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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys this is my first post here, but i've been a guest for a few months.
i've had freshwater tanks for the last 10 years. they've ranged from 10gal to 180gal. most of my tanks have been cichlid only tanks.
i've wanted to get into saltwater tanks for the past 5 years, but didn't have room for another tank. well i have decided to get some new tanks and they are gonna be salt water. i have a 20gal tank with 6 fish in it. (2 green chromis, 2 stripped damsels, 1 yellowtail damsel, and one domino damsel)

they have been in the tank for about 5 days and they are all doing great, except for one of the stripped damsels. he is turning yellow on the top half of him and also not eating much. anyone know why he is turning yellow

i know most people use these fish to cycle a tank to allow more expensive fish, but my plan is to use this tank as a quarantine tank for the 180gal i'm setting up in a month, so i would like to keep just damsels in the tank.

thanks in advance.
-michael
 

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This is sort of off topic to your question but damsels often can fight with eachother that may be to many to be in the tank size you currently have them in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
well the owner of my fish store told me that would be a good amount, they don't fight.... well not bad.
i've had cichlids that fought and these guys are way less agro then the cichlids.

i'm sure when they get older (bigger) then there will be too many in there, but for now they are tiny.
 

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Well your problem may be that there are way to many fish in your 20 gallon tank. And stress is more than likely what is causing your fish to act funny. Even if they are tiny right now damsels are highly aggressive. Im sure there are territory issues going on. All of these fish should be in atleast 30 gallons, but not together. You should either get a larger tank or take the damsels back to the store.
 

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yeah that is only big enough maybe for two cromisis and 1 damsel. Saltwater fish require alot more swimming room than your old freshwater fish.
 

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The Chromis are the only fish that will be peaceful. I'm wondering if it is a stress sign. Your LFS is full of bunk and I wouldn't trust another thing they say. Sending you home with a tank full of damsels. They either figure they will kill each other off and you'll return to buy more, or they don't know diddly squat. Buy this months issue of Coral magazine. The entire issue is dedicated to these little monsters. I've never seen a tank with 2 or more damsels be peaceful. They will attack any and all fish in an attempt to protect their territories.

In fact most shops regard the sale of domino damsels as an act of cruelty. They are also known as devil damsels, and for good reason. They will hunt down and kill anything in the tank. In the end they want to be the only damsel. and will kill each other. BTW, they grow up to 6" and at 2-3" turn into a plain grey fish with absolutely no coloring.

The fish may be alright now in their new environment, probably due to shock, but when the calm sets in expect them to fight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ok so the yellow fish is dead...
and i talked to the lfs guy and he told me that 6 damsels is too many for a 20 gallon tank but is good for cycling it.

so then i called another fish store and asked them if i could trade in some damsels for store credit and they said sure, $1.50 each. so do you guys think i should wait till my tank is cycled to get rid of some or do i need to now.

i've also talked to a few people at the second lfs and they told me not to have any damsels in the tank after it's cycled, cause they will disrupt the whole tank.
so after it's cycled i'm gonna get rid of them and get a couple other fish.
not sure what yet...

so should i get rid of some damsels now or can i wait a few weeks.


also i video taped my fish while i was gone and they were a little agro towards each other, but they are all eating fine.

thanks for the help so far guys.
-michael
 

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Try to trade them and see if you can get the Chromis instead.:)
 

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I would stick to only two. Two is enough for the 20 gallons.
 

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no, 2 fish will be fine as long as they are not damsels. you do not need alot of fish to cycle a tank. you may be able to get away with 3 fish in your tank but i wouldnt put in any more than that. when its cycled and if you want to try 1 more fish, get something like a firefish or another type of small goby. they will not get large and be good for a tank your size.
 
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