Aquarium Fish

Tobacco Basslet

posted: 05/15/12
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Tobacco Basslet
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Tobacco Basslet is alternately referred to as the Tobacco Fish, or Tobacco Bass, and is common in the tropical Western Atlantic. The body is a light gray on the bottom and a black and silver mottled pattern dorsally, split from each other by an orange band.

This basslet is a hardy aquarium species and kept in a reef with caution. It can pose a threat to small crustaceans and fish, especially damselfish, gobies, and blennies. A single individual should be maintained in a minimum of a 55-gallon tank, while more than one requires at least 100 gallons. Even so, the Tobacco Fish may try to dominate smaller members of the same species. It is best to introduce the Tobacco Basslet into the aquarium at the same time as other fish.

True of all members of the Serranus genus, the Tobacco Basslet is hermaphroditic.

As a carnivore, the Tobacco Basslet will thrive on a diet of meaty foods such as finely chopped fresh or frozen marine fish, squid, mysid shrimp, and frozen carnivore preparations.

Fish Facts

Name: Tobacco Basslet (Serranus tabacarius)

Family: Grammidae

Range: Tropical Western Atlantic

Size: Up to 7 inches

Diet: Carnivore

Tank Set-up: Marine: Coral or rocks, plants

Reef Compatible: With caution

Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4

Minimum Tank Capacity: Single: 55 gallon; Multiple: 100 gallon

Light: High

Temperament: Aggressive

Swimming Level: Middle

Care Level: Easy

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