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FAQs about Dottybacks, Family Pseudochromidae Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Dottybacks

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


Squareback Anthias...Not a Beginner Fish - 06/28/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I found your website last night and I've barely been away from it to sleep since!  I can't express how fantastic it is to discover all of the seemingly impossible-to-find info on the saltwater hobby gathered in one place on the net. <<Ay...gobs of info to absorb...>> Thank you for saving me many headaches :) <<Welcome...a collaborative effort>> Though we had a reef tank years ago that thrived nicely, it's been several years since and I feel out of the loop with all the current ideas and technology. <<Yes...new ideas/discoveries/advancements...>> My concerns actually arose while reading several of your previously answered letters. <<Oh?>> My 55 gallon tank was cycled with 40 pounds of live rock and a couple hermit crabs for 2 months.  A couple weeks after the test kits showed my water was of near perfect quality, with zero on ammonia and nitrites and very minimal nitrates, <<Mmm, would have expected this to be "zero" as well>> I bought my first fish - a super cute Squareback Anthias (Pseudanthias pleurotaenia) male. <<A fish for advanced hobbyists...in my opinion.  Often starve to death...or just die "mysteriously"...>> He's been in my tank for two days, off and on coming out from his cubby hole in the rock. <<No quarantine eh?>> I tried to feed a pinch of frozen krill this evening, but he seemed frightened by either my close proximity or the opening of the canopy lid. <<My experience with this species has been that it is generally quite bold.  Perhaps the fish is still "skittish" from the stresses of collection/transportation.  Adding a couple small "dither" fish might help to make the squareback feel more comfortable as well>> I'd left him completely alone before trying to feed him so he could settle in, and I figured it wasn't abnormal behavior when he didn't eat at the first attempt. <<Is not uncommon...but you need to keep trying to get this fish to feed.  The sooner it starts, the better>> Are these fish too tough to keep for a semi-novice, and do you think my tank specs are enough to keep him happy? <<The tank sounds fine for a single specimen of this species, though ideally you would have let it "mature" for 6-12 months before attempting this fish.  But as stated earlier, Pseudanthias pleurotaenia can be tough to keep alive.  I would like to suggest you obtain some frozen Mysis shrimp along with my favorite for getting finicky fish to start feeding...glass worms...aka - mosquito larvae.  And give these a soak in Selcon prior to feeding>> Also, if he does prove difficult to feed, should I try to gather a harem of girly squarebacks to boost his ego?? <<I have seen this species kept in groups in large systems (several hundred gallons), but I strongly recommend you don't try this in a 55...would most likely end badly for all but one...even if they begin to eat.  But adding a couple small, hardy fish may go a long way towards getting the squareback to begin feeding>> He did eat some frozen krill at the store, and was swimming around happily showing off his almost neon pink coloration. <<Ah yes, a beautiful fish...one of my wife's favorites>> The research I'd done on the web told me that these were somewhat hardy individuals and that keeping one male in a 55 would be acceptable. <<Mmm, differing opinions/degrees of "somewhat" I suppose...I would class this fish as "somewhat difficult".  Not impossible to keep...and a better choice than some other Anthiinae that come to mind (Pseudanthias tuka, Pseudanthias evansi)...but definitely not my first pick for a "semi-novice" with a "new" system>> However, on this site so many readers wrote to complain that their Anthias wouldn't eat. <<A common issue, yes>>   Also, it was mentioned numerous times that these are very social fish and shouldn't be kept as singular specimens. <<Mmm, with caveats...beginning with the size of the system>> One letter even mentions that he didn't want to take these fish as the prize he'd won because they are notoriously difficult to keep! <<Sounds like maybe your research wasn't finished before you purchased this fish?>> I am by far not an expert in this hobby o' mine, <<Neither am I...>> but here's what's going on:  8 gallon water changes are performed weekly by my hubby. <<Lucky you <grin> >> We have a ten gallon sump with a (I think) magma filter that runs carbon, <<Magnum?>> a Berlin skimmer that is by popular consensus archaic and near useless, <<Better than some, worse than others...a much better performing AquaC (Remora/Urchin) can be purchased for about the same money>> and I'm working on finishing up an over-hanging refugium that will house the usual fuge stuff - macro algae, live sand, bits of live rock and hopefully lots of good bacteria and 'pods. <<Wish you had done this "before" acquiring the Anthias>> Temp is steady at 76, and SG is right on target. <<What is "target?"  NSW levels of 1.025/1.026 I hope>> We did have a brown algae issue for about a week, but my cleaner crew seems to have taken care of most of it. <<Likely the natural algal succession of a new system>> Thank you so much and sorry if I rambled on, Jennifer <<No worries Jennifer.  Do try my suggestions for getting the squareback to eat, but if it doesn't take food soon you may want to consider returning the fish to the store.  Good luck, EricR>>

Reef Fish Hi, I was wondering if you could suggest some species of fish that I could place in my reef tank that don't require me to feed them, rather they feed off the liverock or something like that.  <In a very large system... well-established...> I plan on keeping at most 2 small fish for my 60gal reef. I want fish that stay only around 1 inch and that's it. A would like a 6 line wrasse and maybe a Pseudochromis but I am not sure if they will survive on their own without me feeding them. Any input greatly appreciated. -Matt <Hmm, well, you will have to augment these fishes diets in any case... adding a sump as a refugium could help you/them quite a bit. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm and the FAQs beyond. Bob Fenner>

Strawberry Basslet <Hi, Mike D here> I just got a strawberry Basslet, and would like to know what it eats?<Just about anything small enough to fit into its mouth! Although tiny, they are still members of the sea bass family, so meaty foods often yield the best results. Keep in mind that brine shrimp, either alive or frozen, has very little food value>

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