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Bicolor Dottyback
(Pictichromis paccagnellae)
Quick Care FactsCare 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: Central Indo-Pacific
Family: Pseudochromidae
Species: Pseudochromis
Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible
Species Information
The Bicolor Dottyback is native to the tropical reefs of the Central Indo-Pacific. As one of the hardiest and undemanding reef fish available, the Bicolor Dottyback is an excellent choice for beginners as well as the more experienced hobbyists. The Bicolor Dottyback has clear fins and has a beautiful color combination of a front half that is solid, bright-purple to hot-pink and a rear half that is a vivid, bright-yellow; which is how it got its name. There are no special markings, although some specimens exhibit a very thin vertical line where their dual coloration merges in the middle; the color of the line is exactly what you would expect to see from mixing the other two colors.
Often used as an "accent" fish and extremely popular as a "nano" fish, the addition of a Bicolor Dottyback will surely bring a vivid dash of color to any reef aquarium. Due to its extreme popularity from having such an amazing color combination and being a hardy and easy species to keep, Bicolor Dottybacks are readily available in the hobby from local retailers and online vendors alike.
Aquarium Care
Bicolor Dottybacks require an aquarium of at least 30 gallons and with a rock-associated lifestyle should be provided with plenty of live rock and hiding places. They are middle to bottom dwellers that generally mix well with other reef inhabitants, but are territorial and can become aggressive towards their own kind, similar-shaped fish, and mild-mannered or slow-moving species.
In an environment without intimidating fish to keep the Bicolor Dottyback in check, they can sometimes become hyperdominant and terrorize other fish and maintenance shrimp (they have also been known to eat very small ornamental shrimp such as anemone shrimp). Tank mates should be chosen carefully and preferably added before the Bicolor Dottyback if compatibility is questionable.
Feeding & Nutrition
Bicolor Dottybacks are carnivorous and naturally prey upon small shrimp, amphipods, copepods 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, finely chopped mysis shrimp, finely chopped krill and other sea foods; as well as carnivore/omnivore pellets and flake foods. To preserve the stunning coloration of a Bicolor Dottyback, variety and vitamins are very important (their beautiful color may fade without them). Feed 1 to 2 times per day.
Breeding Information
Through protogynous hermaphroditism, the female Bicolor Dottybacks can shift its sex and become a 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 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.
Additional Photos