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Purple Striped Dottyback – Complete Care Guide

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purple striped dottyback

Purple Striped Dottyback Facts

The Purple Striped Dottyback (Pseudochromis diadema), also known as the Diadem Pseudochromis, or Diadem Dottyback, is a beautiful saltwater fish primarily yellow in color with a horizontal purple stripe running across its body. It is a fairly hardy fish that is quite easy to care for. Beware because the Purple Striped Dottyback can be a territorial fish and can be aggressive toward other tank mates. It is a gorgeous and vibrant fish that would be a good addition to many saltwater aquariums.

You can find the Purple Striped Dottyback for sale at many brick-and-mortar stores and online on Liveaquaria. This guide will cover aquarium requirements, food & diet, tank mates, and breeding habits of the Purple Striped Dottyback.

Aquarium Requirements

Purple Striped Dottybacks will grow to a max size of about 3″. Due to their adult size, I would recommend keeping them in fish tanks that are 30 gallons or larger. Keep in mind that they can dominate smaller fish tanks because of their temperament. Your fish tank should be decorated with live rock with varying-sized caves for your dottyback to explore and create its territory. If you cannot find live rock at your local fish store, consider picking some up from Amazon.

I would also consider adding a well-fitted lid to your aquarium because dottybacks and other fish may decide to jump out.

Water Parameters

Having water parameters within range is important to have a balanced and healthy aquatic system, as well as happy fish. The water parameter requirements for Watchman Gobies are:

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

Consider getting a High Range pH and KH test kit to test for pH & dKH. Keeping your temperature between 72° and 78° can be accomplished with a heater. Take a look at my guide which showcases some great aquarium heaters. Lastly, I would pick up a Refractometer from Amazon to keep an eye on your salinity levels. If calibrated correctly, refractometers are much more accurate compared to a hydrometer which loses accuracy due to salt buildup on the dial.

Is The Purple Striped Dottyback Reef Safe?

The Purple Striped is reef safe and can be kept with coral and invertebrates. The only invertebrates that will be in danger are copepods and small ornamental shrimp (sexy shrimp), and other very small crustaceans. They may live amongst coral but they should not eat any.

Food & Diet

This species of fish is carnivorous. They should not be picky eaters and will consume Pellets, Flakes, Mysis Shrimp, Brine Shrimp, and other meaty foods. They may be given Krill as well once they are fully grown.

Tank Mates

Because of their potentially aggressive nature, I would recommend adding Purple Striped Dottybacks later. It is good to allow other fish to establish a territory before adding this fish. They should do well with fish such as Clownfish, Dwarf Angelfish, Wrasses, Damsels, Hawkfish, Gobies, and other fish that get a little larger than the Purple Striped Dottyback. I do not recommend adding other Pseudochromis with this fish because you will likely see constant fighting between the two.


Because of their aggressive and territorial nature, breeding this fish species is practically impossible.

Final Notes

The Purple Striped Dottyback is a vibrant fish. Although it doesn’t have the best personality, it is a great starter fish and provides unique behavior for hours of enjoyment. Overall, they are great fish, especially if you understand their temperament. If you have any comments or information on this fish, please let me know! Also, if you’re interested in other dottyback species, check out the dottyback information page by following the link.

Image by Bernard DUPONT on wikiMedia