Royal Gramma fish is a small-sized peaceful nature fish with vibrant colors and it is easy to keep and that’s why it’s perfect for beginners as well as expert fishkeepers. This fish is also referred to as a crown in the fish collection and beautiful addition to most of the saltwater aquariums. Its beautiful and exceptional colors would add life to any aquarium they are kept in.
This article covers everything you need to know to keep royal Gramma fish in your aquarium community. It gives a precise overview of their dietary requirements, suitable tank conditions, usual behavior, compatibility, etc.
Royal Gramma Fish – Overview
The other common name of the Royal gramma is fairy basslet.
The scientific name of this fish is Gramma Loreto.
Habitat or Origin
Natives of the Caribbean sea, are mostly found in Florida and found in deep reefs
Average Size The Royal Gramma is a small fish and you should expect it to grow up to a length of around 3 inches. The largest Royal Gramma was measured to a maximum length of 3.1 inches.
Because of its amazingly attractive appearance, Royal Gramma is often called the crowning glory of any aquarium they are placed in. The front half of their body is marked by a vibrant mixture of violet and purple that blends into a golden yellow mixture towards their tail side.
The middle of the fish body has a blend of different colors. It usually has a series of dots which gives each fish a significantly different appearance. A thin blank line is also noticed extending from the mouth up through the eyes and a small black-colored spot on their dorsal fins.
Their average lifespan is over 5 years. But this period can be extended for even longer if given proper care.
The Royal Gramma fish has plenty of plants as well protein-rich food options on their menu. They are carnivorous. Their natural diet, although, is several types of live plankton but this is something which you cannot easily replicate in a reef aquarium. Their primary food options, while being in an aquarium, are frozen food, pellet, and flake. These options will fulfill most of their nutritional requirements, that too affordably and conveniently.
Moreover, you can also add some variety to their menu by feeding them protein-rich foods a couple of times each week. Mysis shrimp, frozen or dried plankton, brine shrimps, bloodworms, and crustacean flesh are all good choices for the Royal Gramma diet.
The interesting fact, when they are born, all Royal Gormma are females. As they grow older, the dominator in a group changes the gender and turns into a male
Behavior They are very shy and peaceful fishes, but a bit territorial. They try and rule their own space, they like to intrude and like to be invaded as well.
The Royal Gramma fish is a very peaceful species that can live with almost any type of fish. Although they can adjust with almost anyone around them, most of the aquarists suggest keeping only one Royal Gramma in a tank.
In a saltwater tank, adding a Royal Gramma or a pair of them is easy to take care of. They are pretty compatible with the rest of the peaceful and colorful fish such as clownfish etc. As Royal Gramma fish is very peaceful, it is necessary to keep it with mates which do not have a predatory nature.
Ideal Tank Conditions
If you want to keep the Royal Gramma in your tank, its minimum size should be at least 30 gallons. If you aim to keep a pair of them, increase the tank size up to at least 50 gallons. A tank size of almost 100 gallons is required to keep a group of the Royal Gramma fish.
Avoid exposing the tank to any harsh or sharp light. Royal Gramma is found in deep-water reef sites. So, make sure that your tank has plenty of cavities, live rock, and caves for them to retreat, play and hide in, as this is where they are going to spend most of their time.
The water temperature of a tank with Royal Gramma inside should be within a range of 72°F to 78°F. The specific gravity of range 1.020-1.025 should be maintained. pH levels should be adjusted from 8.1 to 8.4. Carbonate hardness (dKH) of 8-12° is required.
Unlike most saltwater fish, Royal Gramma is very easy to breed, even in captivity. Their breeding starts when the Male builds a nest using algae and small rocks. The female, then, deposits 5 to 40 eggs into this nest. The Male releases its sperm to fertilize these eggs. This breeding activity usually occurs in either late spring or early summer in the wildlife. During their breeding season, this activity occurs on a daily basis for a month. The fertilized eggs, then, stick to the algae for at least the next 5-7 days until they hatch. These eggs usually hatch in the evening, when it is dark.
As compared to other saltwater fishes, Royal Gramma is pretty strong and has a high resistance to diseases. However, as it consumes parasites, it is often affected by infections like Fungal infections, Bacterial infections, and Ich.
This fish is entertaining to observe and can be purchased at a cost of around $20. Their cost depends on the size as well.
What to look at when buying
Look for the color strains, see if there are any damaged fins, and always buy the one which is active in the fishtank.
Species in the Market
Grammatidate, Gramma, Orchid dottyback, Royal dottyback