Chequered Perchlet (Plectranthias inermis)

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Chequered Perchlet
Plectranthias inermis
Chequered Perchlet (Plectranthias inermis)
Name Chequered Perchlet
Name Lat. Plectranthias inermis
Family Sea Basses
Family lat. Serranidae
Order Perch-likes
Order lat. Perciformes
Origin Indo-West Pacific
Habitat Reefs
Diet Carnivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Semi-aggressive
Keeping Individual, pair
Reef Compatible Yes
Care Level Easy
Life Span N/A
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 4 cm
Temperature 22-26 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 200 l
US Units
Size 2"
Temperature 72-79 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 50 gal

Distribution and habitat

The range of Plectranthias inermis extends from the coasts of Mauritius to the Christmas Islands, Indonesia and the Philippines to Papua New Guinea and the Fiji Islands. There they live on steep slopes of coral reefs and protected coastal zones mostly in depths between 14 and 65 m.


They require a well-structured aquarium with a reef structure that provides hiding, resting and retreat opportunities and medium to strong currents, as well as a deep substrate.

Only lime-rich, heavy metal-free sands, gravels, stones or sea sand may be used as substrate. Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. It is recommended that live stones be used to furnish the aquarium. The bacteria living in the porous stones act as a biological filter. The lighting must correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l

For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention must be paid to consistently good water quality and water values.


In nature they feed mainly on zooplankton. The feed change usually succeeds without problems. The food supply for these slow eaters should consist of a commercially available, vitamin-enriched frozen special food mix for plankton eaters or a combination of chopped shrimp and crab meat with live and frozen foods such as mysis, krill, bosmids, cyclops and Artemia. High quality flake and granular foods are also often accepted after a period of acclimation. It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day (3-5 times). This also reduces intra-species aggression. Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They usually live singly or in pairs, are very territorial within the species and consistently defend their territory. They are very suitable for a coral tank, but should not be socialized with fast eating fish and often behave aggressively towards gobies and blennies. Care should be taken when keeping them together with shrimp, as shrimp that are too small may be considered food.

Sex dimorphism

No external distinguishing characteristics are known. Males are usually larger.

Presumably they are protogynous hermaphrodites, i.e. males develop from functional females when needed

Reproduction and breeding

There are no known reports of successful breeding in the aquarium.


They are very quiet and shy animals, which often show themselves only after days of acclimation in the aquarium.

As reef dwellers, they should only be kept together with corals and not in a fish-only aquarium. If different species are kept together, care should be taken to ensure that the fish match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements and social behavior, and that the setup meets the needs of all species kept together. New fish to be introduced must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: petdata

Source: KUITER & DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag;

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF