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FAQs about Basses of the Genus Epinephelus

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A couple of color phases of Epinephelus fasciatus in the Red Sea

bumblebee grouper in freshwater?      6/23/17
Hello Neale,
<Howsit Ben; will send this on to Neale as well>
Warm greetings to you and all the good people at WetWetMedia,
Yesterday I went to the fish shop in Jakarta, where I saw the horseshoe crab and the blind many-toothed goby. Unfortunately I was unable to find the guy who sold them. Many of the fish sellers went home to prepare for Muslim holiday, so the place was not as crowded as usual.
Nevertheless, I still saw some interesting fishes in other shops, such as these pair of lovely bumblebee grouper (Indonesians call it "Kerapu Emas"/gold grouper), which lives in a freshwater aquarium (pictures attached).
<Mmm; this "monster bass" won't live for long in freshwater. Tis an all saltwater species; that suffers internal damage otherwise>
This is very strange and interesting to me, I thought these groupers are sea fishes, but the fish guy swore up and down that he had these groupers for years in freshwater.
<I doubt this; t'would be huge or dead in this time>

He also told me that he had successfully kept a barracuda (he called it "Alu Alu", the Indonesian name for it) in freshwater for a long time, and he will show it to me the next time I visit his shop.
<I'd like to see this species>
I wonder how did they achieve such feat? Is it because of some kind of chemical tricks (which he did not tell me), or is it because those species in question does have a wide range of tolerance to different degrees of salinity?
<Many marine fishes do make forays up rivers, past river mouths where there is less salty conditions. Again, not permanently>
Thank you and Best Regards,
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Hi Bob and Crew, hope all is great this weekend, I need our advice.
I received a 11" Queensland Grouper
<Wow; some shipping cost now!>
 from Quality Marine 2 days ago, the fish is doing great, I putted him on quarantine but the final
tank for this fish will be with a 30 " 3 year old Blacktip Shark; the question is: Do you think the Grouper will be safe with the Blacktip or I should grow the grouper a bit more separate and if so to how many inches?
<Depends on the size of the system and amount of cover mostly (and thirdly, the temperament history of the Carcharhinid... has it been easygoing to date?). If the system is small enough (not big enough to allow the shark to
get out of view and launch into attack mode (let's say less than twelve foot long on both L and W dimensions), and/or there's lots of habitat, the bass is likely fine>
Thanks for your help and have a nice weekend
<And you, y tu, my friend, mi amigo. Bob Fenner>

Thanks for your answer Bob, the tank is 9 by 8 foot not too many hiding places
<I'd add some rock... for caves>
 and about the temperament history of the Carcharhinid, he has became aggressive since the last 2 years, eating some show size fishes like Orbicularis Batfish, Hawaiian Black Trigger
<Both much slower and less aware than the new Serranid>
 and its own remora!
 I thought that because of the Grouper's temperament, it will be safe but I guess this is not the case so regarding GrouperĀ“s size what do you think it must measure to be "respected" by the shark?
<Better for now that it is small enough to hide... I give you better than even odds that it can adapt to this system, tank mate if there's room to get out of it sight, and hide>
Gracias amigo Bob
<Nos vemos. BobF>

An ID please - 09/25/08 Hello Crew, <Hi Andrew.> On the other side of the fence for a change, can anybody provide an ID on the fish in the attached picture? The spots are actually blue, although they don't look it on the pic. Thanks. Andrew <Coloration and body shape remind me of a subadult (not entirely juvenile anymore) Coral rock cod Epinephelus corallicola or related species (like E. howlandi). Does it have a first dorsal fin with spines (how many spines? cannot see one on the picture)? How's the end of the caudal, round or straight? Origin and especially size would be useful for an ID. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: An ID please. Epinephelus - 09/26/08 II Hey Marco, nice to hear from you mate. <No problem.> Thanks for the info, all we have is the picture of it, it's a purchase from saltwaterfish.com, and they had it marked up as a spotted grouper, however, that was a little too generic and we all wanted another opinion... <Certainly. I cannot understand the aversion against proper ID and scientific names by some traders, wholesalers etc. Time is money likely.> Sorry I cant give you more info.. however, what you've provided is great. <Thanks. If you get more information about the fins, feel free to mail again.> Hope your well, Andrew <See you in the dailies. Marco.>

- Fish Questions - I have a few questions I was wondering if you might be able to help me with; I just recently bought a 2 inch specklefin grouper (Epinephelus ongus) for my fish only tank; I was wondering if they keep their color as adults? <Their coloration does change a bit as they get older.> And if you think he'll be less aggressive than my old miniata grouper (I recently donated to my local aquarium)? <Hard to predict. Is still a bass with a large mouth...> Also you think in later years him and my blood red hawk fish will ever have problems? <Again, depends on what size it tops out at - in the wild you can expect about 12" - even at half this size it could easily consume the hawkfish. Personally, I don't trust groupers/basses with anything smaller than them.> Thanks for your time.... <Cheers, J -- >

- Giant Mouth with an Appetite - Hi all! Just got done reading some more articles on your wonderful site, the last being about groupers and such.  I have a "black tipped grouper" (Epinephelus fasciatus). It is about 7" in length.  Knowing the general rule of "if it can fit in it's mouth...", I purchased  another fish recently that I assumed the grouper could not eat.   This was a particularly large damsel (about 4") and mean as can be imagined- if you put your face near the tank he would come charging and slam into the glass about 5+ times trying to get your eyes!..  same with reaching in the tank.. Anyhow, the groupers mouth opens fairly large- about the size of a quarter.. the damsel being nearly 3" tall not including fins obviously is much bigger than that. To make a long story short- the grouper apparently got mad about the damsel bugging him and is now in the process of digesting him.... So the moral of the story is if ya gotta grouper, make sure other fish are bigger than the grouper- I would have bet anyone or anything that there wasn't a chance of this happening -  but the fin in the throat and the big fat belly prove it I guess. PS: can this kill AHHHHHH? <Doubtful.> PSS: My wife asked our two year old daughter to name it - she looked at it covered her eyes with both hands and screamed AHHHHHHHHHH at the top of her lungs.  She does this whenever we ask her the fishes name. Thanks <Ah yes... thanks for sharing. Is a common tale, and one that few people think their little groupers are capable of duplicating. Cheers, J -- >

Name that bass! Mr. Fenner, What's the name of this grouper???? Michael Ferncase <''}}}< <It's a real "big boy"! The Brindlebass or Lanceolatus Grouper, Epinephelus lanceolatus... sold by the pet-fish biz as a cute small "bass" but grows to 2.7 meters in length, more than 400 kg.! Bob Fenner, not quite that big>

Fw: Fish Story http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,3531653%255E421,00.html <Thanks for sending this along Kel... any interest in hauling down to here with us in March/April? I am not petting (or pestering) this grouper! Bob F> 

Re: Fw: Fish Story Giant groper eh? I would hate to be groped by a grouper. <Me too. Bob F> Jason Kim President AquaC, Inc.

Epinephelus marginatus en Deutschen Dear Mr. Fenner, I am searching for the German name of Epinephelus marginatus. Could you be so kind to help me? <Riesen-Zackenbarsch Mein Herr: http://www.fishbase.org/ComNames/CommonNamesList.cfm?ID=6rginatus&stockcode=6792 Wiedersen. Bob Fenner> Awaiting your answer Sincerely Dr. Bruno Weyers

Yellowfin blue grouper Bob, last June i bought a 3-4 inch flavocoeruleous grouper not surprisingly it has grown quickly and is now about 9 inches long but my question is is it usual for them to lose the yellow in their fins so quickly mine was almost completely blue within four months , i ask because i have pictures of these fish in some good divers guides and they still have yellow fins and going off the scale of the pictures are clearly larger than mine but with magnificent amounts of yellow, thanks for your time....Graham Hannan <Yes... Epinephelus caeruleus can have very nice color for years, many inches in size (approaches three feet in length in the wild)... I have a pic of a two foot plus individual taken a few years back at the Wilmelma Aquarium in Germany that is gorgeous still... You may be able to reverse the color loss by supplementing the fish's foods with vitamin preparations (soak in Selcon, Microvit, Zoecon or such for a good fifteen minutes ahead of offering.) And of course, the usual statement here concerning keeping water quality optimized and stable...  Bob Fenner>

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