Re: NANFA-- Piglet the Bluegill

R. W. Wolff (
Wed, 28 May 2003 02:25:41 -0500

When I feed sunfish ( or other fish) in a group like that, I try to stuff
the larger fish with larger food items, then work my way down. Example.
Shrimp chunks, whole night crawlers, chopped night crawlers, whole earth
worms, chopped earth worms, then black worms, and if fry are in this tank,
baby brine shrimp or other tiny live foods. It can work with prepared foods
too. Always stuff the largest and most aggressive fish. Getting the most
aggressive fish weaned onto a cheap prepared food can really help. Stuffing
a dominant fish with gamefish chow ( 20 bucks for 50 pounds) and then
putting in worms will cut costs. This works to the pecking order in the tank
and seems to help reduce aggression. Atleast in my experience. Aggressive
fish are not being mean or bad. They are defending their interests, which is
really two things. territory for food, and depending on the time of the
year, territory for spawning. The dominant fish in the tank really doesn't
want to kill his love interests off or security of a group, but if that
means he ( usually a he) will go a bit hungry, at non spawning time that is
a good reason as any to do the other fish in.

Let the top fish know its habitat is going to meet its requirements, then it
should go easier on the tank mates. Kind of the other end of the spectrum
for providing the most timid fish with a good hiding area. If worms are
expensive, or hard to find, try frozen shrimp. Usually the small ones are a
bargain compared to worms ( unit price). I would not reccomend this as an
all together subsitute for worms, or other foods . Worms cannot be beaten
for healthy sunfish. If the worm is chopped up, keep in mind the head end
has the most nutrion.

Another thing that can help is to have a large enough tank with enough area
to set up enough different cover. Have "floor to ceiling" cover in atleat
one side and that half of the back of the aquarium. Putting some food in for
the aggressive fish in the open will keep it occupied while at the same time
putting food near this cover, where the more timid fish can grab it and
retreat quicky into hiding to consume the food item.

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