View Full Version : Help Forming a Harem of Royal Grammas.

10/15/2015, 02:05 PM
ok, so i just ordered 4 royal grammas online i asked for the smallest they had, they where supposed to be under an inch, but i'd say they where just a hair over an inch. two of them are going to die, while still breathing, they have no ability to swim anymore. one of them is probably going to die, he's doing death throws, but at least he can keep himself upright. and the last seems stressed and not great, but i'd give him better than not odds of making it. i don't know what the company might do about it, if they will offer replacements. i'm going to let them loose in the tank soon to give them their best chance, but i doubt i'll find them again to ship back or whatever.

so here's my question, what would be the best way to go about getting a harem now? should i get one at my lfs that's probably already a male and hope he pairs with the survivor which im hoping is a female? should i get more from the company if they offer their refund? what is the mainframe for them to start changing sex?

the tank is a 55, well established tank that a pistol shrimp decimated, so after capturing him, i renovated the tank a little, added some macros, and ordered the fish.

10/15/2015, 04:33 PM
Well, if you want a harem, your best bet is to put a small group of smaller grammas together at the same time, and your tank is large enough for at least six, provided there are enough "bolt holes" (i.e. "rock scape") for them. It is risky to introduce larger grammas to smaller ones if the smaller ones are also new to the tank, but riskier to introduce smaller ones to established larger ones.

I have had a "harem" in my 40B now for well over a year (almost two now), and I was able to collect the group from local shops all at once - specifically choosing only the smallest fish. I tried the same thing again for a friend, and we ordered 7 small grammas from KP Aquatics, but 2 came in significantly larger then the rest unfortunately. They immediately fought in the quarantine tank, with the loser suffering a jaw injury and dying within a week. The remaining six have been fine now for over 6 months, also in a 40B.

Over the years (going on 20!), I have personally kept royal grammas in groups at least 4 times, and have never lost any, but it really is best to start with them all the same small size, like you originally planned - good luck.

http://i1148.photobucket.com/albums/o575/aaroncobaugh/temporary-170.jpg (http://s1148.photobucket.com/user/aaroncobaugh/media/temporary-170.jpg.html)

http://i1148.photobucket.com/albums/o575/aaroncobaugh/temporary-197.jpg (http://s1148.photobucket.com/user/aaroncobaugh/media/temporary-197.jpg.html)

There really are 6 in there, but for some reason, the smallest always hides when I pull out the phone! The pygmy angel pair is also a bit skittish, but I got lucky. I also noticed that my harlequin bass is also not in these picks, so I will have to try again for better pics, and these are several months old anyways... :)

Oh, and I know some ascribe to the theory that the size of the two color regions (yellow vs. purple) can be used to determine sex, but I don't personally, and Scott Michael notes that it is probably regional variation - the northern form has more yellow, while the southern has more purple (he calls it magenta). He also believes size determines sex (as do I), and also advocates only one large gramma per tank.

10/15/2015, 04:56 PM
so do you think i'll be safe if i get three more, as small as i can, withing a few weeks?

10/15/2015, 05:24 PM
I believe so, yes...

You can also use a large acrylic acclimatization "box" if you wan't to be extra cautious.

10/15/2015, 07:26 PM
i think i will get at least one more in the next week or so, but at least 2 seem to have made it. one is definitely dead, found him half eaten by a bristle worm withing hours of putting him in the tank, the last is missing, but im positive that one is dead also, and with the bristle worms i have, i doubt i will ever see him.

i'm at least glad there are two, and that they don't seem to be fighting.

10/15/2015, 08:25 PM
Well, good to hear that at least a couple made it, although it is a shame that you also lost two. Again, with a tank your size, you could keep more than three, but that is up to you, especially as you plan on captive reproduction...

10/15/2015, 09:01 PM
i love your pics by the way. do you breed the grammas? or just like them in groups? i got both banggais and grammas, i was thinking about breeding the banggais because they sound pretty easy, but i like royal gramma behavior in groups, plus i might want to breed them in the future.

10/15/2015, 10:47 PM
Thanks, and I am not attempting to breed the grammas, but do love a small group of them, similar to natural behavior...