My name is Michael. My girlfriend and I bought a new 55 gallon saltwater fish tank together on July 4th and added fish on July 5th, 2006. It cost an arm and a leg, but when we went to the pet store to buy fish the freshwater fish just didn't cut it in terms of variety.
We started with 12 fish, a mix of what we later discovered were Blue Devil Damsels and Black Domino Damsels. We just took home what the pet store told us we needed. A few days later, all but one of the black domino damsels were dead. The last black domino damsel lasted a few days but was greatyly outnumbered and seemed intimidated by the blue devils. When "blacky" became pale and died, we went and got five more fish to keep the tank stocked to twelve as the pet store suggested, even though an expert had said the pet store was wrong and we should limit the damsels to three while the tank was "cycling".
We added two Pink Damsels, which looked more salmon color than pink, one Sargent Major Damsel, and two Yellow Tailed Blue Damsels to the tank. The Blue Devil damsels already in the tank immediately attacked the new fish. One pink damsel was dead the next day, presumably killed by the Blue Devils. The Sargent Major Damsel, "Sarge" (RIP), became discolored and died a day later, along with one of the yellow tailed blue damsels.
Currently, we have four of the original Blue Devil Damsels left, one Yellow Tailed Blue Damsel, and one Pink Damsel that has been torn to shreds by the Blue Devil Damsels, is missing major portions of its fin, and isn't likely to last very long. We think our tank has begun to cycle because there appears to be some kind of red algea growing on the white plastic coral.
Does anyone have any idea how long we have to wait before we add larger fish, like a Porcupine Puffer, for instance?