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FAQs about Dottybacks, Family Pseudochromidae Behavior

Related Articles: Dottybacks

Related FAQs:  Pseudochromids 1, Pseudochromids 2, Dottyback Identification, Dottyback Compatibility, Dottyback Selection, Dottyback Systems, Dottyback Feeding, Dottyback Disease, Dottyback Reproduction,

Pseudochromis flavivertex, the Sunrise Dottyback.

Purple Dottyback Darken Stomach      11/18/14
Hello WetWebMedia,
<Hey Brent>
My question is concerning a Purple Dottyback (Pseudochromis porphyreus) we have recently introduced to our DT. We have noticed his stomach area is darkening.
<I see this in your pix>
It definitely wasn’t this dark when we got him and we’ve noticed the darkening over the last few days. He seems to be swimming around and eating normally, but this quick darkening had me a little concerned. I have attached some photos that I hope may help.
<Yes; thank you>
Does this look normal to you?
<It is normal... in that I've seen such darkening in other specimens... and it's transient; goes with time>
Would you be concerned for disease or parasites?
<No; I would not>
Would you recommend any action at this point?
<I would not do anything at all>
I appreciate any insight you may provide. As always, thanks for the incredible service your team provides.
Brent Wells
<Ah, welcome. Bob Fenner>

BF spot, Dottyback color loss, Centropyge feeding in QT   7/12/06 Thanks for your prompt reply, <Please include prev. corr...> I have done as you said and given my copperband with a freshwater dip mixed with M/Green. He has a parasite attached to his front left fin, I hope it will come off after a few more dips. But he is looking much better after the first dip, the itch has receded significantly. And he's eating well as usual. <Mmm, a parasite? Might just be a "spot" from bumping into something... I'd try a purposeful cleaner organism... perhaps a Lysmata sp. shrimp... Gobiosoma goby...> Now onto my Dottyback. He has lost a lot of colour, when I got him he was a bright magenta and yellow, now he's faded to a dull purple and yellow. I have been told this is due to him not being the dominant fish in the aquarium, as the Anthias don't seem to like him too much and chase him sometimes. <Possibly a/the factor here> I feed him Mysid shrimp, brine, algae flakes, angel fish mix, ocean plankton, pretty much whatever I can get my hands on, and he is still showing no signs of his original colour. Any suggestions? <Spectrum pelleted food/s> My final question is about my eibli angel, which is refusing to eat Mysid shrimp, marine algae, brine shrimp and flakes. He is in my QT tank atm, and I'm worried that he hasn't eaten for 2 days. I am not treating the tank with any medication so I am thinking of buying a small piece of live rock for him to nibble on. Would you suggest Nori too? <Do add a good deal of ready-cured live rock with obvious algal growth> I'll just like to add that you guys provide a valuable service and your advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks. Albany <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Florida species giant pink tip anemone and Green Wolf Eel   12/28/05 Just a quick question, I have had a giant pink tip anemone for about a  year now it is thriving very well.  I have two questions, is it rare that  this species would actually bond with a greenish wolf eel, <Not unheard of... this Pseudochromid is very interesting in its behavior> my eel has become non-sensitive to its stings and actually lays in it, next to it and will even go  as far as steal food right out of its mouth! <Interesting> My second question, do these anemones have eyes, because I have been  feeding shrimp to everyone recently including the anemone and the other day  I walked up to the tank to feed and before even opening the lid the anemone  rotated quite rapidly to face me---a bit creepy, bad enough having a greenish  wolf eel that begs for food all day but now is it possible the anemone can see  me outside the tank? <I don't think so... most anemones do have something of a general light sense, but not long-distance, nor quick in their generalized motions... like our government> Thanks for your help, Jeannine <Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner>

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> 

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>

Confusing Behavior Hi Bob- <Hello> I have a 30 gallon Eclipse tank with the under the hood filtration and bio-wheel system it shipped with. It's stocked with one small 1 1/2 inch Maroon Clown and one Dottyback (Diadema) for the fish, and a coral banded shrimp, a couple of snails and 3 hermit crabs for cleaners. <Okay> Everyone has been happy so far (with the clown being added 2 months ago as the last arrival). My concern is with the Dottyback. The fish has always been healthy and eaten like one twice its size, and still does. But suddenly a few days ago, he started rubbing/flashing up against some shells and the heater occasionally. Also his purple stripe coloring has slightly faded in a couple of spots since I purchased him, but have read that this can happen. <Good observing> After consulting your book The Conscientious Marine Aquarist (best present under the tree!) I see that this flashing behavior is listed as a symptom for some diseases. He has shown no other symptoms of disease such as white spots, rapid breathing, listlessness etc. and I wondered if it could be something else. <Maybe "just scratching"... a pretty common (foraging) behavior of this group (Pseudochromids)> The only thing I can think of is that he didn't like the last water change I performed, even though he's been through several others.  <Ahh! A likely a priori cause> I've always used Instant Ocean and well-water warmed to approx. tank temperature. Also I add some water conditioner and some Cycle. I usually change 20% at a time, every two weeks, changing the charcoal filter at the same time. All other water tests show normal readings, and the water is crystal clear. Any thoughts/advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated as I'm fairly new to this obsession, and marine fish knowledge is somewhat limited here in Vermont. <The location of our publisher (Microcosm). Please read over this: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm and the associated FAQs file/s... I wouldn't worry (much) as/if your other livestock seems okay. Do consider the pre-mixing/storing approach to make-up water presented.> Happy New Year and thanks! Thom <Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Orchid Dottyback Bob, I know your on your speaking tour, <Bob is always on a speaking tour...even  when at home. We have to feed him thick peanut butter just to slow him down so that we can get a word in edgewise> and I think that Anthony is answering this. My name is Chris, I sat across from you in Cleveland.  <right you are, good sir. I remember you well> I won the Blue Headed Wrasse and Christmas Tree Coral. Anyhow, the next day (Friday), received an Orchid Dottyback, Clarkii Clown and a Blue Haddoni Anemone from an online mail-order source. I left the lights off for about 4hrs and then turned them on only to find that the Orchid Dottyback had vanished. <very common with Pseudochromids for days to weeks> I haven't seen him since last Friday at noon when I dropped him into the tank. <normally I'd say don't worry about it, but in your case I'll make an exception. Worry about it. That Blue Head Wrasse is a gregarious fish and compatible with everything it can eat...hehe> He hasn't come out for the daily feeding of brine shrimp either. What could have ate him?  <Hmmm? Let e see... Oh yeah, that mean Blue Head Wrasse!> Besides what I ordered, I have a purple Tang and a Blue Headed Wrasse, 3 Sally's, 2 Emerald Crabs and some snails and small hermits... He simply vanished in a 4hr window never to be seen again... Any ideas? <the orchid Dottyback is/was a slender peaceful and easily intimidated fish. Although it could work with many/most of the tankmates that you mentioned in a large enough tank... it is really better suited for a peaceful community tank without assertive/aggressive clowns, tangs and wrasses. They even are one of the few Pseudo's that tolerate each other in groups... so beautiful. Hold some hope that it will reappear, but exercise due caution in the future if it does not. And be sure to always quarantine fish for 2-4 weeks first. They will be healthier and less shy. Best regards, Anthony>

Hey, this isn't Kansas! (i.e. New home stress) I have a 35 gallon salt water tank. I added a UV sterilizer yesterday evening and I had to move all the live rock around. I have a Pseudochromis porphyreus that I bought on Sunday and was doing fine up until this morning, it has not eaten today and now it looks week and is sitting on top of the motor swaying back and forth from side to side slowly. my PH is 8.4 and my ammonia is I think it hard to tell 0.25 or .00 <<needs to be/stay at 0. Ask your LFS for a second opinion>> I cant tell exactly. <<Hi, some additional info would help. How old is the tank? Has it completed cycling? What are other parameters (i.e. Nitrite/Nitrate, Temperature, Specific Gravity)? Other inhabitants? It could be that the fish is still overwhelmed/stressed by its new environment. If you have a small tank set it up for quarantine ASAP for the eventuality things get worse and you need it. Check here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and beyond for ideas. In the meantime, you might  try some small (5%-10%) daily water (with aged water) changes to help it out. Keep a close eye on it and good luck, Don>>  

Pseudochromids for bristle worm control 7/21/03 Just another quick question.. I have a decent supply of bristle worms in my tank...more than I'd like. A few are pushing 3-4". I heard Bi-color Pseudochromis are good hunters of these critters, but mine doesn't seem too interested in them as a food source. <the Red Sea, long nosed varieties like Springeri, Arabian and Fridmani are much better at this> What other animals would consider these worms a meal? <quiet a few... although not all are wholly reef safe (many eat Fanworms too). Some crabs and numerous wrasses are popular for this purpose. Do try to limit nutrients and food instead though> Thanks again guys!! <best regards, Anthony>

Pseudochromis fridmani, MIA 07/20/03 Hi there ! Great site ! <Glad you like it, a lot of people put a lot of hard work into it, much more so than my minor contributions.> I have a 110 gallon system with about 200lbs of rock along with misc coral, fish and inverts. About 3 weeks ago I added a single Fridmani to the tank (no other Pseudochromis' present). I have not seen him since immediately after adding him. He was acclimated properly. All my numbers are in line, Water is fine...Is this normal for him to remain out of site this long? None of the other species I have been missing so long. He appeared healthy when I added him. Any ideas ? <Have you tried looking after dark? Wait a few hours after lights off, then using a flashlight with a red filter see if you can't find it. Try feeding something planktonic, say Sweetwater Zooplankton to the tank, that may lure it out. Also, your MIA may be an EIA, Eaten in Action. I've purchased fish that just disappeared into the rock work, never to be seen again. I hope he shows up soon, good luck, PF.>
Re: Pseudochromis fridmani MIA
<Hello again> Thanks for the reply. I tried the things you suggested but no luck...What do you think the chances are that he is still among the living. Have you ever heard of this species remaining in hiding like this?  Thanks again for your help. <Well, no not really. Unfortunately, to quote the magic eight ball, future looks doubtful, try again. You may have a predator of some sort in your tank, or it might just have been looking like it was doing well but really wasn't. Birds do that also, weak-looking animals get picked off by predators. Unfortunately, all I can do now is give you my condolences, and you can try again. Good luck! PF>

Rocky the Pseudo - Labracinus cyclophthalmus >Hi there, >>Hello. >I have a mixed fish/invertebrate marine aquarium (Juwel Panorama 180), whose occupants include the above fish, a (female?) ocellaris clown (about 2.5" long), a male tomato clown, a turkey lionfish, a dragon wrasse, a yellow long-nosed butterfly, an urchin (Echinometra viridis) and several hermit crabs. >>Heh.. watch your wrasse! Might make a tasty lunch of those hermits someday. >Our Labracinus cyclophthalmus is worrying me - it keeps on moving piles of stones and spitting them out around the tank, and has cleared them down to the floor of the tank on several occasions.  >>Sounds as though he likes his flat arranged a certain way.  >It will lie in the hollow it has created and sometimes just lurk, but it seems otherwise quite happy, is active and has a voracious appetite, and doesn't annoy the other fish (though the butterfly can get spooked a little if it swims too close/quickly near it). We have provided plenty of rockwork, and do regular water changes using Red Sea salt mix, the tank is skimmed by a BakPak 2 hang on skimmer, and we have a Fluval 304 external filter. Aeration is provided by an AV4 airpump. Water temperature is 25oC. Is this normal behaviour for this species of fish? >>Oh yes, and you've provided its natural environs with plenty of rockwork. Do search fishbase.org and you'll see (as well as our site) what its preferences are. I wonder if he's feeling a bit randy, too... >Am I doing anything wrong? >>Not if your fish is displaying most natural behavior, which, in my opinion, it is. >I just want to be providing appropriate care and attention to all species in my tank, I vary their food (Mysis as a staple, with brine shrimp and chopped prawn or mussels for variety) and all fish seem healthy, but I am stumped by this behaviour. >>I'd add clams, squid, octopus, and krill, as well as Nori and/or romaine for those who might be so inclined. I would skip brine entirely, and substitute instead with a good quality frozen food (Formula # and just about any Ocean Nutrition packs are very good - look for quality of ingredients, as well as variety). A soak in Selcon a few times a week rounds it out nicely. >Thanks, Olivia in Dumfries >>You're most welcome, Olivia. Your fish is a happy fish. Marina

Where did my fish go? I have (had) one fish in my 29 gal. tank, a strawberry Basslet.  I also have a few shrimp, 3 emerald crabs, 2 feather dusters, and some hermit crabs and some snails.  I went to bed last night and my fish was okay.  I woke up and he was gone.. no trace.  Could the crabs really have killed and eaten him completely over night??? <Yes, could have> Or is there a possibility he swam in a rock crevice and died (I have 45 pounds of live rock)??? <Mmm, yes... or it might still be hiding in your rock... and another likely possibility is that the fish "jumped out"... and is dried up on the floor or a cat meal if you have one>   Please help me.  This was my wife and mine's first fish and we are really upset and just want to know what happened. Thanks. Neil <Look about carefully Neil, a small fish skeleton should at least be about. Bob Fenner>  

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