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Tank mate for sunfish?

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#1 Aquarist Fist

Aquarist Fist
  • NANFA Guest
  • Oregon

Posted 11 January 2017 - 06:59 PM

I have a beautiful male Missouri longear and two male Western dollar sunfish in a 57g tank. It's a strange dynamic: the two dollars constantly police each other, but the much larger longear seems to keep them in check. They share the tank with an geriatric pearl gourami, two diamond tetras, and a bunch of otocinclus. The tropicals are leftovers from an older planted tank, and I decided to allow them to expire naturally rather than putting them through the stress of "donating" them back to a store. I might restock the otocinclus - they seem to like the temperature around 70 and get along well with everyone (as otos always seem to).


When the larger tropicals are gone, I'd like to add one more native species. Something large (or inconspicuous) enough not to be harassed by the sunfish but not so large that it overwhelms the system. Maybe some darter species? I'd be grateful for any recommendations.


The tank currently has a sand bottom and is moderately planted, but that could be adjusted. 

#2 don212

  • NANFA Member

Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:19 PM

fat sleeper?

#3 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 12 January 2017 - 11:22 AM

Cyprinella shiners, Rosyside dace, Bluehead chub ... ? 

Probably NOT darters ... will be difficult to get enough food to them.

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

#4 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 12 January 2017 - 04:41 PM

Also longears can potentially snack on darters depending on their size, personality, and food availability.

#5 Aquarist Fist

Aquarist Fist
  • NANFA Guest
  • Oregon

Posted 12 January 2017 - 05:00 PM

No darters - got it. I think fat sleepers will get too large for my tank, and I don't plan an upgrade anytime soon. I'll look into some Cyprinella. Thank you!

#6 ForTheHalibut

  • NANFA Guest
  • New York, NY

Posted 24 January 2017 - 09:46 PM

I used to use danios as dither fish for my dollar suns.  It really improved their behavior and reduced their shyness.  Then they all got eaten.  Not sure how old your dollar suns are, but the otos may eventually become food.  I use giant danios now.  I originally purchased them as a temporary substitute until I could find a safe size of top minnow for the tank, but then I two of the giant danios ended up with large, bruised injuries (one to tail, the other to the head) as if they had been bitten.  I isolated them in a hospital tank, but they died within 12 hours.  The remaining danios seem fine now that they have been initiated, but I would not take this risk with native fish (if captive bred, expensive; if wild caught, just a damn shame). 

#7 Sho Bud

Sho Bud
  • NANFA Guest
  • Louisville KY

Posted 22 February 2017 - 09:20 PM

Creek Chubs and Striped Shiners

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