Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Everglades Pygmy Sunfish, often referred to as simply the Pygmy Sunfish, is a very small tropical fish native to the United States! Found in North Carolina south throughout peninsular Florida, and west toward the Mobile Bay basin in Alabama, here the Pygmy sunfish lives in sluggish waters with very dense vegetation. Mature male, and breeding male, Pygmy sunfish are almost black in color with many iridescent blue-green dots along their flanks. Non-breeding males, females, and juvenile Pygmy sunfish are a ligher gray color with mottled markings. Pygmy sunfish absolutely require a planted tank in order to thrive, and would do best in a group of one male with several females. Multiple males could be kept together if the aquarium is planted very densely to create a number of visual barriers between them. A micropredator, Pygmy sunfish have been observed to help control nuisance snails, such as Malaysian Trumpets (Melanoides tuberculata), that come in on live aquatic plants. Keep in mind that given this fish’s adult size, it would only be able to tackle snail eggs or very small snails. An adult Pygmy sunfish can reach a size of approximately 1-1/2″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Pygmy sunfish are omnivores. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable based and protein based flake foods, sinking micro pellet foods and bug bites are ideal, in addition to offering frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp and daphnia. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: A minimum 10 to 15 gallon aquarium is ideal for a group of Pygmy sunfish. While these fish are small, this size aquarium better provides a stable environment. This species should not be introduced into a biologically immature aquarium. Pygmy sunfish are very intolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters ideal (Nitrates < 20 ppm). Given the environments in which they come from, Pygmy sunfish like gentle water flow that is typically achieved by the use of a sponge filter. The aquarium should be aquascaped with a darker substrate and dense live vegetation. Pygmy sunfish would also benefit from some floating plants, as this better mimics their natural environment and helps to diffuse light. Pygmy sunfish are extremely peaceful and rarely conflict with tank mates. Their timid nature, however, may make them not suitable for traditional community aquariums that have overly rambunctious or competitive species that will intimidate them. Mix Pygmy sunfish with other peaceful nano-tank species to provide them with security, and some species that may exploit the top portion of the aquarium to reduce their shyness. Some compatible species include Emerald Dwarf Danio (Danio erythromicron), Exclamation Point Rasbora (Boraras urophthalmoides), Chili Rasbora (Boraras brigittae), Neon Blue Danio (Sundadanio axelrodi), and Pygmy Cory (Corydoras pygmaeus). This species can tolerate cooler temperatures for a period of the year, as low as 65 degrees Fahrenheit, but this will not be ideal for most other tropical tank mates. Recommended water conditions, 65-82° F, KH 0-12, pH 6.5-8.0.
Purchase Size: Medium: 3/4” to 1”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.