View Full Version : Keeping Crappie Happy

11-23-2009, 06:50 PM
I just put 3 Crappie(Speckled Perch) I caught castnetting in my turtle tank. One the size of your palm and two the size of two fingers. They were a little stunned at first and one of the small ones got eaten by the turtle and I had to set the bigger one free in the pond because he would suck down about 10 feeders a day. Now the one little one is doing well but he doesn't eat much and is very dormant. He hardly ever moves unless I drop in a shrimp pellet. Even then the little swordtails can bully him off it when he is 10 times their size. The turtle has stopped chasing him altogether so he shouldn't be to stressed. So my question is, what is the normal behavior for this fish? Are they just very dormant fish or is their something wrong I don't know about? The tank water is 73-78 degrees, always neutral PH and no sign of Ammonia or nitrates in my tests. I took him from a freshwater resoivor(however you spell it)where he would have had to dodge alligators to live so it's kind of hard for me to believe my 2in turtle is stressing him. I constantly check ammonia as the turtle can put off a lot but there hasn't been one spike since I put him in. Where the bigger one would destroy feeders this one won't even try to eat live food but prefers the occasional shrimp pellet. If anyone could tell me anything about keeping these fish as pets and not catching them for dinner it would be greatly appreciated

11-23-2009, 07:01 PM
lol You may fear gators but he doesn't.The fish are too quick!
What size is your turtle tank?
Did you release into a pond or your pond?

11-23-2009, 07:12 PM
My Turtle tank is a 4 footer now, first the crappie was in a 20 gal with the turtle but he acts the same in the bigger tank.

11-23-2009, 07:13 PM
I released the bigger one into my pond but kept the surviving little one in the 20gal tank, then moved to a bigger tank but no noticable change in behavior

11-24-2009, 02:50 PM
I guess no one can help me:(

11-24-2009, 02:55 PM
Its hard to say with it being a wild caught fish.
It may have had a parasite before you added it to your tank.
It may be sulking or just stressed.
Its hard to tell.
What are rest of your perameters?

11-24-2009, 03:05 PM
Well I worked the temp down to 72 to see if it was too hot for him and he got a little more active, but he still doesn't fend for himself. I can drop a shrimp pellet in(which is about all he'll eat)and a swordtail will run him off of it. Even though he could easily eat the swordtail. I don't see any ich(I just cured an outbreak)and he sems to be breathing fine, no flashing, doesn't hover near top. Are they schooling fish? Do you think he needs a friend? The bigger crappie I moved to the pond would attack and harass him so I figured they were loners. I guess it's hard to tell, he may be perfectly fine and this is just his natural behavior but I figured he would at least be a little aggressive for food.

11-24-2009, 03:07 PM
Internal parasites will do that to a fish.
Not sure how to treat it besides feeding fresh minced garlic.

11-24-2009, 03:08 PM
garlic huh? I can do that, any bad side effects to look out for? The internal parasite will make them more isolated?

11-24-2009, 03:12 PM
There are many internal parasites that can kill your fish.They can all make the fish sem lethargic.
Don't feed too much garlic or you will be doing water changes to keep the smell down.Just feed small amounts.Test to see if it will eat it first.
What are you perameters?

11-24-2009, 03:24 PM
I'm new so by parameters I'm guessing you mean water quality? I keep it as close to neutral PH as possible, usually 7.0 on the dot. I check for ammonia and nitrates about once every 3 days and haven't seen a sopike since I moved to the bigger tank. He's in a 4 footer now with a RES and several swordtails. Please forgive me if I didn't answer your question but I'm not sure what you mean, I'm a noob lol

11-24-2009, 03:28 PM
I highly advise you read the free ebook.It will give you a better idea on how a tank works.
You also need to test for nitrites.
Ammonia and nitrites are huge fish killers.
Your tank should read some nitrates and 0 ammonia and nitrites!
What kind of test kit are you using?
Are your tanks properly cycled?

11-24-2009, 03:35 PM
I ran the filter for two straight days before I put the first fish in. I'm not sure what kind of test they are but you mix water and a highly corrosive liquid in a test tube for the ammonia test, it cost $25 so I figured it was a good one. The PH is the same way but it has two test tubes attached to each other. I've never had a change in the PH reading in the tank. I don't have a NITRITE test so I will look into that tonight. If there is anymore to cycling than letting the filter run for a while then I didn't

11-24-2009, 03:39 PM
Theres your problem!
Your tank is nowhere near cycled.Usually we reccomend you do a fishless cycle but you already have fish.
Read this link.
I also reccomend you get an API master liquid test kit.

Start with doing a large water change.Do not forget to add dechlorinator each time.
I think 50% would be a good start.You may have to them daily until the toxins have been reduced.

11-24-2009, 03:50 PM
I have well water should I still dechlorinate? Would it be better to put all the fish in my 30gal hex that's been running a while and has plenty of healthy fish and do the fishless cycle method?

11-24-2009, 03:55 PM
If you have a cycled tank just remove some of the media from the filter and add to the uncycled filter.If its a cartridge you can rub them together or cut off a piece and put it in the other filter.
That will almost instantly cycle your tank and make safe for your fish.
You do not need dechlorinator for well water.You still have to test the water to be sure its cycled.

11-24-2009, 04:08 PM
Ok I'll try that and see if the crappies behavior improves thanks a lot I'll read the ebook too

11-30-2009, 02:04 PM
After lowering the tank temp for my crappie he has gotten a lot more active and I see he is going to turn into a real predator. If you remember I had to get rid of his bigger counterpart after it ate 10 feeders in one day. Now little Bruce as I named him is a destroyer of ghost shrimp and the tiniest of guppies. I guess he has finally gotten used to the tank because he no longer lets the swordtails boss him around and he will eat flakes from the top, shrimp pellets as they fall to the bottom(never making it) and occasionally one of those tiny spotted guppies(not a fancy forgot the name). He is really cool to watch now. Crappies don't swim like most fish(or at least mine doesn't)he swims like a robot, flying to one spot then coming to a complete halt like he slammed the breaks. Really cool

12-04-2009, 01:39 AM
Crappie are schooling fish....he doesn't have any friends and is stressed