Damsel attacking new fish - My solution?

Conigs

New member
So I want to add a Royal Gramma and a Chalk Basslet to my 65 gallon reef.

Problem is, I got a blue damsel 1-2 years ago to eat flatworms. He did a great job consuming all of the flat worms, however now I can't add any fish that compete with his territory or he will harrass and kill them.

So instead of adding 1 royal gramma and 1 chalk basslet, I'm thinking of adding 2-3 of each so the damsel won't have a singular fish to pick out and harrass. I wouldn't mind having multiple grammas or basslets because I love the color they bring. I'm thinking 3 royal grammas, and 2 chalk basslets, and adding all 5 at the same time.

Thoughts on this?? Thanks!
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
I believe the Grammas may fight with each other. However have you thought about getting a fish trap instead? To temporarily trap him and introduce the others?
 

Conigs

New member
Ideally I want the blue damsel out of the tank completely! I've tried everything to get him out - Netting, fish trap, small hook. To no avail, it's almost impossible without tearing my tank down and I am definitely not doing that. :(

I hope that if if I introduce them all at the same time they will be less likely to fight
 

reefing102

Who Am I Here?
Premium Member
Ideally I want the blue damsel out of the tank completely! I've tried everything to get him out - Netting, fish trap, small hook. To no avail, it's almost impossible without tearing my tank down and I am definitely not doing that. :(

I hope that if if I introduce them all at the same time they will be less likely to fight

Hmm may sound funny, have you tried putting the net and leaving it in there for a minute so he gets used to it and then feeding the opposite side of the tank so he goes over there and then scoop from underneath?
 

iloveinn

Premium Member
I’ve got great success with using a large mirror getting my tangs to go along wi t each other. My PBT used to harass my regal and after the mirror it’s as good as removing him from the tank and reintroducing him. Try it.

if it’s going to work you’ll see the damsel just figuring with itself. If it does then you v Notre that it will be safe to add your gramma
 

Anemone

Cloning Around
Staff member
RC Mod
Premium Member
I'm not sure adding 5 additional fish to a 65 gallon tank will produce the results you want. Besides potentially overloading the biological filtration capacity of the tank resulting in nutrient soup and potential fish death (you haven't listed what other fish are already in the tank), putting more than a single Royal Gramma into a 65 gallon tank will probably result in the death of some (or all) of these fish due to intra-species aggression. How many fish do you want to sacrifice to your bully damsel?

Since damsels are aggressive feeders, catching in a trap shouldn't be that difficult (leave the trap in the tank for a few days so the damsel gets used to it, then place food inside), and the cost of a quality trap would be cheaper than replacing all those dead fish.

FWIW,
Kevin
 

vlangel

Premium Member
If you have a large brute can and pump with hose/tubing that are clean, I have seen folks (and I have done this myself) empty a tank down to just a couple inches. It much easier to get a fish in 2-3 inches of water than 20-24. Once the damsel is secured, then just fill the tank back up. My coral and other fish were fine when I did this. If you do have something that worries you like a clam then you could temporarily put it in a bucket until the damsel is caught.
 

Sugar Magnolia

Mother of Dachshunds
Staff member
RC Mod
If you have a large brute can and pump with hose/tubing that are clean, I have seen folks (and I have done this myself) empty a tank down to just a couple inches. It much easier to get a fish in 2-3 inches of water than 20-24. Once the damsel is secured, then just fill the tank back up. My coral and other fish were fine when I did this. If you do have something that worries you like a clam then you could temporarily put it in a bucket until the damsel is caught.

Yep, I've done this myself. It's so much easier to catch them this way.
 

monkeysee1

Member
.....any luck on trapping him??
I always thought the blue damsels were on the lower end of the aggression spectrum, compared to the Dominos, Four Stripes and Three Stripes. Hmmm.....
 

Conigs

New member
.....any luck on trapping him??
I always thought the blue damsels were on the lower end of the aggression spectrum, compared to the Dominos, Four Stripes and Three Stripes. Hmmm.....

No luck so far :( He has shown no interest in going into the fish trap.

I think maybe because he was one of the first fish in the tank and he has his territory established already which is why he is aggressive.
 
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