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Digiman

Royal Gramma Basslet (Gramma Loreto)

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Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Reef Safe: Yes
Max Size: 3"
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Caribbean, Tropical Western Pacific
Availability: Very common
Price: around $25 to $35

This is a great beginner fish and is an ever popular fish. It is hard to find any reefer who has not kept a royal gramma before. It is beautiful and hardy and attains only 3" maximum size. But because it usually grows slowly and stays smaller, it makes a good nano fish if u start with a small one.

To some new reefers it may seem like an overcharged bicolor dottyback. However after having kept both, one would definitely tell you if you are facing trouble with your bicolor dottyback turning out to be a terror, why not spend a bit more and try the royal gramma.

When you are purchasing a royal gramma ,go for the largest size you can find in the batch. Bigger ones are stronger and healthier. Smaller ones tend not to do as well as the bigger ones especially when it comes to adapting in a bustling tank with a lot of fishes. They may hide and become stressed. However once past acclimatisation, royal gramma is a strong fish that will come out of its hiding place to feed and even hold itself up against the bigger, boisterous fishes.

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The amount of yellow on a royal gramma is highly variable. And how much yellow differs by the geographical location where it is found.

Here are a few examples.

Common coloration, the only ones we are getting here in singapore. Shown below is a Belize specimen.

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With slightly more yellow. Nassau Bahamas.

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And now with a lot more yellow. Grand Cayman. These Grand Cayman variant are gorgeous but sadly not collected for the trade.

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There exists an aberration form of royal gramma with an extreme high amount of yellow extended up to the forehead leaving only patchy purple. So far this fish is only available through Dejong MarineLife Europe. They call it by the name of "Gramma Mutation" and this fish fetches up to $700. They are rare and hard to get. So far you can count with one hand the number available each year.

Here is a new specimen available at Dejong.

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And here is a video of a beautiful specimen that was sent to BBox last year.

Due to the abnormally high amount of yellow, some believe this so called "Gramma Mutation" could be a hybrid between the common royal gramma and the newly discovered gramma dejongi (see below)! Myself i am leaning towards an aberration instead of a hybrid.

Shown below is the beautiful gramma dejongi which is clearly a distinct species of its own. It is found only in the waters of cuba and due to the US embargo against Cuba, this fish will continue to be absent in the states. Those few that had been available through Dejong, two went to Chingchai of Thailand and the rest to went Japan or stayed in europe. A beautiful fish with a huge price tang. It costs around $4500 and even higher in Japan.

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Hope this information on royal gramma, gramma mutation and gramma dejongi has helped basslet fans here gained some new knowledge on this fish.

And lets hope to see either a gramma mutation or gramma dejongi landing at our shore in the near future.

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I feel tat 2 different type of royal gramma I have keep b4 ... one is very big mouth type darker color the eye without black stripe and can grow very very big about 4" but never see it more than 10years i think was told tat is from brazil ... one is common with black stripe on the eye with nicer color like in the 1st pic ... just google gramma brasiliensis i think ...

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I feel tat 2 different type of royal gramma I have keep b4 ... one is very big mouth type darker color the eye without black stripe and can grow very very big about 4" but never see it more than 10years i think was told tat is from brazil ... one is common with black stripe on the eye with nicer color like in the 1st pic ... just google gramma brasiliensis i think ...

Hi Sengreef,

Yes that is a very similar looking gramma known as the brazilian gramma (gramma brasiliensis) which is a brazil endemic. Royal gramma is found in carribbean while brazilian gramma is only from brazil. Brasiliensis is similar in coloration as the royal gramma but has a shorter stouter body and bigger head and mouth and as such makes it look like a beastly version of the dainty royal gramma.

And u r right, brasiliensis used to be as common as royal gramma but it has not been available since Brazil banned the exportation of its native species since a few years back. However not many speak about this fish despite its absence for so long because to most the royal gramma is a more beautiful and popular species than brasiliensis that will suffice.

The pictures u posted above are beautiful images of the brasiliensis.

Although there are no wild caught brasiliensis now, last year in europe there is a batch of captive bred gramma brasiliensis available through Dejong marine.

Shown below is the small batch of CB gramma brasiliensis available at Dejong last year.

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Thanks to captive effort that we still have this fish in the market. But that said trying to get hold of this captive bred specimen will still be very tough because there has not been enough production to offer to the mass.

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Also do not be confused with e cheaper false gamma, thebicolor dotty back. Similar colourations but with different characters. Also not forgetting the Lipogamma Klayi http://glassbox-design.com/2008/rare-fish-the-lipogramma-basslets/

Hi jeremy,

I lost my lipogramma klayi due to feeding problem. Very tiny but expensive fish.

Unlike royal gramma the lipogramma klayi turns out to be extremely shy and not easy to feed.

It lost a lot of weight and died in the end. I will not try the klayi again.

This was my klayi that died. A very beautiful fairy like basslet with long finnages that the royal gramma cant compare with!

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Thanks Digiman for the explaination tats y never seen this fish for years ... like it so much becos of they grow bigger and very odd looking face ... :P

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I used to keep royal gramma and bicolor dottyback before( not at the same time). Both seem to lose its bright purple coloration, is it due to diet (only feed pellets) or is it becos it can't retain its natural colors in capitvity? Bicolor dottyback looks much paler. Royal gramma not so much and still become paler.

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I used to keep royal gramma and bicolor dottyback before( not at the same time). Both seem to lose its bright purple coloration, is it due to diet (only feed pellets) or is it becos it can't retain its natural colors in capitvity? Bicolor dottyback looks much paler. Royal gramma not so much and still become paler.

This is an interesting experience u hav.

Most if not all fishes in captivity will definitely pale in comparison to their wild counterparts after some time. In the wild there is a huge swimming space, rich biodiversity and he present of a huge social colony to keep their colors up. We can never replicate the same living conditions as in the wild.

However royal gramma is not known to lose its vibrant colors overtime. It may pale out a bit but will generally still hold its bright colors. I hav kept them before for lonh without much loss of colors. I hav seen reefers royal gramma they kept for v long n v big and it is still as vibrant as ever.

So ur fish could hav pale out due to external factors like water quality or subjected to harrassment from other fishes and such. To prevent paling out feeding a varied diet with high quality food may help. And royal gramma is not picky, so it will eventually eat almost anything u drop into the tank.

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This is an interesting experience u hav. Most if not all fishes in captivity will definitely pale in comparison to their wild counterparts after some time. In the wild there is a huge swimming space, rich biodiversity and he present of a huge social colony to keep their colors up. We can never replicate the same living conditions as in the wild. However royal gramma is not known to lose its vibrant colors overtime. It may pale out a bit but will generally still hold its bright colors. I hav kept them before for lonh without much loss of colors. I hav seen reefers royal gramma they kept for v long n v big and it is still as vibrant as ever. So ur fish could hav pale out due to external factors like water quality or subjected to harrassment from other fishes and such. To prevent paling out feeding a varied diet with high quality food may help. And royal gramma is not picky, so it will eventually eat almost anything u drop into the tank.
Yes, it's does pale in comparison from the time when I bought it. Guess its the diet and water conditions. The dottyback is in worse coloration turning from purple to light pink. Thanks for the explanation and advises.

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Yes, it's does pale in comparison from the time when I bought it. Guess its the diet and water conditions. The dottyback is in worse coloration turning from purple to light pink. Thanks for the explanation and advises.

Great article and detail infro.Bro Digiman u fish knowledge is amazing.

Let us all share our experiences with one another. Fish discussion like this is will bring our hobby to a greater height.

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Let us all share our experiences with one another. Fish discussion like this is will bring our hobby to a greater height.
Absolutely.

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Any one tried keeping royal gamma with sexy shrimp before ? wanna get one for my tank but i have a school of sexy shrimp in it as well. Searched Google and was told that they might not be that safe with sexy shrimp. Any bro with any experience with keeping royal gamma with sexy shrimp ?

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Any one tried keeping royal gamma with sexy shrimp before ? wanna get one for my tank but i have a school of sexy shrimp in it as well. Searched Google and was told that they might not be that safe with sexy shrimp. Any bro with any experience with keeping royal gamma with sexy shrimp ?

I think you can give it a try.

Look at this video of a gramma dejongi kept in a nano tank with a lot of sexy shrimps:

So get the smallest royal gramma you can find and provided your sexy shrimps are big enough and keeping the royal gramma well fed you should be able to succeed.

Update us on the outcome of your attempt.

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Can we buy 2 gramma and put in together at one go? Most people will keep one per tank just know if it's possible.

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Can we buy 2 gramma and put in together at one go? Most people will keep one per tank just know if it's possible.

According to Fishchannel.com, they will fight in a small tank unless male-female pair. Males and females are differentiated by their size difference with male being mauch bigger.

However I have notice LCK keeping a big group in a 3 to 4 ft tank with no issue. And in the wild royal grammas actually live in a big group too.

So if your tank is big enough keeping two or more royals should be possible.

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Thank bro,I think have to wait if can come across a tank of them then choose a few from the same tank. Most of time they are being pack in individual bag.

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Hi all Bros , currently i have a RG in my 5 footer and am thinking to add another.

Do you think it will be ok ? its a FOWLR tank .

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Anyone has a Royal Gamma in a 3ft together with a black cap?

Thanks

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