Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

I've had all sorts of fish in my aquarium(s) over the years. In addition to "tropical" fish bought in a store, I've also played host to green sunfish, rock bass, bluegills, crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, northern pike, walleye, tiger musky, and even sturgeon!! Oh...and also baby snapping turtles and other pond turtles.
I'm down to a single aquarium these days. Its a 125-gallon tank that is about 6' long.
I usually hosted these fish for up to a year before releasing them.
My question is... how big can you get a bluegill to grow in an aquarium? At a local boat dealer, they have a large aquarium with a couple of bluegills in it. They feed them minnows, and they have grown substantially in the past year. I didn't measure them, of course, but they appear to easily be in the 9" or better range.
Has anyone else tried to grow a bluegill(s) in a home aquarium?

Views: 2157

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I've never had a home aquarium, so I'm looking forward to others answering this question...but let me say that the biggest bluegill I've ever seen in real life resided in a Cabela's aquarium, and the manager told me that this fish ate exclusively fathead minnows.

It was 2 3/4 pounds.
My family has raised a BG in a small 5 gallon aquarium a couple of times. The first time was a hybrid that grew from a couple of inches up to 8" or so before his demise. He loved eating big nightcrawlers and small feeder goldfish; after eating the latter, it was a hoot to watch him pass clouds of gold scales.

The second was a regular BG that grew from 1.5" to 8.5" in a couple of years. He ate a variety of commercial aquarium fish food for the first year, then was fed 40% protein feeds with daily mealworm suppplements. At his largest, we were changing out a half gallon of water every day, and we released him back into our pond after he seemed to plateau in growth, so I think he had hit the size limit for a 5 gallon tank.

I currently have 11 BG from 7" to 9.5" in a 100 gallon semi-recirculating tank, which eat Purina Aquamax 600 with a weekly natural food supplement.
I had an aquarium years ago with bluegill's in it. They were really neat to watch,
especially at night with the light of the aquarium on. I had my in a 30 gallon
tank and they didn't grow any more than the day I caught them. The rule of thumb
on that is, the bigger the tank, the bigger the fish.

Good Luck
Dave
Other then walleye and sturgeon (cool!), my list is pretty close to Dave's. I have to add yellow perch, snakehead, longnose gar, and pumpkinseed to the list though.
We never really focused on growing large specimens, but rather used the aquariums as test subjects (and the occasional "neat" fish for conversation).
Normally, I'll start with YOY fish caught wild (bluegill), wean them off live food for floating pellets, and add larvae as "dessert" daily.
I've only been able to keep 'gills for seven(7) years in captivity like this. For some reason, we always have mortality from stone impaction once the BG reach this time frame.

Only having a 75 gallon tank, we'll only keep 1-3 fish in the tank at a time. I'm amazed how territorial BG can be - we've been unable to keep any other fish in the tank with them for any extended amount of time without witnessing constant "bullying".
How big did your bluegills get after 7 years, Zig?

Pike cichlids are a cool aquarium fish, and I grew a Peacock Bass up from about 1.5" to 13" in a little over a year...and then the heater broke unbeknownst to me, and it died.

Bruce...any idea what the length is/was on the 2.75 lb bluegill in the Cabela's aquarium?
Largest I had was 10.65"/14.9ozs.
Normally, they're anywhere between 9¼ - 10¼".
I would think if you were to specifically keep a BG in captivity to grow to Condello porportions, with your size tank it wouldn't be a problem.
The fish I keep are subject to a constant barrage of tests - everything from water quality, to food source changes, to being caught with hook and line. (I wasn't kidding about fishing in the tank)

Currently I have two(2) anomallies for a project. One(1) has signs of a birth defect: completely missing pectorial fin and stumped pelvic fin growth on the same side. The other has an extremely interesting ability to completely change the color and size of it's gill flap tag.
I've had these two(2) for 2 years, 4months. They were actually brought in to do a feed study with, so for 6 months they only recieved whatever intake the tank environment supplied. It wasn't until they were removed for data collection did I notice their "conditions" and change the direction of their fate.
Now...........they're living the easy life, although they don't get along at all times.
I believe that Cabelas fish was 12.5 inches. Not really that long--all things considered.
That's a true GIANT to me! I'd sure love to catch on 12" or better...

In your opinion (and anybody can chime in on this), is there really a "better" time of year to catch a giant bluegill? Or pretty much "anytime, you just gotta find 'em"?
My best time to catch the very biggest bluegill is in the middle of summer, really early in the morning or late in the evening. The warmer the water, the more the fish throw caution to the wind.
I currently have 9 Coppernose Bluegill in a Tall 150 gallon tank. It originally held 150 1-3" CNBG, 200 2-3" Blue Tilapia, and 100 4-6" Channel Cats. Filtration was extreme and when the Tilapia had grown to 3+" in about 2 weeks, they got a new home. In about 2 months 90% of the CNBG had more than doubled in size along with ALL the CC.

It was a sick feeling when I collected the CNBG and CC to transprt them to my pond because as soon as I poured the fish into the transport water, I remembered that I had forgotten to match the water temps (about 20 degrees diff.)! The sudden shock of the temperature differances did not bother the CC at all, but 90 of the CNBG were floating within 2 minutes. Only about 10 of those recovered. Of the 40 or so that originally survived the shock, I caught a few in my pond that were over 7"

Could this be a sadistic form of "only the fittest will survive" way to improve genetics?????????????
Awwww dang rainman, that sucks!

Cabelas sure does have some monster fish in their aquariums. And they don't let you fish in them either, I've asked....... ok, not really, but only because I'm sure I'd be told no.....
I'd be more afraid they'd say YES...and then I'd have an audience watching me get skunked! Oh, the embarrassment! LOL

RSS

Latest Activity

dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"Allen it is powder paint. Having a hard time with it. The base coat has to be white and 3 coats of which ever color so I can get a decent glow out of it. My problem is by the time I get 4 coats of powder paint on my jig heads they  have grown…"
54 minutes ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"Jim the 1/32oz jigs have a glow in the dark rubber leg which I can only find in white. The 1/64oz has a rubber rear end and the legs are glow in the dark flashabou."
59 minutes ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"Jim I ordered some glow in the dark powder the other day. Want to see if I could mix it with clear nail polish. I call all these places that sell and make these powders and they either don't know or can't tell me. I guess this education is…"
1 hour ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"Wish I could help you Jim but you sailing on uncharted waters for me. Let me know how it works out for you."
1 hour ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"Your right Keith the corncob float might just be what the Dr. ordered."
1 hour ago
Allen Morgan commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"Dick, is that powder paint?"
3 hours ago
Dean Nalezny's photo was featured
3 hours ago
Jim Gronaw commented on Dean Nalezny's photo
Thumbnail

10.75 in 12-18-14-1

"A great fish....let's brag!"
3 hours ago
Jiggy commented on Dean Nalezny's photo
3 hours ago
Jiggy replied to Slip Sinker's discussion FISHING THE HIGH PERCENTAGE AREA OF THE LAKE (fishing the numbers) in the group HINTS,TIPS N TRICKS FOR BETTER BLUEGILL
"Slip Sinker, Thanks for posting this - this is helpful.  I never thought of breaking up a body of water like this. I've read that the bluegill go deeper in the summer/hot weather.  If I was to look at Fig (a) would the fish…"
3 hours ago
Dean Nalezny posted a photo
4 hours ago
Jim Gronaw commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"Excellent work. Those rubber legs look to be stiffer than the silli legs I use...what is the material for them?"
5 hours ago
Profile Iconjim cosgrove and Jiggy joined Slip Sinker's group
Thumbnail

HINTS,TIPS N TRICKS FOR BETTER BLUEGILL

Start a discussion on any hint tip or trick that you would like to share to help the rest of us have a more productive and enjoyable day on the water fishing for our favorite targets. it could be something as simple as smart phone app, drift sock or…See More
5 hours ago
jim cosgrove commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"nice work dick,you been busy.waiting for some uv cure resin.the glow stuff i got works good but it is too globby.hoping i can mix it with the resin and instantly harden it before it sags"
5 hours ago
Keith Ritter commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"I could see any of those dangling under a corncob float."
6 hours ago
Clayton Davis commented on Clayton Davis's photo
Thumbnail

morning gills

"haha I hear ya! this year is pleasant comparing to last year. last winter started out cold and never let up, with our average temps being 0 and below all winter long! it was brutal  "
6 hours ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"Thanks again Keith. If you go into my picture there is a sample of some of the things that I have tied. Feel free to look around in there that's what its for. If you have any questions ask away."
6 hours ago
Keith Ritter commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"They should work well anywhere or any time. The quality or your ties is very impressive."
6 hours ago
Jeffrey D. Abney commented on Clayton Davis's photo
Thumbnail

morning gills

"Appreciate the feedback.......I don't know how you guys handle that type of winter......don't know that I could after 50 years in the South.....lol"
6 hours ago
dick tabbert commented on dick tabbert's photo
Thumbnail

In the day time

"Keith I made these up for ice fishing. They can be used for Spring, summer, winter and fall I would think they would work all year. I made them up glow in the dark for ice fishing. Sometimes when the ice is snow covered it gets dark under the ice…"
7 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Bluegill.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service