How to Care for Orchid Dottybacks


With their bodies that range in hue from lighter shades of purple to a deep orchid color, the orchid dottyback fish, which is native to the Red Sea, is becoming a common aquarium fish around the world. Thriving in warm water conditions, orchid dottybacks can live to be 7 years old and grow to a length of 3 inches. By providing the proper environment, these saltwater fish can easily be kept in your home.

Step 1

Purchase a 30- to 50-gallon aquarium tank from your local pet supply store. Orchid dottybacks require an aquarium of at least 30 gallons to achieve excellent health.

Step 2

Add 3 to 4 inches of aquarium gravel into the bottom of the aquarium.

Step 3

Place artificial or real aquarium plants into the aquarium along with one or two aquarium logs. Focus on planting larger plants in the back corners of the aquarium, and place some smaller plants around the aquarium log(s) to create hiding places for the fish.

Step 4

Fill the aquarium with water. Allow the water to come within 1 inch of the top of the aquarium for proper water flow.

Step 5

Place an aquarium heater into the aquarium, and set the heater to maintain the water at a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees F.

Step 6

Add water treatment to the aquarium (pet stores routinely sell this) to remove any harmful chemicals such as chlorine from the aquarium. These chemicals could be detrimental to the orchid dottyback's health.'

Step 7

Allow the aquarium to circulate for 24 hours before adding the orchid dottyback fish.

Step 8

Feed the orchid dottyback fish with tropical fish flakes twice per day; once in the morning and once in the evening.

Step 9

Change 10 to 15 percent of the aquarium water monthly to ensure a proper bacterial balance.

Step 10

Provide the orchid dottyback with proper amounts of light. Turn on the aquarium light when you wake up, and turn it off when you go to bed. This will mimic the light conditions in the wild.

Things You'll Need

  • 30- to 50-gallon aquarium
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Artificial/real plants
  • Aquarium heater
  • Aquarium water treatment
  • Log(s)
  • Tropical fish food


  • Fishlore: Orchid Dottyback
  • Reef Keeping - Fish Profile: Orchid Dottyback
Keywords: Orchid Dottyback Care, Orchid Dottyback Fish, Orchid Dottyback Aquarium

About this Author

Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on sites such as eHow.