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Help! new with native fish


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#1 Guest_fishlady_*

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 10:07 PM

Hi. I've been keeping tropical fish, South American and African cichlids but now I've been given 3 Blue Spotted Sunfish (Enneacanthus gloriosus) juves and I'm clueless.

When I got them, I put them in a 10 gallon cycled tank that had a few bristlenose catfish fry and some pond snails that I give my loaches. The tank has gravel, a small piece of driftwood with some java fern and some java moss. It has a small penguin mini biowheel filter. I had the tank at 78 but used a bit of ice to slowly reduce the temperature to 75 before adding the fish.

I was told they would eat frozen bloodworms and might accept flake.

So far, they've taken bloodworms but no flake --And, I no longer see any of the pond snails that were in the tank.

I've been trying to find more information about the care of these fish but find little on the web. I would like to give them optimal conditions and perhaps even build a native fish biotype tank around them.

Any information for their care and suitable tankmates would be appreciated.

#2 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 10:43 PM

Where are you located, Fishlady?

#3 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 08:16 AM

... 3 Blue Spotted Sunfish (Enneacanthus gloriosus) juves...

When I got them, I put them in a 10 gallon cycled tank that had a few bristlenose catfish fry and some pond snails that I give my loaches. The tank has gravel, a small piece of driftwood with some java fern and some java moss. It has a small penguin mini biowheel filter. I had the tank at 78 but used a bit of ice to slowly reduce the temperature to 75 before adding the fish.

I was told they would eat frozen bloodworms and might accept flake.

So far, they've taken bloodworms but no flake --And, I no longer see any of the pond snails that were in the tank.


Keep letting the tank temp go down to room temp. In the wild these are often found in tannin stained streams, so they favor softwater, slightly acidic water conditions, and lots of plant cover to make them comfortable. I have not gotten my bandeds (similar Enneacanthus) to take flakes... but have got them to take falling pellets... but they prefer frozen mysis or brine.

As far as tankmates / biotope ideas... as I mentioned they are in tannin stained slac water areas... I have kept top minnows (Fundulus species) with mine with no problems (as long as the top minnows are too big to eat)... Also some slack water shiners (like Pteronotropis species or maybe a taillight shiner)... would be good. This would make a great southern US swamp / blackwater biotope.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#4 Guest_fishlady_*

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 08:43 AM

I'm in central Illinois.

Also, how often should I be feeding them? Bloodworms are pretty rich.

My other fish are fed 2x/day or 4x for fry.

#5 Guest_Kanus_*

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 09:42 AM

I have gotten my banded sunfish to take flakes, but gloriosus seems to be a much more shy, finicky species, so I wouldn't count on it. Good luck though. Keep the questions coming.

#6 Guest_dafrimpster_*

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 10:14 AM

Hey FishLady! I am in Springfield.

My Blackbandeds won't take flake either. I feed them frozen bloodworms and live daphnia.

Edited by dafrimpster, 09 April 2008 - 10:16 AM.


#7 Guest_mikez_*

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 11:18 AM

I have gotten my banded sunfish to take flakes, but gloriosus seems to be a much more shy, finicky species, so I wouldn't count on it. Good luck though. Keep the questions coming.



Ditto.
Bandeds usually adapt to flake and freeze dried. Bluespots tend to be more picky but do really well on frozen.

I agree with the suggestion to unplug the heater and let the temp go to ambient.
I'd add more cover too. Live plants are great but even plastic plants, driftwood, lava rock, flower pots etc will all give the sunnies more cover and help them relax and exhibit normal behavoir.
Once a day with bloodworms is sufficient. You are correct about blood worms being rich. The sunnies will grow fast and get into breeding trim nicely on a diet of bloodworms.
Variety, as always, is better. Frozen brine, mysids etc work well. They really love to stalk small critters so live daphnia, scuds, adult brine shrimp or black worms will not only round out a healthy diet but allow you to observe them behaving in a natural manner. They also display color better when they're happy and get fired up nicely when stalking prey.
It's true that they inhabit low pH tannin rich waters in the wild and appreciate same in captivity. They are adaptable though and will do well in most tap water. Better to let them adapt to your conditions than shock them by trying to drastically alter water chemistry in a short time period.
You're lucky to have been introduced to native fish with one of the best species for captive life. Follow the suggestions above and your instincts from tropical keeping and you will have success.
You may as well start clearing tanks for future native projects now. You'll be hooked. :tongue:

#8 Guest_dafrimpster_*

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 01:12 PM

If you would like to culture your own Daphnia Magna and are close to Springfield I would be glad to give you a starter of them. It is fun to watch them hunt down the daphnia.

#9 Guest_fishlady_*

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 11:04 AM

If you would like to culture your own Daphnia Magna and are close to Springfield I would be glad to give you a starter of them. It is fun to watch them hunt down the daphnia.


Thank you for the kind offer but I'm in Champaign and don't get over to Springfield very often. If I get a chance to go in your direction, I'll gladly accept.

Besides frozen bloodworms, is there any food I can look for locally. I know they sell fish bait around here but I'm not sure if it would be appropriate.

#10 Guest_jase_*

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 11:34 AM

Hi, try these:

Blackworms:
http://forum.nanfa.o...h...ost&p=32466

Mosquito larvae:
http://forum.nanfa.o...?showtopic=4327

White Worms:
http://forum.nanfa.o...?showtopic=4383

Feeder Fish:
http://forum.nanfa.o...?showtopic=4362

I'm continually running a low-level campaign to get a "Live Foods" forum added here. Add your support if you agree -- newbies like yourself would especially benefit. :)
http://forum.nanfa.o...?showtopic=4038

Cheers, Jase

#11 Guest_jase_*

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 11:36 AM

Also, I've found that sunfish do *very* well on mealworms. They're cheap, and you can get them at *any* pet store. I raise my own (of course :) ), but I haven't had a chance to write up my methods yet. They're cheap to buy and easy to store, especially if you buy them in 500ct cups. They also lack some of the "grossout" factor of other live foods because they aren't slimy. :)

-Jase

#12 Guest_rick_*

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 06:14 PM

Also, I've found that sunfish do *very* well on mealworms. They're cheap, and you can get them at *any* pet store. I raise my own (of course :) ), but I haven't had a chance to write up my methods yet. They're cheap to buy and easy to store, especially if you buy them in 500ct cups. They also lack some of the "grossout" factor of other live foods because they aren't slimy. :)

-Jase


One of the few foods I can get longear sunfish to eat consistently.

Rick

#13 Guest_fishlady_*

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:09 AM

One of the few foods I can get longear sunfish to eat consistently.

Rick


Well, I got mealworms from the local pet store and I think they are too big. I put one in the tank and the adult Enneacanthus gloriosus ate it but for a while a third of it stuck out of its mouth as it digested. I'm not sure if eating something so big is good for it.

The younger fish seemed interested but it was clearly too big for them. I'm a bit squeamish about cutting them up. Cutting them up also seems like it would defeat the purpose of live food. However, now I have a bunch of mealworms and I'm not sure what to do with them.

#14 Guest_jase_*

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 09:19 AM

The younger fish seemed interested but it was clearly too big for them. I'm a bit squeamish about cutting them up. Cutting them up also seems like it would defeat the purpose of live food. However, now I have a bunch of mealworms and I'm not sure what to do with them.

You can get smaller mealworms at the store a lot of the time, but maybe not all stores.

Take those mealworms you have and put them in a container with some wheat bran or oatmeal / rolled oats. Add a couple cut pieced of carrot once every few days. You'll eventually get pupae, then beetles, then more little mealworms. It takes probably 3 months from the point you're at now to having loads of little mealworms, but once you get going on it it's really easy. I haven't bought a mealworm in about 2 years now, and I probably have a few thousand right now...

http://www.google.co...=raise mealworm
Info will vary on what to feed them and what to use as a moisture source, but I've found wheat bran and carrots are the easiest way to go.

-Jase



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