Jump to content


Photo

How to get maximum sunfish colors?


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 juhason

juhason
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 09 October 2017 - 05:48 PM

I had my sunfish in a tank that was lit indirectly by the sun and their colors were SPECTACULAR, so I know the colors are there somewhere...: But I finally got my 55 gallon all setup, and I moved them in there and all of a sudden their colors are gone. I've had this issue before and I'm thinking it is to do with the lighting?

How do you guys get your sunfish to show its best colors? In particular pumpkinseed.

#2 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Board of Directors
  • Ohio

Posted 09 October 2017 - 06:39 PM

Stress from the new surroundings may have a lot to do with it if moved recently. It might make sense to give it some time before spending money.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#3 juhason

juhason
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 09 October 2017 - 06:59 PM

Stress from the new surroundings may have a lot to do with it if moved recently. It might make sense to give it some time before spending money.

Well I definitely can't afford anything at the moment anyways haha but I had a wild caught pumpkinseed years ago and his colors faded out and never really came back. But these fish their colors definitely came back but in the same tank when i turned the tank light on they looked a bit dull.

#4 JasonL

JasonL
  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 09 October 2017 - 07:21 PM

Darker substrate, dimmer lighting and cooler temps (if feasible) seem to bring out more color in my experience. Ideally have at least one female Lepomis in the tank too.

#5 Betta132

Betta132
  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 09 October 2017 - 07:52 PM

Dim lighting will help, plus lots of dark scenery. Some tannins in the water may also be worth a shot, for the same reason as the other things.

And frozen bloodworms are a good bet. They help boost red/orange coloration in fish, plus they're healthy and tasty if you're a fish. 



#6 juhason

juhason
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 09 October 2017 - 09:53 PM

Darker substrate, dimmer lighting and cooler temps (if feasible) seem to bring out more color in my experience. Ideally have at least one female Lepomis in the tank too.

I really like my substrate right now, makes it look like an actual river. it's like a light tan color. But i have a rock wall behind that's a very dark grey. I'll see what i can do to dim the lights! What is a good way to try and fool the temperature? My house stays at about 75 year round

#7 juhason

juhason
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 09 October 2017 - 09:55 PM

Dim lighting will help, plus lots of dark scenery. Some tannins in the water may also be worth a shot, for the same reason as the other things.
And frozen bloodworms are a good bet. They help boost red/orange coloration in fish, plus they're healthy and tasty if you're a fish. 

They are still only eating live food aT the moment! They e been eating lots of black worms and mealworms. I might try the tannins but i'm not sure i'll like how it looks. worth a shot though! thanks

#8 Kehy

Kehy
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 09 October 2017 - 11:44 PM

The color spectrum of the lighting itself can play a role. Fish look bland and boring in the 2700 (warm white) to 5000k (cool white) spectrum. Personally I go for 6700k (daylight), but prefer 10000k. I think it brings out the colors the best and it's perfect for live plants. You can still have dim light in those spectrums.

 

As far as foods go, have you tried gutloading the mealworms with color enhancing foods? 



#9 juhason

juhason
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:52 AM

The color spectrum of the lighting itself can play a role. Fish look bland and boring in the 2700 (warm white) to 5000k (cool white) spectrum. Personally I go for 6700k (daylight), but prefer 10000k. I think it brings out the colors the best and it's perfect for live plants. You can still have dim light in those spectrums.
 
As far as foods go, have you tried gutloading the mealworms with color enhancing foods? 

No i haven't!! How do i do that, just throw the food in their container? Do you think I can find a 10000k bulb at home depot? that's usually where i buy my bulbs

#10 4WheelVFR

4WheelVFR
  • NANFA Member

Posted 16 October 2017 - 10:19 PM

What size bulbs are you using?  I use T5's and have gotten my bulbs from premium aquatics online.  They have high quality giesemann bulbs in just about every color temp you could want.  I'm currently using 6700k bulbs and my fish look great.  I may do a combination of 6700 and 10000 next time I change bulbs and see what happens.  I've also noticed that discus keepers have been keeping their fish over a lighter substrate to get better colors, rather than the dark substrate and darker colors.  I've followed suit with a very light colored sand and gravel and have been happy with the results.  



#11 juhason

juhason
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 18 October 2017 - 09:28 PM

What size bulbs are you using?  I use T5's and have gotten my bulbs from premium aquatics online.  They have high quality giesemann bulbs in just about every color temp you could want.  I'm currently using 6700k bulbs and my fish look great.  I may do a combination of 6700 and 10000 next time I change bulbs and see what happens.  I've also noticed that discus keepers have been keeping their fish over a lighter substrate to get better colors, rather than the dark substrate and darker colors.  I've followed suit with a very light colored sand and gravel and have been happy with the results.  

Interesting, do you happen to have an idea why the lighter color substrate would bring out colors? I have a lighter color substrate right now and their color is average. I do need to give them more time to settle in though but still. I also use T5's that I got from home depot. Both are about 6.5k I believe. the "daylight" 4 ft bulbs. 



#12 ChiefBrody

ChiefBrody
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 30 November 2017 - 11:10 AM

Nothing compares with natural sunlight. Combined with a natural diet something they can forage for themselves cultivated in the tank. An outdoor pond is gonna produce the best coloration every time. A window ledge is a close second. Sometimes a filter isn't even necessary for a tank like this. Even a goldfish that lives outside in the sun and eats nothing but fresh algae will show more color than one in a tank. They're gorgeous

Sent from my SM-G730V using Tapatalk

#13 elting44

elting44
  • NANFA Member
  • Salina, KS

Posted 08 February 2018 - 05:35 PM

While I haven't owned sunfish yet, in my experience with tropical cichlids, stress, diet and genetics are the main contributors to fish coloration.

 

With that being said, lighting plays a pivotal role in that certain temperatures (colors) of light are going to reflect and bring out a fish's color more than light from other parts of the spectrum. Also, too much of lighting, whether it be intensity or length of the photo-period with no cover in the aquarium will make certain species of fish stressed and display poor coloration.

 

I agree with ChiefBrody when he says pond fish typically show better coloration than those kept in an aquarium but take a few exceptions.  I don't think that the natural sunlight they are receiving is the principle factor in their coloration, but rather the natural photo-period and ability to have cover from above and the more natural surroundings and in some cases diet allow them to display great coloration due to very little stress.

 

As far as diet goes, being able to mimic what the fish have in nature is important.  Carotene found in bloodworm, mysis shrimp, krill and brine shrimp will bring out red and yellow colors.  Spirulina is supposedly good for bringing out blue coloration, but this seems to highly contested.

 

Lastly is genetics.  Not a lot you can do here. While fishing I have caught plenty of fish of the same species from a single watershed with varying coloration.  I seen wild caught cichlids of a single species taken from a single collection point that look very different.  

 

I am setting up a 135g Native tank and am going to be lighting it with four 30w Stasun 6000k LED floodlights.  I am going to be providing plenty of cover in the way of manzanita driftwood and river rock and am strongly considering some native plants as well (each of the lights are 2700 lumens, so I should be able to grow low to medium light plants)

 

Hope this helps, keep your fish happy and healthy and they will color up once they feel safe


Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas

"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19

Avatar photo credit Lance Merry





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users