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Bullheads


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#1 Cano

Cano
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 05 November 2020 - 08:28 AM

Hello,

I've noticed that quite a few people on here are keeping bullheads in aquariums (or at least have kept them in the past), and my question is: How old do they get? I've never kept any myself and I read everything from 4-5 to 12-15 years as their lifespan, so it'd be great to hear your experience. Also, it seems like most people are keeping just one bullhead per tank, is that the way to go?

Thanks guys!

#2 gzeiger

gzeiger
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 06 November 2020 - 11:42 AM

I have two in a 75 gallon, currently in the 6-8" range. I think they are 3 years old now. They were tiny babies when I got them. I kept one once before in a tank with sunfish. They're really fun, and not very aggressive or territorial, so I think you're ok to keep several together if you want, but they are highly predatory and can't be kept with anything smaller than they are (don't fool yourself trying to estimate the mouth size; if it will fit through the skull it will get eaten). I've never had one die of old age, so I can't really comment on that question.

 

It's fun watching them eat. Like eels, they don't seem to hunt visually at all. Drop something in the tank and they will follow the smell, sometimes in apparently the wrong direction if the current is swirling, until a barbel contacts something edible, and then they go crazy.



#3 Cano

Cano
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 06 November 2020 - 01:05 PM

I have two in a 75 gallon, currently in the 6-8" range. I think they are 3 years old now. They were tiny babies when I got them. I kept one once before in a tank with sunfish. They're really fun, and not very aggressive or territorial, so I think you're ok to keep several together if you want, but they are highly predatory and can't be kept with anything smaller than they are (don't fool yourself trying to estimate the mouth size; if it will fit through the skull it will get eaten). I've never had one die of old age, so I can't really comment on that question.
 
It's fun watching them eat. Like eels, they don't seem to hunt visually at all. Drop something in the tank and they will follow the smell, sometimes in apparently the wrong direction if the current is swirling, until a barbel contacts something edible, and then they go crazy.


Thanks for sharing, much appreciated. May I ask what kind of bullhead you have?

#4 gzeiger

gzeiger
  • NANFA Guest

Posted 06 November 2020 - 01:40 PM

They're blacks, Ameriurus melas. I've kept madtoms before too, but unless tank size is a real issue I prefer the bullheads. They seem more active and interesting.



#5 UncleWillie

UncleWillie
  • NANFA Member

Posted 06 November 2020 - 03:09 PM

I pretty much echo the experience above regarding experience and how bullheads are overall enjoyable fish.  I had 2 snail bullheads (A. brunneus) starting at about 2.5".  I kept them for about 2 years, and they grew to about 6 inches before I had to move and I moved them into a 180 gallon tank at the UGA fish lab.  They were still there about 3 years later when I visited.  They had grown to about 10 inches.  I'm not sure about their current status, but I wouldn't be surprised if they made it to pretty old age in captivity.


Willie P
Roswell, GA


#6 lilyea

lilyea
  • NANFA Member
  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 08 November 2020 - 02:04 PM

I spawned brown bullhead in my care in 2014 and 2015 and still have two of the fry that are now over 10 inches long and share a 125g tank.





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