Pictures of Pumpkinseed Sunfish from last summer

ishar

MFT Staff
Jul 27, 2007
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Hamilton, ON.
#1
This post is directed at seastarr88 who I know keeps sunfish, but it is also for anyone else who doesn't know just how amazingly beautiful native species truly are.

This guys was roughly 6" with it's tail.











I know the pics suck but it was all I could get- this guy was elusive as heck :). I hope you enjoyed the pics. He was a true pleasure to keep for the short time I had him, and I am very seriously considering some day having another native tank :). Make no mistake- this guy had some true personality right from the start.
 

seastaar88

Superstar Fish
Feb 1, 2004
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middletown, CT
#3
thanks for sharing, ishar! you knew i'd love it :) how long did you have him? i miss my pumpkinseed. they are amazing fish. you should TOTALLY start up a natives tank! :) :) :)

sunfish are all very widespread. in SC there are (to name a few) pygmy sunfish, dollar sunfish, bluegill sunfish, banded sunfish.
 

ishar

MFT Staff
Jul 27, 2007
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Hamilton, ON.
#6
hahhaa no problem seastarr88. I had him for about two months. I regret releasing him now. I am a university student so I will be going home in four months, and I might just switch back to keeping a sunfish or two as long as they won't disturb my planted tank too much. I would need to find who will take my fish though...
 

ishar

MFT Staff
Jul 27, 2007
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Hamilton, ON.
#9
cool :). I will definitely keep that in mind of my neons and guppies ever die off. What do you think about having shrimp with them? I have three amano shrimp I'd like to keep- think the sunnies will bother shrimp?
 

Big Vine

Elite Fish
Feb 7, 2006
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#10
Best to see what Jan says about that one.
Personally I think they'd be toast though. See what she recommends.

You could always let the pumpkinseed eat the neons and guppies. :eek:

BV :cool:
 

alter40

Superstar Fish
Nov 26, 2007
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Charlotte, NC
#11
It would be awesome to be able to have a fish like that. How large of a tank would you need for a sunfish though? Where do you get them or do you just catch them and keep them?
 

ishar

MFT Staff
Jul 27, 2007
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Hamilton, ON.
#12
hahaha yeah, I don't think it would eat the guppies though- MAYBE the neons, but not the guppy adults. :p. I know pumpkinseeds eat snails, but I am just not sure how a 2" long shrimp would fare.
 

ishar

MFT Staff
Jul 27, 2007
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Hamilton, ON.
#13
oh you just catch them and keep them :). Not sure how Jan does it but I used a fly fishing rod and such and caught my first one. They can get fairly big, but I think if I got small ones I could have two in my 20G, but I am not entirely sure.
 

alter40

Superstar Fish
Nov 26, 2007
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Charlotte, NC
#14
Hmm I wonder how legal that is in Pennsylvania haha. I would love to have a tank like that because I really do love the natives like that. Maybe try to get a small perch or something too and put it all in a 75 gallon tank.
 

ishar

MFT Staff
Jul 27, 2007
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Hamilton, ON.
#15
Just be sure that whatever fish you catch and keep, be sure you find it in a relatively still-water spot in a pond or a wide part of a river. If you catch the fish in a stream or otherwise flowing area the fish is likely to require a chiller and a lot of flow and oxygen (therefore no trout or others like it).

This is one thing that mkaes sunfish easier to keep- they like still water and they can take any temp fluctuations the tank might have (you could go without a heater for these guys IF YOU WANTED, but I am sure they would rather a constant temperature).
 

seastaar88

Superstar Fish
Feb 1, 2004
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middletown, CT
#17
lol i've been awol for a few days ;)

a sunnie will definitly eat amano shrimp. probably the neons and guppies too. i personally wouldn't keep a sunnie with fish smaller than it. when they start getting bigger, tehy can get very territorial and aggressive in a tank. i used to have a few sunnies in my tank (when they were only 1") without any problems. but then when they got bigger, i had to separate them into separate tanks because one became dominent and would harrass the others.

tank size depends on the fish. sunnies are much like goldies in that they do produce a lot of waste. the bluegill i have now is less than 2" and is good in a 10g. my pumpkinseed was 3" when he passed and was great in my 20g. bigger is always better.

i collected most of the natives from work. i used to work for the DEP and i would take fish home that ended up in our nets or when we electrofished. so i had an advantage. you could collect them using nets in a stream or from fishing. a 5g bucket with a cover or a cooler works well for transporting fish with a battery-powered bubbler.

i would at the minimum make sure you have a fishing liscense. each state is different as far as wheter its legal to keep certain fish, etc. check with your state's fisheries department. but if you're out collecting, chances are no one will bother you and you can bring fish home without a problem.

yellow perch are great natives to keep btw.

a 75g tank would be an awesome natives tank. one day i hope to have a tank that size to stock with natives.

i do agree that natives are extremely hardy becuase they have adapted to temperature changes. i do not use heaters with natives tanks.

IME, fish that were great to keep: yellow perch, central mudminnow, mummichogs, killifish, brown bullhead, sunfish, shiners, longnose dace, blacknose dace, tesselated darters....

IME, fish that were NOT good to keep: sticklebacks (fin nippers!), sculpin (sensitive), largemouth bass (it was great when it was small, but then started eating my fish when it got bigger)...