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FAQs on Fresh to Brackish Water Gobioid Fishes

Related Articles: Fresh to Brackish Gobioid Fishes

Related FAQs: Violet/Dragon Gobies, Bumblebees, Knight Gobies, Sleepers, Brackish Water Fishes in General

Hypseleotris compressa (Krefft 1864), the Empire Gudgeon

desert goby from Australia... env., fdg., comp.     5/16/14
Hi guys
<Hello Will,>
re: Desert Goby, Chlamydogobius eremius from Australia.
I was wondering if I can place a desert goby in a brackish tank that will range from sg of 1.008 to 1.015.
<Yes, but likely excessive; would go for around 1.003-1.005 so you can have lots of plants and economise on the salt.>
Will he be compatible with:
1. mudskippers who will spend most of the time on land.
<Food for the Mudskippers, I'm betting. Well, if bite-sized, anyway; Mudskippers are very opportunistic feeders.>
2. bumblee bee gobies - will they become snacks to the dessert goby.
<Not really, provided they're of similar size. But in all honesty I wouldn't mix them...>
As a mudskipper tank is always shallow. Will that level (or volume) of water meets the desert goby requirements?
<The thing with Desert Gobies is they're a short-lived species under tropical temperatures. A room-temperature tank (say, around 18-22 C) warming up a bit in summer works well. You get to enjoy them for a year or so, and in the summer they'll breed readily. The fry are easy to rear, so with a bit of luck you can have a stable population.>
thank you guys.
Wil
<All the best, Neale.>
Re: desert goby from Australia    5/16/14

great information. thank you very much. ill give the set up a shot and i will share it. thanks
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Dragon Goby Stuck in Cave   /RMF     4/22/12
Hi, my name is Susan.  I have a BW tank for my dragon goby.  He is about 14" long and pretty thick. We also have hollow rocks that make great caves, especially when the dragon goby was smaller.  Well I was gathering up some mollies to move them to another tank and I think I spooked the dragon goby.
 When he didn't come out to eat, I searched the tank and found him squished inside a rock.  He is not coming out and feels pretty packed in there.  I can break the rock since its ceramic, but I don't want to hurt him in the process.
I also thought these fish might be air breathers and I'm thinking he is probably dead.  Is there a way to break the rock without hurting him? 
Should I break the rock?  Thank you very much for your time.  You guys have a great website and do a great service to the fish keeping community. 
Susan
<I would break this ceramic... just underwater... from the "head end" where the goby is stuck... with a metal tool... likely a wrench... Bob Fenner>
Dragon Goby Stuck in Cave   /Neale     4/22/12

Hi, my name is Susan.
<Hello, Susan!>
I have a BW tank for my dragon goby.  He is about 14" long and pretty thick. We also have hollow rocks that make great caves, especially when the dragon goby was smaller.  Well I was gathering up some mollies to move them to another tank and I think I spooked the dragon goby.  When he didn't come out to eat, I searched the tank and found him squished inside a rock.  He is not coming out and feels pretty packed in there.  I can break the rock since its ceramic, but I don't want to hurt him in the process.
<I can see that would be a risk.>
I also thought these fish might be air breathers and I'm thinking he is probably dead.
<Hmm… wouldn't bank on it just yet. These fish are normally quite resilient.>
Is there a way to break the rock without hurting him?
<Yes, assuming this is ceramic or lava rock rather than a tough rock like limestone. Put the object on a wet towel. Tap firmly with a hammer. Hopefully he'll slither out before the thing actually breaks, but ceramic is pretty brittle and should break with little harm to the enclosed fish. If actually rock, then things become riskier. I'd wait a 3-4 hours, but if he's still in there, I'd do as above, but carefully.>
Should I break the rock?  Thank you very much for your time.  You guys have a great website and do a great service to the fish keeping community. 
Susan
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Dragon Goby Stuck in Cave      4/22/12

<I would break this ceramic... just underwater... from the "head end" where the goby is stuck... with a metal tool... likely a wrench... Bob Fenner>
<<Ah, you see I thought to break the ceramic outside of the water… easier to be careful and less concussive force transmitted through air than water, so less shock to the fish. On the other hand, in the water will provide cushioning against damage, to some degree at least, lacking in air. Six of one, half dozen of the other… Neale.>>
<I just hope this fish will be okay. B>
Re: Dragon Goby Stuck in Cave    5/6/12

I greatly appreciate you both for your help. Sadly it was too late for my favorite fish. Again thank you for your quick response.
Susan
<Thank you for this follow-up. Will share w/ Neale. BobF> 

Hello, BW Goby ID    2/25/09 I had a customer come into my shop looking for what he called a "Kabong Goby". He said it was a brackish fish looked nothing like a goby. It has a long snout like a gar, lots of teeth, spends most of the time upside-down, and acts like an ambush predator. I was wondering if you've heard of this fish or if you know of it under a different name. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Carl <Hello Carl. There are a few things this might be, and without a photo it's difficult to say for certain. But the two fish most commonly traded that match this description are Butis butis and Oxyeleotris marmorata. The former is relatively small, to around 15 cm, while the other is a real tank buster at over 60 cm, and said to be largest of all the "gobies" (in the general sense). Both are predators, though both easy enough to train to take non-feeder fish foods, and obviously if you are using feeder fish, they should not be goldfish or minnows, but algae-fed livebearers. Since Butis spp. are small and happily take invertebrates, they're fine on the usual bloodworms and such. Oxyeleotris are best maintained on earthworms, river shrimps, etc. Butis are brackish water to marine fish, Oxyeleotris more freshwater fish though slightly brackish conditions may be helpful under aquarium conditions. Cheers, Neale.> re: Hello Thank you very much. I'll forward this info to my customer and we'll go from there. Carl <Good luck, Neale.>

FW/BW Bumblebee Goby 10/10/06 I purchased a 'freshwater' Bumblebee goby three days ago and put him in my Endler's tank, an Eclipse 12. <No quarantine? I just lost upwards of 8 mollies in my brackish tank because of not quarantining a new addition for long enough...> There are eight adult Endler's in there, along with many tiny fry. It's heavily planted with Cabomba on top and lots of java moss on the bottom, along with a small piece of bog wood and a fake log. I have one tsp. of salt per gallon of water and the temperature is 75degrees. The problem is the Bumble Bee shows no interest in eating. I had hoped he would feast on the fry but they swim right past him and he ignores them. I even witnessed a small fry bump against his snout as it swam by.! He isn't shy, as now he spends much time resting on top of the moss in the middle of the tank. Any advice? <This is likely not a true "freshwater"...There are two distinct species of bumblebee gobies: Brachygobius xanthozona and Brachygobius nunus, the first being able to better "tolerate" freshwater, the latter needing strictly brackish (around 1.005 SG). See here for more info.: http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/breeding/McKane_Bumblebee_Gobies.html You will have to establish a separate brackish tank for the goby, or find a more suitable home (probably not the LFS, if they can't even correctly identify him) for him.  From what I know, Endler's livebearers can't handle brackish water; you should slowly acclimate the bumblebee, whichever species it is, to a more suitable salinity.  See also here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobioids.htm Thanks, Gregg. <Hope I've helped.  Jorie>

FW/BW Bumblebee Goby: Table Salt vs. Aquarium or Marine salt.  10/10/2006 Thanks for the tips Jorie. <You're welcome.> I'm almost certain this Goby is the more freshwater tolerant Brachygobius xanthozona variety. The stripes and coloration look right. I will read up more on appropriate salt level for them. By the way, I added a level Tsp. of noniodized table salt per gallon to my tank. the Endler's and plants don't seem to mind but should I use aquarium or marine salt instead? <You definitely should be using either aquarium or marine salt, not table salt - these are very different.  I personally use Instant Ocean marine salt in my brackish tank.  I'd suggest doing enough water changes to remove the table salt, then very carefully increasing the salinity with either aquarium or marine salt. Do invest in a hydrometer if you don't have one. The  table salt is very likely why the goby isn't happy at the moment - I'm surprised the Endler's are OK, to be honest.  Endler's livebearers aren't brackish, and even though the goby can "tolerate" freshwater, that doesn't mean he will thrive.  In all reality, you've got two types of fish with very different requirements that really don't belong together.  For the best interest of all, I still recommend separating the two, and making the goby's tank brackish.> Thanks again. Gregg. <You're welcome.  Good luck, Jorie>

Escape-Goby  1/22/06 Hi, Pufferpunk here>      As I got out of bed one morning, I made the unfortunate discovery that my violet goby had escaped the tank and was lying half-dried upon the floor. It was still alive, so I immediately placed it back into its brackish aquarium. Ever since then, it keeps its dragon-like fins retracted close to its body and seems a little red around the gills. Furthermore, I have not seen him/her eat a single thing. What is the best course of action I could take? <Are you sure it's still alive?  I'd just leave it alone for a while & not try to feed it.  Add Melafix to the water & make sure it's in brackish water.  Tape up any openings in your hood, so this doesn't happen again.   ~PP>   - Darel

Night Gobies? Actually "Knight" Gobies - Stigmatogobius sadanundio - 11/09/2005 Hi. I was directed to your website during my search for night gobies.  <Mm, actually, it's knight gobies.... as in soldier, not as in after dark. This is the trouble with common names. Try Stigmatogobius sadanundio .> I have a pair of night gobies, and they have just recently laid eggs. Is there anything that I should know about the gobies <Oh, sure.... I would recommend browsing through our FAQs  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobifaqs.htm  and posting in our forums  http://www.wetwebfotos.com/talk  - past Crewmember/forum member Ananda has bred these, and may have some pointers for you.> I have separated the gobies from the eggs, <Mm, I do believe Daddy is useful to the eggs (prior to hatching).... without him, some form of circulation will be necessary.... You might try coupling the "correct" common name (if ever there were such a thing) with "breeding" in a Google search.> along with the other fish that were in the tank. If you could throw me some pointers I would REALLY appreciate it! It seems that no one knows about night gobies, and there seems to be nothing online about them.  <No, but you'll find much on knight gobies (grin).> Thanks so much for your time. -Lindsey <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Bum Bum Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee Gobies (not tuna) 10/22/05 Please can I ask for some advice?  <Sure, it's Pufferpunk at your service!> I have two tanks at present, one is a 30 litre BiOrb (established for 6 months) and the other a 15 litre nursery tank (established for 5 months). I have in the BiOrb 2 bumble bee gobies, that seem to be doing great. The temp is good. I have added aquarium salt and feed flakes to them and the other fish in the community. I have had them 3 months now. Is there anything else I can feed them to give them some variety? I heard they should have live food (yuch) but I cannot readily obtain this. <Live brine shrimp will do as a treat (not very nutritious, being mostly water) & live blackworms (great source of protein). Both are good as live foods. More available foods are freeze-dried plankton or bloodworms. Aquarium salt does not make brackish water though.  To make water brackish, you should be using marine salt & measure it with a hydrometer. A specific gravity of 1.005 should suit them well. If you have any freshwater fish in with them though, they will not appreciate this much salt (comes to roughly around 1 cup salt/5gallon).> Also, last week I went and bought another 2 for my nursery tank which currently has no fry. Was this a wise idea? Will they thrive just as well as the others, being the only fish in the tank and will they eat any fry that I do add?  <They should be fine without any tank mates. They will eat anything they can fit into their mouth.> Thanks for your advice <Enjoy your little bees! ~PP> Lesley from Dunfermline Scotland 

Tank Mates for Violet Gobies 10/22/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have a Violet Goby and I would like to know what are their tankmates? I keep him in brackish water and I have a 20 gallon tank. I am getting a 55-100 gallon around Christmas. I have no other fish in there with him. He is about 4-5 inches long. I have been told a dinosaur eel would be good but I am not sure. Please tell me some tankmates. Thanks in advance for the help. <The "dinosaur eel" or Polypterus, is not a BW fish. In the tank you have now, you could keep the goby with other gobies, like knights or bumblebees. When you get a larger tank, you could add more gobies or even a few figure 8 puffers. The problem with your goby is competition for food. Once you add other fish with them, there is a large chance they will be out-competed for food & starve. They are filter feeders & practically blind. Are you using marine salt to make his tank brackish? See: http://badmanstropicalfish.com/brackish/brackish.html for more ideas. ~PP>

Goby with Mouth fungus   10/6/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Good morning Crew - your site has been an incredible resource to me for a loooong time. Thank you all so much!! <You're very welcome!> On to the terrible situation: I recently purchased a Violet Goby (Dragon goby). He (or she) is roughly 6 inches long and appeared healthy in the freshwater tank in which he was being kept for 3 weeks at the LFS. I assumed that this fish was acclimated to freshwater from his stay at the store and when I brought him home I put him in my cycled freshwater QT tank. <Still though, it needs to be kept in brackish water.> Well, it's only been 3 days and his health has immediately dropped. His physical symptoms are a bleeding, white-rimmed mouth, faded color, and he is not eating. It's terrible to behold and I'm in absolute horror. I immediately contacted the fish store to see if could possibly return him to "safety" but they are closed for a week. Here are my QT tank parameters: capacity is 10 gallons PH is right around 7.8 Alkalinity is stable Zero nitrite and ammonia Temp. ranges from 74-78 I have fluorescent light on 10 hours per day water hardness is high Nitrate is between 20 and 40 ppm (on the high side) I treat the water with AquaSafe, a small amount of Stress Coat, and a very small amount of aquarium salt. Only tankmate is a small algae-eater (my QT janitor) The nitrates couldn't be causing this fish detrimental distress, right? The only thing I can think of is the gravel is larger grade stuff and he could have injured himself sifting for food. It almost appears that he has mouth fungus, but as I have never seen anything quite like this, I am hesitant to treat. However, I do have "Maroxy" in my fishy supply cabinet if this is the case. I have attached pictures of the Goby's mouth. Please be warned that they are disturbing. What is your advice at this point? I feel terrible and at fault - it breaks my heart to see this fish in distress and pain, but my hands are tied until I know what the cause is. I am changing a small amount of the water every 4 hours to lower nitrates. http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b360/Meechity/goby2.jpg http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b360/Meechity/goby1.jpg Thank you very much for your time, and I'm sorry to have bad news like this to dampen your day :o( <It looks to me, that the goby has damaged it's mouth foraging through some extremely rough or dirty  gravel.  These fish are filter feeders that scoop up sand into their mouth & filter out food particles.  The Maroxy should help but I'd also add Melafix & Pimafix.  In addition, get marine salt & a hydrometer & raise the specific gravity of it's tank to 1.005.  It will take around 2 cups of salt (pre-dissolved) to reach this salinity.  The algae eater will not appreciate salt.  I doubt the fish will start to eat again until it's mouth is feeling better.  Make sure whatever foods you feed it reach the bottom of the tank, so the fish can find it (they are practically blind).   Generally, they do not eat flakes.  Mine loves blackworms, plankton, brine shrimp (as a treat only) & algae wafers.  Good luck, I hope he heals up quickly~  ~PP>

Eels and Dragonets do not mix'¦.  10/5/05 Hello I'm asking if there is a chance that my 13-inch white cheeked moray eel could have eaten my dragon goby. <I am not familiar with the common name dragon goby; by any chance do you mean a Dragonet or a Mandarin goby? Perhaps (Synchiropus splendidus)?  If this is your specimen then perhaps yes the eel could have eaten him, as they (the dragonets) are slow moving and nocturnal. As for the eel while they usually rely on crustaceans for food, a Dragonet would have been an easy target.> I have noticed that my dragon goby is missing, because he usually wanders around the tank. But the pet store that I bought him from said that the moray would not eat a dragon goby and that my fish was probably hiding. <Eels are predators.>  I have searched high and low for my dragon goby with no sight of him not even fins or anything you find as leftovers to a feeding. <If this fish in question is a dragonet, it's possible that it dies of other reasons. They are notoriously hard to care for with the majority of them starving in captivity.> I think it might have been my moray because of the lack of evidence that my dragonfish would have left like fins scales etc.. I really want to know for sure so I can see about getting a refund on my fish at the store. <Well, good luck with that. Adam J.> <<Mmm, these are brackish to marine animals, Gymnothorax and Gobioides... don't mix. BobF>>

Big Cat, brackish goby 9/30/05 Sorry to bother you again <no problem> ,but would a Red-Tailed Catfish be a good tankmate for a Violet Goby. I know that a Red-Tailed Catfish gets big and I am prepared for that, but I  have been keeping my Violet Goby in brackish water, I put in one teaspoon per gallon. Right now I have a 20 gallon, but in a week I am getting a 55 gallon. Thanks again for the help.  <As your situation stands you cannot adequately house a redtail catfish.  This fish grows to over three feet and rapidly outgrow a 50g, you need at least a 240g tank and he will outgrow this as well.  The redtail cat is also a strictly freshwater species, it will not acclimate to the conditions you are keeping your goby in.  I do not suggest this combination of fish.  Good luck, Heather-LinearChaos> Sexing Violet Goby 9/29/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here? Excuse me but do you know how to tell whether a violet goby is a boy or girl. Thanks in advance. <Sorry, but only the goby knows for sure.  Are you keeping it in brackish water?  ~PP>

Gobioides broussonettii in SW, Copper in foods  9/4/05 Hello, I have searched your FAQs for information on the Gobioides broussonettii, also known as the violet goby, or dragon fish. I was unable to obtain anything of help. I am aware that they are a brackish fish. Mine is currently in a fresh water tank with two Apteronotus albifrons, black ghost knife fish. I recently removed my snowflake eel from my 55 gallon saltwater tank and was curious if the dragon fish can be acclimated to the conditions of my reef tank. <Can be done... this fish is marine at times, in places. Here on fishbase.org: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=3856&genusname=Gobioides&speciesname=broussonettii> The lack of the eel leads me wanting something of its character. If this is possible, a procedure would be greatly appreciated. <Slowly... a few thousandths per week, raise the saltwater/salinity of the Goby's environment (sans the knives of course)> One more unrelated question. I recently noticed that both the flake food I use in my reef tank, (Wardley's) and the frozen brine shrimp, (Ocean Nutrition Brine Shrimp Plus) have copper sulfate listed in the ingredients. <A common preservative> I was under the impression this would kill invertebrates and have discontinued use but have had no adverse side affects. Any input on this matter also would be greatly devoured. I thank you for your time. <Can be problematical in "free" concentration (cupric ion), but there is not much in the foods, and this quickly "falls out of solution". Bob Fenner>

Help! Sick bumblebee goby Hi guys, <Ter> I have a bumblebee goby in a 3 gallon planted community tank along with a Dwarf Blue Gourami, a Gold dojo Loach, an Oto, and a couple ghost shrimp. All of them seem to be doing fine, except for the Goby lately. Ever since he lost his hiding place (a tunnel underneath a rock), he has stopped eating and started ignoring the live bloodworms I've been giving him, and also seems to have the skin around his mouth coming off. I thought it might be a fungal infection, so I tried treating the tank with Maracyn for 5 days ( at the LFS's recommendation) <...> but that didn't help. It looks like there are some translucent white pieces of skin being torn off around his mouth, and before, from behind his eyes. So now Day by day he seems to be getting skinnier, and his body color is getting paler. Can you offer any help?? Everybody else seems to be doing great. Thanks, Terence PS tank profile, Ammonia 0ppm, PH 7.2, Alkalinity 80ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 40ppm <Nitrate is too high, but the real root problem here is that this fish is not really freshwater, but brackish. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobioids.htm near the bottom... live foods, salt... Bob Fenner>

Violet Goby Hi I have had a violet goby now for about 3 months now and can't find out much on them ! My goby has a orange dot that looks like a egg in side the bottom fin, the one that looks like umbrella . I think it has gotten bigger now has a little white line on the inside. The lady at the pet store we bought her from said she didn't know, but there where two of them in there so do you think you can help ?  < Are you sure it's a goby and not a Dottyback? Also, please capitalize all your "i's" and no "u's" for you. It saves us time as we have to go and correct spelling, caps, etc, as these queries end up as FAQ's on the Wet Web. James (Salty Dog)> 

Dragon Goby Question We bought a Dragon Goby a few days ago, he is 3-4 inches long, a fairly good sized goby in perfect health. The other day we noticed a white/pink patch about the size of a dime in between his mid section and his tail, that had pink/red patches in it. We have no idea what it may be. My husband thought about parasites so took it upon himself to do a fresh-water bath for a few minutes. He did fine, but now it looks more like a flesh wound with streaks running through it. We have never had a disease in the tank before. When this happened he has pretty lethargic, not a lot of swimming or eating, and did not use his tail hardly at all. Right now he is still in our main tank since we do not have another place to put him. Please help before our other fish get sick. <... what sort of circumstances... system, food, tankmates... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobifaqs.htm re other people's accounts with this species... do any of their experiences relate to yours? Bob Fenner> Breeding The Marbled Goby Dear Bob, <Edgar> I have tons of questions about marbled goby since it caught my attention that seems nobody can breed them in captivity. Can they be breed in aquarium ? <As far as I know, Oxyeleotris marmorata has been in captivity: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=5376&genusname=Oxyeleotris&speciesname=marmorata This is an important food/aquaculture species in S.E. Asia> what's the different between male and female ? <Perhaps a difference in girth during gonad maturation?> do they breed like gudgeon ? <I suspect you are correct here> how come I couldn't find this information on the net? <It may be "proprietary"... a business secret... or likely, a matter of scientific, rather than hobbyist interest... You might try a large/college library search: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm> I've search all over the place and now I plea for your help. Edgar Tjai. <Perhaps you will be the one to do this, write it up... Bob Fenner>

White Cheeked Goby?  5/1/04 <Hi. Pufferpunk here> I recently acquired a Goby called a "White Cheek Goby" at my work (I work at a Pet Store), the supplier listed him as a Brackish fish, but that doesn't really mean a whole lot sometimes; however, I have been keeping him in my Brackish water tank and he has been thriving. He has increased in size and his scales have a lovely shine to them. He looks fairly un-morphed mudskipper-ish in the face, and typical goby in the body. He has two-tone grey markings along his body much like that of a Peppered Cory, and his fins have a yellowish sheen with a slight reddish tip to them. He moves like a Goby, constantly sinking to the bottom if not in motion and can even stick to the sides of the tank that have algae on them! Oh, and he's about 2.5 inches long at the moment. Any ideas crew? <Here is the white cheeked goby (Rhinogobius wui) http://www.petfish.net/wui.htm.  Is this your fish?  Very cute fella!  ~PP>   Thanks! Malli

The Mysterious Goby 5/2/04 Yes, that is my fish, I think I have a girl! Do you know anything about them? Will she do well in Brackish water? Any particulars or curious tid bits? <That page I gave you sounds pretty informative.  I have knight gobies (similar species).  They live in a light BW tank, with other gobies & F8 puffers.  Twill eat anything they can fit into their mouths, including crickets.  ~PP> Thanks again Malli (puffergurl ;)

Gobioides broussonettii "South African Dragonfish" 4/19/04 Hi! <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I found your site while trying to learn about this fish. They have recently appeared in my local PetSmart, priced just under $5. A tempting impulse purchase price for a really interesting looking fish! <Yes, definitely not an impulse purchase.> Trying to learn about them, I am getting an impression (not yet confirmed) that the PetSmart chain is carrying them in many other locations. <I've seen them for sale in a lot of shops around here.> So I'm thinking there may be a run on "Dragonfish" info, both from people who want to know what they're getting into first and from those who already bought the fish and can't get it to eat. Perhaps you could write, or refer us to, a summary of this fish's needs and habits? <Sure, I recently lost one I had kept in FW it's whole life (before I knew any better). by the time I realized the problem with keeping it in FW (grew red tumors all over), all my BW tanks were filled with fin-nipping puffers. I now have a new one in BW.> For instance, it's a brackish water fish -- how much salt is best?  Temperature, pH?  <crushed coral substrate), temp 80.>   It reaches 20" in length, but is a very eel-shaped fish; how much tank room will it need at maturity? <I'd say a tank that was at least 20" long.> Diet - brine shrimp and bloodworms are mentioned, would finely ground flake foods be any use? <I've never seen mine eat flakes, but it's possible. Since they are "filter feeders" & they scrounge through the gravel, shoveling it up with their mouth & "chin fin" (that's what I like to call it), scooping it up & spitting out substrate, swallowing whatever is in there (could be leftover flakes). Mine also love algae wafers. When I feed the tank worms in a cone feeder, he knows exactly where to wait!.> Since some people are having difficulty feeding them, how can buyers choose a fish that is in good condition and what can we do if we brought one of these home and it hasn't been properly fed in the store? <Just try to get one that is moving around a bit if poked at & doesn't look too thin. I doubt they are fed properly in a shop--too much competition. I saw one in a goldfish tank once. I doubt any food got near the bottom of that tank!> Well, that kind of thing. And anything else violet goby fans think new Dragonfish owners ought to know... <That's all I can think of. ~PP> Thanks!  Elizabeth B. Naime <Oh yeah, don't they remind you of the creature that pops out of that guy's chest in the movie, Alien?>

Violet Goby Hi. This is my first time owning fish and after the purchase of my tank I bought fish not knowing about the Cycle process. On of those fish was a violet goby, who is looking to be doing well and the tank is 18 days old. Now I was not told this fish was BW and have recently changed that. My Question is, is I heard Violet goby's are very slow fish that hang around on the bottom all the time. Well my goby likes the surface of the tank and pops his head out of the water a lot. Could you tell me if my Goby is alright? < Go to Marineland.com and got to the Dr. Tim's library header and look at the article titled " The First Thirty Days". This will give you some idea on what is going on with your new tank. I think that your goby may be suffering from ammonia or nitrite burns that may have affected his gills and  near the surface where the oxygen concentration in the water is at its highest level. Increase the aeration and decrease the water temp to the mid 70's for awhile until things get better.-Chuck>
Violet Goby, uncycled tank (two fer)
Hi. This is my first time owning fish and after the purchase of my tank I bought fish not knowing about the Cycle process. On of those fish was a violet goby, who is looking to be doing well and the tank is 18 days old. Now I was not told this fish was BW and have recently changed that. <The addition of salt may well kill or at least stall the establishment of nitrification... this could be the root cause of the behavior... environmental disease> My Question is, is I heard Violet goby's are very slow fish that hang around on the bottom all the time. Well my goby likes the surface of the tank and pops his head out of the water a lot. Could you tell me if my Goby is alright? <I have seen quite a few of this species... and never any that stay at the top, stuck their heads out... at all. Seems unusual... If your tank is not cycled (detectable ammonia, nitrite) I would NOT feed this animal, and WOULD get/use a cycling product like BioSpira. Bob Fenner>

Violet goby Hello, I would like to say that your information on violet gobies being hard to keep is untrue and I have several violet gobies that I have had for many yrs. But they r a little more than just fish they do take a little special care. They r pretty easily kept though. Thank u for your time. -From- Mike J Gunn <Can you describe what you mean by taking a little special care for others benefit? Bob Fenner>

Feeding a Dragon 4/11/04  This message is directed to Pufferpunk.  <Hi, it's me, PP>  This is Julie, the one who inherited the Violet Goby from the well-meaning brother-in-law. The fish is doing very well and has grown a lot since we got him! All signs of swim-bladder disease disappeared within 24 hours, and no problems since.  <That's great!>  A few questions, I hope you'll be willing to answer. We got a nice big tank for him, and so we want to get it set up. What do you use for your substrate?  I have mine in a tank with other BW fish, so I use crushed coral (or aragonite is good) to keep the pH stable at around 8. Your dragon would prefer something small enough to pick up & scrounge around in, making caves as he goes.>  Also, When you feed your fish worms do you just dump em in, or do you use one of those worm feeders?  <I use a cone worm feeder. My goby always knows when there are worms in there & waits underneath for them to fall.>  So far ours doesn't seem real interested in anything other than algae tablets.  <Some dragons like shrimp pellets too.>  Thanks, in advance. hope all your fish are doing well :)  Julie  <Yes, all my fishies are happy & healthy. You're dragon sounds like he's in for the same too! ~PP>

Dragon/Violet Goby has Problems Swimming 3/3/04 Hey :) <Hey yourself, it's Pufferpunk again> I'm sorry to be troublesome, but this is regarding our inherited violet goby. <No trouble at all!> We suspect he may have swim bladder disease, probably as a result of the trauma he has experienced.  I know this is common in gold fish -anyone ever seen it in a goby before?  <Not yet> Any suggestions?  I'm concerned that it may be a bacterial infection.  He is spending an inordinate amount of time at the top of the tank, and seems to have trouble swimming to the bottom. <You could start out with his diet.  Try feeding him shelled peas, or algae wafers.  What is he eating now?  My goby does a lot of hanging out on the glass sometimes.  Is he able to get to the bottom at all?> Thanks in advance Julie <Hope it's just his diet, let me know. ~PP>

Dragon/Violet Goby Foods?  3/4/04 Hey all and especially Pufferpunk :) <Hello> Well things looked real rough this morning but we did another water change and tonight he looks a lot better.  <Yippee! =o)> This morning he was really struggling to get to the bottom.  When I got home tonight he was hanging out on the side of the tank about 2/3 down, and now he's resting peacefully on the bottom. SO I'm hoping maybe this means we're past the worst - truthfully I was doubtful if this poor guy would even survive the transition to our home at all. <I hope this was all just caused by stress.  Like I said before, he had acclimated himself to survive in poor conditions.  Even though you knew his conditions needed to improve, it is still shocking for him to adjust to a cleaner tank, along with the water parameters that change with it.> what do you feed your goby?  We've got live brine shrimp and also shrimp pellets. <Mine loves blackworms & algae wafers.> Wow its crazy getting used to this new fish!  I have a 20 hex of freshwater - guppies - and I'm slowly moving that colony into a fully planted 72 bowfront.  I know a fair amount about freshwater and about plan tanks, but nothing about this guy!  Lucky for him anyway I do have experience with fish.  It makes me mad that a pet store is so irresponsible to sell this fish to someone without explaining its needs, much less explaining that it gets very large and needs a large tank! <Unfortunately this happens more often than not.  Sometimes I just hang around my LFS listening to how they sell BW fish & puffers.  I am always printing out info for them give to the customers to read when they purchase these special fish.  Your dragon's lucky to have you!> Julie <Enjoy! ~PP>

Sick dragon goby (Paisley) I hope you can help me. We started our tank at the end of December. We have had our goby ever since, he has done really well until yesterday when I noticed he had a white "film" on his back. I have tried looking up diseases but can not find anything. Needless to say, he was dead this morning and was even whiter. Can you please help me figure out what it could have been.  Thank you, Sherrie <It sounds as if your fish might have Columnaris.  This is a bacterial infection that spreads across the skin of the fish.  It can be extremely hard to get rid of unless caught early.  With use of a quarantine tank I treat with Maracyn and it usually helps the fish return to health.  It can spread to other fish, so keep an eye on them.  If any of it's tankmates should start to have this move them to a separate tank and start treatments.  Good luck. -Magnus>

Dragon/Violet Goby 3/01/04 Hi there. <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I ran across your website and it seems you have some folks who are knowledgeable about brackish water tanks. <Well, thank you!  Hope I can help.> My husband and I have "inherited" a Violet Goby from his brother-in-law, who had it and lost interest in it.   <Good thing for the fish, he now lives with someone who cares =o)> He offered to give us the tank, but insisted we must keep the fish.  We are considering it a "fish rescue" project because the poor creature was being kept in a (15?) hex with only about 5 inches of extremely dirty water in it, and was only being fed about once every several weeks.   <Poor fish!> It is amazing that it is still alive.   <No kidding, tough fish!> At any rate we have done a little reading, but as we already have the fish and tank in our possession we don't have a lot of time to do research - we must begin caring for it now.  We realize it will outgrow this small tank.  We already have plans of moving it into a 20 hex once that tank's inhabitants have moved into their new tank; beyond that we will have to make a further investment.  We would GREATLY appreciate any suggestions you can give to us on keeping this interesting fish.   <I assume you have already cleaned out the tank & put the fish in fresh water?  Probably a big shock to the fish, since it has actually acclimated to the poor water conditions & is now in a completely different environment.  See: http://www.tomgriffin.com/aquasource/oldtanksyndrome.shtml  Hope he's ok.  Anyway, these are brackish water fish.  Aragonite or crushed coral substrates are used to help maintain a stable alkaline pH of around 8.  I suggest keeping these fish at low-end BW (in a specific gravity, or SG of 1.005-08).  You must use marine salt.  You will need a hydrometer to measure the salinity.  It takes a cup of salt/5 gal of water to raise the SG .005.  If the goby was in FW originally, then you should start out your tank in FW and raise the SG .002/week, until you reach the desired SG.  This is so you don't destroy the good nitrifying bacteria (if there's any left) and shock the fish as you add salt.  SW bacteria are different than FW, so you need time for the SW bacteria to develop as the FW bacteria dies off slowly.  If the tank was completely cleaned out (I hope you didn't use soap!), then all the "good" bacteria has been destroyed.  The only product that is available that contains live bacteria is Bio-Spira.  I suggest you add it to his tank.> We would especially like to hear suggestions on a good tank-mate for him. (her?)  One fish I have always been attracted to is the puffer; I know that there are a few brackish species, such as the figure 8 and the spotted puffer.  Would either of these be appropriate?   <I have a dragon goby.  I would recommend at east a 30g for an adult, as they grow to 18".  Mine lives with some F8 puffers, knight gobies & bumblebee gobies.  They all prefer the same SG & basically the same foods (blackworms, plankton, brine shrimp), except the puffers need more hard shelled foods (like snails) to keep their teeth trimmed.  My gobies all love algae wafers too.  I recommend you keep the goby alone for a while to make sure the tank is ok.  After you upgrade to a larger tank, you could add some other gobies & puffers.  Mollies would work too.  I definitely wouldn't recommend a green spotted puffer.  They are extremely aggressive & prefer SW as adults. If you are going to make the tank BW, then since most BW fish kept at LFS are kept in FW, you will need to acclimate the new guys slowly. If the store keeps their puffers in BW (congratulations, you've found a store that really cares about their fish), cycle your tank at whatever SG the puffers are living in at the store. If you already have an established BW tank and are buying a puffer (or other BW fish) kept in FW at the store, you need to acclimate it very slowly. Whenever I change a fish over from FW-BW, BW-SW, or visa-versa, I use a drip system.  I put the fish in a bucket below the tank I will be moving it into, covered by water from the tank the puffers were living in, about 1" over its head.  I tie a knot in an air hose until it drips enough water into the bucket to raise or lower the SG in the bucket .001/hour. I know this all seems a lot to new fish owners, but BW is definitely a little more work than FW.> Thank you in advance for any help you can give us. Sincerely yours, Julie and Chris Ford <Enjoy your dragon!  (Doesn't it resemble the creature that pops out of that guy's chest in the movie, alien?) ~PP>

Dragon Goby 2/29/04 Hey Pufferpunk. <Hey yourself> I just really want to thank you - you definitely told me some things I needed to know.  He's in fresh water with a small addition of "aquarium salt" that I use for my freshwater guppy tanks, so I do need to purchase some different products.  We're making a pet store run tomorrow. <Like marine salt & a hydrometer.> So far he seems to be doing well.  He's swimming around quite a bit and really likes the heater - previously there was no heater in his tank and, although I know they can live in cooler water, I think he appreciates the warmth because he has been swimming up and attaching himself to the glass right next to the heater.   <Poor chilly fish. =o{> We didn't *completely* change the tank out - just added water and a little salt - cause I didn't want to totally freak his system. <That's good, just keep doing 20% water changes, while cleaning the gravel every day, until his tank is clean.  don't forget to use water w/the same temp as his tank & add Dechlor.> Thanks, again, for the tips.  I'm glad to hear the f8 puffers are a good choice.  We've got a huge learning curve here but gratefully there are folks like you out there!  <Awwwww, shucks!> My brother-in-law means well, but these are people who should never have pets because every pet they have had since I have known them, they have either had to give it away, or it died an untimely death. This fish was on death row.  My husband really likes him, so that's good since all our other pets are "mine." Julie <Same in my house.  I'm happy you saved him!  ~PP>

Marble Goby in Thailand?  2/23/04 Do you know where to sell the Marbled Goby size between 3"-5" to be aquarium fish. We live in Thailand. <Gosh, I live in Chicago.  Do you have a phone book?  Call around to the fish stores & check the open markets that sell fish.  Are you aware of how large they get?  A goby will eat any fish it can fit into it's very large mouth!.  Good luck! `PP>

Mogurnda mogurnda 11/11/04 Hi, Pufferpunk here> Hi- I have this fish at home now and I don't have a lot of information on it. They told me at the pet shop to add salt to the tank daily. Is this correct? <Nope  this is a FW goby.  I have one I raised from an egg.  Males are thinner & smaller than females.  My female grew to around 7" & the male around 5".  The female was almost 2x as wide as the male.  She spawned on the glass & the male fanned the eggs.  Very cute! He would try to attack me if I went near his nursery.   They will eat their young, so I had to scrape the eggs off the glass & move to hatch them.  I put the parents in a 15g breeder tank, so I wouldn't have to move the eggs anymore.  They got boiled by a defective heater. =o{ It was a very sad sight!>   They also told me to feed regular fish food and I do know they eat other live insects, fish, worms, etc. What do you recommend and could you recommend a good reference book for me to have?? Here's a good page: http://www.nativefish.asn.au/northernpsgudgeon.html  All those foods sound good.  They will eat any fish they can fit in their mouth.  Mine ate 18 1" algae eaters in 3 days!>   Thank you, again. Lisa Griffin <Very pretty fish, enjoy! ~PP>

Knight Goby article Hi Bob, <Ananda> After a couple of false starts, I'm finally actually getting somewhere with this article. I found the "automagic breeder report article writer" on the Greater Chicago Cichlid Assoc. web page (http://www.gcca.net/infochest/auto-magic-writer.htm), started with that, and now I'm adding text to the "outline" it generated. I'm wondering if I'm taking the right sort of tone for this sort of article... this is *so* different from technical writing. Would you mind reading over my first page (of the first draft) and letting me know if I'm on track or headed off into the weeds?  thanks, Ananda <Looks good to me. Bob> Breeding the Knight Goby (Stigmatogobius sadanundio) by Ananda Stevens I remember the first time I saw a knight goby. I had recently started a brackish tank, and was looking for my first fish. There were several tanks in the office, and while I'd wanted a tank of my own, I had to do something different. I was bewildered by the variety of freshwater fish. But the variety of brackish fish available is much smaller, even in the Chicago area. I'd decided to do a brackish tank both to do something different from the crowd and to narrow my fish choices. Then I saw the knight goby, and knew I had to have one in my tank.  The knight goby, also called the fan-dancer goby, is a small fish, attaining perhaps 3.5" in its native habitat. It has a mostly-beige body, with black spots on the body and some of the fins. Perhaps the most striking feature is the first dorsal fin, with its spiky rays and iridescent blue dot. The pectoral fins are clear, and, as a true goby, the pelvic fins are fused and form a cup-shape. This fused fin enables the goby to perch on surfaces that are nearly vertical, from which it watches its surroundings. That, coupled with the fish's swimming habit of short spurts, make this a fun fish to watch.  The knight goby, whose Latin name is Stigmatogobius sadanundio, is an egg layer native to the India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, according to Fishbase.org. The fish has also been reported in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The climate in these locations is tropical, with water temperatures in the 70s (20 -- 26°C). The native waters for this fish have a pH of 7-8, and a dH of 9 to 19. The fish is freshwater to brackish, and is found in both freshwater and brackish tanks in stores in the Chicago area. I believe that the fish is commonly kept in brackish tanks partly because of the hardness range the fish prefers. I have kept the fish in freshwater for many months with out any apparent ill effects; however, the water where I live is very hard, with a dH of around 12 and a pH of 7.6-7.8 out of the tap. However, in an area with soft water, or in an office with softened water, I would definitely keep this fish in a brackish setup.  I later bought a second goby from a different fish store. I picked out the one with the darkest fins, not realizing at the time that the fish was showing off its breeding dress. This is one of the few ways to distinguish the males from the nearly-identical looking females. Both males and females achieve a size of around 3.5" (9cm) and are beige with numerous black spots, with several spiky rays and an iridescent blue spot on the first dorsal. The males have a longer second dorsal than the females, though this can be difficult to spot in immature specimens. In a mature male, the second dorsal will very nearly touch the caudal (tail) fin; in a mature female, the fin is somewhat shorter. Another certain way to determine the gender of the fish is when the female is egg-bound. The female develops a shape reminiscent of a tadpole, with a protruding ovipositor that has a rounded end. While the gonopodia of the males are reported to be less rounded, I have never seen the two to compare them side by side. The male may also get a slight occipital lump while in breeding dress, though this may be so slight as to be useless as a gender differentiator. 

"Sleeper goby" I have a "sleeper goby" this is the only name I have . I would like to find the scientific name. It is bluish gray on the body , top fin is edged in red , lower fins are edged in white and behind the gill fins , his eyes are a very cloudy blue , he can be hand fed but at times has to make 2 or 3 tries to get the food into his mouth ( I think he has very poor vision) his tank has a pot large enough for him to hide in but he prefers to hide behind it vertically , he is very peaceful . he will eat "anything"  but favors  frozen blood worms , frozen brine shrimp and dried Tubifex worms. I have had him for about four years and he is thriving and seems content  But I don't know for sure if I am doing everything right or is he just adapted to what I'm doing.    any help would be appreciated !           Thank you for your time                                                          George Boud <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobioids.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

Re: "sleeper goby" Thank You  I now know it is a Dormitator maculatus <Ah, good. Bob Fenner>

"Fairy Gobies" -- what are they, really? (03/17/03) Hi All, <Hi! Ananda here this morning...> We have a 29 gallon brackish (2 teaspoons of synthetic sea salt/gallon) tank populated by mollies.  We would like to add some Fairy Gobies that we saw at the pet store, but can't find any information on them, including their scientific name (I got one useless hit on a web search, and it's not listed on the WetWebMedia page).   <Hmmm. I think I found the same useless hit. And that's all so far.> The store had some in the brackish tanks and some in the marine tanks. They about 2-3 cm long and hang out on the bottom.  They're tan/light yellow/white with a black eye stripe and some black on the dorsal fin, which they raise and lower a lot. Any guesses as to their real name or tank suitability? <If you could get a photo...it might help, though the World Guide to Gobies and Goby-like Fishes hasn't been published yet. (That book would be a huge endeavor.) One thing to check is if the pelvic fin is truly fused into a single fin, or whether it is actually two fins. The former indicates a true goby, while the latter indicates a goby-like fish. Either way, it would narrow down the search.> Thanks,  Robin

Goby <Ananda the goby fan here today...> My question is...... I bought a "king" goby, or that is what the tank said, at PetSmart. <I hate it when stores use odd names for fish. I am not finding any references to that as a common name. I am going to go out on a limb and guess it might be a knight goby, as those are the only gobies I have ever seen at a PetSmart. (Perhaps the store staff decided knighthood wasn't good enough for their fish?) Do look here and see if your fish is pictured: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobioids.htm> I need to know this, how big will it get and this..... I bought what turned out to be a monster... a clown knife fish. <Oh, my. That fish will grow to be 40" long. You will eventually need a very large tank for this fish alone.> If they grow together in the same tank and I keep the knife fish fed, will it be ok with the goby? <Large knife fish will eat smaller fish. I would not rule out that possibility for your fish, even if they have been raised together.> Please tell me. I don't want to lose all my fish and I love to watch the goby. It is so cute. Thank, Leigh PS.....I have a 55 gallon tank. <Definitely too small for a clown knife's long-term health. Do consider a much larger tank. --Ananda>

Knight Gobies I have been keeping tropical fish for 7 years. My local pet shop has just received a stock of Knight/Night (I am not sure of the spelling) Gobies. I was just wondering how difficult it is to keep these fish? Some questions that come to mind are: 1. What sort of temperament are they, aggressive, peaceful etc.? 2. What do they feed on? 3. Are they fussy about pH and water temperature? I have currently got a 50Lt tank, with the following fish: 1. 1 x pair of swords 2. 1 x Redtail shark 3. 1 x Plecostomus 4. 4 x Corys 5. 2 x Dwarf Gouramis 6. 2 x Guppies 7. 2 x Sunset platies Please let me know whether getting a pair of Gobies would be a good idea, indicating the answers to the above questions and any other items of importance. Thanks a million, Ronald. <Hey Ronald, these Gobies would be better placed in peaceful or dedicated brackish water system.  There is some more information available here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobioids.htm and on fishbase.org, you will want to search for Stigmatogobius sadanundio.  A search on Google.com should also provide some good information.  Best Regards, Gage>

Brackish Goby Here is a picture of a goby I have In my tank.  He has more than doubled in size since I purchased him.  I have done some research and he appears to be a sleeper goby??  Could you tell me if this is true and about how large he will get. Thanks Jason <A very nice Fat Sleeper Goby, you can see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gobioids.htm In the wild can attain two feet in length, but about the biggest I've seen in captivity is half this. Bob Fenner>

Butterfly goby with swim bladder disorder? Hi all, You guys get all my hard questions...thanks in advance for the help. I've got a butterfly goby (Vespicula depressifrons) that is acting like it has a swim bladder disorder. (I didn't think these fish even had swim bladders.) It's swimming like it's trying to keep itself from floating to the top of the tank. The fish is head standing, fins paddling madly, but it still tends to drift upwards. It is also slowly spinning like a top, but not like it has whirling disease (which is a much faster spin). The fish also looks a bit "inflated" around the belly. I'm not quite sure how long this has been going on, as I haven't seen it in a few days: it's been in the straight-Fw planted tank (which was overgrown with Val's) at the old place, and I've just moved it to a temporary tank at the new place. What I can do to help this fish? Would moving it into a brackish tank help? <This fish should be in brackish or marine.> (The reason I ask about the brackish tank: I have a molly who got pop-eye four times when I had him in a Fw tank. Each time, I'd put him in a hospital tank, add Epsom salts, and then top off the tank with old brackish water. That fixed his eye every time. Now I just keep him in brackish conditions, and he hasn't had pop-eye since.) <If the fish is new the behavior could be from a stressful transport. The inflated around the belly part indicates a disease however. medication in a quiet dark tank would be best. Furan based drugs, salt, stable temps, etc. Best of luck, Gage> Thanks, Ananda

Frightful Purple-spotted Gudgeon Bob I love your site!  <<Not mine, my friend, all of ours>> <glad to be of service> I have had my brackish tank established now for 5 months. It contains a purple-spotted gudgeon and a knight goby, 4 mollies and 2 silver scats. Everything is perfect in the tank except for one problem. My purple-spotted gudgeon has always acted very strange. Whenever a water change is made, or at any point at which I have to put my hand in the tank he flips out slamming into the rock and glass, finally turning dark and floating by the heater. All of the other fish just hide out. He will eventually returns to normal but this behavior seems odd. Just thought you may have an answer. Thanks Jason <it is unfortunately a prolonged source of stress/duress for some wild-caught fishes... the whole captivity thing. Most fish adapt... some never do. Your gudgeon has been required to live in the small confines of an aquarium in close proximity to unnatural tankmates that it would never see in the wild (or at least not so close for so long <G>) and under bright light likely (more than used to). It may simply be that this specimen is not going to adapt quickly, if at all. Sounds like a good excuse to set up another aquarium to me <VBG>. Best regards, Anthony>

Raising gudgeon fry... Hi guys! I've decided to try to raise the purple-spotted gudgeon fry.  <Neat... a gorgeous fish when spawning> On Thursday night, when the eggs were three days old (our of their four-day gestation period), I took the rock the eggs were on and put it in a 5.5g tank. The tank has a 50w Tronic heater and an air tube connected to the weakest air pump I have. (Earlier experiments with knight goby fry showed the problem with too much water circulation: the fry get blown around and presumably can't get to the food.) <Yes... I like a barely going line attached to an old sponge filter... helps by culturing food, aerating, circulating water... w/o blasting all about, sucking up the fry.> The fry hatched between Thursday night and Friday afternoon. Many of them are sitting on the bottom, twitching occasionally; a few are twitching while either swimming or being blown around the tank. I added one drop of Liqui-fresh 1 egg-layer fry food on Friday afternoon, and another one on Friday night. Now, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the tank water is cloudy.  <Typical... the yolk part of the Liqui-fry...> I'd like to do a water change, but how do you keep fry that are maybe 2mm long and half that in width and height from getting in the water you want to throw out?  <Drape a small piece of panty hose, cheese cloth or filter Dacron over a length of air-line tubing, and (this will take a while), siphon the water out slowly... replace with water a bit warmer, but of the same/similar make-up (best from an established tank> I did add a sponge filter to the end of the air line -- it was in use on the fry tanks before the move, and has been sitting in the molly tank since the move. I am hoping there will be sufficient bacteria left in the filter to deal with some of the cloudiness in the fry tank. <And more> While a fair number of the eggs have hatched, a larger portion of them have not. Some of them seem to be turning a bit whitish. Is this what I've heard referred to as "fungussing"? And should I add anything (methylene blue?) to the water to deal with it? <I would siphon out the "bad" eggs, and add the methylene blue ASAP> Meanwhile, back in the adult gudgeons' tank, the male gudgeon was confused when his rock full of eggs suddenly disappeared. I put a slightly-similarly shaped rock where the egg rock had been, and he's perching on it. <Good idea. Bob Fenner>

Re: raising gudgeon fry... >I've decided to try to raise the purple-spotted gudgeon fry. ><Neat... a gorgeous fish when spawning> Did you get the photos? I took a lot of photos this time around for the eventual article... These have become some of my favorite fish. <<Yes, thank you... will be posting along with your notes... on dailies later, then on to brackish gobies FAQs on WWM>> >I'd like to do a water change, but how do you keep fry that are maybe 2mm long and half that in width and height from getting in the water you want to throw out? ><Drape a small piece of panty hose, cheese cloth or filter Dacron over a length of air-line tubing, and (this will take a while), siphon the water out slowly... replace with water a bit warmer, but of the same/similar make-up (best from an established tank> None of the tanks have been here for more than two weeks, since we've just moved, but the filtration is well-established from the old place. I could take "new" water out of the 55g and heat it a bit more before I add it to the fry tank. <<This is what I would do>> >I did add a sponge filter to the end of the air line -- it was in use on the fry tanks before the move, and has been sitting in the molly tank since the move. I am hoping there will be sufficient bacteria left in the filter to deal with some of the cloudiness in the fry tank. ><And more> The water quality has improved already. <<Cycling of sorts>> >While a fair number of the eggs have hatched, a larger portion of them have not. Some of them seem to be turning a bit whitish. Is >this what I've heard referred to as "fungusing"? And should I add >anything (methylene blue?) to the water to deal with it? ><I would siphon out the "bad" eggs, and add the methylene blue ASAP> Aarrgh. Too late. When we got here today, all of the eggs still on the rock had fungused. I removed most of the bad eggs with a net, and siphoned out most of the rest with a pipette. The sponge filter seems to be pulling them in, so cleaning that later should take care of the remainder. Next time I'll add the m. blue to the fry tank when I put the eggs in there. <<Don't be too discouraged... this is very common on "first spawns"... should improve on succeeding events percentage wise> I do still have a fair number of live fry. They are starting to swim around for themselves. They still look like two black dots on a transparent body. <<Neat>> I'm not really keeping track of tank parameters this time, aside from temperature... the test kits are scattered/packed and the thermometers are on the tank. Fortunately, the gudgeons spawn fairly frequently. Lack of air conditioning and a warm day triggered it this time. For the eventual article, what tank parameters should I record?  <Temperature, pH, hardness... what they're doing in a time-frame, your speculations>> I know I should include everything that I put into the tank, but what other items/readings/etc.? <<Feeding, spawning, hatching behavior... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Ananda

Gudgeon fry... take 2. Hi Bob, Bad news: I lost the rest of the gudgeon eggs and fry to the fungus. I did, however, have some that had become free-swimming before they succumbed. I returned the gudgeons' rock to the same location and orientation in the tank. <There will be other times> Good news: the gudgeons just spawned again (i.e., within the last hour!). I saw the last few minutes of it. They used the same rock. Previously, they had used a larger "carved" rock, or the side of the tank. I think they prefer the current rock because the side they use is at an angle, rather than vertical like their previous spawning sites. Interestingly, the female turns dark a few hours before spawning, while the male turns dark later to guard the eggs. I hadn't seen the female turn dark before. <This happens> I didn't really expect them to spawn right away, as I recently salted the tank because of a spot on one of the rainbow's fins. <Good idea> No need to post this one on the dailies; just thought you might be interested in their behavior in using the same rock to spawn again. --Ananda <Always. Be chatting, and writing. Bob Fenner>

Uh oh!! gobies! Oh no! I didn't do my homework! <<Ah... now you know, research before you buy.>> I have been checking up on the versatility (in relation to salinity) on the fish I would like to include in my 55 gallon setup and I put marbled gobies in as something I would like, but I didn't realize they got so massive! I can't possibly accommodate something that gets upwards of 2 feet! can you maybe suggest a goby or two that are smaller(!), and hardy in a 55 gallon heavy-brackish setup? <<I did just reply to your earlier email with some links, but here is the Brackish Goby link again: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobioids.htm This should give you a good start. Cheers, J -- >>

Bumble Bee Goby <Kit...er, Kat: you are being directed to a friend of ours who is a grand master fish breeder and an enthusiastic expert on gobies and blennies among many things. Her name is Dr Sallie Boggs. Best regards to all, Anthony Calfo and Bob Fenner's WetWebMedia> Hi again Dear Bob, I am writing once more with a few (hundred lol) more questions about the gorgeous Bumblebee Goby, which incidentally, I have grown to love and admire I have managed to keep them alive and well for 4 weeks now with my other tank mates. But, first things first. I seem to breeding them!! I have what I believe to be the male Goby (is he the smallest of the two? as information I have been reading has me thoroughly confused) guarding some eggs!! Woohoo!! But alas, they are on a rocky structure in my main tank, and surrounded by platy's, tetra's, and the likes. What do I do now?? I would love to ensure the survival of the fry, and so am guessing (probably correctly) that I will need a fry tank. How long before they hatch? I have noticed them today, and believe that they were laid last night or the night before. What will I need to feed them once they hatch? Will the other Goby's eat or protect them? Will separating the parents from the eggs be detrimental to the parents or the eggs? Should I wait till they hatch until I separate them? Help me Dear Bob - what do I do now????? I can find NO information on the breeding and/or fry for my beloved Bumblebee's. Thanks Again In Advance Kit-e-kat9 :-))

Bumble Bee Goby (guest appearance by: Sallie Boggs) The male may be smaller than the female. At the very least he is slimmer. The female can get very fat with eggs. Generally the eggs are oval shaped and are hung from the roof of an overhang by fine threads. The male spends a lot of time upside down fanning the eggs with his fins. The time to hatching varies with the temperature, but takes several days. You can see the embryos developing in the egg if you use a flashlight. Usually, the bumblebee goby male will guard the eggs until they hatch and then he may eat them. The thing to do is watch the eggs until the eyes become golden and then remove the eggs from the male and place them in their own tank with air bubbles passing near the eggs (not on them) so they are gently agitated. The golden eyes are an indication that the fish are about to hatch. A small amount of sea (non iodized) salt can be added to the tank with the eggs. Although the bumblebees live well in freshwater they are really from brackish water. The fry will swim up and down for a while and then they will swim horizontally. That is when they need to be fed newly hatched brine shrimp. They are indeed delightful charming fish and you will love the babies. Let me know how it works out. Sallie <Sallie... thanks so much as always for your wisdom! Anthony, WWM and beyond>

Bumblebee Gobies Hello Bob. I have 3 BB gobies and I need to learn how to identify their sex and also their mating habits. I have been unable to find a correct source on the web (almost too much info) that address this specific information. <Mmm, what a co-inky-dink. There's a similar query/response posted on the daily FAQs today: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dailyq&a.htm under the subject title: "Strange Brew". Bob Fenner.> Can you direct me to a source (with pix) and/or do you and could provide an explanation? Thank you so much. Marty Linke

Strange Brew Hi, I have just purchased some bumble bee gobies. My pet store attendants were inundated with customers, and could not spare me much time. So, I hope that you could answer a few (hundred) questions for me. Firstly, what should I be feeding them?  <small meaty foods (they will not survive eating prepared foods alone). Frozen mysids, Gammarus and Pacifica plankton would be fine. NEVER feed brine shrimp (nutritionally barren). Sweetwater plankton is also excellent (comes in a jar)> I am feeding neon tetra's in my tank with a tropical fish flake, but the gobies don't seem interested in it at all.  <they would die of a deficiency if they did eat it as a staple anyway. And WOW... we have a new problem. The gobies are brackish and need salt... the tetras are soft water Amazon fishes (NO salt). You need to read more in the archives my friend. Begin here and work your way through... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gobioids.htm> I have seen them sucking in the flakes and spitting them back out. Should I be feeding them live bait or pellets? <live food is critical, so is salt in the water and warmer water> I notice that one is particularly fin nipped, he came this way from the store. Should I be adding anything to the water, to stop him/her from fin rot or other diseases, as I will be introducing fish regularly for a few months. I read a few letters in your FAQ, and was wondering if I also should add salt to the tank.  <yes... at least one tablespoon per five gallons. But this may disturb your tetras... they really cannot stay together long term> Apart from the gobies and tetra's, I also have a Bristlenose catfish.  <it belongs with the tetras> I am intending to keep the tank stocked with other 'peaceful' and small fish. More tetra's, loaches, mollies, platys and the odd red tailed shark. <not a great mix... the Pleco, tetras and loaches will like soft and neutral to acidic water, the livebearers (platys, mollies and swordtails) will need hard alkaline water, the gobies need alkaline brackish water and the shark will just plain nip and kill any of the above eventually. Really four different tanks above> My tank is about 60 liters, with a rocky outlook and few plants. I currently have a fluor study lamp giving light to the tank. I have an 'AquaClear mini' filter, with carbon and wool. Will the carbon be detrimental to the tank.  <nope... the carbon is quite helpful and necessary> There is also a stone for aeration. I keep the tank at about 25 degrees Celsius (for the tetra's) with a non-submersible water heater, will this temperature be okay for the other species I wish to add? I noticed the other FAQ's talking about 'ph' and water 'hardness'. What are they talking about? <please read more my friend... many pages needed to describe it fairly> Are there any other hints that you can give me, that will keep the tank harmonious and happy for both myself and the fish. <you need a good book my dear. Tetra encyclopedia of freshwater fishes or the like would be in order> Hoping you can help this beginner. Yours Patiently, Tracey <best regards to you in your endeavors... a beautiful hobby! Enjoy. >

Freshwater gobies, ID Hi, I hope you can help identify some freshwater gobies that I recently bought. <I'll try> They are typical gobies, with sucker pelvic fins, about 2.5 inches long, with snaky cylindrical bodies. Olive green with yellowish transverse bands. So far pretty ordinary, except that they are algae eaters, scraping away at the bog wood in the tank. They also attempted to breed (or possibly just wrestling) though with no success in a community tank. I have searched the web at length and checked through all my textbooks for more information, but no success,. Naturally the dealer had no idea where they come from! Any ideas? <My best... to refer you to the folks/site: www.gobiidae.com for help. The description doesn't "ring a bell" right off... freshwater? Please do send your note along to Naomi R. Delventhal Editor - International Goby Society Staff - Gobioid Research Institute Bob Fenner> Brian Ward

Eels and Puffers (Sounds like a Political Convention) Hi Anthony! Just to keep you updated... In one of my last emails, I mentioned that my grouper ate one of my dwarf puffers. You replied that they are toxic and I said I'd let you know if my grouper made it through the night. First off, I want to make a correction. My 'grouper' is actually a Marbled Sleeper Goby! And he really eats a lot. Good news is that it didn't die after eating the puffer! =) He's eating Neons now. Are all puffers toxic? Someone told me that my dwarf puffer isn't. Any idea? <yes... it is my understanding that all Tetraodontidae have some degree of toxicity to the flesh. With such poor swimming skills and soft pliable flesh (read: little other defense short of inflation) it stands to reason that this is so. Its just that not all predators are affected by this... some surely have evolved to tolerate it...perhaps your goby. Its like some people that can eat spicy food and others who need a fire extinguisher and a good magazine after a spicy meal>> I came home today to find my moray lying on its side gasping for dear life. This is the second day after I purchased it. After reading all your FAQs I decided to put 5 gm.s of salt for my 15 gallon tank.  <Well, Hallelujah and pass the ammunition!> I don't have a hydrometer but what do you estimate the salinity to be now?  <couldn't say without a hydrometer <wink>. Dissolved solids (including salts) in tap water...previous salt? It would be more responsible to get the hydrometer> I decided to stop at 5 gm.s 'cos I also have a Caecilian in the tank. I read that Caecilians get blisters if there is salt but the lady that wrote into the forum said that she put 5 gm.s for every gallon of water! I think that's REALLY too much. And so she concludes that salt does not suit caecilians. Anyway I decided to stay at 5 gm.s 'cos I'm confident the caecilian can take it. Will keep you posted if it develops blisters. <and please understand the real problem here is inappropriate/incompatible tankmates. We are asking fishes to live together from very different environments> The salt seemed to have a magical effect on the moray. After less than an hour it was very obvious that he had recovered from the brink of death. It was really remarkable to see it recover so fast.  <my point about many of the freshwater morays not being so freshwater, my friend> Anyway I hope he eats soon. Do they always open and close their mouth as if they are panting?  <I would say that they seem to naturally have a deliberate breath (not quite labored)> Is squid a fave food of theirs?  <big-time> I heard that there is a neurotoxin in the eel's skin.  <hmmm... I haven't licked one yet... I'll get back to you on this one <wink>> Is this true and will it affect my other fish? I read someone's experience in a forum and he said that his fish died after he introduced an eel into the tank! Not eaten up but they just died... <seems very unlikely> Look forward to your humorous replies Anthony! Thanks again! =) <thank you for saying so, my friend. Anthony>

Post-mortem on new knight goby Hi guys, <hello, dear... Anthony Calfo still duct taped to a chair answering e-mail. Bob won't let us visit the forum or any other page on the WWM site <wink>> I got a new male knight goby last Thursday. I picked the male that looked the best of a not-so-great lot. He went into a 5.5g QT tank, with new water and an old/active sponge filter. He didn't eat, despite being offered all of the usual goby favorites (bloodworms, blackworms, mysis shrimp, squid, etc). His belly became sunken after a couple of days. His breathing became more very rapid and labored. Then last night I noticed red spots under his eyes. He was also darting around the tank. I did a 50% water change but did not see any improvement. This morning he was gone...as in jumped out. (I couldn't find him. I'd planned on putting a cover on the tank last night, but forgot. Doh!) My thoughts are that his symptoms may have been signs of cyanide poisoning.  The few bits that I found on WWM mentioned not eating and good color. And knight gobies are found in the Philippines and Indonesia, places where they still use cyanide. Any thoughts? <unlikely cyanide... at least with this species IMO. More likely the culmination of duress from a long and perhaps mishandled chain of custody on importation. I'm thinking the little fellow was indeed close to death before you even bought him. Many such fish suffer more than a week of fasting on import> (In the silver lining department, this has me more determined to figure out how to raise knight goby fry. The female in the 30g spawned last week, but they didn't like the shells in the tank so the eggs became a fish treat. I've put a small barnacle shell in the tank, so maybe next time they'll take that.)--Ananda <outstanding! best regards in this endeavor. We have a local grand master breeder who favors blennies and gobies if you ever want to look her up. Her name is Sallie Boggs and one way you can reach her is through our society mailer at members@pmas.org Anthony>

Mainly brackish gobies Hi Bob! Well, the spinning molly died a couple of days ago. She wouldn't eat, even when I tried live black worms, so I wasn't surprised. <Sorry to learn of your loss> The ghost shrimp experiment is going well. They seem to be tolerating the SGs up to 1.008 without much difficulty once they get past the initial transition period. Some of them haven't survived the transition, but in those cases, the gobies haven't complained about the extra treats. Oddly enough, the candy-striped gobies aren't interested in the shrimp, even though they are easily large enough to eat them. I had an entertaining time watching one of my so-called "butterfly gobies" trying to eat a ghost shrimp that was bigger than itself. The shrimp got away for a while, and then goby was "stalking" the shrimp. Quite amusing. I don't know what the "butterfly gobies" really are, but they definitely aren't true gobies. They look sort of like miniaturized dwarf lionfish, mottled brown and beige and about 1" long, and nothing like the marine butterfly goby, Amblygobius albimaculatus. Do you know if this fish is a sculpin, or a Scorpaenidae, or is it something else entirely?  <Beige mostly? Maybe Stigmatogobius: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brgobioids.htm> LMK if a photo would of my fish would help; I don't have a photo of them yet since it's hard to get the digital camera to focus on them (it's a bit *too* automated). <Check to see if you can "turn off" the automated (focus) feature... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Ananda

Ropes and Dragons Robert, I have a 45 gallon freshwater live plant setup. PH7.6 Hardness apx10 Ammonia and nitrite at zero. I recently purchased two new rope fish and a Pleco (I think that's what it's called).  <Mmm, maybe a member of the family of mainly South American Sucker Mouth Catfishes, Loricariidae: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/loricariids.htm> The two rope fish died within two days and a day later the rope that I've had for 6 months died. <Not unusual to have new Ropes bring in disease, stress... Our coverage of this and the related Bichirs: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bichirs.htm> Then last night my small dragon Goby died. The ropes got the "glassy" eyes and discoloration before they died and the Dragon lost a lot of weight and showed a large white section on it's tail before it died. So far the other inhabitants haven't shown any problems; they are: a larger Dragon Goby (about 6"), two Bala Sharks, 1 Clown Loach, 1 Pleco (algae eater), and several neon tetras. I did a 20% water change and filter maintenance after the first two died and I've been running my Diatom XL (normally for polishing only) a couple hours a day. Any possibilities you can offer will be greatly appreciated. <I would do what you have done... and add some activated carbon/powder to the diatom> As a side note. I have already purchased a cheapy 10 gallon setup to use as a quarantine tank in the future.  <Good idea> You might also be interested to know that the fish came from Pet not so) Smart. <Yikes...> Thanks Again Tom Peterson Kissimmee, Fl <Sorry to hear of your trials and tribulations. Steady on my friend. You're moving in more positive directions. Bob Fenner> 

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