Neon Dottyback: A Guide to Tank Mates, Aggression, and Reef Safety

neon dottyback

Neon dottyback is a popular and vibrant fish that can add a touch of color and personality to your aquarium. If you’re considering adding a neon dottyback to your fish tank, it’s essential to understand its size, tank mates, aggression levels, tank size requirements, reef compatibility, and proper care. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about neon dottybacks to ensure a successful and harmonious aquarium setup.

neon dottyback

Neon Dottyback Size

Measuring in at an average size of around 3 inches (7.5 cm), the neon dottyback or Pseudochromis aldabraensis is among the smaller breeds of fish. Although females are known to be marginally bigger than males, these creatures possess a compressed physique that popularizes them within smaller aquarium arrangements.

Neon Dottyback Tank Mates

They can coexist with various tank mates, provided careful consideration is given to their compatibility and behavior. While they can be territorial and sometimes aggressive, there are suitable tank mates that can live harmoniously with neon dottybacks. Here are some recommended tank mates for neon dottybacks:

  1. Clownfish: Clownfish, with their peaceful nature and unique coloration, make excellent companions for neon dottybacks. They can inhabit different areas of the tank, reducing the chances of territorial conflicts.
  2. Gobies: Many species of gobies are compatible with neon dottybacks. Gobies are known for their small size, peaceful demeanor, and interesting behaviors such as burrowing in the sand. They can add diversity to your tank.
  3. Blennies: Blennies are another suitable choice for tank mates. These fish have a similar size to neon dottybacks and generally possess a calm temperament. They are known for their entertaining antics and unique appearances.
  4. Damsels: Certain types of damselfish can coexist with neon dottybacks. However, it’s important to choose damselfish species that are known to be less aggressive and not prone to territorial behavior.

When introducing tank mates to the aquarium, it’s recommended to add them after the neon dottyback has established its territory. This can help minimize aggression and reduce the chances of territorial disputes. Additionally, providing ample hiding spots, caves, and visual barriers within the tank can help create separate territories and alleviate aggression.

It’s crucial to closely monitor the interactions between the neon dottyback and its tank mates. If any signs of aggression or stress are observed, it may be necessary to rearrange the tank or consider rehoming certain individuals to maintain a peaceful and harmonious environment for all inhabitants.

Neon Dottyback Aggression

Neon dottybacks have a reputation for being semi-aggressive fish. While they may exhibit territorial behavior, their aggression level can vary depending on the individual and their environment. It’s essential to provide plenty of hiding spots and visual barriers within the aquarium to reduce potential conflicts.

Neon Dottyback Tank Size

Considering their size and territorial nature, it’s recommended to provide them with an aquarium of at least 20 gallons (75 liters) in capacity. This size allows them to establish their territory while providing enough swimming space for their well-being. Providing ample hiding spots, caves, and crevices within the tank will help them feel secure.

Neon Dottyback and Reef Safety

Neon dottybacks are generally considered reef safe, but caution should be exercised when introducing them to a reef aquarium. They may nip at small ornamental crustaceans like shrimps and smaller-sized reef fish. Large and fast-moving reef inhabitants are usually safe from their aggression.

To ensure the safety of your reef tank, it’s important to carefully observe their behavior when introduced. If signs of aggression towards other tank inhabitants are observed, it may be necessary to rehome them to prevent any harm to the delicate reef ecosystem.

neon dottyback

Neon Dottyback Care

Proper care is essential to maintain the health and well-being of your neon dottyback. Here are some important care guidelines to follow:

  1. Tank Parameters: They thrive in saltwater aquariums with stable water conditions. Maintain a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C) and a specific gravity of 1.020-1.025. Regularly monitor and maintain appropriate levels of pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
  2. Diet: They are carnivorous predators. Offer them a varied diet consisting of high-quality marine-based foods such as frozen or live brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, finely chopped seafood, and prepared marine pellets. It’s important to feed them small amounts multiple times a day to mimic their natural feeding habits.
  3. Aquarium Decor: Create a well-decorated tank with live rock, corals, and other suitable structures to provide hiding places and territories for them. They enjoy exploring crevices and caves, so make sure to incorporate these features into the aquarium setup.
  4. Water Quality: Perform regular water changes to maintain excellent water quality. Aim for a 10-20% water change every two weeks to remove accumulated toxins and replenish essential minerals and trace elements.
  5. Compatibility: When introducing new tank mates, carefully research their compatibility with neon dottybacks. Avoid aggressive or territorial species that may trigger conflicts. Monitor the interactions closely and be prepared to make adjustments if necessary.
  6. Observation: Regularly observe the behavior, appetite, and overall health of your fish. Look for any signs of stress, disease, or abnormal behavior. If any issues arise, seek advice from a qualified aquarium professional or veterinarian specializing in fish health.


Neon dottybacks are beautiful and lively fish that can be a vibrant addition to your saltwater aquarium. By understanding their size, tank mates, aggression levels, tank size requirements, reef safety, and proper care, you can create a suitable environment for them to thrive. Remember to provide adequate space, consider compatible tank mates, and maintain optimal water quality. With proper care and attention, they will mesmerize you with their vibrant colors and energetic personality.


  1. Q: Are neon dottybacks suitable for beginners?
    A: They require some experience in keeping saltwater aquariums. They have specific care needs and can exhibit aggression, which may require careful management.
  2. Q: Can neon dottybacks be kept in a community tank?
    A: While they can coexist with certain tank mates, it’s important to choose non-aggressive species and monitor their interactions closely.
  3. Q: Are neon dottybacks prone to any specific diseases?
    A: They can be susceptible to common saltwater fish diseases such as ich (white spot disease). Maintaining excellent water quality and a stress-free environment can help prevent such diseases.
  4. Q: How long do neon dottybacks typically live?
    A: With proper care, they can live for around 5-8 years in captivity.
  5. Q: Can they be kept in a reef tank with corals?
    A: They are generally considered reef-safe, but caution should be exercised as they may nip at small ornamental crustaceans and smaller-sized reef fish.

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