They stay in ponds, streams, lakes, and also storage tanks. They like warm physical bodies of water with little to no current. Given that they are bottom fish, they like an abundance of cover from submerged trees or aquatic vegetation.
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As bottom fish, their favorite food is snails, however they additionally consume other shelled animals. Their thick, hard teeth permit them to squash the skeletons of shelled animals. These teeth are at the back of their mouths, and permit them to run like a nutcracker by squashing the shells of snails, hence the label, "shellcracker". They can also open small clams. They will additionally eat larvae, fish eggs, and crayfish. Since of its specific food specific niche, Redear sunfish could live lakes without competing for the same food of fish that like surface area eating. And considering that snails can spread illness, and since snails are among Redear's favorite foods, these fish are relied on in lake management jobs to regulate snails.