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In the process of setting up a 55g with plenty of live rock and live sand. After cycling and testing, the store I've been working with has suggested 2-3 yellowtail damsels to start because they're tough as nails and will help to establish the bio cycle. I've heard and read they can be extremely aggressive towards each other and other more peaceful fish.

Are there other fish equally "tough" that can help me establish the tank but will be more compatible with other species down the road? I'm striving for a tropical western atlantic environment, i.e. the Caribbean.

Thanks for your suggestions.
 

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I am a four strip damsel however I would not put them in. If you put them in then they will make it there home quick and then when you add other fish you will have fighting. The true damsel nature. I would always say that damsels should be the last fish in the tank added to help stop the fighting they are known for
 

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Damsels were my biggest mistake so far. Read up and you can find many ways to cycle your tank without the damsels. Though my yellowtail is the least aggressive damsel I have, they are all a pain in the rear.Plus, from what I have read, it's pretty cruel to use fish to cycle the tank. My two cents.
agreed, wish I never had gotten a damsel. cant get him out of the tank now unless I take out 80% of the water and rock.
 

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+1 on the shrimp...though I believe the OP said after cycling, to start the biocycle...sounds contradictory to me. Clowns are damsels, so those would work as the first fish in the tank AFTER it cylces. They are pretty hardy. As for Damsels, the Allens Damsel is about the only damsel I have found that isn't 'damsel-like' in its behavior. I'll be getting more of them soon.
 
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