Barramundi are synonymous with sport fishing in Australia. These are large, powerful, predatory fish which are native to the northern regions of Australia. From the outset, I would like to say that very few people should even consider keeping Barramundi. These fish are simply too large for the average aquarist to accommodate.
Housing is the biggest limitation when it comes to keeping Barramundi. Barramundi can reach monstrous sizes, reaching 200cm and weighing 60kg, which makes it difficult for the average hobbyist to provide adequate housing accommodations. Unless you have the space for a very large tank and the necessary filtration equipment, then an outdoor pond or large aquaponics system is best. In either case, several thousand litres of water should be provided.
Juvenile Barramundi are best kept in hard alkaline water, with a temperature between 20°C and 28°C. The pH should be maintained between 7.2 and 7.8 and the general hardness between 300 and 400 ppm.
A Barramundi’s demand for food is difficult to meet. They need an almost constant supply of meaty food, such as small fish, shrimp, crayfish, beef heart, worms, squid, cockle meat and barramundi pellets. They are strictly carnivores and will not accept any vegetable based food. Also, Barramundi are known to cannibalise, so if you plan on keeping more than one specimen then you should ensure that all are of a similar size.
All Barramundi are born as males. They begin their lives in freshwater, where they remain until they reach sexual maturity. At that stage, they migrate downstream to the mouth of the river system to join the females for spawning. The females are older fish which changed sex, from male to female, during one of the previous breeding seasons. The Barramundi spawn in saltwater and then some will return to the river (those that remain males) and others will remain in the ocean and become females.
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This article was sponsored by Nature at Work.