RE: NANFA-- first native tank, pumpkinseeds
Crail, Todd (tcrail_at_northshores.com)
Sat, 20 Apr 2002 23:44:41 -0400
A great selection for specimens in a tank that size. I had my 125 set
up with pumpkinseeds for a couple years and *really* enjoyed it, as did
a lot of folks that came over to visit.
I would go with 6-8 fish. If given an appropriate diet, you'll find
that they will grow into size very quickly. Ray's suggestion of the
shrimp is an excellent one, I used lfs bought frozen krill. Getting
them switched over to pellets as a staple would be a good idea, use the
shrimp as treats once a week. The 6-8 specimen count will account for
destination size and will keep aggression to a minimum later. Try to
get them all about the same size so they're growing together.
It looks like you were looking at native plants... Very good thought.
However, I should mention that wild plants can bring in a host of issues
such as leeches, etc. As well, if you can see the plants there along
the shore... Chances are they will not fare very well without making a
serious dollar investment in lighting. With that in consideration....
Hornwort can be a good choice for plants. It can take a beating, it's
cheap and it's always available at your local fish stores (esp now that
pond season is opening up in the north). It doesn't require an
extensive amount of light, but I'd upgrade a bit on the lighting from
the two 30 watters you have. If you're handy with wiring, you can pick
up some 2 lamp 40watt ballasts for about $8 at a lighting supply.
Waterproof end caps run about $12 a pair at any online mail order place.
A good cheap lamp to use is the GE Daylight Ultra. These can be aquired
at Home Depot for $6. 4 40 watters staggered would be sufficent to have
it growing, and you'll be very impressed with the blues in the fish
these lamps pick up.
I don't think this many fish would tax the bioload at all if you had the
hornwort all ready in the tank for a few weeks. They offer a lot of
already cultured surface area for nitrifying bacteria.
As a side note, and not one that gets mentioned very often... You *can*
just start putting in flake food to cycle an aquarium without any fish
involved. That way the bacteria set up on the food source (which is
what they are ultimately converting), and are all ready to go when the
animals arrive without having to expose the animals to any observable
ammonia or nitrite.
Somethings to consider... I think you're going to have a lot of fun with
this aquarium :)
From: Paul Cezanne
Sent: Sat 4/20/2002 11:40 AM
Subject: NANFA-- first native tank, pumpkinseeds
I'm about to start on my first native species tank. It is very
important to me to collect my first species, this is part of the joy of
it for my wife and I.
We live in Eastern Massachusetts, right outside Boston. From
reading the Peterson's Field Guide and David Schleser's book (and
speaking with him at the NEC conference a week ago) we've decided that
we would like to collect and keep pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus
)as our first first.
The seem to be available in this area and from what I've read
are a decent species to keep.
We are somewhat lucky in that we were recently given a complete
125 gallon setup. We would like to use this for our native tank.
I have a million questions, I'll try to ask some of them here
but I'm sure I've forgotten a lot of things.
I have read the brief thread at
http://fins.actwin.com/nanf/month.9706/msg00044.html so there is no
point in reposting those wonderful articles.
I'm going to assume I can find this fish. My first trip will be
to Spy Pond in Arlington just because 2 years ago I say something that
from above may have been pumpkinseeds. (They could have been another
sunfish, I might get out there tomorrow for a catch and release just to
identify what is there.)
So assuming that they are there, how many should I collect?
(Complying with local laws of course...). The "1 inch per fish" rule
says about 10 to 15, depending on where looked up the maximum size. I
would like them to breed, but that presents its own set of problem which
I've not entirely thought through yet.
Should the tank be planted or not? I've read that it should and
I've read that they are hard on plants. One web page even suggested
weekly replantings! I'm pretty sure I'm not ready for that level of
If I do collect a large amount, say 15, and they are small, say
2 inches, should I worry about cycling the tank? Remember, the tank is
huge, 6 feet long. I have 2 Fluval 404s as filters and 2 36" florescent
tubes for lights.
How deep should the gravel be? I've read 6 inches for sunfish
and I've read 2 inches. I don't know how much I have, I still haven't
set up the tank yet. (It is in the back yard being leak tested.)
I read that these both take flake or pelleted food and that they
won't. I don't mind feeding microworms and white worms to my other
fish, but big earthworms etc do make me a little squeamish.
Well, I guess that that is enough babbling for now. I'll sit
back and listen.
pZ -- Paul Cezanne
Please visit http://www.customline.com/peace/ and think about
what is there.
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