As a child, under the assistance of my father -- who was an avid fish-keeper in his adolescent and early adult years -- I kept both tropical fish tanks, as well as native Missouri fish tanks.
I particularly loved my Missouri native tank -- with a Slender Madtom (noturus exilis) that my dad and I caught in a little ditch-hole that was located along the shoreline of the Meramec River. The little ditch seemed to get fresh water even though it looked muddy -- so I suppose that's why a madtom felt comfortable there. We were walking along a paved road parallel to the Meramec River and wanted to go see the river. When we walked downhill towards the river -- we saw something that looked like a tadpole or snake or something....we saw it swimming around 'happily' in that 'ditch-hole'.
Upon carefully catching it in a net -- my dad named it 'TV-Cat' -- because we thought it was a baby channel catfish. Upon reading the 'Introduction to Missouri Fishes' booklet that was and is freely given away at many state parks and conservation sites in Missouri -- I quickly found out that my newly captured friend for my native tank was not a channel catfish...but a little madtom.
I'm 23 now -- and am trying to get back into the hobby to keep myself occupied -- and have something that I enjoy to do. For me -- it helps take stress away from the everyday monotony of adult life.
To start off -- I began running a 20 gallon with a selection of topminnows, darters, and other beautiful fish from Missouri.
Upon observing the behavior of the juvenile bluegill -- I have noticed he is quite a bully to the other minnows and such. After a large swath of deaths and trauma that could not be explained by microbiological, parasitic, or chemical imbalances in the tank -- I strongly suspected he was responsible.
Today I decided just to sit back and watch intently what the bluegill was doing. It was truly engaging in incredibly aggressive behavior. I have lots of blackspotted topminnows in the tank -- and some are quite small. The bluegill was making aggressive chomps at these little guys. If they hadn't noticed him -- they could have easily been bit-in-half.
After I got home from work today -- I noticed that same little topminnow that had been running from the bluegill was coiled around the filter intake with a giant gash in his side. The bluegill was responsible.
I figured it was time for a water change anyway -- so I setup a spare 10 gallon on the stand below my 20 and drained half the water into it and placed the bluegill in there.
What should I do with the guy? What kind of fish like to hang with neurotic juvenile bluegill?
Edited by technotite, 05 October 2021 - 01:13 AM.