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72 Gallon Panfish Aquarium

6 replies to this topic

#1 Ad4m123

  • NANFA Guest
  • Nebraska

Posted 10 May 2020 - 11:24 PM

Hi all! This summer i plan to get a 72 gallon bow-front aquarium set up, and i was thinking of finding a few Orangespotted Sunfish for it, maybe a stonecat and some minnows/shiners. Would this tank size be suitable for a bluegill? Thought it might be cool to have a larger sort of "centerpiece" fish. Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!

#2 Hecklad

  • NANFA Member
  • Ooltewah, TN

Posted 11 May 2020 - 07:39 AM

Bluegill get pretty big and can be aggressive, and would need the whole space to itself. Orangespots can reach 6 inches, so having a couple of them would make for a nice centerpiece group in my opinion.

#3 centrarchid

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 11 May 2020 - 11:25 AM

We run a 72-gallon aquarium with 6 to 8 adult bluegill up to 8". They can even spawn in the setup. More is sometimes better to defuse aggression.

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#4 JasonL

  • NANFA Member
  • Kentucky

Posted 11 May 2020 - 03:34 PM

I have caught hundreds of orangespots and currently keep some in my 110 gallon.   They usually top out around 3 inches,  4 inches would be max.  I would be very surprised to see one bigger than this.   They are generally fairly non aggressive compared to other Lepomis species.


I think you could put a single bluegill in with a bunch of orangespots and make it work, provided you have enough structure.  Start with a juvenile specimen if possible.   The bluegill will quickly outgrow the orangespots and be king of the tank.  I’m not sure orangespots would really be perceived as a threat to an adult bluegill given the size discrepancy and disposition differences.  

It would worth a try in my opinion if that’s what you are considering.

#5 gzeiger

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 15 May 2020 - 02:04 PM

I've kept bluegill, redbreast, green and pumpkinseed sunfish in a 75 gallon. As noted above, aggression is the problem, and there are two ways to solve it. A single fish will get plenty big enough to be the showcase of the tank, so that's one way to go. Pumpkinseeds, dollars and orangespots are the prettiest, but greens are by far the most interesting and they look really good too. Greens are smarter than most purebred dogs I think. Bluegill are the least interesting of the lot. The other way to go is to overload the aggression. If you get 6-8 fish around the same size and add them to the tank at the same time, no one fish will be dominant and they will actually get along fine. Two or three will turn into one pretty quickly though. They can also get along with some other species in a group setting. I've kept them with big mummichogs and sleepers.

#6 Ad4m123

  • NANFA Guest
  • Nebraska

Posted 15 May 2020 - 06:12 PM

I considered a green sunfish, as i do find them very interesting, but i read somewhere that they can get very aggressive and territorial. Im not sure that im comfortable getting more than 1 larger fish like a bluegill, as they can get rather large and i want to make sure that the 72 is a humanely sized living area for it, especially since ill be getting other fish too. Wouldn't mind having a bluegill-green sunfish hybrid if i can find one, and if the tank is indeed big enough.

Edited by Ad4m123, 15 May 2020 - 06:52 PM.

#7 centrarchid

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 15 May 2020 - 06:51 PM

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N = No problems

P = Pecking order

L = Less / Diffused Pecking Order

W = Water Quality problems


For 75 gallon aquariums housing 6" plus Northern or Coppernose Bluegill. Most people have not explored past the hump 2 - 4 fish. I am done

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