Royal Gramma Basslet

Size: 3”

Family: Grammidae

Care Level: Easy

Lifespan: 5-6 years

Temperament: Peaceful

Range: Caribbean Sea and Western Atlantic Ocean

Minimum aquarium size:  20 gallons

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible:  Yes

Color: Purple and Yellow

Water Conditions: Normal sea water

Special Requirements: None

Captive Bred Available: Yes

Where To Buy: Fragbox Corals


With its peaceful nature and vibrant colors, the Royal Gramma Basslet has been a staple in reef tanks for years.  It is a truly stunning fish that is considered easy to keep and will add a splash of color to any tank.

Care level

Royal Grammas are naturally carnivores, but they will also eat a wide variety of frozen and prepared foods.  Many hobbyists will supplement flake or pellet foods with occasional feedings of either frozen or fresh mysis shrimp.

Size & Sex

This is one of the smaller basslets and will grow to approximately 3” in size.  Like many fish, Royal Grammas are all born female, with the largest and most dominant fish in a group becoming male.  Male Royal Grammas are slightly larger with bigger ventral fins.


The Grammidae family consists of small, ray finned fish that are all native to the Western Atlantic Ocean.


The Royal Gramma is planktivore, meaning that it eats largely zooplankton and crustaceans.  In a home aquarium they are not picky eaters and will eat a wide variety of prepared as well as fresh and frozen food.  They do not have any special feeding requirements.

Reef Compatible

Royal Gramma Basslets are 100% reef safe and will not bother any corals or invertebrates.


While the Royal Gramma will sometimes protect its territory by opening its mouth wide to scare off intruders, it is considered to be a peaceful fish and will not bully or harass any tankmates.

Water conditions

The Royal Gramma Basslet does not require special water conditions to survive and thrive. Normal salinity of 1.025 is ideal.


Royal Gramma Basslets are instantly recognizable due their distinctive purple and yellow coloration.  They can be distinguished from the more aggressive Royal Dottyback by the fact that there is a transition area between the purple and yellow sections of its body.


Due to their popularity, captive bred Royal Gramma Basslets have become available in recent years.  Because all Royal Grammas are born female it can be difficult for a hobbyist to breed them but a number of successful professional breeding programs have been set up to meet the demand for captive bred specimens.