Four Stripe Damselfish

Four Stripe Damselfish
Latin name:
(Dascyllus melanurus)

Care Level








Preferred Conditions

sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size

30 gallons


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In the vibrant tapestry of marine life, the Four Stripe Damselfish stands out as a captivating and resilient species. With its striking coloration and remarkable adaptability, this fish has become a popular choice among aquarists and marine enthusiasts worldwide. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of the Four Stripe Damselfish and explore its unique characteristics, behavior, and the best practices for keeping it in a home aquarium.

Four Stripe Damselfish: A Profile

The Four Stripe Damselfish, scientifically known as Pomacentrus quadrilineatus, belongs to the family Pomacentridae, commonly known as damselfish. These fish are native to the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, ranging from the Red Sea to the western Pacific Ocean. They typically inhabit coral reefs and rocky shores, where they find shelter and food.

Physical Characteristics

  • Striking Coloration: The Four Stripe Damselfish showcases a vibrant coloration that varies depending on its geographic location. Typically, they display a bright blue or green body with four distinct black stripes running horizontally across their sides.
  • Compact Body: These fish have a compact and laterally compressed body, which allows them to navigate through narrow crevices and coral formations with ease.
  • Dorsal Fin: The Four Stripe Damselfish possesses a single dorsal fin that extends from the nape of its neck to the base of its tail. This fin helps stabilize the fish while swimming.
  • Rounded Tail: The tail of the Four Stripe Damselfish is rounded, providing it with agility and maneuverability in its underwater environment.

Behavior and Temperament

  • Territorial Nature: Four Stripe Damselfish are known for their territorial behavior, especially during breeding season. They establish and defend their territories against other fish, often engaging in aggressive displays and chasing away intruders.
  • Social Interactions: Despite their territorial tendencies, Four Stripe Damselfish can form social groups with other members of their species. They communicate through visual signals, body postures, and vocalizations.
  • Diet: These fish are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of food sources. Their diet includes zooplankton, small crustaceans, algae, and occasionally small fish.
  • Lifespan: In captivity, Four Stripe Damselfish can live for up to 10 years with proper care and maintenance.

Keeping Four Stripe Damselfish in an Aquarium

If you’re considering adding a Four Stripe Damselfish to your home aquarium, there are several factors to consider to ensure their well-being and thriving.

Tank Size and Setup

  • Tank Size: A minimum tank size of 30 gallons is recommended for a single Four Stripe Damselfish. However, a larger tank is ideal to provide ample swimming space and reduce territorial aggression.
  • Water Parameters: The ideal water parameters for Four Stripe Damselfish include a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C), a pH level between 8.1 and 8.4, and a specific gravity of 1.020-1.025.
  • Filtration and Water Quality: A high-quality filtration system is essential to maintain clean and stable water conditions. Regular water changes are also necessary to remove waste and replenish essential minerals.
  • Substrate and Decorations: A sandy or fine gravel substrate is suitable for Four Stripe Damselfish. Provide plenty of live rock and coral formations for shelter and hiding places.

Diet and Feeding

  • Variety is Key: Offer a varied diet consisting of live and frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and chopped seafood. Supplement their diet with high-quality flake or pellet food formulated for damselfish.
  • Feeding Schedule: Feed your Four Stripe Damselfish two to three times a day, offering small amounts of food each time. Avoid overfeeding, as this can lead to health problems.

Compatibility with Other Fish

  • Choosing Tank Mates: Four Stripe Damselfish can be aggressive towards other fish, especially those of similar size and temperament. Choose tank mates carefully, opting for peaceful and non-aggressive species.
  • Avoid Territorial Species: Avoid housing Four Stripe Damselfish with other territorial fish, as this can lead to constant aggression and stress.

FAQs About Four Stripe Damselfish

  1. Q: Are Four Stripe Damselfish easy to care for?
    A: While Four Stripe Damselfish are generally hardy and resilient, they require specific water parameters and a well-maintained aquarium to thrive.
  2. Q: How many Four Stripe Damselfish can I keep in a 30-gallon tank?
    A: It’s best to keep only one Four Stripe Damselfish in a 30-gallon tank due to their territorial nature. Adding more fish may result in aggression and stress.
  3. Q: What are some good tank mates for Four Stripe Damselfish?
    A: Suitable tank mates for Four Stripe Damselfish include peaceful and non-aggressive species such as clownfish, gobies, and certain types of wrasses.


The Four Stripe Damselfish is a captivating and resilient fish that adds a splash of color and vibrancy to any marine aquarium. With proper care and maintenance, these fish can thrive and bring years of enjoyment to aquarists. Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or just starting, the Four Stripe Damselfish is a rewarding species to keep and observe.