Everglades Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma evergladei), Tank-Bred!
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The Everglades Pygmy Sunfish is a beautifully marked US native fish that is very rare in the aquarium hobby, but is an incredible fish for the nano and planted aquarium!
The Everglades Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma evergladei), is a nano-sized sunfish that is native to the Southeast United States It is very rare in the aquarium hobby, but it is an ideal fish for the nano or planted aquarium. It can be bred in the aquarium, especially in species-only tanks. Dominant males display the most vibrant black and bright blue coloration while females are more mottled with various shades of brown and tan. In smaller aquariums, subdominant males will also show this mottled color. In larger tanks where separate territories can be establishes, mutiple dominant males can often coexist.
The Everglades Pygmy Sunfish is a micropredator requiring a diet of meaty foods. Most specimens will not accept dry flake and pellet foods, so live and frozen foods should be regularly offered. In nature, this fish eats various small worms, small crustaceans, insects, and insect larvae. In the aquarium, cyclops, glassworms, enriched Artemia, and Daphnia will make an excellent staple diet as will the fry of shrimp and snails. Bloodworms, blackworms, and Tubifex worms can be fed on occasion if no other appropriate foods are available, but should generally be avoided since they can lead to obesity problems and disease with this species.
The aquarium of the Everglades Pygmy Sunfish should include plenty of plants, rockwork, and driftwood. Plenty of cover is necessary for this species and will ensure the most activity and least stress.
The Everglades Pygmy Sunfish will thrive in a planted aquarium with mild to moderate water flow and is generally peaceful with other species of fish, although it is very easily intimidated and is not likely to breed with other species in the tank. Though it is a micropredator, its small size makes it safe with virtually any fish or invertebrate that is too large to be considered prey. It can be housed with some invertebrates such as snails and larger shrimp, but it may eat the fry and juveniles of most Caridina and Neocaridina shrimp of any other small invertebrates that will fit in its mouth. The Everglades Pygmy Sunfish is somewhat timid compared to more boisterous fish, so it is necessary to make sure that it is not outcompeted for food.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful coloration, especially in dominant males
- Peaceful disposition with most fish and peaceful invertebrates too large to be considered prey
- Adaptable to a very wide temperature range
- Very active in middle and lower levels of the aquarium
- Extremely rare in the aquarium hobby
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 50° - 86° F (10° - 30° C)
- pH: 6.0 - 8.0
- KH: 3 - 15 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 5 gallons for a pair or small breeding group
- Diet: Micropredator. Live and frozen meaty foods, especially frozen foods such as cyclops, Daphnia and Artemia. Bloodworms and Tubifex worms should generally be avoided. Dry foods will often be ignored, but some specimens may accept them eventually
- Social behavior: Mostly peaceful, loosely schooling/shoaling in small groups. Adult males can be territorial with other males.
- Origin: Southeastern United States
- Average adult size: 1.2 - 1.6 inches (3 - 4 cm)
- Average purchase size: .5 - 1 inch (1.3 - 2.5 cm)
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