Barrier Reef Chromis

Barrier Reef Chromis
Latin name:
(Chromis nitida)

Care Level





White, Yellow



Preferred Conditions

sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size


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Are you looking to add a splash of color and vibrancy to your aquarium? Look no further than the Barrier Reef Chromis, a stunning fish species known for its captivating patterns and lively behavior. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of Barrier Reef Chromis, providing you with all the essential information you need to successfully keep and care for these beautiful creatures in your home aquarium.

Barrier Reef Chromis: An Overview

The Barrier Reef Chromis, scientifically known as Chromis viridis, is a species of damselfish native to the vibrant coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific region. These fish are characterized by their vibrant green coloration, which can range from a deep emerald to a bright lime green. They typically grow to a maximum size of around 6 inches, making them a suitable choice for aquariums of various sizes.

Habitat and Behavior

Barrier Reef Chromis are found in shallow waters, often inhabiting coral reefs and rocky areas. They are typically found in small groups or pairs, forming loose aggregations that swim together in the water column. These fish are known for their active and playful behavior, often engaging in playful chases and interactions with other fish in the aquarium.

Diet and Nutrition

Barrier Reef Chromis are omnivorous fish, with a diet that consists of a variety of food items. In the wild, they feed on zooplankton, small crustaceans, and algae. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of high-quality flake food, frozen foods such as brine shrimp and mysis shrimp, and live foods such as fruit flies and daphnia. It’s important to provide a varied diet to ensure that your fish are getting all the nutrients they need.

Setting Up a Barrier Reef Chromis Aquarium

Creating a suitable environment for your Barrier Reef Chromis is crucial for their health and well-being. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when setting up their aquarium:

Tank Size and Dimensions

Barrier Reef Chromis require a minimum tank size of 30 gallons, although a larger tank is always better. The tank should be at least 24 inches long and 12 inches wide, providing ample swimming space for these active fish. A taller tank is also beneficial, as Barrier Reef Chromis are known to swim in the middle and upper levels of the water column.

Water Parameters

Barrier Reef Chromis prefer warm, tropical waters with stable water parameters. The ideal water temperature range is between 72°F and 78°F, with a pH level between 8.1 and 8.4. The water should also have a specific gravity of 1.025 to 1.026. Regular water changes are essential to maintain good water quality and prevent the buildup of harmful toxins.

Filtration and Lighting

A powerful filtration system is essential for maintaining a clean and healthy environment for your Barrier Reef Chromis. A combination of mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration is recommended. Good water movement is also important, as these fish prefer well-oxygenated water. As for lighting, Barrier Reef Chromis prefer moderate lighting conditions. Avoid intense lighting, as this can stress the fish and cause them to hide.

Decorating Your Barrier Reef Chromis Aquarium

Creating a visually appealing and stimulating environment for your Barrier Reef Chromis is important for their overall well-being. Here are some tips for decorating their aquarium:

Substrate and Plants

Barrier Reef Chromis prefer a sandy substrate, which mimics their natural habitat. You can also add some live rock or artificial rock formations to provide hiding places and perching spots for your fish. Live plants can also be added to the aquarium, but choose plants that can tolerate the higher pH and temperature requirements of Barrier Reef Chromis.

Decorations and Hiding Places

Barrier Reef Chromis appreciate having plenty of hiding places in their aquarium. You can add caves, driftwood, or PVC pipes to provide them with shelter and security. These hiding places can also help to reduce stress and aggression among the fish.

Choosing Tank Mates for Barrier Reef Chromis

Barrier Reef Chromis can be kept with a variety of tank mates, but it’s important to choose compatible species that won’t harass or bully them. Some good tank mates for Barrier Reef Chromis include:

  • Clownfish
  • Gobies
  • Firefish
  • Wrasses
  • Blennies

Avoid keeping Barrier Reef Chromis with aggressive or territorial fish, as they may become stressed or even injured.

Common Diseases and Health Issues

Barrier Reef Chromis are generally hardy fish, but they can be susceptible to certain diseases and health issues. Some common problems to watch out for include:

  • Ich
  • Velvet
  • Marine ich
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections

Regular monitoring of your fish and maintaining good water quality can help to prevent and treat these diseases.

FAQs About Barrier Reef Chromis

  1. Q: How many Barrier Reef Chromis can I keep in my aquarium?
    A: The number of Barrier Reef Chromis you can keep in your aquarium depends on the size of the tank. As a general rule, you can keep one Barrier Reef Chromis per 10 gallons of water.
  2. Q: What is the lifespan of a Barrier Reef Chromis?
    A: The lifespan of a Barrier Reef Chromis in captivity is typically around 5 to 8 years, although some individuals may live longer with proper care and maintenance.
  3. Q: Can Barrier Reef Chromis be kept in a reef tank?
    A: Yes, Barrier Reef Chromis can be kept in a reef tank, as they are generally reef-safe. However, it’s important to choose tank mates carefully, as some aggressive or territorial fish may harass or bully them.


Barrier Reef Chromis are vibrant and captivating fish that can add a touch of color and excitement to your aquarium. By providing them with a suitable environment, a healthy diet, and compatible tank mates, you can ensure that these beautiful fish thrive and bring joy to your home for years to come.