NANFA-- First Native Tank - Need some advice

Thomas Vetre (
Fri, 16 May 2003 07:32:26 -0400


I had a tank, hood, and stand sitting around for awhile, that I bought
before I had major surgery recently, and had no idea what to do with it.
So, I decided to set it up as a native tank. I got the tank settled with
seeded gravel and established filter material (like I always do), and got to
the point where it was time to add the fish.

I went down to the local river and caught 1 small Pumpkinseed and 1 small
Bluegill. I decided to try this grand experiment with them since there are
TONS of them around and they are beautiful fish as it is. I did some
research on keeping native tanks while I was recuperating and was
incredulous when I read how easily that Sunfish such as these acclimate to
being in a home aquarium. I even read that some people actually had these
buggers eating out of their hands!

So, I got them in the tank and kept the light off most of the day. I then
turned the light on and they didn't seem to mind it after they got used to
it. Then, I decided to do something radical and see if they would eat a
worm or two that I was using in my bait can for my fishing. These are trout
worms and not night crawlers. So, they are small and easy for Sunfish to
eat. I dropped one worm in the tank and watched in shock as the bluegill
made a beeline for it, stopped short of it and watched as it wiggled on the
gravel, and then bolted forward to suck it up like a kid eating a piece of
spaghetti!! Wow! I then dropped a larger one in in front of the larger
sunfish, the pumpkinseed, and watched as he did the same thing! I dropped
one more worm each for them and they ate greedily. I was shocked!

Being a freshwater tropical fishkeeper mainly, I always believed it took
fish a day or two to be comfortable enough to eat in a new tank. With these
wild caught fish, I figured it would probably be longer than that! Well...
not these pigs! They look a lot like Jewel Cichlids and having them around
is really making me think seriously about someday establishing a Cichlid

I've taken all the precautions needed to keep native fish. I know pretty
much what I am supposed to do and what not to. But, if anyone else in the
group has ever done this or knows someone who does, I would be very
delighted to receive even more insight! One can never be too educated!

One big question I would have is: How much do I feed these two pigs? I know
for a FACT that they would eat CONSTANTLY if I let them! They greedily chase
down and devour any trout worms that I drop in for them. They even try to
beat each other to the worm!

/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,