Animal Stories - Yellowtail Blue Damsel

Animal-World Information about: Yellowtail Blue Damsel

The Yellowtail Damselfish is a good fish for the beginner as it is hardy and inexpensive!
Latest Animal Stories
Richard Cartier - 2019-07-29
After a ton of research, I came to the conclusion that I could add some damsels but should do it as one of the last additions. The concerns some expressed were that they could tend to be territorial. So I added three yellow tails and at first they all seemed to get along well with my Chromis, Clownfish, Blenny, Goby and PJ Cardinals. After a not-too-long time, however, the two larger ones became VERY territorial and were constantly harassing most of the other fish..even the smallest Damsel. Over time, it became apparent that the community was suffering because of them so I decided they had to go. After several weeks of trying and failing to capture them, I finally resorted to removing all the rock and about half the water in order to be able to corner them. I only caught two (somehow the smallest managed to hide somewhere!) and I 'put them to sleep' using the Clove Oil treatment (the most humane way to euthanize fish) and as soon as all was put back together the rest of the community came to life. They are now happily exploring ALL areas of the tank and seem to be happier already. The smallest yellow-tail came out of wherever he was hiding and for now is mingling peacefully. But at the first sign of him turning unruly, out he goes. Despite their beauty, I completely regret having added them in the first place, andI will never add another.

Andrew - 2018-01-01
Last month I lurched 3 to cycle my tank. They lived peacefully for around 4 days then the smallest and another one pecked a hole in the biggest one. Then once he was dead the smallest started going after the other one. So I gave it to my uncle and now am left with the mean killer one.

Diane - 2009-10-29
My husband and I are new at the saltwater. After we got our tank set and waited till all was right w/the salt and such, we bought two of these lovely fish. However, after we put them in, we can't seem to find them anymore, we are confused as there are no other fish in the tank. Hope to see them soon.

Click For Replies (3)
  • carly - 2010-09-19
    Um the last time I had one of these fish it jumped right out of the tank and we found it dried out on the floor =( but they could just be hiding too.
  • Bill - 2012-07-24
    If they are small and you have an over flow on your thank they might have fallen into the overflow so you might have to fish them out if they are still alive. If the tank is new and rocks were not set up sturdy enough a rock might have fallen on one of them. Both of these have happened to me. My experience with damsels is that they usually don't hide. Especially if they are the only fish in the tank! Most of them are fearless. Every time I have ever gotten more than one damsel, they have killed their conspecifics until there was only one left. But those are the blue devil damsels. If one is chasing the other it would be possible that one just jumps out of the tank too, so I would look around the tank also
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-07-25
    May have jump, got sucked into filter, check sump.  Maybe try sifting the sand a bit.
Ryan - 2009-06-29
Damsels are good fish for the cycle process and are cute while they are young or juvenile. When they age, like people, they lose their vibrance and become a little more cranky. I house 2 of them now, a yellowtail and a velvet in a 55 gallon reef tank. I was going to trade or sell the damsels after the cycle process was completed but I noticed them eating algae off the rocks in between the zoas and the paly's that the turbo snails can't get at so I am thinking now that I may keep them around. Typically they hate anything new in their space but mine seem oddly docile...they don't attack other fish, even new tank mates. They do go after the snails and my hermit crabs but I can't tell if it is an aggressive lunge or if they are eating off the shells. It appears as though they are just picking stuff off the shells.
Conserve the reefs..propagate your corals.

Kate - 2009-02-18
I've had my yellow tail damsel for almost a year now, it was the first fish in my tank. I've had fish come and go in my tank due to various reasons, but my yellow tail has held on thick and thin and is by far the hardiest fish I've ever had. However, he is aggressive with new fish, though only shortly after he "tells them he's boss". My damsel is cautious and loves swimming in and out of my rock. He is getting "lighter" in color as he gets older. This is a great fish starting out and isn't that aggressive.

Julija Belogubova - 2011-12-12
About a week ago we added the cute yellow tail blues damsels to our existing collection of a yellow tang, skeleton gobie, star fish and a boxing shrimp.
All was well until a couple of days ago when one of the damsels was picked on by the other two. This lead to stress and even with isolation eventually death. But .... this is not all, now the other two have been swimming on there sides (flirting with each other)????? as we see it. Also they seem to change colour of their beards to a light grey?!?!? This only lasts for the same time as the flirting is going on..

Can anyone help but shedding light onto this?

Sara - 2011-10-16
I have had my yellow tail damsel for over 8 years now! Very docile to all the fish who have come and gone, and has outlived all other fish. Mine has never been aggressive to any other fish (or any other creature including starfish) but has been bullied.

daniel dye - 2008-11-26
I have 2 clownfish and they're very cool. I also have a lot of other saltwater fish. My cat stickes her paw down in the aquarium because she thinks they are pretty, but she can never catch them.

tav - 2008-11-10
Hi I'm new to this but am looking for a bit of help and support. I have two clowns, one lyretail anthias, and plenty of cleaners. Just added two little yellow tail's, and have seen most of the traits others have mentioned so far. Only two thing I'd appreciate help with. Hope it's pecking order, but it's the lyretail anthias that's bullying the yellow tails? 2nd: are these known to get White spot, out of my depth with this, one just has little White speck near his rear fin? Any help?

Callum - 2008-03-10
I have had saltwater fish for only 3 months now and my two fish are a yellowtail damsel and an ocellaris clownfish. My clownfish was mean and picked on the damsel, but now my damsel has gotten agressive and fights with my clown. A very active fish and they both like to pick at the live rock. They are a very pretty fish.