I have a redbreast fingerling that's currently living in a 29g Biocube. I'd like to put him in my 65g, but the two resident sunfish are too large. One is a 3.5" longear, the other is a 4" warmouth. If I added him at this point, the longear would bully him and the warmouth would eat him. I need to get this guy to probably something like 3.5", especially considering that my warmouth is likely to grow considerably in that time. Is it reasonable to grow this guy to that size in a 29g? Also, how can I boost his growth without compromising his health? Is there any specific combination of foods that might help? And how long is that likely to take?
Redbreast sunfish growout
Posted 02 December 2015 - 06:59 AM
In my experience Redbreast hold their own quite well. Even juveniles. Try it in with the others. Give it a solid week or two, (or less if you see significant damage....a torn fin doesn't count), and if everyone works out their place in line, great. If not, move it right back to the original tank.
The problem is that you'd have to decrease the amount and frequency you feed the fish in the larger tank at the same time as increasing the amount and frequency of food for the Redbreast to have it catch up in size with the others. That is very doable, but I think you'd be ok to add the Redbreast now. High protein, quality pellets are an easy way to bulk fish up. You can also get some frozen shrimp and/or fish filet to add to the diet as well.
"Patience is a virtue." "A watched pot never boils".............why the rush to have this fish grow rapidly? It shouldn't be more than a couple months to get a few inches of growth on a 2" sunfish. But keep in mind the feeding factors above, along with water temperature. Depending on what the Redbreast is being kept at, you may want to increase it. If possible, decrease the temp of the other tank to slow the metabolism of those fish.
Posted 02 December 2015 - 10:37 PM
Good advice Nick... the 3-4 inch sunfish could be dropped down to feeding every third day and they would be fine... the little guy could simply be fed every day... I know I sound like a commercial sometime... but Sandwich says Massivore Pellets made him grow big and strong. If you could get a two incher to take a big sinking pellet every day... he would be a 4 incher in no time.
Posted 05 December 2015 - 04:50 PM
This guy is under two inches long, I'm pretty sure the warmouth could eat him. "Fingerling" might not be the right word- he's maybe an inch and a half long, possibly a bit under. He does have a lot of spirit (he tries to fight cories that are bigger than him and heavily armored), but that won't do him any good against a fish that will probably swallow him and a fish that is most likely going to rip his head off.
I'm not in any huge rush to get him grown up, I'd just like to have him grow nice and fast so he can catch up to the others. He's doing really well so far, he's grown about a centimeter in the month that I've had him. I'm impressed.
The big sunfish are only being fed a few times a week. They aren't on a strict schedule, I just feed them when the longear starts getting especially eager for food. They're both growing, noticeably, especially the longear.
So I can try introducing the redbreast once he gets a bit past 2"? I'm a bit wary of putting him in too young, the longear is about as mean as you'd expect. He's vying for dominance with the larger-than-him warmouth, and he tried to eat a namesake-sized silver dollar. Didn't work, of course, but he left a bite mark around its dorsal fin on both sides of its body. I'd hate to have him try that on the redbreast's face, he'd probably rip its gill cover off. At this point, he'd rip its entire face off.
(and yes, I have spotted silver dollars in the sunfish tank. I wanted open-water schooling fish that the warmouth wouldn't be able to eat, and all our native shiners are either too large for my tank or too small to survive the warmouth. Yes, I could replace them, but at some point he'll be able to eat them faster than I can catch them.)
Massivore pellets sound like they're really good fish food, but I can't have them in the house. My mom has celiac, and we can't risk getting gluten on anything she might touch. Theoretically I could manage to keep the gluten away from her, but it would take far more effort than it's worth. The big sunfish are on krill and the occasional dose of bloodworms, the tiny guy is on micro-pellets, bloodworms, and an occasional bit of krill. All of them are showing great coloration. Baby gets fed daily, with a once-weekly day of no food to let everything digest. He's probably picking up copepods all week, too, and possibly eating other stuff that's living in the tank. Do redbreast sunnies eat snails?
The baby sunfish is at about 75 degrees now. Could I up him to 78 degrees? He's from heat-hardy stock, he comes from a shallow river that gets surprisingly hot during summer, and he hasn't shown any signs of distress from the temperature. He isn't acting like he's having any trouble breathing, and he's living near the bottom rather than hanging around the surface. I assume if I up the temp more, he'll grow even faster, but would that be safe?
Posted 05 December 2015 - 05:31 PM
Posted 05 December 2015 - 07:13 PM
In that case, the baby is probably eating a fairly large number of snails. He's living underneath a bunch of magnolia leaves, and I'm sure there are a few zillion MTS living under there with him.
Posted 06 December 2015 - 11:52 AM
78F is totally safe. You could even go to 80F if you wanted. Whatever you're comfortable with. Some, myself included, feel that a lot of fish grow quicker with live food. Guppies, grass shrimp, blackworms, etc. would be something that you could load the tank up with and keep him full 24/7 since he would have access to food any time he was hungry.
Posted 07 December 2015 - 12:24 AM
He's far too small to eat most guppies, but I'm definitely trying to find some grass shrimp that'll breed in freshwater. Anyone know of a source? I suppose I could also use cheap cherry shrimp, but I've never had much luck with them.
Posted 07 December 2015 - 08:25 AM
Posted 07 December 2015 - 03:35 PM
Does anyone know of a supply of cheap neo shrimp? There's a whole lot of cover in the tank, so I doubt he'd be able to pick them all off. He's not large enough to eat full-sized neos yet, anyway.
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