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Black Cap Basslet

(Gramma melacara)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 3"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Western Central Atlantic
• Family: Grammidae   • Species: Basslets   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Black Cap Basslet native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Black Cap Basslet can be found on the edges of reefs within deeper waters in the Western Central Atlantic. They are an ideal addition for reef tanks and beginning hobbyists as they are a brightly colored, beautiful and generally peaceful species that is only a threat to very small invertebrates such as amphipods, copepods, and isopods.

They can become territorial with others of their kind, but multiple specimens can coexist in larger aquariums. Black Cap Basslets get their name because of the black, cap-like marking on their heads; adding some style to the welcome splash of color that they bring to the reef with their vivid purple coloration. Although they are very popular, Black Cap Basslets are in high demand and can often be hard to acquire; using an online vendor will bring more success.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Black Cap Basslet in the home aquarium.

The Black Cap Basslet should be housed in an aquarium of at least 30 gallons with fine sand to crushed coral substrate and be provided with a sufficient amount of live rock with plenty of hiding places. They can usually be seen darting in and out of the reef and cruising around at mid-level in their aquarium; although they can be quick to vanish at the first sign of danger.

They are known jumpers like most other Basslets and a hood or lid of some sort should be in place on their tank. The Black Cap Basslet is generally very peaceful with other tank inhabitants, but they will guard their favorite cave or swimming area; if more than one specimen is desired it's recommended to add them at the same time and to only do so in larger aquariums as they can be somewhat aggressive to their own species.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Black Cap Basslet.

Black Cap Basslets are carnivorous and usually feed on amphipods, copepods, isopods, and other tiny invertebrates within their natural habitat. They should be fed a variety of meaty foods such as live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, finely chopped krill and other sea foods; they will also readily accept small carnivore/omnivore pellets and flake foods. Variety is essential for their beautiful coloration and long term health needs. Feed 1 to 2 times per day.

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