Re: NANFA-L-- newbie here...

Travis Haas (
Sun, 20 Aug 2006 20:40:48 -0500

Hello Becky, and welcome to the list.

I just about jumped off my chair when I read your post. I live in
Appleton. I've spent the past two summers doing research on ake
Winnebago, with all of its problems. Lawrence University has been
monitoring the nutrient and planktonic parts of the food web for the
past several decades and I've been involved with continuing that work as
a student here. If you ever want to talk fish in person or check out
some of the interesting stuff in the streams around here, let me know -
bring your fiance too. Right now I've got a 20 gallon long on top of my
record shelf in my bedroom, inhabited by Johnny darters, which are
prevalent around here and have a fascinating lifestyle different than
that of the sunfish.

It sounds like you're off to a good start with your sunfish. As sunfish
get older they tend to get territorial and the smaller ones are
frequently chased into a corner by the bigger one. Crappies are
notoriously difficult to train to eat prepared foods. You may have to
feed him live foods for the entirety of his time in your tank, though if
you got him from a pet store, who knows. The sunfish should be
relatively easily enticed to eat pellets. I think I may have been to
the pet store you're talking about. I remember seeing bass there a
while back. What street is it on?

Right now I'm in the middle of a study investigating the diets of larval
and young of the year fish in Lake Winnebago. It doesn't seem that
anyone has looked into it. With the large amount of data that Lawrence
has collected on the plankton in the lake, it should be interesting to
note any connections between the structure of the zooplankton
communities in the lake and those, er, in the fishes' stomachs...:)

On the banks of the ever-so-polluted Fox River
"Whatever you do, don't touch that water!"
Appleton, WI

Becky Kendell wrote:
> Hello,
> 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.
> Becky
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