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Royal Gramma Care & Facts (Gramma loreto)

Royal Gramma

The royal gramma is a bright, beautiful basslet, and it’s normally a very popular pick for any saltwater tank that’s in need of a bit more vibrancy and pizzazz. As such, you’ve probably seen one or two yourself over the years!

Royal Gramma fish (Gramma loreto)

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about the royal gramma when taking it home with you.

  • Fish Lifespan: At Least 5 Years
  • Tank Size: At Least 30 Gallons
  • Water Temperature: Between 72F and 78F
  • pH: Between 8.1 and 8.4
  • Hardness: Between 8 and 12 dKH
  • Compatibility: Compatible with Clownfish, Gobies and Wrasse
  • Fish Size: Up to 3 Inches

How do you take care of Royal Gramma?

The royal gramma is a very easy fish to take care of. It’s a colourful breed that tends to be fairly popular with starter aquariums, and for good reason. Its water demands aren’t too tricky to deal with, and on the whole, you can expect it to get on well with most fish.

In fact, many experts suggest that the royal gramma may actually be the beginner fish par excellence – in that it could well be the best beginner fish to introduce into any saltwater tank. It has an extremely placid nature providing it lives alongside fish of a similar size and similar temperament. However, it has been known to pick fights with its own kind, though this is largely thanks to the fact that it gets pretty territorial.

In which case, taking care of the royal gramma may be as easy as housing it on its own, at least when it comes to its own kind. It’s pretty simple to care for when you mix it with other kinds of fish in the same tank.

These fish tend to need mid-sized tanks of at least 30 gallons, which give them enough space to flutter around and to create their own space. These fish also tend to feast on smaller beasts, meaning that feeding it on shrimp or other live food is a very good idea.

These fish are bright but tiny and won’t give you much hassle. Just be very careful when it comes to housing these species in the same tank. It’s something you might want to avoid completely if you ask our professional opinion!

Is Royal Gramma aggressive?

The royal gramma is normally not very aggressive – in fact, it gets on famously with most fish that aren’t going to try and eat it.

Royal Gramma and Banggai Cardinalfish
Royal Gramma and Banggai Cardinalfish

This is partly what makes it such a good fish for beginners working with their first saltwater tanks. These fish tend to be nice and straightforward, fairly easy-going, and won’t cause a fight unless they have to. There’s a chance they might get bullied by bigger creatures, so try and keep them with fish of a similar size and shape.

The only real time you are likely to see any kind of aggression from this fish is if you host them with their own kind. They can get very territorial! Therefore, always make a point to host the royal gramma on its own, where possible, so you don’t end up creating or causing any fights.

Are Royal Gramma Reef Safe?

Hailing from the Caribbean, the royal gramma is certainly reef safe.

That’s why it is very important to try and make sure your tank is big enough to host both these fish and a layer of coral reef. The general rule is that you need two gallons of water for every inch of fish, but that often doesn’t take into account coral reef.

Royal grammas are going to feel very much at home with a coral reef background, and as they are reef safe, you won’t come across any major issues, if at all, if you bring the two together.

How big does a royal gramma get?

The royal gramma is a famously tiny tropical fish. At its absolute biggest, it will reach around 3 inches in size.

However, smaller specimens in this species can only grow up to ¾ of an inch! They are small but fascinating to watch. Their tiny size means that they can make good choices for starter nano aquariums, which are good investments if you are unsure if a full size tank is going to be right for you in the long run.

The size of the royal gramma can occasionally cause itself issues, particularly as it means that it’s open to be pushed around by bigger, more aggressive tank mates. Therefore, do be careful when introducing these fish to existing communities. Just because the royal gramma plays well with others, doesn’t mean it won’t be taken advantage of.

How much does a royal gramma cost?

Royal gramma prices will vary depending on where you shop for them! They tend to price up at around $25 to $30.

However, do make sure you know what you are getting for the price you pay. You can easily buy a royal gramma online, but make sure you know all the essential details regarding its diet, its water quality, its tank size and its compatibility.

Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto)

If you are buying a royal gramma from an aquarium centre or a pet store, make sure to check the condition of the fish before you buy. As a rule of thumb, you should also be ready to price up the overall cost of looking after your new fish, too, not just the cost of the fish outright.

The royal gramma doesn’t have much in the way of extravagant needs or dietary requirements, so you will likely only need to set aside a small stock of money regularly to look after it. However, always budget or plan ahead. The royal gramma probably won’t cost you more than your average tropical fish.

How do you feed Royal Gramma?

Feeding your royal gramma is a relatively easy affair, providing you make sure to offer it a selection of meat regularly.

Generally, you will do beat offering these fish a selection of mysis shrimp and brine shrimp. However, frozen food tends to do them good, too.

It’s not very likely that the royal gramma will find much in your tank smaller than itself to eat unless you have shrimp or minute animals in the community. However, it’s just as well to keep a watchful eye.

Feeding royal gramma alongside other carnivorous fish might be tricky. You must make sure they are of the same size, shape and temperament. Otherwise, the royal gramma may be at risk of getting pushed out of a meal. What’s more, bigger carnivorous fish will, naturally, want to chow down on this species, especially seeing as it is often so small and therefore vulnerable in some species’ eyes.

So – be careful when you feed royal gramma mainly for the fact that its food might get stolen by another creature, and the fact that they may actually become fish food themselves if they are unlucky. Always try and house them with similar fish, or on their own.

Will Royal Gramma eat cleaner shrimp?

This really can vary from case to case. The royal gramma is hardly a threatening or aggressive beast, but as it already munches down on a variety of shrimp, you may find that your cleaner shrimp could be at risk of falling foul of the gramma.

There are lots of interesting discussions out there regarding whether or not the royal gramma is genuinely threatening to species such as cleaners. As interactions go, you may not feel as though this is one you need to be especially wary of.

Gramma loreto fish

However, it is always a good idea to ask the opinion of your vet, or local pet or aquarium store owner. Do also take into account the advice and opinions of fellow fish keepers! Those who have experience with grammas and different types of shrimp will likely tell you what you’re going to experience.

One thing you may wish to try is to look into providing your gramma with high quality food – so that it’s not tempted to try and munch on your cleaner shrimp. Cleaner shrimp and wrasse will often give a signal to bigger creatures that they want to help clean them – which might help to spare their lives – but our official line on this is just to be careful!

Do Royal Grammas jump?

It’s likely very rare that a royal gramma will try and jump out of your tank. However, some fish keepers advise that this can happen, so it is worth keeping a lid on your aquarium if you are concerned your fish might try to make a break for it.

The royal gramma tends to be a fairly placid, steady moving fish, meaning it’s not really likely to shoot out of the water at any time. However, as these things can vary, it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled for any odd activity in the waters.

Otherwise, buying a royal gramma means you’re buying a laid back fish that’s a joy to raise, whether on its own or with other tank mates.

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