Orange-Tailed Blue Damselfish Care, Guide and Information

Information, guide and tips about choosing and selecting saltwater fishes.

About Orange-Tailed Blue Damselfish and its care

The Blue Damselfish is a fish with a bright blue body and is among one of the most popular saltwater aquarium fish in the United States. They are also known as the Orange-Tailed Blue Damsel due to the orange tail of the male fish. The female has an all blue body without an orange tail but with a black spot on the top of the fin. This is a small fish with a maximum adult size of about 3". The Blue Damselfish is specie that is hardy, active and easy to care for. They are often recommended for beginners who are setting up their first saltwater reef aquarium as they are quite cheap and are not known to harm invertebrates although they are aggressive towards other fishes.

The Blue Damsel or the Orange-Tailed Blue Damsel like other damselfish species is very territorial by nature and will often show aggressive behavior when "protecting" their territory, including towards the members of its own specie. To reduce their aggressiveness towards other fishes, your tank should be large enough so that they will only claim part of the tank as their territory and not the entire tank. Their aggressive behavior will also make it difficulty for you to add other small fish to the existing aquarium later. As such, to reduce conflict, they should be introduced last into the saltwater reef aquarium.

The Blue Damsel lives in a harem style social order where one dominant male will have several females and young immature male living together. In the wild, they are normally found throughout the reefs areas when they can hide when threaten. As such, create lots of small holes or caves with rocks and corals for them to hide when keeping them in your saltwater reef aquarium. One interesting fact about the Blue Damselfish is their ability to hide in a hole or crevice and change their body color to an almost dark blue or black color. This usually happens when it is threatened and they will return back to their bright blue color quickly once the threat is gone.

Orange-Tailed Blue Damselfish
The Orange-Tailed Blue Damselfish

Orange-Tailed Blue Damselfish Facts Sheet

Common Name: Blue Damsel, Blue Devil, Orange-Tailed Blue Damsel (for male), Sapphire Devil

Scientific Name/binomial name: Chrysiptera cyanea

Family: Pomacentridae

Group: Damselfish

Adult Size: Up to 3"(7.6 cm) max

Temperament: Semi-aggressive to aggressive. They are territorial in nature like all damsel species. They will harass other fishes or species which are smaller or slightly bigger than them. Their aggressive nature will make it difficult for you to add new fish into an existing tank after you have added in the Blue Damsel.

Distribution: Indo-Pacific region (from the east of the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific.)

pH: 8.1-8.4

Specific Gravity: 1.020-1.025

Temperature: 75°F - 80°F (24°C - 27°C)

Compatible with: They are reef safe despite being a somewhat aggressive fish. They will not harm invertebrates, making them a suitable addition to a saltwater reef tank.

Incompatible with: Most other small fish including members of the same species unless the tank is large enough. Also avoid keeping them together with bigger predatory fish or aggressive fish such as angels, triggers, lionfish, and grouper as they are considered as food to these larger fish.

Diet and Feeding : The Blue Damselfish is an omnivore fish. In the wild, they feed mainly on algae, copepods and tunicates. In captivity, the can be fed with various type of foods including flakes and pellet. For a healthier diet, feed them with small meaty seafood such as brine shrimp, mysids, roe, fish, shellfish or crustacean meat that have been chopped into tiny bits. They should also be given a diet containing algae and other vegetable. Feeding should be done a few times a day but and in small portion only. Feed less often if your saltwater reef aquarium has some other natural food source such as algae.

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