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FAQs on Goby Compatibility

Related Articles: Gobies & their Relatives, Amblygobius Gobies, Genus Gobiodon Gobies, Genus Coryphopterus Neon/Cleaner GobiesShrimp/Watchman Gobies, Sifter/Sleeper Gobies/ValencienneaSleeper Gobies/Eleotridae, Mudskippers,

Related FAQs: Gobies 1, Gobies 2Goby Identification, Goby Behavior, Goby Selection, Goby Feeding, Goby Systems, Goby Disease, Goby Reproduction, Amblygobius Gobies, Clown GobiesNeon GobiesGenus Coryphopterus Gobies, Mudskippers, Shrimp Gobies, Sifter Gobies

bristle worms, incomp.      2/19/12
I have a fifty gallon reef tank that has been set up for over ten years. 
It is stocked with SPS corals, clams and rock anemones.  Fish inhabitants are a pair of perculas, an argi angel and a navarchus angel.
<This last needs much more room>
  There are no shrimp or crabs.  Recently, I added eight gobies, neons and red head.  They were all doing well when they started to disappear, one per night.  It was a mystery to me but I may have the culprit.  I would like your opinion.  After the disappearances, I found several large bristleworms.
 One monster was the size of a pencil.  Most of the others have been around two inches long.  Could these have been preying on the gobies?
<Ah yes; or maybe the rock anemones. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polychaewmcompfaq2.htm>
 Thanks.  Dennis
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Goby/Blenny Concerns 4/24/2011 (Psychological Crowding)  4/25/11
Hello everyone.
<<Hi Felipe.>>
Well congratulations on the wonderful site. Just wanted to thank you first for the help in the past.
<<Thank you for the accolades, glad to be of help in your education of aquaria.>>
Now to the questions at hand.
<<Of course.>>
I have a 20 gallon tall tank and am in the process of securing a larger tank(50 gallon). May take about 2-3 months. In the 20g I have an Ocellaris Clown who has no problem with anyone. A few blue legged hermit, a few Turbos, a Pink Spotted Goby (who is the concern) and lives with a blue-legged Pistol Shrimp named Dozer, and a newly acquired Bicolor Blenny. Now the question is...the goby is a bit larger than the blenny. I would say the goby is about 2" and the blenny is about 1.5". The goby for the most part minds his own business but I have seen him. Puff up and open his mouth to intimidate the blenny.
<<Normal aggression between these two animals when lacking space. The configuration of the 20 tall set up does not give them the surface area they need to avoid each other.>>
I even saw him chase the blenny away from his cave. The blenny seems to pay no mind. He just continues to eat algae everywhere but he tends to stay on the side of the tank where the goby is instead of the opposite side. Would the aggressiveness be something to worry about or will they be ok till the new tank is acquired and set up? Please advise and thank you in advance.
<<At this point it sounds like territorial aggression rather than outright attacking of one another, the main concern would be that one specimen would scare the other into psychological submission keeping him from eating and thus starving/dying. In that case, yes one would need to be moved. While they make have enough room swim wise, chemical wise, they do not, comfortability wise. - Adam J.>>

Tank Stocking, Blenny Incompatibility   8/5/09
Hi guys I love your site.
<Hello, I kind of like it too.>
Been reading for like 6 months. Since I discovered your site and still have a long way to go. I upgraded from a 30 gallon to a 55g marine aquarium. I would like your help with my stocking list. Let me give you my tank specs.
Ph 8.3
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 5
Calcium 400
Carbonate hardness 10
Temp 85 (I know it's high but I don't have a Chiller)
<Everything looks okay, except for the temperature. Please save up for a chiller before you spend money on livestock.>
55g saltwater
Aqua c remora skimmer
30g sump/refugium with Chaeto
Quiet one 3000 return pump
Skilter 400 filter with Chemi pure
2 Koralia #2 for water movement
4x 54w t5 ho Odyssea fixture
60 pounds of live Caribbean rock
4 inches of live sand in the display
6 inches of live sand in the refugium
Pair of clown fish
Sand goby
Skunk cleaner shrimp
Fire shrimp
6 emerald crab,8 hermits,4 brittle starfish (all came on the rock)
2 feather dusters
I love Blennies and goby's.
I will add 3 fire goby, a Midas
Blenny and a Red lip Blenny.
<Hmm, the 3 Firefish sound reasonable, but I would only add one of those two Blennies. In fact I wouldn't add more than one type of Goby, but the sand goby and fire goby occupy different niches.>
I would like your suggestion on other Blennies and Goby's that you would think will get along with the stocking list or maybe a small wrasse and some soft Coral that could survive the temperature.
<Between the clowns, the 3 Firefish, and the Blenny, I would say your tank would be about full. But please do not add anymore fish or corals until you solve the temperature issue.>
I was thinking of adding a Flame Angel but I don't think there is enough space on a 55g.
<Good choice.>
Thank you for your time and I am sorry for all the grammatical errors but English is not my first language and the spelling check on my Black Berry is not that great.
<Your welcome, Josh Solomon.>

Re: Tank Stocking, Blenny Incompatibility   8/5/09
Thank you for the quick response and the advice.
<Your welcome.>
I will see what I can do about the chiller because I live I an apartment and the tank is in the living room. And I read that the chillers produce a lot of heat.
<It is really not as bad as you might of heard, for a big tank maybe, but for a small chiller on a 55 in should not be to large of a problem in an air conditioned apartment.>
I guess I will have to add some fans to see if I can lower that temperature.
<I had assumed you already had fans over the tank, but you know what they say about assuming... A couple of fans will likely serve you well. What is the difference of temperature between at night just before your lights turn off, to in the morning just before they turn on?>
Again thanks for your time and advice.
<Your welcome, Josh Solomon.>

Gobies, Blennies (comp.) and Clown Tang (size) 4/29/09
Hi Crew.
I value the information on your site greatly. What an excellent resource, thanks. My question is about goby and blenny compatibility. I have a 120 gallon reef that has been running for 3 months upgraded from a 55 reef that has been running for > 1 year. I currently have a scooter blenny and a neon goby. Through "rescuing" some fish from a crashed tank I acquired a bi-color blenny
<An Ecsenius? This genus can be quite territorial>
and an orange spotted goby that was "supposed" to be a diamond goby.
<A member of the genus Valenciennea?>
So I was told. We had a diamond goby that managed to jump the tank (out of a 2" gap, go figure). We would like to get another diamond goby and maybe another neon goby. Will this be too much goby and blenny for this tank?
<Mmm, no... should be fine in a 120 gallon>
One other question if you don't mind, please.
I have found quite a bit of variance in the size of clown tangs ranging 8" to 15". Does anyone have some idea of what the average size is in captivity?
<Likely near 8". I have seen near 12" individuals in the wild, but this size is rare>
He is an amazing active and personable fish that has already grown leaps and bounds, eats like a pig and made it through ich and virus infections.
thanks many times over for your time and advice.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Signal Gobies: Lovers or Fighters? 12/24/08 Hello, and thanks for all the great advice I've gleaned over the years. I recently bought a pair of twin spot signal gobies from my excellent LFS. They are healthy and were eating in the store. My question is regarding their social behavior. I have read mixed recommendations about buying them solo or in pairs. <Have only seen in pairs in the wild... but have occasioned this species in captive care solo... and seemed to be doing fine as well> I decided to buy two as the 'last word' in a prominent manual recommended this. The two are inseparable, never straying more than a few inches apart, and most of the time physically in contact. <Natural behavior> However, they constantly nudge each other around and will occasionally nip at one other. <This also> I don't see a pattern of one being the clear aggressor, nor is their action frantically violent, just a constant: Lay there...munch some sand...try and burrow under the other guy....munch some sand....nip at the other guy.... rub against the other guy, repeat. My LFS said that he was perplexed by the conflicting literature and said to try two and if they are not working out he'd gladly take one back. Is this just social behavior or is this their version of aggression? <Mmm... social, which incorporates a bit of aggression> I'll separate them if need be. On the other hand, I wonder if they're just affectionate? <Mmm, yes... like humans, other animals... "trying each other out"... thought by some to have survival value for the species... tests of fitness> I have memories the prudish chaperones at high school dances and would hate to be that guy! T <Heeeee! I would not separate these two. Bob Fenner>

Goby Compatibility 11/07/08 Hi crew, <<Hey Daniel>> I have another "simple" question; you were always very helpful so I hope I will get answer from you :) <<I'll give it a try>> My 100g reef right now has: -yellow tang (2 inches) -purple tang (3 inches) -flame angel (1,5 inch) -green canary blenny (Meiacanthus tongaensis)(2 inches) -purple Firefish (2 inches) Reef is 8 months old, 100lbs live rock, 1/2 inch sand bed and Euro-Reef RS-180 skimmer, change water every single week (12 gallons), so filtration shouldn't be a problem. I would like to add three more small fishes: -neon goby (Gobiosoma oceanops) -royal gramma (Gramma loreto) -Diamond Watchman Goby (Valenciennea puellaris) Two concerns: 1. Is 5 ft long tank enough for three different gobies (Firefish, neon and diamond watchman)? <<I think these three species are diverse enough in their habits that this won't be a problem>> 2. How about that diamond watchman goby? <<How about it?>> I have thin and dirty sand bed, I need him to clean it and of course I am going to feed him extra, because sand bed by itself is not going to be enough to make him "full". <<Won't be a problem'¦ These fish generally take to prepared foods quite well>> I prefer to have couple more fishes but small, instead of only 3 or 4 bigger fishes, that why I have some concerns about compatibility. Is it going to work? <<I think so, yes>> Thanks, Daniel <<Quite welcome. EricR>>

Goby compatibility 09/04/2008 Hello! <<Hello, Andrew today>> First, thanks very much for your expertise - you guys rock! <<..And thank you for being a part of the community>> Here's my question: I have a 29-gallon tank with a Pink Spotted Watchman Goby - Cryptocentrus leptocephalus, who's about 3 inches long. Can I add a yellow clown goby - Gobiodon okinawae, or will Creature (The Pink Spotted Watchman), harass or otherwise cause his demise? <<Compatibility wise, its fine>> My other fish are two Ocellaris and 1 Royal Gramma. I know some gobies can be co-mingled and some can't. I have a large artificial reef in there with tons of nooks and crannies, so that part isn't a problem. <<Tank size wise, its not. Personally, I would not house any more fish in a tank this size>> Thanks very much for your help and have a great day. Shelly <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>  

Dragon Goby, Human Injury 6/9/08 Hi, <Hello> I am trying to research the dragon goby, but not for a fish tank. Recently, while we were at Thassos, Greece, my daughter reached down to pick up what she thought was a rock or a shell, but turned out to be a fish that had been resting under the sand. (She was sure it was a sea snake that bit her.) <Did it look like puncture wounds? If so I would guess it was stuck by spines as opposed to bitten.> It did cut her finger and resulted in a very painful and inflammatory reaction. A doctor there came to give her an injection to help with the pain, and said it was probably a dragonfish. Two weeks later, her finger is still swollen and is now being treated medically. I want to find out more if the dragon goby could be the fish that she touched. <Unlikely, they would not be capable of inflicting such a would, I would guess it was some sort of Scorpaenidae, many of which do have venomous spines and could be mistaken for rocks.> I am not finding very good information so far, and see that you have a lot of expertise. Will you please help me by directing me to the right resources? Please send information directly back to my email address. Thank you. Sincerely, Melissa <Some of these fish can be very dangerous, fortunately it seems as though the injury here is pretty localized. Two weeks seems like a very long time to still have significant injury, perhaps DAN (Diver Alert Network) could direct you to a doctor familiar with dive related injuries, and may have familiarity with something like this. http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/index.asp . Hopefully if Bob has any more ideas he will add here, but I would definitely seek a medical professional here.> <Chris>

Yasha Hase goby and High fin goby, comp.   6/3/08 HI, <Hallo!> I just had a question on the behavior of shrimp gobies. I recently added a Yasha Hase goby and pistol shrimp to my 14g nano reef. I also was thinking about adding a high-fin goby, you know the ones with the black and white striped body and yellow head (they go by a lot of names). <Yes, they certainly do. One of the great problems yet to be overcome in the hobby is the many colloquial names for fishes and corals.> I was wondering if there would be some territory issues? If I do this should I add another pistol shrimp as well? <I think even if there weren't territory issues, you'd just need more tank space for these guys to happily coexist. This is, of course, my opinion and you could probably find others pretty easily, but it is my sincere belief that the health of the goby in question will be better if his already limited sandy territory is left his and his alone- and your enjoyment of the aquarium will increase for it.> Any advice would be appreciated. <Thanks for writing in.> Thanks. -Ted <Benjamin>

Dragon Goby and Fiddler Crab 05/09/08 Hi Crew, <Hello Cassie,> We just set up a 15 gallon tank on Monday. Currently we have 2 guppies, 1 platy, 10 small shrimp, 1 small Koi, 1 small Angelfish, 1 small neon tetra, 1 small orange tetra, 1 Pleco, and a Dragon Goby. I know its a lot and we are setting up a second tank as I am writing this. <Good, because not all these fish can live together. The Dragon goby _must_ be kept in brackish water (around SG 1.005, or 9 grammes of marine salt mix per litre of water). None of your other fish, except the Guppies and perhaps the Platy, will survive in such conditions.><<Note: Dragon gobies can be (are better) kept in marine water -S.M.>> I was told that a fiddler crab and a dragon goby could not co-exist. And that they would cause each other disease and pain and suffering. Is that incorrect? <Theoretically should be fine. Fiddler Crabs as you know (hopefully) die in freshwater. They can only live in brackish water. Provided the Fiddler Crabs have lots of land to explore, they should basically leave the Goby alone, and _vice versa_. It goes without saying that you need a fairly big tank for the Goby: they get to at least 30 cm in length. If you going to combine with Fiddler Crabs, you need to accommodate not just the Goby but also a big sand bank and rocks and bogwood for the crabs. So a 55 gallon tank is likely the absolute minimum for this combination.> I was wanting to have a Crab they are so cute and fun. But I don't want to cause my goby any harm. I named him Fred and I want him to grow well. So what should I do? <He won't grow well at all in freshwater; in fact he will be miserable, get sick, and die.> Thanks for your time. <Happy to help. Please do read the articles on Brackish Water aquaria here at WWM, perhaps starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracsystems.htm Good luck, Neale.> Goby Compatibility? 01/02/2008 Hey there. <<Hi, Andrew today>> I'm planning to add new livestock to my 15g reef in a couple of days. I used to have three Eviota gobies (Eviota nigriventris) but now I only have one left (one of them presumed to have jumped over the surface skimmer and into the skimmer "ouch"). <<A beautiful goby, good jumpers>> So I was wondering, are Eviotas compatible with the Blue Neon Goby (Elacatinus oceanops)? <<No problems with adding an Elacatinus oceanops to the system with the Eviota>> Best regards, Mark Forsling <<Thanks and good day. A Nixon>>

How many gobies? Comp., Gobiodon, Gobiosoma    11/15/07 Hi all, We're thinking of adding some cleaner gobies and maybe a clown goby and I had some questions for you. We have a 60g tank with two clowns, a Banggai cardinal, two cleaner shrimp and some snails and hermit crabs. We're looking to add more cleaners to stave off ich and the like, also because from what I hear and read, gobies are good tank additions. <Some...> My question pertains to quantity and getting along between goby species. I've read up a bit on your site and just wanted to see if my plan holds water. I'm thinking that maybe a small group of neon gobies could be added, maybe 4-6? <Mmm, I'd stick with two. They are territorial, might fight. Two will do all the good cleaning-wise any other number might do here> And then maybe one or two clown gobies. <Do you have live Acropora for them to feed, live on?> Do you think this is too many gobies for our tank? These different types of gobies will get along in our tank size, yes? <Should, yes> That'd probably be it for fish in our tank. We're big on not overstocking. Also, we are using crushed coral at the moment, this isn't bad for them, right? <Not important... but other habitats presence is...> And the cleaner shrimp and cardinal shouldn't be a bad compatibility mix for them, right? <What species is/are the cleaner shrimp? Stenopids might consume these> And while I have your attention, do these fish get their food from the fish cleanings? <Mmm, the Cleaner gobies to a good extent. Gobiodon spp. mainly consume SPS polyps in the wild> Meaning that they could starve if the fish don't let the gobies clean? <Mmm, no... should be fed purposely... A refugium... with all that it implies is best here> I think I read that they also eat brine shrimp and such, but wanted to make sure they will in fact eat regular foods like formula one, Mysis, brine, krill, things like that. <Usually, yes> Thanks! ~Ashlin <Welcome. BobF>

Pygmy Goby Conundrum 10/29/07 The amount of information on Pygmy Gobies is limited to, well, nothing. Just pictures from proud owners. So I have a question for you. I have a beautiful pair of pygmy gobies, a candy cane striped (Trimma cana) and a neon (Eviota pellucida). They're happily housed by themselves in a 12g nanocube with plenty of liverock and Zoanthid colonies. They did have a Sixline Wrasse however he thought it would be fun to jump out the one time I didn't close the lid before I left for work. <Perhaps this is best...> I also have a 75g reef. The inhabitants are a Kole Tang (scaredy cat), 2 Clarkii Clowns, a small, but full grown, Green Spot Puffer, a fat neon goby, and a yellow wrasse. The Puffer is docile as can be. The only thing he's ever tried to bite is my finger. :) The tank has been set up for roughly more than 7 months, a successful upgrade from a 45g. Coralline has taken over and all corals are happy. <Okay> Okay here's the question. I'd like to sell the 12g nano and keep the pygmy gobies. Do you foresee any problems with doing so? <Mmm, maybe making sure they're getting food> I know you can sometimes keep neon gobies in groups... And none of the other inhabitants would eat the gobies. Except perhaps the pistol shrimp? <Would if it could> My main worry is that the gobies will become so shy they won't come out to eat. <Yes> The wrasse, puffer, and clowns are really aggressive eaters (although they had no problem with the sixline's food happiness). <But the smaller tank made finding food easier> What do you think would happen? I could perhaps set up a small breeder in the tank but on top of the pumps, overflow, etc I think they'd get lost to the casual observer. Thanks in Advance Yvette <Only experience here can/will tell. Bob Fenner>

Yellowhead sleeper gobies  7/7/07 Dear Crew, In your experience have you ever heard of this situation: I have a mated pair of yellowhead sleeper gobies who lived harmoniously for over a year. They had their own burrow under a rock where they stayed together. Then, for some unknown reason, one has turned on the other. <Mmm, yes> The aggressor chases the other away if too close. The weaker one is suffering; eating, but getting thinner. I'm going to try to catch the aggressor if I can and separate them for a while. I was wondering if anyone had ever heard of pairs of gobies turning on each other. Thanks, Jeff <Perhaps some sort of behavior related to the system being, or rather being perceived as too small... Maybe two animals of the same sex... Bob Fenner, who would separate them>

Mithrax Crab and Eviota Goby Compatibility -- 4/29/07 I just today acquired a small group of three Neon Eviota gobies. <Pretty!> Since a couple of months back, I've had a Mithrax crab to get rid of a lot of the hair algae buildup I've gotten in my 15 gallon tank (brought on by equipment malfunction). I got the situation under control but still quite a bit of hair algae to move through. <It's frustrating, I know, but time and continued good husbandry will remedy this.> I have, however, been hearing lately on some forums of people having some problems with emerald crabs attacking fish, so I was wondering if my new gobies are at any considerable danger? <Potentially, yes. Not only because of their size, but because they inhabit the same areas of the tank. Both wander  about on the sand and rocks, which gives the crab more opportunity for predation.> I previously had a small maroon clown that I traded in and it went unharmed, but I'm a bit extra concerned about the new Eviotas since they are so much smaller. <Personally, I'd be very concerned. Keeping the crab well fed could help discourage problems (target/spot feeding 3-4 times/week), but there are no guarantees. It's a gamble.>    Best regards, Mark Forsling <Same to you, Mark, and good luck! -Lynn>

Goby compatibility  3/28/07 I have a 125 gallon reef ready tank with 150#'s live sand and 100#'s live rock.  I have a tomato clown, cleaner shrimp, and a diamond goby.  (I'm just getting it started.)  It's about 7 months old, cycled and a fair amount of brown algae.  My question is if I put a Golden headed sleeper goby in the tank also, will they fight and kill each other, or just ignore and tolerate each other. <Most likely the last two> The present goby has 3 burrows made under rocks and sifts through all of my sand.  I did add a pack of copepods (200 of them) that I ordered, and I can see them on the glass near the sand.  So there is plenty of food for them.  Plus I Tweezer feed it cold cooked shrimp.  I just want your opinion if this is a bad idea or not.  I thought it may work since I have a big tank and lots of rock and sand. Thanks for the advice. You guys are a great help to us. <Thanks... I do think these two gobies will get along... Do want to mention though that there are a few other avenues of combating (likely diatom) algal proliferation... Posted on WWM... Bob Fenner>

Discordipinna griessingeri   3/7/07 Just a little foreword - I've emailed you about my girlfriend's tank (Jawfish, then stocking questions) but now I have my own Oceanic 14g!  I'm still letting it cycle with LR, but hopefully it will be ready soon. <Okay> My ?s :) 1. Discordipinna griessingeri / Flaming Prawn Gobies - Are there any distinguishing characteristics between male and female? <Mmm, not as far as I'm aware... and this fish is not found in association with prawns: http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=7212> 2. What do they actually eat in the Ocean (besides Mysis)?  I plan on having another critter that likes pods...will they eat them?  And are any of the marketed foods good to fit their appetite? <Assorted zooplankton mostly... some small worms... Cyclop-eeze, Mysids and such...> 3. Seeing as they are smaller in size, would Two  -  Discordipinna griessingeri One  -  Candy Pistol Shrimp (Randall's) be okay with a third smaller fish (non-gobioid)? <Mmm... I would not keep an Alpheid with this fish... too likely to be eaten> Any other interesting info you have (links) would be appreciated, as there is not much about these guys that I could find on the net. <Put the scientific name in your search tools and read on. Bob Fenner>

Discordipinna griessingeri addition   3/7/07 Sorry. I forgot to add I would like 3 sexy shrimp and a pom pom crab...I'm going to assume the crab is too much, but would like your opinion.  There will be quite a bit of aquascaping and many places to hide :) <Mmm, these small crabs are not easily kept, nor the Thor species in such small volumes... they really need the space to provide adequate stability for their needed symbiont... Bob Fenner>

Signal Gobies, and Emerald Crab Comp.   1/31/07 Hi there, I have a 125 gallon reef ready system, that is about three months old.  I have 140 pounds of live sand, and 100 pounds of live rock.  I have 1 tomato clown, and I recently put in 2 signal gobies paired, and 1 1" Emerald crab.  The second day they were in the tank the gobies had claimed a spot and started burrowing under rocks and finding hiding places.  I notice one of them nipping at the other just playfully, and I watched a couple times as the crag <crab?> came close to them.  They put up their fins in attempt to scare him off but he just continued on picking on the rock and wandering around, not seeming to bother them. <Mmm, what constitutes "bother?">   About three days later (yesterday) I noticed that one of them were completely missing, and the night before they were both doing their thing.  It was nowhere to be found.  Now today I cant find the other one.   <Mmmm> I read that signal gobies spawn by first nipping on the male, then burrowing and the female lays eggs in a burrow and then the male gets sealed off in the burrow.  It has been 2 days that the one is missing and just today that the other is missing.  Does this sound like spawning or homicide by the Crab. <Could be either, neither...>   I'm thinking of moving the rocks to see if they are under there but if they have spawned I don't want to bother anything. <I would hold off here for a week or more...>   I don't even see any body parts anywhere if the were attacked by the crab. <Mmm, you wouldn't likely... if they had been consumed> Is it possible for them just to disintegrate, or dissolve. <Actually, yes... they may have even "just jumped out"... or be hiding still... Again, I urge patience here> I'm really concern.  Just wandering what your thoughts were. Thank You Aaron <Oh, and possibly removing the questionable crab... See WWM re. Bob Fenner> Goby and Mandarin Mix! Dear Crew, <Scott F. here today!> Thanks for all the endless help!  I have read about compatibility and am having trouble deciding if the following would likely be compatible to add to my tank.  I have a Mandarin Dragonet in a 240 gallon with 'fuge and am wondering if I could add a Yellow Watchman Goby and 2 or 3 Engineer Gobies.  I am unsure if there would be too much competition for pods or if there would be aggression issues.  Thanks for any advice! Lea <Great question, Lea! I'm glad that you are including the availability of food as an important consideration. In a tank the size of yours, with lots of rockwork, I'd be fairly comfortable in postulating that aggression will not be too great of a problem. Sure, there might be an occasional squabble or two, but for the most part, I think that you'll be okay. If the Mandarin appears to be healthy and well fed, and if your refugium harbors a significant microfauna population, you will probably be okay with these fishes in the same system.  Remember, the Watchman Goby and the Engineer Gobies can eat all sorts of prepared foods with relative ease, once weaned to them. The Mandarin, of course, is more problematic, often only feeding only on live foods. Having been a big Goby fan for many years, I've had personal success with keeping many different species together in appropriately-sized systems. I say go for it! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Goby Compatibility  4/29/06 Hello - <Hi Nate> After learning the ropes on a 20 gallon reef tank for a year or so, I am thrilled that I now have a 65 gallon tank that has been up and   running for 3 months now as well. <Great!> Quick question for you... In addition to my coral (mostly SPS, a few LPS), I would like to have   a number of "small fish" to populate the tank.  In particular, I would like to add a number of green-banded and red-head gobies   (Elacatinus multi. and fasciatus), <Did you mean multi?  The Red Headed Goby is Elacatinus puncticulatus and the Green Banded Goby is Elacatinus multifasciatus. The Red Headed Goby is territorial and may quarrel with others of its own kind unless they are a mated pair.  The Green Banded Gobies get along well with each other and are generally kept in groups of three or more but I have been unable to track   down any information as to whether they do better when kept in odd or even numbers... what say the Gurus of WetWebMedia? Thanks! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Nate

Goby ID/Bully Goby-SORRY!  - 03/11/2006 Sorry, forgot the picture!! Here is my email again with photo attached.. Hello fine people! Your site has been most helpful to me over the past few months. My tank looks positively lovely now, and I am really enjoying the hobby! I have a 75 gallon saltwater tank that is about 8 months old. Of course it has fully cycled and contains two Domino Damsels, <Yikes... tough!> a clean up crew and two what the LFS labeled as "Dragon Gobies."  The Damsels are still alive after cycling and they are getting huge. I will eventually take them back to the LFS when I am ready for the permanent tank inhabitants but I have gotten somewhat attached to them. They are each 3 inches long now. <Hope you have "Kung Fu" netting techniques... and stamina!> My problem is not with the Dominos (surprisingly they are pretty docile) but with one of my Gobies. I am attaching a photo so you can see what they look like. I am not convinced this is a true Dragon Goby after looking at pictures of other Gobies also called "Dragon Gobies" on yours and other sites. Are these really Dragon Gobies? <Call 'em what you will... You can call them Jay and you can call them Ray. See here: http://wetwebmedia.com/amblygobius.htm> I have one about 4 almost 5 inches long and the smaller guy is 3 and a half inches. They appear to be healthy, have no trouble eating, and have been in the tank for approximately three months. My problem is that the larger Goby is a BIG bully to the smaller one, often constantly chasing him from one end of the tank to the other. <Yes... territorial... in a too-small territory for two> At feeding time, they both eat peacefully and there is no competition for food. However, most other times, the smaller Goby is running from the larger one. I have many hidey holes in my tank for the smaller one to hide, but the bullying seems excessive. It's as though he feels the need to push the smaller one around anytime the little guy ventures out. How can I help the smaller fish? <... a larger system mostly> I feel badly for him. He even "hides" at the waterline sometimes, floating as close to the surface as possible while the bigger one taunts him. If you put your ear to the tank, you can hear him trash-talking. (ok, just kidding!) What can I do? Thanks! Gabrielle <I'd trade one in... along with the Dascyllus. Bob Fenner>

Clown Goby Compatibility 12/31/05 I have a 29g tank w/35lbs of LR and 40 lbs of LS...xp1 filter w/ AquaC remora skimmer.  I have some live corals...hammer coral, open brain, mushrooms, Candycane coral, 1 small frag of Acropora, 3 frags of Kenya tree...2 65w pc's...Livestock cherub pygmy, pair of true Percs, and 1 yashia white ray goby...was thinking of adding a clown goby but wanted to know if it would be compatible with what I got so far?...will the gobies fight each other or will they get along? <<A clown goby should me fine with your current inhabitants. Please take a minute to research and read on WWM. Here is a link to get you started: < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobiodon.htm>. Also, remember to quarantine! Happy New Years - Ted>>

Goby Dilemma   12/28/05 First, I hope all of you at CREW had a very Merry Christmas or if that's not your fit, finding peace in your Holiday. <Thank you for your wishes>   Now for the dilemma. Not knowing who will pick this message up, here's the recap. We have a natural habitat fish tank (for more on that descriptive, see my new forum suggestion on the Forum message board).  We took your advice to get 1 Brittle Star and 1 Goby as good fish tank sweeper keepers. The Black Brittle Star seems to be doing great in what looks like reach out exercises before we go to bed at night.  We have noticed it did rid a pile left by one of our fish under some rock work, so assume it's stretching it's legs when the coast is clear. <And sampling the water chemically...> Maybe some night we'll get lucky enough to see it out for a cruise. <Likely past dark... with a flashlight> As for the Goby, our Damsels are such snots, they kept chasing it into our rock. <Typical>   We really thought it was going to wind up being a nice meal for the Star but then discovered it taking advantage of early morning or evening room lighting after the tank lights were out when only our Naso and Clown are somewhat active until all is dark.  These sightings have been on occasion at best.  We have concluded our better bet is to assume it's not going to make it or if it does, it's purpose is going to be about staying alive rather than serving the tank. <Yes, best to move this fish or its antagonists> We noticed our modest population of crabs are hitting the sand bed at night, but they can't keep up so we still need a sand sweeper.  Do we get another Goby?  Switch to another animal? <All possibilities... the damsels should go...> Just in case you're thinking Sea Urchin, we feel it would take up too much room.  Our Green Bird Wrasse needs the space to continue his occasional sporting events with the Damsels.  When they get him mad, he turns into Turbo Tube and jets into a fast paced pursuit.  We can tell he loves these high paced swoop swimming adventures. <Well stated>   He does surprise them with some amazing cornering maneuvers through the rock before finally backing off.  If we got an Urchin, be a matter of time till he slammed into it.  Any ideas on what would serve the tank and hold it's own or go unnoticed? <Better to use your own power (human) in adding circulation, increasing maintenance frequency. Bob Fenner>       J Debi Stanley-Viloria "Every minute used in anger, to worry, or visit regrets is a minute of happiness lost". <Agreed... negative energy/action/thought closes avenues of consciousness... Positive ones inspire possible hyper-awareness... think on this. Which is a better way to muster ones Ruh spirit. RMF>

Valenciennea puellaris and Amblyeleotris guttata compatibility  11/17/05 I had a Valenciennea puellaris that jumped from my tank, so I had my LFS order another, but his supplier sent him Amblyeleotris guttata instead.  <Not unusual to have suppliers mix gobies up> My questions are: 1) would these 2 fish be compatible in a 135g system?  <Mmm, yes, should get along> Since the diamond watchman and the spotted prawn look so similar, I didn't know if that might cause them to fight.  <Not likely> 2) I believe I had sufficient 'pods for the puellaris (they are -everywhere- both amphipods and copepods, very easy to find all over the rocks, glass, sand, any time of day). I have about 3-4" of sugar-sized sand throughout, and the live rock offers a lot of places for things to hide (very porous and stacked to make crevices). My concern is if they both eat 'pods that I would not have enough. I planned to add a refugium within the next 2 months, but do not have one yet. Would these two fish compete for food? <Not to the point of starvation here> 3) I know the puellaris likes finer sand than the guttata - would it be possible to put some more coarse sand/gravel on one side for the prawn goby and keep just the finer sand at the other end for the puellaris to encourage them to stay on different sides of the tank? <I would not add, mix the substrates> Thanks! Scott Hardin <Try as the system is currently. Should be fine. Bob Fenner> 

Frustrated with disappearances 10/25/05 Good morning.  <And to you>  I'm a new hobbyist, and have learned a great deal from your website, but was wondering if you could help me with a frustrating problem. I've followed lots of advice from your site, and after about 6 weeks, I have the beginnings of some nice coralline growth on my live rock. My problem is disappearing bottom feeders, specifically a 3.5 inch algae blenny about two weeks ago (never found a trace, in spite of moving around rocks), and now a new 3.5 inch sand-sifting orange spot goby who looked great sifting my sand bed yesterday, and then just vanished. It's only been a day, but I fear the worst.  I have a 36 gallon bowfront, 4" deep sand bed (Caribbean play sand), 10 pounds base lace rock, 40 pounds mixed Florida and Fiji live rock, 2 internal powerheads, hang-on Prizm skimmer, hang-on filter (for intermittent charcoal and mechanical filtration), 2 65Watt power compact lights. Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates undetectable. pH is 8.2 and temp steady around 80. Occupants are 2 true percula clowns, one small coral beauty angel, 1 brittle star (definitely not green), 1 common cleaner shrimp, 8 blue leg hermits, 3 red leg hermits, 5 Astrea snails, 5 Nassarius snails, and 2 small emerald crabs (roughly ¾" across the shell).  After reading your site, my suspects are: 1: hidden predator (unseen Mantis despite prevention attempts, and not seeing anything staying up to watch at night) or... 2: the emeralds. 3: brittle star. I was hoping you could help with my suspect list, and advice/course of action to find the culprit. I'd be surprised to hear the emeralds or brittle star are at fault given the size of them in relation to the missing fish, but I'll defer to your experience. I would really like to get on small bottom fish (preferably a goby or Jawfish), but I'm frustrated with the losses (and the cost), so I don't want to add anything else until I've sorted it out. I don't want to remove all the rock, so my thought was to proceed with some sort of trap at night. I'd love to tap your experience on: 1: Am I on the right track in assuming I've got a mantis, or would you suspect another culprit? 2: How common are mantis shrimp? I've read about them at your site, but everybody at the LFS said they had never even seen a mantis shrimp. How unlucky could I be with such a relatively small amount of rock? 3: What to do about it... I've considered fashioning some type of trap and baiting with shrimp, but I'd like you advice on where to place it and what to bait it with. With the type of fish disappearing, I'm unsure whether to trap near the rock, or along the sandbed in the front. If there's a bad guy in there, I suspect he's buried in the rock, and traps the fish when they are either sleeping or foraging deep in the rock. I've had no trouble (at least not yet) with the coral beauty, or the clowns. Thanks for a great site!!!! I'm loving the hobby so far, but this particular frustration is really giving me a fit (and my little boy gets really upset when we lose a fish).... <Unless the brittle star is fairly large, it doesn't appear you have any threat to your fish. Getting mantis shrimp as hitchhikers in live rock isn't that uncommon. Do you ever hear any clicking sounds at night? Are you sure the fish aren't in a overflow box etc? Did you check the floor behind the tank? If everything is OK in that regard, I'd probably get a mantis trap and bait it with some frozen type of food. The orange spotted gobies do best with a live sand bed and frequent feedings. Quite possible he wasn't getting enough food and may be dead and buried in the sand bed. Try stirring up the sand and see if that isn't the case. James (Salty Dog)> 

Stocking List: Marine Compatibility  10/20/05 Will the Yellow Watchman Goby get along with another goby in the same tank? <Depends on the exact species, may quarrel with other substrate dwelling gobies.> I'm also interested in a Copperband Butterfly.   <This fish has a lot of trouble adjusting to captivity and captive foods, and this too may be to large for your current system.> I know they can be difficult to fed but would it get along with everyone I have in the tank now? <Generally yes but remember its never a 100% guarantee.> Any opinions on Anthias?  I was thinking about the Square Spot Anthias. <Suffers from poor collection but usually does well (in my experience) in comparison to its relatives, feed three times a day as this is a planktivore and research, this fish too can grow considerably large.> One more question..............my Yellow Watchman doesn't seem to like flake food.  He does like brine shrimp but I know that isn't really that great for him. <No it isn't, mostly composed of exoskeleton and water.> Any other foods I should try? <Frozen Mysis.> THANKS! FAQ Crew <'¦And this time I WILL remember my name, Adam J.> Compatibility of gobiiforms 10/6/05 Are there any types of ish that can clean the sand in my tank and not eat   copepods (have a mandarin and bullet goby)? <First off the goby and the mandarin are not wise choices for tank-mates to begin with unless this is a large tank, 200 gallons + with tons of well established liverock and a fishless refugium.  If you were really worried about copepods being taken away from the mandarin you would not have added the goby. Please in the future research livestock compatibility thoroughly. As far as the sand look into Nassarius snails rather than other fish. Adam J.> Goby/oid stocking  10/2/05 Dear Crew, I want to add several different species of gobies to my 55gal tank.  Could you please read over the list and see whether they would all be compatible together, and let me know where I should draw the line on adding gobies? 2 purple Firefish 1 yellow watchman goby (and I would like to get a pistol shrimp for him) 1 green clown goby Thank you very much, mike <All these can be fitted into a large-enough system... and most gobies, Gobioids can be mixed, given sufficient space, habitat... Do read re these specific, genera needs on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Compatibility of Gobies in Small Systems  9/30/05 Hi Bob. <Actually Adam J with you tonight.> I am very new to the tank world.  I have a 20-gallon tank that contains three Percula clown fish, <These three alone may eventually become to much of a load for this size tank.> a sifting star <This is most unfortunate, these starfish usually starve to death in the average aquarium. They reach a total diameter of 12' and need a large tank with a well-established Deep Sand Bed.  In your system it will eventually die but first it will destroy all of the properties in any 'live' sand you currently have.> , a few feather dusters and corals, and a neon red-headed goby.  The fish were all introduced at the same time, the starfish a bit later.  The little goby thinks himself quite tough (he attacked a new sea anemone until I decided to take it out and read the starfish the riot act until it buried itself.)  He leaves the starfish alone now - I think he just likes to make his self-appointed dominance known.   My question is - I saw another small goby the other day at a local fish store.  It was about as small as the red-head, and very colorful (blue, green, red). Do you think they would fight or maybe just square off  for a bit and then get along?  I also don't want to  overload the tank, but I am pretty sure the little goby wouldn't do that. <With your current stock I can't recommend adding any more fish, especially since you cannot identify the exact species of fish you wish to add.> Thanks for your help, Sarah   <No problem, Adam J.> Blenny and Goby Compatibility 8/11/05 Hi, <Hi, Leslie here this evening> I  have a 90 gallon reef with corals system in which I have the following: 1 Bicolor Blenny, 1 Yellowhead Goby, 1 Mandarinfish, 1 Marine Betta, 1 Flameback Angel and 2 Green Chromis.  I would like to make it mostly a goby and blenny aquarium.  May I mix, say 10 more gobies and blennies in this mixture? <Yikes'¦unfortunately not.  Most goby and blenny species do not get along with the same and similar species, unless found in mated pairs. You have already mixed 3 types of gobies/blennies that could do well together. Please do read about these 2 groups of fish that you are interested in here'¦. Blennioids: Blennies and Blenny-Like Fishes http://www.wetwebmedia.com/blennioids.htm and Gobioid Fishes, and Ones Just Called Gobies! here'¦ http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobioidmars.htm Which ones do you recommend? I want a peaceful tank, with lots of color. There are a few exceptions, which do well in groups'¦. the Convict blenny http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pholodichthyidae.htm and the Clown Gobies http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobiodon.htm> I want a peaceful tank, with lots of color. < In addition the 2 species mentioned above you may want to consider a Flame Hawkfish or a pair if you can find a male/female pair. They are a beautiful bright flame red with black markings and quite striking. They are not in either of the families of fish you asked about but in some ways they remind me of blennies and gobies and I think you might like them. They will certainly brighten up any tank!  Another point to consider is that your Marine Betta has a good sized mouth and anything that can fit is fair game so,  be sure to choose good sized specimens when considering his tankmates.> Thanks for your input, AJ <Your most welcome! Hope this helps, Leslie> Gregarious Gobies (Pt. 2) Thanks for the prompt reply.  I purchased one of these fish and put it in my tank before thinking about what all its habits were.  I now have one goby that can go from one end of my 65 to the other without ever seeing the light of day. Unfortunately I also never see him. <Bummer! But think of how happy the goby must be...!> Is it possible to add two more now that the one is established?  Is it likely to make any difference to how much I see them? <It's worth a shot...Hard to say if you'd see the fishes more, but I'll bet that you would...> Thanks again. Fred. <Have fun imagining what those gobies might look like! Regards, Scott F>

Re: orange diamond goby compatibility with Pseudochromis fridmani and yellow-tail damsel? Just had a question on possible compatibility with an orange diamond goby with my Pseudochromis fridmani + a yellow-tail damsel (both have been in my 60g for about 2 months now). It seems gobies in general aren't compatible with the last two mentioned species, but I thought since the orange diamond is fairly large (4-5 inches) and stays near the bottom, perhaps they would get along? Have you seen this combination work out ok in tanks before? I am looking for a fish that would sift sand that would be compatible with my other fish. Thanks guys! < They should be fine since that species of goby is larger than most others and the fridmani is usually peaceful. Cody>   Best, Javier

Goby Compatibility Greetings Folks, <Hi Quinn> I never run out of questions for you folks.  Can I adopt one of you so I always have someone to ask on hand? <Uhhh, you'll have to submit a financial statement, answer a few questions....you know, the usual adoption stuff.  How are your house rules? Do you have large parties? How big is the NEW tank going to be?> I am setting up a 150 gallon display tank, with a 50 gallon sump/fuge, 17 gallons of which is the fuge.  I will be using a fair bit of live/base rock, approx. 200lbs.  I am considering a mandarin in the future, and will certainly be keeping a bi-colour blenny.  Should I be concerned that the two will conflict, being fairly similar animals? <Likely not.  They also have some room.  Give the system time to mature before adding a Mandarin and enough time for grazing for the Bi-color.>   Also, I have written in the past concerned Plotosidae lineatus, I am wondering if a trio of convict blennies, provided I can obtain them, might be a better choice, as they are not venomous, and display some of the same behaviour (schooling near substrate).  Would convict blennies hassle a bi-colour blenny or a mandarin? Cheers, Quinn <This is individual, but some gobies will do better together than others and some, as you probably know, are not gobies. I would stick with dissimilar types (IE: bi-colors eat algae and Mandarins pods) so they aren't in competition for food.   Craig>

Bad Meanie! >Hi, >>Hi. >I read your guy's posts but never had to post one of my own till now.  I have an established tank w 4 gobies in it. 1 engineer 1 red Firefish 1 purple Firefish 1 green spotted mandarin <- I think that's what its called? >>Yeah, that's one common name. >They all get along great. >>Hhmm.. cool, but I'm wanting to not have to retype the lack of caps, etc. >I wanted to add another colorful goby and did some research about bar gobies.  Everything I read told me they are peaceful community fish.  I never even read a post that said they were mean. >>Interspecific aggression among some gobies is not unheard of, that's for sure.  Also, not commonly known or addressed, as most folks don't have quite the specialized type of setup you do, my friend. >So I went to the pet shop and brought home a 4" bar goby.  First thing he did was attack my poor mandarin, bite at my starfish, and chase both the Firefish around.  Now I fear I made a huge mistake.  What should I do?   >>I'd return him, ASAP.  What'd the mandarin ever do to HIM??  Compete for food, maybe?  I don't know, but maybe something like neon or clown gobies might be better.  Btw, this "bar" goby, is it also known as a scissortail goby?  I have to find my goby site for ya..  hold on!  Awright!  Here you go -- http://uri.sakura.ne.jp/~dd/g/einfn1.htm  (This site is SO COOL if you love gobies!) >If I got another bar goby would they "play" with each other and leave my other fish alone?   >>Ohhh.. I sure wouldn't want to try to count on that, you just don't know, it could get worse. >Or would I be wasting money and bringing two bullies into my tank? >>You could, yes. >I hope I hear from someone soon cause the bar goby is about to get kicked out of the tank.  I don't think its fair to the original inhabitants who've been happy until now.   >>Agreed. >I'm scared he'll kill them. >>I'd worry, too.  Remove that thing.  Marina >Thank you very much, -P.L.

Gobies hey, I am starting up a 55 gallon reef tank and I had a question about gobies I've been looking around and decided that the only fish I want in the tank are gobies suck as prawn gobies, etc- the small species<Hmm...I like gobies but I would keep other fish because some gobies do not like other gobies lol> people have told me the following and I am very confused on what is right: 1) you can put up to 10 gobies in the tank with no problem<It depends which kind you are referring to> 2) only 2 gobies should be put in (about 30 gallons each)<Again this depends on the species as well> 3)no matter what they will fight and you should only add 1 <I would just go with your favorite goby> as you can see I am very confused as I have heard totally opposite things please let me know the truth <I would just find your favorite goby...and then I would find some other fish that you like. Good luck, IanB> thanks a lot Mike

Gobies ok, the gobies I wanted to add were as follows: Yasha haze goby, orange spot prawn goby, possibly a Catalina ( some stores are selling them saying they are accustomed to warm water such as Aquacon.com), and maybe a bar goby<these fish may be compatible depending on how much space they have. You can always try it out. and pull the aggressive fish. or the one that is getting picked on :(> what other colorful fish would you suggest? <My favorites is a mystery wrasse, peppermint hogfish, golden pygmy angelfish, there are many other colorful fish, just look inside your LFS...then find the name of the fish and research the fish before you purchase it...it sounds like you are on the right track, Good luck my friend, IanB> thank you for all the help Mike<your welcome and happy holidays!>

Gobies (12-14-03) hey again,<Howdy, Cody here today.> what are your thoughts on the following: if I got lets say 3 different pairs of "matched" goby and shrimp sets, with each goby being a diff kind, would the shrimp fight?<Unless you have a large tank I would stick to just one pair.  I think that it would be too crowded with all of them on and "in" the sandbed.  Although you may be able to pull this off if you had a large surface area.  Cody> thanks Mike

- Small Goby Compatibility - Hello crew members I have a 20 gallon long and I would like to add a few real small gobies. Can all different species in the goby family live together or will they fight. <Certain different species of gobies could live together, but same-species and even some within the same genus of gobies would fight unless you got definite male/female pairs.> Would they fight with a blenny too? <Probably not.> I thought that since they were so small they would be good for a nano tank and like 4 or 5 of them would not be a big bioload if you stay on top of water changes. <That would work, but tank size is a big factor in determining the comfort zone between any fish, regardless of size. I would consider a broader mix of small fish, not all gobies. Even then, probably not more than two or three. Cheers, J -- >

Community Goby Tank I have a large diamond watchman goby and neon gobies in my 100 gallon peaceful community. Will they get along with a few of the similar golden neon gobies? With the red head gobies (Gobiosoma puncticulatus)? <I would typically think fighting would break out- But this is a large tank with lots of hiding places.  You may want to keep one of each in a specimen contained prior to releasing them into your system- It will give you a first look at their actions (and the way they are treated) before you commit.  Good luck! Ryan> Howard

Randall's goby with lawnmower blenny Hi, Thanks for the great site, I send lots of people to it. Normally I can find my own answers, but this time I want yours. In a 37 Gallon " oceanic corner tank" I keep 25 lbs liverock, four inch deep sand bed. Fish are a pair of percula clowns pair of yellow  tail blue damsels, and a lawnmower blenny, with about 10 mixed snails, 10  blue leg hermits, and 6 asst mushrooms. Recently a friend gave me a 1 inch Randall's pistol shrimp. All is fine 2 weeks later, and I am wanting to add a Randall's goby or a yellow watchman goby. In this set up, do you think the goby and blenny would get along? <I give you good odds. Salarias, Atrosalarias blennies are generally only feisty with algae eating competitors> And if so which goby would be a better choice? Tank has been set up a years as is now. Thanks for any reply, Roger <The Randall's if you want to see interaction with the Alpheid... The Watchman if not. Bob Fenner>

Re: Randall's goby with lawnmower blenny Thanks for the quick reply, I keep an emperor 400 and the live rock, DSB for filtration, forgot to mention the emperor 400,again,  thanks. <Sure, No problem.  I would suggest a protein skimmer if you don't have one already.  MikeB.>

Goby Compatibility Hello again Mr. Fenner thanks for your reply on my puffer question. I have a strange but true situation, about 2 months ago I purchased a small watchman goby. As soon as I put it in my tank (reef) he went to the top and fell in the overflow box. I looked for it like crazy. I gave up on it and purchased a medium sized diamond goby. Well tonight I was cleaning my sump under my tank and to my surprise there was my watchman goby fat and healthy. Now my question will a watchman goby and a diamond goby get along. thanks in advance >> You're probably okay with putting these two together. Much more often, blending two or more of the same species, about the same size, at different times is a problem. Here, I'd wager that the original Watchman is and will stay much smaller... I'd try them, and pull one or the other if WWIII seems to really be going on. Chasing and flaring fins doesn't count. Be chatting, Bob Fenner

4-Wheel Drive Goby question Bob, I'd like to ask for one more piece of advice.... Recapping the contents of my 40 gal. mini-reef: 50 lbs. Fiji live rock 1.5" live sand (with shell debris, "GARF grunge", etc.) cleanup crew (hermits, snails, black banded starfish) 1 Clownfish 1 Yellow mimic tang Small pink crab, came w/birds nest (now dead) Decorator crab 2 Pacific cleaner shrimp Green star polyps Large Yellow leather coral Large Colt coral  Button polyps Very little green algae Lots of Coralline algae on rocks, side and back glass I do have good water movement (2 Maxi Jet 1000s, Knop Skimmer, Fluval 203 Canister w/spray bar). Nothing new has been added for over 6 months.  I'd like to add a 4-Wheel Drive Goby to stir the live sand and, most importantly, because they're way cool. FFE hobby notes on  this fish states that they must be kept in pairs as adults. Do  you agree? <Yes, rarely live as singles> What do you think about adding a pair of these guys to the above mix. Could there be a problem with the decorator crab? <Could be... if it's large, hungry> He's a fairly big one, about 2-3" in diameter. (He's one of our favorites- covered with bits of rock, button and star polyps, etc). I know I'm getting close to the capacity of this 40 Gal. tank, but would like a cool/beneficial bottom-dwelling fish. This will be the finale, as far as fish go, to this tank.  I do plan to also gradually add more soft corals. Thanks for your advice and have a great weekend! Dave >> <Thanks will do/am doing so. Bob Fenner>

Clown gobies Mr. Fenner, Love your web site, so much information. I have a few questions. What are you thoughts on keeping two clown gobies citron) with two Perculas (true)? <A good choice. Both very easygoing, eat about the same foods... Gobiodon are aware of what these fish are about...> I have a 58 gallon tank, wet dry filter, protein skimmer, live rock, devil's hand leather coral, toadstool, several mushrooms, and some green star polyps. I was considering the two Perculas, two clown gobies, a flame hawk fish, one preferably lattice butterfly or lemon, and a desjardinii Sailfin. maybe a Pseudochromis too. your input would be appreciated. <Hmm... well, do look for tank bred Percula clowns and Pseudochromis (much hardier, less aggressive, more disease free... I'd maybe use another species of tang... the Zebrasoma gets pretty big, rambunctious... maybe a Ctenochaetus species... Bob Fenner> Thank you, Rick

Gobies Hi Bob, I have a small (5 gal) tank I have set up with a pair (unsexed) of dwarf seahorses (boy are they cute!). I've had them about 6 weeks and they are doing great, have gotten nice and plump. The tank contains aragonite sand seeded with LS from my 80 gal tank, some small chunks of LR, some Halimeda and Caulerpa hitching posts also some gorgonian skeletons to hitch on, xenia, button polyps, small Shrooms, and cabbage coral. I feed heavily with BBS and added some Nassarius and Cerith snails to keep the glass clean and eat up dead BBS, there are also some pods and mini brittle stars (that's about all the detritivores I can safely add with such small residents). <Sounds like a very neat set-up... need some sort of magnification to enjoy all, see close enough to sex those horses> Now on to the main question! Last week my LFS had these really cute little gobies. They called them green gobies and said the were the Gobiodon sp?  <Yes, the genus perhaps. Look here: http://wetwebmedia.com/gobies.htm Maybe G. rivulatus> family. Great, I looked them up on your website :) and they match the description of the citron gobies (except for color and blue stripes). You site said they would be good in seahorse tanks, yeah! so I bought 2. They are less than 1". They are eating the BBS (good) but should I be adding something else for them? I do enrich the BBS with Selcon to make it as nutritious as possible. I did add a couple of live adult brine shrimp, but they ignored it (maybe to large for little mouths). Should I try some flake and or small bits of frozen? <Yes... but not too much (of course you don't want pollution). Likely only small moving food items will be of interest... and happily you do mention having other small life forms present> Thanks so much for you help! P.S. You had a question from someone who is the proud parent of some Banggai fry. I put up a page with some info about my experience raising them (have 10 survivors at 4 months :) ) Here is the link if you would like to forward it: http://www.users.qwest.net/~mkm4/Banggais.html I haven't updated it recently (something I need to do) I've learned a bit more as these fry have matured and think I will have much better success with the next batch. <Thank you for this... Wish the present status of passing on e-addresses was more assuredly safe... would post people's for other folks interactions... Hopefully more will avail themselves of our new ChatForum feature: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/... and make their ideas available there for input> This fish raising really gets addictive! I've now got some 5 day old pink skunk clown larvae. This is about the 7th spawn and the 1st time larvae have survived to this length. There is another spawn on their spawning site that should hatch next Sunday. I've also got a page up for them (spawning in action) if you'd like to see it, it's at: http://www.users.qwest.net/~mkm4/clowns.htm Keep up the great work! Kathy <You as well! Bob Fenner>

Citron goby Good afternoon, Mr. Fenner, I have recently purchased a citron gobies and have read in your book that they need a peaceful home. <Yes> I have a 55 with a Foxface, coral banded shrimp, cleaner shrimp, two convicts, one mandarin, and one cleaner gobies. Are any one of these specimens a problem? <Convict what?> I have not seen him eat yet. My tank has been up for about 2 years. my specs are ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 18 ph 8.3 salinity 1.24 and my temp is 80 degrees. My ORP reads during it low point about 240 during the day and back up to 300 during the night. If you see any possible problems please let me know and I will return him soon. <Nothing obvious... you are unlikely to see this animal eat... at least for quite a while... this is a reclusive species that feeds on small plankton... that are likely rising out of the substrate by night.> .Thanks once again. Ryan. PS: If your ever in New Orleans let me know I'll buy you a few pounds of crawfish... <Yum, ditch bugs... Procambarus clarkii... have a few favorite recipes myself. Bob Fenner>

The Case of The Disappearing Goby Hi, <Inspector Scott F., here> I wonder if you would be willing to help me try to puzzle out the disappearance of a fish? <Will try!> The fish in question is an Orange Diamond Watchman Goby, approximately 4" long. The two prime suspects are a medium-sized Zebra Eel and a medium (5") Harlequin Tusk, because it's doubtful that my Yellow Tang, Longfin Bannerfish, Australian Flame Hawk or small Niger Trigger could have disposed of a largish Goby. The eel has coexisted with the Goby for months now, but recently seems to have become more comfortable hunting the tank and has learned to relish an occasional crawfish, which it initially refused. Also, while it had previously ignored several hermit crabs in the tank, they too seemed to disappear in recent days. The Harlequin Tusk was added to the tank this week, has adjusted very well, and has shown no aggressiveness toward its tankmates. On the contrary, it seems happy to allow the slightly smaller Tang to get the upper hand (fin?) in their occasional territorial skirmishes. The Goby recently abandoned his subterranean lair on the left side of the tank to hover about the right side, closest the Eel's cave, and I saw the Eel make one or two tentative passes at it when stimulated by my feeding the fish. I was concerned about it but the wisdom in the literature says that Zebras are fish-safe. <This is the conventional wisdom, true> I could locate no Goby remains. Moreover, my Remora Pro skimmer shows no signs of increased activity, which leads me to believe that the Eel is the culprit, since he leaves no "crumbs". <It's always a possibility, despite it's reputation as a docile, easygoing fish. His movements towards your goby may simply have been a reminder that the fish is in his territory, but you just don't know> My tank is a live rock aggressive with substrate, so the Goby was integral to my cleaning arrangement. It was the sifter recommended as big and hardy enough to hold its own with aggressive fish too small to swallow it whole. The Eel was not supposed to be a problem, since it is a crustacean feeder. I would really like to add another sifter, but now I don't know what to think. <Well, the fish that, at least in theory, would be most likely to eat the goby should be the Tuskfish. Although largely peaceful, it is possible that he may be your culprit. They can and do eat small fish on occasion. By the way, I think that your declining hermit crab population is the work of the Hawkfish, trigger, and the wrasse! Questions to ask yourself as you attempt to solve the mystery: Are your eel and Tuskfish eating well? Was the goby eating well before he disappeared? Were the "suspect" fish eating well? Could the goby have jumped out of the tank, however unlikely that seems? The Hawkfish is most likely not the culprit, but do note that they can be aggressive to other bottom dwelling fishes, and harassment leads to stress, which can lead to worse things. Do keep an eye out-there is always the possibility that the goby is alive and could reappear. Just keep a sharp eye out> Any of your insights would be greatly appreciated, as I am at a loss. Besides being beneficial, the Goby was an interesting and likable character and he will be missed. Thanks in advance, Thomas <Don't give up hope, but I think that this mystery will stay in the "unsolved" file a while longer..>

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