Re: NANFA-- Single sunfish?

R. W. Wolff (
Sat, 22 May 2004 00:45:52 -0500

> I have a single 1 1/2 inch pumpkinseed sunfish along with a 3" bullhead in
> ten gallon tank. Should I get another sunfish to keep it happy?

Sunfish are not schooling fish , per say. It depends what you want from a
sunfish. Do you want an awesome pet, to see how they interact with each
other, spawning? If you just want a pet, one is fine. Instead of working off
other sunfish, it will react to you feeding it, cleaning its tank etc.
Pumpkinseeds are pretty good for this. For a pet sunfish, green sunfish are
hard to beat. A week after being in the tank you would think it was captive
bred and raised.

When I was growing up, I often kept a pumpkinseed and a bullhead in a tank
over winter. It just worked. They were great, even feeding on bread crumbs.
At the time I thought it was awesome. Now , I realize I was malnutrioning
( is that a word?) my poor fish. Without other sunfish to spar with, or
think about spawning with, they were excellent pet fish. Just as good as any
cichlid, even Oscars. You loose that interaction when they have other
sunfish to deal with. They are either busy fighting, trying to spawn, or
whatever. My first such set up was a three inch pumpkin and a two inch
tadpole madtom in a large upright fish bowl. Decorated with a sand bottom
and an iris for a plant. It actually worked. The madtom did poorly for lack
of solid cover, but the pumkinseed was my best friend all winter- 1979 I
think it was.

Ray W.
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