Best for Experienced Owners
Activity Level: High
Chromis are communal saltwater fish that are normally found in the tropical waters and coral reefs of the south Pacific, Indian, Red, Caribbean, and Mediterranean oceans. Chromis are one of the most popular types of pet saltwater fish as they are very bright and colourful, small in size, generally peaceful, and relatively easy to care for. Chromis are in the same family as damselfish and clownfish.
Chromis are communal, peaceful, active fast moving fish. Chromis can usually share a tank with other fish that are peaceful to semi-aggressive in temperament, and are similar is size. Dwarf angelfish, blennies, small clownfish, gobies, tangs, small damselfish, and the smaller species of wrasse are all good tank mates for chromis. Chromis should not be kept with extremely small fish as they may eat them. Chromis are communal fish that prefer to live in groups of 6-20; however, only chromis of the same species should be kept together as chromis of different species will fight. Chromis are diurnal in nature, which means that they are most active during the daytime.
Chromis require about two gallons of tank space for every one-inch of fish. Depending on the species of chromis, they range from 2-6 inches long, so one adult chromis requires 4-12 gallons of tank space. However, as chromis are communal fish, a community of chromis requires 12-120 gallons of tank space. Chromis naturally live in tropical saltwater reef areas, so their aquarium should be set up to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible. The bottom of the aquarium should be covered in about 3-4 inches of sea sand and should include some coral, hollow rocks or other things for the chromis to hide in. The aquarium will also require a water filtration system, an internal water pump, water heater, thermometer and a hydrometer to check salt levels. The aquarium can also include some real or fake plants. The temperature of the water should be around 75-83 Fahrenheit and have a salinity of 1.020. to 1.026. The aquarium light should be on during the day and turned off at night. Chromis are far hardier than most other saltwater fish are when it comes to water pollution and problems, and adapt better to water changes.
Appearance and Care:
Chromis are very bright attractive fish that measure 2-6 inches from nose to tail when full grown. Both male and female chromis are around the same size, but males are usually brighter in coloration than females are. Chromis come in a variety of colors; the most common are blue with black markings and black fins; dull green with black stripes; bright yellow with a sliver belly; and black with small bright yellow dots.
Chromis are omnivores; they eat a mixture of commercial fish food, and fish and small crustaceans. Chromis are perfectly fine with eating dead food or even fish flakes, but most enjoy live food and it usually makes for a healthier fish. Most chromis enjoy commercial fish food, shrimp, small crabs, scallops, mussels, flaked can tuna, small lobsters, and very small or dead gobies.
Chromis are very hardy saltwater fish; however, like all saltwater fish they do require a lot of dedication to ensure their environment is sustained properly. Chromis have a life expectancy of 4-10 years; females tend to live longer the males do.