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NFC: A new article.....

Pump up the Power Fish
Robert Rice
Robertrice at juno_com

     There are a certain percentage of Aquarist out there that love power
. The Have the best Power equipment, the most lights and  like to keep
the baddest fish they can find. Well this article is for you. See I must 
ashamedly  admit I have kept a single fish power tank and loved it. Power
tank , what's a power tank  ?  A Power tank  is a single Super Predator
Fish , a Mess of plants, some Huge Lights, and a power filter. When its
feeding time it's a bit of a cross between WCW wrestling and the
Discovery channel. As most of the Power fish will only eat live foods. So
we dump in Goldfish, bait minnows or whatever we come across and WHAM the
Super Predators leap into action. Scales flying all around as they attack
their dinner. Then its over and they go back to their stealth positions
awaiting their next victims.

The Power fish usually Draw big money at the pet stores.  Piranhas, 
Snakeheads, Oscars ,  Jaguar Cichlids and the like seem to always sell
out. So there is a strong demand for the power tank fish. Sadly Many
folks dump these Powerfish into their local waterways when they get tired
of feeding them or they out grow their tank. This has led to infestations
in the deep south that are a serious threat to our local species (see
http:/nativefish.interspeed.net for details) . That's a real black eye
for all of us. So don't release your unwanted fishes EVER.

Now Back to the Power  Fish. Their needs are simple a sturdy tank, a lid
, as they will leap out in search of prey, a good light system , basic
cover plastic plants , logs and the like and a GOOD power Filter. That's
it. Your good to go. Now comes your biggest choice , do I take those
Pretty Oscars, Those Ugly Snakeheads or those menacing looking Piranha ?
Decisions, decisions well I have a suggestion, pick none of the above.
That's right pick none of the above. Instead go get a fishing license and
catch you a Powerfish. You see in North America some of the most
fascinating Powerfish on the planet reside. As a matter of fact over 10%
of the worlds fish species live in North America so it should be no
surprise that the Ultimate Power Fish is siting in pond just a little bit
down the road. Not only will you get a Incredible Power Fish , but you'll
get to do a little hook and line fishing. You see in most states a simple
fishing license allows you to catch legal sized sportfish and keep them
in a home Aquarium. They just count towards your creel limit. Which means
every morning when you wake up that Largemouth in your living room is
considered to be caught that day. So instead of being able to catch 7
Bass limit a day you could catch 6  for example as you have one already.
Sounds easy and it is. Double check with your states limits and laws when
you buy your license.

OK now I've got you thinking. Local Power fish kinda like rooting for the
home team good idea , but what ones really work in the tank. Here's my
favorite Native Power Fish in no particular order.

The basses : All of them if caught at a proper size (8 inches or less)
Adapt well to domestic life. They will take pellets with a bit of
training but love crayfish, small fish of all types and freshwater
shrimps. I Have really enjoyed keeping Goggle eye, Largemouth, Shadow and
Smallmouth Bass. I Highly recommend the Basses.

The Crappies : Both the Black and White Crappies do well in a tank. Their
Large Fins make them very attractive. They are durable and as with all
the fish on this list supplemental heat is unnecessary. Live food is
necessary though. Try redworms , minnows, crayfish , goldfish or extras
from your tropical tanks.

Bowfin: A very colorful fish well suited to domestic life. They are
almost alien looking but are really American Made. They will only take
live  and frozen foods. Extremely aggressive feeders so keep your hands
away from the tank !

The Pickerels: The Pickerels are small forms of the Pike Family . I
recommend the Redfin Pickerel (Esox americanus) it stays under 12 inches
and is very colorful with its red fins. There is also a Chain Pickerel
that gets a bit larger but is well suited to the tank. They will only
take live food so keep that in mind.

The Sunfishes: That's right every Bream you take on hook and Line would
make a great Powertank Fish. They are durable , colorful and most of them
will take prepared foods. So whether it's a Bluegill or a Longear the
Sunfish all are Powerfish.

The Gar Family : I do not recommend the Gars as they quickly outgrow all
but the largest tanks. They still however pop up annually in the pet
trade . Do us all a favor and do not purchase them . Instead ask your
store to carry Pickerel species.

The Catfishes: With the diversity of the North American Catfishes why
anyone would purchase a redtail cat is beyond me. Channel cats, Flathead
Cats and all the bullheads do good in tanks. I recommend sticking with
the bullheads though as they remain a manageable size their whole lives.
With the Yellow Bullhead and Spotted Bullhead on the top of my list.

Now that is by no means a complete list but it gives you good start. Any
of these fish should however make a colorful , attractive Powertank .
Just keep your hands and feet away from the tank when they are feeding J
. Until next time good luck and good fishing.

For resources check into the following:

Worms: Kazaries Worm Farm phn: 352-463-7823 They Take all major credit
cards and offer 2 lbs. of (about 2,000) redworms delivered 26.95. These
are great pet food and composters for kitchen scraps. His quality is good
and his prices great. Ask for the NFC special to get this price.

Peterson's Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes by Larry Page and Brooks M
Burr. You can purchase off of the Native fish Conservancy Website @
http://nativefish.interspeed.net or check it out at your local library.

Your State Department of Natural Resources. They have good books for sale
on your local flora and fauna. So by all means check them out.

Robert Rice
Help Preserve our Aquatic Heritage join the NFC
email us at NFC at actwin_com or  Sunfishtalk at listbot_com
website  http://nativefish.interspeed.net/