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Springer's Dottyback

(Pseudochromis springeri)

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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

Springer's Dottyback native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Springer's Dottyback, sometimes referred to as the Springeri Dottyback, is an exceptionally hardy species endemic to the coral reefs of the Red Sea. Once considered to be fairly rare within the hobby, Springer's Dottybacks are currently more readily available as a direct result of increased popularity and captive-breeding practices; in addition, they are an ideal fish species for a "nano" environment due to their small adult size, excellent hardiness, and aesthetic appearance.

The Springer's Dottyback is a highly attractive fish with a black base coloration and beautiful, electric-blue markings on the head and fin edges. Springer's Dottyback will commonly choose a favorite spot to use as a "base of operations" (mainly a cave or overhang), which it will generally keep in close proximity as it darts back and forth for a sense of refuge while feeding.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Springer's Dottyback in the home aquarium.

Springer's Dottybacks require an aquarium of at least 30 gallons and should be provided with plenty of live rock structure for refuge and territory. They have a relatively, minimal impact upon their environment and do not necessarily need specialized systems within the aquarium other than quality biological and mechanical filtration. They tend to stay within the middle to bottom areas of the aquarium while they search for zooplankton and other food items upon the live rock and substrate.

They will generally get along with heterospecific tank mates, but they are territorial and may become aggressive towards conspecifics, similar-shaped fish, and timid or slow-moving species; they have also been known to eat tiny commensal and ornamental shrimp (i.e.; Anemone shrimp). Tank mates should be chosen carefully and the most aggressive or territorial fish should always be added as the last inhabitant(s) to the aquarium.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Springer's Dottyback.

Springer's Dottybacks are carnivores and should be fed a variety of meaty foods such as live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp, finely chopped krill, bloodworms, chopped crab meat, and other meaty marine foods as well as quality flake and pellet foods for carnivores and omnivores. The variety and nutrition of their food plays a large part in preserving their beautiful coloration. Feed twice per day.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Springer's Dottyback in the aquarium environment.

Through protogynous hermaphroditism, female Springer's Dottybacks can shift sex and become male, but cannot shift back to female. Although the species can be aggressive to its own kind; to form pairs, hobbyists will start off with plenty of room and two fish of different size (or more with a larger aquarium). A male may lure a female to his 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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