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Aquarium Question

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by archman, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. I know there are a lot of aquarium experts on here, so I'm sure many of you will have some great advice. I currently have a 38 gallon, tropical tank. I want to put some "normal" fish in there, like bluegills, LM bass, maybe a perch or crappie, all on the smallish side. I know crappie are kind of hard to keep, though. BUt how do I make this transition? Should I wait to catch these fish and put them in there when the water temperature better matches my aquarium? As far as feeding them, what kind of suggestions do you have? I have a gravel bottom, would that be ok? Any tips would be appreciate.
     
  2. i've kept just about every native fish at one point from bass, gills, to darters and even a pike. The one thing i would recommend is stay away from bluegill/sunfish as they are super aggressive and will torment any smaller fish in the tank. Bass can be a little mean but ususally aren't bad towards fish of the same size or bigger. don't keep two together though. i kept a black and white crappie together for over a year without problems in the tank with the pike. the pike was actually a rather boring fish until feeding time then watch out. if you can catch one, a pickeral would be pretty cool and easier to keep with the smaller size and more temperature tolerant. I currently have a tank set up with a variety of darters from a local creek. They are awesome and interesting fish and never get to big. Some species are real colorful too. Perch are good to keep as well and get along with anything, including each other. As far as gettin them ,you're best bet for success would be to buy a minnow seine and hit the small creeks come spring. You'd be amazed at the number and variety of species you'd find. That way you can get small fish under 3'' that will get along better and solve territory issues you'll have with the bigger ones, plus they exhibit the same behaviors of the adults without the size requirements. Gravel is fine for a substrate. As far as feeding just some minnows every few days, but don't overdo it. If they are really small, like an inch or under use frozen brine shrimp. you'd get gills on normal fish food but i've found that crappie, perch and bass don't touch it unless it's moving. goodluck.
     

  3. one other thing, i've never caught fish this late in the season and kept them but as long as you slowly warm the water up they should be ok. one possible side effect though is that it might set off spawning behavior that warmer waters and increased sunlight do in the spring. the fish would be real territorial and aggressive. like i said just throwing that out there with no idea if it would actually happen.
     
  4. Would the minnows have to be alive? I was thinking of freezing leftover minnows from perch trips, and just throwing a few in there every couple days.
     
  5. i tried that and it worked well. You might have to make them move a little by placing them in the filter stream at first to get the bass on them but once he realizes that its food he'll be all over and biting at the glass anytime you approach. I never got my pickeral to eat dead minnows though. of course goldfish would work too. just be careful, bass don't really understand when they are full and will never stop eating, its pretty funny to watch them try to eat other fish but their mouths are too full to grab them and they end up spitting the others out and try to grab them again. then the just lay on the bottom of the tank looking like they are in pain from being too full.
     
  6. arch- I'm am by far not much of an "aquariumnist?" but I have had a lgmth for over two years now in a 60 gal. He's up to 14" from 11 when I started!!!

    One thing that has gotten me by many of a pinch is an additive to the water called "please release me" by Sure-life labs.

    I knew it worked in my creels to calm 'em down and keep 'em alive for weigh-in, so I tried a little on my home bass when he looked sour or developed fungus from feeder goldfish. Worked like a charm-and I seem to have to not clean my tank often either!!!

    Nip
    www.dobass.com
     
  7. fffffish

    fffffish Muskie 1 Trolling Thunder

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    I have had a 55-gallon for over 25 years and tried about ever kind of fish you could think of. We managed to kill everything we tried. About 10 years ago while fishing one of the kids netted a 3 inch albino carp at West Branch well that fish is still alive today and a lot bigger. He was joined by a yellow and orange one about 7 years ago. They are the easiest things to take care of and believe it or not kind of smart for a fish. They have survived having the temp turned up to over 120 deg (kids) heater has since been removed they do not need heat. No pumps or filters running for as many as 5 days (no electric) and one of them even survived laying on the floor for who know how long while we were on a 3 day trip (cover left open) along with a few other mishaps. They are a dirty fish but we use and under gravel filter along with a 80ghp suction filter that sits behind the tank. Once a year I use a shopvac on one of the riser tubes to suck all of the junk from under the gravel the other filter get changed about once a month. They are very low maintenance fish and are also a very active fish always moving and they also follow anyone who walks past the tank. Best of all very hard to kill.
     
  8. I really enjoyed Mojo's comment regarding the bass not knowing when to stop eating. :D Kinda reminded me of the day my beagle's tore open the feed sack. :( Found them on the floor, round in the middle and looking sad. :rolleyes: The only thing I ever raised other than tropicals were fatheads. Had them for about two years and then they died off. Good luck on your efforts. :)
     
  9. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    I have a lot of experience with bass, green sunfish, bluegills, and some others. I have gotten all of them to eat a protein flake/crisp that can be purchased at most pet stores. The bass grew up to 8 inches on the stuff before I released them. I have a set of gills and green sunfish right now that are not territorial and will eat flake food, crisp food, worms, crickets, bloodworms (both frozen and freeze-dried), etc. I have a natural setting in my 55 gallon with a crayfish that helps clean up the bottom a bit. Marshall and I net them when they are really small, like an inch or two and then I grow them to release size. I want to try a small catfish. I never thought of the pike deal. That would be kinda cool.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Thanks for all the good advice. I have a couple more questions. What temperature should I keep it at? And did it require any "training" for the fish to eat the flakes?
     
  11. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    I keep the temps no higher than 70. I would say room temp would be fine, because native species are used to realtively chilly waters most of the year. It didn't take much to ge tthe fish to eat flakes or crisps. They are naturally curious of anything that moves in their water and will check it out. Generally, this entails checking it out with their mouth. Therefore, a few flakes or crisps at first and they will be ready for chow time every day. Besides, I found that was the most economical to feed about 20 of the little guys.

    Ask away any more.
     
  12. So would you recommend a bunch of smaller fish, compared to less bigger fish?

    Have you had perch or crappie eat flakes? I think those would be really cool to try and keep.
     
  13. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    I haven't had perch or crappie. I had bass eat the flakes, so I don't see why the other two would not. Its all a matter of presentation. If its the only food source, they'll eat.
     
  14. johnboy111711

    johnboy111711 SOLID MEAT

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    if you get flakes, go with ciclid flakes, they are much better for the gills as opposed to guppy/goldfish food. small bullheads are great too, but will eat anything it can fit into their mouths. my gills weren't very territorial either.
     
  15. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

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    I wasn't too happy with perch. They just hid in the corner or behind a lift tube. Mine weren't very active.
    Crappie were pretty cool. They stayed together in a school and were pretty aggressive feeders. They grew real fast too.
    While we're on the subject of aquariums, anyone ever fillet and fry up some oscars. If so, what did you think of the taste (serious question).
     
  16. Little baby shad look cool in an aquarium. They school up, its cool to watch an 8 inch Largemouth Bass gobble them up. I always catch a lot of Darters but they never stay alive long enough to make it home. They don't float when they die either.
     
  17. crankus_maximus

    crankus_maximus Crankus Baitus Maximus

    Thats good to know about the darters.
     
  18. how do you catch the darters? i dipped netted mine in a small ripple of a creek. depending on where you look in a a stream (ripples, pools, bank overhang etc) you'll find different species. If they were caught on a small hook i can see why they would die. by far the orange throats and rainbows are the best looking with almost tropical colors, and greensides are cool too. I've had mine for about 7 months so far and they are gobbling up brine shrimp like crazy. Also have a gill less than an inch which so far is pretty cool. Abou the perch, i've had mixed results, some sit and do nothing, others were super active so some of it depends on the actual fish.
     
  19. Seine for the darters in creeks and slack waters below spillways.
     
  20. Ive been waiting for this thread to happen all my life!!!!!

    May I suggest, to all of who you have kept natives in your tanks, to go check out www.nanfa.org . It is the North American Native Fish Association. It is a conservation, education, and more importantly an appreciation group. Publishes a nice quarterly magazine, has a very active, email message server, and a very friendly and active memebership. There are usually several nice sized regional collecting trips a year, an annual convention, and well some of us go collecting constantly. I sort of unofficially act as the NE Ohio rep, since the rep for the state lives out in Toledo. My seine and cooler stays in the back of my truck at all times :D

    I think my count is up to 50ish species of natives kept over the past 4 years.

    The best way to catch darters by yourself is with a dip net. Get upstream/infront of it and kick downstream, really churn up the water and rocks. If you have 3/2 people and a seine, you are in business! Position the seine at the desired part of the riffle have one person start 20-25 ft upstream and again really churn up the water and force fish into the net. Different darter species live in different sections of riffles too, so depending on weather or not you are in the front, middle, or back of it you typically will get different species. The front end of runs also contain darters. If there is emergent vegetations along the stream bank you will find log perch there, along with sunnies and grass pikes. I have had greenside darters and log perch eat flake food before, but it wasnt the only part of their diet and that is very rare for a darter to eat flake food. They would only eat it if it was put in current and was moving on by.

    Tight - how long is it before your darters die since they arent making it home? Ive had no problem keeping them in a cooler for a whole day. I might do a change of a bucket or so of water but other than that not much of a problem. This was before I bought a battery powered bubbler, which are great investments.