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FAQs about the Basslets of the Genus Liopropoma

Related Articles: Basses of the genus Liopropoma

Related FAQs: 

Liopropoma fasciatum in captivity.

Candy Basslet Stocking ?       10/13/16
Firstly, thank you for providing this service, and the fantastic info you provide!
<A pleasure, honor to serve, share>
Secondly, I recently purchased a Candy Basslet, and I had written to you before regarding an issue with the Candy and a Tanaka's Pygmy Wrasse. I have since removed the wrasse, and re-homed him with a friend of mine. I am basically down to the Candy and a Photon Clown in a 75G with a lot of live rock, various Zoas, Ricordea, and rock anemones.
I was hoping you could give me a short list of fish that would be most compatible with the Candy? I have been looking at Dartfish, small blennies, and gobies. However, I didn't know if there were other suitable tank mates that I could choose from...
<There are a bunch of fishes, non-fishes that should get along w/ this little bass. The families you list should be fine, as well as most all small/er, easygoing species... Cardinalfishes, Anthiines, little wrasses... 75 gallons should suffice for quite a number of tankmates here>
Thanks again for your help!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Candy Basslet Stocking ?

Sorry, to bother you again. But when you mentioned wrasses, are you speaking of Flasher and Fairy wrasses?
<Yes; these are excellent species to get along w/ Liopropoma. Bob Fenner>
Thank You!

Candy Basslet Question, comp. w/ Wetmorella       9/28/16
<Hi Cheri!>
I recently purchased a Candy Basslet (Liopropoma carmabi). I also have a Tanaka Possum Wrasse. I have noticed that the normally peaceful Tanaka seems to be very interested in the Candy Basslet, occasionally stalking the area where the Candy has his favorite hidey hole.
<Ah yes; a bit of competition, territoriality amongst these two reclusive species>
Also, once I saw him dart at the Candy when he came out. I know the "charts" say caution, but I figured given the peaceful nature of the Tanaka, that I would not have an issue. My question is, in your opinion, will this behavior on the wrasse's part subside?
<Mmm; maybe>
The tank is a 75 gallon with 100+ lbs of rock with lots of caves and overhangs.
<Well; would be less trouble with increasing size of the system; BUT if it were me/mine... as long as both fish are coming out occasionally, and you see them feed each time; I wouldn't be overly concerned here>
Thanks, again, for your help, and expertise...
<A pleasure to share, honor to aid your understanding, efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: Candy Basslet Question      9/28/16

If I decide to watch and wait, could the Tanaka do actual physical damage to the Candy, or would be more of a "show" of dominance?
<Some chance of damage; but not great IMEstimation>
(they are both, roughly the same length). I guess what I'm trying to ask is, am I taking a chance that the wrasse could actually kill the Candy?
<Small; but not negligible... Like Trump's chance of election. BobF>

Royal Gramma and Swissguard Basslet; comp.         2/19/15
I have been reading and researching every aspect of my future tank before setting anything up. I like to be sure about my choices and I don't want to make mistakes that could have easily been avoided just by doing adequate research. I read Tullock's book and it was definitely a big influence on my decision to stick with more of a biotope tank.
<Ah good>
I would really like to keep a Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto) and a Swissguard Basslet (Liopropoma rubre). So, I was wondering if there was a certain aquarium footprint that would enable me to successfully keep these two together?
<Large/r, flatter; more rock/cave work; reduced lighting>
The key word being successfully. If this is really not a viable option then I will certainly re-plan in regards to this combination. I have read many books and articles about the two I understand that they are related and occupy the same areas (which is where the my problem lies).
<Mmm; actually... Gramma loreto is found in much more shallow water generally and much more in open areas, overhangs... the Basslet being hidden deep in crevices>
Also, the Swissguard is more likely to get bullied by the Royal Gramma if the space is limited. It (Swissguard) should be the first one introduced.
These are the main two fish I really would like to have and the only other thing I would definitely want to add is Florida Ricordea. My concern in starting my tank is quality not quantity of fish.
Thank you for all your help and advice. It has taught me so much! Alexis
<Is do-able... the price of freedom is similar... Constant vigilance. Bob Fenner>

Helfrich Compatibility 8/14/11
-Greetings wet web media crew.
<Hello Kathy>
I have a quick question for you , I'm in then process of setting up a 50 gallon tank around my Helfrich fire fish. It will have lots of live rocks and caves for hiding. My question is, will the Helfrich be compatible with
either a Swiss guard Basslet or a candy Basslet?
<Should be fine, but take a heavy wallet with you when you go shopping for the Candy Basslet (Liopropoma carmabi). I've seen these go for as much as $900.00.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Helfrich Compatibility 8/14/11
I know........ Might settle for the Swiss guard Basslet instead! Haha!
<Yes, that is the poor man's version of the Candy Basslet.>
Thanks much for your quick reply.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Liopropoma carmabi purchase and potential tankmates 10/9/09
I am considering adding a Candy Basslet (Liopropoma carmabi) to my 85 gallon reef tank. I have great rock structure for the fish, with many caves and hiding places. Also, my lighting is not exceptionally bright, and the tank has many dark crevices and overall areas of subdued lighting.
I have done considerable research on this fish and it seems that tank mates can make or break one's success in caring for the animal. Here are the "residents" of my tank" - all longtime happy "homeowners" with well established territories and relationships with their tankmates...
Joculator Pygmy Angelfish
Midas Blenny
Flame Hawkfish
Citron Clown Goby
2 Black and White Ocellaris Clownfish
Golden Sailfin Blenny
Valenciennea longipinnis
The Joculator pygmy angelfish, Midas Blenny, and Flame Hawkfish are at the top of the list for being the three most aggressive in the tank, though they get along fine in there, aside from occasional scrapping at feeding time. My fish are all pretty much adult size and the new Candy Basslet would
arrive at 1.75"
Aside from my question with tankmates, I feel I could meet all of this lovely fish's needs quite well. But, I await your sage advice...
<The spice? Oh! I do think that if you have plenty of physical (holes, caves) breaking up of space here, given the size, shape of the tank, that you'll be fine with this mix here>
Thank you for your response in advance and this overwhelmingly informative and fascinating website.
Laura Rothbaum
<Welcome Laura. Bob Fenner>
Liopropoma carmabi purchase and potential tankmates 10/10/09

Dear WWM,
Not sure if you have received my question (attached), due to the fact that your staff has been so responsive to past inquiries that I have received answers within the same day...! Sorry to be over anxious for a response, but I also did want to add to/correct some points in my email.
Firstly, I mistakenly told you I have a citron clown goby, when it is in fact a yellow clown goby.
<No big difference here>
Secondly, according to the (very) general guidelines of any compatibility chart I have been able to find on the web, all of my fish would appear to be reasonable tankmates for the Liopropoma Carmabi. I am too uncomfortable not seeking an expert opinion from WWM, as these charts provide very general guidelines, AND, this is the last fish added to a well established tank - not exactly the way I would have planned it the stocking order, but nonetheless, fact. A Royal Gramma I had for several years passed away a few weeks ago, and I miss her vibrancy, color, and presence in the tank. I felt the Liopropoma Carmabi would be a magnificent addition in this regard.
<I agree>
Thank you again for all of your help and support,
<Certainly welcome Laura. BobF>
Re: Liopropoma carmabi purchase and potential tankmates 10/10/09

Hi Bob,
<Howdy Laura>
If I am not mistaken, Scott Michael wrote an article on Reef Basslets for the July/August 2009 issue of Reef Life Magazine.
<Ah yes>
In fact, a Liopropoma
Carmabi is pictured on the cover! I am trying to get a back copy of this issue for my marine library, and I actually just ordered a yearly subscription
to the magazine. There is also an article of Scott's on Live Aquaria regarding the Reef Basslets. I hope you can tell I am doing my research prior to purchasing!
<I do>
Information on this fish and the species in general is hard to come by.
Any informational sources you may know of would be much appreciated. You can't learn too much...LOL.
If Scott publishes his pictures, I'd love to see them.
Thanks for everything!
<Will bcc him here re. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Liopropoma carmabi purchase and potential tankmates 10/10/09

Hi Bob,
Oh, thank you so much for the reply! I could never proceed with this fish if I hadn't of gotten feedback from you guys!
<Is a wonderful genus of little basses. Am out visiting in Greenwich Connecticut and Scott Michael had some fab pix of them today... and Rob Bray's store had one of the common Swissguards...>
I think she will be happy in the tank. It measures 36"L, 30"H, and 18" width. Has beautifully landscaped live rock with many crevices and caves.
I feed Rod's Food daily enriched with Selcon, so her diet should be varied and to her liking.
Just hope other fish help her acclimation to be smooth and she shows herself often so I can appreciate her! Am so excited...!
Thanks again,
<Welcome! BobF>
Re: Liopropoma carmabi purchase and potential tankmates  10/12/09

Hi Bob,
Boy, do I have a story for you...
I told you in my earlier emails that my Royal Gramma passed away a few weeks ago. Well, I want to elaborate on that further.
Several weeks ago, my oldest fish, a Royal Gramma was acting oddly. She was swimming near the top of the tank, trying to find a spot to call her own. She has been in the tank several years, with all of the existing tank mates, so I was concerned by her change in behavior. She was swimming a bit crooked, kind of on her side, and her tailfin was frayed. She looked kind of "beat up" and not well. She also looked very bloated.
I have a professional maintenance man who takes care of my tank weekly, along with me, as I adore the hobby. The morning he came, I had located the gramma in a hole in the live rock. We looked at her with a flashlight. He could not see her very well, but there were no indications of anything parasitic on her. He recommended I observe her over the next few days.
The next day she was gone. I looked everywhere for her for several days, and I could not find her, even at night with a flashlight looking everywhere I could. After several weeks, both my tank man and I agreed she probably did not make it and was consumed (how morbid!) by the cleaning crew and whoever else in the tank who would partake in this act. Since all other fish were vibrant, healthy, eating, and acting totally normal, and all parameters and anything else in the tank we could think of were in check, we decided it
was an isolated incident.
I missed her and did extensive research on the Liopropoma Carmabi, which I ordered and will be here tomorrow.
<... G. loreto?>
Still sickly and looking as if she had mere hours to live, my Royal Gramma was trying to crawl/swim on the
sand. She was breathing heavily, and when she lay still hermit crabs actually were trying to go onto her. She was fighting them. She was in a spot in the open sand and I netted her right out of the tank and put her in my
refugium. I did not have much hope for her, but I fed her some Thera -A Spectrum pellets and saw her try to eat them. She was laying on her side all day in the refugium and when I went to bed last night. I did not expect her to be alive this morning. To the contrary, she is eating and swimming around, albeit more horizontally on her side, and there looks to be marked improvement in her and her behavior. She even appears less bloated to me, although I can't be sure if this is accurate.
I plan on leaving her in my refugium and taking it day by day with her, nursing her back to health if possible. But here I am, wildly excited about the Liopropoma Carmabi arriving tomorrow! If the Gramma were to make a full recovery, can these two exist in the same tank?
<In how large a system? If over 50 gallons likely so>
I have your book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist (revised edition), and it seems to clearly separate these two in terms of one being a "Liopropoma" and the other being a "Grammidae," and putting them in the same family falls prey to "the false-bass trap," as the grammas are not true basses. So, does this mean
they can or cannot co-exist in the same tank?
<If not too crowded, yes>
My tank man said if the gramma were to make a full recovery, she could live quite a happy life in my refugium, but I would prefer her to have a reef tank to live in. Mine, or someone who could care for her properly.
Any ideas you may have on compatibility and what could be wrong with the gramma would also be most welcome.
So appreciative of your advice,
<Welcome. BobF>

Liopropoma carmabi   7/25/08 Can you guys suggest a source for this fish? <Mmm, perhaps write "Dynasty Marine"... Owner/mgr. Forrest Young recently had an excellent article in one of the hobby 'zines re collecting this genus in the Lower Antilles... They could tell you where they in turn sell them to/through as wholesalers... Their retail outlets, contact info. here: http://www.dynastymarine.net/> I've never seen one in person. Heck, I haven't even seen one online for sale!! <Deep water... not easily collected, but gorgeous, and hardy in captivity> I see on this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/liopropomafaqs.htm under the heading "Looking for a Liopropoma Carmabi", that someone that goes by "J" may have a source. Brian Jenkins <Likely Dr.s Foster & Smith, Marine Center (.coms) can special order... Bob Fenner>

Question for J, Liopropoma sel.   4/17/08 Hello, I read in one of the FAQ response written by "J" that there is a possibility of locating a Liopropoma carmabi? Any contact info. for him would be appreciated. Thank you in advance, Vince <Mmm, we don't retain folks' email/contact info. unless they expressly request that it be posted. Liopropomas can be had from time to time (by happy collectors) through the larger wholesale businesses in the U.S.. I'd check directly (if you're in the trade) or indirectly if a consumer, through Quality Marine, Sea Dwelling Creatures, Underwater World... in the LA area. Bob Fenner>

Candy Basslet and Sunburst Anthias compatibility   5/22/07 Hi WWM Crew, <Hello there> I just added a very healthy Sunburst Anthias to my 55 gallon reef tank. He ate on his first day in the tank and stays front and left of center a lot of the time. <Interesting... this species, particularly when new, generally hides amongst rocks and caves> My Candy Basslet, who was there about 3 months before him , <May well not be compatible in this small volume> likes to have the run of the full tank, and when he enters the space that the Sunburst Anthias has claimed  (the Anthias was added to the tank on Friday, and today is only Monday), the Sunburst Anthias chases him away-- nothing terribly aggressive, <Mmm, yes it is> but the Anthias seems to have taken the upper hand in these confrontations. Of course, the slight 'aggression' or assertion only occurs because the Candy Basslet keeps invading the Anthias' space. So far the Anthias rarely ventures beyond his rather small territory. <I suspect the unnaturally outgoing behavior of the Fathead Anthiine is resultant from the negative interaction of the Basslet... It would 'swim out of there' if it could...> Is this likely to escalate, or are these types of fish more likely to get accustomed to each other and tolerate/ignore each other? <A toss-up, but more likely that the Sunburst will perish directly, indirectly here> They are evenly matched as far as size goes, both about 2" including their tails ( it is a very stout Candy Basslet). They are the largest fish in the tank, tied with a Green Mandarin.  The other fish are a Blue Gudgeon Dartfish, almost 3", a Helfrichi Firefish, about 1.75", a Yashia Goby, about 1.25",  a Catalina Goby <Misplaced here... this is a coldwater animal> and a Blue Neon Goby, each also almost 1.25".   I would love to keep both the Sunburst Anthias and the Candy Basslet, but because the Candy Basslet cost ten times as much, economics dictate that he is my first concern. Is this small amount of assertion/aggression  (combined with possible reduction of territory) likely to stress the Basslet out if it continues, and do you think it will a) escalate b) go away c) remain as is? <Too likely a) till the loss of the Fancy Bass> As always, thanks for your expert advice, Art (Sorry I sent this three times, I forgot to fill in a subject) <Mmm, shouldn't matter... but we do get/toss a couple of hundred "junk" mails per day... Our webmail server we leave almost filter-free to allow in all sorts of "foreign" writers/writing. I would remove the Sunburst Anthias myself. Bob Fenner>

Fishes not getting along... Pseudocheilinus and Liopropoma incomp.  - 05/22/2006 Hi   I just recently added a mystery wrasses to my reef aquarium. All was fine for the first two days, but now the mystery wrasses is chasing my swales Swissguard Basslet all around the tank. <Mmm, yes... occupy a similar niche...> I did my research before buying the wrasses and all the websites said they were compatible. <A relative term to put this mildly, simply> I don't want to lose either fish because they are both expensive, but the Basslet keeps swimming right through my anemone to try and get away. I can see the anemone having a very tasty treat at my expense. Is there any way to make the two get along. I have had the Basslet for about 8 months and he is probably twice as big as the wrasse. Can't we all just get along? <Mmm... no plagiarizing please...> There is also lots of overhangs, bolt holes, and rock levels for both fish. With the wrasse being the new edition you'd think the Basslet would chase him out of the territory. HELP ME PLEASE!       Jessica <It is possible that by temporarily isolating one of these two (not easy to catch... to put this mildly, simply...) and leaving in a perforated screw top container or a floating plastic colander in the system for a week or two, that such a change will be effected. Otherwise, I would be permanently separating these. Bob Fenner>

- Looking for a Liopropoma carmabi - Hi Gang, Hoping you can help me out here with all of your connections. I'm looking for a Liopropoma carmabi, and can't find one anywhere. Not even Marine Center thinks they can get one. Have any of you seen an e-tailer offering this fish? <No... but I know where they can be found from time to time... very rare, caught in very small numbers, and very expensive.> I can't imagine it is that much harder to get than L. rubre, but I've been known to be wrong before. <I'm amazed that L. rubre is ever caught, very secretive and suspicious fishes these little basses. Even so... they can be found from time to time. If you want, call me on east coast time and we can discuss the possibilities.> Thanks. <Cheers, J -- >

- Liopropoma swalesi - <Greetings, JasonC here...> I recently received a very rare (Marine Center, of course) swalesi, and I've had a few problems. With a fish of this nature, I don't want to take any chances, and no one knows too much about it. <Ask around about the Swiss Guard [Liopropoma rubre], it is a cousin and more common in the pet-fish trade... very similar looking too.> I had it in my 75 reef with about 80lbs of live rock and I never saw it. <That is the way with these fish... it's even more amazing that they get caught for the trade. They are incredibly shy and secretive and even harder to spot, even when you want to. I looked for a rubre for a week in Cozumel and never saw one.> After a couple of days, I tried frozen Mysis shrimp, and it ate about 3 or 4 and was gone again. I recently set up a refugium, and due to space, set it up as a separate 15 gallon tank. It really has 20 gallon dimensions except for height (24" x 12"). I put it into the refugium, which has enough live rock, and he has eaten Mysis shrimp again after a few hours from net trauma. I guess my question after my life history is what else will it eat? <Other meaty foods...> I hate to just feed it Mysis shrimp. <Let me assure you, this is much better than 'just' brine shrimp.> If it doesn't come floating by slowly, he won't go after it. <Give it some time... they are very cautious, and it will probably be a month or more before it feels comfortable in its new surrounds.> Therefore, chopped anything isn't an option. I even tried the ultimate food, Hikari Marine-A soaked in Selcon. No fish on earth can resist, or so I thought. What next? <Be patient... Mysis shrimp is a good food and as long as it eats, that's better than nothing. Cheers, J -- >

Liopropoma sp. (Swissguard Basslet) Hello all, <Cheers, friend> I was interested in adding a Swiss Guard to my reef tank, (though a hefty price when available) but I haven't been able to find a wealth of information on them. Do you know if these fishes are reef compatible and are they a hardy fish?  <I have had the great pleasure of keeping this fish in reef and fish only aquariums. They are quite hardy but shy like most Basslets. A plankton based diet will keep them just fine (mysids, Pacifica plankton... no brine shrimp). They are compatible with most anything that wont eat them!> I am also curious to know if they require a certain size tank for optimum success, as does the Mandarin fish? <indeed they are not so critical on a specific plankton (copepods) in great quantity from larger tanks. Several small feedings daily with a nice variety of fine sized meats of oceanic origin will be just fine. There is some hope of this fish even spawning in captivity. Very slow acclimation to bright lighting may be necessary for this and all deepwater fishes. Subdued light would be best.> Thank you, Rob
<best regards, Anthony>
rob cook

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