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Orangespotteds breeding in my aquarium


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#1 JasonL

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  • Kentucky

Posted 12 August 2017 - 10:54 PM

A couple weeks ago I dipnetted a nice looking male orangespotted sunfish and added him to my 110 gallon already occupied by a mix of bantam sunfish, various darters, and female orangespots. Tonight I happened to look at the tank and saw the male and the largest female orangespot breeding. I may have just caught the tail end of their activities, only maybe 5-10 minutes , not even enough time to get any video. Here are a few pics of the aftermath:

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Right now the male is busy rearranging gravel, hunkering down and chasing away all comers, even the female. Darters are lurking but he is holding them off for now.

I presume the chance of any fry survival is close to zero with all the other fish around, and am not really interested in breeding, but thought it was cool anyway. Read the turnaround time on these guys is pretty quick too if one were to breed them which makes sense being that most of mine came from a floodplain habitat. Interested if anyone on the board has experience with this species of fish.

#2 mattknepley

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 06:58 AM

Congrats! That's pretty dang cool. You ought to write it up for the NANFA BAP even if you aren't into breeding. Someone else may be able to use it somehow.

There are folks on here who have O-spot experience. One even has that as their forum name, but I haven't seen them on here lately. As for me, those guys are on my "gonna have someday" list.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#3 centrarchid

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:39 PM

Do you plan to rear some of the young fish?


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#4 JasonL

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  • Kentucky

Posted 13 August 2017 - 07:22 PM

Brief update. Male orangespot still guarding eggs vigorously. Won't let any other fish, including the female orangespot and the darters in the tank, come anywhere close. The female orangespot pictured below seems ambivalent about the situation overall and not involved much if at all in egg guarding.

Some of the eggs have opacified. I am presuming these are non viable. Others pictured have slipped into the gravel and appear to be safe for now. I tried to magnify them some with my camera but can't say for sure if there is any development yet or not.


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My intention at this point is not to rear young, just observe. Don't have a spare tank and wasn't really planning on this. Plus orangespots aren't real hard to come by where I live. Will see how it goes I guess.

#5 centrarchid

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:21 PM

As long as male guards, something viable.  Based on appearance, clear eggs / embryos are viable.


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#6 az9

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:52 PM

But they would need some zooplankton pronto or they starve to death right? 



#7 centrarchid

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 11:08 PM

They need smaller sized zooplankton like rotifers.  I keep thinking they start feeding only 4 days after fertilization but cannot find notes.  They were not important enough to properly document beyond piece of paper taped to tank.  They develop faster than any other Lepomis I have messed with.


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#8 Chasmodes

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 07:18 AM

Very cool!


Kevin Wilson


#9 JasonL

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  • Kentucky

Posted 16 August 2017 - 08:09 AM

They need smaller sized zooplankton like rotifers.  I keep thinking they start feeding only 4 days after fertilization but cannot find notes.  They were not important enough to properly document beyond piece of paper taped to tank.  They develop faster than any other Lepomis I have messed with.


You have a couple page thread on here from a few years ago about your breeding observations with orangespots that I found and perused. Interesting stuff.

As for my tank, I was looking for some progress last night and not finding much. Male is still guarding the area some but not as vigorously. Don't see large clusters of eggs anymore so they either hatched or were eaten by other fish in the tank.

I will post if I find anything else of interest but most likely a tank full of darters and a lurking tadpole madtom is not conducive to breeding success. If this happens again I may try to move the eggs to a small mesh cage that hangs on the inside of the tank and see what happens. In the meantime I'll write something up in more detail for the NANFA BAP like Matt suggested to add to the database.

#10 centrarchid

centrarchid
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Posted 16 August 2017 - 08:27 AM

They hatched already and are concentrated in area below where male is fanning.  Two things going on I do not quit understand.  First of all the prolarvae are clumping together somehow.  If you separate them they are pretty good at getting back into groups.  Secondly the clump stays near where the male fans.  I do not think the male moves with them and no sunfish I have observed manipulates brood with mouth.  Somehow the prolarvae are attracted either to the nest site or the male.  I think it is the latter.


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