Fish Green Chromis Schools?

Discussion in 'General Reef Related Discussion' started by Agent M, Jan 28, 2015.

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  1. Agent M

    Agent M Member

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    Whats everyone's experiences with keeping groups of Chromis? And what was your tank size? I'd like to add some new fish to the tank this year but if they kill each other off like I have heard that won't exactly be fun for them or me. Not to mention the waste of time, money and little lives.

    I'm also wanting to quarantine all the fish together in a larger tank and don't want to have to look at adding new fish for a few years after that. Quarantining them is not something I want to repeat too often.
  2. Ben Broadfoot

    Ben Broadfoot Member

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    I also want to hear answers to this.
  3. Sam Parker

    Sam Parker Moderator

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    I've had no trouble keeping 10 chromis (5 blue/green and 5 great barrier reef). Tank is 6x2x2.5 though
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  4. Sam Parker

    Sam Parker Moderator

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    they've been in the tank for about 10 months, haven't lost a single one.

    I did have 3 in my 130l tank, lost two due to heat but at that stage the three had been in there for a good 8 months?
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  5. RobbieMVFC

    RobbieMVFC Member

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    I have 2 in my 3x2x2 , had them for about 3 years.
    The Male is a little aggressive , I had four but he bulled the other two Chromis until they died.
    he still try's to bully other fish but he is soon put back in his place by my cardinals.
    apart from that never had an issue, very hardy fish.
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  6. Damian

    Damian Member

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    Interesting topic.
    I bought 5 Chromis some 20 odd years ago, for my first reef tank. One after another died, it appeared the weakest would be picked on and would die, then the next....
    At the time I did some research, this seemed to be a trend, so I never tried again. Even today, when I speak with experienced hobbyists, there is a belief that Chromis are prone to this pattern.

    Over the past few months I have been reading quite a bit on other forums with regard to peoples experience. Many claim similar experience to what I had, but there are quite a few claiming they have been successful in keeping them for some years.
    Some of the suggestions, albeit anecdotal, might be worth considering.

    Some have suggested they are more sensitive than might be assumed and may be well stressed by the time we receive them.
    Some suggest they become more aggressive to each other when there isn't other fish intimidating them, where they might other wise group together for security.
    Some have suggested keeping them well fed, feeding 3 or more times a day will prevent aggressing.

    I am about to try them again. Time will tell.
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  7. shovie

    shovie Member

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    Ive had 5 in my 3x3x3 for 8 months now. Ive seen a little aggression between the dominate one and the others but nothing major.
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  8. Agent M

    Agent M Member

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    Fantastic first post! Thanks for the info and welcome :) Nothing wrong with anecdotal - can't wait around for the scientists to get it all down on paper ;) I've been trying to find stories of people's experiences with them online and see if I can pick out a common thread, but unfortunately its either one or the other being said 'no problem' or 'they were picked off one by one'. So far it looks like my chances are 50/50.
  9. ezza

    ezza Guest

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    I have one pair. It's all that was available in the store at the time. Originally I wanted more but I think I'm happy with the two. They hang out together and appear quite satisfied without others. There have been no conflicts with any other fish species.

    One of the Chromis actually became quite emaciated after being added to my tank. I have watched it carefully and it seems just to have been a bit stressed perhaps. It's been eating and socializing. If nothing else, it appears to have been more preoccupied with its reflection and longing for more friends. I noticed just today that he has really fattened up this week. He seems to be reaching his happiness equilibrium.
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  10. Agent M

    Agent M Member

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    Yeah, I'm starting to think 2 or 3 may be the safest bet Ezza. They are only to break up the colour of the Anthias and provide some contrast because I think it looks pretty when they are mixed
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  11. ezza

    ezza Guest

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    They are a damsel fish after all. The idea of picking each other off is pretty consistent with what I hear about damsels of all varieties.
  12. NiCd

    NiCd Lead Moderator

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    I have 10 in a four by two, I find I generally have no losses in the first year but lose about five of them between years two and three. I generally "top up" at this point and we are lossless for another year again
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  13. NiCd

    NiCd Lead Moderator

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    BTW I seem to suffer the same issues with Anthia's, not sure if it is a schooling fish issue?
  14. Agent M

    Agent M Member

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    Yeah I think I have the Anthias side covered, I've chosen a less aggressive species that lives in small groups in the wild. So we'll see how that goes
  15. suta42

    suta42 Member

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    Don't know about chromis, but this doesn't seem to be an issue with anthias. The main issues with them are harem size, compatible groups and regular feeding (just feed to the weakest member of a group). If a harem is disrupted through the loss of one individual, then this has a knock on effect on the group ( often a negative one!) ....Maybe not in mild mannered species (Ventralis) but certainly in more narky ones eg P. flavoguttatus, P. cf. aurulentus etc. maybe your chromis experience upheaval when a weaker individual dies???

    The other times even mild mannered species get narky is when you keep true deepwater species at surface water temperatures. But green chromis are surface dwellers so suspect that doesn't apply here? One thing that does seem to diffuse some aggression or at least spread it round, is the addition of unrelated planktivores eg fairy wrasse. Wonder what would happen if you kept a large group of chromis with an equally large group of unrelated planktivores???

    Am curious to see what happens long term if people do try this. :)
  16. Agent M

    Agent M Member

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    Interesting idea! What other planktivore examples can you think of that would suit?
  17. NiCd

    NiCd Lead Moderator

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    Not sure if its the same with my Chromis (as being honest I do not pay a whole lot of attention to them) With the anthias it is not the weakest I have issues with but the strongest.

    There is always a dominant male and then every few months I will I get a subdominant male start to show, those two fight it out (without ever really touching each other) and then ill find one looking like its had a heart attack or will just begin to hide and seem to give up the will to live.

    Once it gets down to only two, things seem fine and they seem to stay that way forever and a day.

    I have noted this with dispars, lyetails and bi colours - All being probably some of the reportedly easier to keep although more aggressive anthias (which may have something to do with it)

    I always QT my anthias for about 4-6 months before introducing them to have them nice and fat and eating prepared foods - even with 10 in 150l tank I never seem to have any losses (apart from shipping deaths in the first day or two -If sent direct) until about 6 months after they hit the display.

    I keep straight species, expect I have a pair of borbs that have resided with all of the above and they have never got into any of it.

    I know i'm not really providing any answers and i'm not stating this will happen in all instances, it is just something I seem to experience for what ever reason?
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  18. suta42

    suta42 Member

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    Yeah, I've experienced this too. What I did was adjust the harem size. Unfortunately, that optimum does seem to vary a lot between species. You still get sub males that want to take over, but with the right size group it doesn't go further. When the group is too big though, then the dominant male is usually too busy dominating the group but doesn't get enough to feed properly ( and still maintain dominance). At least thats been my experience. TBH though I don't keep the species you listed, but some of the behaviour I've seen would make a damsel run for cover. :(

    Understand. Probably a lot of other variables between different peoples tanks too, that may influence outcomes etc...

    Then again, wouldn't be reefing if things were straightforward would it? :)
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  19. suta42

    suta42 Member

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    Agent M ... Honestly not sure???

    Guess I would start with fairies, anthias and flashers. I am new to fairies and recently added a pair of hooded (which are supposedly more mellow) to the tank. Both male and female definitely keep the harem leaders of anthias in check especially during feeding, but without becoming aggressive. This is good IMO because the smaller anthias get an ample chance to feed, maintaining the size of the harem.

    Fwiw I think the hardest will be choosing species that match the temperament of the chromis, and researching any disadvantages that species has over time??? Some fairies and flashers sound very narky. I would be careful with planktivores that are known to be mean, in case you have any other inhabitants that are passive.

    Guess my only other observation is that this might require a larger than average tank, with outstanding export to remove all the poop from regular feeds.

    Anyhow, just some thoughts... :)

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
  20. Agent M

    Agent M Member

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    You might be on to something @suta42 Anyone know what the species of Anthias and the little wrasses that are zipping around?

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