Species group: Basslets and Grammas
Other common names: Lantern Bass
Scientific name: Serranus baldwini
The active and attractive Lantern Basslet is hardy enough for folks new to the hobby, yet so interesting that it remains a favorite of lifelong aquarists as well.
The Lantern Basslet is native to the Caribbean Sea, where it inhabits coral reefs and algae-coated rock piles.
Appearance / health:
The elongated, 11.4 cm (4.5 in) body is mottled with varying patterns of orange, black and tan.
Lantern Basslets are very hardy if acclimated to new tanks slowly and provided proper care. They are fast-moving and scrappy, but may be injured by large fishes and aggressive invertebrates.
Behavior / temperament:
Lantern Basslets are quite active, spending much of their time in the lower level of the aquarium darting among corals and rockwork. They can hold their own with fish of the same or slightly-larger size, and will not trouble coral, but may harass small fish and shrimp.
The Lantern Basslet requires a well-filtered 113 liter (30 gal) or larger aquarium that is provisioned with moderate currents and numerous rock/coral caves and ledges. Live sand and live rock, which will provide supplementary food in the form of micro-organisms, should be utilized if possible. Groups get-along well if all members are introduced at the same time.
The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to assure your Lantern Basslet’s long-term health: Temperature: 22.7-25.5 C (73-78 F); Specific Gravity (Salinity): 1.020-1.025; pH: 8.1-8.4.
The diet should be varied, and include chopped clams, mussels, scallops, and prawn, live and frozen Mysis and brine shrimp, and flakes/pellets designed for carnivorous marine fishes.
Basslets are hermaphroditic. In most species, males construct a nest of marine algae within a cave or crevice, wherein the female deposits 10-100 eggs. The young hatch in 5-10 days, and usually accept rotifers and newly-hatched brine shrimp. Several species have been bred in captivity, but success with most has not been consistent.
Written by Frank Indiviglio