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NateFollmer

Anybody have a Game Fish Aquarium?

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I saw a few other forums of guys keeping game fish in aquariums and wondered if anyone here does this? Some guys have Gars, Pike and Muskie.... Just have to release them once they get too big.

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I saw a few other forums of guys keeping game fish in aquariums and wondered if anyone here does this? Some guys have Gars, Pike and Muskie.... Just have to release them once they get too big.

I'm sure there are laws against this...

On the other hand, having a Musky in a tank would be awesome.

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Yeah releasing them back is frowned upon in many fish keeping circles. Either keep it for life or kill it.

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Really? I thought they could be released if they were purchased from a fish farm and were disease free... I wasn't going to get big fish like that anyway, I'd rather not mess with stocking :P

I was just going to build a 100-200 gal. and put some gill's and perch in it. Maybe a bass, but it might be a little too small for a bass...

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Yeah, the idea is you can't really know for sure if the fish is disease free and its not worth risking an ecosystem for the sake of one fish. So its either for life or kill it.

Keeping some sunnies in a 100-200 gal tank would be cool, but they're work. They eat alot and poop alot. Bass would be even worse.

I would reccomend putting together a stream tank. Use powerheads  on one end to to create current (you can use pvc to extend the intake to the opposite end of the tank to creat a more natural flow), fill it with rocks and stock it with dace, darters, and shiners. Not only are they easier/cheaper to feed, they are alot more interesting to watch then sunnies, in my opinion any way. Sunnies don't do anything but beg for food once they figure out you're the one who brings it.

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Cool, I have a TON of room to play with... Maybe I'll try a set up like that. I was going to throw it in my basement. I have a room that looks like a meat locker or something straight out of SAW. It's all cement. I have a little workshop set up now for making lures and stuff, and I just thought it would be cool to have a game tank in the other half (could also test action in it!).

Now, if I'm setting up a stream tank like that, could I put some stockie trout in it? I haven't seen any talk of it on these fish keeping forums...

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Yes, I suppose you could, but it would cost some coin. Not just in food, but you would probably need a chiller to keep the water cool and oxygenated, and those things aren't cheap. And again, big predatory fish mean lots of poop, and lots of water changes/tank cleanings.

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I have tropical fish, some of them are over a pound. I think if they were bass or crappies the temptation would be too much in these winter months :-[

If it did get the best of me I'll bet I could still lose tackle in a 75 gal fishtank :P

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Nate, check this site out if you haven't already: http://forum.nanfa.org/ Everything you will ever need to know about native fish keeping can be found on this site, and then some.

Be sure to browse the pictures of other peoples tanks for inspiration before you set up yours. There are some really amazing tanks out there.

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Thanks Susky! I don't think the cooling would be a problem, that room stays a constant 60 degress :) I'm sure the machines making current would warm up the water though... Better just stick with basic fish until I get a good concept of the whole process :P

Thanks for that site, I didn't see that one. I was looking at Monster Fish Keepers, those guys do some AWESOME tanks...

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60 degrees would probably be okay, but the tank will be warmer from lights, powerheads, filters, etc. Perhaps some stockie browns could handle it, but probably not brookies. Browns get BIG though, don't forget that.

Have you ever kept fish before? If not I'd suggest to keep it simple first. Don't overwhelm yourself with a big complicated tank and demanding fish. Most reccomend something in the 20 to 40 gal range for a first tank.

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I have had all kinds of fish, but never any natives... Just tropical fish and the basics pet store varieties. I'm not going to mess with the trout, I'll keep them simple and see how it goes. After looking at that site you can have some pretty cool set ups, even with tiny fish... I think I'll have more fun setting it up and looking at it than I will with the fish haha

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Then you should be fine with natives. Aside from the quirks of a few species, most are very easy to keep, and many are breedable.

You'll be suprised by the beauty and diversity of the minnow and darter families. If you really get in to it you'll be driving across three counties to a certain creek just to find that species of shiner or dace. It can be alot of fun.

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I've had LM bass and rock bass in the past and had problems keeping them in the tank. Even with a cover. Especialy the rock bass, til one day I got home from work and found it stuck to the carpet :'(.

Oscars are easier to care for and get pretty big.

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I had a flathead catfish in my big aquarium for about 5 years. I was pulling old tires out of a lake one day and he was inside the tire when I pulled it out. It was only 4 inches long then. I had that and a softshell turtle that was about the size of a silver dollar when I found him. They were two of the coolest aquarium pets I've ever had. The flathead would dig the gravel out from under his log and that turtle would try to get under there too and the flathead would bite onto him and swim to the other side and spit him out. The bad part was when the flathead got bigger he was eating 2 dozen minnows a day  :o. Wasn't a big deal during summer when I could seine a couple dozen 2 inch bluegill and small creekchubs but it was expensive during the summer time. I finally turned him loose into my friends pond last summer when he was almost 3 pounds. I'm sure he's terrorizing the stunted green sunfish in there now ;D.

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A fish, is a fish, is a fish.

I've kept just about any tropical, coldwater, freshwater, and saltwater aquarium fish you could think of. Aquariums are like triginometry..... they are quite easy "if you know how" :)

Sure, their are laws in many states about keeping sportsfish in an aquarium > Yet probably 98% of every Game warden and F&G biologists out there, has kept sportsfish in a tank, at home when growing up. Think about it, it's the guys that were always fascinated with F&G, that end up becoming F&G Wardens and / or Biologists !

Not saying whether it's right or wrong, I'm just saying.....

As far as a fish getting a disease in your tank, then you spreading it to a whole lake..... NOT. Every tank AND every lake, already has ten thousand possible pathogens floating around in it, all the time, anyway. However, if the fish in your aquarium are kept healthy, as are the fish in said lake, all of these fish should be able to fight off any of those thousands of pathogens on their own.

Anyway, Bass are quite easy to keep. Sure, they eat a lot, and produce a lot of waste.... just like any other large aquarium fish. But that is easily handled, if you know the ins and outs of keeping large aquarium fish. They also have a lot of personality.... much like an Oscar. They can be easily trained to eat from your fingers. And they will pay LOTS of attention to you when you approach the tank, because they know what time it is.... At least, they hope its that time ;)

As far as requiring a HUGE tank..... Not really. I kept a Bass for 3 years in a 35 gal. It got really thick, and fat, but only about 12" long. Kind of stunted I guess. Released it in a little local duck pond. Probably got caught and killed a week later. Oh well.

Aquariums are fun. They can teach you a lot. And they are easy, with the right equipment, and proper knowledge.

Go for it !  :)

Peace,

Fish

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keeping native fish is awesome. i definitely recommend you personally catch any fish you keep in your tank, its a good feeling

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Thanks all. I don't have much time to work on this now, but I'll let you know how I do! I never realized Pa had so many species of minnow and bait fish until I started looking into this.

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If I remember correctly, fish won't "outgrow" the tank. They tend to grow to limit of what the tank can handle.

That's what I thought too, but it looks like it's only certain species. How awesome would it be though, to have a mini Muskie...

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Nope. Fish grow throughout their entire lifespan, until near the end, when the shrink a little bit. They have a range, and if the tank is big enough to support good water quality, then they are stunted or die.

Nate, if you're really interested in natives, then PM me.  We can talk over the phone about it.  Your best bet, get proper permits to collect natives, and target the pygmy sunfish species.

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Nope. Fish grow throughout their entire lifespan, until near the end, when the shrink a little bit. They have a range, and if the tank is big enough to support good water quality, then they are stunted or die.

Nate, if you're really interested in natives, then PM me. We can talk over the phone about it. Your best bet, get proper permits to collect natives, and target the pygmy sunfish species.

I'll send you a message when I'm ready to start haha. In Pa, you can collect any native species as long as you have a fishing license (still have to follow creel and size limits) and they aren't endangered. I think there are special regulations on Pike, but I'm not going for them. There are also regulations on the nets you can use (size and type limits). I hear NY is much more strict on obtaining fish.

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As far as a fish getting a disease in your tank, then you spreading it to a whole lake..... NOT. Every tank AND every lake, already has ten thousand possible pathogens floating around in it, all the time, anyway. However, if the fish in your aquarium are kept healthy, as are the fish in said lake, all of these fish should be able to fight off any of those thousands of pathogens on their own.

I'm pretty sure its because of all the "ifs" and "shoulds" that people think its best to just kill a fish rather than release it back in the wild. "If" you do it right they "should" be fine, but people rather not take the chance.

I think its a good policy.

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I'd reccomend using a minnow trap in a nearby stream and seeing what you catch. There are some really cool looking fish there that most people dont even know exist. Lots of diffrent catfish,daces, shiners, and some truly weird, bizzare stuff i never could ID.

Bass/bluegill eat and crap nonstop and will muck up the water quickly. I had a bass in a 40 gallon tank two years ago, and had to clean it often. But alas the future MRS didnt find him as cool as I did, and I released him in my family pond. I cut a small notch out of his tail fin for referance. Ended up catching again last summer on a berkley beast. It was a cool feeling knowing he made it :)

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Nope. Fish grow throughout their entire lifespan, until near the end, when the shrink a little bit. They have a range, and if the tank is big enough to support good water quality, then they are stunted or die.

Nate, if you're really interested in natives, then PM me. We can talk over the phone about it. Your best bet, get proper permits to collect natives, and target the pygmy sunfish species.

I'll send you a message when I'm ready to start haha. In Pa, you can collect any native species as long as you have a fishing license (still have to follow creel and size limits) and they aren't endangered. I think there are special regulations on Pike, but I'm not going for them. There are also regulations on the nets you can use (size and type limits). I hear NY is much more strict on obtaining fish.

I did my collecting in the NJ Pine Barrons.

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