View Full Version : I want to try sunfish

05-27-2013, 03:16 PM
I am very interested in keeping some native fish. I am thinking about orange spotted sunfish. though they seem like the hardest to find. If not that one, then either a dollar sunfish or longear sunfish. does anyone have experience keeping any of these and what tank mates could I keep?

05-27-2013, 03:41 PM
I had a bluegill and a longear sunfish in my 100g community tank for about 2-3 months until they settled in and started beating up the rest of the fish.
I pulled them out of the pond at work while I was cleaning it, they were around .5" when I brought them home. They were about 2-2.5" when I gave them away.
Pretty cool, one day I might dedicate a tank just for natives.

05-27-2013, 03:43 PM
I have a bluegill if you want one, about 4",trained to eat pellets, free, they are fun fish

05-27-2013, 03:44 PM
i have a blue gill, a pumkin seed and 2 other sunfish with my oscars and jag. they are awsome. very active and have cool patterns in their scales.

05-27-2013, 03:46 PM
thanks jlcoop. you def. should have a native tank :)

Oscar-lover, I may take you up on that offer if I cant find what I am looking for. What tankmates do you keep with the bluegill?

nickchapman added 12 Minutes and 7 Seconds later...

king bichir i do love the look of the pumpkin seed. where did u get your sunfish?

12-23-2013, 04:52 PM
I vote....:) for the long ear..they are beautiful.

12-24-2013, 12:22 PM
FG has some sunfish for sale right now, I forget which kind they are

12-25-2013, 08:47 PM
I believe they are longear sunfish

12-26-2013, 11:43 PM
I vote....:) for the long ear..they are beautiful.

Seconded! They are my favorite of the sunfishes in Texas.

12-29-2013, 10:14 PM
NANFA is a good site for native fish.

05-19-2015, 09:04 AM
Hey everyone, I am back on the hunt for some fun fish. at the time I started this thread I wanted sunfish, and still do. but, my girlfriend was dying to put her goldfish in my tank so I never did anything. Now that gold fish has gone away and I am back on the hunt for something fun like a sunfish. If I go this route, what are some acceptable tank mates(not necessarily native) for the sunfish mentioned in this thread?

05-21-2015, 10:58 PM
Depending on the sunfish, they can be aggressive so keep that in mind when you get tank mates.

05-22-2015, 01:08 PM
SA/CA cichlids.

08-17-2016, 12:30 PM
How did this turn out?

I've kept sunfish, bass, catfish, bullheads, and perch over the years. For sunfish you'll need similarly minded aggressive fish, like bigyoung said - SA/CA cichlids would be a good match up.

08-17-2016, 12:32 PM
never purchased them. The ones I wanted were not available.

did SA geophagus red head Tapajos instead.

08-17-2016, 12:39 PM
Still a great choice!

08-17-2016, 02:35 PM
Thanks. I ended up selling them and the 100g tank I kept them in a couple weeks ago.

now I only have my cacatoo tank
guppy tank
shrimp tank
saltwater tank
and a tank at work. lol

08-18-2016, 10:36 AM
Nice. I'm just getting back into this hobby and am already thinking of four tanks I want to do.
1. SA/CA Cichlid tank. Probably start with a 20-40 for this as I know I'll need to upgrade and then probably keep the original tank for quarantine/fry along the way.
2. African Cichlid. Probably Malawi as I've done that before. Similar issues with tank size requirements as above unless I do shellies this go around.
3. Planted tank. Probably a mix of south American fish. Apisto, GBR, rummynose tetra, some neons, otos, cories.
4. Debating on a native tank. I've had bluegills/sunfish before and might go that route.

08-18-2016, 08:42 PM
1. heck yeah
2. shellies for sure
3. apistos rock!
4. orange spotted sunfish

08-19-2016, 06:26 AM
Orange spotted sunfish looks interesting. Seems they don't get too big either, something like 15cm from what I'm reading, which is good I would think. Pretty looking fish as well, looking like a good choice.

Shellies, never had before. They do seem quite interesting for their behavior and when the males color up.

Apistos do rock. :D

As for the SA/CA tank...that will probably be last as it will be the largest tank I'll have most likely. Weaning myself into the aquarium scene again is probably smart.

08-19-2016, 08:29 AM
from my readings on the orange spotted sunfish, it seems they are not quite as aggressive as most other sunfish.

I have thought about doing shellies myself, but never actually have

Yes taking it slow is a great idea, because before you know it your GF or wife is telling you to get rid of some of it.

08-19-2016, 04:53 PM
I always loved how Longear sunfish look. Greens are super aggressive. Orange spotted and Pumpkinseed sunfish look nice as well. I kept natives for a little while, to my surprise they were easy to get on pellets.

08-19-2016, 06:13 PM
You arn't kidding about greens. I cleared my pond and pulled 5 out as the pond was being rebuilt, had to seperate with dividers to keep them from bullying each other. Put back in a couple of months ago, there were only 3 by then.

08-19-2016, 07:30 PM
I love all sunfish, but many of them are so aggressive that you can only have 1 per tank. Reading on the orange spotted, they dont seem as aggressive as most

08-19-2016, 08:09 PM
That was one of the reasons why I got rid of them. They either killed each other or the less aggressive ones would just hide in fear all day and the strong one was all I'd see.

08-19-2016, 10:42 PM
We currently have two sunfish and are trying to find more. We keep them in a native tank with Small Spotted Gar. You can see one of our sunfish in far left in the attached picture. I think that one is a Long Eared Sunfish. He really colors up when he is nesting. I have searched locally for more and have found a couple of Long Ears in Bear Creek at Benbrook lake. Most of the Sunfish I have found around here are Green Sunfish. I can catch those by the dozen. I was hoping to find Orange Spotted in the Trinity River feed into Benbrook (The last place NAFTA website reported them in this vicinity) but all I caught was a Tilapia. I was very disappointed. I can help thinking that the Tilapia and Green Sunfish are eliminating the other specie of Sunfish.


08-20-2016, 08:52 AM
Nice tank! The spotted gar are spectacular.

08-20-2016, 08:47 PM
That Long ear looks amazing, so do the gar.