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#1 jeffreyconte

  • NANFA Member

Posted 18 March 2015 - 07:50 PM

I recently collected four juvenile Warmouth of indeterminate sex (so far). Presently, I have them in quarantine in a 30 gallon tank but plan to move them to larger quarters. I am curious about keeping multiple Warmouth in the same tank and how territorial they are compared to other Lepomis sunfish. Do I need to separate them? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

#2 UncleWillie

  • NANFA Member

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:13 PM

As juveniles I wouldn't worry about aggression at all.  Even as young and older adults, I've kept several warmouth in one tank without issues.  I observed a few gill flares and some posturing occasionally, but for the most part, each warmouth had it's favorite spot under a log or among plants and confrontations weren't seen.

Willie P
Roswell, GA

#3 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 18 March 2015 - 08:47 PM

As I've seem suggested by some other members, most notably Brian, it's best to keep Lepomis is groups of at least 5-6+. I personally keep my only sunfish (green sunfish) with some creek chubs so I don't have direct experience with inter genus aggression. Just make sure you have a big enough tank, Warmouth are by far the biggest Lepomis species I ever catch consistently. The average size I catch them is 8-10" but my biggest was 12.5-13".
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#4 centrarchid

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:01 PM

Either provide lots of hiding places or none at all.  Also watch for fish coming into breeding condition.  More fish is better to control aggression

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#5 Evan P

Evan P
  • NANFA Guest
  • Knoxville, TN

Posted 18 March 2015 - 11:23 PM

Warmouth seem to act differently than other Lepomis for me. I have observed very little aggression from Warmouths, and even when it happened, it was in retaliation. They seem to be gentle giants when it comes to anything that doesn't bother it or fit in its mouth. This may not be the same between conspecifics, though.

3,000-4,000 Gallon Pond Full of all sorts of spawning fishes! http://forum.nanfa.org/index.php/topic/13811-3560-gallon-native-fish-pond/page-3 

#6 smbass

  • Board of Directors

Posted 19 March 2015 - 07:16 AM

I would agree that despite their size warmouth are one of the three least aggressive of the 13 Lepomis species. They rarely if ever do damage to one another and do not seem to guard very big territories. I would not be concerned about having just 4 of them in a tank which goes against what I would say about most Lepomis. If you provide them with enough hiding places (at least one more than fish) they will each claim a spot. These are the first sunfish I ever kept long term in a tank. I had 4 or 5 in a 55 gallon tank pretty much all 4 years of high school. They were glutinous feeders and ate all kinds of things (this was fun for me as a teenager) and got along just fine including spawning multiple times in the tank. I never did try to raise any of the fry. I had the tank divided into 5 or 6 sections by large rocks standing up vertically with flat ones going across the top making caves. Each one had its spot and they all got quite large. Looking back on it it was a lot of biomass for that tank but at that time I only had a few tanks and I was much better at keeping up with frequent water changes.


Bantams and orangespottted also seem less aggressive to me and would be the other two on the bottom end of the aggression scale. They are both small though so the warmouth truly are unique with their large size and less territorial nature.

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage

#7 Usil

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 20 March 2015 - 02:49 PM

I agree with keeping 6 or 7.  I have had many tanks with Lepomis and the ones where there were 6 or 7 were always the most peaceful where peaceful means normal dominance and positioning but nobody kills anybody or hacks the fins off.

My 55 Gallon Fish Cam - Sometimes on (Use Ie8 or 9):

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#8 jeffreyconte

  • NANFA Member

Posted 20 March 2015 - 05:13 PM

Thanks to all who offered their experiences and insights. 

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