View Full Version : Dottybacks vs Blennies

08/09/2017, 07:24 PM
Hi Reefers,

I have a question about fish compatabilities. or should I say combat-abilities? I had a algae blenny, he was doing fine until I added a bicolor dottyback. They had regular Dukes of Hazard chases until my blenny recently got sick and died. I think the age of my tank (3 mos) was a factor, the actual cause of death is unknown. My best guess, food supply was short, when I added the dottyback I also added an emerald crab and a sand sifting star. I think he started starving and the added stress of the dottyback was too much for him to handle. Today I had to manually feed the star and my tank is ULNS. I don't think there is enough food for my algae eaters. I think I will return the star.

So today I added a starry blenny and he was not happy in my tank. He looked like he just wanted to get away from the area, although I didn't see the dottyback messing w/ him. Well, I removed him anyways back to QT and he's back to his perky self, and now I'm wondering if my dottyback being the only fish in my tank is going to harass every other fish I try to put in there?

My tank is JBJ 45g. Planning on mixed reef, no corals yet. My stocking plan is 6 or 7 of the small guys rather than a couple bigger fish.
I would prefer a blenny and a peaceful tank. Is that going to be pretty much impossible w/ this type of dottyback/pseudochromis?

Thanks for any advice!

Mike Ashton
08/09/2017, 11:29 PM
HI Dottybacks are often very territorial and will probably harass any new inmate one method i have used is to fix a mirror to glass then hopefully he will be kept busy chasing his own reflection thus giving any new inmates time to settle Regards Mike

08/10/2017, 06:36 AM
Usually the more aggressive dottybacks should be introduced last so that the more peaceful fish have a chance to establish a territory and be comfortable enough to stand up for themselves. In this instance, since the dottyback was in there first, I would try an acclimation box. Basically, it'll hang on the inside of the tank or suction cup to the wall and give the new fish and the dottyback a chance to acclimate to each other without the stress of the chase and bite and over time the existing fish will get used to the new one and hopefully nullify the aggression without physical interaction.

08/10/2017, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the help. I think this dottyback may be more or hassle than it's worth. I think I will try to catch and exchange it. I just hate the thought of all the acclimation work only to find another fish dead or dying due to stress, as if transport and QT wasn't bad enough!

08/10/2017, 02:36 PM
I've tried two dottybacks - Orchid and Splendid. The Splendid immediately went into my rockwork and I never saw him again. The Orchid did the same, and I'd see him pop out from time to time to eat, but he also disappeared for good.

As for blennies, I really like Midas blennies. I had a really big, gorgeous bright yellow one, that somehow found a way to jump out through the tiny gap in my mesh screen top. I'd get another Midas for sure if I had room in the tank. Cool fish, really fun to watch.