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Pirate perch feeding

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#1 Guest_Leo1234_*

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 07:29 PM

I was wondering if pirate perch require live food. I would love to get one, but my mom does not want a live food culture.

#2 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 07:42 PM

Search for pirate perch here on the forum... we have had lots of conversations about them.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#3 Guest_Leo1234_*

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 08:53 PM

This is most likely a stupid question, but can they be with greenside darters?

#4 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 08:59 PM

well, I have not see a pirate perch that would be big enough to eat your large greensides... but they are from really very different habitats. Pirate Perch are from slack water, even swampy environments... Greensides are from a riffle-run habitat. Seems a weird mix.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#5 Guest_Leo1234_*

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 09:01 PM

The reason I was wondering is I wanted to get a pirate perch sometime, but the only aquarium they could really go into right now is my darter aquarium. I would then move it to my other 20 once my crappie and redear are large enough to go into the 150.

#6 Guest_phishnter_*

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 10:08 AM

I have 3 pirate perch. My larger one is about 4 inches long and my smallest is 2 inches. The only thing I can get them to eat are worms. I have had absolutely no success feeding them anything else.They are also kinda skiddish so I have to use a large pair of tweezers with a worm piece and put it directly in front of their nose. They will usually eat it without hesitation. Otherwise, in my experience, they won't eat. I hope this helps.

#7 Guest_Skipjack_*

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 12:15 PM

I could see a 4-5 inch pirate perch making a meal of a darter. They are known fish eaters.

#8 Guest_Kanus_*

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 02:11 PM

While Michael is correct about them being from different habitats, I think it could be done if you could offer a heavily sheltered portion of the tank that could break the current. I once did catch a few pirate perch reasonably far from coastal plain habitat, just east of Charlotte NC, in a pretty typical piedmont stream, in logjams and along riprap under a bridge. I doubt they had much available habitat to use in that environment, but they were making it work.

#9 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 06:30 PM

I have caught pirates in surprisingly fast flowing streams too, usually among roots and branches along the shore. The little red earthworms you find in leaf piles or compost piles are good food. Feed them at night, otherwise they wont compete against the greenside darters.

#10 Guest_Uland_*

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 10:11 AM

You can train Pirate Perch to eat just about anything. I used vinyl coated wire to wiggle pieces of shrimp or fish fillets to get them started eating frozen foods. In a week or two of that, you can just toss pieces of thawed fish or shrimp and they'll eat it without trouble.

#11 Guest_centrarchid_*

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 10:12 AM

If using worms, make certain they are well fed.

Requires culture but could be done outside seasonally; waterfleas are best in my experience as live forage. Amphipods also excellent.

#12 Guest_UncleWillie_*

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 08:10 AM

I had a short two-year stint with pirate perch and fed a mix of feeds. In general, my best success was feeding in low-light conditions (with tank lights off, but room still lit). They seemed like they just couldn't see the food very easily in bright light, but did very well in low light and dark. My experience was similar to Uland. As long as you can make something wiggle or jump, they'll go for it. Mine ate Hikari soft carnivore pellets if I tapped them with my finger to make them appear to move), bloodworms, slivers of fish, and tiny field crickets (they did not seem to like grasshoppers (too hard, or spiny parts?)). And like Skipjack Matt said, they will hammer fish if they are able. I put 12 Gambusia in the tank with 3 medium-sized pirate perch one afternoon. Pirate perch had a few missed strikes during the day, but the lights went off and the next morning I woke up to zero Gambusia and three extremely plump pirate perch.

#13 Guest_Stickbow_*

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 04:20 PM

I have two pirate perch I collected in the Econfina River FL this past July; not extremely fast flow, but steady. The water there is pitch black.

I only had the option of keeping them in my clear "Florida Spring tank" with limestone strata and steady water flow

They aren't very exciting fish - they hide all day and eat everything (live or kinda wriggling) they can fit in their mouths at night.

I like them, but rarely ever see them, even in a lightly planted tank with minimal cover.

#14 Guest_centrarchid_*

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 06:11 PM

Setup tank so at night it is under a red light. You should see more activity then.

#15 Leo1234

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 08:41 AM

Is it possible to teach them to eat during the day? Mine only ate frozen bloodworms once during the day, but have stopped since. They are in my 33 right now and they are doing fine with the current. I feed them in the morning and at night. Right now I have a T-5 on the aquarium. I do need to turn the light on for the plants I have in there. They are out in the light during the day, but don't eat with the light on. 

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