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Black & Gold Damsel (Neoglyphidodon nigroris) -
The Black and Gold Damsel (Neoglyphidodon nigroris) begins its life as a dazzling yellow, pointy-finned baby fish. It is accented with two long, horizontal black bars that span the length of its body. The adult coloring is much less glamorous, however. As the fish matures it will loose its black stripes and become grayish brown in front and dusky yellow towards the back. Adult specimens found near Java are said to have even pointier fins and their coloring is very dark, almost black.
What starts out as dazzling beauties turn into drab, mean adults and they get pretty big for Damsels, reaching just over 5 inches (13 cm) in length. Out of all the species in this genus, which are all quite unattractive as adults, the Black and Gold Damsel is a little less homely in comparison. Other common names they are known by include Behn's Damselfish, Black and Gold Damsel, Black and Yellow Chromis, Blackmouth Chromis, Yellow Honey Chromis, Yellowfin Damsel, and Scarface damsel.
The Black and Gold Damsels are inexpensive and hardy fish. These damselfish are very easy to care for, so they are great for beginner aquarists. Being omnivores, they are easy to feed and will happily eat any algae based or meaty foods you provide. They are also great for a reef environment as they won't bother any corals or invertebrates. Although some fish from the same genus will eat soft coral, such as the Black Damsel Neoglyphidodon melas, the Black and Gold Damsel will not. It will consume sponges and tunicates if it is hungry, but prefers algae and zooplankton.
They can be kept in groups as juveniles, but will fight if the tank is too small. These are not peaceful community fish and will more than likely cause havoc in an aquarium. As they age and become more belligerent, the aquarist may need to remove these fish unless suitable tank mates of equal temperament are present. They do best kept singly, or as a male and female pair.
Due to their aggression and size, the minimum suggested tank size is 55 gallons for one or a mated pair. With their streamlined shape they are also more active swimmers than some of the other damselfish. Provide areas within the rock work for them to hide. They have no special lighting or water movement requirements, but if keeping them with stony corals these parameters will need to fit the needs of the coral rather than the fish. They will swim all areas of the tank, with or without a coral.
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