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FAQs on Neon/Cleaner Gobies, Genera Elacatinus & Gobiosoma Behavior

Related Articles: Neon/Cleaner Gobies,

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

The presence of other fishes will affect them.

Neon Goby to clean Okinawae Goby        5/31/16
Hi all,
Due to size, will a small Okinawa yellow coral Goby allow a neon Goby to clean it (ick)? A cleaner wrasse I thought might be too large.
Thank you
<I suspect that Gobiosoma spp. clean conspecifics... but Gobiodons....? Do, will they clean them?
Aren't facultative cleaners at all. I'd just stock (as going over in WWM)
more of the same Neons.... Bob Fenner>

Green banded goby and Diadema urchin, sexing Echinoids     12/13/12
Dear Bob
Can a green banded goby's association with a Diadema urchin cause it to cluster its spines together, in sort of ordered clumps?
<Mmm, yes>
Or is this a sign of ill-health in the urchin (which otherwise seems to be behaving normally)?
I have noticed of late that my urchin does this, but it was not until just now, and with the aid of a flashlight, that I discovered the tiny green banded goby had not perished as was feared a couple of months ago, but is alive and well, and considerably bigger.  A nice surprise!
Also, when the urchin sidles up the wall of the tank into flow and pumps a milky liquid into the water, is this sperm?
<Likely so; yes... could be eggs, but w/o having both to compare, they're hard to distinguish>
 Is he a he?  Can I get him a
she, of the same genus at least and do they cross-breed (just out of interest)?
<You can, but it's a guessing game... All Echinoderms are dioecious ("two houses"), i.e. separate sexes; but most all cannot be told apart sexually w/o taking them apart! Bob Fenner>

Neon Goby Observations 9/9/2009
Hi Crew,
<Hi Sam>
I have a neon goby for about 3 years.
<Long lived for a Neon Goby>
I actually got a pair and one died when I had an ich attack. Lately he looks like he has arthritis. His body
is not straight and seems to have a bit of a bend to it.
<Not surprising, very old for a neon.>
He also cleans my hand when I put it in the tank, something he had not done before.
He swims and eats as before but I am guessing that he is very old for a neon.
<Thanks for sharing. MikeV>

Green Banded Gobies, beh.    08/19/2008 I have a pair of green banded gobies. One is significantly more brightly colored and the other is much more pale. Is this due to differences between sexes, variations between individuals, or might there be a health problem with one of them? <<No a goby I would keep as a pair, rather just a single specimen. They don't overly get on with others of the same. The colouration could be down to stress, in my opinion, as these are usually (when you can find it in the tank) a very vibrant colored goby.>> Thanks in advance! <<Thanks for the question, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Neon gobies hiding Dear Bob, The reef looks great after 7 months effort. Water is perfect. Temperature is now 77 plus or minus a half degree with the new Aqua Logic chiller and Medusa controller. I have added a hard coral and some mushroom polyps to the reef and the clown and blue damsel now have the company of tiger sleeper goby and a royal Gramma. No sign of any strife. hey all get along fine. You are high on the neon gobies in your book and on the web but I am disappointed. Three weeks in the quarantine tank they were a joy but when I introduced them to the reef, they disappeared in the rocks and I haven't seen them in 4 days. If they are eating, they are finding food that falls behind the rock work. Howard <Yes, likely... Gobiosoma species are shy at first... in time it/they will come out more of the time. Bob Fenner>

Where did it go? Hello Mr. Fenner, I hope everything is going well for you. I would like to thank you for your wonderful website and for all it has done to help me. I am in need of some reassurance if you have the time. <Certainly> This morning I bought a Neon Goby (about 1 1/2") for my 125 gallon algae tank. By algae I mean I have over forty forms of algae, mainly Caulerpa growing in my system.  <Neat> 130lbs of LR and a DSB. I have a heavy duty skimmer working full out as well as 400watt PC lighting going. I call it my fat and sassy tang paradise. I have three tangs, all sorts of hermits and snails. A few cleaner shrimp. A pearl bubble coral, some finger leathers and mushrooms. Lots of polyps of all sorts as well as a frogspawn and xenia. <Sounds very nice> I turned down the lights for my new arrival to one blue. <Good idea> I haven't seen him at all today. I know there are many places to hide but I thought maybe I would catch a glimpse. Nothing. It is near my bed time and I am already getting ready for nightmares of my bubble coral having a goby snack. Should I worry if I don't see him for a few more days or should I be concerned now? <No... a typical acclimation. As you can appreciate, such a small animal in a new setting would/should hide at first> I don't think my tangs would go after him, but I do have a yellow that might take a nip. Your thoughts are gladly welcome. Thank you in advance. Greg Showen <Not to worry. This fish will show in a day or two. Bob Fenner>

Neon Goby Hello again Mr. Fenner, I wrote to you about a week ago concerning my neon goby. I asked if I should be afraid that he had not made an appearance in my tank after I put him in the day before. I just wanted to let you know that since adding 7 blue-green Chromis he was out swimming finally. He ate some brine shrimp today as well. I am very pleased! <Ah, good to read> I have a few questions if that would be okay with you. There would be no hurry getting back to me. 1) My seven Chromis do not school often (100gal. tank). They are spread around, with two that are happy to rut around on the bottom of the tank. They will school when they become frightened but not much after that. Is this because the are new (four days in the tank) or is this just how they are going to be? <Mostly because they are new. Give them time> 2) I do notice that they chase each other around and look like they are attacking but without the damaging each other. Are they establishing a pecking order? <Yes> Also there is one fish that is the smallest of the group who is chased more often. That fish looks like on the top of its head, above it's eyes, to have a pale blue patch there. Not white (very pale almost white) but it almost looks like it's a scar. I looked over disease and infection on your web site and I can not see any resemblance to what was mentioned there. Do you think you could, without looking at it sadly, lend some incite on what it could be? <Likely a transient "owee" from transport. No worries. Scales, color will regenerate.> 3) My last question is about the goby. Now that he is feeling more secure, how long might it take (or if ever) for him to start cleaning my fish? <Likely is already... when you're not looking> I'm sorry for the long post and all of my questions! I hope you don't mind. Please tell me if you do. Best wishes and tank care Dawson <No worries. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Neon Goby Hello Mr. Fenner. I hope you are doing well. I have a question to ask you. It's a short one thankfully. :) I have added a Neon Goby to my reef tank. He is the most charming fish I have ever known! He has a secretive way about him, but he is a buddy to all of my reef inhabitants. <Yes, you are a "charmed" person, enlightened with the sense to appreciate such matters> My question is about what I have witnessed in the last three days. My Tang will swim to the rock he loves to perch on. He (the tang) will shift his side to him and become quite still. I swear I can hear "I've got an itch a little to the left. could you get that for me?" The goby will work that side over and then the tang just swims off. Is it not unheard of for a fish to ask for a cleaning??  <Actually quite common... some change color, orientation... behavior such as opening mouth, gill covers, erecting fins...> It was the most amazing thing I have seen in this tank in my many months of caring for it. If you could let me know I would be pleased. I know that the fish do recognize him as a helper, but to demand his assistance. LOL I love this hobby!! Thanks for your time Take care Josie <Ah, a pleasure my friend. Bob Fenner>

Shy Goby Dear Bob, I bought a cleaner goby 1.25' long for my 65gal-fish/LR only tank a week ago. The goby is hiding under one of the rocks ever since. It is eating and only travels about several inches around that rock and would not go any further. Every time a fish swims by it will retreat right way. Is this kind behavior normal?  <Yes, normal, typical... give this animal time...> I don't think I have any extremely aggressive fish in the tank. A red spotted hawk 3' long. <Yikes... this animal may be "an influence" here> A yellow tang 3.5' A blue tang 3' A flame angel 2' A coral beauty angel 2.5' How do I make it to come out of the rock and do some cleaning? Do you have any suggestions? <Time, patience. Bob Fenner> Your help always be appreciated. Thanks Wayne

Shy Neon Goby Greetings WWM Crew. <Hi there! Scott F. with you!> Needless to say once again your site is wonderful. I have a question about a Neon Goby. After reading through countless articles on this site, I thought a Neon Goby would be a perfect addition to my 54 gallon tank. After a painstaking search to get one here in the Bay Area ( I understand they are seasonal as with most fish ), I had one of my LFS special order one for me. He/she was a lighter shade than black when I go it, with 2 bright stripes going through the top from front to back. It actually didn't look like a traditional Neon Goby at first, but has since darkened a bit ( now it looks black ). Anyway, I've had the Neon for a week now, and all it does is sit on one of my powerheads in the tank ( seems to be his spot ). <Not an uncommon behaviour- many times these fishes will "hang out" in a given area and go on "excursions" from there.> He's not hiding because the powerhead is out in the open. He moves around a bit, and I've spotted him eating a few times when I feed ( he doesn't seem to eat all the time like everyone else ). I have yet to witness any of my other fish ever bothering the Goby either, nor my goby attempting to clean any of the other fish - seems oblivious to each other . My question was , is this normal behavior for the Neon Goby? Is it possibly sick or stressed? Will it ever begin to swim around the tank? As always, any help is much appreciated. Best Regards, Rao. <In my experience with neon gobies, I have seen them behave in this manner many times. They will often "settle down" a little slower than most other fishes. I'd give him some time to adjust. Make sure that some food comes his way when you feed the rest of the fishes. Several other neon gobies may also help bring him out a bit more. Keep a close eye on this little guy. I'm sure that he'll come around! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Neon Gobies Hi Crew, Wonderful site!  Read most everyday. Have learned a ton here. My question is about some neon gobies (oceanops) that I have in quarantine. I've had 6 of  these guys in my quarantine tank for almost 3 weeks now. All 6 eat voraciously and seem alert and active. My concern is that 2 of them lack almost any color at all. Just a hint of a lateral black line and no blue at all. Even the little black color that they do have is very patchy. When I received them from the LFS they all lacked color, I assume from stress. Four of them gained their color back within a day of quarantine. The other 2 have never regained their color.  The water prams are excellent (no detectable ammonia or nitrite,  ph=8.1, spg 1.022, temp 82 F)  I perform a 10% water change daily, 50% with water from my 120 gallon reef tank and 50% with newly mixed salt water. Should I be concerned about the 2 gobies that still have no color? thanks! Jim >>>Hello Jim, I wouldn't be concerned, they may just be the subdominant fish. They should color up once in the display with enough territory and cover. Cheers Jim<<< <RMF would separate these pronto.>

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