Yea, i'm not trying to make hybrids, I just like both a lot. I may just go with Northern Longears and I can move a fish or two into a 15g tub if it gets ugly. How many should I go with? Will be visiting Brian Zimmerman on Sunday to help him get some fish inside or whatever else he's working on at the time, also buying some fish. Should I go with three to try to ensure a pair? 4? I doubt they'll be large enough to sex, which I want them to be very small to start with anyways as i'll be keeping them in a 10g for a month or two.
To play safer, six small juveniles to ensure breeding group. Remember system not based on pairs, it is polygamous for most Lepomis spp. Northerns assume! Brian might able to sex them smaller than you think.
If small, even if not, try to hatch out and feed them some brine shrimp. Great conditioning food and provides practice with process if needed.
Once you can identify a male, isolate him in your 10-gallon aquarium with a shallow bowl with diameter roughly twice the male's total length.