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Neon Dottyback – Complete Care Guide

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Neon Dottyback

Neon Dottyback Facts

Neon Dottybacks (Pseudochromis aldabraensis) are gorgeous saltwater fish with orange, yellow, blue, and black colorations on its body. Their vibrant colors make them an excellent addition to a saltwater fish tank.

The Neon Dottyback will spend much of its time hanging around live rock it calls its home. They are known to be semi-aggressive fish and will likely defend their territory from most fish. I will go into more depth on this later. This guide will go over aquarium requirements, dietary needs, tank mates, and more for the Neon Dottyback.

Aquarium Requirements

A Neon Dottyback will grow to about 4 inches when it is fully grown. They should do well in fish tanks that are 30 gallons or larger. It is recommended to keep varying-sized live rock in your fish tank to provide different-sized nooks for this species of fish. Also, more hiding spaces will provide more spaces to establish territory and refuge for other fish, because the Neon Dottyback can be semi-aggressive.

I recommend providing a well-fitted lid on your fish tank because Neon Dottybacks may jump out of the aquarium when spooked. Fish somehow manage to squeeze through the smallest hole when they decide to jump.

Water Parameters

Keeping water parameters in check is incredibly important for fish, crustaceans, corals, and all things in the water. It’s no different for the Neon Dottyback. The following are water parameters to keep your fish happy:

  • Water Temperature: 72°-78° F
  • dKH: 8 – 12
  • pH: 8.1 – 8.4
  • Salinity: 1.020 – 1.025 sg

Besides these water parameters, you will need to do your best to keep other water parameters such as nitrates and phosphates down. High levels of nitrates and phosphates will cause algae growth, stress your fish, and potentially shorten their life span. One of the best and easiest ways to bring down nitrates and phosphates is through water changes. I spoil my fish with Red Sea Coral Pro Salt but many different brands will suffice for your fish.

Is the Neon Dottyback Reef Safe?

Yes, Neon Dottybacks are considered reef safe. They are safe with coral, but they will likely eat very small shrimp such as Sexy Shrimp. Cleaner Shimp and Fire Shrimp should do well with this fish.

Food & Diet

These fish are carnivorous. They will require a diet that provides a lot of protein. They will enjoy foods such as Mysis Shrimp, Brine Shrimp, Krill, and more. I would also recommend providing them with pellet food that contains higher levels of protein such as New Life Spectrum Thera A pellet food. Bonus points because this pellet food has included garlic in it which should help boost the fish’s immune system.

Neon Dottyback Tank Mates

If you’re looking to add a Neon Dottyback to your fish tank, consider adding it last. They are known to be territorial and may defend their space relentlessly. Neon Dottybacks will especially chase after fish similarly shaped to themselves. Other Dottybacks and Wrasses may have a hard time with this fish, especially in smaller aquariums. Larger aquariums and extra live rock will help spread out territories.

They should do well in fish tanks with Clownfish, Dwarf Angelfish, Tangs, Foxface/Rabbitfish, and Gobies. Again, I would recommend adding them later due to their temperament.


Due to their vibrant personalities, it is not recommended to keep this fish with other Dottybacks. That makes breeding nearly impossible in most home aquarium settings.

Final Notes

Neon Dottybacks are great fish to keep if you understand how aggressive they may be. Their coloration makes them a very interesting addition to a reef tank or saltwater aquarium. Consider picking them up, they are commonly found in fish stores and can be purchased online.

Image by Haplochromis on wikiMedia