Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Chrysiptera cyanea

Electric blue damselfish

Electric blue damselfish, Chrysiptera cyaneaElectric blue damselfish, Chrysiptera cyanea
Photos by Andy Rapson


Chrysiptera: Greek, chrysos = golden + Greek, pteron = fin, wing

General Notes:

Aggressive towards all other types of fish. Despite their small size, they are mean thus giving rise to the name Blue Devils! Safe with corals and inverts.

Not surprisingly these beautiful hardy little fish is one of the biggest selling marine fish, they are often one of the first fish that people get for their tank since they are considered very hardy fish and can handle some fluctuation in water chemistry that is often found in newer tanks. Because of this they are often used pointlessly to cycle an aquarium rather than someone making the effort to do a fishless cycle. Unfortunately they severely limit what else can be added to the tank afterwards since they will become extremely aggressive. They are also very fast and very difficult to catch once established in a tank.

A small reef aquarium should be able to house a group of these fish if lots of hiding places are included in the set up, this will work best if a single male and a group of females are housed together.

In the wild electric blue damsels will feed on algae, pelagic tunicates and copepods. In captivity they are relatively easy to please with a good variety of meaty foods. In the wild they eat a variety of Zooplankton, worms, brine shrimp and 'pods. They readily accept most frozen foods and live baby brine shrimp are a great a treat for them. Although some individuals will accept flake foods most it is most likely be rejected.

Females and juveniles have a black spot to the rear of their dorsal fin, this spot isn't present on mature adult males.

The eggs are laid on a surface and cared for by the male, this species has been bred in captivity.

The status of wild populations of this species has not been evaluated.

Information at a glance

pH: 8.2 - 8.4
dGH: 8 - 12
Salinity: 1.021 - 1.025
Temperature: 23 - 28°C (74 - 82°F)
Size: 8cm (3.1in)
Min tank size: 100 litres
Difficulty level: Difficult (aggression)
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: All levels

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Electric blue damselfish, Chrysiptera cyanea

Origin: Indo-West Pacific: eastern edge of the Indian Ocean and Western Australia to New Guinea, New Britain, Solomon Islands, Marianas and Caroline Islands, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan and Ryukyu Islands. Also known from Vanuatu and New Caledonia; Palau and Yap in Micronesia

Habitat: They are found amongst rubble and coral in clear sheltered lagoons and sub tidal reef flats. They generally live in small groups that consist of a male and several females or juveniles between the depths of 1-10m


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacentridae
Genus: Chrysiptera
Species: C. cyanea (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825)

Common name:
Electric blue damselfish, Blue devil

Synonyms: Abudefduf cyaneus, Cbrysiptera cyaneus, Glyphidodontops cyaneus, Glyphisodon uniocellatus, Abudefduf uniocellatus, Glyphisodon azureus, Chrysiptera gaimardi, Glyphidodon assimilis, Abudefduf assimilis, Abudefduf turchesius, Abudefduf sapphirus, Glyphisodon hedleyi, Chrysiptera punctatoperculare