How to Breed Green Chromis

Green chromis' young float through the water after hatching, eating very small plankton particles.
Green chromis' young float through the water after hatching, eating very small plankton particles. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Green chromis, also known as blue green chromis or blue green damselfish, are a type of saltwater damselfish. Green chromis are known as hardy, easy-to-care-for schooling fish. Green chromis stay small, only growing to about 3 inches in length, and can stand a wide variety of water conditions. Although these fish are easy to care for, they are difficult to breed. Green chromis, breed in a manner very similar to clownfish and other damselfish and, like many damselfish or clownfish types, do not breed readily in captivity.

Things You'll Need

  • Breeding aquarium
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Aquarium decorations

Select a group of mature green chromis. Mature fish are fish that have reached their adult size. This group should include six or more fish. Although it is possible to breed the fish in pairs, determining the gender of a green chromis is difficult. The only telltale gender marker is the male’s mating behavior. Grouping a number of green chromis in an aquarium should ensure that you have at least one male or female.

Add a gravel substrate to the breeding aquarium. Also, add aquarium decorations such as logs, rocks or corals. Green chromis, like most damselfish, lay their eggs on a flat surface. The fish may choose the gravel substrate or a portion of an aquarium decoration for this task. Either way, it’s important to provide the fish with options.

Wait for the green chromis to breed. Providing the fish with a private aquarium, nesting areas and other fish to choose from should induce spawning. However, there is no real way to force the fish to breed, so patience will be required.

Observe the fish. When the fish are getting ready to mate, you will notice that the male green chromis are selecting an area for their territory. The male will defend his personal territory from all other fish. He will clean an area, getting rid of any debris. The male green chromis will then attempt to lure the female green chromis to his territory. He may change colors, turning yellow. The male will swim energetically until the female approaches.

Watch the female deposit the eggs in the male’s territory. The female may deposit thousands of eggs at a time. The male will then fertilize the eggs. The female leaves after spawning, while the male stays to care for and guard the eggs. The male may also mate with other females in the group. The eggs should hatch within three to seven days. After the eggs hatch, remove the parents from the aquarium so they don’t eat the young.

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