Re: NANFA-- The longear sunfish

Mark (
Mon, 20 Jan 2003 14:45:59 -0500

At 7:39 AM -0500 1/20/03, wrote:
>This should be my last question about stocking my 40 gallon with natives. I
>am trying to decide between the redside/darter set up or, I keep going back
>to the sunfishes, particularly the longear.
>Based on the articles I have read I can't get an answer. Is it possible to
>keep three or four longear in a 40 gallon indefinetly (if I start with 2 or 3
>inchers) or... once one male decides to breed all other fish get hammered and
>thats the end....
>Mark indicated that madtoms (brindled) might be OK with there
>other species to keep with them (longears) indefinetly?
>Or is it safer to go with orange spotted sunfish although I am limited to
>where I can find this species without traveling great distances...

I think you are likely to have problems with 3 or 4 longears in a forty
gallon. Yeah, a big male guarding a nest will be pretty hard on any
tankmates. I had a group or 4 or 5 dollar sunfish (L marginatus) breeding
in a 70 gallon. Even with lots of thick plantings, the females got pretty
shredded. On the other hand, extreme crowding can work too. I spawned
longears in a 20 high once that was packed with other longears. The
breeders were small, maybe stunted. They may have also been a less
aggressive strain. So I like the orangespot idea. I have spawned those in
a 29 with lots of plants. The only fish visible was the guarding male, and
he would hide half the time too, leaving the nest unguarded. Nobody seemed
to get hurt. They are smaller, less aggressive and have smaller mouths.
Todd and I caught some this fall in the Black Fork of the Mohican below the
reservoir just south of Rt 30. What was the name of the park? If you
can't catch any, you can buy them here:

It would be worth a try to do a set up with orangespotteds, darters,
minnows, madtoms, suckers. If you keep it cool and limit the daylength,
the sunfish will be more docile.

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