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FAQs about the Hamlets Genus Hypoplectrus

Related Articles: Basses of the genus Hypoplectrus

Related FAQs: 

Hypoplectrus puella in the Bahamas.

Hamlet compatibility - 1/25/13
I am curious to know if one could keep different hamlet 'species' together.
For example, a shy hamlet and a blue hamlet in the same tank. Is this possible?
<I have seen more than one specimen of the same species, and different species of Hypoplectrus placed together in captivity, but never seen them in association in the wild. I would not do this. Bob Fenner> 

Barred Hamlet Constantly Hiding, sys.    10/20/12
Hello WWM Crew,
Yet again, I find myself deferring to your judgment hehehe. About a week ago I introduced a barred hamlet of just under 4" into my 40 breeder FOWLR.
I have attached a picture of this specimen.
<I see this>
Here are the parameters of the tank -
1.023-1.024 SG
NH3/4 - 0ppm
NO2 - 0ppm
NO3 - ~5ppm
Tank also houses a 3" fuzzy dwarf lion,
<Mmm, may inhale your Hamlet>

 a handful of hermit crabs and a few roving snails of unknown variety. I would also like to provide an update on the lion, whom I inquired about a few weeks ago - he is now eating pellets, prefers AquaDine
<Ahh, didn't realize this product was still about>
 but is starting to warm up to NLS.
The hamlet was originally very active out and about, but as the days pass seems to be more and more reclusive. He is prone to wedging himself into the rock work and only emerging when food is around. Aside from this he seems fine - breathing appears normal, looks physically fine when he is out, no wounds, etc. feeds rather aggressively and has eating fine since the first day.  I was under the impression that hamlets were rather outgoing species and should be out and about more often in aquaria, do you think there is cause for concern here or perhaps simply a matter of becoming acclimated to his new environment, schedule, etc.?
<Likely this tank volume is too small, the lighting too bright for this Hypoplectrus to feel comfortable... perhaps in time>
Was also curious about feeding this specimen. Currently my regiment is as follows  - hamlet gets fed 3mm NLS once a day (the lion will occasionally get sneaky and grab one before the hamlet can). Every 3rd night, the lion will get fed either pellets or silversides/shrimp/krill etc., usually with Selcon. Does this sound appropriate as far as the hamlet is concerned?
<Likely fine, though I'd expand its diet as well... should accept small crustaceans>
As always, your help is most duly appreciated. Looking forward to a response,
Byron P
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Barred Hamlet Constantly Hiding     10/20/12
Hello Bob and thank as always for the prompt response.  Would this species be suitable for a 4' tank, or is that a well on the small side?
<Four foot is about right as a minimum length. Hamlets can be kept in smaller dimensions, but will hide, as yours is doing, most of the time>
 As far a lighting the tank previously had a 4xT5HO fixture but I recently acquired a Maxspect Razor, I will try dimming things down an see if that helps any.
<Ah good... if about half the tank could be indirectly lit, that would be splendid>
I had not figured lighting was an issue - the lion is always out and about- I figured if it was dim enough for a lion it was dim enough for most anything!
Thanks again,
Byron P
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: Barred Hamlet Constantly Hiding     10/20/12

I will give a that. I was not incredibly familiar with this family of fishes, and it would appear that what little research I did lead me rather astray on proper husbandry techniques. Perhaps I was a bit overzealous in my purchase this time around hehehe.  If things don't improve in time, I will considering having him re-homed to a larger system. For now I will
have to wait and see if my mini predator reef is a success.
Have a splendid weekend,
Byron P
<Will do. B>

Hamlet Compatibility 10/2/12
I had some questions about hamlets, specifically the Blue Hamlets or Hypoplectrus gemma. I'm getting very conflicting information about them and their diets. On some online sources it warns that this fish will eat anything that is smaller than it is
which is a lot considering the fish can be 5-6 inches in size. However, on your site it states that they only prey upon tiny fish up to 1 inch in size and on small inverts.
<I agree w/ this latter>
Anyways, I guess I'm just trying to get a straight answer on the actual size of their food items. I have a royal gramma that is 1.5 inches in size and my smallest crabs are about the size of a penny. Would they be at risk of being eaten?
<Not likely, no>
Would shrimp the size of a peppermint or coral banded shrimp be in danger as well?
<Not unless the Hamlet was very hungry. Bob Fenner>

Jawfish And Hamlet/Compatibility 2/1/10
I have a 70 gallon aquarium with a deep sand bed, roughly 60 lbs of live rock, and some assorted soft and lps corals. I have two Dusky Jawfish that are living together peacefully and have been doing so for 6 months so far.
I am now thinking of adding a hamlet to the tank but I worry that the Jawfish will not get along with it. The other fish in the tank are 6 cardinals, which I'm not worried about. Do you think a hamlet would work in my setup?
<Some shrimps, and crabs might be at risk, as might very small fishes, but generally hamlets are safe with other livestock. I would suggest not adding any more fish, you are near the max stocking level now with the cardinals and Jawfish.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Hamlets  - 01/03/2006 Hi, I am having trouble finding much info on Hamlets (the Blue Hamlet H. gemma mostly).  In particular things like, how active and out in the open they are, <Mmm, not much... something in the range of most Pseudochromids> and what to feed to insure they hold their colors. <Spectrum foods, live frozen/defrosted foods with good amounts of carotenoids, HUFAs, Spirulina...> Things I have picked up are that they seem to be relatively peaceful, which is good, since tankmates will be a Snowflake Eel E. nebulosa (or a Geometric Moray, Siderea grisea if I can find one...) an Antennata or Radiata lion, <This will eat the Hamlet> and a smaller toned down wrasse of some sort, maybe a Canary wrasse, H. chrysus.  I have also read that that don't hold their color well, would training them to eat something like Formula One pellets along with a wide variety of frozen foods help with this?   Thanks, AJ <Will, would. Bob Fenner>

Tan Hamlet Photograph 07/01/05 Bob Fenner, <Yes> Could you tell me where and when you took the photograph of a Tan Hamlet in St. Thomas below? <Four years back... staying at the Renaissance... and due to poor habits in recording my film rolls, don't know the dive site, depth...> I am working on a paper about anomalies in hamlets and other animals. <Would like to know "how many species", re speciation of Hypoplectrus... Bob Fenner> Thank you for your help. Bert... PhD, Prof., Dept. Mar. Sci., Univ. Puerto Rico

To Hamlet or Basslet, That is the Question <Hi, MikeD here> I am very interested in these 2 fish. <Very nice animals>  The reason being is I love the predatory natured fish, like groupers and the like.  I crossed groupers off the list because I have a 75g tank, and they get too large for that, and I have some smaller fish they'd probably eat. <Very wise choice based on logical reasoning.  Well done!  I am wondering what your thoughts on the Indigo Hamlet and Tobacco Basslet <Two of my favorite "mini-groupers> are, in concerns to the compatibility with the fish I currently have.  Right now I have a pair of ocellaris clownfish, the smaller of the two being about 2", the larger being about 3".  I also have a yellow watchman goby, and a coral beauty angel, who is approximately 3.5".  Will any of my existing fish be at high risk of being eaten if I add the hamlet or tobacco bass, or both??<No problem with adding either OR both fish if you so desire. I have a pair of Hamlets in my 125 gal. small predator tank, a black and an Indigo>  I read that they eat small fish, but just how small are we talking?<We're taking baby guppy sized up through about 1" maximum for prey fishes.>  I had a marine betta in the past who never even looked at any of those fish as food.<Another of my favorites, although far more secretive than most people realize>  I thank you in advance. <Good luck and let us know what you decide and how they do?> Joe

Hamlet ID Hello World! <Whaddup? Scott F. with you today!> Just a few quick questions for ya today, At my LFS there is an Indigo Hamlet in one of their tanks, from what I know about them are that they are simply more active at night then otherwise, but, I can't seem to find any other kind of information on them,  i.e. any considerations to territory/ compatibility/ success in captivity etc... <Hamlets are some of my favorite Caribbean fishes, apart from the Grammas! These fishes are basically all about the same size, ranging from 5 to 6 inches. They typically are best fed with meaty foods, such as Mysis, chopped clams, squid, etc., and can pick at small shrimp or crabs in your system on occasion. For the most part, they are peaceful fish, and will do well once acclimated. The best ones that I have seen in captivity were purchased when they were smaller.> Also, the one currently in the store has virtually no color to him, and is pretty much white. I'm assuming he's mislabeled but in captivity is there a chance that they'd lose almost ALL their color as a result? Or maybe from what he's being fed or lack thereof? <You might be looking at a Hypoplectrus unicolor (The "Butter Hamlet"), which is an overall creamy white color with a few black ocelli. The true "Indigo Hamlet (H. indigo) has a large, variegated pattern. Personally, I like H. gemma, the "Blue Hamlet" the best, as it is a more-or-less solid electric blue color. With regards to color changes in fishes, a lot of it has to do with diet, environment, etc. The best rule of thumb is to provide a varied, nutritious diet and excellent, stable water conditions. Generic rules, but correct ones!> Fishbase doesn't offer a likely alternative from what I can tell. <I'd simply do a keyword search under "Indigo Hamlet" or "Hypoplectrus indigo" on one of the larger internet search engines and see what you get> Aiptasia: I've got some LR that have numerous anemone's on them that popped up recently the particular rock has been in my tank for a little over a month), currently they are all relatively small, which makes it hard to compare to pictures in books/internet, their base is about the thickness of a coffee straw, so far only 1.5cm in height, tentacles are translucent with no markings, rings, dots, or anything and the base is a brownish/pinkish/translucent color, Does this sound like Aiptasia? <Sounds like it to me!> Or could it be a harmless alternative? If this is our beloved pest, I don't think I could leave it happily even though I have a FOWLR tank and it doesn't pose an immediate threat. <Well, I share your sentiment to a certain extent, even though they are actually pretty interesting creatures. They are mostly a threat to sessile invertebrates, but you can certainly remove them from your FOWLR tank if they are an affront to your aesthetic sensibilities!> Thanks again for the help,  and I'm certain I'll be back with more soon, Jared <Keep 'em coming, Jared! We'll be here for you! Regards, Scott F>

Hamlets...Hypoplectrus Aloha <Mele kaliki maka, my friend> I purchased an INDIGO HAMLET about 2 weeks ago, and I have yet to see him during the day.   <they are extremely shy and very nocturnal... all hamlets. Also very predatory... careful with shrimps and small fishes> I see him when I have the lights out and look for him with a red light.  I am just wondering how can I find out if he is eating (been 2 weeks) and is this fish a nocturnal fish or just really shy??  Thanks Darren <a beautiful fish... we don't have a lot of information yet posted on WWM for these fishes, but do learn more about their behavior by using the genus name (above) in keyword searches on the 'Net abroad. Enjoy the journey to enlightenment! <G> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hypoplec.htm Mahalo, Anthony

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