Fish Behaviour Question


New member

I have a few questions please about my fish's behaviour.

My royal gramma is spending a fair amount of time hiding in a cave in the live rock. It's a new cave to him. (His previous home must be a bit too close to the pump for our new skimmer for his liking.) He comes out to eat and to swim around. When he swims around he seems to be hitting some of the rocks. I can't tell if he is trying to eat something off the rock quickly or if he is truly hitting or rubbing up against the rock. He still chases the clownfish if they get too close.

Is this normal behaviour for a gramma or do I have a sick fish? Are there other signs I should be looking for?

His tank mates are a pair of clowns and a flame angel. We also have two cleaner shrimp, a blood shrimp and three peppermint shrimp. The clowns and shrimp seem fine. Our flame angel also seems fine, but I have seen him being cleaned by the shrimp several times recently.

Our tank is a 55g fish only with 50 pounds of live rock and 20 pounds of base rock. I have tested the water and it seems to be ok. Ammonia and nitrites are both 0. Nitrates are perhaps a 1. There is a slight colour to the water but no where near the colour that a 5 would be. PH is 8.4. SG is 1.024 and phosphates are .5. I have started to use RO/DI water recently.

I have a quarantine tank set up and it could be ready to go shortly if needed.


New member
I'm not certain. The rocks your gramma seems to be hitting, is there any algae growing on them? I know my gramma would "harvest" algae to pack his home with, which he would work on obsessively, trying to get it "just right." He would also pick up anything he could that was motile and near his home and deposit it elsewhere, out of sight. Nothing was permitted to move around his home!


New member
There is some red bubble algae on one of the rocks. Since I first posted this, he has been alternating between two caves.