Species group: Basslets and Grammas
Other common names: Brazilian Basslet
Scientific name: Gramma braziliensis
Brazilian Gramma appears only sporadically on dealers’ lists and in stores, but, being small, gorgeous, and relatively hardy, it is well-worth searching for.
The Brazilian Gramma is limited in range to the Atlantic Coastline of Brazil, where it dwells along coral reefs.
Appearance / health:
The elongated, 6.6 cm (2.6 in) body is spectacular in coloration, being blueish-purple on the head and fore body and shading to first to pinkish-yellow at mid body and finally to bright yellow.
Brazilian Grammas prove quite hardy if acclimated to new tanks slowly and provided proper care. As they are scrappy but quite small, tank-mates must be chosen carefully lest they be attacked or consumed by larger fish and invertebrates.
Behavior / temperament:
Brazilian Grammas are always on the go, and frequent the lower level of the aquarium. They can be territorial around a favored rock but are otherwise easy to keep with similarly-sized fishes.
The Brazilian Gramma requires a well-filtered 113 liter (30 gal) or larger aquarium that is provisioned with moderate currents and numerous rock/coral caves and ledges. Live sand and live rock, which will provide supplementary food in the form of micro-organisms, should be utilized if possible. Groups get-along well if all members are introduced at the same time.
The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to assure long-term health: Temperature: 24-26.6 C (74-80 F); Specific Gravity (Salinity): 1.020-1.025; pH: 8.1-8.4.
The diet should be varied, and include finely-chopped clam, squid, and prawn, live and frozen Mysis and brine shrimp, and flakes/pellets formulated for carnivorous marine fishes.
Basslets are hermaphroditic. In most species, males construct a nest of marine algae within a cave or crevice, wherein the female deposits 10-100 eggs. The young hatch in 5-10 days, and usually accept rotifers and newly-hatched brine shrimp. Several species have been bred in captivity, but success with most has not been consistent.
Written by Frank Indiviglio