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Snapping Turtle Aquarium Help, where to find small catfish?

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Hereís my snapper, Mr. T, like the actor. Heís mean and feisty and the coolest! I hand feed him fish or deer everynight. I found him just hatched the size of a quarter on the track 2 years ago in the midday sun about to dry out. Anyways its 2 years later and I just got a 4 foot long 75 gallon aquarium. Iíve been adding in fish from the bayou, which my turtle scarfs up when he can, but the tank starts to get dirty. I tried scum suckers from the stores but he ate those within one night. The perch do well with keeping the scum at bay. I read about that trick and it worked better than scum suckers, but they donít clean the bottom of the tank. The small socalait I put in after Issac is too quick for my turtle and doing well. I scoop grass shrimp regularly and the fish go nuts eating those. I was thinking small catfish would be just as good for keeping the waste in the tank cleaned, but I donít know where or how to catch a small 2-3Ē catfish. They cost 7 dollars at the store so thatís out of the question since theyíll get eaten. I called the game wardens and they told me using a minnow cage for a few baby catfish is legal. Anyone has any ideas or where to scoop or set a minnow cage to catch them? I asked all my friends and none had a clue either so i'll try on here. I tried in bayou Lafourche with no luck yet. I can catch millions of catfish in the bayou but I canít recall catching babies. Iím puzzled.
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Tank
Orion13:
Cool snapper you have there! As far as keeping your tank clean. I bought from Petsmart a filter designed for turtle tanks. If I recall its made by Tetra (Internal Power Filter) and was green in color at the time I bought it. Anyway it has suction cups on it to hold the sides of the aquarium and you replace the filter cartridge. That way you can adjust it to the amount of water in the aquarium. I had 2 red eared sliders for a couple years with that set up and it kept the water clean. I think they make them to handle up to 40 gallons. You can probably find this filter set up online somewhere for a little cheaper than Petsmart. Hope this helps!!
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Buffalo
There are three species of buffalo in Bayou Lafourche along with a few other sucker species that I find do better than catfish for cleaning the bottom. The suckers are generally river fish and are more abundant in the Donaldsonville area of the bayou. Your best chance for catching buffalo, catfish, and a variety of interesting native fish (unlike the potential invasive species that you find in pet stores) is the batture of the Mississippi River and the Bonnet Carre spillway in the spring when the river is in flood. In April of 2011 I caught five bigmouth buffalo that were a half inch long, today the one that I kept is 6 inches long and gets along great with my 15 year old spiny softshell turtle. The streams on the northshore can be a source for madtoms, which are small catfish that don't get much bigger than 4 - 6 inches. A dipnet will catch the fish, but a small seine would be much better.
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Orion
I am an aquarium junky, i have a few hang on the back filters, and a large marineland 400 laying around. I would give you whatever would be best for the tank. May have said it, but i looked over it, what size is the tank? Im usually in thibodaux on the weekends unless my professors feel like loading me down with homework and i get stuck in lafayette.
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memories
Many you are bringing back memories. I use to have a 75 gallon aquarium as well. I had a hole drilled in the bottom and used a 20 gallon aquarium beneath it for a filter. Good thing about that setup is the overflow tube kept the water level exactly the same in the 75 all the time. Water level in the 20 gallon filter aquarium would drop as water evaporated.

One of my favorite fish was baby gars. I have had fliers, bass, bream, sac-a-lait, catfish, pickerel.

When it was saltwater I had stuff like trout, redfish, sheepshead, flounder, pufferfish. The two speckled trout were awesome, a baby lookdown and a tripletail.
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Mike
I have a saltwater 180 gal drilled reef/fish and a saltwater 90 drilled just fish. I love them things. I always wanted to make the 90 a redfish, speck, drum, etc, but i was told they were hard to keep alive, and the drum was way too aggressive. Your giving me hope though haha
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Good Input
Thanks for the offer Ricky, but I have one of those reptile filters that Troutsman was speaking of except I have the 55gallon. I find it works much better than the plain filters and I use the replacements every few months.

I would really like to get one of those carpsuckers. Never seen one like that. Iím sure those would devour any waste at the bottom. I may try some of those locations for the buffalo.

Mike that saltwater aquarium sounds awesome. Getting a baby gar and pickerel would be great in my aquarium. I never caught a baby one of those.

I may try a fish farm and see if theyíd sell something like that, the carp or small catfish.

I got the tank built at petsmart for only 175 bucks, the 100 gallon was twice the price but only taller so I went with the 75g. It fits perfectly on our bar in the sunroom next to the dinner table so we get to watch the fish at supper.

When my turtle outgrows his new tank Iíll look into getting a baby box turtle to raise in the 75g tank and itíll be easier to keep clean while dry Iíd imagine. Iíve seen them many times in the woods and think they are neat with their folding shells. Iíve had a softshell, painted turtle and alligator snapper as pets when I was young. I like the softshells because they are friendlier to handle and feed. Though they outgrew their small tanks I had at the time. I caught reptiles and amphibians for a living throughout my high school and college years so Iím really familiar with keeping all these critters, but turtles are my favorite.
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darker rocks?
Also, anyone knows if putting darker rocks like the dark green ones at the bottom would let the fish look darker and more colorful? I notice the perch and bass aren't as dark as they are in the bayou and I'd like for them to have more bright vibrant colors. I bought a pack of the natural rocks to start out but that like grey may be too low in color. I also put some big Mississippi River rocks and a few peices of driftwood.
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tilapia
If you put tilapia in your tank, just let the Wildlife and Fisheries know where it is so that they can hit it with rotenone. Live tilapia are illegal in Louisiana and if you get them from out of state, then it's also a violation of the Lacey Act. In 2009 there was an infestation of tilapia found in the drainage canals of Port Sulphur that took a major effort to poison.
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makes sense
Wow, never knew anything about talipia, thanks for the update. Wasn't planning on that route as i'm all about having natural fish out the bayou but thats good to know.
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Fish Farm
Orion,
You can definitely get small catfish from a fish farm. I know you can get some types of carp but not sure if you can get the one mentioned above. I found several fish farms by contacting the Wildlife and Fisheries Office. Cool turtle!
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carpsucker
The river carpsucker is not in the carp & minnow family, it is in the sucker family along with buffalo. There are no native carp, if you are trying to keep a pure native aquarium.
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ha ha
i couldnt keep them out of my cast net at false river.. Caught bunches of them...wish i knew earlier
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minnow traps
cut up some hard head catfish for bait, i have always been told about the only thing hard head bait attracts is starving crabs and more catfish so it might be a way to get longer lasting bait and target what you want
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Keeping it clean
Crawfish. Get a half dozen crawfish, yes the turtle will eat them. But some bigger ones will survive for a while. It's what I have in my snappers tank. And my tank stays pretty clean. Just have to add crawfish from time to time.
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pinfish
Ricky Pon, I didn't have any trouble keeping them alive. I say go for it. But don't get a pinfish. I had one and it was killing all the other fish by eating their fins off snip by snip.

Oh and I had a mangrove snapper at one time too.
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Re: catfish for Snapper
Farleys fish farm in Arkansas I believe would have them and others.
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Fish Trap Bait
I have found the best bait to catch small pond perch,,,and also catchs,, many small catfish,, is to use a piece of styraphoam,,about 3inch by 3 inch flat piece, and tie it in middle of trap at bottom so that it floats half way up towards top and stays about middle of cage or trap. This has worked for me in private ponds in the past..I have also caught many small fish with the throw or cast net,,probably a 3 to 3 1/2 diameter for a beginner..Good luck,,pretty turtle..smile JD
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Fish Trap Bait
Sorry forgot to mention,, use white styraphoam,,I beileive it is the color that attracts the fish,,so when it gets discolored after couple weeks, just put a new piece in and replace the older discolored piece...Smile..Good luck..JD
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Snapper
Redbuck's right, crawfish probably would help with cleaning. I'd go with a bunch of small one's though and give them places to hide. Large and even medium size crawfish can take out an eye on a turtle in a confined space.
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good comments
Thanks for the comments. I'm going to get some crawfish. They have plenty of rocks for the crawfish to hide in. I'll just put small ones. I'll also try out the foam in my minnow trap. Seems like a cool idea!
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catfish
When i was growing up o would throw a cast net in bayou lafourche and catch all the small catfish i wanted just tuff taking them out the net hope this helps
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