The Australian Bass is a large, powerful fish popular among anglers as a sport fish. They inhabit coastal rivers and lakes, ranging from southern Queensland to eastern Victoria. Australian Bass are capable of reaching a maximum length of 55cm. In the aquarium, juveniles are easy to care for and when grown make an impressive display.
Australian Bass should only be kept in large aquariums or ponds. A 6ft x 2ft x 2ft aquarium is the minimum tank size recommended for housing a few individuals, however, adults should ideally be kept in large ponds. Some people opt to ‘grow out’ juveniles in large aquariums before transferring them to outdoor ponds.
Being a large predatory fish, Australian Bass will place a lot of strain on conventional aquarium filtration, which is another reason why they are best suited to outdoor ponds.
Australian Bass are generally compatible with similar sized fish. Ideally they should be kept with other Australian natives, such as Silver Perch, Golden Perch, Murray Cod, Archerfish and Saratoga. Just ensure that any prospective tank mates are large enough not to be considered food. Australian Bass have large mouths and anything that can fit in their mouths will be considered food.
Australian Bass accept a wide range of water parameters. A pH of between 6.8 and 7.2, a general hardness between 50ppm and 150ppm, a salinity between 0ppt and 20ppt and temperatures between 12°C and 24°C are suitable.
This species is predatory by nature, preferring live food such as shrimps, insects and fish. However, they can be trained to take frozen and fresh food like strips of beef heart etc. Smaller individuals can be trained to take dried foods such as flakes and pellets.
Australian Bass will not breed in aquaria, as they are a catadromous species with adults migrate to estuaries to spawn.
This article was sponsored by Nature at Work.