Tobacco Basslet - Atlantic

Serranus tabcarius

(1 Reviews)

Tobacco Basslet - Atlantic
The Tobacco Basslet, known for its dark brown body with contrasting white and yellow accents, is a small but striking fish found in tropical coral reefs. This species tends to inhabit caves and overhangs, where it seeks shelter and feeds on small crustaceans, contributing to the biodiversity of its habitat.

Tobacco Basslet - Atlantic

Serranus tabcarius

(1 Reviews)

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Tobacco Basslet - Atlantic Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
Diet: Carnivore
Reef Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Max Size: 7 inches
The Tobacco Basslet, Serranus tabcarius, features a burnt orange/red colored body along with white or blue splotches along the dorsal section. Like many Basslets, they should not be housed with another Basslets to avoid aggression, and are better kept with larger tank mates. 

Corals are safe from this Basslet, though they will consume smaller fish and invertebrates present in the tank. Diet should include a variety of live or frozen mysis shrimp and vitamin enriched brine shrimp as well as chopped meaty foods like clam, krill, shrimp and squid 1-2 times daily.

Tobacco Basslet (Serranus tabcarius): A Captivating Addition to Your Saltwater Aquarium

Welcome to an in-depth exploration of the Tobacco Basslet, scientifically known as Serranus tabcarius. This educational product description will provide comprehensive insights for marine aquarium enthusiasts. Topics will include the Tobacco Basslet's natural habitat, reef compatibility, size, lifespan, dietary needs in captivity, availability through aquaculture, compatibility with other marine species, sexual dimorphism, juvenile to adult coloration changes, temperament, detailed tank requirements, specific water conditions, common names, and suggested compatible tankmates. Additionally, we will outline why acquiring the Tobacco Basslet from is an excellent choice.

Habitat and Natural Range of the Tobacco Basslet

The Tobacco Basslet, Serranus tabcarius, is native to the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. These stunning fish are often found dwelling among coral reefs and rocky crevices. Their habitat preference reflects their natural inclination to seek shelter and protection within the intricate structures of the reef.

Reef Compatibility of the Tobacco Basslet

Tobacco Basslets are reef-safe with caution. They will not mess with corals, but smaller fish and invertebrates are fair game for the Tobacco Basslet. They should also be housed singly and not with other basslets.

The Tobacco Basslet's Size and Lifespan

Tobacco Basslets typically attain a modest size, with adults ranging from 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 centimeters) in length. Despite their small stature, they have a notable lifespan, often living up to 10 years or more under optimal conditions. This longevity ensures years of enjoyment for their keepers.

The Tobacco Basslet's Diet in Captivity

In captivity, providing a well-balanced diet for your Tobacco Basslet is essential for maintaining its health and vibrancy. These fish are omnivorous, and their diet should include a variety of foods, including:

  • High-quality marine-based pellets: Specially formulated pellets designed for carnivorous and omnivorous marine fish are a suitable staple in their diet.
  • Frozen and live foods: Offer a variety of frozen and live foods such as brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, and small crustaceans. These options closely mimic their natural prey and stimulate their hunting instincts.
  • Herbivorous options: Incorporate occasional herbivorous options like spirulina-based flakes or pellets to meet their nutritional needs.

A varied diet promotes optimal health, coloration, and overall well-being for your Tobacco Basslet.

Aquaculture and Availability of the Tobacco Basslet

Tobacco Basslets are unavailable through aquaculture, making wild-caught individuals the primary choice in the aquarium trade. When acquiring a Tobacco Basslet, selecting a reputable source that adheres to sustainable and ethical collection practices is crucial.

Compatibility of the Tobacco Basslet with Other Fish and Invertebrates

Tobacco Basslets are known for their peaceful temperament, which facilitates compatibility with various marine tankmates. Here are five suitable tankmates to consider:

  • Clownfish (Amphiprion spp.): Known for their hardy nature, clownfish make excellent companions for Tobacco Basslets.
  • Firefish (Nemateleotris spp.): Peaceful and visually striking, firefish are ideal tankmates due to their non-aggressive behavior.
  • Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto): These colorful and small-sized fish coexist harmoniously with Tobacco Basslets.
  • Blue Hippo Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus):Large but peaceful tangs that make great companions to the Tobacco Basslet.
  • Blennies (Blenniidae spp.): Blennies add diversity to your tank and cohabitate well with Tobacco Basslets.

However, monitoring tank dynamics and choosing tankmates that share compatible dietary and environmental requirements is essential to ensure a thriving community.

Sexual Dimorphism of the Tobacco Basslet

Tobacco Basslets do not exhibit significant sexual dimorphism, making it challenging to distinguish males from females based on visual characteristics. Both sexes share similar physical traits.

Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes

Juvenile Tobacco Basslets display stunning coloration, characterized by vibrant orange-red bodies adorned with dark bands or stripes, often resembling the appearance of tobacco leaves. As they transition to adulthood, their coloration becomes more subdued, with the distinct markings becoming less pronounced. Despite this change, their subtle elegance remains an enchanting feature in your aquarium.

Temperament of the Tobacco Basslet

Tobacco Basslets are renowned for their peaceful and non-aggressive temperament. These fish often occupy rocky crevices or coral structures within the aquarium, patiently observing their surroundings. Their unobtrusive behavior adds a touch of tranquillity to your marine environment, making them a valuable addition to community setups.

Tank Requirements of the Tobacco Basslet

To create an ideal habitat for your Tobacco Basslet, consider the following tank requirements:

  • Minimum Aquarium Size: A tank with a capacity of at least 70 gallons (114 liters) is recommended to provide adequate swimming space and accommodate their natural behaviors.
  • Aquascaping: Incorporate a variety of live rock structures, caves, and hiding spots to mimic their natural habitat. This allows your Tobacco Basslet to establish territories and feel secure.

Ideal Water Conditions for the Tobacco Basslet

pH: Maintain a pH level within the range of 8.1 to 8.4, replicating the alkaline conditions of a coral reef.

Salinity: Maintain salinity levels between 1.020 and 1.025 to provide an environment that mirrors the seawater they inhabit in the wild.

Water Temperature: Keep the water temperature within the range of 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C) to ensure the comfort and vitality of your Tobacco Basslet.

Water Flow: Provide moderate water flow, as Tobacco Basslets prefer areas with gentle to mild currents.

Other Common Names for the Tobacco Basslet

The Tobacco Basslet is also occasionally called the Tobaccofish or Red Tobacco Basslet, reflecting its rich, tobacco-like coloration.

Why People Should Buy the Tobacco Basslet from

Acquiring a Tobacco Basslet from offers several compelling advantages:

  • Quality Assurance: We prioritize the health and well-being of our marine specimens. Each Tobacco Basslet is carefully selected for its vibrant coloration and robust health.
  • Expert Guidance: Our team of marine experts is available to provide guidance and support, ensuring your Tobacco Basslet thrives in your aquarium.
  • Convenience: We offer the convenience of online selection and home delivery, making it easy to choose your Tobacco Basslet.
  • Sustainability: We support responsible collection practices and promote the welfare of marine ecosystems, ensuring a sustainable future for aquatic species.

In conclusion, the Tobacco Basslet, Serranus Tabcarius, is an enchanting addition to any saltwater aquarium. With its striking appearance, peaceful temperament, and compatibility with various tankmates, it is sure to captivate the hearts of marine aquarists. By choosing, you ensure the acquisition of a healthy and vibrant Tobacco Basslet and support responsible aquarium practices and the well-being of marine ecosystems.

Very nice reef fish. Tobacco Basslet cleans detritus in the live rock. Doesn't intrude on the reef. Easy keeper.

Reviewed by: Lia Mamorale on Dec. 31, 2021

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