this thread was started three years ago, so any advice to the OP will most likely go unheeded at this point.
300 gallon mega tank
: sailfin pleco, clown loaches, silver dollars, roseline sharks, congo tetras, new world cichlids
75 gallon community tank
: bolivian rams, black skirt tetras, dwarf neon rainbowfish, corys, harlequin rasboras, otos, bristlenose and bulldog plecos, assassin snails, various shrimp
60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish
Warmouths are the best
I have three Warmouths among 10 fish, all but one Native fish I caught on a rod-and-reel fishing creeks, in a 55-gallon tank. Also have two largemouth bass, one rock bass, and three bluegills. Plus one large Pleicostius (spelling?)(algae eater) who gets along fine with them.
They have been in this tank since mid August, and are thriving. They won't even look at any type of store-bought food -- when I've dropped fish food pellets in, the Warmouths and the bass will grabe them in their mouths and almost immediately spit them out.
What I've found is that they love, No. 1, nightcrawlers, and No. 2, minnows.
Fortunately, I've learned how to catch minnows and get them for free. If I drop in a one or two or three minnows, they are eaten by the fish immediately, and usually the largemouth bass are the first to get them.
Although I"ve been a fisherman all my life -- live to fish, fish to live -- and have had a tropical fish aquarium continuously for more than 40 years, I neer kept Native fish that I caught in my tanks. Always had tropicals. Also, I never had a tank bigger than 30 gallons, and this summer had no tank for the first time in decades because, moving back to my native and beloved Ohio from Florida, we had no room to take along our 30-gallon tank.
In mid-August, though, through craig's list, we found an unbelievable deal on a 55-gallon tank. The reason I caught native fish to put in it was that after buying the tank, we had no money to stock it with tropicals.
Since then, it's been an "eye opener" as I've learned how to take care of the native fish by trial and error and observation.
As far as feeding, I quickly found they just won't touch store-bought food of any type. And what they love most are NIGHTCRAWLERS. They also love maggots and meal worms, which are large maggots, but I only buy them occassionally from bait shops because it would cost too much to constantlybe buying them maggots and/or nihtcrawlers and/or minnows from bait shops.
Until winter came here -- I live in Morgan County, in southeast Ohio, with a home on the banks of the Muskingum River, a huge river, 100 yards wide at its skinniest points and up to 150 yards wide in most places, it's the largest tributary river to the Ohio River in Ohio. We're about 35 miles upstream from the Ohio River at Marietta, Ohio -- Parkersburg, W. Va.
I tell you this becuase, fortunately, people here taught me how to catch minnows, and now I'm able to feed my tank fish for free. There are many dozens of spring-fed, crystal clear, shall creeks that run down from the hills and into the Muskingum River. IN every one of the creeks, all you have to do is find the quiet water about one to two feet deep, and put in a minnow trap with DOG FOOD. Bread and crackers do NOT, I found out, attract the minows. But, I've learned, a minnow trap dropped in the right place with dog food will catch at least three dozen and up to five dozen minnows within five to 10 minutes.
My most effective way of feeding the Warmouths and the other fish in my tank is as follows: I used to put in about a dozen or so minnows, and they'd be eaten within a couple hours. But now, I will wait till the minnows are gone, skip a day feeding the fish, and then drop in anywhere from 30 to 50 or so minnows.
The fish get along with the minnows, swim amongst them, and gradually eat them. You see the fish swimming amongst the minnows, and only picking them off when they're hungry. What's interesting is that, when just a few minnows are put into the tank, the bass and Warmouth, especially, will get them right away. But with several dozen minnows in the tank, they'l just swim aongst them and pick them off occassionally as they feel like eating.
What I"ve notied is that with several dozen minnows in the tank, the fish feed on them mostly at night. Virtually ever morning, when I first get up and turn on the tank lights, there will be noticeably less minnows then I went to sleep and turned the tank lights off, so obviously they're feeding on the minnows mainly in the dark, at night.
Also, with a steady diet of minnows now, I'll occassionally, once every week or two, buy a dozen nightcralwers and drop them in the tank one by one. And what I"ve found is that the fish -- all of them -- go "nuts" when thenightcrawlers are put in, and move like "lightning" going after them, and it's njot unusual for one fish to get a nightcralwer and, while it's dangling fro it's mouth, you see another fish grab the same nightcrawler on the other end and then there's a tug of war.
However, months ago, when I fed them nightcrawlers all the time, before I learned how to catch minnows here, I'd put a dozen nightcralwers in and maybe half would be eaten right away, a couple more would be eaten of the bottom over the next hour or two, and usually one or two nightcrawlers would not be eaten and end up eventually dying and rotting on the bottom.
But, now that their diet is almost 100 percent minnows, when I do drop nightcrawlers in occassionall, again, about once ever one to two weeks, the Warmouth and the bass an the bluegills all go nuts immediately and scoop the nightcralwers up before they've even floated half way down toward the tank botom.
That's what I can tell you about my experience. I also have something else very interesting the I observe about my three Warmouth that I'd like to put out there and see if anyone else sees the same thing with their Warmouths. I'll put that out in the the next post, no time to do it now.
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