Should you’re hoping so as to add a brand new fish to your saltwater aquarium, you might have loads of choices to select from. Whereas there are many fish within the sea, discovering the proper match in your setting may not all the time be as straightforward because it sounds.
Fortunately, the damselfish presents the proper answer for fishkeepers on the lookout for a brand new, distinctive choice. This fish is often present in saltwater, however may survive in a brackish setting. Famed and revered for its beautiful look, relative hardiness, and ease of care, the damselfish may be the most effective saltwater fish species in your new – or preexisting – aquarium.
This fish belongs to the Pomacentridae household. There are over 250 species on this household, most of that are present in saltwater. Some, nonetheless, want to reside in a brackish setting. This massive group of fish has quite a few subtypes with varied particular person behaviors, quirks, and appearances.
That being stated, there are a number of species of damselfish which are the preferred for dwelling aquarium hobbyists. These are the azure damselfish, the blue damselfish, yellowtail damselfish, and the domino damselfish. Consequently, this text will focus totally on elevating these varieties of fish.
Most species of damselfish will be discovered within the Indian and Pacific Ocean. Native to tropical coral reefs, these energetic, lively fish develop to solely three inches in size. There are some rarer varieties of damselfish, nonetheless, just like the Garibaldi, that may develop to over a foot in size!
These fish are recognized for his or her vibrant, beautiful coloration. Nevertheless, in case you are a starting fishkeeper, it is best to train some warning, as these fish will be considerably territorial and aggressive. Whilst you can hold them in giant teams containing members of their very own species, it’s essential be extra cautious about mixing them with different species.
Damselfish are omnivores however most want to eat principally meat. Consequently, they aren’t tough to look after. They’re additionally extremely versatile and consequently, are among the best promoting fish species in the US.
This fish is sturdy and forgiving for novice fishkeepers. Whereas it does want applicable care it’s fairly tough to hurt this hardy fish species.
Damselfish Appearance And Behavior
As a result of there are almost 300 totally different species of fish within the damselfish household, there are some quirks and variations within the look and habits of those fish amongst members of the species. Usually, nonetheless, damselfish have deep our bodies like cichlids. They possess two anal spines and a single nostril on one aspect of their heads. In addition they have forked tails. Most damselfish are very vibrant in colour, though this colour can differ from yellow, crimson, and even blue.
Damselfish are very colourful as juveniles, however they start to fade as they age. That is not like most different species, who develop extra vibrant colours as they age into maturity. Nevertheless, some damselfish may even turn into completely brown and boring as they mature! To get an concept of what your particular person fish species will appear like because it ages, be sure you analysis your particular breed.
We are going to define a number of the variations in look and habits between the preferred damselfish varieties under.
Often known as the blue damselfish, this fish solely grows to about three inches in size. It’s vibrant blue, with males possessing yellow snouts and tails. Younger fish and feminine often don’t have the yellow coloration. When threatened, all blue damselfish flip fully black in just some seconds.
Referred to generally because the yellowtail damselfish, this fish, as you would possibly anticipate, has an all-yellow tail together with a blue physique. This fish additionally grows as much as three inches in size and is without doubt one of the least aggressive varieties of damselfish.
The domino damselfish, often known as the three spot damselfish, it aptly named, sporting vibrant white dots throughout its physique. This fish grows as much as 5 inches in size. Not solely is it a bigger damselfish, however it may also be extra aggressive. Due to this fact, it’s not the most effective species of damselfish for a novice fishkeeper.
Known as the azure damselfish, this fish is often known as the half-blue damselfish, too. It has a vibrant blue physique with a yellow underbelly. It is extremely hardy, rising as much as three inches sin size if cared for correctly.
Often known as the bicolor damselfish, this fish is native to the Caribbean. It has a darkish grey or black entrance with a pale rear half. It might probably develop as much as 4 inches in size and is remarkably bony.
The damselfish has a dainty identify, however it’s removed from being timid. The damselfish is understood for being aggressive, whatever the subspecies, and subsequently it’s essential train warning when elevating it with different fish. Damselfish will be so aggressive that they’ve typically been recognized to chew people!
Damselfish can bully your different tank inhabitants, and might make it laborious to maintain a number of fish in a small tank. Despite the fact that damselfish are usually small, they’ve a status for bullying different fish within the tank and making an attempt to assert giant parts of the tank for themselves.
Damselfish will fiercely guard their territories, chasing and nipping any fish that chooses to not battle again. Should you select to maintain damselfish with other forms of fish, hold an in depth eye on them. You would possibly discover that your different fish turn into burdened and shy, making them sick as a result of they’ll cease consuming.
In any other case, if damselfish usually are not chasing away different members of the tank, they’ll spend most of their time consuming. You possibly can usually discover them feeding at varied positions within the water column.
Damselfish Tank And Water Requirements
Damselfish are comparatively hardy saltwater fish species. Consequently, there may be not so much it’s essential do with a view to be certain that they’re completely happy and comfy. Setting up your tank needs to be fast and seamless.
Damselfish are present in tropical coral reefs. Due to this fact, your aquariums setup have to be just like this. These fish often develop to round two or three inches in size and will be saved in small- to medium-sized aquariums. Blue damselfish, that are smaller damselfish, will be saved in 30 gallon aquariums. Nevertheless, if you happen to plan to maintain multiple damselfish, or if you happen to’re holding a bigger number of fish, you’ll need a bigger tank.
For multiple damselfish in a tank, you’ll need an aquarium that could be a minimal of fifty gallons. In case you are holding a faculty of 4 or extra fish, or a big number of damselfish over 12 inches, you’ll need a tank that’s no smaller than 100 gallons. Analysis your particular kind of damselfish rigorously, as placing fish in tanks which are too small will be harmful, if not lethal.
Apart from tank measurement, damselfish aren’t explicit in relation to their tank setting. They’re hardy and might adapt to most situations. You need to hold them in water temperatures of 73 to 82 levels Fahrenheit, with a really perfect pH round 8.1 to eight.4. You need to hold the gravity at 1.020 to 1.025
With out sufficient area, damselfish can turn into extraordinarily aggressive and territorial. Due to this fact, be sure they’ve loads of swimming room and hiding spots. The extra damselfish you might have in a tank, the extra hiding locations you’ll need to scale back aggression attributable to territorial disputes.
What Do Damselfish Eat?
Damselfish are very straightforward to feed, possessing easygoing demeanors that make it straightforward to offer them nearly any form of meals. They’ll eat virtually something you set into the tank.
Most damselfish are omnivores, that means they’ll eat meat or plant based mostly meals. Nevertheless, the bigger your damselfish is, the extra meat it’s going to want to eat. You need to use a combination of frozen and reside meats to feed your damselfish. Some good choices embrace shrimp, worms, brine shrimp, squid copepods, and different small items of fish.
You may as well feed your damselfish some meat or plant-based flake meals or herbivore-specific meals. Understand that fish who have a tendency to hang around on the prime of the water column are typically bigger, whereas those that hang around on the backside are smaller.
Damselfish Tank Mates
If we haven’t talked about it sufficient already, we’ll point out it once more – damselfish are extraordinarily aggressive. Due to this fact, you should not attempt to hold a number of species of damselfish collectively in the identical aquarium. Solely hold one species of fish per aquarium, and in case you have a tiny aquarium, keep away from mixing damselfish with different species in any respect price – solely do that in bigger aquariums.
Should you do have a big aquarium, there are a number of species you may hold with damselfish. You’ll wish to stick with different aggressive or semi-aggressive fish, significantly these which are the identical measurement or bigger than the damselfish. Some to think about embrace dottybacks, tangs, dwarf angelfish, backside dwelling gobies, and clownfish. Any fish which are naturally shy shouldn’t be saved along with your damselfish.
You may as well hold damselfish with non-fish species, like invertebrates. Train warning when introducing snails, shrimp, or different creatures to your tank, as damselfish do typically view them as prey. Researching your particular person damselfish species may also help whether or not this may work or not.
Should you determine to maintain damselfish with different species, be sure you take the time to introduce them to one another within the correct method. Add damselfish to your aquarium final, and never as the unique inhabitants. This manner, your different fish will have already got established their territory and your new damselfish can be much less prone to take over the complete tank.
Common Damselfish Diseases
Illness shouldn’t be unusual in a saltwater fish tank. Nevertheless, there are numerous steps which you could take to forestall it. The best technique to get rid of the chance of disease- in addition to to heal any current illness – is to reduce stress. Present your damselfish with a weight loss program that’s assorted together with secure water temperature, good parameters, and regular cleanings. Ensure you test in your damselfish day by day to ensure she or he is flourishing and free from illness.
Regardless of these preventative measures, damselfish do typically get sick. There are a lot of pathogens in your fish’s pure setting, pathogens that could be bacterial, fungal, viral, or parasitic in nature.
Among the most typical infections are bacterial. You would possibly discover that your fish comes down with vibriosis, fish tuberculosis (often known as losing illness) or fin rot. Bacterial ailments will be prevented by eradicating uneaten meals and conducting partial water adjustments regularly. Some bacterial ailments require antibiotics to deal with.
Viral ailments are additionally frequent. The most typical virus you can find in a saltwater tank is understood cauliflower or lymphocystis. This causes your fish to develop lesions that look, as you would possibly guess, like cauliflower. This isn’t a deadly illness, however it’s extremely contagious. You’ll need to take away the fish instantly in order that it may be quarantined.
Lastly, parasitic ailments may also be present in saltwater tanks. Some of the frequent is marine velvet, which is attributable to a protozoea. Often, it is possible for you to to view this an infection on the gills earlier than it spreads to the pores and skin and develops a patchy, velvet-like look. It might probably kill a fish in as little as twelve hours if not handled. You possibly can deal with it with a freshwater dip however usually you have to deal with a complete tank to destroy an infestation.
Breeding And Life Spans Of Damselfish
As a result of damselfish reside for an distinctive period of time – some damselfish have been recognized to reside for as much as 25 years! – many aquarium hobbyists surprise if they will efficiently breed this distinctive kind of fish.
Whereas the precise breeding habits will differ quantity the person species of damselfish, most are substrate spawners, that means they lay their adhesive eggs on the substrate. Males will put together the spawning web site by clearing off a easy floor earlier than the feminine lays her eggs.
Damselfish exhibit distinctive, enjoyable to observe courting shows. The male would possibly emit clicking sounds or swim excitedly across the feminine, for instance. When she is prepared, the feminine will deposit as much as 20,000 tiny eggs.
Males will aggressively defend the fertilized eggs, defending their territory much more than regular. As soon as the eggs hatch, which takes about seven days, the larvae will transfer out into the open water and feed on algae, microscopic creatures, and different fish larvae. It takes a whopping three years for some species of damselfish larvae to succeed in maturity!
Is A Damselfish For You?
Should you’re on the lookout for a saltwater fish species that may add years of excitement and color to your tank, it is best to think about the damselfish. Though this species is a little more aggressive than some fish keepers would favor to cope with, its beautiful colours and its skill to be extremely lively within the tank all day makes it an incredible candidate for individuals who want to add an op of pleasure to their day by day routines.
Ensure you analysis your chosen species of damselfish uncarefully. The worst factor can be to get your damselfish dwelling from the fish retailer and understand that it’s not suitable with the situations you have already got.
With a bit of additional care and a few follow in elevating the damselfish, you may elevate the most effective saltwater fish species with ease. In search of different concepts of fish you may elevate in your saltwater tank? You’ll want to try our final checklist of the most effective species here.