Species group: Chromis
Other common names:
Scientific name: Chromis agilis
The Agile Chromis is indeed agile, but perhaps some reference to its unique coloration should have been included in the name as well! Personable and hardy, a school of these show-stoppers is a sight to behold.
The Agile Chromis ranges throughout the Indo-Pacific Region, where it lives along coral reefs in sizable schools.
Appearance / health:
The 7.6 cm (3 in) body is beautifully-colored in reddish gold, with splashes of neon pink-purple about the mouth and yellow on the tail.
Agile Chromis are quite hardy if provided proper care. They are fast and alert, but may be injured or consumed by large fishes and aggressive invertebrates.
Behavior / temperament:
Agile Chromis are always on the go, moving about in schools. They get along well with many reef fishes and invertebrates, but will fight with other Chromis species and similarly-shaped fishes.
The Agile Chromis requires a well-filtered 113 liter (30 gal) or larger aquarium that is provisioned with moderate currents and numerous rock/coral caves into which they will retire at night. Live sand and live rock, which will provide some of the micro-organisms they relish, should be utilized if possible. They do best in small groups; larger schools can work, but aggression must be monitored.
The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to assure long-term health: Temperature: 22-25.5 C (72-78 F); Specific Gravity (Salinity): 1.020-1.025; pH: 8.1-8.4.
The diet should include finely-chopped clam, squid, and other meaty foods, live and frozen rotifers, cyclops, Mysis and brine shrimp, and flakes/pellets formulated for omnivorous marine fishes.
In most Chromis species, males guard short-term breeding territories. The eggs are attached to coral or algae, and the planktonic feed upon zooplankton. Some success has been had in public aquariums, but rarely if ever in private collections.
Written by Frank Indiviglio