Royal Gramma Basslet

Royal Gramma Basslets are a great fish for your family’s saltwater aquarium. They are easy to care for and they are a great addition to any saltwater aquarium. They  are playful fish and they will spend all day swimming around the aquarium looking for food.

If you are looking for a fish for your saltwater aquarium that is colorful, family-friendly, and doesn’t require a lot of upkeep, then the Royal Gramma Basslet may be the perfect choice. The Royal Gramma Basslet can be kept in a community aquarium with larger fish and invertebrates.

There aren’t a lot of people that know about Royal Gramma Basslet, but if you have a chance to pick up one of these fish you should. They are great for your saltwater aquarium and are one of the best fish you can have for your home. They are very docile and easy to care for.

One of the most beautiful fish in the saltwater category is the Royal Gramma Basslet. This is an extremely popular fish and is often found to be the first fish that a family purchases. This fish will get along with many other types of fish in their aquarium. They don’t need a lot of room. Approximately 3 gallons per Basslet is enough.

This fish will grow up to 3-4 inches in length. They do get along well with other species, but not as well with their own. They do best when sharing a tank with other peaceful fish. Overall, this is an easy to care for fish that is suitable for families or experienced aquarists.

Royal Gramma Basslet

Information about Royal Gramma Basslet

  • Average size: 3 to 4 inches
  • Colors: Purple and yellow
  • Good Pet: Yes
  • Good with Other Royal Grammas: Moderate
  • Good with Other fish Species: Yes
  • Suitable for First-Time fish Owners: Yes
  • Health Concerns: The fish are disease resistant and aren’t prone to any specific illness
  • Average Life Span: 5 to 6 years
Royal Gramma Basslet

Physical Appearance of Royal Gramma

The fish has a bright purple color on one part of the body and which changes to golden yellow toward the tail. The fish has a black stripe running from its mouth through to the eyes. The dorsal fin also has a black spot.

Temperament and Behavior of Royal Gramma Basslets

The fish can exhibit aggressive behavior toward other Royal Grammas but the fights are always territorial. The fish are known to occupy caves and other hollow decorations in the tank and any fish that approaches their hiding place is chased away.

Royal Grammas also are known for swimming upside down especially when moving past plants, coral, and caves. The behavior isn’t abnormal as it’s the method the fish uses to navigate past obstacles in the water.

The fish are also known to be good jumpers especially when placed in a new environment. It’s important to have a lid on the tank to prevent the fish from jumping out of the water.

Best Habitat for Royal Grammas

In their natural habitat, the fish occupy deep waters in the oceans. They are very territorial, so the minimum tank size for one Royal Gramma is 30 gallons. If you want to have more than one, then it is highly recommended to have a minimum of a 100 gallon tank.


Despite the territorial nature of Royal Grammas, they’re quite timid and prefer hiding in rocks and crevices in the tank. A good fish tank for them will have plenty of rocks, crevices, caves, and lots of live plants. Without these hiding materials, your fish may become stressed. It’s also worth noting that the fish are reef safe and will not damage coral.

Tank conditions

In the wild, the fish are used to warm waters of the ocean. In the aquarium setup, Their natural water temperatures range between 72°F to 78°F. The PH of the water is best between 8.1 and 8.4.

The tank should have low lighting to provide your fish with an environment as close to its natural home. In the wild, the fish swims deep in the waters where little to no light penetrates. Having bright light in the tank can also stress your fish.

The Royal Gramma fish is also a good cleaner fish eating leftovers in the water and also removing parasites from the bodies of other fish. Because of this you don’t need to have a complex filtration system. The fish contributes toward maintaining a clean ecosystem.

Royal Gramma Basslet
Royal Gramma Basslet

Tank Maintenance

Saltwater tanks generally require more effort in maintenance compared to freshwater ones. Because Royal Grammas can also act as cleaner fish, their tanks only 10 – 25 percent water changes each month. It may require a higher percent depending on the tank size and number of occupants. The more fish in a single tank, the more waste it can accumulate in a short while and consequently the more water replacement quantity recommended.

Other than water replacement, monitor the nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia levels. A spike in these compounds could make your fish sick. Ammonia burns are especially common and tend to damage the fins of your fish.

The water temperature and PH should also be regularly monitored to avoid drastic fluctuations that could kill your fish.

The Attention Requirements for Royal Grammas

This fish makes a good pet for novices and experienced aquarists alike. The Royal Gramma can eat any food offered to them. Since the fish also acts as a cleaner fish, it should only be fed once a day. Knowing that they will feed on leftovers means you don’t need to worry about multiple feedings each day. 

The fact that the fish aren’t prone to any specific illness is also a great consideration because as long as you take good care of your fish, it can live a long healthy life.

Best Tank Mates for Royal Grammas

The fish can live with other fish species that aren’t predatory in nature. Here are some fish that make good living mates for your Royal Gramma.

Avoid some fish like the Dottyback fish because it looks similar to the Royal Gramma and could provoke your Royal Gramma into a territorial fight. It’s also noteworthy that the Dottyback fish is aggressive in nature and may end up killing your fish. Other fish like the Lionfish, Snapper fish, Groupers, and the Eels also cannot live with Royal Grammas because they’re aggressive and predatory fish.

Also avoid having fish that enjoy hiding in caves and rocks within the tank because even though they’re harmless, the Royal Grammas may view them as competition.

It’s also possible to have more than one Royal Gramma in a single tank as long as you have a big tank to give each Gramma space to swim and hide. The males also tend to be more aggressive towards each other compared to females. Putting these factors into consideration can help you have a peaceful coexistence between these fish in one tank.

Royal Gramma Basslet
Royal Gramma Basslet

Health Issues

Luckily, there aren’t any specific illnesses that affect the Royal Grammas. They still may develop something if they aren’t taken care of, but they are much more resilient than other fish.

One of the most important factors to their health that the water quality remains within the optimal levels. Also key is that your fish are fed a well-balanced diet. By doing so, you strengthen the immunity of your fish such that they don’t catch some of the common marine fish illnesses.

Stress can also lead to illnesses especially Marine Ich among Royal Grammas. Stress is caused by other fish harassing the Royal Gramma or lack of enough space to swim. Here are some signs of a sick Royal Gramma.

  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hiding for too long
  • Scratching against objects
  • Weight loss

Feeding Royal Grammas

In the wild, the fish mainly feed on live plankton which are hard to find in a home aquarium. The good news is that the fish easily adapts to any meat and plant based foods. A well fed Royal Gramma is able to fight diseases and to live for a long time.

The fish also tends to grow fat if overfed and should only be fed once in a day. Since the fish also eats leftovers and other parasites off other fish, even one feeding a day is ideal. Here are some of the best foods for the Royal Gramma Basslet.

  • Frozen or dried plankton
  • Bloodworms
  • Mysis Shrimp
  • Brine shrimp
  • Fish flakes
  • Fish pellets

Experts also recommend feeding the fish each of the above meals in rotation. For example, if this week you feed the fish on Bloodworms, the following week you can try Brine shrimp and so on. This will make sure that they’re getting all the nutrients that they need. 

Despite the small size of the Royal Grammas, they have a big mouth giving them the ability to eat larger food. 

a pile of fish flakes

Related Questions:

Is it possible to Breed Royal Grammas in a home aquarium?

Due to the territorial nature of the fish, breeding in the aquarium is difficult but not entirely impossible. In the cases where spawning occurs between a paired mate, the males create nests where the females lay eggs.

After making the nests, the males lead the females into the nests. A female can lay up to 40 eggs each day. After the eggs are laid by the females, the males pour their sperm on the eggs for fertilization. After the eggs are fertilized, hatching takes place within 4 to 5 days.

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