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Breeding Bluegill in a Stock Tank


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#1 centrarchid

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 08:58 AM

I have setup a stock tank to see how simple I can go to get broods of bluegill without using a $8,000 to $20,000 RAS.  Fish used are a trio of small adult Hand-paint Bluegill.  Feed to date has been dominated by insects falling into tank.  The fish are clearly focused on what drops in and they not readily take items from my hand.  Supplementation with feed starting but irregular.  Probable female putting on weight but probable male not defending nest site provided yet.  The spawning part I doubt will be a problem, nor will be harvesting brood at proper time.  Challenge will be in feeding the larval and early fry stages.  I am thinking about putting in place several livestock protein tubs that will be innoculated with green water and a handful of Japanese Beetle adults.  No aeration is planned at this time.  Goal is to produce a couple hundred 2" fingerlings by late fall.

 

Making some cool observations that may be particular to Hand-paint Bluegill.  They do seem to be more aggressive than other bluegill I have worked with.  Seem. 


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#2 lilyea

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 12:06 PM

I'm interested in hearing about your progress (especially with handpaints). What size stock tank are you using? What do you anticipate the range of the water temperature? TIA

#3 centrarchid

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:41 PM

Temperate high to far into upper 80's at surface.  Temperature low in so far in upper 70's.  Swing greater than you might see in a pond setting, at least away from edge.  Breeding tank volume about 400 gallons.  The protein tubs about 30 gallons and I have not monitored much on them yet.  Will start monitoring temperature more closely tonight.


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#4 centrarchid

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:43 PM

I'm interested in hearing about your progress (especially with handpaints). What size stock tank are you using? What do you anticipate the range of the water temperature? TIA

What do your bluegill look like that are native.  The Manatee RIver Coppernose to your north really stand out even relative to the other Coppernose to the north.


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#5 lilyea

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:22 PM

What do your bluegill look like that are native.  The Manatee RIver Coppernose to your north really stand out even relative to the other Coppernose to the north.

 

I currently have an 8" bluegill in a 150g tank along with a few other sunfish and brown bullhead catfish.  The bluegill in my tank doesn't have the overt coloring of some of the coppernose pics on the internet and, while it is far more round than a green sunfish that shares the tank, it isn't as round as some of the pics of coppernose on the internet.  Most of the other bluegill that I encounter are juveniles caught in a dipnet so I don't know how to tell the difference in common vs. coppernose at that size.  Lately I have been focusing more on the native killies (fresh, brackish, and salt), but want to also work on breeding sunfish soon.



#6 centrarchid

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 08:20 PM

Sunfish like bluegill tough do in anything smaller than a 40-gallon breeder.  You could breed an 8" male in a 40.


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#7 centrarchid

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 08:20 AM

Major uptick in activity this morning.  Very serious brat action that may be transitioning into nest defense.  Middle sized fish I think is female is starting to act differently.  I bet a spawn will be realized with the week.  Larget and probable male does not have the blotches on side yet.  Something also different about Hand-paint Bluegill eyes.


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#8 centrarchid

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 04:58 PM

Pushing things harder by bringing home a cup full of live mosquite larvae.  Fish fed to full as ticks in less than 20 minutes.  I should be able to repeat that for another 5 days.  Huge change in behavior noted within about 5 minutes.  Brat moved off nest to deeper water where it defended a different location in the middle of water column.  Prior territory was centered on nest near surface.  Lowest ranking fish has restricted range to bowl of nest where it hawks mosquito larvae entering water column.


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#9 centrarchid

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 07:02 AM

Brattiness appear turned off.  All three fish gut loaded and mosquito larvae still abundant.  Temperature dropped into middle 70's but will rebound later in the week which think will trigger the spawning.  I am running 16 ponds in parallel to this with much larger bluegill.  The pond bluegill are also provided with an exceptional forage base.  After about a week fish in some of those ponds quite swimming around in groups a couple where observed being bratty which I seldom see with fish pushing 1.25 lbs.  Today those ponds will be surveyed by snorkeling for nesting activity.


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#10 centrarchid

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 03:00 PM

Hand-paints for most part are dropping away from surface.  Swimming velocity greatly reduced.  Very active swimming is something I associate with brats.


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#11 centrarchid

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 07:46 PM

Dominant fish chasing second ranking fish all over the tank.  Extremely large territory for a brat.  The omega fish gets very little attention from the dominant.  To reduce stress on the second ranking ifhs I added to black milk crates and a trash can lid to provide cover.  All fish promptly began exploring it.


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#12 centrarchid

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 05:53 PM

Slight problem.  All are females.  Tomorrow I will install a similar sized male Northern Bluegill to see if I can get a hybrid spawn off.  May have to use supplemental lighting for that to work.


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#13 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 07:54 PM

LOL! Install. Never thought I would hear that word in this context. I am a contractor. "So ma'am, your problem here with your garden pond is that all of your fish are female. Next week we will install a top quality male for you, and problem solved." Love it. Sorry, maybe I alone find humor in it, but, I got a good chuckle.

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#14 centrarchid

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:44 PM

Something kid of cool is how even females will go brat to defend a territory. Something also different about eyes of the Hand-paints, they have a silver-copper ring around pupil that is apparent from all directions you can see eye.  As visible as it is, the visual signal must have some role important to the fish.


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#15 centrarchid

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:00 AM

Male Northern Bluegill added.  Within 36 hours he began digging.  I figured out how to use a game camera on situation.  Spawning imminent.  Will have recording going during totality of today's solar eclipse.

 

GOPR5067.JPG

 

 

 

GOPR5065.JPG


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#16 centrarchid

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 11:07 AM

One of my "female" Hand-paint Bluegill is acting suspiciously like a male.  Interacts with male northern a lot like a male would.


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#17 centrarchid

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 06:17 PM

Looks like I forgot how to link YouTube videos. {fixed by moderator}

 


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#18 centrarchid

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 06:04 AM

Extensive digging realized.  Female Hand-paint Bluegill is very ripe.  Despite this breeding season in tank on north side barn done.  Daily minimum temperature from this point on not expected to exceed the low 60's.  Solar gain plus daytime high ambient is not enough to promote good spawning.  To cheat I will remove all fish from tank and replace them with larval Coppernose Bluegill spawned in lab.

 

Hand-paints will be bred in lab with rearing done their as well.

 

This not a fail.


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#19 centrarchid

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 10:02 AM

Transfer of Hand-paint females to an indoor tank connected by water to another with Coppernose Bluegill got males of the latter spinning up within 90 minutes.  Very strong evidence for pheromones.


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#20 centrarchid

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:59 AM

I stocked pro-larval Coppernise Bluegill in with a nest on Friday.  Larval exodus occurred Sunday night.  Monday evening I could find larvae with little trouble.  They swim much more actively in tank than they do indoors.


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