Flame suit on - 3 Damsels in 12G aquapod

Felix T Cat

New member
I recently rescued a 40G tank from someone that had let it go for 3 months. Almost no flow, no skimmer, no water changes etc. I wanted the deal for the light setup and the 40G breeder. The rock, non working skimmer, and other stuff was just a bonus.

Turns out it came with 3 damsels as well (2 yellow tail and 1 three stripe). The tank was disgusting to put it mildly. I got the fish out and 2 pcs of rock that amazingly still had zoas growing on them and put them into my 12g Aquapod (was sitting idle, emergency setup). 3 days later everybody is still alive and eating well. The yellow tails have even gained back some of their color (they were both very pale when I got them) and aren't hiding as much now.

My 29 currently has 2 clowns, 1 orange spotted goby and one 6 line. I'm getting the 40 cleaned up and going to move the 29 into the 40 this week. So far everybody is telling me the damsels will be a problem and will bully the other fish if I try to add them to the 40.

I have to admit, I really like the color of the damsels and would like to keep one of the yellow tails and the three line. I would find a home for the other yellow tail.

I KNOW that a 12 is too small for these 3 but I am looking for advice on if they will be ok with the others in the 40 ?. What would you suggest for water changes on the 12 to keep it stable for the damsels in the mean time ?.

Either way I won't add them to my other tank for a little while as I have no idea what they may have wrong from their previous setup.

Thanks for your help. In the end I'm really just glad I saved them from their previous tank.


RC Mod
Staff member
RC Mod
Re: Flame suit on - 3 Damsels in 12G aquapod

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15499079#post15499079 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Felix T Cat
if they will be ok with the others in the 40 ?

No they won't. They/it will cause you problems and really become a terror as they get older. One guy had so much trouble with his, he ate him after he got him out.


New member
I have a feeling the damsels will eventually get too aggressive for the fish you already have. Removing an aggressive damsel from an established aquarium is not easy or fun.

24 years ago I started a 50 gallon saltwater aquarium with a three stripe, yellow tail, and domino damsels. They were fine at first until they started growing huge and destructive. The domino and Three stripe reached about 4" long much quicker than I anticipated. Any new fish introduced to the aquarium were torn to pieces within minutes. They rearranged the crushed coral, knocked stuff over, grunted at me, attacked my hand, killed other fish, etc. They ended up living in there with a Volitan Lionfish for about a year. The Lionfish ate the Yellowtail after a few months, but the other two were too mean to be eaten. The lion and the remaining damsels were eventually traded in for less aggressive fish. I haven't had any damsels since then no matter how pretty or cool they look.

Good luck!


New member
I had 5 yellow tail damsels in a 125 with triggers. After getting settled in for about 2 weeks, they tore into my dad's clown trigger and made a fleshy hole near its tail. I didn't have any problem taking them out because I didn't have any coral but I have a 10" net and fed them and scooped them all out in one try. I traded them at my LFS for a red tail catfish for the FW tank. I hate DAMsels.