European Sea Bass Fish (Dicentrarchus Labrax)

European sea bass fish

Last updated on August 1st, 2022 at 08:46 pm

European sea bass fish, also known as Dicentrarchus labrax, is a species of sea bass found throughout the waters of Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, but not in the Black Sea. They have an oval body shape with fleshy lips and barbels at the corners of their mouths, which they use to dig out sand fleas from within the sand.

They have tiny teeth, allowing them to more easily consume sand fleas without harming themselves in the process.

Also known as Mediterranean seabass, branzino, and loup de mer, the European sea bass fish is an ocean-going fish that lives in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

It has been introduced to the waters of northwestern Africa, where it has become an invasive species that threatens native fish populations there, particularly other species of sea bass, as well as mullet and certain mackerels. This species has also been known to prey on lobster larvae, which could damage the lobster fishery in North America as well as Europe if it were to spread there as well.

Dicentrarchus labrax is an edible species of sea bass found in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. Also known as European seabass, its close relative, Dicentrarchus punctatus, inhabits the coasts of Namibia and South Africa.

These species have different distributions, with Dicentrarchus labrax being found in both the western and eastern Atlantic Ocean whereas Dicentrarchus punctatus only inhabits the Eastern Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and Angola.

Origin and descriptions

sea bass fish

Dicentrarchus labrax, commonly known as European sea bass and in French, cuisine dorade, is a species of marine fish in the Moronidae family. It has also been referred to as branzino, branzini, or branza. The species is native to both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean, where it occurs from Greenland to France and Canary Islands, and in Western Sahara.

In Europe and the Mediterranean sea, large fish are typically marketed whole fresh or frozen, while smaller specimens are often filleted into cutlets. The coloring is somewhat variable, depending on origin: some individuals can be dark olive green to brownish grey with small light spots, while others have an almost golden appearance with big white spots.

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In most countries, it is sold in restaurants under its English name sea bass, but elsewhere it may go by different names; for example in Italy (Dorata), Finland (Kypsä siika), and Sweden (Branzino). Its flesh is firm but succulent and it has a delicate flavor.

Species profile

The European sea bass, or Dicentrarchus labrax, is a fish with a pale pink body that fades to silver on its belly. A medium-sized predator of shallow waters, it has a pointed snout and a single sharp spine on each side near its tail. The sea bass can reach lengths of up to 39 inches (100 cm) and weigh 26 pounds (12 kg).

To survive in cold northern waters, it migrates from deeper waters during fall and winter to areas closer to shore where water temperatures are more stable. There, it feeds at night on crustaceans such as lobsters, squid, and shrimp as well as smaller fish such as herring. It’s also known to eat seaweed and aquatic plants like eelgrass when food is scarce.


The habitat of Dicentrarchus labrax is mainly marine, although it will enter brackish water and tolerate freshwater for certain periods of time. It has a narrow depth range, typically between 0 and 50 meters. Juveniles prefer shallower waters than adults, which can be found in depths up to 200 m.

They spend most of their time near solid objects such as reefs or rocks. Adult sea bass are more mobile in nature due to a greater food requirement than juveniles. Sea bass feed on benthic invertebrates such as bivalves, crustaceans, cephalopods, and polychaetes. Diet varies by season but includes pelagic species during the spring and summer months.

Sea bass fish size and weight

This species can grow up to a maximum size of 100 cm (39 inches) and weigh around 12 kg.

Sea bass fish tank size

Due to their large size, the minimum recommended tank size for this species is 250 gallons (946 liters), although, larger is better to create more space.

Tank requirements

Sea bass fish are large, long-lived fish with an average lifespan of about 15 years. They can grow to be more than 3 feet long and weigh 50 pounds or more. Captive sea bass fish should have a tank that is at least 250 gallons in size—but bigger is better, as long as your aquarium’s lid can support its weight.

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As for filtration, you’ll need a filter powerful enough to keep up with a sea bass’ large bioload and a hearty appetite. The biggest challenge you will face when setting up a sea bass aquarium is keeping the water chemistry stable. Like most marine creatures, sea bass fish live naturally in seawater; therefore, their water must remain salty at all times.

If it does not stay salty for too long, sea bass fish become stressed out and can even die from complications associated with low salinity levels. It is highly recommended that you invest in a combination seawater/RO/DI unit if you intend on keeping sea bass fish; these units combine reverse osmosis technology with artificial seawater mixed with regular old distilled water.

Be sure to change 10% of your aquarium’s water once every week! It may seem like a lot, but saltwater evaporates quickly and frequent partial changes ensure there isn’t too much precipitation buildup which will kill off valuable bacteria colonies living in your biofilter.

Sea bass fish tank mates

When choosing tank mates for your European sea bass fish, there are some important things to keep in mind. First of all, never put a smaller, less aggressive fish in with a larger breed such as European sea bass or gilthead sea bream; large varieties of these species will swallow their competition.

Smaller European sea bass varieties are also fine to keep with larger gilthead breeds but should have plenty of room to move about and breathe easily.

Some good tank mates are other fish that live in open water, like sea bream and bluegill, but all of these should be relatively small to avoid being eaten. Although not really suitable for a community tank, European sea bass can also live with large species such as cod if there is plenty of room for them to swim.

This type of setup works best if you have a very large aquarium; many smaller sizes simply won’t work because of space constraints and overcrowding issues.

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sea bass fish

The European sea bass fish can be bred by incubating between 300,000 and 1 million eggs in ponds. The eggs hatch within 6 days, and then they are transferred to a 10-acre freshwater pond for another 10 days. Within 20 days of being hatched, most of them grow to be as long as 7 inches.

They’re then moved to cages with other juvenile sea bass fish and placed into marine tanks until it’s time for them to go through their first molt cycle at about 8 months old. The reason these tiny fish have to endure all of that hardship is that when they become adults, these fish will weigh from 30 pounds to 100 pounds.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

The European sea bass can be aggressive at times, but it is usually quite peaceful. Many consider them docile species of fish. However, if you’re keeping one as a pet, it is important to follow proper guidelines in order to properly care for them. In addition to protecting your fish from predators and making sure that their environment is well taken care of, you will also need to ensure that you’re providing them with adequate space and conditions.

Sea bass fish care

sea bass fish

The European sea bass is an extremely popular fish that lives in saltwater. Although it can live on land, its natural habitat is in a body of water. They do best in large aquariums because they need extra space for swimming and diving. This fish eats plant-based foods and does not require any special care to eat or drink.

Other than that, caretakers need to make sure their aquariums are clean and well taken care of with regular water changes. Weekly feedings are recommended, but there are times when you might want to hold off on feeding them. They tend to overeat if given too much food at once; thus they may stop eating later on down the road.

Overfeeding them will not only kill them but will also be dangerous if you have other marine life living in your tank, as they could be affected by consuming what would be leftovers from your other animals’ consumption.

Sea bass fish aren’t picky about hiding places but like having some sort of shelter like rocks and caves where they can hide from predators. It may be beneficial to provide different types of shelters, so all of your basses get enough rest time away from their predators.

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Sea bass fish food

They are carnivorous predators. They feed on a variety of prey including cephalopods, crustaceans, and fish. They exhibit a voracious appetite and typically consume up to 50% of their body weight each day. In order to meet these demands, they require an abundant food supply and are capable of feeding at night as well as during daylight hours.


This species can live up to 25 years with good care and proper water parameters.

Parasites and diseases

sea bass fish

Parasites are a problem with farmed European sea bass fish. Parasitic infections in fish are hard to diagnose because you don’t see them, but they can cause mortality by damaging internal organs. Diseases such as bacterial infections and ichthyophthirius disease—caused by a protozoan parasite—are often caught by other captive fish. In addition, avoid catching wild-caught European sea bass when sourcing from your suppliers.

Wild fish have a higher chance of having parasites and diseases than their captive cousins. Treatments for these parasites and diseases have been developed that help keep problems under control; these treatments should be used on all aquaculture fish where possible.

Do Sea bass fish make good pets?

The European Sea bass fish is one that has been considered a good aquarium pet. However, it has been said to be better suited for large ponds instead of bowls and aquariums. It can grow up to 39 inches in length and weigh over five pounds. It will eat any fish smaller than itself, even if it’s another member of its own species. Because of its aggressive nature, it isn’t really recommended for beginners or even intermediate-level aquarists.