Australian Honey Herch (Hephaestus fuliginosus)
Honey Perch are a popular sport fishing species found across the tropical regions of Australia. Abundant throughout coastal drainages of Northern Territory, Gulf of Carpentaria and North Eastern Queensland. Sports fisherman know them as sooty grunter. They are also known as black bream by locals, however, there are many freshwater fish in Australia that local citizens call black bream. They have a white flaky flesh, with a delicate flavour considered by many people in Australia to be superior to other freshwater fish. The species will be new to aquaculture. They readily accept commercial pellets. Wild caught fish kept in tanks readily accept any food. Water temperatures should be in the range of 25 to 30c. They grow to about 54 centimeters and can weigh over 6kg. They can manage PH as low as 4.0 and temperature ranges between 11c and 35c. For best growth, maintain them between 25c and 30c. They are an Omnivorous species. Diets that are suitable for jade perch, silver perch or tilapia would suit honey perch. Although, they are not aggressive towards each other, because this species has not yet been grown in intensive aquaculture systems, careful observation should be practiced to monitor any potential cannibalism. If it is small enough to fit in their mouth, it will probably end up in there !
We choose our breeders for their shape, and most important, their colour. We also use fish that are from east of the Great Dividing Range, and from the western side. The genetic difference may result in faster growth rates. Although, technically they are the same species, there is a very great historic distance between the two populations. This may well result in some (hybrid) growth vigor.
Very similar to khaki grunter but haslonger head profile. This can be seen in the picture below showing both species. When pelvic fins pressed against the body they don´t reach the anus as it does with the khaki grunter.
Shown below is a honey perch with a Khaki perch. These fish were just caught in the wild and photographed immediately. To see full size pictures, right click and open in new tab.
Below: Honey Perch and habitat To see full size pictures, right click and open in new tab.