Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Dottybacks, Family Pseudochromidae Stocking/Selection

Related Articles: Dottybacks

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

Pseudochromis ID/Differentiation Question  2/4/11
Hey Crew,
Not a system-specific question, but what are the major visual differentiating factors between the Orchid (fridmani) and Magenta (porphyreus) Pseudos?
<The latter is much more dark purple and shorter bodied by far>
I've read WWM re: Dottybacks and the FAQ on Dottyback ID and from the pictures/descriptions, I'm having a hard time deciding which species my LFS is currently stocking. Also, how different are they in terms of behavior (aggression, etc?)
Joe V.
<Fridman's is superior... tank bred. Do search on WWM by these two species scientific names and read the cached views. Bob Fenner>

Thinking of adding a Pseudochromis flavivertix/Sunrise Dottyback   1/29/11
Thinking of adding a Pseudochromis Flavivertix/Sunrise Dottyback to my tank. I have 14 fish in the tank. Mostly small fish and this would be the last fish in the tank. I was wondering if it would be fine with 5 Half and Half Chromis, 2 Firefish Gobies, Two True Percula Clowns, Lemon Peel Angel, Heni Butterfly, Pearlscale Butterfly, Black Cap Basslet and a Blue Hippo Tang. Two Cleaner Shrimp, Blue Leg Hermits and Electric Blue Hermits. Do you feel these will get along well?
<The Basslet might object... but this is a 6 ft. long system I take it>
Can you see any problems with this? Are the tank raised Sunrise Dottybacks less aggressive?
<Yes; much more so>
I have read they are, but not sure if this is true. 125 gallon tank with two 20 gallon Refugiums and a Aqua C Protein skimmer. My bio load is at its top for this tank, but understanding that most of this fish are 1 to 2 inchers.
<Finishing near three>
Also , I have seen some of the Sunrises look really colorful and others look washed out... Can you tell me if you know of a reason for this besides Diet or water quality?
<I do not. Likely successive captive generations are washing out>
Could it be that tank raised ones are less colorful like some of the clown fish I have seen?
<Ah yes>
Thank you for your help and time...
<And you for your participation. Bob Fenner>

Dottyback question, sel./stkg.    9/26/10
<Hi there>
Thanks for your book, this site and all the hard work that you and your whole crew do! I have used your site to help with all sorts of issues and questions I've have over the years. I do have one question for you that I hope you might shed some light on.
<Let's see>
I am looking to add a Dottyback to one of my tanks. This time I am more interested in temperament than looks. So I am looking at tank bred ones.
breeds and sells the following types currently:
*Pseudochromis fridmani, *
***Pseudochromidae fridmani x Pseudochromidae sankeyi, *
***Pseudochromis sankeyi, *
***Pseudochromis flavivertix,*
** *Pseudochromis aldabraensis,*
***Pseudochromis springeri,*
**All of which I can get through my LFS or an online retailer. They are the only tank bred ones I am aware of at this time. If there are any other that are available, please take them into account in pondering my question.
Now I realize that with any fish and especially ones which have some degree of aggression each individual fish will have its own personality and aggression level. So realizing that we are talking in generalities and there are no guarantees, which one would be the least aggressive (or is it really a toss up depending on the individual fish)?
<There are strong general trends with Pseudochromids... put another way, there exists very similar behavior amongst the cultured species by species>
In reading accounts and advice on this and other sites, thoughts varied and would seem to depend on when the question is asked, as which tank bred dottys were available varied, rendering comparisons often between tank bred vs. caught. ORA's site would seem to indicate that the *sankeyi* and its cross with the *fridmani* are the least aggressive,
<This is so>
with *fridmani*,
and *flavivertix* being moderately aggressive, with the remaining two being in the "can be aggressive" category.
The tank is small (only 30g) and is located in a room which I frequent so while I am looking for a mild dotty to go with one other mild tank mate (not settled on which one at this moment, but have some time to decide since the tank is cycling), I would not want one so shy as to hide when there is movement by a large scary human right outside their tank (I have a hard time imagining any dotty hiding in such a situation but have read of some being "too shy")
thanks for your time and again thanks for all the efforts that you and all the other crew members do, it is greatly appreciated.
<One of the first two would be my choice. I would place all other fish livestock first. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Dottyback question  9/26/10

Thanks for the quick response! Sorry to have not been clear. The breakdown I was attempting to describe, based on ORA's site which you seemed to agree with (aside from my non clarity) is:
<Sorry for my confusion as well John>
Pseudochromis sankeyi, (striped)
Pseudochromidae fridmani x Pseudochromidae sankeyi, (indigo)
Pseudochromis fridmani, (orchid)
Pseudochromis flavivertix, (sunrise)
"can be aggressive"
Pseudochromis aldabraensis, (neon)
Pseudochromis springeri, (Springer's)
<Yes, these two more so, though captive-produced individuals FAR less than wild-collected>
hopefully that is clearer than my previous explanation.
Thanks again for your help. I plan on going with the sankeyi which will be added after the more mild fish. On that front I am leaning toward an Opistognathus aurifrons (pearly jawfish). If I do go that way I will have to rearrange the rock work and add some more sand (no big deal). If I do go that route what would a good length of time be between the two fish?
<Two weeks plus>
(from my reading, it would be necessary to wait until it would have set up its more permanent burrow). Would it be even be possible to wait too long before adding the sankeyi?
<Not really>

Dottyback Stocking 9/2506 Hi, <Hi> First---thanks for the tons of helpful WWW info. 1) I am currently cycling a 65 gallon tank. In researching while waiting out the cycle----the Dottybacks are real attractive to me. They almost seem like a "less-poorer-man's Damsel" in that they are always listed as being hardy, easy to keep, and tough.  <Mostly true, but they are very aggressive> <<Some much more than others. RMF>> The tank has 80 lbs of live rock and about another 25 lbs as dead base rock---so there are LOTs of nooks and crannies for forming separate territories. I plan on a FOWLR with lots of feather dusters. The internet offers almost too much information----some of it contradictory. In about 60% of places I read NOT to put more than 1 Pseudochromis in a tank. In about 40% I read that it can be done if they are introduced together at the same time.  I have read that the tank bred are relatively less aggressive. <Somewhat> So---can I try my "dream" of 1 Aqua Cultured Fridmani + 1 AC Springeri in good conscience? What I'd REALLY like is 1 Splendid and 1 Fridmani---but I haven't stumbled across Tank-Bred Splendid yet. Your input is greatly appreciated. <While these are two of the less aggressive members, their temperament varies quite a bit between individuals.  If you attempt this introduce them together and make sure you have means to separate them if they become aggressive to each other.  Be aware that this can happen quite a bit after their introduction.> 2) I hear you loud and clear on Tang Gallon Requirements. Are there any Tangs that stay small enough, or whose behavioral habits would be suited to a 65 gallon tank? It has been suggested to me that perhaps a Kole Tang, or some of the mimics might live a good life in there. I want to do everything in a humane way. <Yellows or Koles would be best if you attempt this, but I feel this sized tank is still too small for them to be healthy long term.> Thanks again, Alan <Chris>

Choosing a Pseudochromis   8/19/06 First, you guys run an excellent site, I've found many answers to my quandaries searching your pages. <Good>     In short I have two problems, tons of bristleworms and several Aiptasia and am looking for a predator that will not harass my present  fish.  (traps and under feeding just enough to "starve" them out  w/o harming my fish have proven inefficient)   <Mmm> In terms of the  bristle worms, there are just too many of them - small and large.   After perusing your site quite a bit, I believe my solution is either a  Pseudochromis aldabraensis or a Pseudochromis springeri.  In the past I've tried an arrow crab and a coral banded shrimp and they never  made much of a dent in the bristleworm population even though they are  supposed to eat bristleworms. <May be better to bait and trap, remove a bunch of these manually... first>   My main concern is that either of  these Pseudochromis may kill my present established fish (mostly  gobies) as I know Pseudo's can be aggressive.  I also know that  Pseudos will eat shrimp, so what is another species besides peppermint  shrimp to take care of the Aiptasia?     <None as suitable> I have a  46-gallon reef tank with the following:  several large polyp stony  corals, two true percula clown fish, a firefish, a cleaner goby, a  yellow watchman goby, two brittle stars, and one long-spined sea  urchin.       Thank you,      Valerie <I would try the trap (suggestions posted on WWM) first... and other means of eradicating Aiptasia (also covered on WWM)... and if still interested in a Dottyback, assure I got a tank-bred, raised specimen (much easier going). Bob Fenner> Pseudochromis selection  7/15/06   Hello once again, another question for you.  I am planning on adding a Pseudochromis to my 90 gallon tank.  Currently I only have a false percula clown, and a Kole tang, both about 3 inches in length.  I would like a Pseudochromis to keep bristle worm population in check (I know there <and they're> not bad) and I like the way they look.  I cannot decide between a fridmani and a blue flavivertex.  Basically I am interested in which of the 2 is less aggressive, <The tank bred of the two... likely the Fridman's> I would hate for the fish I have now to be picked on.   Everything I read about the 2 Pseudochromis says they are semi aggressive but which is worse. <Some MUCH more so than others... species...  wild-caught or no>   Also I have found conflicting information about the blue flavivertex Pseudochromis, most sites say it is a peaceful fish for a Pseudochromis and others say it is quite aggressive. <Mmm, "medium" for the family> I have tried to reach you a couple of times this week but have not been getting any response.  Depending on who responds ( if Mr. Fenner ) the red Favia brain I received in terrible condition a week ago <Ah yes, I recall> (which I emailed you about )seems to be coming back slowly.   <Ah, good> It's skeleton is slowly being covered with flesh (very slowly).  Thank you very much, Ryan Nienhuis. <Bob Fenner> Re: Infestation of fan worms   2/6/06 Thanks for the response... I also found another fish that may work: A Pseudochromis dutoiti. I have read that they eat fan worms... <Not likely> but they are aggressive.  I have only one fish that I think may have a problem, a scooter blenny. And maybe my cleaner shrimp.  They are 2" now, so they may not be a problem right away, but...Also I have 2 cardinals that are about an inch long...they might not do well either.  Other than that, I have a tomato clown, and goby, and a sailfin tang that is about 1.5 ". My tank is fairly large, 125 gal (reef) with lots of hiding places.  Do you think I will be ok with this Dutoiti? <With what you list, good odds, yes> As far as introduction, I am baffled.  I did not add any animals and certainly no new rock before the infestation.  The only thing I can think of is I didn't change the lights as soon as I should have...In fact, I think I forgot to change them for 2 years!  Also, I may have added too much calcium.  I don't add calcium at all anymore, and just do frequent water changes instead.  I don't have too many calcium depleting corals. Anyway, tell me what you think about the dutoiti... thanks Hollie <One of the more mild Dottybacks... been bred in captivity now for several generations... Bob Fenner>

Pseudanthias ignitus Availability 12/05/05 Hi, I was wondering if there are any websites where you can buy the Anthias Pseudanthias ignitus? or do you know any fish collectors in the Maldives that I could contact? thanks. <Hi there, I just finished looking at the Quality Marine USA stocklist and did not see them available. You can check with several of the online vendors which can be found on the ReefCentral.com sponsor page: http://www.reefcentral.com/sponsors/  - Ali>

Gramma or Dotty?  9/19.5/05 Hi Gang, John here. This may be a question that I already know the answer to, but another opinion would always be nice. Anyway, I am re-stocking my 90 gallon reef after some losses earlier this summer, and I would like to include a Dottyback.  I enjoy their furtive way of swimming, they represent a relatively small bio-load, and of course they are quite colorful.  They do of course have the downside of being a potentially nasty little fish, which is an issue since I also would like to add some neon gobies.  For this reason I am considering a Gramma loreto instead. However, I was wondering how safe a tank-raised Pseudochromis aldabraensis or Pseudochromis fridmani would be?  Other tank denizens include a pair of ocellaris clowns and a yellow-tailed damsel, a variety of inverts, as well as some larger fishes which I plan to add later (a centropyge and perhaps a small tang species). Thanks; JT <Tank-raised get me vote every time, so either of the Red Sea endemic bred would be my choice.  -Steven Pro> 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 Hi, Bob. <Hi, Steven Pro typing. Bob asked Anthony Calfo and I to help out some with the daily questions.> My LFS offers a Pseudochromis paccagnellae -royal Dottyback for sale. I wanted a royal Gramma, but they don't have it. I want your opinion on that fish. <One of the trade staples. Hardy but territorial. You can read more about it here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm> At present I have a blue tang, 2 ocellaris clowns and 2 yellow tail damsels. By the way, I love Your 2 books and Your web site. Thank You, Bernd from Honduras

Assessor flavissimus vs. fridmani Pseudochromis Hi, All, After doing some reading, I'm thinking of two Assessor flavissimus instead of a pair of fridmani Pseudochromis. They seem to come out more and aren't very aggressive. What do you think? Any concerns about the Assessors? <I think it would be hard to house two unless you obtain a mated pair. Otherwise, the care should be similar.> Thanks, Marc <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Pseudochromis splendens My LFS has one of these in and is trying to sell it for $69 which I am pretty sure is very pricey for this particular fish. <never priced them myself, but you could be right.> I don't know much about this certain species but I do know that Pseudochromis are tough fish and are relatively easy to care for.  I was wondering if you knew some information about this fish. A splendid fish indeed, check here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm and fishbase.org for more info on this particular species.> (max. size, invert/fish compatibility etc..) So just give me an email when you have a chance explaining more about this beautiful and unique specimen. <There are lots of Dottybacks out there, so be sure this is the one you want before you make your purchase.  I am particularly biased towards the sunrise Dottyback, only because I have one.  Best Regards, Gage> Thanks, Nancy

Orchid Dottyback Hey <Hey, MacL here with you tonight.> I have a orchid Dottyback doing excellent for the past few months. Today I was surfing the web and came across an orchid Dottyback picture which had big blue eyes. Mine doesn't but it's colour is just as sharp and it's an orchid because it has that strip across it's eye. Is it different, and where can I get tank bred ones and about how much? <I'm sure your local pet store can get those for you. Price varies by distributor unfortunately.> Also is it true that the tail is the method to tell the genders of these fish?( Cause I would like to add another one, or a sunrise since there is lots of crevices for hiding) There is an absolutely amazing book Moe, Martin A. 1997. Breeding the Orchid Dottyback, Pseudochromis fridmani that will tell you everything you need to know about sexing them and breeding thing. Also, my flame hawk fish was breathing out some kind of gas, is this stress, cause it accidentally got some algae stuck on his tooth. <I'm so sorry but I don't understand what you mean by breathing out some kind of gas? Bubbles?> Which Dottyback is better Hey Mr. Fenner, <Peter> I understand you are an experienced aquarists with a good knowledge amongst Pseudochromis. I came across a sunrise Dottyback, and a orchid Dottyback. Some sites say they are about the same, but I am looking for your expert advice. If they are very similar is there any bit of difference that can be noted. However, the sunrise Dottyback seems to be a huge eater when compared to the orchid. My friend has multiple tanks, with different types of Dottybacks (pair of orchid, and pair of sunrise). He said the orchids are less shy, but the sunrise seems to be more curious of things happening throughout the tank. My final question is if there is any place where Pseudochromis springeri are sold, I've looked everywhere but never encountered such a fish? <Are sold, even commercially produced in captivity>  Are they more aggressive? Thanks a lot <These congeners are similar in their care and behavior, unless one considers captive-produced specimens, in which case the Orchids are superior in their aquarium use. Bob Fenner> Sri Lanka Pseudochromis 1/26/05 Cannot find any info on your site about this fish. I believe it's also sometimes called a vampire Dottyback, and I think the scientific name is Pseudochromis dilectus. LFS has a beautiful specimen, orange in front with tiny dots tapering to gray color in back, kind of like a Wall Street Journal picture (if you can understand that). Anyway, I want to know if this is a hardy or aggressive fish.  <Mmm... is this the fish?  On Google and on fishbase.org.  This is a very hardy, and incredibly aggressive fish... Do make sure if you go ahead with this purchase to make sure and buy tank bred specimens> Obviously hardiness is important as I have lost many fish before and I'm really tired of that.  Compatibility is important. Most of my fish losses have been due to murder by another fish (piscicide?). My current occupants (125 FOWLR with 130 pounds of live rock): Juvenile blue angel (3") Yellow tang (3") Foxface (4") Purple firefish Sixline wrasse Chalk bass Royal Gramma Green Chromis Ladder glider goby <Your tank is already "too full of fishes..."> What can you tell me about the Sri Lanka Dotty? Will it survive and get along with everyone here? Also, will an eibli, flame, and/or coral beauty angel work in this tank? <... I would not add any more fish livestock to this 125. Bob Fenner> I'm concerned about them living with each other and/or the blue angel. Basically, I'm asking if one or more dwarf (Centropyge) angels are compatible with a large (Holocanthus) angel. Thanks for your help! 

Re: Sri Lanka Pseudochromis 1/26/05 My tank is already too full of fishes? <Yes, psychologically now, physiologically soon> Six of the nine fish are very small and will stay that way. The three others (blue angel, yellow tang, and Foxface) are what I would call medium sized. Even when fully grown (years from now--if they live that long), these three fish will add up to less than 30 inches. The other six fish (again, if they live that long) will be under 10 inches total. I have 125 gallons plus about 15 more in the sump, lots of live rock, and a good skimmer (AquaC EV-120). This is overstocked? <IMO, yes... you could add a few hardy, compatible invertebrates, but adding more fishes I do not recommend. Not worth the added stress, induced losses in my estimation. Bob Fenner> 

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: