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FAQs on Clown Gobies Stocking/Selection

Related Articles: Genus Gobiodon Gobies,

Related FAQs:  Gobiodons 1, Gobiodons 2, True Gobies Gobies 2Gobiodon Identification, Gobiodon Behavior, Gobiodon Compatibility, Gobiodon Systems, Gobiodon Feeding, Gobiodon Disease, Gobiodon Reproduction, True Gobies: Goby Identification, Goby Behavior, Goby Selection, Goby Compatibility, Goby Feeding, Goby Systems, Goby Disease, Goby Reproduction, Amblygobius Gobies, Neon GobiesGenus Coryphopterus Gobies, Mudskippers, Shrimp Gobies, Sifter Gobies

Re: Reef Inverts &Vertebrates... more re stkg. sm. mar. just Gobiodon f'       1/8/14
Bob Fenner,
Firstly, thank you for the timely response, I know that you're volunteering for it and I appreciate that! Now, I was under the impression that Clown Gobies could spawn in the home aquaria. Is this incorrect?
<Not incorrect. Gobiodon spp. are recorded as such>
Can they not be purchased as a "pair"?
<Mmm; we should likely at least state that a definition is in order...
These gobies don't really live in/as "mated pairs"... I've seen them on many occasions diving... but, okay; might be caught, live in the same volume as a "duo">
The Oculinid polyps are to be sold when they reach a small frag size.
<See WWM re the family; its propensity to sting>
Would it be better to get another smaller powerhead and put both on timers?
<... and you can search, gain by reading re this issue as well on WWM>
Or, to just get like two 250 gph powerheads? Sorry for the questions, but because of the size of this system it has to be planned perfectly.
<And the Net re this adverb. B>

Yellow Goby; comp.    12/26/13
Hi Crew, I have a 24 gallon with a clown goby.
<Gobiodon sp...>
Any chance he can live with a yellow goby
. Thanks, Sam
<.... yellow goby? What species is this? Bob Fenner>
Re: re: Yellow Goby   12/26/13

Gobiodon okinawae and my clown goby is Gobiodon atrangulatus Thanks
<<Ahh, hard to say... sometimes congeners get along, sometimes not; esp. in small volumes. I wouldn't take the risk unless you have space to move one elsewhere and the patience to dismantle the system to remove it. BobF>

Re: Pairing Multicolor Angel & Misc Stocking Questions- Now on to Gobies/Blennies     7/24/12
First- Bob, thank you very much for your response. This is a truly wonderful resource and I very much appreciate all of the time and effort that you and your Crew put into it! 
I've spent the last few weeks debating and I'm leaning towards the odds just not being good enough to mix the angels in this volume (90 gallons). 
Especially, since I don't have a good place to "re-home" the other Multi-colors if my current fish refuses to tolerate them.
Second-  Leaving off the angel decision, it is time to get ready to start my stocking and I have a few more questions---
First, in my volume what are the chances a Midas Blenny would be compatible with my Firefish?
<Not good>
  In the FAQs I'm seeing problems in tanks as big as 75 gallons and I'm quite attached to my pair of Firefish.  I have a possible re-home for the Midas if he doesn't prove a good neighbor.
<VERY hard to catch back out>
Second, would the Midas Blenny tolerate a Flametail Goby (Cryptocentrus aurora)?
<Much better odds>
 I'm assuming these two will have very different swimming space in the tank, but the body shape is so similar I thought it might be a concern. Third, would a Randall's Shrimp Goby be compatible with the Flametail in my volume?
<Should be; yes>
  Fourth, if I did add both the Randall's and the Flametail, would that crowd the Firefish pair?
<I don't think so; likely will go to opposite corners>
Finally, I have a 30 gallon quarantine tank that will be running in addition to my "old" 46 gallon and my "new" 90 gallon as I transfer everything _slowly_ over to the 90 gallon. I'm hope to have everyone in the 90 gallon in less than two months. (I have repeatedly warned my spouse of the three tank plan.  He is currently contemplating what I am going to have to do to "make it up to him":)
My plan is to move the Firefish first, the "old" Neon goby and the "new" Neon goby second, and then add the shrimp gobies.  I'm thinking then add the Midas next.  Then the trio of fairy wrasses, then my H. melanurus, and then the Multi-color angel last.  Does this sound like a good plan?
Because I am nearly three hours from the nearest LFS I'm stuck with mail order for the most part.  From my stocking list above, I'm concerned with mixing certain species in quarantine.  I'm also concerned with the amount of time my spouse will tolerate the three tanks.  Because of this I would like to avoid adding fish to quarantine before all of the previously quarantined fish are in the DT (thereby "undoing" the quarantine of the previous fish).  A few more questions-- 
1) Would the Midas, Flametail, & Randall's be compatible in the smaller quarantine tank?
<I wouldn't leave them like this... maybe put/keep the Ecsenius in a floating plastic colander, or a plastic screw cap bottle w/ holes in it>
  If it would be best to split them up is there a combination that would work best?2) I also plan on adding a Neon Goby (E. oceanops).  I understand from reading the FAQs that there is a risk with the shrimp gobies, but I'm willing to take it in the 90 gallon.  Is it right to assume that mixing these guys in quarantine is likely to end up with the Neon being a goby snack?
<Too likely so>
3) Do you think it might be ok to skip the quarantine of the Neon Goby, freshwater dip him and add him directly into the DT at the same time as I put in the "old" Neon goby and the Firefish?
<Yes; I'd dip/bath it and place>
I could then quarantine the shrimp gobies (and maybe the Midas) from the same shipment.4) Regarding the set up of the quarantine for the shrimp gobies, would it be best to try to pair them with shrimp in quarantine or later in the DT? 
Also, will an inch or two of sand in the quarantine be enough to make the shrimp and the gobies comfortable?
<Yes... add a couple of lengths of 1/2 or 3/4" PVC pipe>
4) For the fairy wrasses, will they be able to tolerate each other in the quarantine tank?
<Better not to do this>
  If I could find three females would this help them get through quarantine in cramped quarters?
<Better again to dip/bath and place directly in the main/display tank>
(I'm guessing one will "turn" male with a few months after adding them to my DT.)  I'm thinking the quarantine period would be short (around two weeks), but the volume seems on the small side for this species.
Many thanks- both for the information and your patience-Tricia
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pairing Multicolor Angel & Misc Stocking Questions- Now on to Gobies/Blennies     7/24/12

Bob- Thank you very much for your quick response! Good night- Tricia
<Good night Trish. B>

Clown goby question Hi!<Hi! MikeD here>  I'm inquiring about possibly getting a clown goby for my tank.  I have a 55 gallon tank that is recently set up (we've had it for about 8 weeks or so).  It has 4-5 inch deep live sand bed.  approximately 30 pounds of live rock.  We have a refugium w/ith some live sand, live rock, and macroalgae and tons of "bugs" crawling around in there.  So far we have added 1 sand sifting star, 2 Nassarius snails, 1 royal Gramma, 3 blue/green Chromis and 1 cleaner shrimp.  All seem to be going very very well.  We haven't had any losses -- we added this live stock slowly after the tank cycled with the LR/LS.    We were thinking of adding one more fish to complete the tank.  We like the clown goby<Nice little fish, and very under-rated for quiet tanks> --  either citrinus or atrangulatus.  We do not have coral, but plenty of little hidey holes in the live rock -- do you think that would be ok for a clown goby, or do they really need coral to hide in?<In my estimation, they should do just fine as it sounds like a perfect set up for them>  Also, I'm kind of confused, we were going to order them online because we can't find them in our local LFS and really aren't happy with their fish quality anyway, but the site says that they will fight with their own species and recommends one per tank; however, your website's article on clown gobies indicates that they will pair off and getting them in pairs can be a good thing.<The trouble can be in getting a true pair, that is, one male and one female, as they appear the same>  I really really want to do what is best for the fish, so I'm writing to get your opinion on this before we actually make any purchase.  In your experience, would a clown goby work with the other fish I have, and would it be best to get 1or 2?<One would definitely work very well, while with two there's always the chance of conflict, in this case literally 50/50. I would think there's enough room for one to get away from the other in a 55 gal. tank, while this probably would be less true in a smaller tank. With clowns, you have the added advantage of their not being an overly active fish, increasing the odds of success. There are no absolute guarantees, but I suspect you'd be just fine.> Thanks so much for any advice!!!<Hope this helps> Amy

Cleaner Gobies need not apply! - 8/11/04 Hi, Frank here again. <Hey Frank! Paul here in Utah this week> I was thinking of getting one more fish that stays small. <Ok> What's your take on a cleaner/neon goby. <No thanks. These fish rarely do very well long term in an aquarium setting in my experience. Some people do have luck with them but I find them to starve over time as they rarely find enough from cleanings and don't take to frozen foods too well. If you were to try one you could try fresh live baby brine (Artemia or live rotifers)>  Will he get along with my 6-line wrasse, percula clown, and most importantly my bicolor blenny. <Not likely.>  I know some blennies chase gobies and the cleaner goby is the same shape and style of fish almost (long and skinny). <Very true. This has been reported to me as an issue> Will the cleaner goby's cleaning ability make him recognized and safe by my other fish and the bicolor blenny, or is he doomed. <Likely doomed>  Would a blenny nip cause the goby to hide and keep his distance or are they wimps, would the goby just take abuse and eventually die? <Depends on the personality of the goby. I would say that there is a chance it never even tries to clean any of your fish and just starve to death.>  My tank is 25 gal, 30x12x14 inches. I know all fish are territorial to some extent, but stocking capacity aside, would the cleaner goby be ok and would any niche that he might have be able to co-exist with the others. <Not likely, in my experience. I would try a Citron Goby or sometimes referred to as the clown goby. More of a bottom dweller. The Gobiodon atrangulatus grows up to 1.5 inches. The small size will come to you generally 1 to 1½ inches; the medium generally 1½ to 2½ inches; the large generally 2½ to 4 inches. The Clown Goby, Green prefers a tank of at least 20 gallons with plenty of places to hide & swim. The Gobiodon atrangulatus is a carnivore and likes to eat brine & Mysid shrimp and other meaty treats. The Clown Goby is a low maintenance fish and may act peacefully toward other fish. Able to breed. Reef-safe. Seems to get chased a lot by the Pseudochromis. Keep the water quality high (SG 1.020 - 1.025, pH 8.1 - 8.4, Temp. 72 - 78° F). Good luck to you! ~Paul> Thank you now and for all the past advice, Frank

Just one more....How about a Clown Goby (8/8/04) Hi, Frank here again.  <Leslie here this time> This is related to one of my previous questions.  According to previously read advice read, all over this amazing web site I would have to say you would condone a 25 gal tank with one small perk clown, small 6-line wrasse and a bicolor blenny.  My question is if I really had to add one more fish, could I possibly add a tiny clown goby because I read they can max out a 1.5 inches.   <Had to eh?  You would not be twisting your own arm now would you? Those are all pretty small fish, so  I suppose if you absolutely had to add just one more fish you could but the little goby is not the best choice. Bicolor blennies are known for picking on gobies and Firefish. > Can you tell me how this would affect bi-load, living and feeding niche as compared to my current fish, and are they jumpers like those long skinny gobies, and are they pod eaters or do they accept the usual food like flakes and brine and Mysis? < Here is some info on the Clown Gobies....... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobiodon.htm I don't think it would have a huge impact on your bioload. They are reported in the literature as fairly easy to keep and quite charming. I personally have found them difficult to feed and have had poor luck with them.  I would not recommend them. The literature says they will accept meaty foods and can be fed once a day in a tank with live substrate, more often without. They are not dependent on pods as are many other fish. I do not think they are jumpers but your bicolor blenny is certainly capable so you should have a covered tank. If you have to have an additional fish a better option would an Assessor  There are 2 species commonly seen in the aquarium trade one yellow and one blue. They are very interesting and hardy little fish. ...here is a link to an excellent article http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-04/hcs3/index.htm> Thank you very much?  I'll be back, lol. Frank Your welcome and we will look forward to it, Leslie.

Not researching your citron goby before purchase - 1/19/05 Thanks, I know I should have researched first, but couldn't resist him! <Actually, believe it or not, these are sometimes hard to get in good condition at times. They can sometimes be a bit rare. I understand seeing it and wanting it. Be careful though. Enjoy you clown goby. Do read and research before purchasing the future to save your livestock and you some money and effort. Thanks for being part of it all!! ~Paul>

Citron goby care  - 1/18/05 Hi guys. Craig here from NZ. <Hey Craig> I have just obtained a cute little Yellow clown goby and he seems fine hiding in a cave. <Not abnormal> I think he is being careful as I have other fish in my small reef system. <Well, depending on the fish he might have reason to hide, eh? Do posses a noxious body slime so likely will be fine in time> At this stage I have no Acro's and am wondering if this will prove to be a problem. <Well, shouldn't be a problem but a more natural environment is always a good idea.> Are they hardy and easily fed? <Uh oh, Craig. You purchased an animal without researching it first? Shame. Well, these guys have spunk! please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobiodon.htm> When do they usually feed? <they tend to feed throughout the day. with no particular feeding time> I have fed him flaked Spirulina through a syringe but he didn't seem interested. <Not likely going to eat Spirulina. I would try a food source made for omnivorous feeders and or frozen or live Mysid shrimp. Cyclops-eeze is also something to try. Mix it in saltwater and use a baster to slowly add the food.> What do you think? <I really like these fish and can be hardy with a stress free environment (read....fish that won't harass them to death) quality marine foods, and good water quality. Hey, that is pretty much what all aquarium specimens need. Go figure! Teehee! =) Thanks for being part of it all and such a good sport! ~Paul> Cheers Craig

Clown Goby Pairs - 10/02/05 Hi guys, We have a 180g reef.  Current inhabitants = mated false Perculas, mated watchman gobies (with pistol)<<neat!>>, 1 six-line wrasse, 1 common Firefish.  Future stocking plan = above, plus clown gobies, bicolor blenny, royal Gramma and maybe a tang or a reef-safe butterfly.  Our next purchase is the clown gobies.  My question is how many is doable...?  Ideally, we'd like to get two yellow clowns, two citrons, and two greens.  Is this permissible? <<I would say so, yes.>> Or should we cut it back to 4? <<Six of these little guys should be fine.>> Just wanted some input.  Oh, and would it be preferable to introduce them all at once, or two by two? <<I would do "all at once.">> Thanks again for your help & great site! John <<A word of caution John... I have heard others tell, as well as witnessed first-hand, clown gobies nipping at/irritating Acropora corals to the point they don't express their polyps and eventually decline.  I've also seen bicolor blennies nip/eat on soft corals such as colt coral (yuck!).  I don't know what you have in your tank, and this doesn't mean you'll experience the same, just be sure to keep an eye on things if you add these critters <G>.  Regards, EricR>>

Stocking 35 gallon, Gobiodon  - 1/30/2006 Hello I would not usually trouble you with a question as I use the search and know that if you look most have been answered before but.. I have a 35 gallon tank that is 6 months old and have 1 tibicen angel <This tank size/shape is too small for this fish> 1 tomato clown (small) and a BTA 6 inch diameter 1 watchman goby and Alpheus shrimp 1 green clown goby 2 cleaner shrimp 2 camel shrimp A Fromia star 10 snails assorted Star polyps Brain coral Leather coral (soon to be donated to my friend) Some mushrooms and Ricordea 20 kg of LR 150 watts of 50/50 pc lighting A prism skimmer that works!!! <Heee!> Amm 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 3ppm Calc 500 <Too high...> Ph 8.3 Alk high on Red sea test kit Can I get 1 more Gobiodon rivulatus to make a pair or am I too heavily stocked? <I would not place two Gobiodons in this system or one of less than two-three times this size, surface area. Bob Fenner> I am very diligent in my testing and checks and change 10% water a week with I.O. salt mix

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