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Three Stripe Damselfish
(Dascyllus aruanus)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Easy
Temperament: Aggressive
Maximum Size: 4"
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Western Pacific
Family: Pomacentridae
Species: Damselfish
Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible
Species Information
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.
Aquarium Care
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.
Feeding & Nutrition
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.
Additional Photos