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Pseudochromis (Dottybacks)

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Pseudochromis, a.k.a. Dottybacks

Pseudochromis_aldabraensis_-_Aldabra_Zwergbarsch.jpg

Pseudochromis are also known as Dottybacks.  They are hardy, active, and do well in captivity; however, they can become aggressive towards other Pseudochromis or fish with similar body shapes.  House Dottyback singly unless the aquarium is very large.  Provide a well fitted top to prevent jumping, and plenty of live rock with multiple caves and crevices for shelter.

 

Territorial in nature, Dottybacks will limit your choices in a nano tank.  They are best kept with larger tank mates (such as tangs, large damselfish, hawkfish, angelfish, squirrels, parrots, and other large fish which are not easily bullied).  Dottybacks can hold their own against fish that are significantly more than twice their size.  Their reputation to bully other fish means that they shouldn't be added to a peaceful aquarium community, or kept with timid or hesitant feeders.  Pseudochromis will sometimes eat smaller ornamental crustaceans, like sexy shrimp or other anemone shrimps.

 

There are various species of captive bred Pseudochromis.  And while captive raised specimens tend to be more peaceful, they are still likely to harass other Dottybacks, Basslets, Wrasses, and small fish.  There are even a couple of captive bred hybrid species available.

 

In the wild, Dottybacks feed on plankton, small crustaceans, and worms.  In captivity, they will accept most commercially prepared foods (including frozen, pellet, and flake).  Feed a variety of food for carnivores (like chopped shrimp, krill, squid, clam, and mussels).  If kept in a reef aquarium (where they can forage), they should be fed at least once per day.  Occasional feeding of a herbivore preparation is also recommended.

 

Orangetail Dottyback (Pseudochromis coccinicauda)

Max Size: 2.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Indo-Pacific

 

Bluelined Dottyback (Pseudochromis cyanotaenia)

Max Size: 2.5"

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Western Pacific

 

Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani) a.k.a. Fridman's Dottyback, Fridman's Pseudochromis

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Red Sea

Pseudochromis_fridmani.JPG

 

Sunrise Dottyback (Pseudochromis flavivertex)

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Red Sea, Gulf of Aden

Pseudochromis_flavivertex.jpg

 

Dilectis Dottyback (Pseudochromis dilectus)

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Sri Lanka

 

Purple Stripe Dottyback (Pseudochromis diadema)

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Indo-Pacific

Pseudochromis_Diadema_Larry.JPG

 

Bicolor Dottyback (Pictichromis paccagnellae)

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Indo-Pacific

Species Notes: The Bicolor Dottyback might be the hardiest of all the Dottybacks; however, it is also one of the more aggressive species.  Keep it in an aggressive community of larger fish.

Pictichromis_paccagnellae.jpg

 

Purple Dottyback (Pseudochromis porphyreus) a.k.a. Strawberry Dottyback

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Fiji, Indonesia, New Caledonia

Magenta_dottyback,_Pictichromis_porphyrea.jpg

 

Elongate Dottyback (Pseudochromis elongatus) a.k.a. Elegant Dottyback

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Indo-Pacific

Species Notes: The Elongate Dottyback has a relative peaceful demeanor compared to other dottybacks; while less aggressive, it's not a skittish fish.


Springeri Dottyback (Pseudochromis springeri)

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Indian Ocean: Red Sea

Pseudochromis_springeri.JPG

 

Striped Dottyback (Pseudochromis sankeyi)

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden

Dottyback_in_a_hole.jpg

 

Neon Dottyback (Pseudochromis aldabraensis)

Max Size: 4"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Persian Gulf

Pseudochromis_aldabraensis_-_Aldabra_Zwergbarsch.jpg

 

Yellow Dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus) a.k.a. Dusky Dottyback

Max Size: 4"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: With Caution
Origin: Indonesia

Species Notes: In the wild, the Yellow Dottyback feeds on small fishes, large zooplankters, and small benthic crustaceans.  Thy Yellow Dottyback will eat small ornamental shrimp.  It's best kept with tangs, large damselfish, hawkfish, angelfish, squirrels, parrots and other large fish that are not easily bullied.

PseudochromisFuscus2RLS.jpg

 

Polynemus Pseudochromis (Pseudochromis polynemus)

Max Size: 5"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Indo-Pacific

 

Splendid Dottyback (Manonichthys splendens)

Max Size: 5"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Indonesia, Australia

Manonichthys_splendens.jpg

 

Lyretail Dottyback (Pseudochromis steenei)

Max Size: 5"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Western Pacific

Lyretail_dottyback_(Pseudochromis_steenei)_(28181794338).jpg

 

Tono's Dottyback (Pseudochromis tonozukai)

Max Size: 5"

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Indo-Pacific, Sumatra, Indian Ocean

 

HYBRIDS:

Electric Indigo Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani x Pseudochromis sankeyi) hybrid

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Red Sea

Species Notes: The Indigo Dottyback is a captive-Bred hybrid of an Orchid Dottyback and a Striped Dottyback.

 

Black Neon Dottyback (Pseudochromis aldabraensis x Psuedochromis springeri) hybrid

Max Size: 3"

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Reef Compatible: Yes
Origin: Fiji, Kenya, Maldives

Species Notes: The Black Neon Dottyback is a captive-Bred hybrid of a Neon Dottyback and a Springeri Dottyback.  It possesses an unique ability to alter coloration on its flanks from black to a rust color.

 

Photos by image.png.764b7df6a2818ad7ca0b4ddd2d888742.png

 

Saltwater Fish Index

 

Edited by seabass

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