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Natives... delicious... and beautiful!

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Post Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:55 pm
jimv8673 User avatar
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Posts: 30
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana
I currently have 6 tanks running, from 10 gallon to 75 gallon, all stocked with Natve fish, none are hard to keep , require no special treatment and eat when i feed them, They all look good, healthy and happy. Ive done tropical, and saltwater up to and including full blown reef setups, and i wouldnt go back. Key is dont take anything home you dont intend to keep, never release these or any fish back into nature, and do your home work first. I can easily provide for a fish that never exceeds 6 inches but one that may reach, 3 feet ...ummm dont think so
If at First you dont succeed....Go Fishin

Post Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:05 pm
pomacanthus User avatar
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Posts: 377
Location: Rogers

I was only pointing out the "ideal" environment. Ive seen more than one local person who overstocked his/her tank with all the wrong species, summers here get pretty hot for awhile, tank temps can easily reach 80-90 with AC or chillers, too many fish + hot water+ low DO = a real challenge.

Post Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:38 am
jimv8673 User avatar
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Posts: 30
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana
pomacanthus wrote:
I was only pointing out the "ideal" environment. Ive seen more than one local person who overstocked his/her tank with all the wrong species, summers here get pretty hot for awhile, tank temps can easily reach 80-90 with AC or chillers, too many fish + hot water+ low DO = a real challenge.


And a good point it is, I post based on only my personal experience, and would never imply i know half as much as you probably do, similar to what i said about doing your homework, if you dont have the equipment to keep the tank temp down, its no good, but if your tank is inside your house and you have A/C youre good to go,You can overstock any tank with any type fish not just natives, if you put 1000 guppies in a 10 gal tank your overstocked, and probably will not turn out well. I was trying to add to and agree with you said and it came out wrong,,,sorry
If at First you dont succeed....Go Fishin

Post Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:48 pm
Pete User avatar
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Posts: 102
Location: Blaine Mn
Anyone mention buying native fish at a LFS? I remember back 15 years ago that was a big thing. I bought a 2" walleye and it got about 16" long. I had it in a 150 with a strange mix of cichlids and southies. That was one of the coolest fish I ever had. He would flash from out of no where and attack feeder fish, scales flying everywhere. I miss that fish....

Post Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:45 am
capman Level 5 Member
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Posts: 282
Location: Minneapolis
(Edit: in the time I took to write this, a series of other messages have been posted since the post that I was responding to that suggested the need for a chiller)


But summertime temperatures in the shallow parts of lakes where sunfish often tend to hang out and breed can be quite warm. A few years ago when my kids caught the sunfish we now have at home the water they were living in at Lake Nokomis was 80 degrees. The water in the tank we put them in at home was actually cooler than what they had been living in. An unheated tank should be fine.

These three pumpkinseeds, a bluegill, and what we think is maybe a bluegill-pumpkinseed hybrid (caught on two successive days of fishing) have done extremely well simply in unheated tanks (no chillers), ranging in temperature from up to 80 in the summer to the low 60's in the winter.

They are very easy fish to keep, though they might not accept dry foods right away. In my experience, very small ones are better about this than bigger ones. Ours only ate mealworms and earthworms and such at first, but all eventually got to the point of accepting and even relishing dry foods such as freeze dried krill (the first dry food they accepted), Tetra Color Bits, and Arowana sticks (Azoo brand). The arowanna sticks are a little too large for the bluegill to eat comfortably even though it has grown into quite a large fish, but the larger-mouthed pumpkinseeds love this food. The pumpkinseeds also love snails, which they crush and eat just like oscars do.

Once you get them eating dry foods, they are really easy fish to keep, and lots of fun. They are enthusiastic eaters, especially the pumpkinseeds. Yes they produce waste, but no more than any other large fish would produce.

The main problem in keeping them is aggression. As ours got larger they got to the point of not tolerating each other any more, and now all are in separate tanks or separated by dividers.

Post Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:53 am
capman Level 5 Member
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Posts: 282
Location: Minneapolis
One more thing....

Our fish from Lake Nokomis turned out to have small whitish parasitic leeches living on them (primarily on their fins). And the leeches seemed to be multiplying. It was an interesting challenge ridding them of these leeches!

You might want to be fairly careful to quarantine any fish that you bring in from the wild. I think it was at least a month or two before we noticed the leeches on the sunfish.

Post Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:04 am
JollyT Level 7 Member
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Posts: 792
Location: Coon Rapids, MN
I believe a chiller wouldn't be necessary unless you are keeping walleye, northern, or trout species. (Some of which would requise special permiting anyway.)

As far as parasites in wild caught fish, this also applies to wild caught fish from other areas, although the wholesalers will have done some pretreatment juft to lower their own losses.
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Post Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:36 am
capman Level 5 Member
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Posts: 282
Location: Minneapolis
And regarding bass...

When I was a kid our neighbor gave us a very small largemouth bass that he had found among some minnows he had bought as bait for fishing.

This was a super cool fish, but it was a real pain to feed. It really only wanted live food. And the live food it really wanted was live fish, and we really were not into buying feeder fish all the time. Sometimes I could trick it into eating strips of smelt if I threw them into the water just right so that it looked like a live fish for a few seconds - sometimes it would strike and eat it before it had a chance to realize it was not alive. It only did really well though if we had live fish for it. And if it got fed really well it then started getting aggressive with the oscars it was living with.

It got to be about a foot long, and then we were lucky enough to have a nature center want to take it off our hands (they were thrilled to get one that was parasite free - I guess they had trouble with anchor worms on the ones they would catch for their display tanks). Having a nature center or public aquarium want your fish when it gets too big for your tank is not something you can count on though, and releasing it into the wild after having it in your tanks is not a good idea (and not legal I'm sure). And bass get lots bigger than a foot long. So, as much as I like bass, I won't be trying to keep them again.


This same neighbor also used to find brook sticklebacks among his bait minnows and he would give them to us. They were extremely cool fish, but a real pain in the neck to feed because they too only would accept live foods (though I can't remember whether we ever tried frozen brine shrimp???). I'd love to keep sticklebacks again (I think I could handle the feeding better now), and I'd love to have them spawn.

Post Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:03 am
daoshao User avatar
Level 3 Member
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Posts: 75
capman wrote:
And regarding bass...

When I was a kid our neighbor gave us a very small largemouth bass that he had found among some minnows he had bought as bait for fishing.

This was a super cool fish, but it was a real pain to feed. It really only wanted live food. And the live food it really wanted was live fish, and we really were not into buying feeder fish all the time. Sometimes I could trick it into eating strips of smelt if I threw them into the water just right so that it looked like a live fish for a few seconds - sometimes it would strike and eat it before it had a chance to realize it was not alive. It only did really well though if we had live fish for it. And if it got fed really well it then started getting aggressive with the oscars it was living with.

It got to be about a foot long, and then we were lucky enough to have a nature center want to take it off our hands (they were thrilled to get one that was parasite free - I guess they had trouble with anchor worms on the ones they would catch for their display tanks). Having a nature center or public aquarium want your fish when it gets too big for your tank is not something you can count on though, and releasing it into the wild after having it in your tanks is not a good idea (and not legal I'm sure). And bass get lots bigger than a foot long. So, as much as I like bass, I won't be trying to keep them again.


This same neighbor also used to find brook sticklebacks among his bait minnows and he would give them to us. They were extremely cool fish, but a real pain in the neck to feed because they too only would accept live foods (though I can't remember whether we ever tried frozen brine shrimp???). I'd love to keep sticklebacks again (I think I could handle the feeding better now), and I'd love to have them spawn.


Gosh, i remember raising sticklebacks also when i was young. There were always some sticklebacks with crappie minnows. They do get antsy on food but will eventually eat flakes.

I used to keep native fish when i was young. Crappies with Blue gills. During spawning season the Blue gills would turn very colorful. Might have to start thinking about starting a native tank again.

Post Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:51 am
capman Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 282
Location: Minneapolis
I don't ever buy minnows for fishing. But I imagine some of you folks do.

Do any of you ever find sticklebacks among your minnows these days?

Post Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:09 am
Passionfish Level 20 Member
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Posts: 12140
Location: apple valley, mn
capman wrote:
I don't ever buy minnows for fishing. But I imagine some of you folks do.

Do any of you ever find sticklebacks among your minnows these days?

yes but only two out of last 40 dozen or so
I think those harvesting minnows are removing them as fisherman will not use them for bait
Like a complete unknown

Post Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:42 am
capman Level 5 Member
Level 5 Member

Posts: 282
Location: Minneapolis
Thanks.

If anyone finds some minnows with a larger number of sticklebacks I'd love to hear about it. These are cool fish.

Re:

Post Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:09 pm
ChengKo User avatar
Level 4 Member
Level 4 Member

Posts: 228
Location: St. Paul, MN
capman wrote:
And regarding bass...

When I was a kid our neighbor gave us a very small largemouth bass that he had found among some minnows he had bought as bait for fishing.

This was a super cool fish, but it was a real pain to feed. It really only wanted live food. And the live food it really wanted was live fish, and we really were not into buying feeder fish all the time. Sometimes I could trick it into eating strips of smelt if I threw them into the water just right so that it looked like a live fish for a few seconds - sometimes it would strike and eat it before it had a chance to realize it was not alive. It only did really well though if we had live fish for it. And if it got fed really well it then started getting aggressive with the oscars it was living with.

It got to be about a foot long, and then we were lucky enough to have a nature center want to take it off our hands (they were thrilled to get one that was parasite free - I guess they had trouble with anchor worms on the ones they would catch for their display tanks). Having a nature center or public aquarium want your fish when it gets too big for your tank is not something you can count on though, and releasing it into the wild after having it in your tanks is not a good idea (and not legal I'm sure). And bass get lots bigger than a foot long. So, as much as I like bass, I won't be trying to keep them again.


This same neighbor also used to find brook sticklebacks among his bait minnows and he would give them to us. They were extremely cool fish, but a real pain in the neck to feed because they too only would accept live foods (though I can't remember whether we ever tried frozen brine shrimp???). I'd love to keep sticklebacks again (I think I could handle the feeding better now), and I'd love to have them spawn.


You know, I had a few bass from pretty much fry stage and had to feed them micro worms, then bloodworms/blackworms/whiteworms, and eventually minnnows or strips of fish meat or beef heart. I'm not sure why it was so hard for you, maybe because you refused to let it starve. It only takes some conditioning for them to realize food is food.

As for those who are still reading who believe chillers are needed--they aren't. At least for most native fish besides trout, salmon, and very deep dwelling fish. Most do great in room temp. I'm still catching 15 inch crappies even during this time of year where the water is nearing high 70s almost 80s. Chillers ARE needed if you think your water will get warmer than 80 degrees. I'm unsure as to how people think chillers are ultimately needed--they aren't.
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