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Bold Basslets

Chalk BassHello, Sam here with another small fish profile.  Fish from the group of known as the basslets are mostly small, solitary species that are great candidates for smaller tanks.  These fish are related to the much larger basses.  Two species of fish that I particularly enjoy from this group of fish are the Chalk basslet (Serranus tortugarum) and the Tobacco Basslet (Serranus tabacarius).  Both of these fish are found in the Caribbean and are normally imported around 3 inches in length.

Chalk Basslets can reach a maximum size of about 5 inches.  They have a pinkish-purple body with a brownish-red stripe that goes across the entire back of the fish.  There are baby blue bars that transect the stripe over the top of the fish that really gives them a nice contrast in color.  This fish will readily take just about any food, frozen or processed.  It can be kept in groups, but they will fight amongst each other if not given enough space and rock to establish territory.  They aren’t known for being very aggressive, but they are a bass, so there is a chance that they will try to eat small fish or inverts especially when they molt. 

The Tobacco Bass, from the same region, will attain an adult size of about 7 inches. The Tobacco Bass is white with an orange-red stripe that goes down the body.  There are black to brown splotches that are along the dorsal ridge of this fish. The Tobacco Bass with accept most any food, too, but will also eat any smaller more delicate shrimp or fish. The Tobacco Bass should be housed in at least a 20 gallon aquarium. Other Tobacco Basslets may be housed in the same in with them, but they also need to be supplied with plenty of rock and space. 

These fish both have a lot of personality and are not shy once established in an aquarium. If you’ve ever kept these amazing and under-rated little fish, please share your experiences in the comments section below.

One comment

  1. avatar

    My chalk bass is HUGE! He is 5 inches easy, and about an inch wide. Very peaceful fish with lots of personality! He was only about 1 1/2 inches when I bought him a year ago. I named him Butch because he is so beefy!

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