I stumbled upon the idea of a native aquarium quite recently and then stumbled upon this website even more recently. I would very much appreciate some thoughts on an aquarium I am planning.
Some background on myself, I have been keeping freshwater tropical fish off and on for the past couple of decades. Always in smaller tanks (28 gallons and smaller). Currently I have a little ol 5 gallon for a betta, some shrimp and a orange mexican dwarf crayfish. My wife and I are going to buy a new house in the next 6 or so months and after that I am going to get a bit of an upgrade in the aquarium department. The exact size of the tank is unknown right now. I plan to go used if possible. I would like to get a 120 gallon but I may accept something as small as 75 gallons if the right tank comes along.
The only critter I know for certain will be in the tank will be an electric blue crayfish, cause I think those fellas are just so darn neat. I plan to make a pretty good sized cave for the fella so he can molt in safety. I would also like to have a small school of golden topminnows, a single sunfish, some shrimp, and some bluefin killifish.
My overall plan is that everything alive in the tank must be from somewhere in the United States. Beyond that I am not particular to its location so long as it can reasonably co-exist in a tank kept somewhere between the high 60 degrees to lower 70 degrees.
I do plan to plant this tank with a fairly healthy amount of plants. My recent attraction to larger tanks comes from seeing a lot of aquascaping videos online, and I would like to put into practice some of the lessons I have learned from these videos.
Regarding the shrimp, I learned that ghost shrimp are native so I plan to put those in but depending on how they do may also introduce more expensive native species. I think chocolate shrimp are native as well?
For filtration I plan to do a sump connected via a siphon and also incorporate a moving bed. I would like to do inline co2 as well on the return.
What I would very much like to know from the folks here is whether I can keep a longear sunfish with the stocking I outlined above? I know they can be aggressive which is why I was thinking I would only keep 1. I have lakes near me that contain the longears so I was thinking I could catch a wild juvenile. If not the longear would an orange spotted sunfish be a better fit? Or should I just accept that I need something smaller and go with something like a bluespotted sunfish? Apparently the latter do live sorta in my area but would almost certainly be harder to find in the wild so I would probably buy that one online.
I know that pretty much any fish would like to eat my shrimp but I was thinking if I plant heavily enough I may give them enough cover so they can stay alive. Ideally the shrimp would become self sustaining with the ghost shrimp breeding to keep their numbers up.
What I don't want is one of my inhabitants (probably the sunfish) immediately eating all of my other inhabitants within a couple of days or weeks.
Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.