Species group: Batfish
Other common names: Blue Assessor Basslet
Scientific name: Assessor macneilli
As hardy as it is beautiful, Macneill’s Assessor Basslet is not often collected and demands high prices when available. Serious aquarists, however, rarely regret the search or cash outlay!
The Macneill’s Assessor Basslet is native to the Western Pacific Ocean, where it inhabits coral reefs and rocky ledges.
Appearance / health:
The 7.6 cm (3 in) body is clad in bright blue, which is set-off nicely by a light neon-blue border along its edges.
Macneill’s Assessor Basslets are quite hardy when provided proper care, but are often shipped long distances and so must be acclimated slowly and “babied” for awhile. They are fast-moving and scrappy, but may be injured by large fishes and aggressive invertebrates. As they jump frequently at night, a secure aquarium hood is essential.
Behavior / temperament:
Macneill’s Assessor Basslets are active, spending much of their time in the lower level of the aquarium darting among corals and rockwork. They will defend a favored cave, and may harass small fish and shrimp.
The Macneill’s Assessor 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 long-term health: Temperature: 24-26.6 C (74-80 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