Royal Gramma Fish - Fairy Basslet

Updated August 5, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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The Royal Gramma or Fairy Basslet is a true beauty and originally comes from deeper waters in the caribbean but many are now being tank raised. They can usually be found at prices ranging from $10-$30 USD. The front half of their body is purple/orchid and changes midway to a vibrant yellow.

Royal Gramma Fairy Basslet

This is a good saltwater beginners fish because of their hardiness and are excellent community tank mates but can become aggressive with other royal grammas. You need to give this fish many hiding places to help make them feel secure. Give them plenty of live rock to hide in. They can be quite active and are great to watch if given the proper tank environment.

Royal Grammas may not make a good choice for a reef tank because they will nip at smaller invertebrates such as red and blue leg hermit crabs and turbo snails.

Royal Gramma Gramma loreto

For fish food, they will accept vitamin enriched flakes, pellets and live foods. Try to vary their diet for best health and coloration.

Fairy Basslet class= Royal Gramma

Fairy Basslet, Royal Gramma Care

Scientific Name : Gramma loreto

Common Names : Royal Gramma, Fairy Basslet

Care Level : Easy to moderate, can be a good fish for saltwater fish beginners.

Size : Up to 4 inches (10 cm)

Life span : 3 - 5 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 : Western Atlantic Ocean, the entire Caribbean Sea, tank raised is becoming more common.

Temperament / Behavior : They can be somewhat aggressive with other royal grammas when defending their territory. Because of the this, keep only one of this species per tank to avoid the territorial aggression. Be sure to provide plenty of hiding places to help make them feel secure.

Breeding : Many breeders are reporting success tank raising this fish.

Aquarium Size : 30 gallon minimum

Tank Mates : Avoid keeping them in an aquarium with Lionfish, Snappers, Groupers, Triggers, Eels or any other predatory fish large enough to eat them. Only one of this species per tank, unless you have a very large aquarium with lots of hiding places. Can be good in a reef tank.

Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Diet / Foods : Primarily a carnivore but try to give them a variety of foods. They will take vitamin enriched flake foods, frozen and definitely live foods.

Tank Region : Middle to bottom, need plenty of hiding places.

Gender : All are born females but can change sex to males. Males are more colorful than the females and will darken when they are ready to mate. Males may also become slightly larger than females.

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Royal Gramma

Royal Gramma Comments

From: Roxanne
My Royal Gramma lived for over 13 years. He outlived every other fish in my tank, and even outlived my interest in the hobby. He ate Formula One frozen food most of his life, with occasional frozen brine shrimp.

From: Eric
This is a great fish for the reef tank. Be warned however that once they claim a cave or overhang they will aggressively defend it from ANYTHING that comes near. I've seen mine biting my ocellaris clownfish (which by the way can show their damselfish nature as mine bites me every time I need to do in tank maintenance).

From: Will
They seem to dislike Damsel fish. Mine was already trying to attack my Damsel when it was still in the bag, acclimating!
Yes, they can be quite territorial with others of their own species and often times you may seen aggression with other fish that are encroaching on their turf in the tank. Check this photo out of the royal gramma warning a bicolor angelfish that was swimming past it's cave.