Liopropoma Swalesi is a small deep-sea bass commonly found around Indonesian waters. It resembles other members of the genus Liopropoma, elegant, streamlined, with a body shape that resembles an arrowhead. I rarely exceed 4 inches, while most specimens are 2-3 inches in size.
Orange stripes horizontally outline its faded purple body, while its muzzle is a dark gray. Their dorsal and anal fins have a single black spot.
It is commonly known as the shyest member of the genus Liopropoma. They are also known by other names like swalesi basslet, pacific candy basslet, swissguard swale basslet, and my personal favorite, the poor candy basslet. That last description refers to Liopropoma Carmabi, the sweet sea bass.
Differentiating the two is a fairly easy task. Liopropoma Carmabi lacks a black spot on the anal fin, costs ten times as much, and has very striking colors. So striking that they are probably the most sought after fish among deep sea bass enthusiasts.
It is not a cheap fish with prices ranging from $ 80 to $ 120 per specimen. They are not imported regularly, so finding one can be a problem.
Unfortunately, the Swalesi basslet is considered one of the most difficult basslets to keep due to its shy disposition. I hope this guide provides all the necessary information regarding your requirements in a marine aquarium. Simply put, breeding Swalesi bass will be very easy or almost impossible. Success depends on a number of factors that I will address throughout this article.
The Swalesi Basset is a very shy and lonely fish. It does well with non-aggressive fish. Small, invertebrate fish like sexy shrimp and neon goby will end up being eaten.
I currently have two in a 15 gallon reef aquarium. They were introduced at the same time and although there was a slight aggression between the two, life after a week was very peaceful.
They are not as hostile towards members of the same species as other fish normally are. That is, members of the centropye family.
In the overview I mentioned how this fish would be very easy or very difficult to keep in a saltwater aquarium. Its difficulty largely depends on 3 things: –
* Tank size
* Availability of caves and shaded areas
Swalesi bass do best in smaller 15-30 gallon aquariums. This is because in smaller aquariums they have fewer tankmates (well, at least they should) and you have more control over the tank. Tankmate removal, as well as rock removal, can be done with minimal effort. Not so in a large 150 gallon tank. If you put a swalesi basslet in a tank of that size, you will not remove it. You will probably never see it either.
They need “silent” tanks to function well. By quiet I mean an aquarium with very little daily activity. Putting them in a small tank full of constantly moving fish will spell doom for them. They should be in smaller aquariums that were designed just for them or in tanks with very few fish.
The genus Liopropoma are all deep-sea cave bass. As such, the rocky landscape in your saltwater aquarium MUST contain at least a few caves for shelter. These fish do not do well in tanks with rocky “open” landscapes and will surely die in such environments.
Avoid housing them with aggressive fish, if there is any harassment they may refuse to come out of their hiding places to feed. I might add that it is a commonly reported case. They retreat to a shady area and refuse to go out to eat.
Since they come from deeper waters, they are not used to lighting levels as intense as those normally seen in aquariums. Don’t worry if you don’t see them too often after the presentation. Give them time to adjust slowly.
All members of the genus Liopropoma are carnivores. They actively scan the rock work in and around their refuge for small crustaceans.
They do not eat dry food. They will spit out just about every type of pellet you can offer. I also tried dried krill, dried shrimp, I basically dried anything and they didn’t work. Feed only frozen foods.
Offer them a wide variety of meaty foods in captivity. Offer frozen foods like Krill, mysis shrimp, and Prime Reef (a good mix of raw seafood) from Ocean Nutrition.
Don’t worry if they don’t feed right away, they need up to a week to adjust to their new environment. When you initially try to feed them, turn off the bombs and place some frozen mysis shrimp in their cave. Wait 10 minutes, then turn the pumps back and look for floating pieces of misis, there shouldn’t be any. I have found that they are very receptive to mysis shrimp, probably because they recognize shape.
As always, I advise you to stay away from frozen brine shrimp as they are nutritionally poor. If you must feed them brine shrimp, always choose a type that has been enriched, but in the end it is better to feed them krill or mysis shrimp.
To date, no one has succeeded in raising swalesi bassleti larvae. The longest time someone has raised their larvae is 15 days. The genus Liopropoma is believed to have bidirectional juvenile gonads. This means that the juveniles have the potential to become either male or female, but cannot reverse once they have become sexually mature.
Spawning behavior consists of the male surrounding the female and pushing her up the water column until they finally spawn. Very similar to how dwarf angelfish reproduce. Once the fertilized eggs are released, they float to the surface of the ocean. Where presumably they are born and begin to feast on the planktonic life that is always present near the ocean’s surface.
While this fish may be beautiful, it is certainly not for everyone. Especially not for you if: –
* You want a fish that you can see swimming outdoors every day
* You have a small tank with lots of fish and a high level of constant activity.
* You have a tank with too little live rock or a rocky landscape that is too “open”