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Amongst the smaller basses and bass-like fishes
there are many good choices for easier-going fish only to all-out reef
systems. Even just from the tropical West Atlantic one has the three
Grammas, the lovely Liopropomas and genus Serranus basslets to choose
from and the genus of this article to consider, the Hypoplectrus
commonly named Hamlets. While there is still controversy re how many
species are represented, there is no doubt that this group of small
serranids spans a wide range of attractively marked and colored types.
Undemanding, and for the bass family, easy-going, Hamlets are good choices for many folks; not requiring large systems or specialized care, nor being inclined to chew on sedentary invertebrate livestock or other fishes.
Hamlets almost always arrive in good condition to and through dealers. These small fishes are not hard to find or net even on the proverbial fly. Hypoplectrus need to be individually housed which adds a bit to expense, but they do ship well Two factors impinge on their availability w/in the trade that account for their paucity in pet-fish markets. One is diver pay its low for these fishes and tied in with this is LFS demand This genus just doesnt hold its coloration very well losing intensity in days time without attention to nutrition and water quality. And so such specimens linger and languish, and so ultimately does demand.
Due to their small size, Hamlets dont pose much of a threat to tankmates of any but small size. Some shrimps, an occasional hermit might be inhaled, as might very small fishes, but these fishes will not take a bite out of your livestock and chew it.
Large-mouthed predators like Lions and kin, Morays, larger basses and more might be inclined to swallow your Hypoplectrus however.
biotope incorporating algae, invertebrates and other fish species
occupying the same area as your Hamlet would be the very best set-up
incorporating medium lighting and current Information on what this area
looks like, the biological make-up can be found in books and the Net
For fishes, fishbase.org, with a search by country in the
If and when you get on out to the Caribbean or even the Atlantic side of Florida, try taking a look-see at the Hamlets home they are easily spotted and followed, even in shallow water. Moving in short (a foot or two) swims to another spot, hesitating, then heading off to the next spot. Overall, the space these bottom hovers cover can be several square meters, but dont despair, other than hiding a good deal of the time, Hamlets adjust well to systems of four to six feet in length.
Reef systems are the place for Hypoplectrus; this is where they are
found in the wild skirting under and amongst sea fans, sponges and
stony coral outgrowths. An ideal set-up would be a tropical West
By and large Hamlets are not picky feeders. Small (mouth-sized) meaty
bits, or whole live or not crustacean fare suits them well. They can
even easily be trained on to dried-prepared foods of high palatability.
Feedings of small size twice daily are about right for these fishes.
The Hamlets have been a greatly underutilized group of small basses in
marine aquariums. The reasons for this under-representation are not due
to a lack of resource/population on their part, difficulty in their
capture or handling and definitely not from issues of suitability.
There are many beautiful varieties/species that are and stay small and
non-quarrelsome Theyre disease resistant, easily fed and interesting
behaviorally to boot.
Michael, Scott W. 1997. The Hamlets. Many colors, but how many species? AFM 7/97.
Miller, Gary. 1987. Serranids of the Caribbean. FAMA 2/87.
Thresher, Ronald. 1976. Hamlets. Marine Aquarist 7:6, 76.