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Pumpkinseed Sunfish Care

  • Author ghostno
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Scientific name: Lepomis gibbosus

I haven't taken care of this unique species for long but in the 1 month I have cared for them. I fell in love with this great species I hope you find this article educational. Maybe you caught the fish or you bought it. This guide will show the ways to care for this unique fish. First a little on the background. Lepomis gibbosus or the Pumpkinseed Sunfish is a member of the Centrarchidae family. This family contains Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, crappies, Rock bass, Common Sunfishes, and most of Panfishes. They are native to eastern North America to South Carolina and have been introduced to over 34 states, numerous lakes, ponds, and streams in the Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, and in Pacific coastal drainage in the United States. They live for about 6 to 8 years and get about 4 to 6 inches but the biggest of them get to 12 inches or one foot.

Water Care:
We will now dive into the water care that one needs to have in order to care for this unique fish. Pumpkinseeds like the temperature to be around 75 - 89 degrees and for breeding 63 degrees. Pumpkinseeds can survive in a wide range of Ph but best in the range of 6 - 9. Ammonia and nitrite levels should always stay near 0 and water changes are required weekly.

Tank + Tankmates:
These fish required a tank size of at least 55 gallons alone but in pairs, they should get a 75-gallon tank. The Pumpkinseed lives in lakes and rivers with lots of plants and that should be copied to the tank. Tankmates are only a handful as they cannot be too big nor too small, other species of sunfish are ok as well as some species of crayfish (crayfish MUST have hiding places). As a food source, you could house them with feeder minnows.

Prepared food is good at best but SHOULD NOT be used regularly as these fish are hunters and need live or frozen foods. As said before feeder minnows could be used to feed them. Insects or worms could be used too. I've seen people feed sunfish worms and bladder snails.

That was a guide to care for this unique and colorful fish. Good luck future sunfish keepers.

Pumpkinseed Sunfish | San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants
Pumpkinseed - Wikipedia
Centrarchidae - Wikipedia
Centrarchidae Family | Idaho Fish and Game


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