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Don't see my fish much.

8 replies to this topic

#1 916

  • NANFA Guest
  • florida

Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:14 PM

The only time I see my blue spotted sunfish (5) and Fliers (3) in the 75g is at feeding time. All the sunfish are young and two of the Fliers still have the spot, one is a young adult. are there any dither fish I could use to get them out more often. 

#2 swampfish

  • NANFA Member

Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:46 AM

Some fish species, fish from some localities, and some individual fish are apparently introverts. They hide at the back of the tank at the bottom or the top, frequently in a corner. Other fish in the tank will sometimes draw them out, but not always. I've had the best luck getting introverts to come out by putting schooling fish, such as minnows, in the tank. Enough minnows to school, usually six or more, will commonly get other fish to come out of hiding.


I've used dither fish, such as zebra danios and angelfish, for young oscars. I discovered decades ago that a single young oscar will deteriorate and die without other fish to chase. However, my experience is that predatory native fish such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, green sunfish, and grass pickerel are extroverted enough to be easily seen in an aquarium even though they spend most of their time hanging motionless in the water. 


Blue-spotted sunfish seem to vary as individuals, but tend to be a retiring species. I had one for about a decade that always sat near the bottom in the back of the tank. It did this whether it was the only fish in the tank or shared it with other sunfish, minnows, and other fish. It did it in sparse tanks and well-planted tanks. I've had other blue-spotted sunfish that were always out and visible. Over the years, I've found blue-spotted sunfish to generally be hiders in my tanks. I've found the same to be the case with fliers, although I've only kept them a couple of times. There are several species of fish that I no longer keep because they always hide in my tanks.


Some retiring fish will be seen more if they have more cover. in my experience, pygmy sunfish are seen more often in a heavily planted tank.  


Phil Nixon

#3 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:42 AM

I agree with Phil's conclusions.  I'd also like to add that tank height can play a role in fish feeling intimidated/threatened if it is too low.  Simply putting it on a taller stand can also change the behavior.

Nick L.

#4 916

  • NANFA Guest
  • florida

Posted 11 January 2018 - 06:53 PM

Thanks for the information,  I appreciate. I guess them being sort of predators, they would be kind of wary of other predators. It's a shame cause they are beautiful fish. 

#5 916

  • NANFA Guest
  • florida

Posted 11 January 2018 - 07:01 PM

Thanks. I put some minnows in with them and they ate them almost immediately. Maybe they were too small.

#6 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:46 PM

I think your tank is currently understocked unless there are other species not mentioned. Once your fish start growing, especially the flier, that may not be the case. Right now I would make sure there is lots of structure and add larger dither fish that they cannot eat and I would wager they become outgoing.

FWIW I have a couple 2 inch juvenile flier housed with larger bantam sunfish, orangespotted sunfish and golden shiners and they aren't shy at all. I think having a higher concentration of fish makes them more comfortable to be honest.

#7 916

  • NANFA Guest
  • florida

Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:45 AM

Yes, i'm gonna add some dollar sun fish, flag fish and minnows. Take the Blue spots out and put them in a 40g breeder with some minnows.

#8 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:39 AM

My favorite thing about aquariums is not seeing a fish when I first approach an aquarium... and the see one coming around or through some vegetation or structure. The thrill of discovery and the simulation of an actual habitat. Thats the best.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#9 MtFallsTodd

  • NANFA Member
  • Mountain Falls, Virginia

Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:15 AM

With Blue Spotted Sunfish it must be the nature of the beast. I've had one in my 125 since it was the size of a dime , it has been in this set up for a couple of years with lots of minnows and darters. It stays in the shadows until feeding time and goes out  of sight when it is done feeding. 

Deep in the hills of Great North Mountain

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