Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
fast facts

About Chromis

Aquarium Size
Medium (30+ gal)
Swimming Region
Fish Water Condition
Suitable Tank Mates
Clownfish, Dartfish, Gobies, Hawkfish, Puffers and Tangs
Difficulty Of Care
Weekly care
Chromis General description

Chromis are an extremely popular family of saltwater fish. They are characterized by their slim, oval shaped bodies and bright colorations. Their small size, peaceful temperament and hardy nature make them an excellent choice for most beginner saltwater aquarists. Most species only grow up to a couple of inches in length and often school in groups of 20 or more in the wild.

Chromis are an extremely popular family of saltwater fish.


Chromis originate from the Indo-Pacific Ocean.


Most species of chromis are brightly colored and come in shades of grey, silver, black, blue, green, purple and yellow.

Maintenance and care

Chromis are one of the easiest species of saltwater fish for the home aquarium and make excellent pets for the beginner aquarist. They are also able to tolerate a wide range of water conditions and are among some of the hardiest species of saltwater fish.

They are extremely peaceful in nature and can coexist in groups and with other non-predatory fish. They should ideally be kept in shoals of 6 or more to feel secure in the aquarium. They will establish a social hierarchy amongst the group but will do so peacefully. However, it is not recommended to keep large groups of chromis in aquariums that are less than 55 gallons in size.

This fish thrive when housed in aquariums with large open swimming spaces and lots caves and crevices to hide in. They do not feed on coral and other invertebrates and make excellent additions to reef aquariums.


Chromis will readily accept a variety of live, frozen and processed foods in the aquarium. It is advisable to feed them with a few small portions of foods throughout the day instead of one or two large meals. Algae are a significant part of this fish’s diet in the wild and it is recommended that they be fed on algae and algae based foods occasionally.

Chromis are one of the easiest species of saltwater fish for the home aquarium and make excellent pets for the beginner aquarist.


Chromis breed in groups comprised of one male and a few females. When ready to breed, a chromis male will build a nest in the aquarium substrate which will be shared by all the females in the group. Once the eggs are laid, the male will guard them and fan them with fresh water using his caudal fin. The male will also eat any unfertilized eggs to prevent them from spreading bacterial and fungal infections among the whole spawn.

Aquarium varieties

Agile, Black and White, Black Axil, Reef, Lemon, Paletail, etc.

Photo credit: Kevin Bryant/Flickr; Steve Mohundro/Flickr

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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