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.