Pomatomus Saltatrix (Bluefish) Facts

Pomatomus saltatrix

Pomatomus saltatrix, the bluefish, is one of the few saltwater fish species that can be kept successfully in home aquariums. This species gets its name from its speed and nimbleness, and it’s also known as the blue mackerel shark and bluefish mackerel shark due to its eye-catching blue coloring on the body and fins. Bluefish have been bred in captivity for many years and can be found in home aquariums around the world.

It’s an active predator that dwells in large rivers and oceans around the world, making it one of the most widespread freshwater fish on Earth.

Thought to be native to the Mediterranean Sea, Pomatomus saltatrix has also been found in North America and Australia. This saltwater fish has captured the hearts of many aquarists due to its vibrantly colored scales and its vivacious personality when interacting with humans.

In captivity, they have been known to live up to fifteen years; however, due to fishing efforts, their wild populations are decreasing quickly.

What is a blue fish?

Bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix, is a species of fish in the family Pomatomidae. There are six different species within the genus pomatomus that all reside in U.S. waters. These blue-colored fish have cylindrical bodies with two dorsal fins located on their backs as well as one anal fin found on their lower sides.

What makes them unique from other families of fish is that bluefish share similar markings among other known members, for example, saltatrix which means leap and refers to how these types of fish jump out from under boats.

Origin and descriptions

Pomatomus saltatrix

This fish originates from freshwater and has been long recognized as an attractive addition to aquariums. It was described in 1858 by Yarrell, a well-respected English zoologist, and biologist. He named it Pomatomus saltatrix, which means swimming pomegranate. This graceful fish can reach a length of 25 inches and weigh as much as 2 pounds. The bluefish is ideal for community tanks of both large and small species.

In captivity, its lifespan ranges from 6 years to 12 years. A light diet is preferable; meaty foods like insects or daphnia will be readily consumed, whereas frozen or freeze-dried foods tend to cause sickness due to poor water quality within their systems.

A safe bet would be high-quality pellets designed for omnivores or carnivores rather than live feeder fish which carry risks for poor health

Species profile

The pomatomus saltatrix is one of the three bluefish species found in fresh and saltwater. The fish typically reaches 12 inches but can grow up to 25 inches long. They have a lifespan of 6-12 years, with females living longer than males. They are best known for their ability to leap out of the water as high as five feet, an impressive feat for a fish weighing up to 6 pounds!

These fish tend to feed on a variety of prey including small baitfish and planktonic crustaceans (Mysis). They are considered game fish that attract both recreational and commercial fishermen. For those considering keeping these fascinating predators, there are some important things you should know about their care requirements.

A pair will require up to 2000 gallons of space when fully grown. While young specimens may be kept in smaller tanks, it’s imperative that they have adequate room to swim once they mature.

Bluefish habitat

Pomatomus saltatrix is a saltwater fish that prefers tropical climates. However, it is able to survive in colder environments, although it will likely not thrive. It has been known to survive in waters as cold as 26 degrees Fahrenheit. They are mostly found in oceanic regions near reefs but can be found near coastlines as well. In these areas, they prefer sandy or coral bottoms with clear water that is low in salinity.

Bluefish size

This fish species can grow up to 64 cm (25 inches) in length.

Tank size

Due to their large size, the minimum recommended tank size for a school of adult pomatomus saltatrix is 1500 to 2000 gallons

Tank requirements

Pomatomus saltatrix

Pomatomus saltatrix are large, aggressive fish that require a large tank with plenty of room to swim. They will thrive in an environment as close to their natural habitat as possible. A long, spacious, shallow tank with high water quality is optimal. Their tank should be covered by a lid or hood for safety reasons, as bluefish have been known to jump out of tanks if startled.

Setting up a saltwater tank is easy, but not without its hazards. When putting together your tank, you’ll need to start with an aquarium that’s around 2000 gallons. Because these fish need more oxygen than a smaller tank can accommodate, it’s recommended to place an air pump at one end of your aquarium, ideally on one side where it won’t disturb your animals too much.

You should also include some live sand in your setup; it will provide food for various types of organisms found in tropical environments. Keep in mind that pomatomus saltatrix are territorial; if there are multiple individuals placed within a single tank, they may fight frequently over prime territory. It’s best to only keep one per home-aquarium setup.

Make sure you make all the necessary modifications before adding any other creatures into your tank! They thrive off of algae and plants, so it’s important to supplement their diet with frozen or fresh seafood (scallops are ideal). The average lifespan of pomatomus saltatrix is 15 years in captivity—but be warned, as this species are sensitive to environmental changes.

Tank mates

The pomatomus saltatrix is a solitary fish, so it’s not an ideal community fish. In fact, it can be very aggressive with other tank mates. Be sure you are prepared to deal with a territorial fish if you choose to include another creature in your bluefish tank.

Are bluefish aggressive or peaceful?

Bluefish are feisty, but they’re more aggressive toward their own kind than other species. This means that a lone bluefish in a tank won’t do well with other peaceful fish. If you want to keep multiple bluefish, give them plenty of space—an entire tank of their own. In fact, I only recommend keeping one bluefish per tank.

Pomatomus saltatrix care

Pomatomus saltatrix

The pomatomus saltatrix are a hardy species of fish. Water temperatures in their natural habitat range from 72–80 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level for their environment is typically around 8.2–8.4 but can drop as low as 7.5 in cooler waters during winter months. If water is too warm or not aerated enough, they will suffocate and die within a few hours or days.

They feed best on live food, like small minnows, but they’ll also eat pellets that are specifically formulated for saltwater fish (their natural environment). If you plan to keep them in an aquarium, it’s best to mimic their natural habitat as closely as possible.

Pomatomus saltatrix food

Bluefish are carnivores. They eat primarily benthic (bottom-dwelling) invertebrates, including amphipods, isopods, shrimp, snails, clams, squid, and crabs. They also hunt zooplankton when it’s available. To maintain a balanced diet they will eat a variety of crustaceans and fish larvae as well as marine worms. Juveniles have been observed eating small fish as well.


Pomatomus saltatrix can live up to 12 years with good care and proper water chemistry.

Parasites and diseases

Parasites are always a risk when keeping fish, and bluefish are no exception. They are vulnerable to a number of diseases and infestations, particularly if they have low immunity due to stress from transportation or other factors. It’s important to be aware of some common parasites and diseases in bluefish, and how you can treat them appropriately.

Common illnesses include white spot disease (caused by a parasite known as ichthyopthirius multifiliis), whirling disease (caused by trematodes), flukes (protozoans), and possibly Columnaris disease (flagellates). Any time your pet is sick or not eating regularly, it’s recommended that you take it to an experienced pet shop or vet; they will be able to diagnose your fish more easily than someone with less experience.

Bluefish facts

Pomatomus saltatrix

The bluefish is an ocean-going fish that can be caught in oceans around the world. The two species, Pomatomus saltatrix and Pomatomus saltator, are found in a wide range of waters including the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Baltic Sea, and occasionally even freshwater rivers.

A number of notable anglers are famous for their fishing prowess with bluefish including Captains John A. Isely, Dorsey Witzell, and Larry Hendrickson to name just a few.

In general, if you want to catch bluefish in any particular area it’s probably best to use small baits such as jigs or minnows in shallow areas along coastlines or rocky shallows during daylight hours only or move shallowly into deeper waters after dark by using deep-running crankbaits or other lures cast into patches of weeds.

Are bluefish good eating?

Pomatomus saltatrix (Bluefish) are a good eating fish. However, many people who enjoy eating bluefish are often not very fond of cooking them due to their high-fat content. In order to cook a bluefish, it is important to remove all of its scales before cooking it.

This process can be done either with a tool or your fingers depending on how well you know your way around fish anatomy. Most fishermen will advise you against removing scales with your fingers as it is not an efficient method for scaling larger bluefish.