Reef to Rainforest: Discovering Tropical Species, Places, Nature

Chalk Bass

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Serranus tortugarum - Longley, 1935
Chalk Bass

A tiny bass, excellent for many types of marine aquariums, but best kept in groups. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

This very pretty little bass with brilliant color highlights is a passive plankton feeder that fits well in a peaceful community setting, or a Caribbean or Florida Keys biotope tank.

Family: Serranidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: Reef-sand interface. Provide this fish with plenty of hiding places. In nature, it is sometimes found living in empty conch shells or among coral and shell rubble.

Maximum length: 8 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 76 L (20 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

General swimming level: Near substrate.

[edit] Feeding

Carnivore. Feed meaty foods such as enriched adult brine shrimp or mysid shrimp twice a day. Pigment-enhancing enriched foods, offered at least several times each week, are recommended to sustain its lustrous colors.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

It is best kept in small groups in the aquarium. Individuals will form dominance hierarchies, their rank in the pecking order being determined by their size. If you are keeping more than one Chalk Bass per aquarium, all individuals should be introduced simultaneously. It is a zooplankton feeder and will not bother corals, clams, crabs or most shrimp, with the possible exception of the tiny, delicate Periclimenes spp.

[edit] Breeding/Propagation

Egg scatterers that produce pelagic eggs, often in midwater mating rituals. Both eggs and larvae that drift with plankton in the water column and settle back onto a reef at about the time of metamorphosis. These are among the most challenging types of marine fishes to propagate in captivity.

[edit] Notes

This species will spend much time in the open, often swimming high in the water column. The Chalk Bass is known to be a simultaneous hermaphrodite; that is, each fish has functional testes and ovaries, and when spawning each fish takes turns acting as a female and male.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Chalk BassRDF feed
Common name Chalk Bass  +
Family Serranidae  +
Genus Serranus  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 3 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 20 gal  +
Native range South Florida  +, Caribbean  +, Bahamas  +, and Honduras  +
Reference 101 Best Saltwater Fishes  +
Specific name tortugarum  +
Swimming level Near substrate.  +
Text credit SWM  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +