- Scientific name: Scatophagus argus
- Common name: Scat, Spotted scat
- Group: Brackish fishes
- Habitat: Asia; The coast from India to Tahiti
- Size: 18-30 cm
- Biotope: Inhabits tropical brackish and salt water habitats of coastal areas in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
- Social behavior: A peaceful, but active schooling species that should be kept in groups of four or more. TheScat is a fine brackish or salt water community species as long as it is not combined with small fish.
- Diet: A greedy eater that will accept nearly any food. Live, small fish, crustaceans, worms,insect larvae, aquatic insects; chopped meat, plant matter, vegetable, lettuce, spinach, peas, oatmeal, pellets, tablets, flakes.
- Breeding: Breeding has been unsuccessful.
- Tank: Minimum 500 litres
- Population: 5-6 fishes for 500 litres
- Decoration: Use a fine gravel or preferably a coral sandbottom. Include hiding places among rocks and leave open swimming areas. This species is strongly herbivorousand consumes nearly any plants put in the tank.Thus Java Fern, which is poisonous, should not be used.
- Temperature: 26-28 °C
- pH: 8-8,5
- Hardness: 10-20NK°
- Lifespan: 8-12 years
Description: Very tall and circular, becoming rounder as they mature. The fishes lateral line runs parallel with the ridge of the dorsal fin. The head is small. The hard rays on the dorsal fin are said to be mildly venomous and can cause much discomfort if they pierce the skin.
The young of this species is brilliantly colored. The sides are Silver Green or Silver Brown and the field of the body is marked with large round Black spots. The color on the fins is variable, but never highly colored and usually transparent. As the fish matures it loses most of its striking color and the body tuns a dull silver with the large Black spots. It has been said that these colors are brighter and more pronounced when the fish is kept in salt water.
The Scat is fairy easy to keep. They are very active and fairly peaceful species that require a large tank with plenty of room for swimming. The addition of some marine mix in the water will be beneficial. The name Scatophagus means the "eater of feces" so feeding will not be a problem. They are really omnivorous and will eat almost anything including live, flake, or frozen. Some vegetable matter should also be included and they have been known to eat aquarium plants. Due to their voracious feeding habits, excellent filtration is needed as well as frequent vacuuming of the gravel substrate. Water changes are a must as young specimens do not tolerate high levels of nitrates. As they mature they will have to be moved to a pure sea water tank, but this process can take many years.
It is believed that they spawn on coral reefs and the young migrate to the freshwater and brackish areas near river estuaries. When they mature they return to the open sea.