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Pumpkinseed Spawning Plan


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#1 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
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  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 04 May 2015 - 05:19 PM

With temps having drastically rocketed from the 40s and 50s up to now the 70s and 80s, the time is nearly here for me to attempt at spawning pumpkinseeds. My plan for the last few months has been to wait and catch around 5 wild fish right before they spawn and since nature has already conditioned them, use that to my advantage. Because temps are so high, I'll more than likely go out and catch the fish some time next week, hopefully they haven't spawned yet. Water temps I'd say are at minimum in the low to mid 60s and again with these temps it will be going up fast. I'd like to catch the fish and get them into a tank before the water gets any higher than 70. This is my current plan to try to spawn them, anyone see anything wrong with it?

1) Catch 5 wild pumpkinseeds (4-7") from my local lake and get one of these gender ratios (1M:4F or 2M:3F, which sounds better to you guys for results?).
2) Place the fish in a 33 gallon tank (48"x13"x12") as a growout tank to use for spawning until I can upgrade them. Tankmates will be a trio of Bluenose Shiners which I'm hoping by some miracle of a chance will pick up on the sunfish spawning and spawn themselves over the sunfish(es) nest(s). Which substrate sounds better, sand, gravel, or a mix?
3) Start the temp at 68-70 and raise it to 76-78 via a heater to induce spawning activity. pH will remain at a constant 7.6.
4) Watch for signs of spawning, nests, or eggs in the coming days. I'll be feeding them frozen and live foods in captivity until they spawn then I'll get them onto dry and frozen.
5) Once the eggs hatch under the care of the adult male, immediately place fry into their own tank to growout in. Ill feed the fry what I feed all my fry: crushed-powdered growth formula flake, frozen daphnia, and live microworms.
6) Watch for anymore spawning for the next several weeks then start conditioning the group to spawn next spring by lowering the temps into the 50s and feeding less but still feeding more protein and fatty things so the females develop roe.

Does this plan sound good to you guys or should I change anything?
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#2 Sunfish Catcher 321

Sunfish Catcher 321
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  • Illinois

Posted 04 May 2015 - 08:49 PM

I don't know how different they are but here is a link to a video about green sunfish.
https://m.youtube.co...h?v=OnIDTRZoKaI

#3 centrarchid

centrarchid
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Posted 05 May 2015 - 11:20 AM

Relax.  Over managing a bit and tank too tight for the minnows in such large sunfish.  In a smaller tank try to start with smaller fish and make so more than one male.  


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#4 Sean Phillips

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

Posted 05 May 2015 - 11:47 AM

Relax.  Over managing a bit and tank too tight for the minnows in such large sunfish.  In a smaller tank try to start with smaller fish and make so more than one male.


I'm just really hoping I can get them to spawn is all :). Which is why I'm trying to make the conditions as perfect as possible. I'll go with 2 males and 3 females then and try to get them around 3-6". The shiners I'm not to worried about, I'll just add some spawning mops and hornwort for them to hide in. Because of lack of space in my fishroom though, I've made a change in my electrical planning in this tank. Instead of using a light and heater to induce spawning I'm just going to put it in front of a window so the sunlight will give them both a natural daylight cycle and will heat the water as well.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#5 centrarchid

centrarchid
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Posted 05 May 2015 - 01:20 PM

I suggest 2 males in your breeding tank setup for two nests.  Hold females in another tank near by with very good filtration.  Feed females well and periodically transfer some water from their tank into the breeder tank.  Watch for changes in male behavior.  Look up some of my older threads on how to spawn sunfishes.  I do not recall writing specifically about Pumpkinseeds but they breed about the same as have done them before.   


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#6 Sean Phillips

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

Posted 05 May 2015 - 02:24 PM

I suggest 2 males in your breeding tank setup for two nests.  Hold females in another tank near by with very good filtration.  Feed females well and periodically transfer some water from their tank into the breeder tank.  Watch for changes in male behavior.  Look up some of my older threads on how to spawn sunfishes.  I do not recall writing specifically about Pumpkinseeds but they breed about the same as have done them before.


Sounds good but in my case there's two problems with that. The first being I really have no I room for one 33 gallon in my fishroom let alone two for conditioning both sexes but I'm going to just be able to squeeze one for this project. The other is I have 15 things plugged in in a small fishroom with one circuit so as far as filtration goes, a sponge and big water changes are what I'll be relying on.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#7 centrarchid

centrarchid
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Posted 05 May 2015 - 03:00 PM

Go with three inch fish and keep females in an 10-gallon aquarium.  Males need not be conditioned nutritionally.  Otherwise maybe wait until next year or even simply complete project later in the year when resources are more available.  Pumpkinseeds can be propagated year round with ease.


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#8 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
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  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 05 May 2015 - 06:37 PM

Go with three inch fish and keep females in an 10-gallon aquarium.  Males need not be conditioned nutritionally.  Otherwise maybe wait until next year or even simply complete project later in the year when resources are more available.  Pumpkinseeds can be propagated year round with ease.


I wasn't aware that they could be spawned year round, is it pretty much the same principles of separating the sexes and conditioning he females? I will have an available 10g I could use for a trio of females and just up WCs on it.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#9 centrarchid

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 09:23 PM

Keep light on full for at least 16 hours per day and do not allow complete darkness at night while temperature is in the mid 70's should enable spawns year round.


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#10 centrarchid

centrarchid
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Posted 06 May 2015 - 09:34 AM

I will try to have some of my guys give the Pumpkinseeds a go in a breeding tank.  Setups can be compared.  Student taasked to determine interval between fertilization and hatch.


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#11 Sean Phillips

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

Posted 06 May 2015 - 10:26 AM

Keep light on full for at least 16 hours per day and do not allow complete darkness at night while temperature is in the mid 70's should enable spawns year round.


Sounds good, I'll have to try that soon. So will that still work if I use wild caught fish and bring them into captivity in the summer after they've spawned in the wild?
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage




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