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DoorGunner

Eyes bigger than their stomachs.

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Posted this somewhere over  year ago but I just can't remember where so sorry if this is a repeat.

At the dock we had two saltwater aquariums stocked with just about anything we caught off the dock. It was so cool that even the Camden Aquarium would come down to pick up some of the real neat fish we caught. The big tank was 210 gallons and the smaller was 55 and was used for smaller fish that would have been gobbled up in the big tank. I had about six baby weakfish in the 55 that were just a few inches long. Caught them on a tiny hook and baby minnow under a float from right off the dock. Had them and a few baby flounder also a few inches long that were waiting to grow enough to go into the 210. I fed them small grass shrimp, flake fish food and pieces of clam and worms. As they grew I would put some small shiners (live spearing) and tiny minnows that I caught with our drop net for them to chase around. 

I couldn't get real picky with the size of the shiners because they are so delicate and die quickly so it was from the drop net right into the 55 as fast as possible. One day as my buddy was watching I grabbed a bunch of shiners and dropped them in then we both sat and watched. Shiners are usually found near the surface but when caught and dropped into the tank they panic and head for the bottom. One of the decent size shiners did exactly that and surprised a baby weakie as it swam right at it. We were shocked to see the weakie grab the shiner and begin swallowing. We laughed at the sight of this guy biting off more than it could chew but he wouldn't let go. slowly the shiner slid down but then stopped for lack of room. Sadly the weakie must have hurt itself because a few minutes later it rolled over and died.

Sorry for the quality of the pics but it was a cheap camera but check it out. I pulled the shiner out with a pair of pliers to show what I mean by eyes bigger than it's stomach. Also notice that the pliers chewed up the tail a little so the shiner was even longer. Never wonder if the bait you have on is too big for a weakie.

 

 

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Just now, DoorGunner said:

Posted this somewhere over  year ago but I just can't remember where so sorry if this is a repeat.

At the dock we had two saltwater aquariums stocked with just about anything we caught off the dock. It was so cool that even the Camden Aquarium would come down to pick up some of the real neat fish we caught. The big tank was 210 gallons and the smaller was 55 and was used for smaller fish that would have been gobbled up in the big tank. I had about six baby weakfish in the 55 that were just a few inches long. Caught them on a tiny hook and baby minnow under a float from right off the dock. Had them and a few baby flounder also a few inches long that were waiting to grow enough to go into the 210. I fed them small grass shrimp, flake fish food and pieces of clam and worms. As they grew I would put some small shiners (live spearing) and tiny minnows that I caught with our drop net for them to chase around. 

I couldn't get real picky with the size of the shiners because they are so delicate and die quickly so it was from the drop net right into the 55 as fast as possible. One day as my buddy was watching I grabbed a bunch of shiners and dropped them in then we both sat and watched. Shiners are usually found near the surface but when caught and dropped into the tank they panic and head for the bottom. One of the decent size shiners did exactly that and surprised a baby weakie as it swam right at it. We were shocked to see the weakie grab the shiner and begin swallowing. We laughed at the sight of this guy biting off more than it could chew but he wouldn't let go. slowly the shiner slid down but then stopped for lack of room. Sadly the weakie must have hurt itself because a few minutes later it rolled over and died.

Sorry for the quality of the pics but it was a cheap camera but check it out. I pulled the shiner out with a pair of pliers to show what I mean by eyes bigger than it's stomach. Also notice that the pliers chewed up the tail a little so the shiner was even longer. Never wonder if the bait you have on is too big for a weakie.

DSCN0626.jpg.baf276c34323c7c4d8b72c68f20f0df4.jpg

 

DSCN0627.jpg.4c65d20b5ca2beaaef51c925f6966934.jpg

 

 

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8 mins ago, HighEndHooker said:

Just a thought....have you ever had any type of criticism from retaining under size fish? I’m not sure if there is some sort of gray area here

No We always had a scientific collection permit purchased from the state. 

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1 hour ago, HighEndHooker said:

Just a thought....have you ever had any type of criticism from retaining under size fish? I’m not sure if there is some sort of gray area here

Not until posting here 

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2 hours ago, DoorGunner said:

No We always had a scientific collection permit purchased from the state. 

Gotcha thanks for clarifying, I was just curious

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4 hours ago, fd4mcola said:

have you ever tried putting baby bluefish in your tank?

Sure did. They did great while they were small but they grow fast and had one bad habit. They always seemed to like to swim around and pass between the glass and the plastic filter tubes. Blues have very thin skin and small scales and once big enough they would rub the tubes while passing between them and the glass. Sores would begin to show where they rubbed their scales off so once they reached about eight inches we would release them. 

People came in thinking the blues would be fun to watch but they soon learned that everything swimming or crawling in our aquarium was just as nasty as the blue. What makes them seem so bad is they feed in schools but have just one or two and they are just like any other fish. What impressed people the most when feeding were the flounder. Everyone likes the sniper.  

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On 3/6/2019 at 8:23 AM, DoorGunner said:

DSCN0626.jpg.baf276c34323c7c4d8b72c68f20f0df4.jpg

 

DSCN0627.jpg.4c65d20b5ca2beaaef51c925f6966934.jpg

 

 

 

On 3/6/2019 at 8:21 AM, DoorGunner said:

Posted this somewhere over  year ago but I just can't remember where so sorry if this is a repeat.

At the dock we had two saltwater aquariums stocked with just about anything we caught off the dock. It was so cool that even the Camden Aquarium would come down to pick up some of the real neat fish we caught. The big tank was 210 gallons and the smaller was 55 and was used for smaller fish that would have been gobbled up in the big tank. I had about six baby weakfish in the 55 that were just a few inches long. Caught them on a tiny hook and baby minnow under a float from right off the dock. Had them and a few baby flounder also a few inches long that were waiting to grow enough to go into the 210. I fed them small grass shrimp, flake fish food and pieces of clam and worms. As they grew I would put some small shiners (live spearing) and tiny minnows that I caught with our drop net for them to chase around. 

I couldn't get real picky with the size of the shiners because they are so delicate and die quickly so it was from the drop net right into the 55 as fast as possible. One day as my buddy was watching I grabbed a bunch of shiners and dropped them in then we both sat and watched. Shiners are usually found near the surface but when caught and dropped into the tank they panic and head for the bottom. One of the decent size shiners did exactly that and surprised a baby weakie as it swam right at it. We were shocked to see the weakie grab the shiner and begin swallowing. We laughed at the sight of this guy biting off more than it could chew but he wouldn't let go. slowly the shiner slid down but then stopped for lack of room. Sadly the weakie must have hurt itself because a few minutes later it rolled over and died.

Sorry for the quality of the pics but it was a cheap camera but check it out. I pulled the shiner out with a pair of pliers to show what I mean by eyes bigger than it's stomach. Also notice that the pliers chewed up the tail a little so the shiner was even longer. Never wonder if the bait you have on is too big for a weakie.

 

 

DG you said that the Weakfish died? 

In your other post you said that the minnows had teeth?  And that they ate the pogies down to the bone ?   Do you think that he bit the insides of the Weakfish and that’s why he died? 

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14 mins ago, ccb said:

 

DG you said that the Weakfish died? 

In your other post you said that the minnows had teeth?  And that they ate the pogies down to the bone ?   Do you think that he bit the insides of the Weakfish and that’s why he died? 

Minnows have the teeth but if the shiners (spearing) do I have never seen them. Plus I believe that no matter how big or bad your teeth are when you are going down into a stomach head first you are in a tight sleve and not able to bite or anything else. We all hear and I have witnessed how strong and nasty Mantis Shimp are with their strikes but I find a lot of them in flounder and stripers stomachs. Once they go in they just can't cock their front legs to strike. Take the strongest person you know and wrap them in some plastic so they can't move their arms. totally helpless. Probably same thing when a fish, crab or mantis shrimp is going down. 

The further down that shiner went the more the weakie became bloated and finally he just sat on the bottom with it's gills going like crazy then it just rolled over and died. So much pressure I guess it could have effected some vital organ. Sad to see it happen because baby weakies were so cool looking and fun to watch but very very delicate.

the very first weakies I caught were in a cast net. Just them and a few shiners so they weren't burried under a pile of fish. When I threw the net looking for aquarium fish I always had a bucket of water right next to me to get them in the water as fast as I could. On one throw of the net I hit like six or seven of these three inch weakies and right into the bucket then right into the aquarium. They looked so beat with scales missing and dorsal fin membrane between bones split and only one made it. Made me very aware of the damage any net can cause a fish. 

A few days later I started catching the baby weakies on a hook and line using a very small hook around a size 12 with a tiny live minnow for bait. Every one I hooked was dropped into the bucket and then into the aquarium where they were in perfect condition and were feeding by the end of the day. Made me wonder just how many fish actually survive commercial nets when they are tossed back plus how many were basically crushed under all that weight. Sure they swim away but do they survive. Seen careless recreational fisherman rip a hook out of a flounders gut and all the organs came out with it then toss the fish back and watch it swim away. Dead by the time it hit the bottom. So just how many commercially caught and released fish make it?

Sorry I babbled on again but I doubt the shiner could do any damage to the baby weakie with it's teeth.  

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I'm pretty dead set on starting a local species tank this year. It would be my first foray into saltwater aquariums. I figure start cheap and easy with stuff I catch so if the tank crashes, at least my livestock was free. I've had freshwater tanks for years. Currently have a 210g, 125g, and 40g up and running. I ran the idea of the local species tank by my wife and she asked which tank I was converting to saltwater lol. I thought she was joking, but not so. She's fighting me pretty hard about another tank but I think I can win her over especially with my 5yr old son on my side. We live on the water and he loves pulling the killie traps and drop net and viewing the critters we catch in a small 1 gallon tank before letting them go. I think he would really dig watching them longer term in a bigger tank. I have a spot in mind in the house where I can probably squeeze a 75g tank but nothing bigger than that.

 

DoorGunner, are you just pumping river water into your tank at the dock like a livewell? Or were they closed systems? If closed, what kind of filtration did you use? I'm going to avoid using dirty river water and treat it like a legit reef tank. I'm a stickler about having pristine clear tanks, even if it's just killies :D. I would like to get away with just canister filters, but I know that's frowned upon in the saltwater world in favor of sumps.

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4 hours ago, Goldy said:

Dg-

 

have you ever put eels in your tanks?

Tiny eels but they weren't any fun. As long as it was daylight or the lights were on the eels hid.

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