How to Keep Crappie in an Aquarium

White and black crappie are very interesting fish to keep in an aquarium. With plenty of personality and an instinctive predatory drive, they are sure to amaze.

Steps

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    Catch a pet crappie. Crappie are not sold in pet stores. You can catch them with a net or a fishing pole. The small hole in their mouth from the hook will heal quickly and won't get infected if the water in your aquarium is clean. To learn how to catch crappie with a fishing pole, search the Internet.
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    Get a relatively large aquarium. In the wild, crappie live in large lakes and ponds. For small crappie, a twenty gallon tank will be fine. For large, adult crappie, a fifty gallon tank or more is a better choice.
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    Pour gravel into the tank until it is about two inches thick. Natural colored gravel will help your aquarium imitate the crappie's natural habitat. Make sure it is cleaned to remove dust.
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    Have many hiding places in your aquarium for the crappie. Crappie like to hide and wait for prey to swim by, then they ambush. Crappie have very tough scales and fins, so fake plastic plants won't harm them.
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    Get an aquarium hood. Crappie aren't jumpers, but an aquarium hood would help ensure the safety of the fish.
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    Use lighting to crappie daytime and nighttime.
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    Understand that Crappie do not require heating. In the wild, they're lake or pond can fluctuate from freezing to very warm.
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    Obtain a powerful filter. Crappie are dirty fish. They give off a lot of waste. A powerful filter is essential to your fish's survival. Try to find one that doesn't make a lot of current. In the wild, the lakes and ponds crappie live in are usually stagnant.
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    Obtain treated water. Crappie are very sensitive to chlorine.
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    Cycle your tank. Wild crappie live in lakes or ponds with plenty of helpful bacteria. You need to simulate that to help keep them from being overly stressed. Let your tank cycle for a week or so before adding the crappie.
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    Give your crappie a diet of only live food. They will not eat fish flakes, pellets, or bloodworms. In the wild, they eat a bait fish called shad and wild minnows.
    • Usually, gas stations and stores near lakes will sell live minnows for fishing bait. If you don't live close to one of these gas stations or stores, you can buy small goldfish to feed them.
      • They will quickly adapt from shad and minnows and happily prey on goldfish. You can keep minnows or goldfish in a separate aquarium, and take one or two out and feed them to your crappie when it's time for him to feed, or you can keep them in the same tank. Feed the minnows or goldfish.
    • You may be keeping them just to be eaten, but you shouldn't let them starve. Feed goldfish flakes, and feed minnows freeze-dried bloodworms.
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    Clean the aquarium once a week.

Tips

  • Crappie are solitary fish, and don't care whether or not other crappie are with them. However, they are not aggressive towards each other. If you have the room in your aquarium, you can keep more than one crappie.
  • As long as they won't eat them, crappie can be kept with other fish such as large mouth bass, blue gills, and gar.

Article Info

Categories: Aquariums