- Scientific name: Lepomis gibbosus
- Common Name: Perch, Sun Perch, Sun Fish, Pumpkin Fish
- Aquarium size: 200 liters
- Temperament: Peaceful. Territorial in breeding season
- Temperature: 4º to 22º
- pH: 7 to 7.5
- Diet: Carnivore
- Length: 10 to 20 centimeters
The Sun fish or Percasol is a cold water fish of the Centrárquidos family , native to North America.
Its scientific name Lepomis gibbosus, refers to the hump or hump that this variety presents.
They are very attractive fish, ideal for breeding in a pond rather than an aquarium , although they can be included in a cold-water aquarium.
I am more inclined towards their breeding in ponds, since… although they are calm and only become territorial during the breeding season, they are carnivorous fish that will not hesitate to eat any smaller fish.
In freedom the Percasol fish can measure up to 40 centimeters , but in our waters and in a pond or aquarium it is difficult for it to exceed 20 centimeters, and the most common measurement is around 10 centimeters.
It has a relatively tall body, mainly because it is laterally compressed and has a kind of hump, which gives it the appearance of being taller.
It has a single dorsal fin with a central depression, which divides the spiny rays on the front and those on the back of the fin, which are much softer and more branched.
Their pectoral and dorsal fins are elongated and somewhat pointed.
In the anal fin we can also differentiate two parts, a frontal part with 3 pointed spines, followed by a second part with soft rays.
It has an attractive coloration, with an orange or yellowish ventral area , while the sides of the fish have rows of greenish-blue spots, which in some cases seem to join to form sinuous patterns.
In what is the head of the fish, these spots appear in some cases in the form of stripes.
There are no major differences between males and females, except for size, the males being somewhat larger than the females. Two spots that the Percasol fish have on the gills that cover the gills are
also curious .
They are darker in color in males and surrounded by red, while in females the spots are lighter and surrounded by an orange tone, giving the impression that the fish has «ears».
Distribution and habitat
The Perch fish is native to North America, where we can find it in the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay and the Upper Mississippi Basin.
Currently and because it has been introduced indiscriminately in several countries, we can find it in various parts of the world, since it is a fish that adapts very well to different types of water quality.
It likes to inhabit waters with little current typical of lakes and ponds, with a lot of vegetation. It also survives well in small streams and rivers.
In Spain they are considered an invasive species, and a serious threat to native species.
As I mentioned at the beginning, for me they are fish more typical of a pond, than fish for breeding in an aquarium, in any case they are cold water fish that can live perfectly in an aquarium , if we provide them with the right conditions:
- Temperature: Between 17ºC and 22ºC. In a pond, when the temperature drops below 12ºC, it goes into hibernation.
- pH: Between 7 and 7.5
- dH. Between 10º to 15º
They adapt to many situations. They are all-terrain fish, being able to stay in good condition even in a pond without a filtration system , and with low oxygen levels.
They like to live in aquariums or ponds with a good amount of vegetation. The bottom of the aquarium should be made of fine gravel, simulating its natural habitat.
They need a large aquarium where they have space to swim, ideally about 200 liters.
They are fish that prefer a carnivorous diet, accepting all kinds of live prey, such as small fish, fingerlings and invertebrates.
As they are great eaters, they will also admit quality dried food, frozen or freeze-dried.
In the aquarium and pond they will gladly eat dry cold water fish food .
Behavior and compatibility
In general, they are peaceful fish, but not suitable to share space with smaller fish , since they will end up being part of their diet.
They can coexist perfectly in a pond with Koi carps , for example.
They become territorial and aggressive in the breeding season.
It is the males who build the nest on the sand. Each male can sire several females in the same nest.
Once the nest is built, the pair swim in circles over the nest, releasing the eggs and sperm at regular intervals. They can lay up to 1,000 eggs.
The eggs will hatch at seven days, and at 11 days after hatching, the male will be willing to prepare another spawning with the same or a different pair.