Bluegill are a great option for aquaponics and aquaculture enthusiasts who are searching for something less tropical that will do well in both warm water and near-freezing water. While the optimal water temperature for Bluegill is 60˚ - 80˚ F, they can survive in temperatures ranging from 39˚ - 90˚ F. In most cases, this means water won’t need to be heated in the winter. The fact that Bluegill reproduce rapidly, are such a hardy fish, and can withstand such wide temperature fluctuations makes them a great alternative to Tilapia.
Bluegill can grow up to 12 inches long and weigh about 4.5 pounds. Spawning season for Bluegill is between May and August in the wild, but in a controlled environment with ideal conditions that include 67˚ to 80˚ F water temperatures, light fluctuations, an area to build a spawning nest, and well-planted aquariums, Bluegill can reproduce year-round. Female Bluegill can lay between 10,000 and 60,000 eggs. When it's time to mate, males create a spawning bed in shallow water, and if a female chooses this mate, she will start to swim with the male. Together, they will settle in the middle of the nest, touch bellies and spawn. After the female drops the eggs, the male chases her out of the nest and guards the eggs. The male watches the eggs until they hatch – usually five to seven days later. Bluegill are also known as Lepomis macrochirus and sometimes referred to as bream, brim, or Copper Nose.
If you are interested in a breeding colony, visit the main “Fish” page of our site or click on the picture for the Bluegill Breeding Colony below.