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Four Stripe Damsel

Dascyllus melanurus

How to Four Stripe Damsel

written by Dave Burr

Behavior: As with most Damsels, the Four Stripe Damsel grows from a docile juvenile into an aggressive adult. As a result, Damsels should not be kept with small docile tank-mates, rather with other aggressive community fishes. Numerous juveniles may be kept together; however adults will often fight unless they are a pair. If you plan to keep several types of Damsels it is recommended that you add them at the same time to avoid territorial disputes. Make sure to provide caves or hiding places for them.

The Four Stripe Damsel is not a threat to corals, clams, or invertebrates and will add sparks of color to any reef aquarium.

Feeding: Offer the Four Stripe Damsel mysis shrimp and frozen herbivore preparations 4-5 times per week. Their diet consists mostly of meaty foods, however they will accept some algae based foods as well. Soaking all fish food with vitamins will help keep your fish healthier and make them less susceptible to disease. We recommend soaking food in garlic as well when adding new fish and whenever your notice ich or other disease in the aquarium. Garlic will help repel external parasites and will boost the fishes immunity.

Feeding Tips: Remember to feed slowly. Leftover food will cause nitrates and phosphates to rise. If you see food falling to the sand bed and into the rocks, you should feed slower and give the fish a chance to eat before adding a little more. Using a turkey baster allows you to target food to different fish. For example you can feed the aggressive fish on one side of the tank and then squirt a little bit on the other side for the less aggressive fish. This way all the fish get a chance to eat enough.

Maximum Length: 4"
Care Level: Easy
Family: Pomacentridae
Reef Compatibility: Excellent
Minimum Aquarium Size: 20 gal.
Range: Indo Pacific
Diet: Omnivore
Water Conditions: 75-80° F; sg 1.024-1.026 (1.025 is ideal); pH 8.1-8.4 Ca 420-440 ppm, Alk 8-9.5 dKH, Mg 1260-1350, Nitrates <10ppm, Phosphates, < .10ppm

Water Chemistry: Maintaining Ammonia at 0 ppm, Nitrites at 0 ppm, and Nitrates below 10ppm will help to keep your Four Stripe Damsel happy and healthy. We recommend doing a water change soon after Nitrates rise above 10 ppm. Maintaining proper calcium (420-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9.5 dkh - run it 7-8 if you are carbon dosing) , and magnesium levels (1260-1350 ppm) will help to keep pH stable in the 8.1-8.4 range. We recommend a specific gravity of 1.024-1.026 with 1.025 being ideal for fish. Temperature should remain stable as well and should stay within a 2 degree range.