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Splendid Dottyback – Complete Care Guide

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Splendid Dottyback

Splendid Dottyback Facts

The Splendid Dottyback (Manonichthys splendens) sometimes called the Splendid Pseudochromis is a gorgeous saltwater fish with blue, yellow, and pink colorations throughout its body. There are many types of dottybacks and if you’re looking for a more peaceful one, take a look at the Orchid Dottyback. Otherwise, this article will discuss Splendid Dottyback aquarium requirements, food & diet, tank mates, and more.

Aquarium Requirements

Splendid Dottybacks grow to about 3″ in size, and will likely be more aggressive the smaller the aquarium is. With this knowledge, they should not be kept in anything smaller than 30 gallons, but bigger is always better. The aquarium should have live rock with different-sized crevices to provide cover and territory options for this fish and many others.

I highly recommend providing a well fitted lid for your aquarium This will help prevent any possibility of a fish jumping out.

Water Parameters

Splendid Dottybacks have very similar water parameter requirements to most saltwater fish kept in this hobby. Keeping them within range and stable is important to keep your aquarium system and fish happy and healthy. The following are the water parameters needed by this fish species.

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

Is the Splendid Dottyback Reef Safe?

The Splendid Dottyback is reef safe. The only thing they are a danger to is ornamental shrimp like the Sexy Shrimp or others that it can eat. This fish should not mess with other invertebrates or corals.

Food & Diet

This species of fish has a similar diet to other types of dottyback. They are carnivorous fish so do best being fed Mysis Shrimp, Brine Shrimp, Krill, and other meaty foods. I would also provide them with protein-rich pellet food as a supplemental addition to their diet. Splendid Dottybacks should readily take food because they generally are not picky eaters.

Tank Mates

Due to their semi-aggressive tendencies, Splendid Dottybacks should be introduced into the aquarium later. Doing so will hopefully allow other fish to establish themselves before adding one that may become aggressive/territorial. The problem with finding good tank mates for this fish is that they won’t hesitate to defend themselves against fish that are 3 or 4 times larger.

They should do well with Clownfish, Damselfish, Cardinals, Dwarf Angels, Foxfaces, Gobies, and more. Just be aware that each fish has a different temperament. Some Splendid Dottybacks may be model citizens but also many fishkeepers claim this species can be very aggressive.

I would avoid keeping this fish species with others that are similar in shape and color. They will likely be aggressive towards other Dottybacks, Blennies, and Basslets.


You can purchase captive-bred Splendid Dottybacks but I do not have experience with breeding this fish. I feel it will be generally impossible in most aquarium settings because of their aggression.

Final Notes

Splendid Dottybacks could be a great addition to your saltwater fish tank. Their aggression may get them into trouble, but their colors make up for their temperament. If you have experience with the Splendid Dottyback, let me know. Also, learn more about saltwater fish by following the link.

Image by Jenny (JennyHuang) on wikiMedia