Silver Perch are native to Australia and are found throughout the Murray-Darling River Basin. This is the largest river basin in Australia, covering a very large inland area of Australia with a broad climate range. Temperature ranges are broad and water chemistry varies considerably. As a result, Silver Perch are hardy and accepting of a wide range of water conditions. Temperatures between 23C and 28C are best, but they will tolerate as low as 2C and as high as 37C. A pH of between 6.5 and 7.5 and a general hardness of between 50 and 200ppm is suitable.
In nature Silver Perch reach a maximum length of 40cm. In order for the fish to reach their maximum size, they need to be housed in large aquaria or ponds.
Silver Perch are now bred commercially in large numbers in Australia, for use in both aquariums and as food fish. Juvenile Silver Perch make an interesting addition to unheated aquariums. They are also suitable for dams or ponds in many areas of mainland Australia. While young they are long and slender. They develop a deeper body and are usually a grey-green colour as adults. This species is best kept with some plant or rock cover as they tend to be “skittish” in a bare aquarium. They are constantly active which can sometimes upset more docile tank mates, but make an excellent addition to most tanks.
In nature this fish is an omnivore eating a wide range of food including shrimps, aquatic insects, yabbies and plant matter. Silver Perch will accept most standard aquarium fish foods, including live, frozen, freeze-dried and dry foods.
This article was sponsored by Nature at Work.