Chrysiptera Damsels, pretty and peaceful ones!

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Peaceful Chrysiptera damselfish that are every bit as beautiful as their relatives, make some of the best starter fish for beginners!

The damselfish in the Chrysiptera genus are truly the prettiest of the bunch, but this genus is extremely variable in personality.

Chrysiptera species like the Blue Devil Damselfish are so colorful you just fall in love with them. But these guys can wreak havoc in your tank with their belligerence towards other fish. Each species is unique and it really helps to know what you are getting!

Four of the most peaceful types from this genus are the beautiful Azure Damselfish, Talbot’s Damsel, Roland’s Damselfish, and Starck’s Demoiselle. Each of these small fish, with its own unique coloration, will bring pizzazz and lively action to your tank. But the best thing about these guys is that they can be kept in a peaceful community setup as well as a reef environment.

The Talbot’s Damsel and Azure Damselfish are the two most peaceable.

In smaller tanks, these species can easily be kept singly or in pairs. Yet several individuals can be kept together too, as long as the tank is moderately sized and there are many hiding places.

The Talbot’s Damsel Chrysiptera talboti is one of the true pacifists of the genus with a very pretty and distinct look. This little treasure is just 2 1/3 inches (6 cm) long. It has a pink to purplish body with a yellow face along with a unique marking for a damselfish.

A rather unique characteristic of this species is its black ocellaris or “eye spot” located at the base of its dorsal fin. Being a food source for many predators in the wild, this marking helps distract and confuse would be attackers.

The Azure Damselfish Chrysiptera hemicyanea only reaches 2 3/4 inches (7 cm) in length and it has a gorgeous electric blue and yellow coloring. This fish has a wonderful, easygoing disposition and will rarely cause disruption in the aquarium.

The Roland’s Damselfish and Starck’s Demoiselle are less aggressive member of the genus too, but are just a bit more “salty” than the previous two.

These two will be more belligerent unless the tank is around 55 gallons to provide lots of room and hiding places.

Pairs can be readily be kept together and as juveniles they can be kept in groups in smaller tanks. But just as with other damselfish though, with age comes a more pugnacious attitude. If not keeping a pair, adults are best kept singly and other tankmates should not be too passive or much smaller.

The Rolland’s Damselfish Chrysiptera rollandi is also small in size, reaching only 2 1/3 inches (6 cm) in length. It has a unique color palette, being black or gray on its top and head area, accented with blue stripes and spots, and the rest of the body is white or yellow. This damselfish is not so aggressive, though it still shouldn’t be housed in a small tank with peaceful fish.

The Starck’s Demoiselle Chrysiptera starcki is a larger fish. It grows up to just shy of 4 inches (10 cm) in length and has a brilliant blue body with a broad yellow band running along the top. As an adult, it will get along best with moderately aggressive fish or much larger fish.

When selecting damselfish for your aquarium, you pretty much won’t go wrong with these guys if you’re looking for a community setup. Just make sure you have a tank that is suited for the species you are getting, and pay attention to tankmates. A smaller tank is fine for the very peaceful Talbot’s Damsel and the Azure Damselfish, and a medium sized tank will work for the slightly more tenacious Rolands Damselfish and Starck’s Demoiselle.

Learn more about these striking Chrysiptera Damselfish! See pictures and get more information on each Damselfish Species, along with their aquarium care, behaviors and breeding!

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Clarice Brough is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

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