Blue Chromis (Chromis cyanea)
Updated August 5, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
The Blue Chromis is a member of the damselfishes and given their hardy nature they can be a good choice for a saltwater beginner. In fact, many hobbyists use the Blue Chromis to cycle new tanks. This is not recommended and there are much better ways to cycle a new tank these days with the use of live rock in saltwater aquariums.
They need to be in small schools (shoals) of 6 or more and are a very active fish.
Blue Chromis should do well in most tank setups, but you don't want to keep them with overly aggressive tank mates or fish large enough to eat them. Keep them in a small school and they should do fine. You may notice a pecking order develop among the school and that is normal behavior. The Blue Chromis is sometimes sold as a "dither fish" because it is out in the open so much and it makes the shy fish in your tank more at ease.
They eat zooplankton on the reef and will accept most types of marine fish food including frozen, freeze dried, vitamin enriched flakes and live foods. Give them a variety of foods for optimal coloration.
They seem to be fairly disease resistant but you still need to take proper pre-cautions and use a quarantine tank before introducing them into your main tank.
An interesting note about this species is that young Black Snapper, Apsilus dentatus (Lutjanidae) mimic the colors of the blue chromis.
Blue Chromis Care
Scientific Name : Chromis cyanea
Common Names : Blue Reef Chromis
Care Level : Easy to Moderate, good for a saltwater beginner.
Size : Up to 5 inches (13 cm)
Life span : 5 years or longer
Water Parameters : pH 8.1 - 8.4, Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C), Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025, Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°
Origin / Habitat : Western Atlantic, Caribbean. Usually found on the reef slope at around 10 meters.
Temperament / Behavior : They like to be in small schools (shoals) of 6 or more and can take care of themselves with larger, more aggressive tank mates. However, tank mates much larger, like Triggers, may make a snack out of them. They are extremely active and will make an interesting addition to the top of the tank. This fish is considered reef tank safe.
Breeding : Sometimes bred in saltwater reef tanks. Need a small school (shoal) and good water conditions. Get them ready by giving them live foods. Males should build a nest in the sand and court various females. The male will then watch the eggs until they hatch a few days later.
Aquarium Size : 30 gallon (114 liters) minimum
Blue Reef Chromis Tank Mates : They can make an excellent addition to most tanks with smaller species.
Diet / Foods : In the wild, they feed on zooplankton so try to give them a variety of marine foods. They should accept vitamin enriched flake foods, frozen and definitely live foods.
Tank Region : Usually top
Gender : Difficult to determine the differences between males and females.
Photo Credit : Photos copyright JJPhoto.dk
Fish Lore Forum : Blue Chromis Forum
More Damselfish Profiles
Like most damselfish species, the Azure Damselfish is considered very hardy and often recommended to new hobbyists as a good first fish in new tanks.
This fish is also known as the "Blue Devil Damsel" due to it's temperament. It's a good thing these fish stay on the small side at around 3 inches (6 cm). Use caution when stocking a tank with these little devils.
One of my personal favorite saltwater fish species of all time. Photos hardly ever do our Green Chromis friends justice. You just have to see a school of them in person to appreciate their beauty and personality. They are quite peaceful except amongst themselves where you may see tests of dominance within the group.