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I've had a 30 and 75 gallon tank for a while now, but havent had any fish in either one for a couple years. Used to have fish in the small one and frogs and turtles in the large one. I have a nearby land with a pond and creak where I have caught all the occupants of the tank, and spent memorial weekend up there and got the itch to open the community back up. My plan was to go out and spend a weekend catching minnows, crayfish, guppies, etc and small fish and keeping them in the 30 gallon tank and holding larger fish such as bass, sunfish, catfish, and larger crayfish in the bigger tank.

I have yet to try this out and was wondering if anyone had experience with dealing with this sort of "wild aquarium". Any tips or do's/donts? Thanks for any help
 

· is a little "special"
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Keep in mind that once you take them out of the pond and put them in your tank, you can never return them to the pond. So make sure the fish you catch can live out their whole lives and grow to full size in your tank.


Personally, though, I'm not a fan of taking any animal out of the wild and sticking them in a glass box. IMO it just isn't fair to them.
 

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I agree with Jess, you have to think long-term. I highly doubt you have the space to keep full-grown bass, for example. If you do it, stick to very small, common species like minnows and guppies and create an environment similar to their natural habitat (if you're taking animals out of the wild the least you could do is make them comfortable). I would avoid crayfish, they shouldn't be mixed with fish. I would stick to just one or two species, I don't think a mixed community tank would be the best idea (you'd probably end up with a lot of stressed fish).

Make sure collecting the species you want is legal, too.

Is there a reason you don't want to purchase captive bred fish? I've admittedly kept a handful of wild-caught animals but it was after extensive research and/or for research (I'm a college student).
 

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All fish have came from the wild at some point in history, yeah I know though that most fresh and salt water fish are now captive bred. I have a few Minnows in the tank with Nocta and they seem to be doing fine but Bass and Catfish should defnitley be stored in something big. With the right size of an Aquarium you have yourself whats called a Trophy Tank.
 

· Resident Zoologist
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All fish have came from the wild at some point in history, yeah I know though that most fresh and salt water fish are now captive bred.
Actually, perhaps 60% of freshwater and less than 5% of saltwater fish are captive-bred.
 

· Betta Bomb
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But it is through extensive captive breeding that suits them to living in a glass box with chemicals and cleaners and baggies and fish nets. Taking them directly from the wild (where nature is the filter, heater, community etc) causes a tremendous deal of stress on them. Also, taking them from the wild you have no idea what sorts of disease they're carrying which would be not so easily controlled in a closed atmosphere (the tank). . But I'm no expert.
 

· [**||Seahorse Chick||**]
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My suggestion would be to find a breed you are really interested in and do some research on them and find some "experts" who are raising wild caught fish. Wild caught fish have different needs than the captive bred and are generally harder to keep. I certainly wouldn't mix together many different catches from the creek or lake without doing some researching and catching with some purpose.

But that's not to say it can't be done! :) There is a huge wild caught breeding community - usually to get back some amazing colors in their captive bred cousins. It's not without challenges, but people manage to do it :)
 

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One of the Fish & Wildlife departments I use to work with had something similar to what you're describing. They had I think 2 or 3 local wild species in a tank. I know bass was one of them but I don't quite remember what else. However the tank they had was huuuge....much much larger than a 30 or 75 gallon tank....like I'm talking hundreds of gallons.

Also like was already mentioned, you have to make sure it's even legal where you live to take the species you want from the wild and keep them in captivity.
 

· Resident Zoologist
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I have kept a fair few 'wild' aquaria with sticklebacks, sunfish, etc....they are easily enough done, but maintaining a reasonable environment for long for some species can be tricky. As well, most temperate, North American species, although interesting, tend to be larger and less attractive than most tropical species.
 

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But bass can grow to be huge. Even if it's small when you catch it...it's going to grow, unless it dies before it finishes growing.

I'm not a bass expert by any means, but I'm from the East Coast as well and do know a bit about the local species. I did a quick google search and found some sites that recommended at least 200 gallons for a single large mouth bass, more if you are keeping more than one. For a small mouth bass it's recommended they have at least 90 gallons. According to that, 75 gallons wouldn't be large enough even for a single small mouth bass.
 

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But bass can grow to be huge. Even if it's small when you catch it...it's going to grow, unless it dies before it finishes growing.
Makes an excellent point, why not try getting a Cichlid. I know alot of hobbyist that have at least one Oscar. Very beautiful coloring to them not just a plain silver or black. Like a wild fish they can feed on live bait to I have a friend that feeds his guppies/feeder-fish.
 
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