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Elassoma zonatum care

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#1 Guest_Joshaeus_*

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 11:49 AM

Does elassoma zonatum differ in care at all from the other Pygmy sunfish species? I have heard that they are more aggressive and grow larger, but otherwise I don't know much about them.

#2 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 09 May 2014 - 01:16 PM

No the care is not different. They get bigger like 1.75 inches.
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#3 Guest_Joshaeus_*

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 04:06 PM

So zonatum in general grow considerably bigger than the other pygmy sunnies? Is the 1.75 inches a typical size?

Edited by Joshaeus, 09 May 2014 - 04:07 PM.

#4 Guest_Dustin_*

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:11 PM

The max size depends on the location. I have seen some absolute monsters from down around Mobile that we're closer to 2 inches. The ones near me rarely get more than an inch. Typical is probably just over an inch. They are not more aggressive than evergladei or okefenokee.

#5 Guest_Joshaeus_*

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:21 PM

Out of curiosity, but are we absolutely sure that 'zonatum' is but one species? It sure does show a huge range (and amount of regional variation) for a tiny, swamp-dwelling fish that does not move around much...

#6 Guest_Dustin_*

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:02 PM

I think anyone that tells you they are absolutely sure about anything is a fool. Obviously there is some work to be done there but the differences aren't nearly as stark in zonatum as they are in some other species, ie. long ears.

#7 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 10:38 AM

I think Mike Sandel is looking into that. It's long been recognized that the eastern and western zonatum have differences (Lee at al., 1980). The type specimens of zonatum are from TX rivers, so the eastern "zonies" may need a new name(s)? IME (with NC zonies) they are a bit more aggressive than evergladei and gilberti. Zonie males seem to defend a larger space than those other two, and I've even had females get pretty nippy to each other. They also seem to hug the bottom more, preferring leaf litter "caves" rather than bushy plants, but that may vary depending on tank set-up and what other fishes are present.

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