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Sunfish Questions

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#1 Guest_itsme_*

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 03:11 PM

A potential customer messaged me with some questions about sunfish. I hope he doesn't mind that I copy his question and my answer here for the possible benefit of others. Might generate some discussion:


I am really interested in getting some dollar sunfish. I currently have a 33 gallon XL (48x12x12) and would have to house them in there for a couple of months until I move into my new house and can get my 125 running. How many dollars can I keep in the 33, how many in a 125 and what other species of sunfish can live with them or what other tankmates do you recommend?



Since they are small and your tank is long, you could keep maybe 8 of them in there. That's probably a good number to start with to end up with a nice group in the 125. Inevitably, some get lost along the way. You can keep them with other Lepomis species. (Not so much humilis and symmetricus, since they are smaller) But the other Lepomis would work. Sometimes it's best to have a mix of species to help dissipate aggression. When males are ready to spawn, they can kill the females if they are confined in close quarters. The large tank will help as well as abundant cover such as plants, rocks and wood. And mixing the species is good too. You could add larger madtoms like the margined and stonecat. Most of the minnows and suckers would be torn up by the sunnies as they mature. Large darters might work like logperch, dusky, variegate, piedmont darter and blackbanded darters. Fliers, shadow bass, mud sunfish and rockbass are other possibilities.

Let me know as soon as possible what you would like. I have limited supplies of the sunfishes and won't be able to replenish most of them until the fall.

#2 Guest_itsme_*

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 03:22 PM

Just to clarify, as far as the final number of full grown Lepomis in a typical 125 gallon tank, I 'd say somewhere between 5 and 8 is a possible scenario. There are a lot of variables that can effect your results, including temperature and the exact species mix and individual temperment. Overall stocking is limited by these factors as well as sufficient filtration, plants (which remove nutrients and calm things down) and water changes. When mixing families (ie sunfishes with catfishes with darters) you need to figure out how to be sure that everyone will get sufficient food as they compete for it.

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