While most people fish for crappie because they enjoy eating these delicious pan fish. However, some people would actually like to keep crappie as pets.
Can You Keep Crappie As Pets?
Is it possible for people to keep crappie as pets? Yes! It is, as long as you follow the same regulations for capturing that crappie for a pet that you would follow if catching one for your dinner.
Once you capture your crappie, place them in a large plastic bag filled with water from the lake or river where you caught your fish.
What You Need To House Your Pet Crappie
In order to keep your crappie healthy and happy, you are going to need the following:
- Large Aquarium at least 80 gallons if you plan on keeping 2 or 3 crappie
- Substrate, driftwood, and artificial plants
- External canister filter
- Food to feed your crappie
Setting Up Your Fish Tank
Here is how to set up your tank to make a more natural habitat for your crappie.
- Cover the bottom of the tank with either dark sand or gravel. Crappie prefers dark substrate to lighter sand or gravel.
- Place one or two pieces of driftwood on the sand or gravel the crappie uses driftwood as a shelter when they want to hide.
- Place some artificial plants and rocks around (These should take up no more than 20% of the aquarium.)
- Fill the aquarium with dechlorinated room temperature water. Make sure the water contains no chlorine.
- The temperature should be maintained at a temperature between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place external canister filter on the side of the tank to keep the water clean
- Slowly introduce the crappie into the tank, by first setting the plastic bag containing your crappie (with the water still in it) into the tank of water so your fish can adjust to any changes in temperature, (About 20 minutes) Then empty the bag and the fish into the tank you have prepared.
Caring For Your Pet Crappie
Your crappie needs to be fed every 12 hours. Their preferred food is insect larva, minnows, and baby bluegill. If you plan on feeding your pet crappie minnows, each crappie will need 4 minnows at each meal.
You also need to test the water to ensure that it maintains a Ph balance of 6.6 to 7.8. If the Ph levels are off, you may need to purchase a Ph adjustment kit from a local pet store that handles fish. You will also need to test ammonia levels in the tank. Additionally, you need to make sure that nitrate levels are under 0ppm.
Make sure that you keep your crappie water clean. Clean the aquarium every two weeks and remove any algae that have grown on the sides.
With proper care, crappies can make interesting pets and teach you a lot regarding the habits of these fresh water fish. Just make sure when catching crappie for a pet that you following state regulations regarding the minimum size of crappie you are allowed to keep.