Monday, October 20, 2008

Natives In The Tank

Keeping the horses in the hay for the winter reminds me a similar thing I had to do when I lived back East.

One day my brother caught a small snapping turtle and he took it home and put it in an aquarium in his living room. It dawned on me that it would be fun to have an aquarium with native fish in it. I had a couple empty twenty-gallon tanks which I filled and went out and caught a four inch pickerel and four inch small mouth bass. It wasn’t long before I figured that they weren’t going to eat fish flakes, so I added some minnows to each tank. This was good food for them.

My collection grew in the next couple weeks with a few more twenty-gallon tanks which one became the home of a small perch and another housed some cray fish and the final one got some sun fish and blue gills.

The sunfish and the cray fish were happy to eat pieces of ground beef, but the perch, pickerel and the bass would only eat live minnows. I had to go out and get a tank just for minnows. Sometime in October I realized that our local bait shops would be closing for the winter and that had better stock up on enough minnows to last me the winter. I got ten more ten-gallon tanks and put about fifty minnows in each tank. I would try to keep at least ten minnows in each of the tanks containing the bass, pickerel and perch. They were able to feed at will.

Believe it or not, my native fish collection was much more interesting that the tropical’s. I had a friend that had several tanks of African cichlids, and after seeing my sunfish and blue gills he eventually sold his fish and got into natives as well. One advantage is that they don’t cost anything and are easily replaced and another advantage is that you don’t need to heat the water. You can also use native plants in the tank.

The pickerel was a bit boring. She would just stay stationary until it was feeding time, and there she would strike like lightening and then return to her spot.

Every once in a while I will go somewhere where there is a fish tank, and it is then when I am tempted to start another native fish aquarium. It’s really much cooler than one might imagine.


Blogger darev2005 said...

I love aquariums of almost any sort. If we had one local I be there by the hour. When my mom was still alive we'd go to the beach every chance we got and always go to the aquarium. We'd just let the people stream by and we'd watch the critters. They are very calming. And sometimes they are like opening one of those "Where's Waldo" books because you KNOW there's a critter in there somewhere you just have to look sharp and be patient to find them. I'm often easy to entertain.

7:28 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, Maybe an aquarium would have a calming effect on your sister. I'll suggest it to her. :)

5:21 AM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

When my twins were very young I kept a 55 gal fish tank, really nice to rock a sick child next to the fishes.....
da loop

5:25 AM  
Blogger Bpaul said...

This post makes me want to return to my childhood hobby of keeping aquariums.


12:38 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Fish on!

5:56 AM  

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