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Bluegill Appreciation


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#1 juhason

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 02:32 PM

So I have a tank with a pumpkinseed, orangespotted hybrid, and 3 bluegills. The only reason I actually put bluegills in there is because I needed some placeholders while I grow out my longear and dollars so that the pumpkin and hybrid don't kill each other. Really I honestly never found bluegills particularly attractive or colorful but they are so abundant and easy to catch so I grabbed a couple when I couldn't find more pumpkins.

 

I'm actually surprised at how much I've grown to love the bluegills and have found that they are actually quite pretty sometimes! One thing I like is that they actually did the opposite of what sunfish tend to do in aquariums and they got darker instead of washing out. Also as they have settled into my tank their stripes have developed pretty nicely and they even sometimes get a shimmery blue color going on their fins and a metallic purple on their belly. Pretty neat! I almost want to make my tank a bluegill shoal but I already invested money in my longear/dollars. 

 

Hoping to get a bluegill tank sometime in the future! Also, do you guys think that bluegill could be bred to bring out those blue/purple colors they get? Would be awesome to see that. 



#2 Redfin

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 10:14 PM

That tank sounds awesome. I love bluegill because of the huge amount of variation in color. The color of each individual can also change based on a lot of environmental factors. They do get pretty big so you would need a large tank to house a shoal, but that would be neat to see for sure. 

 

 

Also, do you guys think that bluegill could be bred to bring out those blue/purple colors they get? Would be awesome to see that. 

I'm sure you can selectively breed the ones with the best color and overtime get some really colorful bluegill. You can also bring out their colors by playing around with their background and substrate color until you find what makes that color pop the most.



#3 elting44

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 11:40 PM

Let's see some pictures
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"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19
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#4 centrarchid

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 09:41 AM

Yes, pictures.  Color changes of immature Bluegill can be a function of environment, and mental state of fish.

 

Subspecies can also be important.  The Coppernose Bluegills vary greatly as a function of the drainage they are from.


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#5 juhason

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 08:41 PM

Ok here are some pics of my current fish, it was near impossible with my little iPhone camera but these are the best I could get. The bluegill's colors were not showing up on camera as the colors really only show when they are moving and wriggling their body.

 

Also I am not proud of the current state of my tank  8-[ The whole layout is basically going to change but not until the late spring/summer when I can go out collecting stones and logs. The java ferns are also going to be removed but I'm currently leaving them to help absorb nutrients. I am currently dealing with massive brown algae as well because my substrate has lots of silica..... anyways!

 

8E2VdRHl.png

This is my orangespotted hybrid. I think he is pumpkinseed/orangespotted but I have no clue to be honest. He shy and reclusive but the boss of the tank.

F6IQjPll.jpg

Here he is again, some of the bluegills are intruding. 

18vqrCDl.jpg

In the back there is my Pumpkinseed.

Qutr45wl.jpg

My largest bluegill. 

tHABL7sl.jpg

Second largest bluegill



#6 juhason

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 08:48 PM

Other fish you might notice in my tank is spotfin shiners. These guys again have some colors that are really neat but they are very on/off about it. Generally they just look bland like in the pics. And in the last pic behind the bluegill is my blackside darter. Not pictured is 2 rainbow darters and my third bluegill who didn't want to be photographed. 

 

I've noticed that my pumpkinseed and orangespot's colors pop tremendously when they go under dappled light such as under the big log. The bluegills on the other hand show their colors when they swim towards the surface close to the bright light. So once I bring in the longear and dollars, what I plan to do is have one very large and thick log and a few stones. Then maybe keep those red tiger lotus so they can shade the surface or find another way to shade it. I will then remove the bluegills (hopefully find another tank by then so I can keep them) and the spotfin shiners/darters. The stock will then be 1 pumpkin, 1 hybrid, 1 longear, and 3 dollars. Possibly considering adding 1-3 crayfish at that point. 



#7 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 09:03 PM

Maybe longear.


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#8 juhason

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 09:46 PM

Maybe longear.

I thought of that as a possibility too but as far as I know the closest spot with longears near me is about 1 hour away. Its always possible though and that would make me happy cause that means I have a potential spot for longears, my favorite freshwater fish of all.

#9 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 10:10 PM

Not knowing anything about the fish, longear popped into my mind first. But I can see a pseed thing going on too. You probably have pretty high pH water? Those brown algae blooms have just seemed like an inevitability with my 8.3 water. Since switching to LED lighting rather than fluorescent, it seems less like it just isn't as bad anymore.


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#10 juhason

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 10:32 PM

Not knowing anything about the fish, longear popped into my mind first. But I can see a pseed thing going on too. You probably have pretty high pH water? Those brown algae blooms have just seemed like an inevitability with my 8.3 water. Since switching to LED lighting rather than fluorescent, it seems less like it just isn't as bad anymore.

Thanks for the tip!! Now that im making a bit more money I definitely think im going to invest in an LED strip because that will also let me play with the intensity and I can see what makes my sunfish look best. Would love to have to no longer deal with the brown algae as well lol. I believe Chicago tap water is pretty high so you may be on to something there too

#11 juhason

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 11:23 AM

Got a picture that somewhat shows the blue/green fins if you look on the bottom fins near the back. The blue/green is more obvious for some reason on my phone when I upload it here its not as obvious. 

zoJr9BTl.jpg

 

This is what my tank looks like by the way. But I'm going to change it 

v0rfS8ol.jpg



#12 centrarchid

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 12:22 PM

Where did they come from?


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#13 juhason

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 03:37 PM

A little pool off the side of the Des Plaines River

#14 centrarchid

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 04:01 PM

Proper Northern Bluegill.  Do you have Northern Longear up there, one in your photographs looks like one?


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#15 juhason

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 05:25 PM

Proper Northern Bluegill.  Do you have Northern Longear up there, one in your photographs looks like one?

If I do I have yet to find them. I believe fish map shows the nearest location to be about an hour or so from me. I never got him properly identified cause I took him thinking he was a pumpkinseed and once he was in my aquarium for a couple days I noticed he wasn't lol but we don't do ID's form aquariums.He is definitely part orangspotted because of the multiple orange spots all down his body and the orange/blue face. Plus bright orange eyes. 



#16 centrarchid

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 07:04 PM

I think you have a Norther (longear) Sunfish.  The pattern of orange spots consistent with some.


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#17 juhason

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:02 PM

I think you have a Norther (longear) Sunfish.  The pattern of orange spots consistent with some.

So I looked up some pictures in the gallery here and I think you might be right.....!!!! Which makes me super happy cause now I know where I can find more  :P

The yellow belly, the pattern on the fins, and the gill flap all seem to match longear. The only thing that is somewhat confusing me is when I first caught him I kept him in a tank where the sun was indirectly lighting the tank... in which their colors were never better but can't seem to mimic that with aquarium lights. Here is a pic: 

Wpsmbitl.jpg

That baby blue coloration all over his body is what first made me think orangespotted. But i'll be honest I'm no expert that just what I thought when I first noticed it. Longears tend to be more red... although some of the northern varieties in the gallery had a lot of blue but not that much.

 

But I will agree the way he currently looks definitely shares similarities with the longear....  :mrgreen:



#18 elting44

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 01:43 PM

Thanks for sharing the pics.

 

I am by no means an expert on Lepomis, I am just getting into them.  My best guess is L.Gibbosus based on the position of the red splotch on the operculum and the thicker spangling on the gill plate, but resembles L.Peltastes too.


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

#19 juhason

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 08:40 PM

Thanks for sharing the pics.

 

I am by no means an expert on Lepomis, I am just getting into them.  My best guess is L.Gibbosus based on the position of the red splotch on the operculum and the thicker spangling on the gill plate, but resembles L.Peltastes too.

Perhaps he's both? I really don't know at this point I was so sure I had a orangespotted sunfish haha 



#20 gerald

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 11:02 PM

I think he's a full pumpkinseed, not a hybrid (photo in post #17)


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