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The Harlequin Bass: An Exceptionally Hardy, Beginner-Friendly Marine Fish

Saltwater SmartsBy Saltwater Smarts 4 years ago
Home  /  Corals  /  The Harlequin Bass: An Exceptionally Hardy, Beginner-Friendly Marine Fish

Harlequin Bass (Serranus tigrinus)

 Prized for its striking patterning, modest adult size, exceptional hardiness, and overall adaptability, the harlequin bass (Serranus tigrinus), denizen of the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean, makes an excellent choice for the novice marine aquarist and experienced hobbyist alike. (In fact, just try to stop Caribbean Chris from keeping one!) Physical traits:  This fascinating dwarf seabass is white to gray overall, with meandering black bands forming tiger stripes on its flanks and smaller black spots speckling the rest of its body, dorsal fin, and caudal fin. A yellowish tinge may also be evident on the ventral half of the body. The eyes are positioned high on the head, and the snout is long and tapers to form a point. Maximum size for this species is around 4 inches. Feeding: A carnivore that, in nature, feeds primarily on small crustaceans, S. tigrinus will accept a wide range of small, meaty foods in captivity, such as frozen mysids and plankton, finely chopped crustacean or mollusk meat, various frozen commercial formulations for small predators (e.g., Fish Frenzy®), and so forth. Most specimens take to feeding in captivity with little difficulty, and once- or twice-daily feedings are recommended MORE

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  Corals, Fish, Invertebrates, Science
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 Saltwater Smarts

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Saltwater Smarts is a unique online resource created by long-time aquarists Chris Aldrich and Jeff Kurtz to inspire and entertain a new generation of marine aquarium hobbyists while helping them acquire the reliable, authoritative knowledge base they need to succeed with a saltwater system. By clarifying key concepts, techniques, and terminology, as well as sharing expert insights from fellow enthusiasts and industry professionals, Chris and Jeff hope to promote a more accessible, sustainable, and enjoyable marine aquarium hobby. Read more about our mission and the contributors who are part of our team.

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