chris,

My experience has been the same.  I've got a 15G long set up with lots
Java moss.  Late last year I had a single pair of pygmies in the tank
over the winter I let the algae get out of control.  Actually I was
negligent with the tank and ignored it the better part of the winter. 
could imagine my suprise when I found fry swimming around the tank this
spring.  I now have 6 young pygmies but unfortunately they are mostly
In fact, I think I have a single female.  I'm concerned that she may end
being harrassed and she is almost half the size of the males.  When I
feed I
make sure that she gets food hoping to fatten her up for breeding. 
now I'm feeding Daphnia and mosquito larvae both of which they seem to
(although the larger mosquito larvae seem almost too big for them).

I've noticed that the males spend a lot of time wagging at each other in
defense of their turf.  This rarely results in injuries though and I
the fact that they are colored up most of the time.  They are always a
solid, dark black peppered with beautiful blue flecks.  I've also
that one of the males is unusually large while the others are
smaller.  Perhaps there is some form of pecking order that's established
when there is more than one male? OTOH, they could be males from

BTW, one word of warning.  Before the spring I had 3 ghost shrimp in the
tank to help control algae.  When I started feeding the juveniles on
I was suprised to see the shrimp actually swim and pick off live Daphnia
from the water column for food.  Wonder where they learned that from? 
pains me to think of how many fry I could have now if the shrimp had not
been in the tank!

Darren Gill
Carmel, IN