Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chrysiptera parasema

Image: © Constantinos Petrinos
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Scientific Name: Chrysiptera parasema
Species Authority: Fowler, 1918
Family: Pomacentridae
Common Name: Yellowtail Blue Damsels, Yellowtail Damselfish, Yellowtail Demoiselle, Goldtail Demoiselle, Blue Yellowtail Damselfish, Gelbschwanzdemoiselle (DE)
Distribution: Western Pacific: including Solomon Islands, northern Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Ryukyu Islands. There is a doubtful record from the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns, Australia.
Environment: Reef-associated; non-migratory; marine; depth range 1 to 16 meters. They inhabit coral-rich areas of sheltered lagoons and inshore coral reefs, occuring in small groups on Acropora patches.
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 100 liters. Popular in nano-reef setups.
Tank Set-up: Marine aquarium with corals, plenty of live rocks or rock works, and open areas where they can swim freely. They are best suited for reef or FOWLR tanks. As with other fish, provide them with generous amount of hiding places.
Water Region: Middle to bottom.
Lighting: Moderately strong to strong, typically found in reef tanks.
Water Flow: Moderate to strong flow, normally found in reef tanks, fish-only and/or FOWLR community aquariums.
Size: Up to 7 cm
Lifespan: 4 to 6 years - Possibly longer.
Diet: Omnivore. The Yellowtail Blue Damsels eat a wide range of foods and are very adaptable to most kind of captive diet. Provide them with a varied diet of meaty items such as vitamin-enriched brine and mysid shrimps, cyclops, krill, shaved shrimps, spirulina flakes, algae flakes, frozen food and other vegetable matter preperations.

In the wild, they have been observed to feed on zooplanktons and other various drifting pods found around the corals and coral rubbles.

Feed the Yellowtail Blue Damsels several small meals throughout the day.
Temperament: Semi-aggressive. Yellowtail Blue Damsels will ignore other fish, invertebrates, or corals, but some may be territorial towards their own kind or similar-sized fish. It has been reported that a single specimen in an aquarium has the tendency to become aggressive as it matures and may harass more passive tankmates. This aggression can sometimes be reduced by keeping them in groups of three to seven.

The Yellowtail Blue Damsels are best kept in small groups of odd numbered fish in suitably sized systems. They do show schooling behavior when kept in groups. They will choose a part of the tank where they will spend most of their time. When established, they will come out for food and be very social.

Despite their hardy nature, they must not be placed in an aquarium with larger predatory fish such as lionfish and groupers which will often see them as food.
Care Level: Easy. Often recommended for saltwater beginners. They are known to be very hardy and disease resistant.
Resilience: High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months.
Reproduction: Egg Depositor - The Yellowtail Blue Damsel has been bred in captivity. When ready to breed, the male will chase the females and the mating ritual usually occurs in the early morning.

An open clam shell is a good location for depositing the hundreds of adhesive eggs. The male is responsible for cleaning the area and guarding the eggs. It will do so vigorously against all intruders.

The fry hatch in about a week and are very small. They have the tendency to be sucked into running filters with strong flow, so a tank where these can be shut off is necessary. The fry should be raised on rotifers (produced in the green water of rotting vegetables). The use of brine shrimp during the first month is not recommended. Within a month, the fry will take on the blue coloring, including the yellow tail.
Gender: No reliable information to determine the difference/s between male and female specimens. Though difficult to sex, males are usually larger and more slender and become aggressive towards females when ready to mate.

Because of their hardy nature - being disease resistant and the ability to withstand large variations in aquarium water chemistry - and lower cost
in the market, they are often used to cycle new aquariums. Using them to cycle your tank is not recommended because it is very cruel to the fish. There are other ways to completely cycle aquariums such as with the use of live rocks, ammonia and other fishless nitrogen cycling methods.

Should you decide to purchase the Chrysiptera parasema, it is also important to know that they are sometimes confused with the Azure Damselfish (Chrysiptera hemicyanea) because they do look very similar. The Chrysiptera hemicyanea, however, has more yellow on its body than the Chrysiptera parasema, which just has the yellow on its tail.
Red List Status: Not Evaluated
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Specific Gravity: 1.020 to 1.030
Temperature: 24°C to 26°C
pH: 8.1 to 8.4
Angelfish (Dwarf)Groupers
Angelfish (Large)Grunts / Sweetlips
BlennyLionfish / Scorpionfish
CardinalsPuffers / Porcupines
ChromisSeahorse / Pipefish
ClownfishSharks / Rays
DartfishTangs / Surgeons
EelsWrasse (Reef Safe)
Filefish Wrasse (FO/FOWLR)
Foxface / RabbitfishCorals
With Caution
Not Compatible
Photo: Constantinos Petrinos
Encyclopedia of Life (
Aquarium Domain - (
Live Aquaria (
Pet Education (
Fishlore - (
Meerwasser-Lexikon (
Nano-Reef.Com ( (
Wikipedia (
Aquariums Life (
Tim's Tropicals (
Baensch Marine Atlas
The New Marine Aquarium (Michael S. Paletta)
World Atlas of Marine Fishes (Helmut Debelius & Rudie H. Kuiter)

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