Basslet Fish Care Guide

basslet fish

Last updated on July 3rd, 2022 at 11:06 am

The basslet fish is a species of basslets that live in shallow waters. They are known for their bright colors and can grow up to about three inches long. Their colors can be anything like yellow, orange, or red. They are very interesting fish to keep in an aquarium and their care is not too difficult either.

Origin and description

basslet fish

The basslet fish is a saltwater reef-dwelling species that originated from the tropical areas of the Pacific Ocean. It has an average maximal size of two inches and can live up to fifteen years when properly cared for. The coloration ranges in hue from browns to red, with dark vertical stripes on its body which make it very distinctive.

Its common name is derived from the sound it makes when rubbing its dorsal fin against a scale on its body. The basslet fish does this to establish territories in their natural habitat, much like male birds do with a song. When you keep them in an aquarium, however, they will use other methods of communication such as color changes and physical movement to mark their territory.

They are a carnivorous predator which hunts crustaceans, mollusks, and worms in nature, but can also eat brine shrimp or other meaty aquarium fares if necessary. Because of its natural diet, however, it will not thrive on flake foods alone without the addition of fresh seafood to its menu.

Species profile

basslet fish

The basslet fish is a saltwater species that can adapt to aquarium life, but it will require a customized environment with the right amount of water flow and plenty of live rock for hunting. It does well in reef tanks because its natural prey are crustaceans which also make up part of the diet for many fish living in these habitats.

Synchiropus Splendidus (Mandarin Dragonet)

Scientific name

The scientific name for the basslet fish is “Liopropoma carmabi

Color and appearance

The coloration of the basslet fish ranges from browns to red, with dark vertical stripes on its body.

Range and habitat

The basslet fish has a wide range in the tropical areas of the Pacific Ocean. It is found in many popular saltwater aquarium locales including Hawaii, Australia, and Fiji.

Basslets are small carnivorous predators that require brine shrimp or other meaty fares, if not provided with live prey. They do well in reef tanks because they hunt crustaceans which are also part of the diet for many reef fish.


A full-grown adult can grow up to six inches in length. They are generally about four inches long when they first hatch.

Tank size

Basslets are relatively peaceful and do not require a large tank because they stay small in size (two inches). They also enjoy the company of their own kind, so it is recommended that you keep them in groups if possible.

It’s important to buy an aquarium that is at least 30 gallons for your basslet. Keep in mind that the bigger, the better! The rule of thumb when it comes to tank size is one inch of fish per gallon. For example, a three-inch basslet would need at least 30 gallons of total water volume.

When purchasing an aquarium, make sure there is no sharp glass on the outside of it, or else you could seriously injure your fish.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the larger the aquarium, the more stable it will be and this means less room for error when setting up equipment like heaters or filters. If you are using a smaller tank (20 gallons), then make sure you buy an aquarium stand to support its weight.

Blue Eyed Damselfish "Plectroglyphidodon Johnstonianus"

Life cycle

Basslet fish are egg layers and the female will lay anywhere from 300-800 eggs once or twice per week. It’s really important that you have several hiding places so they don’t eat their own eggs!

Once the fry hatch, after about 30 days, they will need to be fed newly hatched brine shrimp or another small food source.

The fry grows pretty quickly and can reach one inch in length at around eight weeks old. It’s important that the tank is large enough for them because it could stress out smaller fish. If you notice any bullying going on, you should separate the fry to prevent any fatalities. Once they reach about six months old, it’s time to start thinking about moving them into their own tank, because by then they will be mature enough for breeding.

Basslets are very sensitive when it comes to water quality, so maintaining a constant temperature is important. They also need a lot of oxygen so make sure you have an air pump or a bubbler.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Basslets are generally peaceful fish but it’s important to keep them with their own kind, or else they might fight. They can also be territorial, so make sure you don’t put too many basslets in one tank.

If two male basslets get into a tussle, the first thing that will happen is some fin-flaring. If this doesn’t solve the problem, they will turn to using their pectoral fins in an attempt for a knockout blow.

Basslets are also territorial with humans, so make sure you don’t try touching them! You should only feed your basslet when it is alone, or else you could start some training issues.

Basslet fish care

basslet fish

Basslet fish can be pretty challenging to care for, but it’s important that you know what the requirements are before getting one. If you feel like you have what it takes, go ahead and get yourself a basslet!

Dascyllus melanurus (Striped Damselfish)

Basslet fish diet

Basslets are carnivores that will eat most types of meat. They also like to pick at algae wafers and brine shrimp occasionally, but they won’t get the nutrients they need from these foods, so try to feed them mainly meat-based meals or some kind of frozen food (mainly mysis).

Tank mates

Basslet fish are not compatible with very many fish. The only tank mates they will work well with are other small species of fish that don’t nip at their fins or get too aggressive, and maybe a few shrimp here and there, but it’s important that you research compatibility before getting any new additions for your tank.

Water conditions

Basslets are pretty hardy fish in most aspects, but you should make sure that your water is in perfect condition before getting them. This means having very low nitrates, zero ammonia, and nitrites (not detectable), a pH between 8 and 8.5, a salinity of 1 to 1.5, specific gravity (between 33-37 ppt), and temperature between seventy-two and eighty degrees.

Breeding Basslets

basslet fish

Basslet fish are very hard to get to breed in aquariums, so don’t expect your basslet to ever lay eggs. If you want more basslets, then just get a new one or buy some from another person that already has them breeding successfully.

Basslets are not easy fish to breed. You need a separate tank for breeding, low lighting conditions with no co-existing algae in the water (so try using plastic plants), and a very slow-moving current. It takes about two months for eggs to hatch, but if you’re interested in trying it, then go for it.


Basslet fish have a pretty low lifespan, so if you want to keep them around for more than five or six months, then get more than one. They live for about two years on average, which is still not very long compared to other fishes, but it’s better at least, knowing that your fish won’t die in the next few weeks!

Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus Asfur)

Parasites and diseases

Basslets aren’t very susceptible to parasites and diseases, but they can get a type of ich called marine velvet if the water conditions are not perfect. Make sure that you quarantine all new fish before adding them into your tank, so this doesn’t happen, and keep an eye out for any signs of disease or distress such as cloudy eyes, open sores, or unusual behavior.


Basslets have very few predators in the wild, so it’s unlikely that anything will prey on them when they are young, but larger fish can pose a threat to your adult basslet. Make sure that you get a pretty large tank for housing an adult basslet because if there isn’t much space, then they might be targeted by other predatory species.

Does it make good pets?

Basslet fish are very cute little fish that can do well in a community tank, as long as you have other small fish and if the conditions of your water are perfect. They don’t need to be fed often either, so they’re pretty low maintenance compared to many other species!


Basslet fish are cute and hardy but they’re not the best choice for a new fish keeper. They can be rewarding pets though, so if you do your research and get all of their water parameters perfect, then go ahead and give one a home!