Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby ichthyogeek » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:17 pm

Um....I'm new here, so please forgive any mistakes I make.
I have a 29 gallon display tank that currently houses a valentini puffer and a strawberry dottyback. While not now, I would like to breed fish in the future, currently about 2+ years away. I don't think that puffers are commonly bred yet, and while interesting, I would like to succeed somewhat in my first breeding attempt. Therefore, I would either like to breed ocellaris clownfish or strawberry dottybacks. Currently, the only filtration in the tank is a Coralife 65 needle wheel skimmer and a filter sock in the sump, and a large amount of red Gracilaria (I think) in the display. Would it be better for the tank overall if I added a juvenile strawberry dotty back (not sexually mature), or a pair of juvenile clownfish? I am also thinking of adding a yellowtail damselfish to help with eating the leftovers from the puffer's eating habits. I recently just started feeding whole shrimp to both fish, and am thinking of supplementing with squid. The diet also consists of live black worms and clams on the half shell for both fish, and Omega One mini marine pellets for the dottyback and hermit crabs for the puffer. From what I understand from reading Wittenrich's Breeder's Guide, the current dotty back would be a male due to the species being protogynous hermaphrodites. What age do dottybacks start to become sexually mature? Clownfish become male or female based on which fish is dominant (usually by size). What would be the pros and cons of breeding clownfish versus breeding the dottybacks? If I got a juvenile, I would make an egg crate cage, and if the ocellaris pair, then the dottyback would go to the sump for a while. Either way, I refuse to get rid of either of the fish in the current tank.
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby Luis A M » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:20 pm

Welcome to MOFIB! :D
Breeding marines is an exciting though challenging matter,and you are right starting planning well in advance. :wink:
SW puffers have not been bred,perhaps because adults get too large for normal tanks.Valentini might be better in that respect.
Strawberries are especially aggresive and mating a pair will be tough.Orchids (P.fridmani) are a much better choice.Of course you can keep both pairs in your tank;clowns and dotties.And a pair of YTD (C.parasema).But for scavengers shrimps work better than damsels.
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby ichthyogeek » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:33 pm

Thank you Luis A M! Unfortunately, I only have one saltwater tank, and that's the way it will have to stay for a relatively long time. Just to clarify, are you saying that I can keep an ocellaris pair, a porphyreus pair, a parasema pair, AND the valentini?! Wouldn't that be vastly overstocking the tank? I only plan on breeding one species, either ocellaris or porphyreus. I'm leaning towards porphyreus because I would be adding one less fish which would reduce bioload on the aquarium. How did you pair your parasemas? I'm thinking about buying 3, and then returning the 3rd one after 2 pair off. So that would make it: 2 C. parasema, 2 P. porphyreus, and a valentini puffer. Regarding the puffer and shrimp, wouldn't the dottyback and puffer just eat any shrimp I add to the tank? While breeding/keeping any type of shrimp seems interesting, I don't think I want to throw away 15$ US just to watch the shrimp be eaten. I'm confused on how shrimp would be better scavengers than damsels in a puffer tank, seeing that I'm looking for something that will scavenge the bits and pieces of clams/shrimp that the puffer tears off and doesn't eat.
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby Luis A M » Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:42 pm

I don´t know about the valentini,how big is it?.But for small species like we are talking,you can keep several pairs in your 29g.Of course you should set a bioball tower in your sump.If several pairs are spawning in this tank,you can pull any nest when you want to raise some.
Shrimps,or little crabs,go picking little leftovers at night.No way a small dotty can take a large shrimp.Sexing YTD is like sexing parrots,easy,but only for trained eyes :lol: Your best bet is to find two sharing a tank at your LFS;these will be a mated pair :wink:
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby ichthyogeek » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:01 pm

The valentini is about an inch/2.5 cm long, but it did take apart a mithrax crab a week after the crab's addition to the tank. As interested as I am in breeding, multiple pairs does not seem foreseeable in the future. 4-5 fish seems to be pushing it in my tank. The dottyback is about 2.5 inches/ 6.25 cm. Since it is already quite big, should I assume that it is male due to the species being protogynous hermaphrodites? My idea about the damselfish was that as the puffer ate, food particles would get tossed into the water column, and then eaten by the damselfish; my banana wrasse (H. chrysus) used to do the same thing...until something spooked it onto the floor.
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby ichthyogeek » Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:18 pm

ok, due to restraints on tank space and money, I've decided to go with the valentini toby, a pair of strawberry dottybacks, and a pair of yellowtail damselfish. What would be a good size for the dottyback I am going to add into the aquarium? Or can they change sex if they're put into a submissive role at adult size? Regarding the yellowtail damselfishes, would it be possible for somebody to give a description of any differences between the sexes, or post pictures? Thank you!
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby Luis A M » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:33 pm

Pairing the Pictichromis porphireus will be a hard work.Get the smaller possible fish and set it separated with a partition,with lots of cover such as PVC elbows on it´s side.Regarding the YTDs you have to find a pair in a LFS,as I said or else buy a small group and see when a pair is formed and remove the others before they get killed.I don´t think Chrysiptera could change sex :?
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby ichthyogeek » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:56 pm

The P. porphyreus will be put in an egg crate cage, and PVC elbows will be added along with a clump of Chaetomorpha. What size is about "juvenile" size? I've found much smaller ones (about 1 inch-2 inches), but how big is too big before the fish can't change the sex anymore?

For the YTD's, I think that the best option for me is to buy a small group. How small? Will pairing them be like with freshwater cichlids: buying a group of 5-6 and hoping that at least one is male, one is female? Could I get away with buying 3 instead? Or would that create an accidental harem like your C. parasema and C. hemicyanea trio? If I buy 3, the odd one out could be put into the egg crate cage and nursed back to health before returning to the LFS.

Should I buy the dottyback first, and then add the group of damsels? Or would I be better off adding the damsels first, and the dottyback later?
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby Luis A M » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:25 am

As I said,the smaller you can find.Your fish doesn´t go thru egg crate?.They are said to reverse sex change when turned to a submissive condition.
With YTD damsels,you´ll see a larger aggressive fish;this is a male.The most attacked fish could be other male,must be removed.Then some female could be attacked,by him or by other females.Then you end with a pair,or a trio,which is an unstable association that might end in the future.
Put the damsels first.I prefer the "wall" vs the "cage",but good luck with it.
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby ichthyogeek » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:48 pm

The egg crate is too small for the dottyback to fit through, and the puffer can only get his snout through :). So should I put in the juvenile into the tank first, and then move it into the cage once the male realizes that their is another fish in the tank? I can't really add a wall, due to this being a display tank, and making the tank look very bad is not good. Taking out a small corner from the top part where nobody ever looks on the other hand is fine.

Ok, just to clarify, the YTD trio will have an alpha male, and a very bullied fish(submissive male/female), and a...neutral?...fish, which is most likely a female? If two out of the three fish are cowering in the corners, should I assume that all the fish are of one sex?

When adding the damselfish, should I relocate the dottyback to the cage/sump for awhile to help with acclimation? Or will all the fish be okay with being in the tank together?
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby Luis A M » Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:56 pm

A wall set across the tank (front to back) doesn´t affect the look so much,and after all,it is only temporary.The bonus is that your little dotty will be able to leave and return to her refuge as wished. 8)
A cage won´t work,IMO. :?
Again,put a small group of damsels and remove injured,dead,and those cowering at a surface corner.You end with a pair,sometimes a trio.
Both species are aggressive with conspecifics,don´t care about others.
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby ichthyogeek » Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:55 pm

I was under the impression that once a juvenile turns female, then the male will leave her alone, and they will act kind of like clownfish. Is that not true? What if I cut out a hole in the egg crate that's small enough to let the female in/out, but not the male?
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby ichthyogeek » Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:06 pm

Luis, how long do the fish take to form pairs? Just as a general rule for the damselfish and dottybacks. I got 4 C. hemicyanea on Wednesday. Obviously, it would not take just a week, but 3-4 months to whittle the group down to 2?
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby Luis A M » Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:25 pm

They don´t pair off in the sense of clowns.They just tolerate each other and spawn frequently.They could be a pair or sometimes a trio.I now have trios of P.fridmani getting along.
Some damsels,like Dascyllus are protogynous hermaphrodites.I am not sure about the other damsels;I never saw Chrysiptera changing sex.It would be an interesting project to keep a small group of sexual dimorphic form females and see if one of them changes to male... :idea:
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Re: Dottyback vs Clownfish?

Postby ichthyogeek » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:04 am

Sigh* common sense caught up to me again. I was finalizing plans on buying the dottybacks when I realized that next year I'm going to college, and asking my parents to maintain rotifers and microalgae cultures is as feasible as expecting a cat to not kill a mouse (impossible). Without breeding, I also can't expect the broodstock to not kill each other either (the dottybacks, not the damsels). I still have absolutely no idea which of the 4 damsels is a male or a female, and only one has been consistently chased down into the sump, so there's that too. Basically, I'm going to have to delay breeding species that require rotifer and microalgae culture, which narrows it down to one species: Pterapogon kauderni. On the plus side, my dad really likes feeding my fish, so they'll always be perfectly conditioned when I can ever go home to try breeding. For now, I'm going to go frequent the banggai cardinal section of this site, and will update this again when I can afford to keep rotifers/copepods/microalgae again. When I can finally breed a dottyback or damselfish, I'll update this again. Thanks Luis for all your help!
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