White Tailed Humbug Damselfish - Dascyllus Aruanus

White Tail Humbug Damselfish MED

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Dascyllus Aruanus

The White Tail Humbug Damselfish is an extremely handsome species with a fiery personality. A great starter fish due to their relatively inexpensive cost and aquarium hardiness.

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Damselfish White Tail Humbug


These interesting looking creatures have a white body with exactly 3 vertical black stripes running down it. One through the eye and two more along its body, leaving the nose and tail white which explains why it also goes by the name of the Humbug Damsel. This species is often confused with the similarly patterned 4 Stripe or Black-Tailed Humbug Damsel. Which is almost identical apart from its fourth black stripe covering the tail.

The males of this species are usually the largest of a pair or small group. All White Tail Damselfish are born female and in the absence of a male, the most dominant female will transform. Success has been had with breeding this species in captivity but it is very difficult due to the fact that the eggs are extremely small and need perfect water parameters.

White Tail Damsels are a great addition not only for their distinctive markings but also for their ability to produce pulsing sounds when fighting or displaying courtship routines. These clicks and pops will keep you surprised and entertained for hours.

This species of damselfish is originally found all over the Indo-Pacific region and the Red Sea from Japan all the way down to Australia. As juveniles, they swim together in large groups but progressing into adulthood split off solely to inhabit their own personal territory. They prefer shallow lagoons and reef faces at depths of up to 12 metres.

Tank Recommendations for the White Tail Damselfish

The smallest tank size for this species is 120 litres and they will do well in all kinds of aquarium settings. They will need areas of live rock or coral in which to hide and establish a territory as they mature. Keep in mind that this species isn't very able-bodied and you must leave enough room for them to manoeuvre around. Any kind of substrate is acceptable along with lighting conditions. The juveniles will normally stay hovering around the top of the tank before becoming adults and finding their own place in the rock work so be sure to not overcrowd the upper area of the water column.

Suitable Tank Buddies

This is an aggressive little species of fish and as such should only be kept with other semi-aggressive or larger species. Only one White Tail Damselfish per tank is recommended. A male-female pair may be housed together but be aware this will increase aggression towards other tank buddies.

Usually Compatible

Large Angelfish, Boxfish and Clownfish would make an excellent choice of species to keep together with these fish. Other great options for tank buddies could include Parrotfish, Tangs and Pufferfish. Hogfish, Hawkfish and Gobies will hold their own with the damsel as well.

Sometime Compatible

Frogfish, Triggerfish and Rays may be kept with this species but caution should be taken. Other species such as Filefish, Cardinalfish and Butterflyfish should also be watched carefully if added to the tank. Batfish, Grunts and Squirrelfish can also be problematic occasionally.

Rarely Compatible

Larger predators such as Eels, Groupers and Sharks should be avoided at all costs as they will eat your handsome new damsel. Snappers and Scorpionfish are also terrible choices for the same reason. Passive slow-moving species such as Seahorses and Pipefish should not be considered either.

Feeding Your White-Tailed Humbug Damselfish

This species of damselfish are omnivorous and in the wild will have a diet that consists of algae, microcrustaceans and fish eggs. Try to mimic its 50/50 plant and meat diet by providing mysis and brine shrimp, krill and minced fish flesh along with herbivore pellets and flakes. Feed them twice a day, but this can be reduced if a lot of algae is already present in your tank.

More Information
Scientific Name Dascyllus Aruanus
Care Level Easy
Common Names The White Tail Damselfish, Humbug Dascyllus, White Tailed Humbug Damselfish and the Three Stripe Damsel.
Diet Omnivore
Fish Family Pomacentridae
Lifespan (years) 15
Max. Length (cm) 10
Min. Tank Volume (l) 120
Origin Indo-Pacific
Reef Safe Yes
Sociability Aggressive
Venomous No
Water Conditions 22.8-27.8° C, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
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