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Old 08-09-2005, 03:10 AM   #1
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Why are damsels not appreciated?

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I'm a FW but I've wondered something as I read the SW posts. Repeatedly I've seen people talk down about damsels. 8O The attitude is that they are throw-away fish. Someone told me they are the guppies of salt water. People cycle with damsels and if any survive they take 'em back to the LFS. No one seems to keep damsels except nano reef folks. :|

When I've been admiring SW tanks at the LFS, the damsels are always so neat to me. They are colorful, active, small fish. They must be hearty. The colors vary from blue to almost purple, to black, to stripes --- so quite varied. I'd think a whole bunch of damsels would make for a cool tank.

What am I missing? Are damsels destructive to reefs or are they big poopers? Is it that big fish like tangs will eat them? Are they aggressive and kill each other? Or is it that they are cheap and if something is cheap people don't value it?

Thanks in advance
coolchinchilla

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Damsels are cool fish too!
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:16 AM   #2
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Usually when people buy damsels to cycle their tank (which is not considered humane), they are forced to take the fish back because of its aggressive and terrotorial nature. It wont tolerate any other fish, let alone sometimes the aquarist's hand. 8O Its just better to either cycle without them, or to add them last to an existing system. JMTC
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:30 AM   #3
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pufferman, I have two damsels one that I have had since the second day I set up my tank and he has survived it all and they are both very nice and peaceful and not shy at all. Also very very colorful and extremely hardy and cheap. That's just my experience, and yes damsels are generally very territorial. I guess I just got lucky? 8O
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Old 08-09-2005, 07:50 AM   #4
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well depends on the species as well. in my knowledge domino damsels, three-stripes, and yellow-tail blue damsels are all pretty agressive. Chromis are damsels, and clownfish belong to the damsel family, soo not every damsel is territorial, but the aggressive ones are who look the best for the best price. $$$
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30 gallon SW tank;EHEIM ECCO 2235 Canister Filter w/Miracle-Working Chemi-Pure
TetraTec UV1 UV Sterilizer;Rio 50 Powerhead ;130w PC lighting;33 Lbs. of Tonga Branch LR;Nature's Ocean Live Sand (the bagged stuff)
Livestock:2-Ocellaris Clownfish;9-Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs;1-Regal Tang;Zoanthids, Pineapple Brain coral, Sebae Anemone, Colt Coral, Galaxea
Tank Specs as of December 29, 2005:Ammonia:0;Nitrite: 0;Nitrate=0;Cu:0
PH: 8.3
SG: 1.028;Temp: 79-84 degrees F (Adjusts throughout the day)
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:55 AM   #5
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Damsels also very in there aggression within there own sub species. Some will terrorize a tank while others will be perfectly fine. 50/50 chance I say. Boils down to personal experience with Damsels as to whether you love em or hate em.
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:35 AM   #6
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I had a zebra, domino, yellow tail, blue devil and yellow damsels all in my tank. They're an annoyance. My tank is peaceful so anything with a mild attitude wasn't appreciated -- especially when I saw the zebra play badmitten with my now perished mandarin goby. In a predatory tank - such as our 210g - they school around the large humuhumu and that's pretty neat.

Yeah, some of them look cool - but they're attitude is what did it for me. Dirty little buggers!
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:02 PM   #7
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i have had 3 since my cycling ended and they are ok....so far they havent messed or picked on my paired clowns...
the 2 blue devils tend to pick on the yellow tail though.
plan to keep an eye on them when i get a few more expensive fish like the Niger Trigger but im sure they wil be fine.
I thinks its the conseption that damsels are the most cheapest SW fish so that tends to put them on the least desired of the SW fish -
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:02 PM   #8
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I have 2 domino and 2 green chromis in my 100 gal and they all get along.
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
No one seems to keep damsels except nano reef folks.
That's cause nano reefers ususally have only one or two fish. Less agression issues.
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They are colorful, active, small fish. They must be hearty.
Yes on both counts.

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Are damsels destructive to reefs or are they big poopers?
No on both counts.

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Is it that big fish like tangs will eat them?
More like they'll pester and nibble at big expensive fish and stress'm out. Ususally when damsels are used at the beginnning and new, larger fish come later. These little guys have no fear.
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Old 08-09-2005, 03:41 PM   #10
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I have 2 damsels, and neither is more aggressive than my tomato clown. However, they arent the most friendly fish, either.....
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