Blue Green Reef Chromis (Chromis viridis)

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Blue Green Reef Chromis
Chromis viridis
Blue Green Reef Chromis (Chromis viridis)
Name Blue Green Reef Chromis
Name Lat. Chromis viridis
Family Damselfishes
Family lat. Pomacentridae
Order Ovalentarias
Order lat. Ovalentaria inc. sed.
Origin Indo-Pacific
Habitat Coral reefs, lagoons
Diet Omnivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Group
Reef Compatible Yes
Care Level Easy
Life Span 5-8 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 9 cm
Temperature 23-28 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 300 l
US Units
Size 4"
Temperature 73-82 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 80 gal

Distribution and habitat

The distribution area of Chromis viridis is the Red Sea, Indian and Pacific Oceans, from the east coast of Africa throughout the Indo-Pacific region to the west coast of Central America, where they usually live in small shoals on shallow coral reefs and lagoons, preferably in the dense branching corals.


They need a well-structured aquarium with a reef structure that allows for territoriality and at the same time offers hiding, resting and covering possibilities, with living stones that act like a biological filter and sufficient swimming space. Only lime-rich, heavy metal-free substrates may be used as substrate

Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. Lighting must match the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l

For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention must be paid to constantly good water quality.


They feed mainly on zooplankton, but also need plant food. The feed change usually succeeds without problems. The food supply should consist of a commercially available vitamin-enriched frozen special food mixture for plankton eaters or a combination of algae (e.g. spirulina, kelp) with live and frozen food, such as small mysis, krill, bosmids, cyclops and artemia. In addition, high-quality dry food in flake or granular form with a high vegetable content can be offered, which is usually well accepted. It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day (3-5 times).

Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They usually live in small schools and should only be kept in a group of at least 3-5 animals. To avoid ranking fights, they should be introduced into the aquarium at the same time. Dominant males behave territorially at spawning time and consistently defend their territory. They can be well socialized with other peaceful fish.

Sex dimorphism

At spawning time males have a yellowish coloration. Other sexual characteristics are not known.

Reproduction and breeding

Breeding has been successful several times. The male digs a hollow in the sand and fertilizes the eggs laid by several females. After 2-3 days the larvae hatch and are fed and guarded by the male for a few more days by fanning them with fresh, oxygen-rich water.


They can easily be confused with juvenile Chromis atripectoralis. Due to different areas of origin their coloration varies. It is recommended to keep these reef dwellers together with corals, especially acropores

If different species are kept together, care should be taken to ensure that the fish match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements and social behavior, and that the setup meets the needs of all species kept together. New fish to be introduced must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: KUITER & DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF