Atlantic Chalk Bass, Serranus tortugarum, are small fish found off Florida and most parts of the Caribbean. Their preferred habitat is in deep water over sand and rubble, but the are occasionally found in shallow water in those same habitat types. They can often be found in large packs, cruising around just above the bottom, and because of their bluish color, they can be difficult to see in the wild. They can grow to about 3 inches, but most are in the 1 ½ inch range which makes them ideal for nano and pico reef tanks. They get along well with most other fish and with other chalk bass, so it’s safe to put several in one tank.
Chalk bass are easy to care for and will eat just about any food you give them. They do especially well on small pellets and are quite active at feeding time. They do not pick at corals or other invertebrates, and because they are pretty small and don’t get very big, they will not eat other small fish and invertebrates in your tank. They will jump when startled, so be sure to keep a cover on your tank.
Please Note: Any new fish purchased from us or from a local pet store should to be quarantined. All fish from anywhere in the wild can be possible carriers of bacteria and protozoa that can lead to an infection in your system, so we always recommend that you use some sort of quarantine system prior to adding them to your system. If you have a fish only system and can medicate the whole system, you may not need a separate quarantine tank. If you have a reef system that cannot be medicated, a good ultraviolet sterilization system should prevent any kind of disease outbreak. We medicate our system for bacterial infections and protozoans, but because we dont always hold our fish for long periods of time, there is no way to be sure all the protozoan cysts have been killed. A little bit of prevention will save you lots of trouble down the line.