Updated August 5, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
The Azure Damselfish (Chrysiptera hemicyanea) is a nice looking little damselfish with a half blue and half yellow body. The Azure Damsel gets to be about 3 inches and are usually sold for $3 to $10 each. The colors on this damselfish really are amazing and they look awesome under actinic lighting.
Like most damselfish species, the Azure Damselfish is considered very hardy and often recommended to new hobbyists as a good first fish in new tanks. While it is true that they are hardy, damselfish are not always a good choice because of their temperament. They may fight with themselves and with less aggressive fish in your tank. However, the Azure Damsel is considered one of the less aggressive species of damselfish and hobbyists sometimes keep them in groups in a larger saltwater aquarium setup. In the aquarium, keeping a group of them might be a problem because of constant fighting for territory. But if you get a big enough group of them the fighting may be spread out enough so that one fish isn't the lone target.
In the ocean they like to live amongst acropora coral heads in shallow waters. They feed on plankton and then retreat back to the safety of the coral or live rock. They will go after smaller pellet foods and flake foods. Thawed foods like the cube packs that can be thawed and fed in small amounts work really well. You should be able to find the frozen cube packs of mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, etc. at your local chain store or reef shop.
Please don't use them to cycle a new aquarium. The most humane method is to use live rock that is cured already and then slowly stock the tank.
Azure Damselfish Care
Scientific Name : Chrysiptera hemicyanea
Common Names : Azure demoiselle, Half Blue Damselfish, Yellow Dipped Damsel
Care Level : Easy, good for saltwater beginners but keep in mind that they can be aggressive for a smaller fish.
Life span : 4 - 5 years and likely longer
Size : Up to 3 inches (8 cm)
pH : 8.1 - 8.4
Temperature : 75°F - 80°F (24°C - 27°C)
Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025
Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°
Temperament / Behavior : Much like other damselfish, although very hardy this one can be moderately aggressive. They may harass fish that encroach upon their perceived territory.
Breeding : these damselfish are egg layers and they form pairs for mating. The eggs are sticky and stick to the substrate where the males guard them until hatch.
Aquarium Size : 30 gallon minimum for one and larger tanks when keeping them in multiples. Be ready for aggression amongst themselves when keeping them in groups.
Tank Mates : Don't keep them with predatory fish that are big enough to eat them.
Reef Tank Compatible? : Should be fine with corals and invertebrates.
Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment - damselfish are some of the hardiest of saltwater fish species available to the hobby. People even used to use them to cycle new tanks. But it is no longer necessary to cycle a new aquarium with live fish.
Diet / Foods : In the ocean they primarily feed on plankton. In the aquarium they will do fine with flakes and smaller pellet foods (spectrum thera-A small fish size) and fresh and finely chopped pieces of marine origin foods.
Tank Region : Middle to bottom and don't usually venture far from their rock, coral or hiding place.
Gender : No known external characteristics to differentiate males from females.
Forum : Damselfish Forum
Photo Credit : Photos copyright JJPhoto.dk
References / Recommended Reading :
Michael, S. W. (2001). Marine Fishes, 500+ Essential to Know Aquarium Species. T.F.H. Publications.
More Damselfish Profiles
Blue Reef Chromis
Similar in temperament to the Green Chromis, these Blue Chromis do well in schools too and look simply fantastic.
Yellowtail Blue Damselfish
This is a very hardy damselfish and they can be very territorial, even with species much larger than them.
Three Stripe Damselfish
Very hardy and similar to many other damselfish species, the Three Stripe Damselfish too have been used to cycle an aquarium or two. Use live rock instead of live fish to cycle your tank.