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bicolor dottyback or Pseudochromis
belongs to the
This species inhabits coral reefs around the
Malay Peninsula including Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and
Malaysia. These mid-water water dwellers can be found as close to five
meters from the surface and swim to a depth of approximately thirty
The bicolor dotty is one of the most brilliant of the saltwater
species commercially available. They
have a slender elongated body with
a bright yellow posterior and a purple anterior that leans toward a
fuchsia color. Their color palette sometimes fades in captivity. This
may be due to dietary deficiencies.
Dottybacks are sold in aquarium stores under a variety of names
incluing, Royal Dottyback, Bicolor
Pseudo, and Bicolor Pseudochromis.
These are an extremely hardy fish and are a good choice for the
beginner saltwater aquarist. The dottyback is classified as
semi-aggressive. Its tank-mates should be chosen accordingly. They tend
to exhibit territorial behavior. This tendency is more prevalent in
smaller aquariums. They only reach a length of two inches as adults but
don’t let their size fool you. Despite its diminutive stature
easily hold its own with fish up to five times its size. Dottybacks
tend to be bullies and should not be kept with smaller timid varieties
of fish. In the wild they will aggressively defend their territory for
several yards in any given direction. A good choice in tank mates
include; squirrels, parrots, hawkfish, angelfish, large damselfish, and
other species that refused to be bullied. Tenacity aside, dottybacks
like plenty of hiding places. Hiding places tend to reduce its stress
levels and are beneficial to maintaining a more even temperament. In
their natural habitat they are notorious for their elusive behavior.
They tend to stay hidden in cracks and crevices or in caves until it is
time to feed.
fish are not harvested for consumption. They are harvested
specifically for the aquariums industry. Dottybacks have and expected
lifespan of five to seven years but have been recorded to live as long
as ten years in captivity.
These fish are voracious carnivores. Add them to a reef aquarium at
your own risk. In the wild, their diet consist entirely of many of the
smaller crustaceans commonly kept in reef tanks. They will readily
devour ornamental shrimp. They will also eat nuisance invertebrates
such as bristleworms. In captivity they can be fed vitamin enriched
brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and finely chopped fresh shrimp, krill,
clams, mussels, crab, octopus, and squid. They will often eat pellets
or granulated foods. They have also been known to nibble on marine fish
food formulated for omnivores.
dottybacks are hermaphroditic. These fish will adapt to
their environment developing either male or female genitalia. Adding
two like species in a tank together will result in a male-female pair.
After spawning the male regularly picks up the eggs with his mouth to
keep them aerated until they hatch. Spawning bicolor
aquariums has become relatively commonplace among the more advanced
aquarist. Amateurs should research the matter thoroughly before
attempting to spawn dottybacks.