Chuck, thats why I like fishing for sunfish so much. All the different varieties plus you inevitably pick up a bass, cat, crappie, drum, carp ect that cruise the waters. And most of the time you are fishing water that gets less pressure so the fish are dumb.
There is nothing better than a hungry dumb fish.
As far as my tank, yes they keep their color. It's easy to tell the ETX Neches Longear from the White Rock Longear for example. They (all off the different kinds of sunfish I keep) "light up" during feeds, territorial disputes, or when they dig in the sand like they are making a nest.
Don't worry about the mule, just load the cart