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Sunfish ID Confirmations for a Newbie


5 replies to this topic

#1 Tye

Tye
  • NANFA Guest
  • Champaign, IL

Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:24 PM

Hi all, I've started surveying the local waterways with the intent to stock a 75G planted native (central IL) tank.
My Intended Stock
* 6 orange spot sunfish or pumpkinseeds if I can't find orange spots (I'm working off the over stock+over filter strategy)
* 3-6 rainbow or green darters (can darters be mixed?)
* 6-10 blackstripe topminnows

I haven't brought anything home yet, but I've been checking out the local ponds with a (small) hook and line. I want to make sure I'm confident IDing sunnies, so I'd love feedback on this. Here's some of my recent catches: https://imgur.com/gallery/ycCRZ

I have 10/20/30G tanks on hand to separate darters or minnows, but nothing else suitable for larger sunnies of the wrong species. Thanks for your help!

#2 JasonL

JasonL
  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 01 August 2017 - 11:09 PM

The 3rd and 4th fishes you've labeled pumpkinseed look like longears to me.

I have found you can mix various darter species without issue. Keep them slightly crowded with lots of structure and and that often mitigates territory disputes.

I have kept bantams, orangespots and dollar sunfish with darters without issue. Any other sunfish species, including pumpkinseeds, get potentially large enough to put darters at risk. In your case, you could easily put 6-10 orangespots in a 75 with 10-12 darters, and mix in a dozen local shiners and/or topminnows and all should get along fine and occupy their own areas of the tank. That is similar to a setup I have currently.

Good luck.

#3 Tye

Tye
  • NANFA Guest
  • Champaign, IL

Posted 01 August 2017 - 11:18 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I'm pretty sure I've caught at least 1-2 true pumpkin seeds, but neither of those pictured (3,4) are it. In another small specimen that escaped without a picture, I could definitely see the red-tipped, white edged operculum clearly.

What do you think about pumpkinseed density in a 75? Still 6 or take it down to 3-4 with more dither fish? I know pumpkinseeds can theoretically get up to 12" but the big green (possible redear hybrid) in pic #1 is by far the largest individual I've caught in 3 months, from the least pressured pond. I know it's not much of a local history to go on, but it's something.

I'd love to see your tank as well! I'll definitely make sure I provide lots of hiding spots in mine. Thanks.

#4 JasonL

JasonL
  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 02 August 2017 - 08:03 AM

Pumpkinseeds tend to be one of the more aggressive sunfish. Fewer than 5 in a tank that size might result in one taking over the tank and making life miserable for the others. That said, sometimes you just have experiment in situations like this to see how it goes and then adjust accordingly. I would make sure there is lots of structure regardless. That tends to help quite a bit in my experience.

#5 JasonL

JasonL
  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 02 August 2017 - 08:49 AM

Forgot to mention that you should try to start with very young and small specimens if possible. They tend to adapt to aquarium life better than older fish who are more set in their ways.

Also if you use the search bar on this site there are probably some older threads that you might find useful to your situation.

Good luck.

#6 Tye

Tye
  • NANFA Guest
  • Champaign, IL

Posted 02 August 2017 - 01:35 PM

Thanks! I've looked through some of the prior discussions about sunfish-keeping and pumpkinseeds in particular. :) I know I'm a bit late for the breeding season, but I'm going to aim for 3-4" or less for sunfish specimens.





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