Damselfish: Quick Guide To Keeping These Colorful Saltwater Aquarium Fish


How does some colorful fish in your saltwater aquarium sound? Pleasant, right? That’s why you should get Damselfish. These are known for their qualities, including color, resilience, and ease to keep. 

They tend to have an aggressive and territorial nature. They aren’t that welcoming to other fish. However, some fish can be suitable tank mates for them. Keep reading this guide to learn more. 

Let’s walk you through each aspect of keeping and caring for Damselfish. 

Ideal Habitat

Damselfish are usually found in coral reefs of the tropical regions. They are used to such an environment, so make sure to reflect that in their aquarium. The reef look is pretty appealing for the eye too. 

Tank Size

Damselfish aren’t extraordinarily big but aren’t the tiniest fish either. The size is average; hence, a tank that can hold 30 gallons of water should be enough.  

However, if you don’t want to keep just one Damselfish but more, you should choose a tank bigger than 50 gallons. If you plan on keeping 4 Damselfish or more than 4 in a school, go for an aquarium that caters to at least 100 gallons.

Tank Set-Up

Temperature: Since Damselfish hail from tropical areas, you should keep the temperature in the tank between 73 and 81-degrees Fahrenheit. 

pH: Keep the pH anywhere from 8.1 and 8.4. 

Specific gravity: Keep this between 1.020 and 1.025. 

Decorations: Provide Damselfish with a lot of hiding spaces as that will reduce the territorial aggression between the fish in the same tank. However, they do need to have plenty of swimming space. So, don’t overcrowd their tank with plants, etc. 

Tank Mates

Since Damselfish are aggressive fish, don’t mix other fish species with Damselfish in one small aquarium. If you want to keep more fish with these semi-aggressive fish, you should choose a large tank. 

  1. Clownfish
  2. Dwarf Angelfish
  3. Tangs
  4. Dottybacks
  5. Bottom Dwelling Gobies

Avoid keeping peaceful, community-friendly fish with Damselfish. 

  • Can you keep Damselfish with other Damselfish?

No. You should avoid this as Damselfish does not get along with fish of their species. They can get aggressive and territorial. You don’t want bloodshed in the fish tank, right? 


Most species of Damselfish are said to be omnivores, so food isn’t a problem for them. They tend to eat just about anything that is put in their tank. 

Some of the food items that omnivore Damselfish eat are:

  • Brine shrimp
  • Squid
  • Worms
  • Shrimp
  • Small bits of fish
  • Copepods
  • Flakes
  • Food for herbivores

Feeding routine: You should feed your Damselfish about 2 times a day. The food quantity should be just as much as they can eat in 2 minutes. 

Interesting facts about Damselfish’s eating habits: 

  • The size of the Damselfish is directly proportional to how high up the water column they will eat.
  • When the water current is slow, Damselfish will prefer to eat high up in the water column. When it is fast, they will have their meal near the bottom of the water column. 


You should take care of the water quality of the tank.

Cleaning: Change 25% of the water in the tank weekly and replace it with fresh and clean saltwater. 

Also, once in a while, carry out deep cleaning of the tank. Scrub the walls, clean the rocks and plants, and make the tank as good as new for your Damselfish.

Fish rely on cleanliness for long and healthy life. 


Are you convinced that you could keep Damselfish without any trouble? I am pretty sure you nodded your head. Just take the right measures, ensure the health and safety of the fish in the tank, and you are good to go. 

Don’t pay heed to the myths about saltwater aquarium fish being difficult to keep. They are not. You can see for yourself by getting your first Damselfish. 

John Kilmerstone

I love keeping pet fish and receive a lot of joy and peace from watching these colorful creatures. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of pet fish. Discover how to care for and look after pet fish and amplify your satisfaction.

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