Sunshine Chromis

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Species group:

Other common names: Purple and Yellow Chromis, Sunshine Fish, Olive Chromis

Scientific name: Chromis insolata

The basics:
The aptly-named and very hardy Sunshine Chromis is an excellent choice for novices and pros alike. These stunning reef dwellers are not shy about showing off their beauty, and make for an eye-catching display.

The Sunshine Chromis ranges from Florida, USA south through the Caribbean Sea, where it lives along coral reefs and sea grass beds.

Appearance / health:

The Sunshine Chromis sports a yellow back, blue to purple mid-section, and white dorsal area. Adults reach 16.5 cm (6.5 in) in length.

Sunshine Chromis are quite hardy and long-lived if kept in a stable, pristine reef environment. Their color may fade with time, but a varied diet of live and frozen foods (see below) will offset this.

Behavior / temperament:
These active schooling fish utilize all levels of the aquarium. Many keepers report distinct individual personalities among their pets. They get along well with many reef fishes and invertebrates, but will fight with other Chromis species and similarly-shaped fishes.

The Sunshine Chromis requires a well-filtered 208 liter (55 gal) or larger aquarium that is provisioned with moderate currents and numerous rock/coral caves. Live sand and live rock 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 a wide variety of chopped marine invertebrates and other meaty foods, live and frozen Mysis and brine shrimp, and flakes/pellets formulated for omnivorous and herbivorous 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

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