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Garibaldi Damselfish
(Hypsypops rubicunda) Moderate Aggressive 14" 180 gallons dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025, 64-74° F Omnivore Eastern Pacific coast of California and Mexico Pomacentridae Damselfish Fish Only The Garibaldi Damselfish is a cool water or subtropical fish species found off the Western coast of southern California down to the Mexican state of Baja California and Guadalupe Island. They are typically found living near rocky reef slopes, rocky sea-bottoms and in kelp forests in the more northern part of their range. The Garibaldi Damsel is the official marine state fish of California and is protected in all Californian coastal waters. It is quite common in the range from Santa Catalina Island down to La Jolla Cove (San Diego). Unlike the Damselfish species that are most commonly available within the marine hobby, the Garibaldi Damselfish grows to over a foot in length and can live upwards of 25 years, which is more common to large Angelfish than Damselfish. A proper aquarium environment for the Garibaldi Damselfish should first and foremost provide plenty of open swimming room, including at least 6 feet in length on the long side of the aquarium. Secondly, the aqua scape should contain plenty of rocky formations that have both caves and crevices in order to provide territory and mimic the fishes natural habitat. The water temperature should be around 68°F to 70°F for optimal conditions and should not exceed 75°F. Garibaldi are also used to water that is highly saturated with dissolved oxygen, thus the hobbyists should utilize both wet/dry filtration and powerheads or wave makers to ensure that the was has high amounts of dissolved oxygen. The simple fact with Garibaldi Damselfish is that they grow large, are aggressive and are very territorial towards others of their own kind or similarly shaped and sized other fish species. In the wild they will claim a territory that provides plenty of rocky caves and crevices in which they can hunt for food and also seek protection from larger predatory fish. They will look for a similar type of area within the aquarium and will defend their chosen territory vigorously. Aquariums that are too small in size or footprint will cause problems as the Garibaldi Damselfish is likely to see the entire aquarium as their own. As they can live upwards of 25 years in the wild, they take protecting their home territory very seriously since they plan on being there for a long time. Hobbyists need to provide them with a large aquarium containing both open swimming areas and plenty of rocky aquascaping so that they can maintain a suitable territory and tolerate other tank mates. Tank mates must be carefully considered as well, since they will need to be large enough and tough enough to be able to coexist with the Garibaldi Damselfish. Lastly, with a wild diet that consists mainly of crustaceans and invertebrates, the Garibaldi Damselfish is only suitable for large FOWLR aquariums as they will make a meal out of crabs, shrimp, snails or other similar invertebrate species. In nature the Garibaldi Angelfish feeds primarily on small invertebrates that it catches in rocky crevices and on the rocky sea bed. In the marine aquarium environment it is best to feed them a variety of marine based meaty foods including: krill, shrimp, squid, clams, etc. A mix of fresh, frozen and quality dried foods will provide an economical and balanced nutritional diet. It is best to feed them twice a day an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes. Hobbyists should always be keeping an eye on the overall girth and appearance of their fish and adjust feeding schedule accordingly.
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Starcki Damsel
(Chrysiptera starcki) Easy Semi-aggressive 3" 30 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Omnivore Australia, Java, Western Pacific Pomacentridae Damselfish Reef Compatible Starcki Damselfish originate from the coral reefs of the Western Pacific, where they are typically found living either singularly or in small groups. The Starcki Damsel will generally stake out a portion of the reef as their territory and patrol it against other Damselfish or similarly sized/shaped fish species. They do very well within the aquarium hobby, as they are an excellent addition to either reef or FOWLR aquariums. Starcki Damsels provide more than just good looks for the reef aquarium, as they are good for eating algae and will not harm corals or invertebrates. They are also an excellent species for beginning marine aquarium hobbyists since they can tolerate a wide range of aquarium conditions and are easy to feed. Starcki Damselfish's only aquarium requirement is the presence of rocky caves and crevices in which to hide when threatened and to use as their territory within the aquarium. Live rock is the best choice to provide territory for the Starcki Damsel as it will provide them both with territory and as a supplemental food source via the algae growing on the rock. The Starcki Damsel is a good addition to both reef and fish-only aquariums 30 gallons or larger or nano reef aquariums 20 gallons or larger. They should generally be kept as the only Damselfish in most aquariums, with the exception being that very large aquariums with plenty of live rock being able to house multiple specimens. Like most Damselfish, the Starcki Damsel is territorial and will need enough space (territory) within the aquarium to claim as it's own to eliminate or lesson aggression towards other similarly sized tank mates. Larger aquariums can support multiple or small groups of Damselfish, as it can provide enough territory. Aquariums with lot's of live rock are best suited for the Starcki Damsel, as this will provide them with an abundance of rocky caves and crevices in which to swim. This will also lessen their aggressiveness since there will be less pressure to secure territory on the reef when there is an abundance of suitable spots on the reef. The Starcki Damsel is generally considered a moderately aggressive Damselfish species, with a temperament similar to the Yellowtail Blue Damsel. They do not have any special lighting or filtration requirements, but will enjoy plenty of water movement which will simulate their natural coral reef habitat. Starcki Damselfish feed primarily on plankton and algae in their natural coral reef environment. In the aquarium environment they will readily accept a wide variety of vegetable based and meaty commercial foods. It is important to provide them with both meaty and vegetable based foods along with marine algae in order to provide them all the vitamins and minerals that they need to maintain a healthy immune system. They will do well with a diet based on a variety of live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin enriched foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, cyclop-eeze, formula I & II and other prepared foods such as Spirulina-based, mini carnivore and herbivore pellets and flake foods.
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Blue Velvet Damselfish
(Paraglyphidodon oxyodon) Easy Aggressive 6" 55 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Omnivore Western Pacific, Indonesia, Fiji Pomacentridae Damselfish Fish Only The Blue Velvet Damselfish is one of the larger and more aggressive species of Damselfish commonly seen within the marine aquarium hobby. Their aggressive nature within the aquarium has led to a variety of common names that include the word "devil" in them, like the Javanese Devil Damsel & Blue Streak Devil. The aggressiveness of the Blue Velvet Damselfish makes them a risky addition for peaceful community aquariums, but they do make good additions to semi-aggressive to aggressive FOWLR or predatory aquarium setups. Their strong personality makes the Blue Velvet Damselfish able to coexist with larger and more aggressive fish species like Triggerfish, Large Angelfish and Larger Tang species. It is best to keep adult Blue Velvet Damselfish in larger aquariums (larger than 55 gallons) with other boisterous fish species that will not be intimidated by the Blue Velvet Damsel. While they will not harm corals or sessile invertebrates, they are not generally recommended for reef aquariums as they will harass the typically more peaceful reef fish species. As the Blue Velvet Damselfish matures, they become more aggressive in nature and tend to lose some of their vibrant coloration as they tend to become more solid black to dark brown in color. Successfully keeping the Blue Velvet Damselfish revolves heavily on providing them with adequate territory within the aquarium. Larger aquariums with plenty of live rock will allow the Blue Velvet Damselfish to establish it's own territory, which will lower it's aggression towards tank mates and provide it a sense of security knowing that it has an area of the reef to retreat to when needed. While they are considered easy to keep in the aquarium environment, the Blue Velvet Damselfish does require stable and quality water parameters in order to maintain proper health. They are susceptible to ich when kept in newly established aquariums or aquariums with unstable water parameters. The Blue Velvet Damselfish is able to hold it's own with much larger or more aggressive fish species, thus makes a good addition to larger FOWLR or predatory aquariums where other Damselfish or Chromis species would not be able to be kept. Blue Velvet Damselfish are often kept in large predatory aquariums in order to eat leftover food particles from messy eaters like Triggerfish and Sharks. Blue Velvet Damselfish are an omnivorous species that will readily consume a mix of meaty foods, vegetable based foods and marine algae in their diet. They should be fed a varied diet of both meaty and vegetable based foods in order to provide them with all the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain a healthy immune system. Blue Velvet Damselfish are aggressive feeders, that will consume a wide variety of commercial foods including: flake, freeze-dried, frozen, crisp and small pellet based foods. Some popular commercial foods commonly available on the market that in combination would provide the Blue Velvet Damselfish a complete nutritional diet include: spirulina brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, cyclop-eeze, Forumla I & II, Prime Reef and other similar preparations. It is best to feed them multiple times throughout the day an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes.
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Princess Damselfish
(Pomacentrus vaiuli) Easy Semi-aggressive 3" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Omnivore Fiji, Western Pacific Pomacentridae Damselfish Reef Compatible Princess Damselfish (Pomacentrus vaiuli) or as they are also commonly referred to as Ocellate Damselfish are available within the aquarium hobby from time to time. They exported from Fiji, where they can be found living in multiple coral reef locations throughout the region. Princess Damselfish have a very interesting color pattern, with colors that vary slightly between individuals with some exhibiting more blue coloration on the body while others are more of a yellow/orange color. The Princess Damselfish does well in both reef and FOWLR aquariums, and will not disturb corals, invertebrates or most other fish species. They may become territorial towards other Damselfish or similarly sized species with age; however, their overall aggression level is manageable when kept in a reasonably sized aquarium. The Princess Damselfish (Pomacentrus vaiuli) can be easily kept in a wide range of aquarium environments ranging from nano reefs to large FOWLR systems. The main requirement for the Princess Damselfish is to provide it with plenty of live rock or coral reef in order to provide it both with territory and places to hide when threatened. They are generally very peaceful as juveniles and become semi-aggressive with age. They will not bother corals or inverts, and will generally only squabble with very similar fish species if they are not given enough territory within the aquarium. The ideal environment for the Princess Damselfish would include an extensive live rock reef with moderate to strong water currents and tank mates that range from peaceful to semi-aggressive in temperament. Their size and ease of care make the Princess Damselfish an excellent choice for beginning hobbyists, while their brilliant coloration make them popular with all levels of marine aquarium hobbyists. Princess Damselfish are an omnivorous species that consume a mix of meaty foods, vegetable based foods and marine algae in their diet. They should be fed a varied diet of both meaty and vegetable based foods in order to provide them with all the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain a healthy immune system. Princess Damselfish will readily consume a wide variety of commercial foods including: flake, freeze-dried, frozen, crisp and small pellet based foods. Some popular commercial foods commonly available on the market that in combination would provide the Princess Damselfish a complete nutritional diet include: spirulina brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, cyclop-eeze, Forumla I & II, Prime Reef and other similar preparations. It is best to feed them multiple times throughout the day an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes.
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Golden Damselfish
(Amblyglyphidodon aureus) Easy Semi-aggressive 5" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Omnivore Western Pacific Pomacentridae Damselfish Reef Compatible Golden Damselfish (Amblyglyphidodon aureus) or as they are also commonly referred to as Yellow Damselfish, originate from the various areas of the Western Pacific including the Andaman Sea and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean across to Fiji, north to the Ryukyu Islands and down south to the Rowley Shoals (eastern Indian Ocean), the Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia and in Tonga. Unlike many Damselfish species which are often found in large groups or schools, the Golden Damselfish is generally found as a single specimen or in very small groups of just a few individuals. They are generally quite peaceful when the are young, but become considerably more aggressive with age. Adult specimens should be house with other semi-aggressive species in an aquarium large enough to afford them all a reasonable amount of territory. When kept within the aquarium environment, it is best to keep a single individual or a pair, as a small group is more likely not to work out as the weaker individual will often be picked on, causing it stress and usually death. The Golden Damselfish is equally at home in both reef and FOWLR marine aquariums of 30 gallons or more. They can be slightly aggressive to similarly sized and shaped species and to others of their own species, but will not harm corals, inverts or other dissimilar fish species. Golden Damselfish appreciate plenty of caves and crevices within the rock work, in which to dart into when they feel threatened. They do not have any special requirements in regards to lighting or water flow, and are considered a very hardy species that can tolerate less than perfect water conditions. Their hardy disposition makes the Golden Damselfish a good species for beginning marine aquarium hobbyists. They do become more aggressive with age, but this can be reduced by providing them with a large enough aquarium to provide them a small territory separate from other Damselfish species. A well balanced diet will also curb aggression as the Golden Damselfish will feel less need to aggressively compete for food. As an omnivorous species, Golden Damselfish need to consume a mix of meaty foods, vegetable based foods and marine algae in their diet. They should be fed a varied diet of both meaty and vegetable based foods in order to provide them with all the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain a healthy immune system. Golden Damselfish will readily consume a wide variety of commercial foods including: flake, freeze-dried, frozen, crisp and small pellet based foods. Some popular commercial foods commonly available on the market that in combination would provide the Golden Damselfish a complete nutritional diet include: spirulina brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, cyclop-eeze, Forumla I & II, Prime Reef and other similar preparations. It is best to feed them multiple times throughout the day an amount of food that they will consume within a few minutes.
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Neon Damselfish
(Pomacentrus alleni) Easy Semi-aggressive 3" 30 gallons 72-80° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4 sg 1.020-1.026 Omnivore Fiji, Sri Lanka Pomacentridae Damselfish Reef Compatible Neon Damselfish (Pomacentrus alleni) is a brightly colored species of Damselfish that exhibit brilliant neon blue, green and yellowish/orange coloration. While they are considered an easy species to keep within the aquarium environment, they will only exhibit their true brilliant coloration when they are happy with both the tank conditions and their tank mates. The Neon Damselfish's coloration will appear much more dull when either water conditions are poor or they are being harassed by aggressive tank mates. Despite being a Damselfish, the Neon Damsel has a disposition that has more in common with Chromis species than with the typical Damselfish species. They are quite docile and should have no problem coexisting with most peaceful reef species. A school of Neon Damselfish makes an excellent addition to a reef aquarium or a FOWLR aquarium with other peaceful to semi-aggressive tank mates. Neon Damselfish do well in either reef or FOWLR aquariums, they are safe to keep with corals and other peaceful to semi-aggressive fish species. Unlike many Damselfish species, Neon Damselfish P. alleni are much more peaceful with a temperament more reminiscent of a Chromis species. They are a schooling fish species and prefer to kept in groups of 5 to 10 individuals. Larger groups of 5 or more individuals are said to exhibit brighter coloration or "flash colors" as they compete with each other for group dominance. Given a reasonable aquarium size (amount of territory), a group of Neon Damselfish should peacefully coexist with other similar species or similarly sized species. Neon Damselfish serve a secondary role in the marine aquarium as an indicator of overall aquarium health. When fully established Neon Damselfish begin to lose color or if their coloration becomes very dull, it is often a sign that the aquarium water quality has declined or water parameters have fluctuated rapidly. Pomacentrus alleni have a reputation as diggers, thus it is important that the aquarium rock work is well supported so that their digging does not destabilize the reef. Their digging can help to keep the sand bed turned, which helps to keep detritus from building up in the sand bed. While not a replacement of sand sifting stars, sand sifting snails, Blennies, etc. the Neon Damselfish does assist these other species in keeping the aquarium sand bed healthy and free of built of detritus. Neon Damselfish are an omnivorous species, that are not very picky with what foods they will accept. They should be provided with a well balanced and varied diet of live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin enriched foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, cyclop-eeze, formula I & II and other prepared foods such as Spirulina-based, carnivore and herbivore pellets and flakes.
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Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish
(Chrysiptera taupou) Easy Aggressive 3" 30 gallons 74-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Omnivore Fiji, Tonga Pomacentridae Damselfish Reef Compatible In addition to being extremely hardy, Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish have an amazing coloration (bright blue and bright yellow) and are very active swimmers, making them a perfect choice for "nano" systems as well as larger reef aquariums. Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish are generally seen defending small territories and darting in and out of openings and crevices among the coral reefs of Fiji and Tonga. The Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish is also sometimes referred to as the South Seas Devil and is closely related to the Blue Damselfish; like the Blue Damselfish the Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish has also earned the "Devil" of its nickname in direct relation to the relentless aggression that can be directed towards any fish that comes near their territory (especially their own kind). Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish are sexually dimorphic and the females will have a yellow dorsal fin while the males' remain blue. The Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish is a spectacular species and a great choice for beginners or advanced hobbyists that don't mind a little aggressive in their aquarium as a trade off for some amazing color, hardiness, and activity in such a small package. Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish require an aquarium of at least 30 gallons (multiple specimens would require more space as well as many separate territories to alleviate aggression) and a fine sand to crushed coral substrate with a good amount of live rock to provide hiding places and plenty of territory. They generally prefer normal lighting, although a higher intensity is tolerable (proved they have shade to go to when desired) and will make their vibrant coloration stand out. They can be highly aggressive towards conspecific tank mates and will even harass much larger tank mates that stray to close to their territory; tank mates should be chosen carefully and would normally consist of angelfish, butterflyfish, small groupers, wrasse, clownfish, pseudochromis, and several others; if unsure of possible aggression towards certain tank mates, it's a good idea to add the Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish last. They may also sometimes attack small invertebrates and some hobbyists opt to use cleaner fish (neon gobies and similar species) instead of shrimp species for anti-parasite and hygiene needs. Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish are omnivorous and mainly feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton in their natural habitat. In the home aquarium they are not picky and will readily accept a varied diet of live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin enriched foods such as brine shrimp, finely chopped mysis shrimp, and other prepared foods such as Spirulina-based, carnivore and herbivore pellets and flakes. Feed twice a day and only what will be consumed in a few minutes.
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Three Stripe Damselfish
(Dascyllus aruanus) Easy Aggressive 4" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Omnivore Western Pacific Pomacentridae Damselfish Reef Compatible Three Stripe Damselfish, like their relatives, are one the hardiest, diurnal marine species and are commonly utilized by hobbyists for cycling new aquariums. Three Stripe Damselfish are widely distributed among the tropical coral reefs throughout the Western and Indo-Pacific and can be found in large groups, defending their territory. In the aquarium, Three Stripe Damselfish can be very aggressive for their size and may harass conspecifics as well as other (even larger) tank mates. The Three Stripe Damselfish is a popular and beautiful species named for their three black vertical stripes on a white base color. They are an excellent choice for beginners as well as the more experienced hobbyists, but their aggression should be noted. They are readily available from local and online retailers at very reasonable prices. Three Stripe Damselfish like to have room to swim around freely and should be provided with an aquarium of at least 30 gallons with fine sand to crushed coral substrate as well as sufficient live rock for shelter and territory; they will generally roam around their territory at the bottom to mid-levels of the aquarium. They can be very aggressive towards conspecific and heterospecific tank mates that encroach on their territory (even larger ones); tank mates should be chosen carefully and should be added before the Three Stripe Damselfish become established (they show more aggression to new tank mates); tank mates should also be able to defend themselves and not tolerate bullying. Multiple specimens can coexist when given enough space and separated territories, but they should be added at the same time and should be of a similar size. Three Stripe Damselfish are omnivorous and feed on planktonic foods and tiny invertebrates in the substrate and water column in the wild. They should be provided with a well balanced and varied diet of live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin enriched foods such as brine shrimp, finely chopped mysis shrimp, bloodworms, finely chopped krill, and other prepared foods such as carnivore and herbivore pellets and flakes.
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Blue Damselfish
(Chrysiptera cyanea) Easy Aggressive 3" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Omnivore Western Pacific Pomacentridae Damselfish Reef Compatible Blue Damselfish are one the hardiest marine fish species and are often used by hobbyists to cycle newly setup aquariums. In the wild, Blue Damselfish are mainly found defending their small territories throughout the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific. The Blue Damselfish has earned the nickname of Blue Devil in direct relation to the relentless aggression directed towards any fish that comes near their territory (especially their own kind). The Blue Damselfish is one of the most popular and best selling marine species in the world; as such, they are easy to find through local and online vendors and are very inexpensive to purchase. Blue Damselfish prefer slightly more space than their small size may indicate and should be provided with an aquarium of at least 30 gallons (multiple specimens would require more space as well as many separate territories to alleviate aggression). Their environment should have a fine sand to crushed coral substrate and an adequate amount of territory and shelter provided by plenty of live rock. They do not have any special lighting needs, but higher lighting will surely make their vibrant blue coloration stand out. Standard, quality biological and mechanical filtration is sufficient as they are small and have a relatively low impact on a system. They can be highly aggressive towards conspecific tank mates and will even harass much larger tank mates that stray to close to their territory; tank mates should be chosen carefully and would normally consist of Angelfish, Butterflyfish, small groupers, wrasse, Clownfish, pseudochromis, and several others; but when in doubt it's always a good idea to add the Blue Damselfish last. Blue Damselfish are omnivorous and are not very picky with what they will accept. They should be provided with a well balanced and varied diet of live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin enriched foods such as brine shrimp, finely chopped mysis shrimp, and other prepared foods such as Spirulina-based, carnivore and herbivore pellets and flakes.
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Yellowtail Damselfish
(Chrysiptera parasema) Easy Semi-aggressive 3" 30 gallons 74-82° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Omnivore Indo-Pacific Pomacentridae Damselfish Reef Compatible The Yellowtail Damsel is a very popular species within the marine aquarium hobby, as it has very attractive coloration, is very hardy, easy to keep in most aquarium environments and is very inexpensive. While this is a very popular fish with beginning marine aquarists, it is also popular with advanced aquarists as it is an excellent schooling fish and can add a lot of color and movement to large aquariums and reef aquariums. The Yellowtail Damselfish is also very popular because its temperament is much better than most damsels, with a temperament somewhere between an electric blue damsel and a green Chromis. The Yellowtail Damsel is also referred to as the Yellowtail Blue Damselfish, Yellowtail Demoiselle, or Azure Damselfish within the aquarium hobby. This species is truly one of the most hardy species available within the marine aquarium hobby, so much so that it is often used to cycle new aquariums as it can withstand large variations in aquarium water chemistry. However, there are much better and more humane ways to cycle a new aquarium, but none the less it does demonstrate the extremely hardy nature of the Yellowtail Damselfish. Yellowtail Damselfish are same bright blue color as the Electric Blue Damsel, but they have bright yellow on the end of their body and their tail fin. The body of the Yellowtail Damselfish tends to be a little shorter and taller than that of the Electric Blue Damsel. With the exception of the tail fin, the rest of the finnage is the same azure blue color as the body. The Yellowtail Damsel is a great choice for beginners since it is extremely hardy, easy to keep and is less aggressive and does not need as large of a tank as many of the other Damselfish. It is naturally a schooling fish and can be kept in small groups, where it will often school with other species of damsels or Chromis. It is important to provide plenty of hiding places for this species to retreat to when it feels threatened; however, it will generally swim out in the open areas of the aquarium. The Yellowtail Damselfish is considered semi-aggressive as it may nib at fins of similar sized fish from time to time, but it should be kept with peaceful tank mates. It will ignore invertebrates and corals within the aquarium, thus making it suitable for both community fish aquariums and some reef aquariums as well. The Yellowtail Damsel is a very bold feeder and will readily consume a varied diet of meaty items such as mysid shrimp, brine shrimp, frozen or flake meaty foods and vegetable matter preparations. This species is a true omnivore and is not picky with its diet, thus it will readily consume most any type of live, frozen or flake preparation.
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