Chrysiptera starcki, the Poor Man’s Resplendent Angelfish | Reef Builders
We’ve at all times had a tender spot for damselfish since they had been our first saltwater fish over 25 years in the past. We nonetheless like their daring colours, cichlid-like appears to be like, and conduct, and nonetheless add them to our reef tanks even now. Positive, we keep away from Domino damsels and Sergeant majors, however wouldn’t rule out each damsel species nowadays, as when in comparison with introducing territorial Purple tangs or massive angelfish species to one another, they’re actually not that unhealthy. Not in the event that they’re managed correctly…
So lately we had a gap for some damsels in our house tank and as a substitute of choosing ubiquitous Chromis viridis and maybe, Chrysiptera parasema, we pushed the boat out and invested in Chromis vanderbilti and Chrysiptera starcki as a substitute. The Chromis did what Chromis do and shortly whittled their numbers down from a bunch of six to only two, proving to be quite boisterous fish as Chromis go, and judging by variations within the caudal fin extensions they condensed their very own numbers right down to a single, sexed pair. The “Vanderbilts” have toned their colour proper down too and look darkish grey from a distance. Chromis vanderbilti also moved genus to Pycnochromis in 2021, however regardless of that revision, ours are trying increasingly just like the Blacktail Chromis, Chromis nigrura, that replaces them within the Pacific. The fish we’ve been actually impressed with nonetheless is the Starck’s damselfish.
If you would like a blue and yellow damselfish then the Chrysiptera genus has dozens of species, a lot of that are extensively accessible and low-cost, however this time we needed to up the anti and search out a Starck’s. Extra Royal blue than electrical blue, the Starcki damselfish is uncommon sufficient to get our consideration, and with some scientific interest in the two geographically distinct populations from the Philippines and Australia, we bought one when it appeared on the wholesalers.
By way of conduct, this Starcki has been a mannequin saltwater aquarium citizen, being not as grumpy because the resident Clark’s clowns and even the chromis, the Clarkii blaming the starcki, and taking a bit of its tail fin, once we pruned (and eliminated,) their pulsing xenia house.
However what we’ve actually been impressed with is the way it’s developed in physique form and coloration, simply being ate up a weight loss plan of pellets. That blue, with yellow dorsal stripe, at all times reminded us of a Resplendent Angelfish, Centropyge resplendens, and we’ve even heard it known as the Poor Man’s Resplendent Angelfish as soon as, and it’s a good-looking fish certainly. We think about it extra the marginally higher off man’s blue damsel, (or girl’s,) and though a few notches up in worth from an ordinary Blue satan, the Starck’s has repaid us in colour, ease of maintaining, lack of aggression, and conduct.
Discovering a pair
We nonetheless work with many species of Chrysiptera and identical to with cichlids, more often than not it’s higher to let a pair kind out of a bunch in a retailer’s tank. The pairs are simple to identify as they are going to be guarding a rock, whereas all the remaining shall be trying ragged and panting in a nook. As with the Chromis pair, this sadly is widespread conduct, though on account of their worth and relative shortage, we haven’t ever seen teams of Starcki damsels being held collectively so as to pick a mated pair. It’s essential to allow our saltwater aquarium fish to reside out full lives wherever potential, so we’re tempted so as to add one other Starcki to the tank, cross our fingers, and see what occurs, but when they do pair they are going to little question take territory after which stop any helpful fish like wrasses and surgeonfish from attending to the rock and corals they are going to inadvertently be defending. So we’ll see, however for now, our Resplendent-looking Starcki damsel is without doubt one of the stars of the tank.