Blackcap Basslet

Updated August 5, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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The Blackcap Basslet (Gramma melacara) is a rich purple color with a black head. It looks like they are sporting a black cap. They get to about 4 inches in size (10 cm) and are considered hardy.

They acclimate to aquarium life well and may even be mostly captive raised nowadays. They were one of the original species to have been bred in captivity.

Provide plenty of cover in the form of live rock which will help with biological filtration and feed them a couple times per day with meaty type marine origin foods or micro pellets. New Life Spectrum pellets is recommended and a go to food for many fish keepers.

Blackcap Basslet Blackcap Basslet swimming

You can usually buy a Blackcap Basslet for around $40.

Blackcap Basslet

Blackap Basslet Care

Scientific Name : Gramma melacara

Common Names : Blackcap Gramma

Care Level : Easy

Life span : 2 - 4 years, possibly longer

Size : 4 inches (10 cm)

Water Parameters : standard saltwater parameters - 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 Central Atlantic: West Indies including the Bahamas - found near steep drop-offs or cliffs, stays near cover.

Temperament / Behavior : May fight with other basslets or similar looking (blennies) species.

Breeding : Forms pairs, egg guarder. Males build nest and both male and female guard the eggs until hatching. They have been bred in aquariums.

Aquarium Size : 30 gallon minimum

Tank Mates : Keep with similar sized species, one to a tank except in larger setups.

Reef Tank Safe? : With Caution - may pick at inverts (hermit crabs)

Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease

Foods : Mostly carnivores - small meaty marine origin foods like mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, etc.

Tank Region : Stays close to cover, live rock.

Gender : No external characteristics to go on.

Photo Credit: Aquaimages and

Michael, S. W. (2001). Marine Fishes, 500+ Essential to Know Aquarium Species. T.F.H. Publications.
"Gramma melacara". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. November 2005 version. N.p.: FishBase, 2005.

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