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looking at setting up a tank for bass and....

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was curious to know what species of fish I would be able to introduce to a 55 gallon tank with black largemouths? also if anyone knows the optimal ph and water temp for this setup that would be great to. I plan on setting up the tank with large rock,sand,and a gravel bottom with wood,pads,and grass for structure. Not exactly sure how bass do in captivity since they are ambush predators so any help would be great  :)

thanks

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I used to have bass in a 55 gallon aquarium way back when. They do fine. If you have other fish in with them just make sure they are bigger then what the bass can eat. I learned not to put an Oscar in the tank. That was one expensive meal  ;D Oscar cost me $10 lol.

Make sure the new tank is completely cycled through before you introduce a bass. Minnow work good as a helper for this. Some will die off but most will live plus you will have something already there for the bass to eat.

It is pretty neat as you will learn allot about a bass's behavior observing it. I even had one when I would not be able to feed it minnows or goldfish that would eat turkey scraps. That was pretty neat.

I don't recall what the PH recommendation is off hand but a quick Google search might help you with that.

When you get it all set up and cycled through and your bass is in it post up some pictures of it. That would be neat to see.

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they DO NOT die if you take care of the tank very closely and not shock the bass with anything. we raised a bass from 2" long till it was about 1lb and then we let it go in a local pond we then raised a second bass later on l. we used to have bluegills in there somtimes but they are extremely dirty fish and cloud the water. we also had perch in with the bass they are pretty fish and lve well witht he bass if they are equal size. we fed them live minnows or guppys untill they were big enough for minows.

we found the bottom feed filters the ones that suck thru the rocks worked best and used the little rocks that absord the amonia were it blew the water back out bass produce alot of amonia in the water so u need to stay on top of that. but if u can take the time to keep up with it its one of the coolest pets you will ever have if your a fisherman

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My personal opinion, aside fom the obvious laws of keeping gamefish captive, is that LM do not make very good pets. Especially in a tank as small as a 55gal.

A bass needs 2/3 it's body weight a day in food. I personally can't afford that. Even if I could, I wouldn't want to have to clean any tank that often. Plan on changing filters weekly with that kind of refuse in the tank also.

You're talking a minimum of $100 a week to maintain that bass anywhere near a level that would be considered morally "ok" even though you are talking about taking a wild fish and putting it in a 4x1 tank. This is not a farm raised Oscar. Although a cool idea, I think it's kinda mean.

And again, without a permit, illegal.

NJfishinguy- I'm assuming you had a minimum of a 200 gal tank to get a fish, any fish to 2lbs!! (fish will only grow big enough till it can't turn around. In a 125 gal, that's about 1.25 lbs) How much did that thing cost to feed and what size fluvals do you run?

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some great advice here! I had no idea it would be illegal to have lrg mouth bass? does that mean from the lake or the store? I've had some experience in keeping fish I had a 40 gal reef tank,55 gal african cyclid tank,and a incubator tank for sick fish....so the upkeep I'm sure wouldn't be more than a reef tank ....depending on the laws here in Ca I might try to do a Peacock bass tank instead I dunno....thought I'd throw this up and see what experience people have had what fish work with others,does gender matter,ph levels etc....

keep up the advice guys....thanks!

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Russ:

You threw out some interesting "facts" on how much a bass needs to eat and assumed a weekly cost of $100. Of which I can tell you is way off, as I had several bass in tanks for a while too.

I would feed them goldfish and minnows and bream. But my bass never stayed long enough in the tank to reach 2lbs. I would let them go when they were in the 1lb range or so. Plus, once I fed my Bass he would gorge himself with goldfish. He wouldn't eat again the next day or he would eat just a couple. I would put a couple dozen in the tank and he would eat maybe 10-12 of them initially and the next day either not eat any of them or only a few. Feeder goldfish are not that expensive to buy. Walmart sells them for .12 cents each I believe. So roughly $3 per 24 goldfish. A bass would comfortably eat maybe 3-4 dozen per week. so maybe $5-$6 per week in goldfish. PLus, I would buy minnows from bait stores every now and then or sometimes I would go and catch them myself with various nets. So those times would be free.

The filter I used was a Magnum 350 which was more then adequate for the job. Here is a link to it: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=3596&N=2004+22777 But yeah, you have to clean the filter once a week preferred. Like anything else, if you have it there is a responsibility to it. I also used the suction tube to clean the rocks out. Nice fish tanks of any kind require allot of work. This isn't even close to labor intensive like a saltwater aquarium. Talk about cleaning wow. That is why I prefer freshwater tanks. They are a piece of cake compared to saltwater tanks.

Aside from it being illegal, I see no other reason not to have them. In fact, I am glad that I had bass in fish tanks while I was a youngen. I think it helped me understand them better.

To each their own I suppose.

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Although a cool idea, I think it's kinda mean.

Ok, just my opinion too, but if we're talking "mean" here, let's be brutally honest with ourselves. Our beloved sport involves driving sharp hooks into the mouths of bass, and then violently pulling them out of their watery locale -- to be measured, admired, photographed, and released back into the water to someday experience it all again... ;)

DISCLAIMER: I hate PETA. I REALLY hate PETA terrorists who jump all over bass fishing as if it's this horrible thing. I LOVE bass fishing. I'm completely obsessed with it, and would do it all day, every day if I could.

That said, and all legal questions aside, I think that keeping a bass in captivity pales in comparison, on the "mean" scale...but that's just me. Either way it doesn't bother me. I'm ok with my position in the food chain. I get to fish for bass!

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they DO NOT die if you take care of the tank very closely and not shock the bass with anything. we raised a bass from 2" long till it was about 2lbs and then we let it go in a local pond we then raised a second bass later on in only a 20 galon tank but only had him for like 6 months and he was to big lol. we used to have bluegills in there somtimes but they are extremely dirty fish and cloud the water. we also had perch in with the bass they are pretty fish and lve well witht he bass if they are equal size. we fed them live minnows or guppys untill they were big enough for minows.

we found the bottom feed filters the ones that suck thru the rocks worked best and used the little rocks that absord the amonia were it blew the water back out bass produce alot of amonia in the water so u need to stay on top of that. but if u can take the time to keep up with it its one of the coolest pets you will ever have if your a fisherman

in most every water it is illegal to let aquarium fish be released in to native waters..regardless of what type of fish is being released.  Many foreign diseases are introduced this way.  So, you have three choices...eat the fish, let the fish die in the water from whatever cause, or throw the fish out and let it die on land in some fashion....LEGALLY.  

Not to mention that what russ said about the laws against keeping gamefish in captivity and how you're more than likely taking a fish from an open water, natural environment and basically putting it in a cage.  I firmly believe in the laws of nature and all that but there IS a point where it becomes overkill.  Without a massive tank like you may see at Bass Pro Shops or at fishing seminars(which are still pretty stressful to fish, nowhere to "hide"), I don't see the real usefulness of it.

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well i was young and my mom did the upkeep on the tank, i may be off on the 2lbs it was probably like 1lb but it was a huge tank more than enough for the size we kept it untill. we had it up on top of the giant brick fireplace which is like eye level and about 5 feet wide.

anyway we have a creek in the park at the end of our street we just fed it guppys which mine as well be free for what you pay and once big enough we have minnow traps we dropped in the creek over night and could catch hundreds of minnow/kellies.

usually the bass like others said, ate 1 day, filled his gut and wouldnt really eat for a day or so. as far as mean cause its a wild fish kept captive. we cought it when it was 2" long it was a newborn still in a baby school. my dad grabbed it with his hand next  to the dock i dought it even knew what the lake was by that time.

as far as illegal oh well we all break laws everyday and dont say you dont speed or anything, besides i dont think anybody is chekcing our fish tanks for gamefish honestly and the fish was not harmed in anyway and we let him go and i bet he still lives in that pond ive probably cought in him before.

haveing a fish for like 2-3 yrs and it being perfectly healthy i dought it had any disease and if it did the pond we let i go in still thrives with bass which i believe are there from us letting them go there.   either way everyone was happy to start catching LM's in our tiny local pond and it didnt seem to effect anything else. sense there wasntmuch in there beside carp/catfish and they are still there

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Guest the_muddy_man

I was just wondering b/c I know its illeagal to keep game fish in an aquarium and I just got back from Cabelas in Hamburg PA HOW COME THEY CAN DO IT?

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wow guess I stirred up a bit of controversy  :o not sure where I'm headed yet but ideally I'd like to keep a 55 gal tank with tons of plant life and good structure and introduce a few lrg mouths in their fingerling stage and hopefully a few panfish and a couple of pleco's for cleaning purposes.....this is basically going to be an observation tank to see what kind of temperment the bass has during the different times of the day and also I want to try out a few buzzbaits,jigs,and plastics on these bass.....eventually I will release the fish to a local lake here that is not getting any bass plants(ofcourse I will check the necessary levels and make sure the fish isn't plagued with any diseases)

ay Keith do you know if it matters as to what gender the LM are? what foilage worked in your tank? I've heard bass grow to 12" their first year is that dependent on their surroundings or is that if they are healthy and eating correctly?

thanks guys!

ps I was totally joking about trying out lures on the bass....... ;D

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we had fake plants in our tank usually the grassy or tall plants with like 5 stems that went ot the top of the tank.  its so cool seeing a bass lurk slowly around the plants before it strikes a minnow and eats it. i probably would only keep one in your 55 gal maybe 2 the panfish are gonna make that tank VERY hard to keep clean and clear id recomend not gettin them the bass are enough of a job to take care of

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we had fake plants in our tank usually the grassy or tall plants with like 5 stems that went ot the top of the tank.  its so cool seeing a bass lurk slowly around the plants before it strikes a minnow and eats it. i probably would only keep one in your 55 gal maybe 2 the panfish are gonna make that tank VERY hard to keep clean and clear id recomend not gettin them the bass are enough of a job to take care of

I hear you.....I would like to get a few other fish though to see how they interact

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I don't think anyone has said this yet but depending where you live keeping game fish is not illegal. Some states have changed this and it is now legal to keep game fish. As I said someone may have mentioned it but I missed it because I know Illinois recently (last few years) is allowing people to keep game fish so check local laws.

Also I had one and while they are a still several inches you can feed them cichlid pellets when you can't get them fish. If you decide to supplement some of the pellets into the diet make sure you get the small round ones. Seemed to be a perfect size for the bass's mouth.

bassdocktor

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Anybody who hasn't kept a bass as a pet, has missed out on a lot...... and, they will always point out the legalities of doing it now. But the fact is, probably 95% of all the F&G Wardens (and 100% of the F&G biologists) in the country, as well as most anybody else who has been heavily into both keeping aquariums, and into fishing, has kept Bass in an aquarium at one time or another.

Bass do fine in aquariums, and it is no "meaner, nor less ethical" than keeping any other aquarium fish. They can also be easily trained to eat practically anything..... Even out of your fingers. Fish food pellets are well balanced, and relatively cheap. But worms, crawdads, and minnows are cool too.

"Drums" was also spot on, when he said >  let's be brutally honest with ourselves.  Our beloved sport involves driving sharp hooks into the mouths of bass < Absolutely, and it doesn't hurt my feelings one bit, to drive a hook into a fishes mouth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All of this said, it is against the law to keep a bass in an aquarium...... just as it is against the law to drive 56 mph, in a 55 mph zone.

Probably the bigger infraction, is transporting it alive, to your house.

But anyway, if you do keep a bass in a tank, it's probably a good idea not to release it back into a lake or pond later, as this can spread diseases (very slim chance, but none the less) that the fish might have picked up while in captivity.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh, and one whole other thing comes to mind..... You can buy South American Peacock Bass at most tropical fish stores in Cali (not sure what other states..... Heck, I'd think they might pose more of a threat in So Cal, than in most other states ???). But anyway, these act very similar to  Largemouth bass, and make good pets also. Except two things..... They are a lot more colorful, AND since they are legal, you won't catch near so much grief when you post photos of them in your tank, on the internet ;-)

Definately don't release these into your local waters when they get too big.....  Kind of ironic, huh ? They are legal to keep, but probably a bigger threat to your local waters ?

Okay, that's my rant for Largemouths in aquariums.

Peace,

Fish

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Anybody who hasn't kept a bass as a pet, has missed out on a lot...... and, they will always point out the legalities of doing it now. But the fact is, probably 95% of all the F&G Wardens (and 100% of the F&G biologists) in the country, as well as most anybody else who has been heavily into both keeping aquariums, and into fishing, has kept Bass in an aquarium at one time or another.

Bass do fine in aquariums, and it is no "meaner, nor less ethical" than keeping any other aquarium fish. They can also be easily trained to eat practically anything..... Even out of your fingers. Fish food pellets are well balanced, and relatively cheap. But worms, crawdads, and minnows are cool too.

"Drums" was also spot on, when he said >  let's be brutally honest with ourselves.  Our beloved sport involves driving sharp hooks into the mouths of bass < Absolutely, and it doesn't hurt my feelings one bit, to drive a hook into a fishes mouth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All of this said, it is against the law to keep a bass in an aquarium...... just as it is against the law to drive 56 mph, in a 55 mph zone.

Probably the bigger infraction, is transporting it alive, to your house.

But anyway, if you do keep a bass in a tank, it's probably a good idea not to release it back into a lake or pond later, as this can spread diseases (very slim chance, but none the less) that the fish might have picked up while in captivity.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh, and one whole other thing comes to mind..... You can buy South American Peacock Bass at most tropical fish stores in Cali (not sure what other states..... Heck, I'd think they might pose more of a threat in So Cal, than in most other states ???). But anyway, these act very similar to  Largemouth bass, and make good pets also. Except two things..... They are a lot more colorful, AND since they are legal, you won't catch near so much grief when you post photos of them in your tank, on the internet ;-)

Definately don't release these into your local waters when they get too big.....  Kind of ironic, huh ? They are legal to keep, but probably a bigger threat to your local waters ?

Okay, that's my rant for Largemouths in aquariums.

Peace,

Fish

some really good info here! if I can feed the bass pellets as a supplement and keep their growth down a bit it would be great...what would the ratio be of pellets vs live food? although I'm sure this might change their temperment a bit (less active feeding) it would allow me to observe the fish for a longer period I would think. Peacocks would only be nice to have cause they are so beautiful looking,but after some thinking it would be a shot in the foot since I couldn't release them here in the local lakes.

Fish Chris did you have any natural foilage in your tank? I'm thinking of doing maybe some pads and possibly doing a 50 gallon tall tank to build an exposed log garden with some above ground plants and wood for structure. Maybe drop a few frogs in and see how long that lasts  8-) I think you hit the nail on the head saying we would be missing out on having a bass as a pet what else can you ask for being a bass fisherman who spends hundreds if not thousands on this sport some definite food for thought here  :)

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I currently have a 55 Gal aquarium and in it I have all wild fish I have caught at several bodies of water. I have 1 Hybrid Sunfish,about 6 real Small Green Sunfish,1 Yellow Bullhead Catfish,3 or 4 crawdads,2 Goldfish,which were caught on Rod and reel,and 2 Plecos.

I used to have a 6 inch Largemouth,a Nice big green Sunfish and a nice sized Bluegill.Those 3 fish died on account of there not being any power to the filter unit. My girlfriends daughter wouldnt go to bed when I asked her to,the main circuit breaker is in my room,so I just flipped the switch to that section of the house to cut the TV and lights out.. Never thought of the effect it would have on the fish. I woke in the morning and those 3 fish were dead,but the rest of the fish were still alive and well.

Other than that mishap,Thus far I have had good luck with my tank. I do regular water changes,along with filter changes,and everything is going well. I never check the PH or alkalinity of the water,They all seem to be surviving just fine. Since the Bass I had died,I tried introducing 2 different Bass on 2 Different occasions, but they never made it. One was real small and I think my crawdad got to that one. I think the other died because the stress of transportation from the lake to home, I had him in an Igloo cooler and he kept trying to jump out. I gave up on Bass. Im happy with what I have at this point

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I currently have a 55 Gal aquarium and in it I have all wild fish I have caught at sevearl bodies of water. I have 1 Hybrid Sunfish,about 6 Small Green Sunfish,1 Yellow Bullhead Catfish,3 or 4 crawdads,2big Goldfish,which were caught on Rod and reel.

I used to have a 6 inch Largemouth,a Nice big green Sunfish and a nice sized Bluegill.Those 3 fish died on account of there not being any power. My girlfriends daughter wouldnt go to bed when I asked her to,the main circuit breaker is in my room,so I just flipped the switch to that section of the house. Never thought of the effect it would have on the fish. I woke in the morning and those 3 fish were dead.

Thus far I have had good luck with my tank. I do regular water changes,along with filter changes,and everything is going well. I never check the PH or alkalinity of the water,They all seem to be surviving just fine. Since the Bass I had died,I tried introducing a Bass 2 more times but they never made it. One was real mall and I think my crawdad got to that one. I think the other died because the stress of transportation from the lake to home. I gave up on Bass. Im happy with waht I have at this point

yea I suppose the bass would have to be the biggest in the tank in order to not shut down from the stress...I noticed this same behaivior with my african cichlids there would always be an aggressor and his colors would be the brightest and if I introduced a threat in the tank his colors would be real bold and would taper off if the introduced fish took over his dominance. That fish would end up dieing a few weeks later and would slowly lose its color. I think with bass being such a dominate species and eating their own they would need more of a non communal tank..more like an Oscar...thinking the bottom feeders or cats would probably work but size awareness would be key.

it should be a fun project and if the bass don't work out well I can just make a communal tank with frogs,craws,fish,and major plants!

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LC,

I had only plastic plants and real rocks and a cool real wood log in mine. When the bass reaches about 8" long be careful as he will eat a small Oscar. I know I saw mine at about 9 or 10" eat a medium sized Oscar. I never thought it would but he did.

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Not getting involved in the legal side of things here. That being said, I've kept South American cichlids for several years. If bass are as aggressive as these guys, I would recommend only having 1 bass in a 55 gallon tank. That's too small for more than 1. Even with just two fish, they will fight for dominance as they get bigger. I've had 4" fish kill eachother before. Even a breeding pair will sometimes fight. With the male killing the female. Make sure you have lots of cover for it to hide in and around. This will also help give the fish some cover to hunt from. Don't be surprised when the bass starts moving plants and rocks around. Big, aggressive fish will create cover sometimes. If you're going to use a pleco to clean the algea, make sure it's a LOT bigger than the bass. And keep it that way. A pleco has spines that have been known to kill fish that eat them whole. You'd lose two fish at once.  :'(

I'm assuming you know about adding slime to the water to condition it. You might want to think about using some carefully chosen preventative medicine also. Especially if you're going to add fish from different bodies of water. It should be okay if all the fish, crawdads, plants and whatever come from the same lake or pond. If you're going to use fake plants, spend the extra $$ and get the silk plants. They look better and will eventually collect algea and act as a food source for the pleco and other fish.

Good luck with this project. I'm looking forward to seeing pics.

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i agree the silk plants are nice but someitmes the plastic look extremely real depending on the type of plant its minicing. i dont remember our bass ever moving things in the tank. as far as the shock on the bass 1 you need to have an aireator on your transportation container inless your close to home and then my suggestion is mix some of the tank water in with the water you took form the lake u got the bass from to ease him into the water change while he is still in the container you brought him home in leave him in there for like a hour or so with the aireator goin then move him into the tank also try to get the water temps close so the temp doesnt shock him. just dropping him in can shock them enough to kill them due to the possible drastic change in all the waters chemical levels.

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