Fish Profile:
Orchid Dottyback,
Pseudochromis fridmani

Photo courtesy of John Clipperton.

IMG_4708.jpg IMG_4726.jpg IMG_4734.jpg
Photo courtesy of Megan Dargis.

Common Name: Orchid Dottyback
Scientific Name: Pseudochromis fridmani
Size: ~ 2 - 3"
Origin: Red Sea
Natural Habitat: Generally found at depths of 1-60 m, making its home in small holes or crevices. They prefer vertical rock faces or overhangs. Generally peaceful, but can be territorial toward similar species. Pairs have been known to breed in captivity.
Feeding Requirements: Will accept a variety of foods: live and/or frozen brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, flake foods and other prepared, meaty type foods are readily accepted.
Difficulty Rating:
(1 = easy - 5 = hard)
1 - Very hardy. Great beginner’s fish.
Aggressiveness Rating:
(1 = shy - 5 = nasty)
2- Generally a peaceful fish, but can be territorial and fight among their own species and other fish of the same shape and coloration. They are protective of their hiding place and will protect it forcefully when a clutch of eggs are present. Avoid housing with wrasses.
Captive Requirements: Temperature range: 72-84° F. Specific gravity: 1.023-1.026. Can be kept singly, in pairs or in groups. Very hardy fish in captivity.
Optional Requirements: A 30-gallon tank or larger is recommended with many hiding places.
Reef Tank Compatible: Yes – a great addition to reef aquariums. Will often swim in the open once comfortable with its surroundings.
Notes: One of my favorite all time fish. I have kept at least one in every tank I have had. They are very active and enjoyable to watch. Though available as wild caught, more and more readily captive-raised are available. They will hunt and feed on bristle worms and are said to eat small mantis shrimp (I have not witnessed the later). Orchid dottybacks are very hardy, have minimal requirements and do not bother corals, thus they are a perfect addition to most reef aquariums due to their minimal demands.

The Orchid dottyback is easily confused with the Purple Pseudochromis (Pseudochromis porphyreus), but can be distinguished by a difference in the black stripe running across its head and over its eyes.
Further Reading: The Dottybacks by Henry C. Schultz III.

Photo courtesy of Greg Rothschild.

Note: All of the above information has been compiled from various sources and should be used as a guideline, not a hardfast rule. Use caution when selecting animals for your own tank and research as much as possible before purchasing any animals. Remember that certain corals and fish are very hard to keep if their special requirements are not met. The information contained here is to help you make an informed decision. The author assumes no responsibility for any consequences that may arise from the use of this information.

Reefkeeping Magazine™ Reef Central, LLC-Copyright © 2008

Fish Profile: Orchid Dottyback, Pseudochromis fridmani by Reef Central Staff -