NANFA-- Rolandas' Longears

Mark (
Sat, 21 Feb 2004 12:33:24 -0500

>... my sunfishes became poor in color. And
> the grey strips became very clear. But
> they were very colorful. I'm started thinking maybe they require special
> water conditions? Maybe you know that water Ph (and other factors) is best
> for them? The creek where they lived before is very rocky and maybe the
> water was enriched with minerals in this creek? Do I need to place in the
> fish tank special rocks or something else? Maybe they need special food?
> What would be your recommendations?...


I imagine it is winter there in Lithuania as it is here in Ohio USA.
If your fishes are exposed to sunlight via your windows, they are
likely being effected by the shorter day length and lower
temperatures of winter. It is normal for the sunfishes to lose much
of their color and have less obvious sexual differences during the
winter. Chances are, as we approach spring, with its longer days and
warmer weather, your longears will come back into full color and if
you have any females, they will begin to get rounder in the belly as
their eggs ripen. The males will attain very intense coloration
including darkened pelvic fins. As I wrote to you before, the males
usually have more of a hump or arched profile to the head. The
females having a more straight, sloping profile. Also, the males
tend to have a longer "ear" flap than do the females. As we approach
spring, you will need to monitor your fishes closely to prevent
excessive aggression. As soon as you see frayed fins on any of them,
you should separate them or change your setup such that the weaker
fish can escape the more aggressive ones. I just lost a longear to
aggression by a large male. The other two surviving tankmates have
badly frayed fins. All are in separate tanks now. My male is
colored up, but I keep the lights on 'til late at night and the temp
in my fishroom is about 70 degrees F. As far as water parameters, I
agree with Nick that they are not critical. I would, however, avoid
very soft water. Moderate hardness should be fine. If you want to
artifically bring your fish into full color, raise the temperature to
about 74 degrees F and be sure that they have strong light on them
for at least 13 hour per day. Let us know when they start building
nests if you need any spawning info.

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