This brackish water fish – adult Terapon jarbua usually live in the sea, juveniles in brackish water, but the species is euryhalin and can be found both in the sea and in freshwater – is widespread along the coasts of South East Asia to Australia and East Africa. From the Red Sea, T. jarbua has even migrated into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal. However, this attractive fish, which can reach a length of up to approx. 35 cm, is only found comparatively rarely in trade. We have now once again received charming 2-3 cm long juveniles from Singapore.
Terapon jarbua changes its behaviour several times during its life. Small juveniles, like the ones we imported, are lively schooling fish that roam the shallow water. With a length of 5-6 cm they become sedentary and occupy small territories in sand pits. In this phase they are very quarrelsome against conspecifics. With the onset of sexual maturity, i.e. with 8-10 cm length, T. jarbua become swarm fish again and migrate together through the free water.
Little is known about the reproductive behaviour of the animals, they are said to spawn in the sea and the spawn is guarded by the male. The fish are very greedy and always need plenty of food. Well fed they are also less quarrelsome. The chemical composition of the water should always be considered: while the salt content may vary in a broad range, the pH-value should never drop below 8, otherwise T. jarbua will quickly show discomfort. The water temperature should be between 24 and 28°C.
For our customers: the animals have code 468001 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer