Updated August 6, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
The Panther Grouper is one of those species that look really cool with their white bodies sporting black polka dots, but don't get sucked in! The Panther Grouper gets way too big for 99 percent of home aquariums. When you see them in the store's tank, just keep walking Pedro.
The Panther Grouper can get to be about 27 inches (70 cm) when fully grown and they eat like it's going out of style. To adequately keep them you should be thinking about a 300 plus gallon aquarium (1135 liters). The juvenile groupers around 3 or 4 inches are collected on the reef and sold to stores but they can quickly outgrow most tanks. The larger groupers are a food fish and sold in Asian markets.
They will eat most meaty type foods such as silversides, crustaceans, squid, etc. This grouper is considered hardy but may be quite shy when first introduced to the tank. So lots of cover (live rock) will be needed to help make them feel secure. As they grow they will become bolder but for the most part will leave other similarly sized fish alone, including other Panther Groupers. Smaller fish may be on their menu though.
If you have anything less then 300 gallons then please don't even consider a large species like this one. These are best left for the serious home hobbyist with a large aquarium, public aquariums or even better, left on the reef.
Panther Grouper Fish Care
Scientific Name : Cromileptes altivelis
Common Names : Polka Dot Grouper, Pantherfish, Humpback Grouper, Highfin Grouper, Seabass
Care Level : Moderate
Size : 27 inches (70 cm)
Life span : 20 plus years
pH : 8.1 - 8.4
Temperature : 72°F - 80°F (22°C - 27°C)
Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025
Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°
Origin / Habitat : Southern Japan to Palau, New Caledonia and southern Queensland, Australia. Eastern Indian Ocean, Nicobar Islands. Normally found in lagoons and seaward reefs. Found near coral reefs and tide pools as well.
Temperament / Behavior : The Panther Grouper is a big fish and will eat smaller fish and crustaceans. You can keep them in multiples provided that you have a tank in the several hundreds/thousands of gallons range.
Breeding : Fishbase reports a spawning event in 1979 but the eggs died. Not sure of any further attempts to breed them in aquariums. These groupers are open water, substratum egg scatterers.
Aquarium Size : 300 gallon (1135 liters) minimum, preferably much bigger if you plan on keeping multiples
Tank Mates : This grouper needs to be in a tank with similar sized fish and kept in the largest of aquariums.
Reef Tank Compatible? : Will eat crustaceans and smaller fish but should leave the corals alone.
Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment
Tank Region : Likes to swim in the middle to upper sections of the tank but will patrol all over the aquarium.
Gender : Don't know how to tell male from female using external characteristics.
Photo Credit : Photos copyright JJPhoto.dk
Michael, S. W. (2001). Marine Fishes, 500+ Essential to Know Aquarium Species. T.F.H. Publications.
"Cromileptes altivelis". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. November 2005 version.