NANFA-L-- newbie here...

Becky Kendell (
Sun, 20 Aug 2006 18:04:54 -0700 (PDT)


My name is Becky, I am new to the mailing list and to the hobby of keeping native fish. I live in Menasha, WI. I have two tanks of tropical fish, a 75 gal. and a 20 gal. I also keep (and breed when I feel like having all kinds of babies) several different kinds of dart frogs, and I have a couple snakes too. This summer I began fishing a lot at my fiance's family's cottage on a small lake in Wisconsin. I kept catching little bluegills, perch, and pumpkinseeds and started to realize how pretty these fish are, especially the pumpkinseeds. Well, it was just a thought in the back of my mind until a fellow frog-hobbyist friend of mine called and said he was moving and wanted to get rid of a bunch of his tanks, one of them being a 125 gallon including stand, lights, and covers. I set it up in my basement, since it wouldn't fit anywhere else in the house, and after about a month, I now have fish in it.

I thought I'd describe it and would like anyone on here to let me know if I'm doing anything wrong. I made one end of it with a sandy bottom, the other with gravel and rocks. On the sandy side, there are a few live plants, some fake ones, and logs for hiding. This is also the brighter side. The other side does not have a light over it and will (when I find the right rocks) have hiding places in the rocks. I thought this would provide the fish with a choice of habitat. (of course I don't really know what I'm doing yet, but it does look neat!) I have two bio-wheel filters running, one on the rocky side and one in the middle....causing the planted side to have less current. I have tested the water, and there is no amonia or nitrates anymore. The hardness is pretty high, but I am thinking that is ok since I am also catching fish from this same area? The fish so far seem to be doing great. Much better than I expected. I started with a pumpkinseed (almost adult) a
small bluegill, and a small perch. They got used to the tank pretty quick. I also bought a young crappie from a pet store, hoping it would do well right away and eat food more readily, but actually it has turned out to be the shyest. After about a week, I then caught a rock bass. It took up residence in a hollowed-out piece of wood I put in there, and then after a few days also started to come out and beg for food with the others. I thought it might cause trouble with the little bluegill who is only about an inch and a half, but everyone gets along fine! Today I went fishing again and came back with a bigger bluegill, and another perch. So the total is 1 pumpkinseed, 2 bluegill, 2 perch, 1 rock bass, and 1 crappie. Surprisingly (to me at least) the pumpkinseed is the king (or queen?). The bass is actually really submissive and I have taken to feeding him from my hand so no one else gets his food. I am absolutely hooked on these guys now. I wish they could be
upstairs. I do know someday the fish I have might not get along when they mature, and I do have other tanks laying around for such and occation. As for feeding, I started with fish to get them to come out and hunt. Then they started taking worms I dropped in. For a while not all of them would come get the worms, but now they do. Now that they look for things dropping from the surface, I think I will try some sinking pellets.

I look forward to learning more about native fish from all of you. I have been reading lately about fish that have been introduced in my area...I was shocked at how many of them don't belong here. I live next to the biggest lake in WI, Lake Winnebago. I'm very saddened to find out it is in much more trouble than I knew with all the introduced species of fish, crayfish, mussels, and plants, there doesn't seem to be much hope for the wildlife that belongs here.


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