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Splendid Dottyback
(Pseudochromis splendens) Easy Semi-aggressive 4" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Australia Pseudochromidae Pseudochromis / Dottybacks Reef Compatible The Splendid Dottyback (Pseudochromis splendens) is found throughout the Western Indo-Pacific to Australia, where it lives in shallow reefs, reef slopes and outer reef areas. They move about the rocks and corals of the reef feeding on all manner of small worms, pods and micro-inverts that they find living in rocky crevices and within the sand. They are an efficient carnivore that makes an excellent addition to all manner of reef aquariums and FOWLR aquariums with plenty of live rock. Wild caught specimens will often vary in color depending on the food source they were feeding on in the area where they were collected. Specimens fed a high quality diet with balanced vitamins will generally exhibit the more sought after brighter coloration, while specimens who are fed a lower quality diet exhibit a more faded coloration. Splendid Dottyback psuedochromis are also known for being one of the larger species of psuedochromis commonly available within the hobby, as they can reach 4 inches in length. Their larger size coupled with the typical aggressive and territorial nature of psuedochromis makes them aggressive for their size. Due to their somewhat aggressive nature, the Splendid Dottyback should be the only psuedochromis or similarly shaped species in smaller aquariums in order to avoid territorial battles. Large aquariums with plenty of live rock can support multiple psuedochromis specimens or a mixture of psuedochromis and other similarly shaped species. Overall the Splendid Dottyback is a very hardy species that makes a good addition to both reef and FOWLR aquariums. The Splendid Dottyback is at home in aquariums ranging from smaller 30 gallon aquariums all the way up to large reef aquariums. Like most other psuedochromis species they are very territorial towards other psuedochromis and similarly sized and shaped fish species. However, they get along very well with a wide variety of community fish species and are not easily bullied by semi-aggressive species like larger wrasse, parrotfish, hawkfish, angelfish, etc. Splendid Dottybacks will not bother corals, invertebrates or sessile invertebrates which makes them well suited for larger reef aquariums. The exception to this is that they will readily consume bristleworms and small shrimp species like anemone shrimp. However, they are quite aggressive for their size, so they are not well suited for reef aquariums with extremely delicate fish species. They do best in aquariums with plenty of live rock caves and crevices and at least around 30 gallons or so of water volume. They have an aggressive personality for their size, which means that they are not well suited for very small nano aquariums or shy tank mates. Splendid Dottyback psuedochromis need a balanced diet containing a variety of marine based meaty foods. Foods high in vitamins like carotene and vitamin A are required for them to truly thrive and exhibit their brightest coloration. Foods like krill and chopped raw table shrimp are good sources for these vitamins as the plant matter and plankton that these species feed on is high in carotene and vitamin A. A well balanced diet made up of mostly meaty based foods with a small amount of plant matter or algae is best suited to provide all the vitamins and minerals the Splendid Dottyback requires in order to maintain a healthy immune system. Ideally they should be feed two to three times per day an amount that they will consume within five to ten minutes. Good food options include: krill, chopped raw table shrimp, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, chopped raw mussel, chopped raw squid, chopped raw clam, marine algae and marine sponge. High quality commercial flake and freeze-dried foods designed for marine carnivores are also an excellent food source for this species, and often make up the staple portion of their diet when kept in captivity.
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Yellow Dottyback
(Pseudochromis fuscus) Easy Aggressive 4" 30 gallons 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.021-1.025 Carnivore Western Pacific, Indian Ocean Pseudochromidae Pseudochromis Reef Compatible The Yellow Dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus) or as it is also commonly known as the Dusky Dottyback, is a popular species of psuedochromis that is commonly found within the aquarium hobby. Their coloration varies from a bright yellow to light brown with yellow and purple highlights. Unlike many fish species whose colors dull with age, the coloration differences in the Yellow Dottyback are due mostly to diet. Wild caught specimens will often vary in color depending on the food source they were feeding on in the area where they were collected. Specimens fed a high quality diet with balanced vitamins will generally exhibit the more sought after bright yellow coloration, while specimens who are fed a lower quality diet exhibit a more faded yellow or brown coloration. Yellow Dottyback psuedochromis are also known for being the largest species of psuedochromis commonly available within the hobby, as they can reach 4 inches in length. Their larger size coupled with the typical aggressive and territorial nature of psuedochromis makes them quite aggressive for their size. Due to their aggressive nature, the Yellow Dottyback should be the only psuedochromis or similarly shaped species in smaller aquariums in order to avoid territorial battles. Large aquariums with plenty of live rock can support multiple psuedochromis specimens or a mixture of psuedochromis and other similarly shaped species. Overall the Yellow Dottyback is a very hardy species that makes a good addition to both reef and FOWLR aquariums. The Yellow Dottyback is at home in aquariums ranging from smaller nano aquariums all the way up to large reef aquariums. Like most other psuedochromis species they are very territorial towards other psuedochromis and similarly sized and shaped fish species. However, they get along very well with a wide variety of community fish species and are not easily bullied by semi-aggressive species like larger wrasse, parrotfish, hawkfish, angelfish, etc. Yellow Dottybacks will not bother corals, invertebrates or sessile invertebrates which makes them well suited for larger reef aquariums. The exception to this is that they will readily consume bristleworms and small shrimp species like anemone shrimp. However, they are quite aggressive for their size, so they are not well suited for reef aquariums with delicate fish species. They do best in aquariums with plenty of live rock caves and crevices and at least around 30 gallons or so of water volume. They have an aggressive personality for their size, which means that they are not well suited for very small or shy tank mates. Yellow Dottyback psuedochromis need a balanced diet containing a variety of marine based meaty foods. Foods high in vitamins like carotene and vitamin A are required for the Yellow Dottyback to exhibit a bright yellow coloration. Foods like krill and chopped raw table shrimp are good sources for these vitamins as the plant matter and plankton that these species feed on is high in carotene and vitamin A. A well balanced diet made up of mostly meaty based foods with a small amount of plant matter or algae is best suited to provide all the vitamins and minerals Yellow Dottyback require in order to maintain a healthy immune system. Ideally they should be feed two to three times per day an amount that they will consume within five to ten minutes. Good food options include: krill, chopped raw table shrimp, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, chopped raw mussel, chopped raw squid, chopped raw clam, marine algae and marine sponge.
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Springer's Dottyback
(Pseudochromis springeri) Easy Semi-Aggressive 3" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Red Sea Pseudochromidae Pseudochromis Reef Compatible 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. 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. 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. 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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Sunrise Dottyback
(Pseudochromis flavivertex) Easy Semi-aggressive 3" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Pseudochromidae Pseudochromis Reef Compatible The Sunrise Dottyback is native to the tropical reefs of the Central Indo-Pacific. As one of the hardiest and undemanding reef fish available, the Sunrise Dottyback is an excellent choice for beginners as well as the more experienced hobbyists. The Sunrise Dottyback has clear fins and a beautiful color combination of a bright-white ventral side, a vivid yellow chin and face that continues all the way down its back to the top and bottom of its caudal fin; in addition it has electric-blue lateral lines (sometimes between the lateral line and the dorsal fin) that start behind the eye and the middle-rear of the operculum and run all the way down to the caudal fin. Often used as an "accent" fish and extremely popular as a "nano" fish, the addition of a Sunrise 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, Sunrise Dottybacks are readily available in the hobby from local retailers and online vendors alike. Sunrise 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 can sometimes be territorial. They have also been known to eat very small, commensal or ornamental shrimp such as "anemone shrimp". Tank mates should be chosen carefully and preferably added before the Sunrise Dottyback if compatibility is questionable; if more than one specimen is desired it's recommended to add them at the same time. Sunrise 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 Sunrise Dottyback, variety and vitamins are very important (their beautiful color may fade without them). Feed 1 to 2 times per day. Through protogynous hermaphroditism, female Sunrise 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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Orchid Dottyback
(Pseudochromis fridmani) Easy Semi-aggressive 3" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Red Sea Pseudochromidae Pseudochromis Reef Compatible 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. 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. 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. 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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Wolf Eel
(Congrogadus subducens) Easy Aggressive 18" 90 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore West Indo-Pacific Pseudochromidae, Congrogadinae Pseudochromis Fish Only The Wolf Eel is a very unique and attractive species with the appearance of an eel and the head of a grouper. Native to the reefs of the West Indo-Pacific the Wolf Eel has been a marvel in the aquarium hobby for quite some time; they are commonly referred to as Blennies or eels, but are actually a species of Dottyback / Pseudochromis (of the sub-family, Congrogadinae) and related to groupers and sea bass. They are extremely hardy (like most of their close relatives) and although many consider the Wolf Eel to be secretive; once acclimated to the aquarium they are bold and have been known to display great personalities. The coloration of the Wolf Eel depends on the area of collection and although they are commonly green, their coloration can vary to include variations of browns, reds, and yellows. Wolf Eels are a popular species and are often available locally, but more so through online retailers. Wolf Eels require an aquarium of at least 90 gallons along with plenty of live rock for hiding and hunting (they love caves and crevices); they should also be provided with a fine, sandy substrate as they often rest on the bottom of the aquarium, laying in wait for prey to crawl or swim by. They are not generally known to be jumpers, but should be kept in an aquarium with a hood or tight-fitting lid to help prevent their escape. In addition to quality biological and mechanical filtration, an efficient protein skimmer is also recommended as Wolf Eels can be quite gluttonous when feeding and will have a large biological load on the system. This species should not be kept with shrimp, small lobsters, crabs, or any fish that can fit in its large mouth as they will quickly become snacks (large hermit crabs and snails should be fine). Tank mates should be considered carefully and can generally be other large predatory species (i.e., Groupers, large Angels, Puffers, Boxfish, Scorpion fish, Lionfish, Butterflyfish, etc.). They will not harm corals in a reef environment, but are more suitable to FOWLR systems due to the fact that half of the cleaning crew may be added to the dinner menu. Wolf Eels are predatory carnivores and generally prey upon fish, crabs, shrimp, and other crustaceans in the wild. 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, ghost shrimp, krill, silver sides, chopped clams, crab meat, and other sea food. Feed 1 to 2 times per day.
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Purple Stripe Dottyback
(Pseudochromis diadema) Easy Aggressive 3" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Pseudochromidae Pseudochromis Reef Compatible The Purple Stripe Dottyback can be found in its native environment within the tropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific. They are a beautiful and extremely hardy species that will add bright yellow and a splash of purple to any aquarium. The Purple Stripe Dottyback is an excellent choice for beginners and are also in demand for "nano" systems (a great choice for yellow in place of a yellow tang in smaller aquariums) as well as being a popular choice as an accent fish in larger reef setups. The Purple Stripe Dottyback gets its name from having a bright yellow base color with a vivid purple stripe on its dorsal side from its head, all the way to its caudal fin. They are readily available within the hobby and can be found through local and online vendors alike. Purple Stripe Dottybacks require an aquarium of at least 30 gallons and should be provided with plenty of live rock and hiding places. They have a small impact upon their environment and do not have any special filtration needs other than the standard, quality biological and mechanical filtration. They usually cruise around the middle to bottom of the aquarium and generally mix well with other reef inhabitants; but they are territorial of their favorite hiding places and can become aggressive towards their own kind, similar-shaped fish, and mild-mannered or slow-moving species. They have also been known to eat very small, commensal or ornamental shrimp such as Anemone shrimp. Tank mates should be chosen carefully and preferably added before the Purple Stripe Dottyback if compatibility is questionable. The Purple Stripe Dottyback is a carnivore and 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 Purple Stripe Dottyback, variety and vitamins in their diet is very important. Feed 1 to 2 times per day. Through protogynous hermaphroditism, female Purple Stripe 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 in a much larger aquarium with more than two fish, 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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Bicolor Dottyback
(Pictichromis paccagnellae) Easy Semi-aggressive 3" 30 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Central Indo-Pacific Pseudochromidae Pseudochromis Reef Compatible 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. 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. 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. 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.
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Purple Dottyback
(Pseudochromis porphyreus) Easy Semi-aggressive 3" 30 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indonesia, Vanuatu Pseudochromidae Pseudochromis Reef Compatible Purple Dottybacks are generally sought after for two reasons, their small size which makes them suitable for smaller aquariums and reef environments and lastly their amazing purple coloration. Their coloration is both unique in color and spectacular in brightness and contrast with other compatible fish species that they would most likely be housed with. They are also popular for their darting swimming style that will have them zipping in and out from amongst the live rock and corals within the aquarium, which makes them a fun fish to watch. Their small size and relatively peaceful demeanor make them an ideal fit for most community and reef aquarium setups. Purple Dottybacks do well in smaller aquariums as their small size put less stress on the filtration system with their smaller bio-load. However, if kept in a nano or very small aquarium, it is even more important to make sure that there is plenty of live rock, a protein skimmer and more frequent water changes to maintain a high level of water quality. Smaller species like the Purple Dottyback require plenty of caves and crevices in which to hide in and retreat to when threatened, this will provide them with a sense of security and keep their stress levels low. While they are peaceful towards most other community species, they will often show aggression towards similarly sized and shaped species. Also their small size makes keeping them with larger more aggressive species a bad idea as they could accidentally become food for the larger species. Overall, they are a hardy species that can successfully be kept with a wide range of other community species in aquariums ranging from nano cubes to full blown large reef setups. Purple Dottyback will consume a wide range of meaty foods including flake, freeze-dried, frozen and fresh varieties. It is best to feed them a mixed diet of meaty foods including a high quality flake food, quality frozen foods and possibly live meaty foods like brine shrimp or copepods and amphipods if available. Ideally they should be fed multiple (2-3) smaller meals throughout the day consisting of what the fish will consume within a couple of minutes.
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