Royal Gramma Basslet Care – The Complete Guide

Overview And Appearance

Learning the proper Royal Gramma Basslet care will ensure you keep your new fish healthy and thriving for many years.

The Royal Gramma Basslet is a bright and slender fish that many aquarists love to add to a saltwater tank. The back half of the fish is yellow and the front half is purple.

There’s typically a black spot on the top fin and a dark stripe across the eye region. This fish rarely exceeds three inches in length.

This striking fish gained popularity after the appearance of Gurgle in the dentist’s tank in Finding Nemo. However, that doesn’t mean that this would be a great pet for small children.

It’s a somewhat easy fish to care for in terms of saltwater fish, but royal gramma care is still somewhat difficult if you aren’t familiar with oceanic creatures.



Royal Gramma Temperament


The royal gramma is a great early addition to a saltwater tank. Some even choose to use this fish right away after cycling the tank. The royal gramma basslet is typically a peaceful fish which means they are less likely to have issues with future tankmates.

However, there are some individuals that err on the semi-aggressive side.

These fish do well when housed with other small to medium peaceful fish. It is not recommended to house them together with other basslets as they will likely display territorial issues.

The only exception to this is if a mated pair can be found. Royal grammas are typically considered to be safe to house with inverts but some individuals have been known to eat small inverts so it is best to use caution when choosing inverts for a tank with one of these fish.

Royal Gramma Habitat


In the wild, royal gramma basslets can be found in the Caribbean and the tropical western Atlantic Ocean. They can be frequently spotted in reef environments as far south as northern South America.

A tank of at least 30 gallons is needed to house a royal gramma. They are reef safe and will typically leave corals alone. This means that they can be kept in reef environments or fish and live rock only tanks.

Sufficient live rock is needed to make this fish feel at home as wild royal grammas prefer living in rocky caves. Setting up intricate caves will help this fish settle in and remain stress-free. Just ensure the rockwork is steady so there’s no chance of falling rocks.


Royal Gramma Diet


A varied carnivore diet is required for proper royal gramma care. These fish will eat mostly crustaceans and zooplankton. They will eat the typical brine shrimp and Mysis shrimp that most aquarium fish feast on, but a varied carnivore diet will keep them the healthiest.

Most aquarists choose to give royal grammas varied frozen foods.

The royal gramma is also a cleaner fish that will eat parasites off of other fish within the tank. These opportunistic carnivores have also been observed eating dead crustaceans and fish flesh. However, due to their peaceful nature, they won’t attack other inhabitants, just eat the available meaty treats.

Royal Gramma Breeding


Royal grammas rarely breed in a tank environment. They rarely even form bonded pairs within an aquarium. They may breed in very large tanks but those are usually commercial tanks and rarely if ever home aquariums. Most royal grammas are born in the ocean and wild-caught before making their way to a home aquarium.

royal gramma care



While the royal gramma is known to eat ectoparasites off other fish, they aren’t immune to diseases. The most common diseases that may arise are white spot and velvet. Catching the diseases early is imperative to save these fish.

One of the main ways to prevent these diseases from entering the system is to quarantine any new fish before allowing them to enter the main tank system. This can also help prevent the spread of disease if you separate any fish that may be showing potential symptoms.

Cost Of A Royal Gramma


Royal grammas are one of the most common aquarium fish so they are often easy to find. These fish are arguably the most commonly seen fish from the basslet family. They are also relatively cheap in terms of saltwater fish typically ranging from $25-$40.

Should you consider adding a Royal Gramma Basslet to your saltwater aquarium?


If you have a generally peaceful tank with ample live rock, a royal gramma is a beautiful addition. Royal Basslet Gramma care is relatively easy and can be beneficial in keeping the system healthy. These beautiful fish are one of the best additions to a reef environment and are one of very few fish who do well in nano-reef environments.

Corals are not needed in order for the royal gramma to thrive but the fish will leave them alone if you choose to add them at any point.