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FAQs about Dottybacks, Family Pseudochromidae 2

Related Articles: Dottybacks

Related FAQs:  Pseudochromids 1, Dottyback Identification, Dottyback Behavior, Dottyback Compatibility, Dottyback Selection, Dottyback Systems, Dottyback Feeding, Dottyback Disease, Dottyback Reproduction,

A Pseudochromis fridmani in the Red Sea.

Re: Lion fish compatibility, and now Pseudoplesiops typus     9/30/12
Thanks for answering and being honest. I'm a little disappointed the store mislead me on the potential size of this lion. A 40 gallon isn't large enough in my opinion.
<It is not>
I'll be rehiring him to a friend who has a 6 foot tank and suitable tank mates.
<Ah good>
I do have another question though about Dottybacks this time. I'm having a difficult time finding data on a species called Pseudoplesiops typus or the ring eyed Dottyback. Is there anything you can tell me because nothing is listed on the WetWeb site either?
<Mmm, I've never seen this fish offered for sale in the US, but glad you've sent the name over, as I have photographed this same species in the wild, and didn't know the name. I have no knowledge of its practical husbandry...
Some Pseudochromids are quite easy going (esp. captive produced), others are sheer terrors. I'd read/heed others input re... Bob Fenner>

Article - 03/24/07 Bob, don't want to jump into things, but would you be interested in reading over an article. when it's finished, concerning the reproduction of the Orchid Dottyback. I know media is available on this and of course notably Martin Moe's book. But i couldn't find any "free press" on the WWM site and I've been breeding this fish for around 2 1/2 years now so I thought it may be worth a try. Let me know anyway and in the meantime I'll get back to replying to those queries :] Cheers, Olly. <Oh... yes! We do buy such content... And I will gladly "conspire" with you to help you sell your content... And I know Martin and Barbara... they would be pleased also, with your efforts. BobF>

Pseudochromis vs. Clowns 10/18/05 Hi WWM Crew! <Hello Steve!> First, my compliments on your fantastic site...the knowledge contained within its pages has proved invaluable time and again. <Glad you have found us useful.> I was hoping to get your advice on my current situation with my, normally, very peaceful fridmani. Recently, I moved two tank-bred A. Perculas (born June 16)  <Little guys.>  into his, and he's having difficulty accepting the newcomers.  <Not surprising honestly.>  Previously, his only tank mate for over two years, other than the assorted cleanup crew and a cleaner shrimp, was a yellow goby (Gobiodon okinawae) which mysteriously disappeared a few weeks ago.  <The fridmani had a territory (tank) to himself the addition of new fish is going to upset him.>  I knew there would be a possibility that he could act aggressively towards newcomers,  <More than a possibility, more like a likelihood.> but convinced myself that the chances would be very slim considering his past behavior, the fact that there's plenty of hiding space in this 30-gallon reef tank, <Its not a physical space issue it's a psychological space issue.> and that fridmanis and perculas normally get along admirably. Well, so much for my reasoning!  <Personalities are unpredictable at times with fish and people.> At any rate, the fridmani seems hell-bent on keeping the two perculas trapped in a corner.  <Not pleasant for the percs, could lead to stress or feeding strikes.>  He does sometimes charge into their midst, but I have not observed him actually nipping at them, and don't believe he's making any physical attacks.  <These psychological attacks can be just as damaging over time.>  When I approach the tank, he seems to know instinctively that he's misbehaving and will retreat into his favorite cave. With the fridmani out of sight, the perculas will immediately leave their cover and seem to enjoy exploring their new environment and playing in the outflow from the water pumps. After I've "intervened" and they've been released from hiding, I've noticed that even after I retreat, they will "stand their ground" and not allow the fridmani to chase them back into the corner so easily. They don't actually go after him, naturally, but they do seem to exhibit some teamwork  <There is strength in numbers being in pair is better than being alone.>  and will "stare him down" for a while. Nonetheless, two or three times a day (this is only their second day in the tank), I'll have to come over to the tank to make the fridmani retreat (I don't actually do anything other than walk over to it and stand there for a few minutes). BTW, it was always normal for this shy fish to retreat when anyone approached the glass, even at feeding time. <Yes these are instincts.> Do you believe the fridmani will begin to accept his new tank mates given some time?  <He could but its also possible he could become bolder and begin attacking even more.>  If so, how long should I tolerate this before intervening in a more drastic manner?  <You should be intervening now, I was going to suggest re-aquascaping but I see that's not an option.>  Unfortunately, I can't rearrange the LR, or I would have done that today. Should I pull the fridmani out for a while and re-introduce him later?  <That would be my second choice, move the fridmani to your quarantine tank for at least a week maybe longer.>  Naturally, it would be quite some feat for me to actually capture him (can't really move the structure as I mentioned; LOTS of hiding places; and he's not only fast, he seems to be rather intelligent as well).  <I understand.>  Obviously, in the worst case, I know I'll have to pull the perculas out.  <Yes.>  However, even though when it comes to fish I've always felt that fewer was more, I really didn't want this to become a single fish tank, especially since he is rather shy.  <I understand.>  But, if he can't come to terms with these, I can't imagine him accepting any other fish that I'd be willing to introduce to the tank. <In all honesty the chances of the fridmani settling down are not good, you are going to have to intervene in one way or another.> Suggestions? <You would try your best to temporarily separate the fridmani.> Thanks and Cheers! Steve <You're welcome Adam J.> 

Re: Fridmani Aggression  10/20/05 Thanks for your reply, <Your welcome.> just wanted to give you a quick update and ask for your opinion regarding my latest idea. <Thank you.> The day after I wrote, the situation in the tank improved dramatically. <Glad to hear it.>  The percs are out and about and only seem to irritate the fridmani when they get too close to "his" rock.   Otherwise, he seems to be adjusting to their presence.  He's not exactly ignoring them, as he does swim around to keep an eye on them, but I haven't seen him pestering the pair except under the understandable condition which I just mentioned. <Sounds better, how does it go during feeding time? Are the clowns 'allowed' to eat?.> Although aquascaping the tank as a whole is certainly out, I've managed to rearrange a couple of mid-level rocks on the opposite side of the tank from the fridmani's home so that I could potentially add a few more on top.  <Anything is better than nothing.>  That will all depend upon how successful I am at finding suitably shaped/sized rocks to fit the spot.  The idea is that they would give the percs more cover at the mid- to upper-level of the tank which is where they apparently prefer to swim (the fridmani prefers the bottom levels), but I'll have to be very selective else they could not be placed without harming the corals growing near that location. <More hiding spaces/territory will definitely increase your chances of making this work.> Ultimately, I was also hoping to add another yellow goby (same species as before) to the mix.  He's already been in quarantine, but was purchased about a week after the percs.  Considering the latest antics from the fridmani, I'm now uncertain if/when I should proceed. <It's a gamble and with the size of this tank the odds are against you.>  On the one hand, I was thinking that since it would essentially be the same fish, the fridmani would accept it without difficulty. <Don't rely on that.>  However, I'm somewhat certain that he'd recognize that it wasn't the exact same fish, just the same species.  If that's the case, then if I wait too long, he might go after him as he did the percs. <Might do it anyway.>  Being a single, slow-swimmer which likes to hang in the same lower- to mid-levels (at least the last did) as the fridmani, this might prove to be very unhealthy for him. <Yes he'd be an easier target than the clowns, and he would be alone.>  However, if I were to proceed as planned (in the next 2-3 days), then the fridmani might be a little more accepting simply because he's already somewhat distracted/preoccupied with the percs.  Thoughts? <He may be distracted with so many new tank mates to but then again he could choose one of the tank mates new or established tank mates and singly target them, I wouldn't risk it until you are 100% sure the clowns are 'safe.' It's a risk no matter how you cut it, with no guarantee one way or the other. Even though you have the physical real-estate for more fish you have to consider psychological crowding.> What about adding a small school (~3) of green chromis? <That would be to much for this tank.>  There just might be more safety for them all if the fridmani has to divide his attention between a larger grouping of new fish (3-6) instead of letting him focus too much on just the two. As I said, though, he does seem to be calming down in regards to the percs.  Maybe now is the time to complete the additions? <With his behavior towards the clowns I would be weary.> Cheers! Steve <Good luck! Adam J.>

Questions about Dottybacks  9/2/05 Hello there. <Hello Rick> I have a few questions about the orchid Dottybacks. <Nice fish> I'm so tempted to buy one, but I want to make sure it won't dismember my other fish. I have 3 damsels and a clown fish. Will an orchid Dottyback be ok with these fish? How will it affect the other fish. My two yellow tailed damsels are already used to being bullied around by my blue damsel and my percula clown fish is very territorial to his anemone. If anything I think my blue damsel and clownfish will be fine with a Dottyback but my yellowtailed damsels are very shy.  Thank you so much!!! <Rick, the Dottybacks shouldn't bother any of your fish providing there is no overcrowding in the tank. The blue damsel may have a few rounds with the Dottyback but if you have plenty of hiding spots (caves, etc), you should be OK>  Male Dottybacks are aggressive toward each other so stay away from that.  James (Salty Dog)> Pseudochromid health 7/13/05 Hello!  Remember me?  I've got the green wolf eel that i believe to have the bump to the eye.  Well, I've added the Epsom Salt and the swelling went down, but the blueness to the eye (it's like a blue film covering the eye) never went away. and worst, it spread to the other eye.  Now the eel also has a large blue spot on it's body as well, and on the fin.  It's a bright neon color blue.  She's still refusing to eat anything.  she seems to have trouble breathing in the early morning, but by the afternoon, she isn't breathing as hard.  She's very, i guess, lethargic or something.  She hardly moves anymore, and she used to swim right up to the top of the tank to meet my fingers when i drop food into her tank. I honestly don't know what's wrong with her and neither do the people working at the three fish stores I've taken her to.  Please help.  i don't want my poor baby to die. thank you for all your help. <Can't tell anything more, different from what you've described here. Would add vitamins to the water, keep offering varied meaty foods. Bob Fenner>

Pony Pals... Seahorse compatibility (7/9/05) I am currently in the process of starting a 77 gallon seahorse tank. <Congratulations! Seahorses are my absolute favorites!  This is a very nice size for a seahorse corral. Please do look into stocking your tank with captive bred seahorses. They are a healthier, heartier and an environmentally friendlier option. In addition the reliable breeders will have them trained to accept frozen Mysis, so that feeding is not as challenging and costly as feeding their wild caught relatives. There are a few reliable sources these days> I am looking for suitable tankmates for the seahorses. <You can find a list of suitable pony pals on syngnathid.org'¦.. http://www.syngnathid.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=FlatMates&Number=824&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1> I learned from seahorse.org that firefish could make a good addition to my tank. Yes they make an excellent seahorse companion. I had a pair of purple firefish Nemateleotris decora for years.> My question is does that hold true for the purple tilefish, which is in the same family? <Actually the tilefish are in the family Malacanthidae and firefish the Microdesmidae family. Tilefish historically have a very poor survivability. You can read more about the tilefish here'¦..http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tilefishes.htm. If you are interested in something that is purple you have a few options'¦.. There is the purple firefish Nemateleotris decora, which you can have a look at here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dartfish.htm. The Orchid Dottyback, Pseudochromis fridmani which you can have a look at here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm. The Dottybacks typically do not make suitable tankmates for seahorses but the Fridmani Pseudochromis is an exception to the rule. They are also available captive bred which is a very nice advantage. However,  beware not to confuse this fish with Pseudochromis porphyreus the Magenta Dottyback which has more of the typical Dottyback personality which would not be appropriate with seahorses. Then there is the Black-Cap Gramma, Gramma melacara which you can have a look at here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/grammas.htm. You can find additional information and support at www.syngnathid.org. Best of luck with your new seahorse corral, Leslie>

Bicolor Pseudochromis 7/4/05 I recently purchased a bicolor pseudo to put in my new 29 gallon tank.  I originally had a 20 and moved it up to a 29 gallon and had no problems transplanting everything over.  When I put the pseudo in I realized I didn't buy him any meaty food like everyone recommends, so I went back to the pet store to buy some.  When I returned I couldn't see him anywhere and went ahead and added to Mysis shrimp I bought.  All of my other fish seem to like it a lot, but I never see him come out to eat.  I am wondering if I should worry or whether he is already dead. <Or jumped out...>   I don't know if they tend to hide most of the day or what, but I haven't seen him in about two days and want to know if my fish is ok.  Thanks for your help. <Dottybacks do hide quite a bit, especially when new/moved... but I'd be looking about the outside of the tank, for a smiling cat... Bob Fenner>

Dottyback and Firefish in a Small Tank (6/5/05) Perhaps you can help me, I have had a 10 gallon reef tank going for about 4 months. Everything is great.  But this weekend we picked up a firefish. The day I got him I acclimated him and put him in the tank. After a very short time, the Dottyback (Pseudochromis aldabraensis) was attacking him. <Totally within what should be expected from this very aggressive fish, especially in such a small tank.> He would come from under the LR attack and go back again. Probably attacked about 10 time in 10 minutes. So I put the Firefish in a plastic container with holes in it, and just floated him for 2 days now. Maybe this way the Dottyback can get use to the fire fish. <That will not happen. Expect exactly the same if you release the firefish into the tank again.> I added the Dottyback and my percula clown together and they are both fine together. <The Dottyback will attack any fish of similar body type such as firefish, gobies, royal Gramma. They have been known to eviscerate and kill fish larger than themselves.>  I also have a peppermint shrimp that's fine.  Can you tell me if I can successfully add the fire fish to my tank? Thank you, Ron <Sorry to say this Ron, but I highly doubt it. Your tank is too small and the Dottyback is too aggressive. If I were you, I'd remove it. I'm not sure you'll be able to get any other fish in there with it now, most especially a firefish. Consider replacing him with the safer Royal Gramma. With the clown, a Gramma and the firefish, this tiny tank will be full. There are other options for stocking, but 10G can really only handle 3 or 4 small marine fish. Hope this helps, Steve Allen.>

Dottyback and Fire Fish Question Perhaps you can help me, I have had a 10 gallon reef tank going for about 4 months.  Everything is great.  But this weekend we picked up a firefish. The day I got him I acclimated him and put him in the tank.  After a very short time, the Dottyback (Pseudochromis aldabraensis) was attacking him. He would come from under the LR attack and go back again.  probably attacked about 10 time in 10 minutes.  So I put the Fire Fish in a plastic container with holes in it, and just floated him for 2 days now.  Maybe this way the Dottyback can get use to the fire fish. I added the Dottyback and my percula clown together and they are both fine together.  I also have a peppermint shrimp that's fine.  Can you tell me if  I can successfully add the fire fish to my tank? <Ron, I suggest you return the Dottyback to your LFS.  Dottybacks can be very aggressive to certain species of fish such as the firefish.  Firefish are best kept with other timid species.  James (Salty Dog)> <<And this tank is WAY too small... RMF>> Thank you, Ron

Dottyback Compatibility (6/8/05) Thanks a lot for your quick and informative answer! <My pleasure. Pre-flight insomnia keeping me up late. Steve Allen again.> And what if I would replace the Randall's Orange stripe prawn goby (Amblyeleotris randalli) by an Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani)? <It might well kill your Dragonet and Firefish.> Just a thought...Thanks! Dominique <While Orchids are a bit less aggressive than others, Dottybacks are well-known for vicious aggression. It would be a bad idea to put any Dottyback in the same tank with timid fish such as Firefish and Dragonets. Not worth the risk.>

Spawning Green Wolf Eel, CCS health Hello! I have a question about something that happened that completely threw me for a loop. I have a green wolf eel (about 6 months now) that i had always believe to be male due to the fact that it is an extremely vivid green color. I had read that females tend to be duller and brownish in shade. <Yes... a gorgeous, interesting Pseudochromid species> However, when I came home today from school, I found my eel blenny to be wrapped around a purple egg mass, so its female, right? <Sounds like it> I don't know where to find a male eel to fertilize my eggs and even if I did, I wouldn't know what to do. <Uhh, too late for this batch> So what can I do now? I obviously can't leave the mass in there, can I? Would it be safe to remove the mass? <I would wait a day or two... then siphon it out> And if so, when can I do so without upsetting my eel. (I've recently moved the eel into this new tank about a week ago so I imagine it's a bit stressed.) <Better to upset it, than risk the water pollution consequences> I also had another question regarding my starfish. I have a chocolate chip starfish that was being kept in a tank with two hermit crabs. <Ummm...> Recently, I acquired another hermit crab that was sized in between my two current ones. I noticed that this crab was more active than my others. about two days later, I found my starfish flipped upside-down and curled up. After further examination, I found that two of the "chips" on my starfish had been eaten off. the first thing I did was remove the three hermits and then I quarantined Callisto. I have been carefully monitoring the starfish, and it seems to be doing better as its moving around again. Is there anything else I should do to ensure Callisto's welfare? <Please read on WWM re CCS> Thank you so very much! ~Jules <Thank you, for writing, reading, using your spell- and grammar checkers before sending. Bob Fenner>

Killer Dottyback or? Hi Crew, I need some advice about my large yellow Dottyback. I purchased her a short time ago and was assured from the local saltwater fish store that she would not disrupt my reef tank. Well I am seeing changes here. A 55gal tank with about 100lbs of live rock. A clown, Chromis, 2-damsels. Multiple small corals of all sizes and shapes. My big question is I am now missing a few of my Astrea snails, and I haven't seen any of my Stomatellas and my 2-cleaner shrimp are missing as well.  I have started to feed her frozen meaty foods and have noticed how aggressive she is with shrimp and squid pieces. Is she the culprit and if so is there any way to trap her without taking all the rock out of the tank and disrupting the growing coral I have in there now? Thanks Lacee22 <Mmm, could be the Dottyback, but I'm wondering if you have another critter... a Mantis Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, perhaps large worm... at play here. I would buy or devise a trap (these are gone over on WWM... you can use the indices or search tool there) and a flashlight at night to investigate further... Bob Fenner> 

Hawkfishes and breeding Dottybacks Hi, < Hi there. > Are flame Hawkfishes tame fish and considered to be the best amongst its species?  < Best?  Well they are great fish and loved by many aquarists.  I think lots of Hawkfishes are wonderful tank fish, and flame hawks seem great. >  Are pellets a good source of food to keep its red colour?  < Maybe, but I think the general rule of varied diet is best.  I think Cyclop-eeze is probably good for color, but a mix is best for good health. >  Is there any method to encourage orchid Dottybacks to breed?  < Wow that is a switch in questions.  There are some tricks, but basically a pair of them in a 10 gal tank is it.  I think I'd search the web for some more info on this.  Also, I wouldn't recommend you try to breed them at this time.  That is a very time consuming and in depth project to tackle. >  I am planning to get a tank, as a reef aquarium would a 72 bowfront work better, or would a 110 gallon rectangle tank work better? ( I know the more room the better for a fish, but 110 gallons seems awfully huge.)  < The 110 is much better.  One reason is that most people have trouble getting lights to fit over a 72 gal bowfront.  The 110 gal gives you lots of lighting options and will be a much better tank. > <  Blundell  > Dottyback Compatibility Bob,  <James, for Bob today> First, I would like to thank you for your contributions to this great hobby! <You're welcome> Your work has helped us out tremendously. Now to the point. I am setting up a new 125 and moving the rock over. After a couple of months to stabilize, I would like to add a couple of Dottybacks. One would be the Orchid, the other the sunrise. I plan on about 120 lbs of rock or so. I believe I now have about 80 and the rock is all from the Marshall's. It is going to be a Marshall Island biotope. I have not decide on fore or back reef. The dotties would be captive bred. In this type tank do you think the 2 dotties would work? If not, what would you suggest as the minimum size tank for maintain these fish together? Thanks for your time and contributions.  <Steve, it would be the equivalent of putting two male freshwater bettas in a tank together. Read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm. James (Salty Dog)

Dottyback Compatibility - II James, Thanks for the reply. I guess I won't be doing that! I have read all the FAQ's and I couldn't find a minimum tank size to house 2 dotties. Do you have a recommendation?  <Steve, it's just not wise to put two dotties together. They are great scrappers with others of their kind. James (Salty Dog)> 

Dottyback Compatibility - Oh no you don't! James, Thanks! I hate when I can't do what I want ;-) I won't even think it again.  I appreciate your looking out for the best interest of the fish!!!  <And your wallet. James (Salty Dog)> 

Wrasse Vs. Dottyback? Do you have any specific recommendations for fish that are generally larger and more aggressive than my Dottyback? Thanks. <Well, I'd look into some of the larger Halichoeres species of wrasse, such as H. ornatissimus or H. marginatus. They are cool and can hold their own! HTH! Regards, Scott F.> 

Stocking Level/29 gallon Hello,  <Hello Eric>  I currently have a 29 gallon reef tank. For fish I have a pair of false percula clownfish and a Banggai Cardinal. Could you suggest another small fish, or would that be to much of a load on my system?  <A Dottyback would be a nice colorful addition without overstocking. James (Salty Dog)><<Not all species... RMF>>

Royal Dottyback- A Royal Pain? My wife and I have had some bad luck picking fish lately. Our first fish died a couple months ago (it was a Strawberry Basslet). When we finally got the courage up to get something else... we got a Bicolor Basslet and a Diamond Goby. Things went well for a couple days. Next thing I know my goby is on the ground dead. I think my Basslet bullied him out. The reason I say that is this: I went back to the pet store and got a Sixline wrasse. Sure enough, Basslet bullied him. <Hey - you really need to quarantine new arrivals for a few weeks before placing them in you system. It can make the difference between success and failure!> My wrasse didn't jump out, but I can't find him. I've been told a six line wrasse will hide in the rocks. <They can. I had one disappear, only to be found thriving in my overflow box months later, apparently none the worse for the experience!> Still, I'm paranoid he's dead. So I pick up every rock, but don't see him. I guess something ate him. <These fishes are very adept at hiding, in rocks, substrate, etc. I wouldn't give up just yet.> (combination of Basslet, shrimp, serpent star, crabs.. who knows) Now my question is this. If my wrasse did die, what fish can I possibly get... that my Basslet wouldn't bully, or at the very least could stand its ground against it? <If you are referring to the "Bicolor Dottyback" or "Royal Dottyback" (Ahh..the danger of using common names), Pseudochromis paccagnellae, then you are dealing with a fish that, is a real behavioral problem in many tanks, as you seem to be finding out. You'd be best to stock the fish with larger, more aggressive fishes that can hold their own.> And do you think there's any chance my wrasse is still alive? I saw him yesterday morning.. but not since. (I have about 40 lbs of live rock in a 29 gallon tank.. and I picked up every rock to check.. but I guess I could have missed a crevice here or there??) If you can offer up any advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks. Neil <Well, Neil, it's hard to say...There is very likely a chance that he's hiding and will emerge soon.> PS: in case you need specifics about my tank and what's in it.. here goes: 29 gallon tank 40 lbs live rock 1 Bicolor Basslet 1 Sixline Wrasse (I hope) 1 feather duster 1 Serpent Star 1 Coral Banded shrimp about 15 hermit crabs (mix of Blueleg and Scarlet) about 15 snails (mix of Turbo, Nassarius, and Cerith) 2 Sea Cucumbers Oh.. and last I checked, which was just a couple days ago.. pH was normal.. and there was no ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, etc. (I've had the tank about 5 months). Again, Thanks for your help. <Glad to be of service! Keep looking! Regards, Scott F.>

Pseudochromis paccagnellae 3/1/05 Hello again, Ross here!!! First off, THANK YOU for your excellent help and knowledge you've provided me!! <you are very welcome my friend> I can only hope that after a LOT of research and questions, I'll have the knowledge you people have!! <We'll look forward to you volunteering to be a crew member soon, yes?> My question is about my Royal Dottyback, Napoleon!! < a very fitting name for most any of the pseudochromids> His name obviously stemming from his small size, yet aggressive behavior. I was wondering, if Napoleon is slightly aggressive now, will he remain this way, or become even more aggressive later on? <yes, yes... and perhaps yes> I plan on moving him and my other fish to a larger tank with plenty of rock and space, but was wondering if he'll remain this way. He's not all that aggressive now towards the other tankmates, however I was curious about later on down the road. Thank you again for everything you've helped me with!!! Ross <this wonderful and hardy group of fishes is unfortunately rather scrappy. They tend to get meaner with age. Anthony> 

Live Rock, Filter Media and Dottyback 2/11/05 Hi, I have a number of questions that I could not find answers for. I hope it's not too much trouble.  <No trouble at all!> 1st question (Live Rock): I have been reading on the site that live rock can be used instead of biological filter media and it will do the same job.  <I disagree. In my opinion, live rock SHOULD be used for biological filtration and will do a much BETTER job. Also, compared to the cost of canister filters, etc., it is a bargain.> Does the live rock have to be changed and how often?  <Not in a properly maintained tank.> Does it get cloaked like filter media?  <No.> Does the amount of LR required per gallon of water include the LR in ones main tank?  <Be careful of outdated recommendations. With high quality, open structured, porous live rock, as little as 1/2 pound per gallon is adequate. It does not matter what part of the system it is in, although it looks better in the main tank! If you use aquacultured rock from Florida, count on 1-1.5 pounds per gallon since it is MUCH more dense.> 2nd question (laver rock): Can one use for example laver rock or any other rock that is pores with or without LR? If yes what percentage of laver rock and LR?  <I am guessing you mean "Lava Rock". I would not advise it. It is likely to contain metals and other contaminants. You can safely use limestone rock as well as homemade "rocks" made from Portland cement and calcareous aggregate (oyster shells, Puka shells, crushed coral are all popular).> 3rd question (filter media): Manufactures normally claim that their product covers X amount of surface water. How does one calculate the surface area that any filter media will cover?  <Good question! I am not sure how this is calculated, but since you are going to use live rock ;-), it doesn't matter!> Can any thing that's nontoxic and pores be used as filter media? <Yes, but be cautious of what you consider non-toxic! Items made for other purposes may be contaminated with oils, anti-bacterial coatings, etc.> 4th question (dotty back): I will like to breed the Pseudochromis fridmani. How does one identify a male and female of the Pseudochromis fridmani? How do people pair them for breeding?  <I am not sure of the sexing of Dottybacks, but if you are interested in pursuing this, you must find a copy of "Breeding the Orchid Dottyback" by Martin Moe. If you have not bred marine fish before, you may consider getting your feet wet with Banggai Cardinals or clownfish. Both are easier to breed. Good luck! AdamC.>



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