Saltwater Aquarium Fish for Marine Reef Aquariums: Royal Gramma Basslet
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Royal Gramma Basslet
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Royal Gramma Basslet (Gramma loreto)
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Quick Stats

Minimum Tank Size 30 gallons
Care Level Easy
Temperament Peaceful
Reef Compatible Yes
Water Conditions 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size 3"
Color Form Purple, Yellow
Diet Carnivore
Compatibility View Chart
Origin Caribbean, Tropical Western Pacific
Family Grammidae
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The Royal Gramma Basslet brings an explosion of color to any saltwater aquarium. It has a bright purple to violet colored anterior contrasted by a vibrant yellow posterior. Coveted for both its unique color pattern and relatively small adult size, Gramma loreto is well suited for small nano reef systems.

Native to the deep-water reefs of the Caribbean, this member of the Grammidae family prefers extensive rockwork caves in which to hide and somewhat subdued lighting. Since it demonstrates territorial aggression towards its own kind, the Royal Gramma Basslet should be housed singly. However, most Royal Gramma Basslets are peaceful towards tankmates of similar size and temperament.

For the best care, keep the Royal Gramma Basslet in reef systems of at least 30 gallons. Since it is a carnivore, feed a varied diet of meaty fare, including marine fish, crustacean flesh, mysis shrimp, and quality frozen preparations.

Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 3/4" to 1-1/4"; Medium: 1-1/4" to 1-3/4"; Large: 1-3/4" to 2-1/2"

Customer Testimonials

Jeff E West Warwick , RI
This was the first fish I bought after my tank finished cycling, and he's doing great! From day one, he staked out his cave in the Live Rock and has been eating heartily. He gets along very well with all the other tank mates - Percula Clowns, a Yellow Tang, and the Regal Tang is his best buddy! Beautiful coloration, great personality, and very hardy. A must for your aquarium!
Sheridan N Fort Scott , KS
The Royal Gramma is an awesome fish! It can be found swimming upside down at times, and seems to be shy when alone. This fish is the best one I have.
Richard L Corpus Christi , TX
Very pretty fish. He isn't timid in anyway. He has been checking out the whole 55 gallon aquarium. My step-mom's hides in a cave most of the time, but mine is out and very active.
Austin A Layton , UT
This is a great fish. I have had it in my 29 reef tank and he is thriving. it is a great fish. I would never buy it anywhere else except Live Aquaria.
Cade R
My Royal Gramma is awesome. He is one of my favorite fish. He gets along just fine with my clown.
Houston B Nashville , TN
These fish are an amazing addition to any aquarium! I got mine about 4 months ago and added him to my fowlr, and he is one of the most secretive species in the tank. He gets along with everything in my peaceful community. He and my Yellow Tailed Damsel are best buds.
Brandon P Newport News , VA
Excellent coloration! Will definitely bring a nice bright purple to any aquarium. Be aware if you're planning to house inverts. I have one that eats any peppermint shrimp that is small enough to fit into it's mouth. Reef safe, but not invert safe.
Thomas W Oak Park , IL
I recently introduced a lovely Royal Gramma (at the same time as my Flame Hawkfish) to my 30g hex FOWLR and he is doing great. He did hide in the back amonst the rocks for the first day, popping out only to feed, by by day two he was quite comfortable and spends a lot of time in open water. He eats enthusiastically, seeming to favor frozen mysis shrimp the most, but will also nibble on Marine flake. He gets along fine with the Hawkfish and the only other occupant, an Ocellaris Clown. He does defend his area and will stare down the others with a huge, open mouth (very interesting to watch) but shows no real aggression at all. I marvel at how this fish can hover, effortlessly, and swim vertically or upside down. An extremely graceful swimmer and elegant fish. I highly recommend them.
Mike B Plantation , FL
Mine has been hiding behind overflow, but I just got him. He is very nice looking, hoping he comes out to eat.
Arnold P Des Moines , IA
love it, great fish. drs foster and smith rule.
Rick H Ulysses , KS
My Royal Gramma has his own little cave that he sleeps in in my 29 gallon bio cube and is very peaceful fish and very colorful .
C R Cincinnati , OH
Great little fish and everyone who sees my tank comment on the bright purple and yellow color of this little guy. I purchased him from Drs. Foster & Smith along with several others about two months ago and he arrived healthy and active. He stays out in the front of the tank a lot and is not the least bit timid when people approach. DF&S packs live shipments very carefully to make sure they all arrive alive and healthy.
Jazeel P Roselle , NJ
i have a Royal Gramma but unfortunately I never see it. It extremely shy and reclusive. I took over a month just to glimpse it. My friend has one that swims around all day I wish I had his Royal Gramma. But the upside is it a very beautiful fish when I do get to see it
Timothy M Brackney , PA
Royal gramma is often recommended as a beginner's fish, I guess because it's hardy and peaceful. Unfortunately, this variety is often extremely shy. The other reviews are varied in this regard, but I sure got a shy one! All he does is hide in a cave, except at feeding time when he darts out long enough to grab a pellet, and then darts right back into his cave. Naturally, the degree of shyness is variable among individuals. But because this is a strong tendency in royal grammas, I think there are better beginner fish. I don't think you can beat a tank-bred ocellaris clownfish for a newbie. My clowns, cardinals, and reef chromis are always out and about, curious and active, while the gramma is nowhere to be seen. Oh well.
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