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Sunfish compatability

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#1 Guest_QuoVadis_*

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 10:08 PM

I have read that with most sunfish it is best to keep 5-7 in the 4ft footprint of a 55g in order for them to get along. I know from experience keeping just a couple often does not work well. Would this stock work in a 55g (assuming of course I stay on the water changes)?

1 Green sunfish
3-4 Pumpkinseed (and/or possibly Longear/ Dollar sunfish, if I decide to order from Jonahs Aquarium)
1 Shadow Bass

I know the Green and Shadow bass are more aggressive, but if I kept only one of each species, and more of the Pumpkinseed, would that curb the aggression? Also, the fish would be growing up together from the 1-2inches big.

And finally, in most cichlid aquariums people keep dither fish. Are there any native fish that work well for that in sunfish tanks, and does it help them be less aggressive?


#2 Guest_Vandee_*

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 10:32 PM

I have a 75gal tank with 1 pupmkin seed 3-4in, 1 big 4in green and 2 smaller 3in greens, 2 warmouth 2in and 2 longear sub 2 in. The pumpkin seed is the dominate fish and is only aggressive towards the fish that are close to or bigger than him. the greens bully everyone except the pumpkin seed. The longear and warmouth only chase there counterpart. By aggressive i mean that they only chase each other, only had a problem with 1 of the greens getting fins beat on when he tried to fight back instead of running and that only lasted a week or so. My tank also has a pretty big log and lots of plants to break site lines. I wouldnt have a problem with stocking like what you have listed as long as you keep and eye on it. each fish is going to have its own personality and aggression level. you may get unlucky and get a super aggressive fish or you may get lucky and get a very docile one. My fish have grown up together from 1in over the past 5 months and i like to think that helped play a role curbing the aggression.

#3 littlen

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 11:21 AM

Quo--I think your original lineup might work consisting of Green/P-seed/Shadow. I would stay away from Dollars in that small of a tank. Despite their smaller size, they more than make up for it in aggression. (I had 6 in a 150 with lots of decor in the tank and the largest males started killing the others). The dynamics of a sunfish tank are always amusing. What has worked for someone in the past may not work for others. As your fish get bigger and possibly decide to breed, the dynamics of the tank will certainly change and some recessive fish may get bullied relentlessly as there isn't much room to flee in a 55.

I would not be afraid to try the fish you've listed--be sure to start off with similar sized juveniles if you can, and have sufficient decor, plants, etc. to break up line-of-sight and to give the little guys a place to get away from one another. Just be prepared to pull a fish or two to another tank if they start getting picked on. There may be some initial fin damage as they work things out, but just keep an eye on things and hopefully they'll work things out without anyone having to be removed.

Good luck.
Nick L.

#4 Guest_smbass_*

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 12:07 PM

You got some good advice already but I would add that shadow bass are not typically aggressive at all in a territorial sense. They like to eat including smaller fish but not territorial and rarely chase around similar sized fish. Your Greens and pumpkinseeds will be much more territorial. It is good to separate glutinous feeding aggression from territorial aggression these are two very different things. Pumpkinseeds/Dollars/Longears territorial, Greens both, and Warmouth/Shadow bass/Rock Bass have a big mouth and use it but are not very territorial. With Shadow Bass and Greens I would not try to add any dithers. If you go with all sunfish with a small mouth this may be more possible but not needed.

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