Chalk Bass (Serranus tortugarum)
Family: Serranidae (Anthias, Groupers)
Natural Range: Gulf of Mexico
Depth: 7 to 1285 ft. Size: 3 in. Jumps: No Space: 20+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Easy Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Zooplankton, amphipods, fish eggs, copepods
Natural History: The Chalk Bass is found on reef faces and slopes at a wide range of depths, usually over rubble bottoms, in loose groups of up to 300 fish. It spends most of its time near the substrate but will venture upward to feed, then returning quickly to the bottom.
Husbandry: The Chalk Bass is considered a hardy aquarium species. It should be housed with peaceful tankmates and in a tank with plenty of hiding places. If more than one Chalk Bass is to be housed in the same aquarium, all individuals should be introduced at the same time. It may feed on very small shrimp but otherwise is reef safe. It is best kept in small groups and is considered an excellent starter fish for new saltwater aquarists.
Reproduction: This species has been observed to reproduce by forming breeding territories, spawning over 15 times in one 24 hour period.
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