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?

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There's no Cabela's less than a couple hours' drive of my house, but there IS a BassPro Shop nearby with a pond where they give fly casting lessons. I'd LOVE to fish that one! :-)
Hi, Rainman:
I posted a PM to you at DIYAquaponics, but they deleted you before I could get your answer. How do you PM someone here, or at least get their Email addy?
I have had 2 hyrbid bluegill/greensunfish in a 16G aquarium for a couple months but after awhile I had to get rid of one because the other was bulying it. I was afraid it was going to kill the poor thing. I know have 2 tiger oscar cichlids in my 16G aquarium, but thats only temporarily because I just got a 55G tank and I am going to put them in it. What I would love to do some day is get a 200G tank and raise some muskies...that would be cool!
200 gallons tank is big! If I have it then I would try to raise a bluegill to be over 3 lbs! Would it be possible?
Warm water, plenty of food and space = big bluegill but large tank?
I heard that Cabelas and Bass Pro Shop got some big bluegills and bass from fishermen! Last March, I went to Bass Pro Shop in Orlando....WOW! Some bass between 12 and 14 lbs and big bluegills! Biggest Bluegill I see in Bass Pro Shop near Chicago is about 12 inch and thick body! That's about 3 years ago and I don't know what happend to that fish!
I had 3 - 5" bluegills in a 20 gallon tank for over a year and they seemed to do fairly well (they started at 3"). This was definately a bit small for 3 fish of this size when they got to 5". They readily ate guppies, small worms, and pellet fishfood. I had both and undergravel filter and a hang-on-tank filter for this aquarium.
In a 125 gallon tank you should be able to grow bluegills up to 8" without any trouble, but keep in mind that it takes really good filtration to safely house more than 6 to 8 fish of this size even in a 125 gallon tank.
The general rule is 1" of fish length per gallon of water with good filtration, but I tend to scale it back in the case of larger fish and gamefish due to their nature of becoming a bit aggressive.
I went to Pet store to buy some catfood for my cat and I checked out some fish tanks! I see that 75 gallons tank is 48.5" L X 18.5" W X 21.125" H. It look real nice size tank. I wondered, what if I put in just one 9 or 10 inch Bluegill in a 75 gallons tank. Feed everyday....redworms, small crayfish, waxworms, and small minnows, plus warm water all year around and use light for 12 hours everyday. Will it grow to be over 2 lbs? Or will it grow very slow and maybe one extra inch in length in a few years because of the limit of space in the tank?
Also I am curious about what if you raise a bluegill to grow to be over 3 lbs in your good size tank and it died of old age then what will you do with a monster bluegill....plan to mounted it on your wall?
Photobucket

These are my fishes in a 55 gallon simi rec aquarium. Bg 8" and the bass is close to 2lbs. Kinda like havin a cat and a dog that hang out together. HAHA! I feed the BG mainly bread. Poor ole bass gets to eat when I have some extra bull minows left over from crappie ( Bruce done got me callin em crappie instead of white perch) fishn. I bring Billy Bad Bass a couple extra small BG when we catch em or he gets a lizard or tree frog when I can catch one on the porch. They get along fine in the tank and have shown growth in the past 8 9 months since I throwed them in there. I leave the light off at all times unless im showin off to company. They make a great discussion.

Wich reminds me.... Its been a couple of weeks since they eat since I've been speck fishin so I gotta get some bull miners to throw in there. Sure there gonna both love it tomorrow.


The cooooolest thing about the BG is its my boys first fish...... Talk about a way to preserve for mounting. Thats why I try not to feed so much so that I can keep the growth down in order to have an accurate mount......... Im not that crule!
Tastgills....thanks for great suggest and I probably plan to get a 75 gallons tank and just one big bluegill then hope it will grow to over 2 lbs! I think about to add just a few rocks and 3 18" fake green weeds. That's it then Bluegill will have more room to swim around! Throw a few minnows in for dinner!

Jeremy R.....very nice photo and interesting! 2 lbs bass and 8" in 55 gallon tank.....interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Fun to look at bluegill(s) in tank while change fishing line or work on your fishing equipment!

I dream to own some ponds and fish tank is the best thing for right now ..... hope to get a pond in the future!
Im most likely going to buy a 75 gallon tank for my cichlid and then a few years down the road or whenever these fish pass away I plan on getting 2 8 inch hybrid bluegill/greensunfish and I want to grow them over a pound(atleast) and then realease them and have one hybrid in the tank and I hope to grow it over the magical 2 pound mark... I think if It gets fed a lot and with plenty of space I should have a chance whatdoyah think????
also check out my avatar, thats a hybrid bluegill/greesunfish I used to have, awsome fish!
I have kept and bred almost every type of tropical fish known as well as a few natives.Here are a few rules to live by.
The size of the tank does NOT Limit the size of the fish the water quality does. Almost anyfish can grow huge in a small tank...only if the water is kept prestine. thats ALOT harder in a small tank butnot impossible.
Very frequent water changes is a must for a smaller tank.
1 inch per gallon is only right if dealing with very small fish. anything over three inches should have at least 2 inches OR MORE.
Never put a big fish in a small tank regardless of what I said earlier.
Large Fish should have at least three to five body lengths of tank..depending on depth.
Make sure to have the tank Seasoned or aet up long enough with a few gups or whatever to cycle for few weeks. BEFORE deciding to keep a BG or whatever.
Acclimate slowly to both temp and chemical makeup of the tank water.
Hope this helps anyone.
See the water is the key. IF and I mean if someone can remove the toxins and in some cases the growth limiting chemicals the fish emits in theory a fish can grow huge in a small tank.... BUT I would never keep any fish in that type of setup.
I always allow way more then enough room and over filter as well.
I have three filters on my 55 (One that does both mechanical and biological and two only biological) filtering capacity is 180 gallons. I have 16 tanks set up as of this dateas well as a custom betta wall setup and several other tanks not setup. and I am breeding 9 different live foods three typs of snails 6 types of natural cover IE; plants and 10 different types of fish. I have both black banded sunfish and everglades pigmy sunfish both natives.

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