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Sunfish dither - suggestions wanted


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#1 QuoVadis

QuoVadis
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  • WI

Posted 22 January 2016 - 06:04 PM

I have three Central Longear Sunfish from Jonah's Aquarium and I would love some suggestions of what kind of shiner type fish would do well with them. (Actually I am not 100% sure they are Longear - I ordered both Longear and Dollars and all of one kind died off, but I was never totally sure which was which. One species had orange in the anal fin while other species had dusky anal fins.I still have the ones that have orange anal fins.) I believe I have a male and two females, or else a male and two indeterminate sub-dominate specimens.

 

I was thinking of getting rainbow shiners or something like that. I want something big enough not to get eaten, tough enough to take a bit of nipping from the sunfish and hopefully somewhat attractive. I would prefer something that would naturally live in the Central Longear's range, but that I can either catch locally in WI or might be available as bait fish to a Cabella's. (My LFS guy also takes care of Cabella's fish and he said there are a bunch of shiner type fish he can order as feeders and give to me if I want. He said there is a decent selection available to him, I'm just not sure exactly what species. He thought they had Rainbow shiners. Obviously if I do that I will quarantine them well.)

 

Any other ideas?



#2 Evan P

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  • Knoxville, TN

Posted 22 January 2016 - 06:20 PM

Rainbow Shiners would likely be a bit too small to put up with adult Central Longears. I think large, fully grown Cyprinella are your best bet, but I too am interested in some dithers that can put up with a fully grown, very aggressive Central Longer/Pumpkinseed Hybrid and a Checkered Madtom. Maybe Northern Hogsuckers? Central Stonerollers may work too, as well as some Luxilus species.


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 
 

#3 gobucksjb

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 09:35 PM

I agree with the Cyprinella species suggestion, but I feel most minnow species would be OK.  Darter species would work well also.  I am fairly new to keeping natives in aquariums, but I have not had luck with Northern Hogsuckers at all.  It is difficult to get them to feed especially when in the presence of more food aggressive pelagic fish like Centrachids and/or Cyprinids.



#4 Betta132

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  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 23 January 2016 - 05:39 PM

Blacktail shiners will work, but they need 3 feet of space bare minimum, they're very active. Fairly easy to identify- silver fish, shaped almost like a trout, one black spot on the tail right before the fin. Get to something like 4" long. 



#5 Evan P

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  • Knoxville, TN

Posted 23 January 2016 - 06:35 PM

Yeah, they are a Cyprinella shiner. Pretty much everywhere in the country there is one species or another in the genus. For the OP, you would have Spotfin Shiners. Depending on where you are in WI, I may not be far from you. Shoot me a PM, maybe we can get out and do some collecting and I can advise you on some of the local laws.


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

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 12:34 AM

Cyprinella species are the best shiners I have found for this job. Larger species that work good and have broad ranges include blacktail, whitetail, and spotfin shiners.


Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#7 QuoVadis

QuoVadis
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  • WI

Posted 24 January 2016 - 11:43 AM

Ok thanks for the suggestions! I looked at the DNR fish mapping site we have for WI and it looks like there are Spotfin shiners very close to me... maybe I will collect those, but I'll also check to see if Cabella's can get wither white or blacktail shiners in as feeders... Do Spotfins range overlap with Central Longears?

 

Yeahson421, where are you in WI? I am in Green Bay. I have a letter/permit from some DNR guy in Madison that says I have permission to collect fish for aquarium use. Is that all you are aware of that I need for legal collection? Thanks!



#8 Evan P

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  • Knoxville, TN

Posted 24 January 2016 - 06:47 PM

Sounds like a good plan. I am located across the river from La Crosse. If you have a permit, then you may well be good, just make sure you follow it to a T. The Wisconsin DNR is notoriously strict about permits, and fortunately so, but it does mean you really have to pay close attention.


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 
 

#9 smbass

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 11:12 AM

Central Longear and spotfin shiner co-occur here in Ohio and in much of the Ohio River basin.


Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#10 centrarchid

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 01:01 PM

What about Redfin Shiner?  They keep well together in tanks where the minnow can school up.


Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#11 smbass

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 10:17 AM

Redfins or other Lythrurus would probably work OK but in my opinion they are less durable than Cyprinella species and would need more space to evade sunfish due to their smaller size than the larger Cyprinella species that have been mentioned.


Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#12 centrarchid

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 10:44 AM

With 55-gal and 75-gallon tank size appears sufficient so long as the minnows are acclimated to tank before interacting with the sunfish.  Minnows need to be near adult size as well.


Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#13 samantha89lynn

samantha89lynn
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  • Triad, NC

Posted 31 January 2016 - 07:17 PM

I recently got some golden shiners (Notemigonus crysoleucas) to act as dithers for my longear sunfish. From what I've read, they reach about 4-5 inches in the wild so will be able to hold their own in the tank as the longears grow. They're doing exactly what I'd hoped so far and are quite striking in appearance too.



#14 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 08:59 PM

I think they are a good idea, but they do have the possibility of getting significantly larger than 5 inches... like 10-12.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#15 Betta132

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  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 01 February 2016 - 03:50 AM

I've seen 10" golden shiners. And not in exceptional circumstances, just wild shiners in an average lake. 



#16 wargreen

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 11:25 PM

The larger shiners in the Luxilus genus (Albeolus, Cornutus), and the larger chubs (Nocomis, and Semotilus) make good dithers as long as your aquarium is large enough to accommodate them.






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