Best for Experienced Owners
Activity Level: Medium
Hamlets are typically found in coral reefs in the Caribbean sea and the gulf of Mexico. Hamlets are one of the most popular type of saltwater fish sold as pets, as they are very colourful and attractive. Due to their moderately aggressive temperament, hamlets are best for experienced saltwater fish hobbyists. Hamlets resemble small groupers or sea bass.
Hamlets are semi-aggressive fish that do best with other semi-aggressive fish; they can normally be safely kept with large gobies, groupers, lionfish, pufferfish, triggerfish, hawkfish, tangs, blennies, clownfish, large angelfish, and even some of the smaller species of eels. Hamlets are best kept solo or in mixed sexed pairs. However, two males can share a tank if the tank is larger enough that both males can have their own territory. Small slow moving fish like dragonets should not be kept with hamlets, as hamlets will bully and/or eat them. Hamlets are nocturnal, which means that they are most active during the night. Hamlets are best for experienced saltwater fish hobbyists ad are not good pets for children.
Hamlets require about two gallons of tank space for every one-inch of fish. Depending on the species of hamlet they range from 4-20 inches long, so one adult hamlet requires 8-40 gallons of tank space. Hamlets naturally live in tropical saltwater coral reef areas, so their aquarium should be set up to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible. The bottom of the aquarium should be covered in about 4 inches of sea sand and should include some coral, hollow rocks or other things for the hamlet to hide in or swim through. The aquarium will also require a water filtration system, an internal water pump, water heater, thermometer and a hydrometer to check salt levels. The aquarium can also include some real or fake plants. The temperature of the water should be around 72-80 Fahrenheit and have a salinity of 1.020 to 1.025. The aquarium light should be on during the day and turned off at night.
Appearance and Care:
Hamlets are very bright attractive fish that measure 4-20 inches from nose to tail when full grown. Both male and female hamlets are around the same size, but males are normally more colourful than females are. Hamlets come in a variety of colors and patterns such as bright blue with black markings; golden with a large black spot by the tail; bright blue with dark indigo markings and large stripes; and black with dark red spots.
Hamlets are carnivores; they eat a mixture of commercial fish food and small crustaceans and fish. Hamlets do not have to be fed live food, but the majority enjoy it and it usually makes for healthier fish. Hamlets usually enjoy commercial fish food, shrimp, krill, small crabs, small squid, scallops, and small fish like small gobies or dragonets.
Hamlets are fairly hardy saltwater fish; however, like all saltwater fish they require a lot of dedication to ensure their environment is sustained properly. Hamlets have an average life span of around 5-13 years; females tend to live longer the males do.