Re: NANFA-- Want to setup a small Sunfish Tank

R. W. Wolff (
Wed, 23 Aug 2000 22:57:13 -0700

> That's weird; I was under the impression that orange-spotted sunfish were
> aggressive and that longears weren't except amongst themselves during the
> breeding season.

I think this is a common misconception with orange spotted sunfish. I
always heard they were nasty, but never had problems with them in a large
aquarium. Longears, and more so, dollars are very aggressive. Some of the
problem lies in having them set up for spawning. Warm water ( 71 + degrees,)
and photo periods over 11 hours fire up the males hormones. Not much is out
there in regards to sunfish aggression managment, but if you read cichlid
books, and how to control their aggression, useing those methods with
sunfish will have good results. You just have to adapt these methods to the
sunfish. Like people, sunfish, and most fish for that matter have their own
unique personalities. you can find timid and overly aggressive fish of any
species. Here are some of my tricks for curbing aggression in sunfish
without getting rid of spawning conditions. 1. have enough spaces for two
times the sunfish you have to hide all at once, and that they can not see
each other in those hiding spaces ( like through cracks in the rocks). This
means lots of rockwork, roots, and thick weed beds. 2. keep everyone very
well fed. hungry fish are aggressive and defensive of their territories.
3.raise all your sunfish together from a small size, so they have the same
scents imbedded in them, and are used to the population. 4. thick mats of
floating vegatation will provide cover for females that are being courted
and rooted out of rocks since their scent gives their location away to males
of the same species who are interested in spawning. I don't like using
dither fish, since I am not interested in these species, or they are good
egg stealers. If you are interested in larger minnow species, then they
would work great. Sunfish should not hurt large shiners in a school, but
divert enough attention from other sunfish. Golden shiners work great, they
are tough, and not flighty. You dont want shiners that jump when you drop a
pellet of food in the water. Skittish dither fish are worthless, they either
cause more aggression, or get there butts kicked because they are easy marks
and look like they need a whoopin'.

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