Do Damselfish School?

Do Damselfish school?

Damselfish are nice fish to keep in the aquarium because of their beauty and colors. There are many species of Damsels and almost all of them are aggressive and territorial, Sometimes they could be seen in groups in the wild and many people think that they could school despite their aggressive nature, but the question is, can they? You will find your answer in this article and the answers to many more related questions, so read to the end.

Do Damselfish school? Damselfish don’t school. They are aggressive and territorial fish and could only live in pairs and not in groups.

The word schooling here simply means fish living and moving about in groups.

Many fish could school, including the aggressive types, but not all fish loves to live in groups.

Damsels are like lone fish that don’t tolerate their kind very much because they are very territorial and also they are bullies to each other.

Some species could tolerate each other a little bit, but all the same, they don’t just like living in groups in captivity.

What happens when they are kept together is that they will fight, bully, and even kill each other.

From my experience, when they are kept in their numbers in a tank, they will drastically reduce in population day by day and will finally remain one or 2.

They are known to kill their kind and this even could even happen in a big tank too.

Learning that they will kill themselves when kept together, you may be wondering why they could sometimes stay in groups ( in large numbers) in the wild.

Despite that they don’t school, they are sometimes found in large numbers in the wild.

Well, they do this because they just want to intimidate and scare predators away.

In the wild where there are many predators, they sometimes move in large numbers as a survival strategy and nothing more.

So, if you are thinking that they could school just because you saw them moving together in the wild, well am sorry to disappoint you because they don’t! Keep them together in captivity and they will finish each other in a matter of days and sometimes even hours.

Which Damsels Will School?

No specie of Damselfish is known to the school. They love being alone or in pairs and despise being in large numbers.

As I explained above, don’t let their behaviors in the wild deceive you because they will only end up remaining 1 or 2 if you keep them together because they will only succeed in killing themselves if kept together.

No specie of Damsel could successfully school, don’t listen to anybody telling you to keep more than 2 in a tank because it will be a costly mistake.

Despite that they don’t school, some species are less aggressive and could tolerate each other a bit, such species includes Chromis, Azure, and yellow-tailed damsels.

Although they might tolerate each other a bit depending on how happy they are in their environment and how large it is, I don’t in any way suggest keeping them together permanently or there will be casualties.


Damsels are lone fish or at least loves being kept only in pair which is male and female, so don’t make mistakes of keeping more than 2 or you will end up losing many of them.