Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about the genus Dascyllus Damsels: Stocking/Selection

Related Articles: Dascyllus

FAQs on: Humbug Damsels 1, Dascyllus Damsels 2,
FAQs on: Dascyllus Identification, Dascyllus Behavior, Dascyllus Compatibility, Dascyllus Systems, Dascyllus Feeding, Dascyllus Health, Dascyllus Reproduction, Related FAQs: Damsel Identification, Damsel Selection, Damsel Compatibility, Damsel Feeding, Damsel DiseaseDamsel Reproduction

Are social species... that need room for territories, larger w/ age, growth

Domino damsel in distress... Whamba jammeda along w/ an Aplysiid in a 29 cube    7/7/13
Hi. I purchased a domino damsel about three days ago from the pet store.
My tank is already cycled and its about four months new and its a 29g biocube.
<Yikes... this Dascyllus is mis-placed here... Gets too large, too mean to house w/ other fishes in small volumes>
I have a fire fish that's been living in it for about three weeks already and he's doing fine and also a scooter dragonette. I also have a small red leg hermit crab and emerald crab and two snails. I also purchased a sea hare
<Umm, what species? You should find out ASAPractical. See WWM re... Read here:
and the linked files above re coldwater, too large specimens mis-sold in the trade for tropical use>
 the same day as the damsel because I have a ton of algae.
<... see WWM re this as well>
This morning I noticed he had some white spots on him..ick I am sure..and I just wanted to know if he would be hardy enough to shake it without having to remove him to a quarantine tank because I am not medicating my tank with my live rock in there. What do you think I should do?
<Read for now... Add Cryptocaryon to your WWM list>
 I know they are pretty hardy and he's still eating like a pig but I am not sure if it will get worse or this is just a stress related thing from moving the rocks around..I also added two new pieces of live rock the same day I got the damsel.
<You've added too much, too soon here... and organisms that don't fit in such a tiny space>
All the crabs and fire goby and scooter look fine ..its just the damsel. Thanks for any advice.
<Keep reading... Write back w/ specific questions after. Bob Fenner>

Random death! Rdg.    1/31/12
Hi crew,
<Hello Bishop>
I have had a new 35 gal reef tank for 2 weeks now. I first stocked it with 2 Domino Damsels that I bought from my LFS the first week for the cycles.
<Two of these devils cannot co-exist in a 35 gallon tank.>

The next day they were both dead for no apparent reason.
<I would get a more peaceful fish to start the cycling and then only one. 
These (Dominos) fish get meaner than snakes as they grow.  Only once an ammonia source is present will the cycling start and it usually takes 28 days for this process to complete.  Unlikely to happen in a new tank in two weeks.  See/read here.
My salinity is 1.022
I use API aquarium test kits
My high range ph was 8.1
I went back to my lfs and they said that this happened to some of theirs and was just a bad batch of fish (whatever that means).
<May be stressed due to shipping, collection methods, etc.>
I bought a 6 lined wrasse and the next day it also died.
<This is not a fish you put into a "new" tank.  Have you done any reading before starting this venture?>
My filtration:
21 lbs of live rock- live sand
A Rena Filstar XP2
and an Aquaclear powerhead 40-70 gal
Is there any reason for my fish to die?
<Yes.  Read/understand the basics before buying anymore fish.  Start here.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Attention Bob Fenner; Trapping a Damsel and A Query (NRA V.s 2,3>  8/21/07 Hi Bob <Kerry> Please let me begin by apologizing for sending this through the FAQs. It seems that the link to email you directly doesn't work. <Yes> Thanks again for your assistance with my Lawnmower Blenny/Feather Duster issue. All is well and they are in our display tank now (with no interaction to date; we are keeping an eye on things). A story to share if I may (nothing new to you I'm sure, but interesting to us) and a query after that; Two years ago, my-then-boyfriend-now-hubby and I got into the hobby, setting up a 20 gallon marine tank. Being rookies, we made the typical mistakes and lost corals for making them, but we have been successful (to date) with our fishes and Corallimorphs and we have learned as we've gone along. We chose 2 small Perculas, a Regal Tang (who was so small he could hide behind a quarter if there had been one in the tank) and a small Three Stripe Damsel. Nine months after starting out we moved and "moved up" to a 90 gallon tank (the 20 is now one of our quarantine tanks). For two years the fishes have gotten along wonderfully. The Damsel and Tang have shared sleeping quarters almost from day one. We thought we had the Damsel who was the exception to the rule regarding Damsel attitudes. We should have been so lucky!! <Things... e.g. Damsel beh., changes> Recently, we decided to add some new "critters". Being (somewhat) wiser, this time we did our research. We attempted to choose our new pets wisely, trying to ensure that they would not occupy the same areas as our current fishes and that their "personalities" would be compatible. We quarantined them. We rearranged the rocks. We acclimated them with water from the display tank; the lights were dimmed while we did so. We added them to the display tank with the lights dimmed. We had approximately 20 minutes of peace and then our exceptionally calm Damsel became possessed and gets worse daily. From the time that the lights come on until they go off, he chases the new fishes (a Firefish and a Canary Wrasse; the Blenny has been left alone as he didn't react the first time he was charged). Neither of them has been driven into hiding but the Tang appears to be stressed by it all. He has been spending the day frantically swimming back and forth behind the rocks. He is a "fraidy fish" with a nervous disposition but this is atypical behavior for him. Hubby had to make a tough decision (the Damsel was one of his choices when we started out), opting to get him out of the tank. We looked for suggestions of how to accomplish it; almost all saying that we would have to take the rock out in order to net him. For a while it seemed we would have to. We ended up using a twist on an acrylic barrier. We had a relatively large piece of "eggcrate" left over from making a shelf to use when cycling live rock. I (half) jokingly suggested making an "eggcrate" barrier to trap him; hubby cut it so that it just fits inside of the tank (front to back) and cut notches for the frame at the top of the tank so that it goes from in the substrate to protrude above the water level by a few inches. He moved most of the rock to one half of the tank (an awful pile, but it stayed submerged) but was unable to get the Damsel to go to the other end of the tank. He was becoming frantic and getting "creative" with ideas of how to trap the Damsel (I could see my life degenerating into an aquatic "Caddyshack"; the ideas scared the beejeebers out of me...if only the Damsel knew!!). Yesterday, I moved two rocks which made up the "roof" of the hidey hole the Damsel and Tang were in (more through good luck than good management) and much to my surprise they bolted to where we wanted them. I put the "eggcrate" barrier into place, got out the net and the Damsel and I went to battle. (The Tang went to hide behind a pump; a wise choice considering that "net work" is not my forte). The Damsel immediately recognized that he wasn't going to be able to get through the middle of the barrier so he swam up and down the edge where it met the front glass. After about 5 minutes, I managed to net him. I spread the rocks out again, gave the Tang about half an hour to come out from behind the pump and peace is reining supreme. For a fish the size of the Damsel, the "eggcrate" worked wonderfully. It was easy to cut to the exact shape, light enough to be able to manage with one hand and the Damsel was too large to fit through the grid (but saw it so he didn't smash into it thereby injuring himself). I had recognized some time ago how bright the Damsel is, but this experienced has certainly confirmed it. His behavior changed with ours and he certainly knew where to look for a potential escape from behind the "eggcrate" barrier. It saddens us that he isn't in that tank any longer but again, we've learned (his nature won out over his nurture and we've moved one more tiny step up that darned steep learning curve!!). Now for the query... We are (finally) adding a sump and small refugium to the display tank. Out came our "invert" bible, Reef Invertebrates, Natural Marine Aquarium Series, and we both read the refugium and "plant" sections. Doing so reminded me to search online for Volume 2, 3, etc. (I bet you're shaking your head by now). I managed to Google my way back to WWM and found a letter/reply posted some time ago about this very thing. Is Volume 2 still "stalled"? If so, please add my voice to those clamoring for it!! <Is still stalled... I am wont to produce the last volumes by myself... JasonC has stated at times that he is working on the layout of the fishes (V.2)... it is timely IMO... for the market... and I've penned the ancillary pieces on Selection, Quarantine... and Antoine and I did about half the articles... some years back...> In all seriousness, thank you so very much for all you do for the hobby. Collectively, "The Crew" provides much insight and has a wealth of knowledge that benefits hobbyists and their pets all over the world. Again, with many thanks and appreciation!! Kerry <Welcome my friend. Re the Dascyllus... I might try adding two more of this species (will spread aggression, attention...) or ultimately give this one fish away... there are other settings where it will co-exist more peacefully. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Damsel in distress, Dascyllus are social animals  08/08/2005 Hi, <Hello there> I purchased a four stripe damsel five to six months ago and have had continuous problems with it ever since. When I placed it in quarantine and it always preferred hiding behind the heater or other equipment rather than the PVC pipes or the artificial branch coral I placed in there. <... Dascyllus are social species... live in groups> She has also always been a very scared fish, and always hides except at feeding time. About three days after I got the fish in quarantine dark areas started forming on the white stripes just behind the gill plates and the last white stripe on the tail. the fish has been this way ever since. By the way the fish did lose an eye while in quarantine from injury most likely while darting to a hiding place when I entered the room. I kept the fish in quarantine for an extra two weeks and administered a copper treatment because she just was not acting right. <Starting to sound like the U.S. military's confinement of folks...> The copper treatment seemed to work somewhat the dark spots became more vague, but did not disappear. <... poisoning> However, she was still a very scared fish. After a month in quarantine I moved her into a 46 gallon tank (where she still is) with live rock and numerous hiding places but she still prefers to hide in the equipment at the top of the tank except at night when she goes down to hide in the rocks. The dark areas are still present and seem to grow in darkness when stressed (during water changes and when I clean the glass). There are no outward signs or parasites, but I do sometimes see her scratching on rocks. She is the only fish in the tank. The water quality should be excellent (I use RO/distilled water) and all parameters are good and consistent. She eats and seems to be a very greedy fish and is not shy around feeding time. So my real question is what could cause all these symptoms and this extreme fear of people and movement. The best answer I can come up with is stress, but I can not find the cause. Please give me your opinion. Also would it be safe to add another fish in this tank with her in this condition. Thanks for the great service, Jed <Thank you for writing to well, thoroughly... to reiterate, the one simple fact that you apparently are unaware of is the need for others of their own kind... Take a look at Dascyllus species pix in the wild... they are always in close association with others of their own kind. Bob Fenner>

Guidance Counselor  - Stocking >Hi guys, >>Hello. >I  have a question regarding my 54 gallon corner tank.  It has been running for about 5 months now (FOWLR), and it currently houses 1 blue damsel, 1 Percula clownfish, and 1 overly aggressive three striped damsel.   >>Oh yes, the lovely Dascyllus.  I hear they're quite tasty. >The three-striped damsel seems to be very protective of certain spots and his aggression seems to be getting worse.   >>I don't think it seems worse, I think it IS worse, and shall continue to do so. >My wife and I are trying to plan our next course of action and I was hoping to add either a yellow tang or a coral beauty.  My wish is that by having a larger fish in the tank it will lessen the aggression of the three-striped damsel.   >>Don't count on it, this fish now rules the roost! >Could this possibly work?   >>Highly doubtful with a Coral Beauty, you're going to be hard pressed to find one big enough and pugnacious enough.  Even with a tang, a yellow isn't exactly the toughest customer, and it would have to be SIGNIFICANTLY larger.  Try a barbless fishing hook or a trap and get that damn damsel out! >If so, in what order should I add the coral beauty and the yellow tang?  If it won't work would you recommend returning my three-striped damsel?  Thanks for you help.  Your site has been very helpful to me in many occasions.  Sincerely, Dan >>Yes, I recommend just that.  Then, because the angel and the tang would likely have no compatibility issues, it wouldn't really matter who you add first, just as long as BOTH go through 30 days quarantine.  Marina

- One More Fish? - I have a 28 gallon hexagon tank that has been cycling now for 5 weeks. Everything seems to be going fine. I have one domino damsel and one Singapore angel fish together and both seem to be getting along. Before adding the angel fish I had a yellow tailed damsel and had to remove it due to the stress the domino was causing it. <I'd remove the Domino too - they are very cute when small, but as you've seen, they can be real jerks, and this only gets worse as they get older. I'd remove this fish before it starts to work on the Singapore Angel too.> I would like to add one more fish in a few weeks, maybe and was wondering if you have any recommendations as to any other type of fish that would suit the two already together? <Whatever you pick, it needs to be small and stay small - I'd suggest a neon goby, really neat fish - if you drop the domino damsel, you could stock a pair of neon gobies. With a tank of this size I'd only stock this limited number of fish  - will mean you can enjoy the tank for much longer with fewer problems.> Thanks, Lisa <Cheers, J -- >

Dascyllus How many Dascyllus would you put in a 30 gallon? <Depending on species none to one to possibly two... but this would likely be all you could place there fish-wise. Please see here re the genus: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dascyllu.htm Is it okay to quarantine that n in a 10 gallon tank? <Just one. Bob Fenner> Thanks guys Pablo
Re: Dascyllus
Thanks guys!!!!! More specifically Dascyllus trimaculatus or Dascyllus melanurus. <One, or two at most respectively. Bob Fenner>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: