Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about Dottybacks, Family Pseudochromidae 1

Related Articles: Dottybacks

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

A Pseudochromis fridmani in the Red Sea.

Snowflake moray and a green wolf 2/11/05 Just a quick one, since I can't seem to find anything on this anywhere, maybe you guys can answer it for me. Would a Snow flake moray and a green wolf ell be able to coexist in a 46gallon bow front tank? Thanks in advance Nick <its rather poor mix... the green wolf "eel" is a fast and furious eater (keep sighted) while the moray is not. Without target feeding the latter, it may suffer over time. Do reconsider. Anthony>

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> 

Pseudochromis fridmani Hi, <Hello there>       I had a Pseudochromis porphyreus in a 450L tank with a Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto), 2 fire gobies (Nemateleotris magnifica), 4 purple gobies (Nemateleotris decora), 3 Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis), 1  yellow clown goby, 4 cleaner shrimp, 6 fire shrimp without any problems but I recently lost my Pseudochromis porphyreus and was thinking of replacing it with a Pseudochromis fridmani. <Good to find one that is tank bred and reared... much tougher, easier going> For future I plan to get: 2 Green Mandarin (Synchiropus splendidus) 2 Spotted Mandarin (Synchiropus picturatus) <I do hope you have plenty for these to eat, perhaps a working refugium> 2  Bicolor Blenny (Ecsenius bicolor) 1 Fireball Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus) <Very nice choices>       I was advised not to keep the Pseudochromis fridmani with Royal Grammas, Fire Gobies or Anthias. <Generally not fishes of similar shape, occupying similar habitats, yes>       Will the Pseudochromis fridmani kill the Royal Gramma, Fire Gobies, Anthias, shrimps or the fish I plan to get in the future? Thanks     Mohamed. <I give you very good odds of all getting along IF the Fridman's Dottyback is captive produced. Most are, though not all. Bob Fenner> Go Aquacultured, My Friend...1.11.05 Hi, <Hello, Ryan handling your query.>       I had a Pseudochromis porphyreus in a 450L tank with a Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto), 2 fire gobies (Nemateleotris magnifica), 4 purple gobies (Nemateleotris decora), 3 Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis),1 yellow clown goby, 4 cleaner shrimp, 6 fire shrimp without any problems but I recently lost my Pseudochromis porphyreus and was thinking of replacing it with a Pseudochromis fridmani. For future I plan to get: 2 Green Mandarin (Synchiropus splendidus) 2 Spotted Mandarin (Synchiropus picturatus) <It will be HIGHLY difficult to even feed a pair of any fish from the genus Synchiropus.  They require live foods, and large amounts.> 2  Bicolor Blenny (Ecsenius bicolor) 1 Fireball Angelfish (Centropyge aurantonotus)       I was advised not to keep the Pseudochromis fridmani with Royal Grammas, Fire Gobies or Anthias.       Will the Pseudochromis fridmani kill the Royal Gramma, Fire Gobies, Anthias, shrimps or the fish I plan to get in the future? <If you can secure a tank-raised Fridmani, I'd say your chances are good that his attitude will be passive.  I've kept a captive Fridmani for years and never had issues with aggression.  I would encourage you to try something a little more natural for the animals involved- How about you pick an ocean, and build a list from there?> Thanks     Mohamed. Dottyback, when are you coming back? Hey fellows, <And the few women here> My orchid Dottyback totally disappeared...Hard to imagine, but it's just gone. I lifted the rocks and sands and no trace of it. It didn't jump out because I looked on the ground and everywhere else. <Mmm, do you have a (smiling) kitty?... Might have exited stage right and flipped into another area...> I believe it either died and was devoured, or just devoured. The possibilities are a flame Hawkfish (very peaceful towards other tank mates), a Banggai cardinal whose fins where shredded by the Dottyback, and  a lawnmower blenny. <Not likely any of these... unless the Pseudochromid was tiny, the Hawk huge> I'm also deciding to move my flame Hawkfish into the main tank, which would make it a fascinating addition. The only problem is that  I have one large cleaner shrimp, and mandarin dragonet. Otherwise the other fish mates are all fairly territorial, do you think I should move the flame Hawkfish at this moment??? <Might lose the shrimp... I don't think the Dottyback was eaten, killed by it... may still be hiding even. Bob Fenner> Ich Again? 12/29/04 A few troubles that concerns me is the fact that one of my orchid Dottybacks will not eat too much. Perhaps he isn't interested in brine shrimp, or the fact that he is still kind of small. <hmmm... do resist using adult brine shrimp... even baby brine is not that dense. Better still consider Cyclop-eeze or minced krill... Pacifica plankton or Mysid shrimps. All are more nutritious than brine shrimp> He eats about 5 brine shrimp, but it seems awfully little when compared to how much the pair of orchid Dottyback eats in the larger tank. Will orchid Dottybacks accept pellets? <yes, most Pseudochromids are quite amenable to prepared foods> Also, I've noticed some rubbing against rocks from the sunrise Dottybacks and the orchid ( only 1 of them)? Could it be the side effects after eating a bristleworm? <Ooohh... not likely - either water quality or impending parasite infection> If it was ich, wouldn't my purple tang be the first be infected or the angel? <not necessarily... each fish has different tolerances and immunities (the tang less so if it had it once before)> And what is the main difference between a fire worm and a bristle worm? <Fireworms have some/more venom with the setae/bristles. They are fairly uncommon too... most people only see common bristleworms> Thanks a million, Best Regards... Alan <rock on my salty brother. Anthony>

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> Wound or Parasite? Just a quick question here.  I have a new Bi-Color Pseudochromis in my system.  She's been fine the first 4 days in my system, but now has a small chunk of tail fin missing (maybe 1/3... yet the fin base is intact).  The fin tear looks recoverable as I hear they are fast regenerators?<Most fish will grow that part of their fin back quickly.>  At the top of the tail on both sides of tail there is a small red blotch mark.  I am not too familiar with diseases/parasites... but I hear these Pseudochromis are pretty resistant.  Given the new tail fin tear would you think this is a small wound?   The fish is still actively feeding and has normal behavior from what I can see. If it is a wound from a scrap, I would suspect my pistol shrimp??  Anything to worry about?  How does one differentiate a wound from a parasite/disease? 90 gallon saltwater with 90lbs live rock. Pistol shrimp Coral Banded shrimp 2 Percula Clowns Yellow Watchman Goby Algae Blenny <Hello, I think that by the description that you gave there is something picking on the fish.  With the list of fish and inverts that you submitted I would suspect the pistol shrimp in this case.  Try and put the fish in a quarantine tank or remove the shrimp.  Good Luck.  MikeB.>

Pseudochromid compatibility and Banggai cardinal breeding 12/16/04 I have a few important issues regarding my aquarium. Firstly, I just added a pair of sunrise Dottybacks( a definite pair!), <I believe it... if they are not trying to kill each other, then they most likely are a pair> and a orchid Dottyback, <a poor choice mixing Pseudochromids, and this one prefers to be in shoals> to accompany the existing one. However, this orchid seems to be quite aggressive, but its size is not as big as the old one. There is definitely enough  hiding spaces, will killing be an issue over a duration of time. <very likely... do separate them please> Also, I have a 10 gallon mini tank with two Banggais which I purchased about 2 months ago. The purpose was to achieve success in the breeding of these fish. Recently I added a flame Hawkfish in hopes to quicken this activity and one week later boom! Today one of my Banggais mouth was super full it, it was sticking out, and it kept on trying to keep something in its mouth by opening a bit and closing. If I am not mistaken is the male carrying babies. If so what methods, procedures, and materials do I need. <there are many thorough spawning reports on this fish at big message boards like reefcentral.com as well as the Breeders Registry reports online... do some keyword searches my friend and enjoy the journey towards resourceful enlightenment> How much preparation time will be needed (the flame Hawkfish might eat everything.) <remove the Hawkfish, mate... its too aggressive and the tank is too small> Another concern is will the fish even make it through this time span (these fish do not seem very old, the male has a super long fin though.) Food is also another concern, there is no place where I can find baby brine shrimp or live ones.... Thanks..... <no worries... the babies are large enough to eat fine dry foods... mail order online some freeze-dried and frozen Cyclop-eeze. Best of luck! Anthony> Mixing Pseudochromid species... yikes! 12/16/04 Hey, In accordance to your previous reply, my newly added orchid Dottyback did not get killed by the older orchid Dottyback other. I don't think removing them is a wise process. <ahhh... OK. But do consider the long term (months/years) and not short term (days/weeks). And you did ask us for advise, right?> However, the old Dottyback occasionally attempts to nip at the other one's tail, but never actually follows the Dottyback for a long time. Is this a big issue to be concerned with, Thanks! <ahhh... this was exactly the point of my first e-mail and seems to contradict your previous estimation that the separation is not "wise". This would be the second time I am suggesting you separate the fishes... Pseudochromids generally do not mix well or play nicely together. Anthony> 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?> Tracking down a book Dear crew members, <Alan> I am looking for the book " breeding the orchid Dottyback." <Oh yes. By Martin Moe> However, I do not wish to purchase it online, I live in Vancouver, and checked the biggest marine fish stores, but they don't have this book. Do you think the library might have it. Also, one of my tanks has a lot of algae, and I was wishing to buy a fish to help control, but the problem is that I have a very active flame Hawkfish, he never bothers the Banggais though. Do you have any suggestions what kind of fish would work in this condition. <Don't think local libraries would carry this title, but maybe a college one would if they had a good-sized biology department on campus. Otherwise, I'd check with BigAl's online re. Bob Fenner>

Pseudochromis companion Well, we learned a lesson that we thought we already knew - research every purchase before you make it!  We recently added a Pseudochromis porphyreus to our 20g reef tank.   <Yikes...> Existing inhabitants were an Ocellaris Clown and a Sixline Wrasse.  We had read some about it, just not as in depth as we normally like to.  We were aware of the reputation of the Pseudochromis, but felt that being added last that the other two would be able to work things out.  Not so.  The Pseudochromis really went nuts on the wrasse, kicking him out of his home and then harassing him to no end.  We have since moved the wrasse into another tank in the system (a couple 10g that are plumbed in with it).  He's recovering (quite happily, I might add since the pod population in the tank he is in was quite large). In any case, the Pseudochromis doesn't pay any attention to the clown, and the clown has nothing more than his usual curiosity for the Pseudochromis.  My real question is what other fish might we be able to add that would work out with the two already in there? <Doubtful most anything... in such small quarters... especially if/with the Dottyback there first> Either something that the other two will ignore, or something that can stand up to the Pseudochromis can stand up to yet won't harass them either.  We were thinking about a small angel of some variety.  Any help much appreciated. Ben <A brief couple of declarative statements. Pseudochromids are by and large "testy"... with some species being pretty consistent terrors! Though there are some species that almost always "get along" with fishes of dissimilar shape, habitat (particularly if they are amongst the growing number that are cultured, captive bred), there should always be allowance for possible ultra-antagonism... and they should be the last livestock added. Either trade this specimen in for another more easygoing Pseudochromid species, or seek other livestock types completely. Bob Fenner> Orchid with bristles Hey, thanks a lot for telling me that Dottybacks or Pseudochromis are good predators of bristle worms. I was lucky enough to find 3 in the store, but they did not get a long. <No... most Pseudochromis are territorial with their own or similar shaped, habitat-using life> So I considered about buying one of them. To my surprise there was only one left the following day for an astonishing price of 10 dollars ( Canadian). Quickly I bought him. I am a bit curious if I could get another orchid Dottyback...? <Not a good idea unless you have a large system... a hundred gallons or more> In some books I heard that in this situation you would buy a bigger one. The final question is will an my orchid Dottyback be able to eat big bristle worms as he grows, because today he attempted to bite one, but it was much too thick...? I also have a growing six line wrasse; will it eat them too? Thanks! <They are not able to eat larger worms... some Polychaetes grow to more than a few feet, pounds. Bob Fenner>

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> Dottybacks hi! << Hi. >> I would like to ask for your opinions and expert advise, as you have shown throughout this fantastic website. My Orchid Dottyback passed away....=T, I am really sad about it. While I was cleaning the tank and changing the water, it flew right out of the tank, and died! I've had him or her for at least half a year, which makes this event even more to handle. I would like to buy a new orchid Dottyback, except this time I was curious if the sunrise Dottyback would be a better choice. << Not better, about the same. The best advise I can give here is to see if you can get a tank raised Dottyback since they are becoming more and more common. >> Could I possibly buy the two as long as I put them in at the same time, because I would like to have 2, an d there is plenty of live rock. << If there is lots of food and space I say yes. >> If not, could I get a pair, either orchid, or sunrise? << I think a mix would be better than trying to get a pair. >> Thanks... <<  Blundell  >>

Orchid Dottyback Thank you for your quick response.  I have many fish still living.  Lyre tail Anthias which thanks to my Dottyback only has one eye, a lot of gobies around 15-20, blood shrimp, cleaner shrimp.  All live fine.  I have 25 corals that are all doing extremely well.  I recently removed an orchid Dottyback from my tank.  I was thinking that due to it's aggressive nature that it could of been the culprit.  Do you think this lil' bastard could of been the reason I was losing fish?  My water parameters are proper. thank you From the desk of Graham Bishop >>>Orchid Dottybacks are not normally very aggressive, and it is doubtful that it was responsible for your fish deaths. Make sure you have an orchid (P. fridmani) and not another, more belligerent species. Jim<<<

Steene's Dottyback temperament Hey Mr. Fenner, I was reading your web page on Pseudochromis and saw that   you think the Pseudochromis steenei is a complete terror.  I really like  this fish and really wanted to get it for my 65g FOWLR tank.  I have a  percula clown, two Chromis, one hippo tang, two cleaner shrimp, and  eibli angel and a fairy wrasse in my tank rite now.  Do you think I mite  have a shot with this fish not being a terror since he's one of the last ones in  putting in and the other fish have already established territory, or do u think  I should take the chance?  I put a deposit down on this fish so if  possible, I'd like to get a reply ASAP. Thanks a lot, Chris <I wouldn't risk it... but one can never tell. If you decide to get this fish, I would do so on a day when you can place it early, and have some means of separating it if WW III breaks out. Bob Fenner>

Pseudochromis fridmani compatibility 8/30/04 Hey all, <cheers> Came back researching on your fantastic site again, but couldn't exactly find what I needed in amongst all the expanses of information... So I thought I would ask one of you fabulous people to help me out... I have a 3 foot tank (approximately 45-50 gallons). The tank has a 2.5 inch sand bed, and a lot of live rock (exact weight unknown). The tanks current inhabitants are a Lawnmower Blenny, an Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani) and a pair of coral banded shrimp (along with various clean up crew (that are slowly being eaten by my CBS))... I would really like to get a royal Gramma (Gramma loreto), but am worried about the Dottyback psyching out on the Gramma. <hmmm... or the Gramma establishing and being aggressive towards the peaceful Fridman's> If its not possible to have the Dottyback and Gramma together, could you possibly give some suggestions for other fish? <the list of useful and attractive marine fishes numbers in the hundreds perhaps. Do express some personal preference here mate. Take a browse through a good aquarium atlas and see what appeals to you. Scott Michaels pocket guide to "Marine Fishes" is excellent here> I've had both Ocellaris and Percula clownfish (both Perculas were wiped out by clownfish disease a few weeks ago, I have carefully monitored the fridmani and blenny, but they don't seem afflicted, but were put into quarantine/hospital tanks and medicated anyway, just in case). There are SOME pygmy angels I like, such as the Rusty Angel, and the Flame Angel, but I've heard its rumoured that they might nip at my corals as well as nip at clams, <possible yes... but then, most blennies are also not reef safe for the same reasons over time> and I plan on getting a clam in future. I was also thinking of getting a Cleaner Wrasse or something (the CBS prefer to attack the fish as opposed to cleaning them. They used to clean them but don't do it anymore). <no cleaner wrasses please... dismal survival on import if nothing else> Any suggestions would be welcome. <Lysmata cleaner shrimps are best here perhaps> Thanks for all the previous advice you've given me, and all the future advice I'm sure to get from your site! The site rocks! Laney <best of luck, Anthony>

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>

Breeding Dottybacks Hi Crew, <Hi Chris, MacL here with you this lovely evening>     Thanks for the help with the Forster's Hawkfish chasing my new Anthias, I have re-introduced the Hawkfish and while he still kind of chases the Anthias it is very occasionally. On the other hand the Anthias, while often hiding, eats hungrily, do you think they will settle down with time? <Possibly since they are both eating. You might do some redecorating.> Last time I also asked you about books on marine fish breeding, no sooner had I bought Moe's Breeding the Orchid Dottyback, bought a few extra tanks and ordered some rotifer eggs and micro-algae cultures, when I noticed what I thought was an Orchid Dottyback (P. fridmani) on one of my frequent trips to the LFS. Not having seen one before in Australia I thought it may be an idea to grab this one and try to pair it later, after explaining my interest to the LFS guy, he informed me that they actually had two (the other was hiding under a rock in a different tank). After some persuasion I got the LFS guy to float the smaller Dottyback in a small breeding tank inside the larger Dottyback's tank. Within minutes the larger DB came out to investigate and over 30 minutes showed no sign of aggression. By this time the LFS guy was interested in the possible match and agreed to release the smaller DB into the larger's tank. Upon release the two swam straight to each other and with a bit of wriggling and tail wiggling they made each others acquaintance, the smaller DB even following the other into it's (her?) cave without the usual DB aggression. As I'm sure you can guess I was thrilled by this surprising partnership (not that I had begun to look for breeding pairs, but I thought a pair of DB's would be a huge challenge to find) and quickly put a hold on these two and charged home to sort out a home for them, the LFS guy said they would be fine if I floated them in breeders tank in my main tank while I cycled a tank for them. I didn't much like the idea of floating them for a month or so, so I was thinking I could possible fill a two foot tank I have with 50% tank water and 50% new water, add some LR and sand from my main tank and put something like a hang-on filter and air-stone for filtration and put them in after running this for a week or two, maybe floating them in my main tank during this time, what do you think? <I think you'd be better doing that than floating them. I hate the idea of those tiny breeder cube things and I think they would jump.> When I did get home, I checked my brand new copy of R. Fenner's great book (TCMA) for confirmation on my DB's ID, because I thought my 'Orchid' Dottybacks may in fact be Magenta Dottybacks (P. porphyreus), although I will have to double check I am pretty sure they are is in fact Magenta Dottybacks. I have checked about, but am still not sure if Magenta DB's have spawned and been raised in captivity, I was under the impression that all DB's can be bred but thought it would be helpful to get confirmation on this particular breed, anything you know about this would be greatly appreciated. <I checked my notes on Bob's presentation at IMAC and didn't see them on the list as being commercially bred http://fragexchange.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=428&password=&sort=1&cat=543&page=1> But that doesn't mean they haven't been bred.  You might check with www.breeders-registry.com.> While I am writing, after I had practice establishing rotifer and micro-algae cultures (I'm still on the search for plankton and copepod cultures, no luck yet, I live near the ocean (at Newcastle, N.S.W) and was wondering if I could catch plankton for rearing purposes even though I am some way from tropical reefs.) and cycling my breeding, larval and grow-tank, I was planning to try and start with breeding Neon Gobies and then go on to Gold-Banded Maroon Clowns but when I looked into purchasing a group of juvenile Neon Gobies I found out that no one around here had barely heard of Neon Gobies let alone stocked them in years. I am in the process of contacting wholesalers in Sydney but do not expect much. If I can't find NG's through the usual channels I was wondering if you guys knew of anyway to possible order a group of NGs to Australia, most stores stock Cleaner Wrasses more often then Cleaner Shrimp in my area so I think I should make a more concerted effort to breed Neon Gobies for the sake of the Cleaner Wrasses. <Sounds like a marvelous plan.  If you can't get help from the distributors there then let us know and we can try to help you get in touch with the right people.> Strangely I have just discovered what looks to be my first egg sack. Near the waters surface on the glass of my main tank I noticed a group of maybe a hundred pin hole size dots. I have recently noticed numbers of juvenile Nudibranchs (look kinda like Lettuce Nudibranchs) ranging in size from 2-7mm, so I suspected they may be Nudibranch eggs and left them be. I have not yet seen adult Nudibranchs but my back glass is covered in algae, (so I may just not have noticed them) and I have not added any LR in months so I'm not sure what is going on, any ideas? <Sounds like you are about to be a proud parent of lettuce Nudi's that's a great thing!> Sorry about going on a bit but I'm sure you understand my excitement, thanks again for all your advice - Chris 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 air pump. 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 Dottyback Compatibility Guys,<Howdy!> My 72G tank has 6 Lysmata shrimp, two hermit crabs and a Banggai cardinal with some eye "fungus" that appears to be in stable condition. I also have one false percula clown in QT that is two weeks away from being released in to the 72G. Basically I have my hands full... I went to the LFS to get some salt mix and saw a gorgeous Pseudochromis fridmani in a tank full of tomato clowns that were shredding it one fin ray at a time!!! I feel bad for him and want to purchase him. I've read that these guys are not as aggressive as most Dottybacks. So, do you feel that he would get along with the clown, cardinal and the shrimp -especially the shrimp? <He should be fine but just keep an eye on him. These guys are hardy so I bet he would pull through fine.> I also have a 30G with one 3 inch blue devil damsel and one coral banded shrimp. I'm pretty sure that won't be any better than his current situation.<Probably not since the damsel is established. Cody> Thank you, Narayan 

Dottyback Compatibility II Thanks Cody!<You Bet!> The Dottyback is in QT right now. I hope I don't regret this, but rather than leave the clown in the QT with the Dottyback, I moved him to the display after only 2 weeks of QT since he 'seemed' fine. <Good to hear! Good luck! Cody> Narayan 

Steene's Pseudochromis I recently purchased what I was told is a "Steene's Pseudochromis.  I've searched the web for information on this type of Pseudochromis and haven't been able to find anything.  Additionally I haven't been able to find a picture of a Pseudochromis that looks like what I bought.   It's hard to describe a fish, but it's most distinguishing characteristic is it's yellow head and dark almost black body.  It also looks to have fairly large teeth, but it may just be the color of the mouth that appears to look like teeth.   Have you ever heard of a "Steene's Pseudochromis? <Yes, our pix and coverage are here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm named in honor of Roger Steene... a meanie! More on fishbase.org Bob Fenner> Thanks Phil

Re: Pseudochromis (steenei) Thanks for your reply.  Shortly after sending you the email we found the information on your website. We added him and a blue sided wrasse to our tank that contained a clown and damsel and all of them seemed to get along well enough.  We added a blenny yesterday in an attempt to control an algae problem and the Pseudochromis showed his true colors. Are there any fish that can be added to the tank that can handle this Pseudochromis? Phil Johnson <Only larger, more aggressive, faster fishes. Perhaps a few generations of successive culture will soften this species disposition to be more like P. splendens. Bob Fenner>

Orchid Dottyback Help!   <Sure> I went to my LFS and got an Orchid Dottyback. After getting home I started doing some research (because I don't trust what the LFS salesperson says) and many sites are saying that I will have problems with the Orchid Dottyback when introducing new fish. <That's the problem when you do research after you have already bought the fish. Always do research before hand!> I don't know what to do.  I have a 55 gal, about 50# of LR, and only a tomatoe clown and six-line wrasse. I just started this tank about 2 mos. ago.   The guy at the LFS told me he would be fine but now I am worried. If I keep him in the tank what else can I put in with him that he will not harass?   <Almost any fish will harass newcomers in an aquarium - it's a way to establish territory. Unfortunately, some of these Dottybacks can be quite aggressive to new tankmates. To prevent some harassment towards new fish, I would recommend redoing the rockwork right before you add in your new fish specimen. By doing so, the fish will both get an equal chance to get their territory which will therefore prevent fighting which may have occurred. Other than that, there's really not much else you can do other than to take the fish back to the pet store, or, to find a temporary home for the Dottyback until you have gotten the fish you plan to buy (Remember that it's important not to rush when buying fish. It can take several months to establish the correct biological load for some species of fish)> Thanks for your help. <No problem. Graham.>

Watch And Wait! Hi guys, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I purchased an Orchid Dottyback yesterday. Because of the LFS' tank setup, the two Orchid Dottybacks they had were constantly able to slip through cracks and get into the same cubicles as each other. Obviously they had been fighting, since one of them had a pop-eye. The one I purchased doesn't have a pop-eye, but he has some minor fin damage and a white scaly looking area around one of his eyes and on that side of his face, which I didn't notice until today. It's that scaly area I'm concerned about. It is probably an injury, or could it be some kind of parasitic disease? <Hard to say, without seeing a picture.> I've got him in a quarantine tank with water from my main tank in it. He seems pretty active and curious, but I'm wondering if I should put some antibiotic or some kind of anti-ich treatment in there as a precaution. <I'd maintain very clean water conditions and a stable environment first, before resorting to medication. If you cannot positively ID what you are dealing with, don't use a medication. Observation is sometimes better than quick, but inappropriate reactions> Also, if I need to, is it possible to combine both treatments in the same tank? Thanks for such a great site! Jarin <I'd avoid potentially stressful or lethal combinations of medications. First, find out what it is that you're dealing with, then take appropriate actions. In this case, I'd opt for the aforementioned stable conditions and continued observation. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Mystery Dottyback! Hey guys.. <Scott F. your guy tonight!> I found this dotty back at a local shop labeled "pink orchid Dottyback", but could of course come up w/ no info on it.. I did however find this pic http://www.themarinecenter.com/pseudounid.htm which is an exact match... You ever seen these?  Know how large they get? <Well, my guess is as good as yours! Could be a geographic color variant on a known species, or, indeed- an undescribed species. It kind of looks like a Pseudochromis tauberae to me, but I'm basing this on some not-so-good pictures and personal "sightings" of this fish at local fish stores myself. If it is a P. tauberae, it reaches a length of about 2 1/2-3 inches. On the other hand, if it is Labracinus cyclopthalmus (another possible suspect here), it can reach up to 8 inches, and be a holy terror! You might want to check out fishbase.org, and do an old-fashioned search using the various Dottyback genera: Pseudochromis, Cypho, Labracinus, and Obgilbyina, and look at the pictures there. Maybe you'll find something! > The two in the shop are eating flake/frozen  and seem fairly easy going.. One of them in fact is quite timid in a tank w/ clown fish and some Anthias. The other is quite active despite the presence of a neon dotty and some other normally aggressive Pseudochromis fish..  Any ideas are appreciated.  Joe <Well, Joe- fire up the 'puter, make some strong coffee, and shuffle of to Fishbase! Happy hunting! Regards, Scott F.> Longest Running Aquarium Club in Oklahoma - Since 1949! Oklahoma City Aquarium Association http://petsforum.com/okcaa/ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OK-AquariumAssociation/

Dotty back with a shrimp! I've read that splendid Dottybacks can be know to go after some shrimp. Are any shrimp safe with this fish or would my skunk cleaner shrimps most likely be left alone? I have two of those and would like to keep them if you know what I mean.<I would say you should be fine, these guys are usually pretty peaceful. Cody>

- Information about Pseudochromis paccagnellae - Thanks for all the help I now know that my mystery Gramma is actually a Pseudochromis paccagnellae. <Yep... somewhat similar.> Just a few more questions. Is this species quite common and would it be fine in my tank with one Bicolour Dwarf angel (Centropyge bicolor), one six line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia), two Sulphur gobies (Cryptocentrus cinctus) and soon a bicolour blenny (Ecsenius bicolor) it is VERY aggressive towards my wrasse but the wrasse looks like its coping with all the aggressiveness by hiding in the rocks most of the time but will this aggressive behaviour eventually go away? <Probably not... Pseudochromids are known for their aggressiveness, in spite of their small size. Do keep an eye on things. The six line wrasse can likely fend for itself but some of those other fish could be in trouble if your Pseudochromis turns its attentions to them.> Thanks
<Cheers, J -- >

- Which Fish is This? - My LFS recently got in a beautiful fish I have never seen before.  They have labeled it a "blue barred Pseudochromis", but the only picture I can find that looks anything like it (navy, almost black, with two longitudinal metallic blue lines down each side) is a red sea cleaner wrasse. <Hmm... well, there are a lot of Pseudochromis that aren't even described. Could be you have the genuine article.> What's more, I observed it trying to clean a couple fish in the tank. <Well... there are quite a few non-standard cleaners that clean as juveniles. Could be this is the same behavior.> Is there some other fish, i.e. a "blue barred pseudo" this might be (best guess without a picture, I know), and assuming it is a red sea cleaner Larabicus quadrilineatus, this is a fish you would recommend strongly against (cause it is beautiful!)? <Actually, would recommend against the Larabicus quadrilineatus because the adults are obligate coral polyp eaters.> Jim <Cheers, J -- >

-Green wolf eel with an appetite for flesh- We're having a problem with our Green wolf eel. It has eaten 2 Lunar wrasses 1 4 inches and the other 6 inches. <Ouch!> The eel is 14 inches. Would a Niger Trigger fish be OK with it or can you recommend another fish? <Triggers are pretty precarious to swallow, but you may want to choose a more aggressive species. this selection would depend on the adult size of the trigger and the size of your tank.> We also have a Dog Face Puffer and a Yellow Eyed Tang. The Puffer and the Tang seem to be fighting also. But I think it more of a territorial dispute since the Tang is new. <If the tank is too small, they may dispute indefinitely. Since the tang is new, however, a little bickering is expected. Hope this helps! -Kevin> Any help would be appreciative

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

- Fish Problems - Hi, My Royal Dottyback has been very reclusive over the last week or so, and today did not come out to eat. When I saw it a few hours ago it had a stringy white thing that looked just like a piece of white cotton, about 1 1/2 inches long hanging out of its anus (think that's the right word). Just seen it again and it still has this thing hanging out. <Sounds like feces but could also be Lymphocystis.> Is this something I should be concerned about? <Hmm... not entirely. Is worth keeping an eye one, but probably not yet worth more drastic measures like quarantine and medication.> Also, don't know if this is related, but I did a Salifert flatworm treatment last week which the Dottyback did not like very much, and it has been off sorts ever since. <Sounds related to me - not at all sure what's in the flatworm treatment, but would suspect this.> The treatment did not seem detrimental to anything else though. Except the flatworms that is! <And your Dottyback it would seem.> <Cheers, J -- >

Pseudochromis fuscus >I am in the process of stocking my 135 gallon reef tank with livestock.  I impulsively bought (zero research, I know, very stupid of me) a  fish sold as a "yellow grouper" over the weekend. It appears that this a yellow Dottyback, Pseudo. fuscus. I would to eventually add cleaner (and other) shrimp to my tank. Will this fish eat cleaner shrimp (and others)? >>This animal doesn't get very large, so I would think the different Lysmata spp. (and similar in size/habits) would do alright.  Of greater concern is interspecific aggression, watch this animal when introducing other fish!  Marina >Love your site! Thanks in advance.  Dave

-Springer's pseudo- Hey Gang, Hope y'all are having a wonderful day! <Actually, it's been raining ALL DAY LONG. :) > I recently bought a Pseudochromis springeri, it was sold as a "neon goby", for $15. <Oooo, sounds like a PetCo thing! I hope it was tank raised as they're readily available and hardy as nails.>  I've read conflicting info about these fish, everything from "nastier than Damsels" to "nicest fish in the waters". this one I got seems to be very peaceful & seems to be searching constantly for food, possibly bristle worms (?) <Been known to eat small ones> At this time, it's a tiny (1.5") fish that is a great addition to my 70g softy reef. What are Anthony's opinion, or any of the fine crew members <Fine Kevin at your service!> , regarding the species? <I think they're great little reef fish. Could be a problem with fish of similar size, even a bit larger. They've even been known to gobble up a small shrimp here and there, so be wary about the size of new tank additions. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks, Scott in Denver.

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>

Shrimp and the dotty... 07/15/03 <Hi James, PF with you tonight> Hi, I want to thank all of you first of all for all of your help and support.  You all are doing a great job!  I have several questions for you.  I have a 75 gallon saltwater tank (fish only).  I have been considering getting a couple of shrimp but was told that many fish (even the peaceful ones I have) may try to eat the shrimp.  I have a pair of clowns and in the future plan on a bi-color Dottyback, a dwarf angel and a flame Hawkfish.  What are your thoughts about adding shrimp to a tank with these fish?  Are the fire red shrimp hardy and do they come out with the tank  light on?  How many would you recommend in a 75 gallon tank?   Also, Is there any type of butterfly fish that would be suitable for beginners and are very hardy?  I was considering a pair of the black and white ones.  Thank you in advance for your help. James <Thanks James, it's what we're here for. On to your questions. Shrimp and Dottybacks (well, most any fish actually) are a crap shoot. My two orchids lived peacefully with my cleaner and peppermints till I bought two more cleaners (in a 75g), and then they hunted them all down and ripped them to shreds. Go figure. The Hawkfish though, rules them out. It will eat them. The fire shrimp come from cooler waters than most reef tanks, in the low 70's (there from deeper in the reefs (IIRC, under 100'), thus their higher price, red color, and preference for cooler waters. As for butterfly's, I would recommend a Klein's Butterfly Chaetodon kleinii, hardy and they stay relatively small. Have a good night, PF>

Dottyback with abdominal bulge >Hello, >>Greetings. >Your site's great -- I use it all the time -- thanks. I have a question I hope you can answer.  I recently acquired a Neon Dottyback, who's been behaving fine, eating well, and getting along well with all the other tankmates (a couple clownfish, a Picasso trigger, and a yellow tang).  This morning, however, I noticed a sizable bulge in what I think is its abdomen (pretty close behind the head).  Unfortunately, I don't have a digital camera on hand. What do you think this might be?   >>Very hard to say without seeing the fish itself.  Even then, it can be difficult to surmise without either waiting or performing a dissection (if a pathogen is suspected). >I found a similar-looking picture online:   http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-02/hcs3/images/orchid%20dottyback%20female.jpg   >Could it be eggs?   >>It could be, though I'm not familiar with the breeding of Dottybacks. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reproduc.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnfshbrdfaqs.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/daily_faqs.htm http://www.reefs.org/library/talklog/m_moe_102002.htm http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/apr2002/breeder.htm >>Hopefully these links can help you. >If so, is there anything I should do/expect?  I also saw a reference on the FAQ for your page to some kind of worm Dottybacks can contract -- how likely is it that that's what I'm looking at? >>Again, I couldn't venture a guess as to how likely or unlikely it is, but please read these links.  My advice is this, if the bulge appears to be misshapen, malformed, or otherwise odd, then I would suspect it to be a pathological symptom.  If not, and the fish continues to behave, eat, and swim normally, then I would just observe. >If so, what should I do?  He's still behaving normally, as far as I can tell, and eating.  Thanks very much in advance--Ben >>Read all of the above, and also do a general Google search, as well as any other search engines you prefer (I like Google and Dogpile, myself).  Good luck!  Marina

Marine fish compatibility In the interest of marine life, and the expertise of WWM, could an orchid Dottyback co-exist with a fairy wrasse? I don't want anyone chasing anyone else in the tank. It's a 75g with lots of liverock. Thanks <likely fine under the circumstances... Orchids are quite peaceful... and enough fairy wrasses are too. The tank is large enough. DO be sure to QT all new fishes... if buying both at once, a clear divider in QT will give you your answer right quick. Best regards, Anthony>

Wounded Purple Pseudochromis I've got a Purple Pseudochromis that looks as though he's got a scrape on his side, at first I thought it was an outbreak of ICH! But as I continue to observe him it looks as though he's just been scraped up on one side and is missing a few scales giving the appearance of a white discoloration.  Would you recommend I add a stress coat of any kind or just let nature take its course and let him heal up on his own, while keeping a close eye on him? I'd rather not add anything or change the makeup of my water in any way. TIA Kevin >>Hi Kevin.  Well, Pseudo's being the scrappy sort they are, it's not terribly uncommon to see scrapes.  What would really help make my answer more definitive would be other information, more specifically water parameters, tankmates, and the behavior of the animal in question. I will assume you have good water parameters, no predatory fishes, and that he's feeding and otherwise behaving normally.  If this is the case, I would not get him into a hospital tank but would instead help him through the healing process--if you don't already, offer him good meaty foods (in small bits, of course), Mysis shrimps, and a quality frozen food (best bet, here) soaked in a good Vitamin solution (Selcon is good).  Really stay on top of water quality, and watch others for aggression, they'll know if he's injured and that could induce even more aggressive behavior. If you have other problems that we should be aware of, please let us know and we'll work through it together as best we can.

Re: Wounded Purple Pseudochromis Perfect timing I'm feeding them right now :D, I do have some Life Line krill in my bag of tricks here, he was quick enough to grab a large piece and disappear into the LR would that be good for him >>Well, I do say that timing is everything. LOL!  If he's that hungry, he should heal up right quick.  Glad to hear it. Marina

Re: Wounded Purple Pseudochromis thanks for the reply :D "I will assume you have good water parameters, no predatory fishes, and that he's feeding and otherwise behaving normally" Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0 and pH 8.2.  Other fish include a pair of tank raised Percula clowns, Flame Angel.  All fish seem to be very communal they all swim around and by each other without nipping or any signs or territoriality to my current observation.  I am feeding them Life Line Green and some Brine shrimp once in a while.  I soak the Life Line in ZOE before feeding.  He seems alert/active and is eating like a swine. >>Sounds very good, I would nix the Nauplii and go with Mysids of some sort, instead.  There's no reason why the pseudo shouldn't heal up within a couple of weeks.  Just keep observation, and if you note any negative changes contact us ASAP. Marina

Blue fish Thank for the reply. I like the look of the Pseudochromis fridmani, but it sounds like it is pretty aggressive.  <You're probably thinking of the pseudo. Porphyreus as the fridmani usually stays pretty peaceful.> Will I have trouble in the future if I introduce a new fish? <You should be ok as long as you don't overstock.> I don't plan on adding other fish, but unfortunately they do die and need replaced eventually.> While I have your attention, I'd like to ask you about a colt coral. I already have a Rasta coral, but I've read that the colt coral is somewhat toxic in a reef aquarium. Is this true? Should I not add a colt coral?  <I'm not familiar with the Rasta coral but as long as it is a soft coral and they are placed at least 6" from each other they should be fine.  Cody> Thank you for your time and help! Jeff

Dottyback in a small crowded space Hi Bob and crew, you guys are the best. I have always wanted a Dottyback/Pseudo but I have been apprehensive because of their notorious personalities.  Just when I forget about them, I see one in the store that is just awesome to watch.  I thought that at the least I would ask you your opinion on the matter.  Currently I have: 30 gallon tank with: 45-55 lbs premium Fiji live rock 1 Halichoeres chrysus 1 percula clownfish (true) 1 pistol shrimp 1 cleaner shrimp. 1 Linckia starfish 1 Cryptocentrus leptocephalus 1 Midas Blenny Assorted tiny blue leg hermit crabs.  All of the above fish are very small in size. My question is: Could I add a Dottyback, and if on the odd chance it may be a possibility, would I be best off with the orchid Dottyback (because they are considered to be more docile than most)? Could I add a springeri Dottyback to my current tank? <The Orchid would be better... but... your tank is really getting crowded... any chance of a bigger one coming soon? Bob Fenner>   Thank you very much for your time.  You guys do a tremendous service to hobbyists and fish alike.

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>>  

P. fridmani compatibility with Firefish and royal Gramma? Hi bob (and crew!), <Hola!> I have a fridmani, a yellow tang, and two clownfish in a 65g with plenty of rockwork. do you think either a pair of Firefish or a royal Gramma would be bothered much by the fridmani? <Mmm, too likely a problem with either> I've heard the fridmani may have a more even temper out of the Pseudochromis family; have you had any experience mixing them with Firefish or grammas? thanks! <Well, actually as the family of Dottybacks go, Fridmani are about "medium" in terms of territoriality/aggression (being tank bred nowadays), but still... they don't like fishes that are similar appearing or that occupy their niche. Bob Fenner> - Javier

How The Dottyback Got His Groove Back! Hi Scott - thank you so much again for your saltwater world wisdom!  My Dotty is now looking very well and there are almost no visible signs of the worm (don't want to jinx myself though). <Cool- keep hanging in there! Don't give up on this little guy!> His tail fin is still a bit frayed from the stress but he is out and about like he used to be when I first got him and eating very well (not hiding at all anymore).   I think (hope) that he will be fine although I will continue VERY close observation and maintaining high water quality (as one should). <Awesome!> I will continue to read the Q&A's that are posted every day as they are very helpful and informative. <I learn something new every day!> And if he shows signs of getting the worm again I will definitely try the medicated food route.  Also, my freshwater friend has an extra 10 gallon that she is willing to give me (it's currently empty) so that I can start my quarantine tank - just one more question or two... if you don't mind... what would be the minimum but the best route for setting up a quarantine tank?  How much filtration would I need? <Funny you should ask! Being a huge fan of quarantine, I wrote a brief article on the subject that's on the WWM site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm   Hopefully, this will answer most of your questions regarding the setup and use of quarantine tanks. Just shoot another email if there are some things that aren't clear after reading the article- I'll be glad to help you further!> How well should I wash the tank out (as some of her freshwater fishes may have had ich in the past)? <I'd use lots of hot water, MAYBE a SMALL amount of Clorox in the water. Fill it up again, rinse it. Scrub it with a sponge. Fill it again, and add some commercial dechlorinator product to the water to help remove any residual Clorox. Let it sit, then drain it again. Rinse it one more time. Whew! Overly paranoid- yes- but really give it a good cleaning. It's unlikely that pathogens would withstand extended desiccation, but who knows?> What should I watch out for in converting this to my quarantine tank? <Just make sure that you maintain high quality water conditions with frequent small water changes. Don't overfeed...just good common sense (which you have plenty of, I can tell!)> Is 10 gallons enough? <For most fishes, yes. Larger fishes would usually fare better in say, a 20 gallon tank> My dream is to have a Power Blue Tang in my tank someday - is a 10 gallon enough to sustain it for 4 weeks? <Well, depending on the size, possibly. I'd opt for a larger tank for this fish...They are widely regarded as a bit challenging, and only half-jokingly referred to as "Powder Blue Ich Magnets" by hobbyists. Do research this fishes needs and prepare a suitable environment for them, and I know that you'll be successful with them!> Thank you again (and to Bob) for this wonderful website!!  It's a life/fish saver!!! I will keep you posted on the update of my little Dotty! Christy <Thanks for the "props"! It's as much fun to chat with fellow hobbyists about heir tanks as it is to mess around with my own tanks! Do keep us updated about this little guy!> PS - I named him Purple Rain (Giggle) <Gotta love that! Glad it's not "The Fish Formerly Known As The Purple Dottyback", or, just "The Fish", or...LOL>

Standing By A Sick Fish.. Scott!  Thank you so much for your advice!!  You are so helpful and quick!!! <I'm glad that we could be of service!> I am recommending this site to all of my "fish friends"! <We really appreciate hearing that! Thanks!> I also called my fish store and they advised me that this worm would probably "cycle" itself out in time and not do any real damage to the Dotty? <Well, it's really hard to say whether it will do this or not...and when...Could even be after it has done serious damage to the fish. Your guess is as good as mine, unfortunately> They explained that it will come out of the dotty and (as I don't have any sort of live rock or anything else in the tank) it will not find the necessary host for the next stage in it's life and will die. <Well, I agree with the fact that it may emerge from the fish at some point...> They recommended that I wait and watch the fish rather than capture it and put it through stress trying to medicate it and such. <Not a bad idea, as long as the fish doesn't appear to be suffering. I'd try the medicated food route first before moving the fish, as discussed previously.> He was quite flabbergasted when I told him the Dotty had a worm and has guaranteed a replacement fish for free!  But I wanted to check with you to see if that would be the best route to take at this point? <Sounds like a dependable dealer! But don't give up on this Dottyback...I'd try to monitor and/or treat the fish before trading him back for an uncertain fate at the dealer...> Note - the Dotty is doing quite well, swimming and eating as normal, although I can still see the worm inside his lower abdomen.  I don't want to put undo stress on the fish but I don't want him to die as I've become rather attached to the little fellow....Christy <I'm glad that you're not giving up on this guy, yet! Do try the medicated food and see if that helps. keep feeding him, and providing the best possible water conditions. I'll bet he'll pull through! Keep me posted! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Dottyback Intervention... Mr. Fenner, <Scott F. with you today!> I have a question about housing two fish together. I'm not getting a good feel from what I'm reading. I've read that Dottybacks shouldn't be kept fairy wrasses, as the Dottybacks will even harass them. <Ounce for ounce, these guys can be the nastiest fishes around!> However, I've also read about how gregarious the orchid Dottyback is. Can I put an orchid with an expensive Cirrhilabrus species, or will they bother each other? 48"x18" 75g tank. <The orchid, or fridmani Dottyback is definitely more sociable than some of its relatives, however, I'd still keep an eye on things and prepare to intervene if it becomes necessary. With plenty of hiding spaces and rockwork to create and divide territories, I think you should do okay. Perhaps you could add the Dottyback later in the game, or even last- to reduce or eliminate any potential problems. Good luck!>

There's A  New Dottyback In The Neighborhood Pseudochromis diadema:  I presently have this fish in quarantine. Will it bother my fire goby in 55 gallon reef system? Thank you, Miguel <It's really hard to say, Miguel. Pseudochromids are some of the toughest fish in the ocean, ounce for ounce! If there are plenty of hiding spaces for everyone, there is a good chance that you won't have too much trouble with this combo. I would be a lot more concerned if you were adding the Firefish to a tank where the diadema was already in residence! With enough food, territory, and open space, this can work out. Do keep a close eye on things just to make sure, and take quick action to remove somebody if it becomes necessary! Take care!  Scott F.>

Strange Pseudochromis I purchased a gorgeous pseudo a couple of weeks ago that was i.d.'d as an "Australian flame pseudo".  Interestingly I have not been able to find a photo in a book or on the net that is really very close.  Of course I don't have a photo - partly due to the problem I'm having (see below).  It looks vaguely like the female Queensland Dottyback on your website, but much more intense.  The front is dusky blue/gray, quickly blending to the most gorgeous rose color on the back 2/3.  The margins of the upper and lower fins are bright blue in a very fine line, and the last 1/8" of the tail is yellow.  It is currently about 3-4" long.  An id would be nice, but I can live without it. <I would try fishbase.org (run a search for Australia... and re-sort by family... then look at all the species listed for Pseudochromids... it may not be shown... or even described... there are a few species to go (pers. comm. Dr. Jack Randall)> This is my first pseudo, and I'm surprised by how shy it is! I rarely ever see it full body. <Not atypical... some species are more outgoing... but only the tank bred/reared ones come, stay out much> Usually it is only a dusky blue head peeking out of the rockwork.  I have a fairly active full reef with 2 Zebrasomas tangs, a flame angel, and 2 Polymnus clowns.  It has shown absolutely no signs of aggression, and turns tail if another fish comes into view. I'm concerned about feeding.  It doesn't come out at feeding time - the activity seems to drive it deeper into the rocks.  It still seems fat, but if it is eating, it must be doing the worms, copepods, etc. diet.  Is this possible, and is it a long term option in a 135 reef?  Any ideas on how to feed it? <Keep offering small meaty foods... it is likely consuming what you're producing in situ> Will it become more outgoing with time? <Likely yes. Bob Fenner>

Can You Identify a Fish? Attached is a pic of a fish - wrasse I believe. Do you know the common name? He's about 2.5" in length, white body, iridescent blue along the top & bottom fins, with a bright yellow tail. <Your picture was a little small and blurry, but enough for an ID. You actually have a Pseudochromis, the Splendid Dottyback, Pseudochromis splendens. You can see a better picture and some additional information here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm> Thanks, Craig
<You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Re: Can You Identify a Fish? That's him! And the LFS told me it was a wrasse. :-P Thanks. <Well... (you put me up to this!)... I would go back in there and ha-wrasse them with re identification skills! Bob Fenner>

Incorrigible Emperor and Tusk Update/Dottyback Anthony, I am a bit of a "fish stalker" I guess. I've actually talked people OUT of buying a small Asfur that I love because I didn't feel they would take good care of it. Too bad I have to work like the rest of the world so I can only go there on Sat. Well I was reading a section in WWM that I've never read before.......which is shocking! I was reading about the Dottybacks. I had no idea they were such bruisers.  <well... most just pack a powerful punch for their small size> The article says that some should be kept with large angels, triggers, etc.  <actually most Dottybacks would be eaten by these fish. There are few that are truly large and tough enough to hang with the big boys> Well I was wondering if one of these guys would mix well with my monster Emperor and my new Sohal.  <hmmm... I suspect not worth the aggravation for either of you> Before I went through this failed tusk experiment, I got rid of my Red Spot Goby, my purple tang (which is ironic because I ended up with another tang), and my Sergeant Major damsel. Now I have the Emperor, the Sohal, and Maroon Clown in a 75.  <wow... the angel and the Sohal really should outgrow this tank within a year or die of complications from the crowding. The tank is simply too small my friend. Bob and the WWM gang are just getting back from the Red Sea and have images fresh in their minds of nearly 2 foot long Sohals and foot long Emperors... your tang does not need another fish. You may need a shoehorn soon however, to get them out... heehee. Really, though... you don't want these fish to suffer from the crowding...please do not add any new fish in the interim. Your big boys will grow so fast already no matter how small they are> I was thinking that a larger Orange Dottyback would look great in there. Is it "too much" fish for my clown? I notice that aggressive natured fish tend to do better with the Emperor.  <the tank size is definitely an influence> The Maroon has never been afraid of him and as a result is the ONLY fish he's never gone after. The Sohal introduction could have gone horribly except for the fact that it got right in the angels face and as a result things have been pretty good....still the Emperors tank though. I have LOTS of liverock.  <Ahh... even less swimming space <G>> I don't know how many lbs because I always get a piece at a time, but I'm sure it's way more then 50. Any particular Dottyback you would recommend? Or none? Thanks buddy. Rick <yes, none... and I do not mean to sound too critical my friend. I know that you are a very empathetic aquarist. But do take the advice to heart. Best regards, Anthony>

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>

Dottyback Identification <<JasonC here helping out while Bob goes diving>> hi I bought what I think is called a flame head Dottyback it is doing great in my tank and its body has gone from gray to a blue colour I was just wondering if this is the right name for it because I have only found one site where someone has one is there something wrong with this fish? THANKS <<without any more description, I can't be of much help. Better for you to perhaps help yourself to the following link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm which has a good set of photos of most of the Pseudochromis [Dottybacks] - perhaps you will see your fish there. Sometimes a name like a "flamehead" is more of a descriptive name, applied at the fish store, than the actual common name... happens sometimes. Good luck, J -- >> 

Terror in the tank Dear Bob- <You got Steven Pro this afternoon.> You and your WetWeb folks have given me great advice in the past through both your website and your emails. I've written to you before about this fish, and your diagnosis was perfect. Thought I'd ask another question. In my 30 gallon tank, I have two fishes a maroon clown(< 2") and a Diadema Dottyback (3"), plus a large coral banded and a couple of hermits. Everyone has been happy and healthy to date, and the fish have been together for over six months. The problem is the Dottyback. He very suddenly decided "there can be only one" creature in this tank....and it's himself. I purchased more live rock and moved everything around in the tank. (except the fake fan plant that the clown fish calls home) <A good idea. Too bad it did not resolve the problem.> This calmed the Dottyback for a day or two, but now he's back at his old tricks. Knocking the crabs around, playing tag with the shrimp, but especially picking on the clown. The clown for the most part tries to ignore the Basslet, and has not shown any signs except a minor nipped tail, but it's disconcerting to watch the charges of the aggressor. <Not something to tolerate for long. Beyond the actual wounds inflicted there is the stress involved which may lower the Clownfish's immunity and allow for infection.> What to do? I believe that the clown when larger, will hold his own (with maybe some payback), but that's down the road. Should I consider an anemone? <Not a great choice.> More rock work? <If you have less than 40 pounds, maybe more would help.> Get a cat? (just kidding) A bigger tank is not an option right now as space is limited. <What about another tank?> One suggestion (LFS) is to get a Lunar Wrasse or something else to challenge him. <A little bit of the old woman who swallowed a fly story.> What's your advice? <I would remove someone.> BTW, the LFS I purchased the Dottyback from won't take him back. I've since found a new store with different policies. Unfortunately they don't sell Dottybacks. (for reasons I've already described)  Aside from his antics, the Dottyback is an extremely intelligent and amusing character. Any insight would be most appreciated. <See above notes.> Thanks. Thom <You are welcome. Good luck. -Steven Pro>

Compatibility <Greetings... Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob refines his technique for the synchronized swimming team> Can a Blue Spot Jawfish (Opistognathus rosenblatti) be kept with a New Holland Pseudochromis (Obgilbyina novaehollandiae)? <hmmm... somewhat of an odd mix. Although not competitive in niche, I fear that the famous temper of the New Holland Pseudo will be a long-term problem. The Blue spot jaw is not an easy fish to find... cherish it and work around it with more passive tankmates. Anthony>

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, Clarki 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>

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

And the Dingo ate me Baby Dear Bob. I hope this finds you well and in good spirits. Quick one today. <Okay> I have just come back from a lecture this morning and have discovered to my horror that a hermit crab and the CBS the one that you recommended trading :) have been EATEN!!!. There are pieces of fore-claws and hermit crab legs over the bottom of the tank. Apparently the CBS had molted last night as his exoskeleton is still near him. Not sure what happened to the hermit crab. Quick review of the culprits. Would it be; a. The tomato clown. b. The Scooter Blenny. c. The two fire gobies. d. One of the Two Cardinals, Banggai and Pajama. e. The Royal Dottyback or last but not least, the Yellow Tang, who was always letting the CBS clean him. Please circle your choice :) <Almost certainly the Dottyback (Pseudochromid for browsers of elsewhere)> In mourning and do not want to run out and buy another Shrimp esp. the more expensive ones so that they can become Fish Fingers so to speak. <Yes> Oh and while I am keeping it short :) I have a quick question about the Pulsing Xenia. When we got it it was a whitish color and was pulsing away like mad. Now that it is in the larger tank it has changed color to purple and the polyps no longer pulse. It retracts at night, and seems to be growing longer day by day. There are also numerous small colonies sprouting up from the two larger stalks. <Stress symptomology... you do use iodide occasionally? I would... and add something in the way of wash/food about the area (while temporarily shutting down skimmer/s, mechanical filtration? Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidfaqs.htm> And also if you could settle a dispute that would be really helpful. After moving all of the live rock into the new tank about two weeks ago, everything was fine. Now the new coral substrate and everything is becoming covered with a layer of emerald green "algae" as well as on top of the green layer large spots of Maroon and Purple "algae" are developing. The argument is, when I said that it was good algae, as opposed to the hair algae that the tang has disposed of, I was told it looks like it will turn into a swamp. Do I have too much light. I have 130 Gallon tank with 2 watts of power compact 50-50 per gallon. <This is almost certainly mainly Blue Green Algae/Cyanobacteria... not desirable, not eaten by Tangs... Please read on WWM re its causes, control> Ok leaving you alone now. I very much appreciate your time. Look forward to your reply. No rush so if there are more pressing matters please answer them first. <Will do so. Bob Fenner> Regards as always. Julian Hunt Re: And the Dingo ate me Baby Cheers thanks so much <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner> Julian

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>

Blue-barred Dottyback I have always wanted to try a Dottyback but I was waiting for the right one.... hopefully this one. I have a semi reef tank with a few anemones, hermit crabs, a variety of snails and fish, the largest of which is a 4" truncate Anthias (have seen one of these for sale?) <Yes> I purchased a blue-barred Dottyback (Pseudochromis cyanotaenia) yesterday with the thought that he might just fit into my community, although I am worried about the six line wrasse....they have flashed at each other, but there seems to be little problem, there is a lot of rock in the tank. I am a little worried about one thing, both books I have mention that this is a difficult species to keep but not why.  <http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=14 Not one of the "meaner" nor larger species of Pseudochromids... I don't have a pic, or much info. on this species: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm> So far the little guy has been a whirl wind of curiosity checking everything out all about the tank and eating right along with the other fish. The Anthias chased him once (he had to make sure the Dottyback knew who was boss!) and then has pretty well ignored him. (the Anthias likes to initiate all new comers... will this be a problem when I finally find him a buddy?).  <The Anthias? Likely so... you don't state how large this system is... please read over the Fancy Basses materials posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner> Any other info I can find would be wonderful. Thank you Kim

Green wolf eel I saw a green wolf eel in the LFS they said it would not eat hermit crabs and was not in the moray eel family. Do you know anything about this type of eel? <Yes... as bizarre as it may seem, this is a member of the family of Dottybacks, Pseudochromidae. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm This species is covered here. Bob Fenner> thanks, j Colgan

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>

Dottyback Hi Bob! Long time no chat. I emailed you earlier to let you know I thoroughly enjoy WWM. Now my dilemma. <Hmm> As you may recall, I struggled in finally deciding to add a Kole tang to my tank. I found a nice one at a LFS that was eating and he is doing great. He has made his place among the other tangs and everyone is getting along fine. I intended for the Kole to be my final fish. But you always see something new... <Human nature> I saw a splendid Dottyback, Pseudochromis splendens today and I was wondering how this fish might get along with my current tank population. My current tank inhabitants include 2 yellow tangs, purple tang, Kole tang, blue-sided fairy wrasse (C. cyanopleura), sand sifting goby, one yellow-tailed damsel, one maroon clown (he finally got his bubble-tip and both are in marital bliss...), and three bicolor Chromis. (Oh, I almost forgot--you probably don't remember the details of my system, but my tank is 180 gallons, 30g sump and 10g refugium.) I also have various softies, 'Shrooms, LPS, a few SPS frags and a new 2" T. maxima among other cleanup crew inverts. <Should do fine with this mix... this Pseudochromid is likely tank bred, reared... and for the family of Dottybacks quite easygoing> I've read up on these guys and note that they're generally little devils as far as territoriality goes, they like to jump and they should be added last or next to last. Also that they are ich-prone. But they seem to be very neat fish, always darting around. The specimen I saw was about 1 1/2 inches long or so and seemed pretty active. Based on my experiences with adding fish, I'd be most concerned with the ability of this fish to fit in with the bicolor Chromises and the yellow-tailed damsel--I'd perceive these of the current inhabitants to possibly present the most risk with this addition. (The yellow-tailed damsel is the smallest fish in the system and never picks on anyone else, but he really does like to pick on new additions until they put him in his place...) I really like the fish, but I really don't want to too terribly disrupt the current tank population as everyone has their "place" now. I also have never had an ich outbreak and that's always a risk--I'm assuming that you'd recommend FW dip/QT for this specimen? Or just FW dip? <I would quarantine the fish per our sites recommended protocol... barring this, at least a pH-adjusted freshwater bath as spec.ed there, yes> Also, as far as color goes, is it the norm for these fishes to fade out in captivity, or will they thrive and keep their color with good water quality and a varied diet? (If fading out is the norm, then the reward might not justify the risk.) <This species is relatively "color fast"> I'm just ruminating on this one for now. I'm inclined to pass on it just from the potential risks of adding a fish and the risks specific to this genus of fishes, but I'd appreciate your thoughts as always. <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner> Thanks again! --James Deets

Neon Dottybacks Hi, I just return from the Western Marine conference where I heard your presentation and in it, (not the topic but) you mention some compatibilities between fishes. I have a question about the neon Dottybacks: I am very impressed with this fishes and I would like to have some of them (tank raised) but, how many could be put together in a 180-G tank without too much aggression? <Hmm, tank-raised? I would go with three or four individuals...> Thanks in advance for your help and indeed, as someone mention in the presentation, you have a GREAT website. Jorge S. <Thank you my friend. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: Dottybacks Thank you for responding to my e-mail. I'm not sure how much e-mail you get, but I suspect that it is quite a bit. <Yes, a bit> I had to put the diadem Dottyback in my quarantine tank, it started attacking the royal Gramma.  <Yes, very common... similar, too similar appearing, habitat> When I first put them in the tank, the Gramma chased the Dottyback away from my larger group of rocks. (I don't have much rock in yet, about 4 pounds. I am building up my live rock slowly.) I noticed today that the Gramma had some frayed fins so I watched them for a while and observed a fight. I spent an hour trying to catch the dotty (they are fast little buggers) before I finally caught him. I am thinking from what you said in your e-mail that I will have to take him back and wait until I have more rock before replacing the Dottyback. <Yes> Thank you again. Jeffrey P. Schulz <You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Dottybacks I recently purchased your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and am enjoying it. At the same time that I bought your book, I purchased a Royal Gramma and Diadema Dottyback for my two month old 55 gallon system. I think that I would like to add another Dottyback to the tank, perhaps a Sunrise Dottyback, and I was unsure from your book whether that would be possible. Are you limited to one Dottyback per system or one of each species of Dottyback. In addition to the fish already mentioned, I have two percula clowns in the tank. All are from the same LFS and are tank-raised from C-Quest. <Thank you for writing! The limit "per tank" of Dottybacks/Pseudochromids is a measure of three main factors: the size of the given system, the amount of rock/cover, and the given species of Pseudochromid... on the latter, some species are literally terrors... killing not just other Dotty's, but most any other fish in its assumed territory. Diademas are amongst the "more mellow", smaller species available, and the tank-raised Sunrise is a virtual marshmallow... If this tank were twice the size and has lots of cover, I would give you 50-50 odds of them making an uneasy truce... a fifty five though? Not a good gamble.> Thank you for your time and excellent book. Jeffrey P. Schulz <Thank you my friend, do take a look at the Dottyback materials stored on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Green Wolf Eel/Pseudochromid Dear Mr. Fenner, I have a green wolf eel and I cant seem to find any information on it. can you help me?  <A little perhaps... this fish, Congrogadus subduscens is actually classified as an Eel blenny (subfamily Congrogadinae) of the Dottybacks (family Pseudochromidae) of the tropical Indo-Pacific. It's actually not an uncommon offering in the trade... and generally takes most all types of meaty foods with little training...> I also have 2 lion fish, I cant seem to get the one off gold fish, I tried starting him on frozen foods, he would not eat them, I gave him gold fish and he loved them. how can I get him on frozen?  the other lion fish eats it but he wont. and are silver sides a good food or are they the same as gold fish. well, those are my questions. thanks again, Mike Mastronardi <Please read over the "don't feed goldfish" and Pseudochromid pages and FAQs posted on the www.wetwebmedia.com for answers to your queries. Bob Fenner>

Dottyback Dear Mr. Fenner, Once again I have to ask your advice, this time rather urgently: In a 55 gal. w/LR I had a Yellow Tang, 2 tank-raised Ocellaris clowns, and a Blue Damsel. In anticipation of a new specimen I removed the Damsel to another tank. Although I had planned to purchase a Coral Beauty Angel this weekend, I was dissuaded by the LFS who insisted that I needed to acquire more live rock (I currently have roughly 25 lbs. and am adding 10 lbs. at a time) and better lighting (to encourage macroalgae growth) before purchasing the Coral Beauty. <Good for them. Good advice> Another fish caught my eye, what the LFS referred to as a tank-raised "New Holland Basslet." Although I was unable to find the species in any of the guides I consulted, I made the decision to purchase the rather expensive specimen based on information about Basslets in general. This was a mistake, and I could not feel more penitent. <You should...> I found the fish (a Dottyback, actually) on your site eventually (I should have looked here first, I realize) and have learned that in the wild it can reach 7.5 inches! <Yes, and sometimes become an unholy terror...> I am not planning to introduce any more fish into my system BUT I am greatly concerned that this fish will bring stress and strife to my developing reef. Should I return it now, consider it a lesson and find a more docile species, or should the Dottyback do well in my system? There are many shell and coral hiding places, but the False Percs are hardly an aggressive species. Help! (I suppose I could remove the clowns, return the damsel to the tank, and keep an "aggressive species" tank?) R. Duff <If it were my system, and I intended to add the Coral Beauty and/or keep the peace, I definitely would trade this specimen back in. Too much possibility for trouble. Bob Fenner>

Re: Dottyback Dear Mr. Fenner, I recently wrote requesting help w/an aggressive Australian (New Holland) Dottyback. Despite my incredibly stupid purchase of a fish I had not researched (but was recommended by my LFS) all is well, I removed the fish easily and returned it to the store for credit which I used for more LR. So no urgent action is necessary. Sorry for the bother, it is absolutely mystifying that despite the advice of many respected sources I purchased a species I was not familiar with, a mistake I will not repeat. R. Duff <Never a bother, and glad to hear this Pseudochromis novaehollandiae is on its way to a happier, more compatible setting. Bob Fenner>

Re: New Mini Reef Set up.... Ok Robert I've got another question for you, So, I took my blue devil and put him in the little breeder box, rearrange the tank completely and let in my 2 new fish, a skunk back Pseudochromis, and a peppermint goby into the tank.. once it was obvious that they were fine and settled and eating, I let the devil loose... he immediately started going after the Pseudochromis, but the Pseudochromis has been putting up a good fight and hasn't suffered at all, and actually has taken a little out of the tail of my blue devil. The situation stands now with the blue devil keeping watch for the Pseudochromis, but not really doing any harm... do you think I should see if he gets bored of this and gives up or should I just remove him from the tank now??? I'll need to do that before my fianc?gets home, she's gotten kinda attached to the fish! :-) maybe I'll get a green Chromis instead.... what ya think? Thanks! DAVE <All actually sounds like it's going "as planned"... a stand-off of sorts is really what you/we can best hope for... and detente seems to have been achieved... these alpha type species are doing about what they will... and likely won't kill one another off at this point... The "loser" of the hour, minute, day can/will hide out for a better chance next time... As long as they're both getting food... and I wouldn't add any more fish/fighters to this milieu... until/when you can enlarge the "arena". Bob Fenner>

I've been trying to find this P. Splendens you referred to as an alternative to Pseudochromis porphyreus. The only thing I could find were flowers and Siamese fighting fish. Is this a commonly sold fish? I looked at WetWebMedia, and your site also only has reference to this as the fighting fish. Where can I find some info on it? <Just a more recent than the books popular species... It is a Dottyback, Pseudochromis splendens... a much "nicer" member of the family/genus that is being cultured in good numbers by ORA/Harbor Marine in FL.> >> >> What a day... ever get the feeling that something isn't quite right? Me, most all the time... The instance I'm referring to is the fish actually called P. polynemus, Fowler, 1931, aka the Longfin Dottyback... this is the fish in question... Sheesh, and mea culpa, Bob Fenner

Re: Restocking and my previous/egregious Error Bob, I tracked down ORA, and found that my LFS gets their clownfish from them. The catalogue that the LFS had included a photo of the P. Splendens, in fact they had a specimen in the store. It looks like it would be a great addition to my tank (though expensive at $70). I have not been able to find a pic of the P. polynemus however. Any idea where I might be able to see a pic? <Ah, yes... cut and paste this URL: http://www.fishbase.org/Photos/PicturesSummary.cfm?ID=12714> Given that my main tank is now 82 degrees and SPG 1.020, (I'll take it down to 1.019 or 1.018 tomorrow) and that it contains ONLY inverts, I have a question. Is it necessary for me to quarantine whatever I buy first? I'm thinking that the conditions in my main tank are much better than I could create in my quarantine tank. I would do a dip, of course.  <Yes, unless you want to risk introducing and entrenching infectious, parasitic problems in the system...> Also if I place them straight into my main tank, it has the bio system to handle a larger initial load. What is your opinion on restock? If I proceed gradually, territorial disputes would be a bigger problem. If I go all at once, and treatment is required, I don't think my quarantine tank could handle the load. <Here's where intelligent planning will shine... shy, more tough, less rambunctious species, specimens first... in batches if need be> Thanks o' wise one..., for all your past present and future help.  Marty >> Soitainly, Bob Fenner

Re: Restocking and my previous/egregious Error Bob, No fair! the link you sent is for Pseudochromis splendens, not Pseudochromis Polynemus. Thanks, Marty >> <Don't know if you can sense my chuckling over the Net... okay, let's give trying to clear this confusion up one last go: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=14281& genusname=Pseudochromis&speciesname=polynemus is Fishbase's shot at the species (the real one...) w/o an image (!)... And yes, this is a different, though closely related species to P. splendens... and here's the clincher... both are sold "interchangeably" in the trade/industry... Yikes... Take a longer look at polynemus (the real, most commonly available species... the one you saw that was cultured by ORA)... as it is the more peaceful... Bob Fenner What do you think about eventually adding a Dottyback to my FOWLR which has a royal Gramma in it? War? I was thinking about a neon or an orchid. p.s. the RG is doing very well with all of the bigger fish. They leave him alone and he travels all over. >> Some Dottybacks (Pseudochromis) can be tough as species and individual specimens, but both the Neons and Orchids are pretty mellow and consistent... as a consequence of being largely tank bred and reared (versus wild-collected). I say "go for it", but keep your eyes open... 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: