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Green Chromis: Chromis viridis

Phylum: Class: Order: Family: Genus: Species:
Chordata Aclinopterygii Perciformes Pomacentridae Chromis C. viridis

Common Names:  Blue-Green Chromis, Blue-Green Puller, Blue-Green Damselfish, Green Damselfish

Scientific Name:  Chromis viridis

Description:
The Green Chromis a small fish characterized by it’s uniform iridescent pale green coloration that may have a blue tint to it in some specimens.  Males may display iridescent blue markings on the head, especially during breeding.

The Green Chromis can be confused with the similar looking Black-axil Chromis (Chromis atripectoralis)  but the latter has a black dot at the base of the pectoral fin.

Natural Environment:
Found throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region.  They live in large aggregations over branching coral into which they can dive if threatened and in which they sleep at night.  They are found in relatively shallow water up to a maximum depth of about 36′ deep in areas of lower water flow such as lagoons.

Reef Tank Suitability:
Green Chromis are excellent reef tank inhabitants and good community fish.  They are very hardy and relatively inexpensive and therefore sometimes considered a beginners fish, but are in fact popular with aquarist at all levels.  They do best when kept in groups of 3 or more fish as they are a schooling fish and will tend to hang together in the reef tank.  In large reef tanks, they can form large attractive schools.  They like to nestle down in a coral head to sleep at night or if frightened.

Although they are a fairly small fish, they are not suitable for very small tanks due to their active open water swimming habits and the recommendation to keep at least 3 in the tank.

Disposition:
Green Chromis are excellent community fish and relatively non-aggressive.  They tend to not bother other fish or be bothered by other fish.  In this regard, they are some of the best behaved members of the Damselfish family.

When breeding, they can become territorial when they stake out a spot to lay eggs and will drive other fish away from that spot.

Feeding:
The Green Chromis will eat most meaty foods of suitable size as well as flake or pellet foods.  There have also been reports of them eating red algae.

Hardiness:
The Green Chromis is extremely hardy

Temperature:
Does well within normal reef tank temperature ranges of approximately 74-84°F.

Size:
Green Chromis can get up to about 4″ in the wild, but are typically 1-3″ in reef aquaria.

Breeding:
Green Chromis will occasionally breed in reef aquaria.  They are community egg layers in that one male will mate with several females at the same time.  Once they find a suitable substrate on which to lay their eggs, which is frequently the glass, the male drives the females one at a time to that spot where they lay and fertilize the adhesive eggs.  The male will drive each female back to the egg laying spot several times  in rotation until all the eggs are laid.

Once spawning is completed, the male takes on the role of protecting the eggs until they hatch in about 3 days, driving potential egg eaters away from the spot.  In a community reef tank, the young will become part of the food chain.  There is a poor quality photo of a spawning in a reef tank below.

Though the Green Chromis can be breed in captivity, there is little incentive to do this commercially as the fish is plentiful and easy to collect in the wild and sell for a low cost in the hobby.  To my knowledge all fish in the hobby are wild caught.

Acknowledgments:
Header photograph courtesy of Wiki Commons.  All other  photos by ReefCorner © All Rights Reserved

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