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How to get maximum sunfish colors?


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#1 juhason

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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

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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.


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#3 juhason

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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