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Orchid Dottyback

(Pseudochromis fridmani)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 3"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Red Sea
• Family: Pseudochromidae   • Species: Pseudochromis   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Orchid Dottyback native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Endemic to the tropical reefs of the Red Sea, this species is found in colonies near vertical reef walls and ledges. The Orchid Dottyback is a strikingly beautiful species that is hardy and easy to keep; they make a great choice for beginners and experienced hobbyists alike. They are often kept instead of a Purple Pseudochromis when a slightly less aggressive, equally impressive, and more behaviorally predictive fish is in order. They have great personalities and often become the aquarium favorite. The Orchid Dottyback has relatively clear fins and a black line extending from its mouth, across its eyes, and ending at mid-operculum; as well as a solid, bright magenta to purple body. Often used as an "accent" and "nano" fish, an Orchid Dottyback will definitely spice up an aquarium with its vivid coloration as well as its peaceful and curious nature. Extremely popular among hobbyists, they are usually available, but their price can vary greatly from one source to another.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Orchid Dottyback in the home aquarium.

Orchid Dottybacks are a hardy and active species that will require and adapt well to an aquarium of at least 30 gallons. They should be provided with plenty of live rock and multiple hiding places. They should also be provided with ample swimming space for cruising around the middle to bottom of the tank. They usually coexist well with other tank mates, but can be territorial with their favorite spot and may occasionally give chase. They have also been known to eat very small, commensal or ornamental shrimp such as "anemone shrimp" as well as bristleworms. Tank mates should be chosen carefully and preferably added before the Orchid Dottyback (if compatibility is in question); if more than one of the species is desired they should be added at the same time and accommodated with a larger aquarium.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Orchid Dottyback.

Orchid Dottybacks are carnivorous and naturally prey upon tiny shrimp, amphipods, copepods, isopods, and bristleworms. In the aquarium they should be fed a variety of meaty foods such as live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and finely chopped krill as well as carnivore/omnivore pellets and flake foods. Variety is very important in preserving their beautiful coloration as well as their immediate and long term health. Feed 1 to 2 times per day.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Orchid Dottyback in the aquarium environment.

Through protogynous hermaphroditism, female Orchid Dottybacks can shift sex and become male, but cannot shift back to female. To form pairs, hobbyists will start off with plenty of room and two fish of different size, or in a much larger aquarium with more than two fish, a male may lure a female to his small cave or rock crevice, where she will lay a cluster of sticky eggs. The male will fan and guard the eggs to keep them aerated and safe. 3 to7 days later the eggs will hatch and the young will be in a larval stage for the next 30 days. Enriched live prey (brine shrimp and rotifers) are essential for larval development.

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