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Outdoor Tubbing with Elassoma Gilberti (and possibly other fish)?


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Hi everyone! Being that it is now starting to get warmer up in California, I wanted to try and breed some pygmy sunfish outside! I've ordered a couple that should be coming around the middle of May. I've set up my tub with marginal plants like elephant ear taro and other emersed-grown aquatic plants like hydrocotyle leucocephala and ludgiwia. Along with that, I have floaters like frogbit, water lettuce, and duckweed (unintentionally). I'm even trying some plants underwater like ludgiwia repens and rotala. Would this setup be sufficient to breed a colony of pygmy sunfish? The tub is deeper and doesn't have too much surface area on the top. Also, I put the tub into a pretty highly shaded area where it only gets direct sunlight for 2 hours. Should I reposition the tub in order to get more light? How many hours would be sufficient to grow plants? Also, what other aquatic plants should I add as I want to create a densely planted tub for the pygmy sunfish? I know of hornwort and guppy grass, but are there any other options? Lastly, I really wanted to try other fish as well with the elassoma since the tub is probably 30 gallons and the tub is about 3 feet deep. I wanted to try some top dwellers but don't know which ones would leave the elassoma fry alone. I was thinking of either endlers, guppies, clown killfish, ricefish, or possibly some other species. Maybe even shrimp! What are your suggestions? What are your expeirences with pygmy sunfish? Have you guys tried pgymy sunfish with other species? 


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If you’re keen on maximizing fry yield, you’ll struggle with other species in there. You can try anything though.

Elassoma fry are very tricky to find until they’re months old. Adult males are adorable when courting…

I’m probably throwing mine outside in a little 15-gal mini tub…


I like water Hyacinth and Water Lettuce both for root structures.

You may struggle some with oxygenation in your tall container. 

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