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Anyone doing it in tanks or planning to do it?  How?  Any strategy for culturing phytoplankton/zoo plankton in the tank prior to breeding?  Thoughts on selective breeding?

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Comment by Glenn Dennis  - - I believe this will answer many questions probably all. Google G9473, Bluegill Sunfish Production in Missouri University of Missoure Extension Bluegill Sunfish Production in Missouri Charles E. Hicks
 Aquaculture Specialist
 Lincoln University

http://southcenters.osu.edu/aqua/extension/osu_bluegill_aquaculture...

I've never done bluegill breeding but my tentative plan is to use a separate breeding tank with sand/gravel bottom, enough sand to allow the male to fan out a bed, as they do in the wild - two females, 1 male, as recommended in the OSU study.  I'm thinking about isolating the tank from the rest of my system for the duration of the plankton bloom, maybe three weeks or so, then pump the water through my existing gravel filters, meanwhile using the breeding tank as a fingerling tank with adult fish removed after the hatch. 

As for selection, once my fish are approximately 16-18 months old, the water temp should be right for breeding here in N. Fla (April/May 2013).  I'll pick my largest two females and largest male which exhibits Coppernose markings. 

Per the study, doing this three consecutive seasons will produce a superior bluegill. 

George Good luck let me know how things work and what you learn.

I have been trying to get some breeding going but no luck yet.  I find it difficult to tell male from females. 

bruce condello has been working on a "big bluegill" project.. google him

Will do.  From what I've seen of wild fish, I don't think you'll have any trouble at all distinguishing between sexes when they are old enough and displaying breeding colors.  I haven't taken a close look at my fish and probably won't for some time yet.

Glenn Dennis said:

George Good luck let me know how things work and what you learn.

I have been trying to get some breeding going but no luck yet.  I find it difficult to tell male from females. 

I'll say - 10th year of selective breeding, I think.  He's a bluegill guru, no question about it.  I'm a forum member on his site - BigBluegill.com

To quote another member:  "You'll need to do your own research."  I'm finding that statement to be true, not that I mind.  It's my latest strong interest.  I was already a gardener so adding fish has been a lot of fun.

Keith Rowan said:

bruce condello has been working on a "big bluegill" project.. google him

Check this link out.  Some good info there.

http://forum.nanfa.org

I'd just like to brag that I just had my first successful bluegill spawn, and now have at least a dozen (maybe more, impossible to see through the duckweed) fry about 1/2' long.  It was the result of benign neglect. I've had a dozen bluegill in a 6' diameter kids wading pool, with just a small pump pushing water into a 5 gal bucket of gravel and back.  No nests, no plants other than the duck weed, no added zooplankton other than what naturally found it's way in there.  Even the feeding schedule was random and light. The water has been to green to see through for a couple of months, didn't have any real evidence that fish were even still in there. Then, last week, I noticed that not only had it cleared up, but there were fry swimming in the clear spaces between duckweed.  yay

And a big congratulations back at you.  It's very encouraging to me, the fact that it happened accidentally.  Very cool, and you didn't even play Barry White music.

Jon Parr said:

I'd just like to brag that I just had my first successful bluegill spawn,

Well now, I didn't say I didn't play any Barry...

Thanks

See now that's encouraging.  I had been told by an Extension Agent that the size or "footprint" of my tanks will be a problem for breeding blues.  My tank is 3ft wide X 20ft long X 4ft high and sits on top of a thermal mass heated by a large rocket stove at one end.  My system was clear as a bell (I wasn't trying to breed fish).  No bloom at all, not even any duckweed.  I stood there and watched the spawn take place.  Bluegill take longer to reach pan size, but I like the flavor over tilapia, and the state is starting to set rules that make tilapia a deal killer here - too close to streams and lakes where tilapia might naturalize I guess, although in Missouri I highly doubt it.

I didn't originally heat the tank for the sake of fish, it was to provide heat for my greenhouse in winter.  I wanted my salad at -15F.  I expected only to be able to keep things from dying on those cloudy days and at night, but the system made the greenhouse a tropical environment.  I've also grown tilapia, and a batch of Paradise Fish for market.

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