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New to natives


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#1 midwest

midwest
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  • Indiana

Posted 30 July 2019 - 10:34 AM

I have been in the aquarium hobby on and off for many years, have had salt tanks, freshwater, and most recently I had a 125 gallon planted tank with angels, rams, neons, etc.  It was a low level planted tank with some easier to grow plants, java's, hornwort, etc.  I tore the tank down after a move in 2012 and it has been in storage since.  I am thinking about setting it back up with some native fish.  I don't want to overload it but my thoughts were a bluegill or two, possibly a long ear or pumpkin seed sunfish, also considering a perch or possibly a yellow belly bullhead.  I would also like a couple of crappie but have heard mixed opinion on them.  Some say they do better in schools of 6 or more, I've seen some videos with just two or three.  I am familiar with the basics of the hobby, nitorgen cycle etc. but have a few questions concerning natives.

 

In my planted angel tank I used RO water.  Usually during changes I would add 75% RO water and 25% straight from my well.  I have read that RO water is not necessary for natives. I have a new API kit being sent to me so I can test my current well water.  I am thinking about using some similar live plants in this tank since I have the lighting to support them, I am reading  that natives can wreak havoc on live plants.....I have also seen plenty of youtube videos with natives and live plants. I felt like in my last tank the live plants helped keep things with the water in check.  I used plants that didn't require extra C02 or ferts.

 

Ideally I would like to have natives that I can keep on some type of pellet/frozen food.  I have had tanks in the past that relied on live food and eventually after a year or so the trips to the store, and keeping extra tanks for live food got me down.

 

I know panfish and catfish can typically be transitioned to pellet food.  I feel like crappie would be tougher but never really researched that.  

Any ideas/thoughts/input you guys have reading my plans I am all ears.  I don't even have the tank set up yet and want to avoid the mistakes by researching first.



#2 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
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  • Ohio

Posted 30 July 2019 - 05:20 PM

Crappie are slow cautious feeders compared to sunfish, but better at grabbing a minnow. If you mix them, the crappie will learn to take some pellets, but they won't compete. To keep them in good shape, you'll need to plan on feeding minnows. I have kept them in a mixed tank with bluegill, longear, spotted gar, sauger, yellow perch, and probably a few more species. I didn't feel that the crappie needed a school, but in hindsight, It probably wouldn't hurt. The gar, sauger and perch were better tank mates than Lepomis.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#3 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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  • Ohio

Posted 30 July 2019 - 05:49 PM

My Northern longear no longer has any interest in fry fish anymore. As a smaller fish, he'd ravage them, now he won't touch them. Wonder why? He still eats bloodworms and Mysis shrimp though. He also likes crickets, but I cannot catch too many of those. Any ideas why he might not like eating tiny fish anymore?

 

Tx

Chris



#4 JasonL

JasonL
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  • Kentucky

Posted 30 July 2019 - 08:19 PM

I am a big fan of live plants in aquaria but I guess I'd be a little leery of an adult bullhead or larger Lepomis species in such a setting. I wonder if they would uproot everything?

#5 midwest

midwest
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  • Indiana

Posted 31 July 2019 - 08:58 PM

I got my API test kit today and  tested the water straight out of the well.  The normal ph was closest to 7.6 and when I tested with the high range kit it was 7.4 so I am assuming in that range.  The nitrites and nitrates were zero.  I did an amonia test and the first time it looked like .5 so I tested it again and the  second time it appeared to be between 0 and .25.  I don't have a hardness test kit yet.



#6 Michael Wolfe

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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 01 August 2019 - 08:36 AM

I am a big fan of live plants in aquaria but I guess I'd be a little leery of an adult bullhead or larger Lepomis species in such a setting. I wonder if they would uproot everything?


No, not alway. Sandwich does not tear stuff up too much. In fact he likes his sword plant to rest under.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#7 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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Posted 01 August 2019 - 12:48 PM

@Michael,

 

How did you come up with the name Sandwich for your fish?



#8 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
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  • Ohio

Posted 01 August 2019 - 03:24 PM

My Northern longear no longer has any interest in fry fish anymore. As a smaller fish, he'd ravage them, now he won't touch them. Wonder why? He still eats bloodworms and Mysis shrimp though. He also likes crickets, but I cannot catch too many of those. Any ideas why he might not like eating tiny fish anymore?

 

Tx

Chris

Chris, Some possibilities for the diet change. -After growth starts to slow, less food is required, and well fed fish don't need to risk chasing bait fish. No sense chasing food when it falls from above. Chasing a minnow can be a net loss of calories, not happening with frozen foods. Maybe the frozen foods are offering nutrients lacking in the feeders. Not hungry enough. Skip feedings for a week and see if bait fish interest him.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#9 Michael Wolfe

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

Posted 01 August 2019 - 04:10 PM

Chris, Some possibilities for the diet change. -After growth starts to slow, less food is required, and well fed fish don't need to risk chasing bait fish. No sense chasing food when it falls from above. Chasing a minnow can be a net loss of calories, not happening with frozen foods. Maybe the frozen foods are offering nutrients lacking in the feeders. Not hungry enough. Skip feedings for a week and see if bait fish interest him.


Excellent point about calorie cost vs reward. Also I think bigger fish want that dense calorie intake. Big fish big bite. Sandwich switched over to massivore pellets and enjoys having something he can smash in his mouth-throat-pharyngeal teeth.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#10 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
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  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 01 August 2019 - 04:12 PM

@Michael,
 
How did you come up with the name Sandwich for your fish?


Got him when he was only about the size of a 50 cent piece... didnt name him until I realized he was so big and so thick that he would make a decent Sandwich... now he would be a double decker.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#11 Fleendar the Magnificent

Fleendar the Magnificent
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Posted 02 August 2019 - 03:36 PM

Thank you for the input on the diet. Very plausible. Since he's decently fed a mix of bloodworms and Mysis shrimp along with any tiny red worms I catch in the yard, it might not be worth it to him. Makes sense. Thanks again.

 

Sandwich... I like the name. I'll have to think of one for my N longear....

 

Chris M.



#12 Michael Wolfe

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

Posted 03 August 2019 - 07:25 AM

Thank you for the input on the diet. Very plausible. Since he's decently fed a mix of bloodworms and Mysis shrimp along with any tiny red worms I catch in the yard, it might not be worth it to him. Makes sense. Thanks again.

 

Sandwich... I like the name. I'll have to think of one for my N longear....

 

Chris M.

 

Oh, have a longear that I rescued from a guy (long story), he's a Zimmerman Missouri Longear and very colorful and very active and pugnacious and for some reason I began to call him Cornbread.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#13 swampfish

swampfish
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Posted 07 August 2019 - 07:53 AM

Some big fish tend to tear up plants whether they are native or tropical. Generally, most large fish will leave the plants alone, but just like some cichlids are rough on plants, some sunfish and other centrarchids will dislodge plants. I keep various topminnows (killifish) and minnows (dace, shiners) in planted tanks. Tropical minnows are called barbs and danios and do well in planted tanks. There really is little difference between keeping natives and tropicals. I occasionally mix them in the same tank just like I mix tropicals from Asia with those from Africa and South America. 

 

I keep natives in my living room where the temperature is in the low 70's; I keep some tropicals in my basement where I have to use heaters in the winter to keep the temperature into the low 70's. I used to use similar heating on my Florida natives in the basement, but the last couple of years I've let the temperature drop into the 50's during the winter in unheated tanks. I've done the same with cold water "tropicals" including rosy barbs, variatus platys, and Vietnamese white clouds. I've found that the fish live longer in cooler temperatures, but many natives do well in 70 degree F tanks. I've had good success with sunfish (bluegill, longear, orange spotted, pumkinseed), largemouth bass, and grass pickerel in tanks in rooms in the low 70's.

 

I use well water for all of my tropical and native fish, but my well water is low in oxygen and will kill the fish if it doesn't sit and absorb oxygen for a couple of days. I use a vented 65 gallon tank for this purpose. This also serves to allow the water to warm up before it is put into aquaria. 

 

Phil Nixon

Illinois





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