Elassoma Tank

  1. Cricket lynn mclean Well Known Member Member

    I've decided to start my own journal about having an Elassoma tank. Or keeping and breeding Elassoma. However at this point I'm just working on a tank lol So 1 step at a time. Hey moderators. Perhaps we could get a natives tab in the fish profiles? I didn't see it if it's already there.

    So I've read that these fish do not require filtration or heat. Just a lot of plants. One person said if you can see more than 25% free space in the tank you don't have enough plants. I'm not sure everyone concurs with that but without filtration I would guess that is true. I consider Gerald pottern to be an authority on the fish and it is from him that I have gleaned most of what I know about them. I found him on an apisto forum but he led me to nanfa which really has a lot of resources for native fishkeeping. I'll double check my spelling in a bit. He does say to run a stream of bubbles for them tho to keep oxygen in the tank particularly at night while the plants lay off on the job. Here is my tank so far. It has a guest betta and a filter while I am squaring away his tank. 0917171727.jpg 0917171727a.jpg
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    The last pic was taken at night for one thing and also before I moved a couple bulbs to the front. Essentially the same. What I need to work on.
    1. Leveling the tank. Or finding another location. Preferably where I can easily hide an air pump because I really hate them.
    2. Getting a sponge filter or air stream for the tank instead of the filter I had planned. The intake is too large for baby pygmy sunfish.
    3. Getting some live cultures growing for food. They are fussier to feed than killies and require live and some get lucky with frozen food. I've considered black worms because they will stay alive in the tank until they are eaten which does a lot for water quality. However I'm advised they may be too big for them to eat. I'd like to culture white worms as they are fan favorites. Still waiting for word on microworms. I haven't looked into grindal worms yet tho I think @minervalong is having good luck with them. I need to get a bb hatchery going as well.
    4. I need to order a light for the tank. The lights on board are stolen from Peter. Don't worry Peter stole a light from Paul who's tank cracked yesterday.
    5. I need to order the fish :) I have a current source who has the fish of my dreams Ellassoma Gilberti however he says that his Okefenokee are more colorful at this time. That is something that varies from location to location and time to time. I already and faithfully believe I have a source of Okefenokee ;) @minervalong so I'm not sure what I'll do there. It definitely is the color of these wicked cool fish that attract my attention. But more than that it is the way they dance. ❤❤❤ skip to the 5:00 minute mark to see how masterfully he can move his fins however he will show off throughout the video if you have the patience to watch. :)

    This video features a descendant of Gerald's. The man who turned me on to pygmy sunfish in the first place. 029resize.jpg
    Elassoma gilberti male (due credit moderators)

    I'll update more later. @NightShade care to follow my journey?
  2. minervalong Well Known Member Member

    The tank looks great. One thing I will say is that if you ever want to see the critters, clear some space in front. My tank isn't as heavily planted, mostly along the back and side walls. There is a clear space in the front so I can actually see them sometimes. The boys aren't too hard, but the girls and uncolored males just cannot be spotted if they are in the plants. I've read that second generation are not as skittish, so we will see. Mine were wild caught so that is a factor.

    And yep, if I get them to breed, just say the word and I'll send you a pair. You have been so helpful with research and ideas, I owe you.

    Yeah, get those cultures going. It could just be me, but feeding them is my biggest worry. Which is probably no worry at all because all I see seem to be plump, no caved in bellies.

    They are more active in subdued lighting. I have a 15w regular light on mine, running two of them I never saw anybody. And I need to get some more floating plants to cast more shade too.

    I'll be following your journey too, these little creatures are a blast lol.

  3. Cricket lynn mclean Well Known Member Member

    How do your plants do with your current lighting? I was thinking of painting the sides of the tank to give them a little more peace of mind. I wanted to leave the back open tho so I can spy on them from outside lol
    I'll need to clean my glass first ;)
    I think I will rearrange the plants a bit more then
  4. minervalong Well Known Member Member

    The water sprite is so so, the guppy grass is doing well, the itty bitty amazon swords are doing ok too. I'm not great with plants, but the 10g shrimp tank with a plain white led hood that came with seems to be a good place for water sprite and java moss, so I can change them out every so often.

    I left the front of the tank plant clear. I'll try to get a good pic today.

    Oh, they are supposed to eat new baby pest snails, so I have a couple of pests in there. We will see how much the population explodes.

  5. Cricket lynn mclean Well Known Member Member

    Keep me posted on that lol. I was tempted. But also not tempted lol
  6. toolman Well Known Member Member

    Thanks, you ladies just added to my "fish wish list"! Grandpa's going to the poor house, but I'll have fish. Lol
  7. NightShade Well Known Member Member

    Ha! That was so cute! I've never seen a video of the mating dance, and I love Pygmy sunfish (explored a lot of species, just wasn't ready to have them yet, plus my old iPad wouldn't easily support video. So glad my iPhone does!:) ) He was really working those fins, and she was totally aloof! The whole time! Lol! Poor guy, felt like longer than 5 min to me, hoping she would react, I'm sure it did to him!

    I also live near the natural habitat of some sunfish (& killifish) species, so that's what made me look them up in the first place. Can't remember which species (I'm about 2 hrs away from Raleigh, NC, but in the piedmont (as opposed to the coastal plain)) I have thought about joining a native fish website, like NANFA, and asking the experts on how/where to go catch them myself - because I've got no experience in that.

    I'm so excited for you! And please send me anymore research you have, when you get the chance.. (no rush) because I lost my bookmarks of info/research I had (you've already replaced one bit of research I'd lost! Thank you!)

    @toolman, yup... I can relate.. they put in on my "must have NOW" list! Lol :p

    I'd also LOVE a "native fish" section!!

  8. minervalong Well Known Member Member

    Honest, they are so cute and so interesting. And that dance!! I've spent more time watching this tank than all of my others.

    There are seven distinct elassomas. The problem with hunting for them is that they are hard to see. There is nothing that cute around where I am.

    And Yep, I'm for a native species forum too. I'd love to have a bunch of them.
  9. NightShade Well Known Member Member

    Yea, that's the problem I ran into before even bothering to try.. but I thought maybe experience may help.. be fun to go with someone who has a place where they have caught them successfully.. I'm fine getting them from someone online, planned on it, but the idea of going to their habitat, & seeing & testing params/conditions, would be like a holy grail lol. It would be invaluable (I'd def share info with y'all!!)
  10. minervalong Well Known Member Member

    Yep, pretty cool. I am just glad that other than the water being clean, they have a wide range on temp and pH. And with so many plants in the tanks, the water does a good job of self cleaning. Or it will after I stop overfeeding trying out the different foods lol.

  11. NightShade Well Known Member Member

    Just realized I would need a permit to collect (& keep) lol! Would've researched & learned that waay before attempting, but yea. Face palm... duh.. knew that

    @minervalong, I love that they have a wide range too, but have to say it doesn't surprise me living in the south! Dang, y'all have me wanting some... because apparently my fish wish list isn't long enough lol
  12. Cricket lynn mclean Well Known Member Member

    Fortunately for you grandpa lol you're already experienced with plants and they only require a small tank without heat so it really shouldn't be too tough for you to add. After you finish the 75 that is lol.

    I know right! She was thoroughly unimpressed! And he was spectacular lol. I mean even I was saying "I'm yours"

    What I would like to see is how the differences affect things like size, coloration, behavior etc. Then you could figure out where you wanna hunt based on the water parameters :)

    My 10 is gonna house some cardinals until I'm further along. The cracked tanks and sick rainbows are really causing me space issues. :(

    I've had to add another thing to my list of things to do. I need a wine cooler to house my cultures. There is no cool dark place at my house. Phoenix really presents limitations.
  13. NightShade Well Known Member Member

    Baahahaha! Omg, you made me look crazy for busting out laughing! (By myself) Fortunately, I don't think my bf heard me.. dogs did.. (the look on their faces) but the bf prob already thinks that I'm crazy! (They say those that question their sanity.. are actually sane...) Lol! I truly laughed out loud.. "lol" or "lmao" doesn't cut it! .."I'm yours" I'm gonna laugh at that for awhile! Because it's SO true!! Lmao (edited to add.. wow I just said lmao after saying all that)

    Aaah.. breathe... ok, now for the serious/on subject/real/originally intended part of my comment ;)

    I'm VERY curious about how different conditions affect the coloring! It would be really awesome to see a study on that!! But at least we can compare pics & params.. ? I'm sure y'all can pull my arm & make me pull the trigger on getting one! (Just so we have more data) Lol... because it would be sooo difficult to convince me :p
  14. Cricket lynn mclean Well Known Member Member

    Oh you're too much! You had me laugh out loud too! We can question our own sanity and therefore be considered sane together! I love your edit
    And actually I was planning on you doing most of that work being that. You're located in the right place and already have the equipment hahaha! But yeah it would be cool to compare ours as well :)
    I'm sure you'll be along shortly.
  15. NightShade Well Known Member Member

    :) hehe, I made another person look crazy... that's too funny!

    I should try to find out locations/rivers and just go test parameters (it depends how far of a drive lol) but that would be interesting to me!

    Is your water out in AZ hard or soft? Out of curiosity... I have very soft water (remembering off the top of my head - because I'm getting that lazy morning - nothing scheduled - yay! And don't wanna disturb the doggies in my lap;) ) tap: PH 6.5 ~ish (iirc... actually could be lower) GH 3 drops KH 3 drops (surprised me, thought it would've been less lol)
  16. minervalong Well Known Member Member

    Look at it this way ladies, these fish are a lot of fun. And even though the food thing is the challenge, they are way cheaper than a psychiatrist or plastic surgery lol.
  17. NightShade Well Known Member Member

    Yea, I'm definitely in when you get fry @minervalong! Lol, they certainly are WAY better than going to a psychiatrist or plastic surgeon!!
  18. Cricket lynn mclean Well Known Member Member

    Lmao. Who needs wellness when there's ellassoma
    I'll be getting a white worm culture going soon if y'all want some when I got it going holler
  19. toolman Well Known Member Member

    You'll have to tell me how to take care of it.
  20. NightShade Well Known Member Member

    I'd love some! And like @toolman, I'll probably need some help knowing how to keep them too! (Lol... need all kinds of help!:p)