This might be the first time we’ve ever had a live aquarium animal to review but seeing as the Black Neon Dottyback is an artifact of captive bred hybridization, we want to tell you why this fish has quickly become a favorite in our menagerie of aquariums. For starters, we’ve always loved the long tapering bodies and elegant finnage of West Indian dottybacks, most notably the parents which make up the Black Neon Dottyback, the Arabian dottyback, Pseudochromis aldabraensis, and Springer’s dottyback, P. springeri.
What makes the black neon dottyback so enticing is the perfect blend of its parents colors; Springer’s dottyback has a beautifully blue-striped face which is contrasted boldy by its deep black coloration. Meanwhile the arabian dottyback has a lighter body coloration but stripes which go all the way down the sides of the body and into the fins. The black neon dottyback is essentially a dark arabian dottyback with brighter blue facial stripes.
We first got a small Black Neon Dottyback from Sea & Reef Aquaculture earlier this year and at that point the true and full potential of its adult coloration could only be dreamed of. However with its near adult size of 3.5 inches the Black Neon Dottyback is now truly shining and we are loving it for its personality and unique aquarium behavior. The Black Neon Dottyback is extremely inquisitive and it is so easy to spot looking back at the aquarist from between aquarium corals and rockscape due to its highlighter colored face.
Like all captive bred fish, the man-made black neon dottyback which probably grew up with a fair amount of tank mates is significantly more docile than either of tis parents would be if they were wild-caught. For us this means that we’ve been peacefully keeping the Black neon dottyback with an Indian Ocean Lemonpeel angelfish and a platinum clownfish in a 29 gallon aquarium for most of this year with an absolute dearth of aggression.
In most cases when a manmade hybrids are created in a captive bred setting, the resulting hybrid offspring usually dilutes and muddies the color of its parents, a perfect case in point being the Resplendent Cherubfish – a very beautiful fish in its own right but not nearly as brilliantly colored as either of its parents. Meanwhile the Black Neon Dottyback imports the best traits of both the Arabian and Springer’s dottybacks.
If the Black Neon Dottyback were a wild-caught hybrid fish it would fetch so much money from collectors. Thankfully since the black neon dottyback is a man-made hybrid available in reasonable supply from Sea & Reef and ORA, this is one very unique fish that all of us can afford to enjoy. [Sea & Reef Aquaculture]