Orchid Dottybacks are found only in the Red Sea. They’re observed in colonies near vertical walls or ledges, where they dart out to grab a meal from the passing zooplankton, then rush back. In the wild they are found at moderate to deep depths, and look blue rather than the magenta or violet color most aquarists are used to. This is due to the filtering of red light by seawater.
In aquariums, Orchid Dottybacks are quite easy to keep and feed. They are small plankton feeders so foods such as brine shrimp, krill and mysid shrimp are perfect. Orchid Dottybacks are moderately territorial and more than one can be kept per tank, as long as the tank has plenty of hiding spaces. Usually, adding multiple small individuals at once will likely result in a spawning harem.
The Orchid Dottyback, like other members of the family Pseudochromidae, lay eggs in a mass that are not adhered to a substrate but held together by filamentous threads. The egg mass is usually deposited in small nooks and caves and tended by the male. The eggs hatch in about 3-4 days and are larvae for 28-30 days.
How We House Our Fish
All of our fish are housed in dedicated captive bred fish systems. Each of these systems is dedicated to a single breeder and used to house the captive bred fish we receive from them. Great care is taken to ensure these systems do not get cross contaminated. We only introduce new fish into these systems when receiving an order from that system's breeder.
We do this as it allows us to ensure our fish are pest free without the need for medications. However, should any pest turn up we can and will medicate these systems.
Medicating fish is hard on them and diminishes their overall health. While medicating is a good precaution to take with all wild fish, captive bred fish from a trusted breeder can forgo medications and ultimately will be much healthier because of it.
That being said, when exposed to a tank where pests are already present, likely from an unmedicated wild fish being in the tank, these captive bred fish are by no means immune and can be infected. So it's important that all wild fish introduced to your system go through a proper quarantine.
Observation and Inspection
Upon arrival all of our fish go through an observation period of one to two weeks, depending on how long their journey to our facility was. During the observation period, the fish are inspected to ensure they are eating, aren't showing any visible signs of stress or pests, and otherwise look healthy. If they pass our inspection, they will be made available on our website.