The Royal Gramma
Blog post written by Andy | 19 February 2016 | Category: Marine fish
As I am sure all of you know, I love a show tank. I usually have a certain group of fish I always put into our display aquariums, well, because I just love them.
One specific marine fish which goes in every reef tank I ever set up is possibly one of the most amazingly coloured fish you will ever come across, and probably one of the most popular fish in the shop - the Royal Gramma.
The Royal Gramma or Fairy Basslet (Gramma Loreto) is a fantastic fish to keep in a reef system. It grows to a size of around 3" but on some very rare occasions slightly larger. They are without doubt one of the most striking fish you can have in your aquarium. They have a bright purple head which continues down the body and fades via a series of defined spots to a bright yellow portion of the body continuing to the tail. To be honest when you see the fish it doesn't seem real. They are a peaceful species which require plenty of rock work and caves to retreat into at night.
On first introduction into a system they can be quite shy but given time will cruise around your aquarium hugging the rockwork and corals with their tummies. Eventually they will find a preferred cave and can get a bit territorial if any other small fish try and muscle their way in,but I have very rarely seen any problems other than a bit of "mouth gaping" to scare away any would be squatters!
As with all marine fish they require a varied diet of frozen foods such as Brine shrimp and Mysis shrimp, but I have also found giving them sinking pellets will keep their stomachs nice and round. They are not fussy feeders so a general varied diet is not hard to achieve. I usually recommend just single individuals to a system, however you can keep a small group as long as you can reliably get a single male to several females and introduce them at the same time. Females are generally smaller than the males and having multiple males can cause problems. They are one of the easiest fish to spawn in a reef system provided there are plenty of hiding places and some relatively peaceful tank mates.
When we have a shop full of customers, you can sometimes always hear people saying "that fish isn't real" or "did you see that flash of purple go into that hole" and before long there is a small crowd around the aquarium with people trying to catch a sight of the fish in question - The Royal Gramma - show stopper and crowd pleaser!
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