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

Related Articles: Neon/Cleaner Gobies,

Related FAQs:  Neon Gobies Cleaner Goby Identification, Cleaner Goby Behavior, 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

Mmm, not with obvious predators...

Macrodon Compatibility 4/3/2013
Hi, I would like to add two tiger gobies (Elacatinus macrodon) to my six gallon tank.
<Can be done>
I've been able to find plenty of info on caring for this species but nothing on whether on not two of them would get along in a tank of my size.
<Tank bred/raised ones should get along>
The gobies I have my eye on are at the pet store and are tiny..probably less than half an inch. So do you think if I add them at the same time they'll live peacefully together?
<Welcome and I give you good odds here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Macrodon Compatibility, Elacatinus  4/3/2013

Appreciate the info.
Do you think I could get away with four to six of these little guys?
Thanks again,
<In this small volume, I'd stick w/ just the two. BobF>

Randall's goby attacked by Neon gobies?      1/9/12
Dear WWM crew, Unfortunately my Randall's shrimp goby has lost most of its fins, they look like they've been nipped off. It is past the point of help I think, but would like your advice to try and prevent the same thing from happening again. I recently bought two Neon gobies (G. oceanops), about 1 inch long each, and one Randall's Shrimp goby (A. randalli), about 1.5
inches long, from my LFS on the same day. I thermally acclimated them by floating the bags for 3/4 hour in the Quarantine tank (QT). All lights were turned off. I carried out 25 % water changes in each bag, three times, using QT water, with an hour in between each change. The pH and salinity in the QT are 8.2 and 35 ppt. Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate
<How is NO3 rendered thus?>
 are all 0, temperature is steady at 25 degrees C, and the QT has been set up for about 3 months. During acclimation, all fish seemed calm. After acclimation, I carried out a freshwater bath (FWB), 10 minutes in the bath for each fish, separately, in pH and temperature adjusted RO water, about 1 degree C warmer than the QT, with enough Methylene blue to turn the water deep sky blue (about 5 to 6 drops in 1 US gallon). The fish all seemed fine during the bath, settled down, swimming, and didn't look stressed by the procedure, which I took as a good sign. The QT is a 30 gallon tank, with a Fluval 105 filter (~ 1000 l/hour), about 6 kg of left over live rock from my display, arranged at the back of the QT, a Kent Marine Nano skimmer, and a Koralia Nano (900 l/hour). The heater is a Rena smart heater, 200 W, which is in the QT (no sump). After introduction, all fish hid in the rockwork,
<Something likely hiding there... crustacean, worm... Not the Gobiosoma as cause>
and I left the lights off until the next day (day 2). All fish fed well for the first few days, with the Neon gobies clearly pairing up and bonding.
Day 4, the Randall's didn't come out of the rock work, and didn't eat anything. I thought it may just be hunting critters off the live rock, and wasn't overly worried at this point, but the next day, it didn't come out again, and I could see some of his fins appeared to be smaller than they were. Obviously I was worried by now. Day 6, today, and the Randall's was out of the rock work, with most of his fins gone, apart from the dorsal.
Still breathing, though looking pretty past it. Both Neons are still absolutely fine, frequently swimming, eating a surprising amount for their size. No fin damage on either Neon, and no signs of disease. Are the Neons the obvious culprits?
<No; as stated, likely something else...>
I never saw the Neon's bothering the Randall's, though I find it odd that they are both fine. Could it be something else that attacked whilst the Randall's was sleeping?
There are some bristleworms in the tank, though none that are more than an inch or two long as far as I know, and a few large (1/3 inch) amphipods, but no hermits, no other fish, no shrimps etc. I'm writing as I am now worried about(a) the well being of the Neon's in the QT, nothings happened yet, but....(b) the eventual introduction of the Neon gobies into my display, 90 gallons, which just has a single Yellow Tang in at the moment fish-wise. Can I trust them?
<I would; yes>
(c) whether there is some sort of compatibility issue between the Randall's and Neons. Should I try again with another Randall's if keeping the Neon's?
<If you'd like. Isolated w/o the live rock>
 Any thoughts or advice?  Sorry this has turned into a very long email, Best wishes and thanks for the excellent site, Ben.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner> 
Re: Randall's goby attacked by Neon gobies?    1/11/13

Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate your time and feedback.
Unfortunately, the Randall's didn't make it, but both Gobiosoma are still doing fine. Its great news they are not the prime suspects, they add a lot of colour and energy for such little fish! I checked Ammonia and Nitrate in the QT again last night, using Salifert kits, and both are still 0.
"<How is NO3 rendered thus?>" -  I can only assume the sparse feedings, water changes, skimmer and live rock help to keep the nitrates undetectable?
there is some macro-algae growing on the live rock. No chemical media are used other than a bit of activated carbon in the QT filter.
<<I see. Thank you>>
Anyway, I'll take your advice about quarantining without live rock in the future, and will investigate further to see if I can spot any unwelcome guests tonight using a red light.
To safe guard the Gobiosoma, I will start removing some of the live rock, just a bit every week, to guard against a tank crash. The filter already has some ceramic media in and I will add some synthetic resin rock for habitat (marine safe!).
Best wishes and thanks again,
<Cheers, BobF>

neon goby compatibility   3/25/10
I have a 75 gallon tank with a yellow tang, orchid Dottyback, flame angel, clownfish and six-line wrasse. The tank has been established for a couple of years and one of the first inhabitants was a neon goby that I loved.
He lived peacefully with the tang, angel and clownfish. The six-line wrasse came after his death. He died the same month that I put the orchid Dottyback in the tank and I have always wondered if he was the reason for his demise but I cant say for sure.
<Me neither. Most Orchid Pseudochromis are fine with such fishes... esp. in large settings. This Dottyback species has been raised through successive captive generations... Is quite "mellow" for the family average>
The neon goby was in my tank for over two years (which I heard is their lifespan)
<Is typical>
and it looked like he was starving to death as he went from plump to a V shape in about two weeks.
As I noticed this while it was happening and aware that the orchid Dottyback was new to the tank I looked to see if he was harassing him but I never saw an instance of this. I eventually moved the goby into a QT tank where he continued not eating and died a week later. My question is if I buy a new neon goby, would he be compatible with these fish, especially the Dottyback and six-line wrasse?
<The Sixline is more of a concern, but I give you good odds that a Gobiosoma/Elacatinus goby species will get along fine here. Bob Fenner>

Small Tank Compatibility Question/Neon Gobies/Compatibility 1/25/10
Hi Crew,
<Hello Sam>
I have an Aquapod 24 gallon with rocks, crushed coral, LPS, T5 lighting.
<Oh, I know this tank well, Sam :-)>
I have a Green Clown Goby for 2 weeks, a Neon Goby for about 3 years
<Wow, long lived for a Neon goby.>
and a Firefish for about 2 years. The neon is old for a neon but he is still very active. I have access to a new neon and was wondering whether it would be ok to add it or will the two of them fight.
<Unless they are a mated pair, fighting is likely to take place.>
I think of them as being peaceful but fish have a tendency to be ok with anything but their own kind.
<A different specie of a cleaner goby would be a better choice. See here.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Hyposalinity, ORP and Raffles B/F, Now Neon Gobies comp., sel.    11/6/09
One other follow-up concern if you don't mind... Hearing that neon gobies would likely be fine with my dwarf lion solved a big problem for me.
<Mmm, yes... strange as it seems, these little fishes are recognized by most all other would-be predators as cleaners and left alone>
So, to minimize the risk of future ich outbreaks, I'd like to get as many cleaner gobies as possible/appropriate. Most of the FAQs that addressed neon goby quantities were for much smaller tanks. In a 220g, is it still better to stick with one neon goby species, or are there any diversity or coverage benefits by mixing species?
<For interest... two species could be mixed here>
Also, if I get more than 1 of the same species, is it necessary to worry about pairings, or are unmated pairs and groups fine in this size tank?
<There is space here sufficient to not worry>
Any recommendations you may have as to quantities and mixtures (or not) for my situation would be greatly appreciated. I'm thinking that a group of 4-6 G. oceanops might make for a great display, but what's best for the fish is more important than what might look cool...
<These should be fine. Do look for tank bred/reared stock>
<What little I know re these genera is posted on WWM. BobF>
Re: Hyposalinity, ORP and Raffles B/F
Awesome. Than you VERY much for the fast and helpful info.
<Certainly welcome Sean. BobF>

Randall's Goby and a Neon Goby 10/20/2009
Hi :-)
<Hello there>
I have been reading your website on and off secretly as a n00b for a few months.
I have a 75g tank which has been setup for about 18mths or so, although I bought it and then moved it to my house August 2009
All my parameters seem to be OK apart from nitrates <10ppm according to a Salifert Nitrate Test, as in Nitrites & Ammonia 0ppm - PH: 8.1 to 8.3 - I do a 20ltr water change twice per week.
My current stocking in a 3�x2�x2� tank (with 3� sump, APF600 Skimmer and a Vortech MP40W, 150w Halides x 2, T5 x 2, Reactor with Phos �n� Doc remover):
Pistol Shrimp x 1
Yellow Tang (about 2.5�) x 1
Tomato/e Clown x 2
Scooter Blenny x 2
Randall's Goby x 1
Copperband (about 4�) x 1
My Copperband has Lymphocystis and as I understand it should recover given the right water conditions, I was aware of this when I bought him 3 days ago. Yes I know, but I felt so guilty for him in a very small tank at the LFS and mine waiting for one to cope with the Aiptasia etc and at £17 I thought I could give him a better home and a much better life.
My question is, from reading this site, the CB could do with the aid of a Cleaner Shrimp or a Neon Goby, what do you think the chances of a Neon Goby getting on in the same tank as a Randall's?
<Good odds I grant. Gobiosoma/Elacatinus gobies are well-tolerated by most all fishes>
Many thanks for help / suggestions.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Nano Cube Stocking Neon Goby Compatibility\Aggression\Overstocking 6/25/2009
<Hi Susan.>
I'm relatively new to owning a tank and find your site super informative!
I've been doing a ton of reading on your site. Its great! Thank you!
<Glad you find it useful.>
I have a nanocube (12 gallons). I have several small corals, a (leather?) anemone,
a few crabs & snails, hitchhiker bristle starfish, and a pair of perk clowns and two Neon Goby's.
<12 gallons is too small for a pair of Clownfish, not to mention too small for an anemone.>
I love the Neon Goby's, they are very cute to watch.
<They are a fun fish to own, and under the right circumstances will readily breed in captivity.>
The fish store sold me a "pair" one larger female, the other a small male (so I am told).
<Likely so.>
When I first introduced the Neon's, they got along great. For two weeks there was complete harmony in the tank, both Neon's perched in the open and the perk's were not bothered by the new additions in the least. After 2 weeks, the larger Goby started harassing the smaller one.
<The fish are crowded, unable to establish territories of their own.>
So, at the advise of the fish store, I added more rocks to the tank. While it gave the smaller Goby more hiding spaces, it did not eliminate the chasing.
<Just not enough space in a 12 gallon.>
The small one comes out every day to feed, the larger one chases him during feeding, but he definitely eats daily.
Its been about 6 weeks total, and the chasing has not let up. The smaller one's fins are intact, so he's not being bitten, just chased, and he now hides all day. He is not in immediate danger, obviously, he's been living this way a while and seems adjusted, but I feel bad for him and want to see him out and about again.
<The continued stress will eventually harm him.>
He tries to come out sometimes and gets chased back into the rocks so I know he's not just shy. Is there anything I can do to bring harmony back to the tank.
<Reduce the number of fish yo have in your tank. Personally, I would return the clownfish and the anemone, as a tank of this size is inappropriate for either.>
I feel so bad for the little Goby. I want him to be happy in the tank, too. I do not want to tear up the tank to try to get the bigger Goby out (but will if I have to). Is adding another fish (small like a clown goby or wheeler's watchman or other suggestion you may have) a good idea to distract the big Goby from the little one?
I presume adding a third Neon Goby would be a disaster.
<Likely so.>
Is there anything else I can add (type of perching tree / seaweed /etc) to break up the space of the tank?
<You can try rearranging the rock and keeping the lights low for a few days, but with a tank as overcrowded as it is, I doubt it will do much good until you reduce the crowding.>
I am desperate and open to any suggestion you have.
<Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aggr_lossfaqs.htm >
Thank you so much, from me and Little Blu!
<My pleasure.>

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 Eviota's 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>>

Goby Compatibility, Gobiodon, Gobiosoma/Elacatinus   8/25/07 My 55 gal tank has been running for 4 months. Currently the tank contains LR, LS, and cleaning crew with snails and red legged hermits. I plan on keeping tank-raised seahorses, some macros, soft corals, and a couple mellow fish. How many neon gobies and/or clown gobies could I get? Will the two types live together peacefully? <The two types should live together peacefully, but having more than one of each, could lead to fighting unless they are a mated pair. In your size tank, this may not happen, and this holds true for both gobies. The Citron Goby or Clown Goby may occasionally nip at corals, something to keep in mind. James (Salty Dog)>

Gobies compatibility. Mixing G. atrangulatus/okinawae with E. multifasciatus   2/27/07 Hi, <Hello.> Firstly, thanks for your informed help. Knowledge shared is knowledge gained... <Thanks for the compliments it is our pleasure to assist.> Secondly, my question: I have a 55-gallon aquarium, one-inch deep sandbed, 45 pounds live rock, Tunze DOC skimmer. Current fish inhabitants are 2 tank-bred black-and-white Amphiprion ocellaris and 3 Elacatinus multifasciatus. <One of my favorite specimens by the way.> Could I add one or more clown gobies (Gobiodon atrangulatus, G. okinawae, etc.)? <With the copious amounts rock, hiding places should be a fine addition.> Thanks, <Of course.> Doug <Adam J.>

Neon Gobies with Maroon Clownfish 10/10/06 Hello. I have a quick question. <Ok> I was hoping to add a pair of neon gobies to my 110 gallon tank. It currently has 1 yellow tang, 1 blue tang, 1 fairy wrasse, 1 maroon clownfish with BTA, 2 zebra bar gobies, and 2 lyretail gobies and some mushrooms and xenia. There is well over 110lbs of live rock for hiding. The only fish I'm worried about causing a problem is the maroon clownfish. I was wondering about your opinion--do you think the clownfish would likely leave the neon gobies alone? Thanks for your help and the great site. Jocelyn <Obviously no guarantees but most likely will be fine.> <Chris>

Gill Parasites?... Too Small a Tank - 09/14/06 Hi Crew, <<Hello!>> I have a 10 gallon with a royal Gramma (18 months) and a spotted cardinal (30 months). <<Congratulations on your success thus far...but even though these are relatively small fish, a tank at least "twice" this size would be more appropriate>> I had a second spotted cardinal but it died when it got caught between some rock and the glass. <<Fish don't just "wedge" themselves...likely a secondary reaction to/result from some environmental element/condition>> So I decided to replace it with a smaller fish and got a pair of neon gobies (a real pair) about 3 weeks ago. <<Mmm...really is time to seriously think about getting a larger tank my friend>> They are wild caught. The only issue I have seen is that the cardinal freaks out when they try to clean him. <<Yes, this is not unusual...and will lead to stress/death of the cardinal/other fish in such a small tank where the cardinal/other fish can't escape the attentions of the gobies>> They do not try the Gramma so my guess is that he told them in his own way 'no thank you' and they keep away.  The two are very lively and eat well but one has a problem.  The one that has a problem started out in bad shape. <<...?>> I do not know if it came that way or if he tried using the grammas area to sleep the first night. <<A prime reason for utilizing proper quarantine is to be able to "observe" your new acquisitions for problems>> In any case, it had torn up fins and looked bruised as well. <<Does sound like it may have taken a beating>> It has healed well, the fins are normal and the bruises gone but I did notice it is breathing much faster than its mate. <<Possibly has some gill damage limiting its ability to assimilate oxygen from the water/transfer oxygen to the bloodstream.  All of which would be compounded by the presence of ammonia which can/will quickly accumulate in such a small tank>> A couple days ago I noticed two white spots in the gill on one side and it does brush against the rocks so my guess is that it is some kind of parasite. <<A possibility, yes>> The first question is should I just leave it since it has done well so far hoping it will overcome the problem since it is eating well. <<One approach>> Or should I remove it and fresh water dip it <<Should have done this before adding it to your display>> or treat it in a separate tank (and if so, treat it with what)? <<Have a read through our articles/FAQs re parasitic disease (start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm) to identify the problem/proper treatment and then treat in a separate hospital tank>> Thanks <<Regards, EricR>>

Neon Goby Hi Bob, We are fairly new at this. We have a 40 gal tank. So far we have two damsels and one maroon clown fish, 2 snails and 4 small hermit crabs. We have heard that the neon Goby is good for ich and other parasites. Then we heard from one store that they can be mean and aggressive. We are trying to have a peaceful tank and as natural as possible. What is your opinion. Thank you. Brenda >> My gosh, my sis's name is Brenda... Oh, Neon Gobies (genus Gobiosoma) being aggressive?! No... some of the more/most peaceful animals in the oceans... Especially the vast majority of those offered in the trade which are tank bred and reared. Do get one, or two if you'd like... very comical, and helpful. Bob Fenner

Yo Zo... (Neon Gobies) I've just really wanted to say that - apologies to Robert... <Heh. He addresses me like that too. Don't sweat it. :-) > I just spotted some neon gobies at the LFS and I had been thinking I would put one in my FOWLR as a bio-cleaner, but it would be about food size for the current big-fellas [puffer and harly-tusk]. Not that the tusk would care off the bat, but the puffer has taken shots at everyone in the tank including a 4" Huma trigger which I traded in so I could take the tusk; certainly a neon goby can fit in the tusk's mouth. I had been considering trying to sneak in a cleaner shrimp overnight, but that too seems terribly flawed... that $30 could buy a fair amount of fish food. <Doesn't sound good. If you've got some good crowded rock areas, where the Gobiosoma can hide... maybe. But if your puffer already has that attitude, it's pretty risky. Same for a Lysmata shrimp... -Lorenzo> What to do. Those gobies are small. TIA. Cheers. J --

Fish compatibility I have a 90 gallon FOWLR with 125lbs. of live rock, and 100lbs of live sand. My filtration consists of the rock, sand, a Berlin Turbo hang on skimmer, UV sterilizer, AquaClear power filter, 4 270gph. powerheads, and a wet/dry filter (without bio balls). The fish that are currently in the tank are: a 4" Emperor Angel, a 4" Harlequin tusk,5" Green Bird wrasse,3" hippo tang, and a 3-4" Black Volitans Lion. I also have about 30 turbo snails, 2 burrowing stars, 1 Blue Linckia, and 1 General star. I wanted to add a couple more fish, the fish that I am thinking of are a blonde Naso tang, and either a flame or other centropyge angel, and a flame hawk. Will the lion eat the angel, or the hawk? <If it's small enough to fit in its mouth, possibly> I wanted to also add a cleaner goby or two, will they get eaten?  <I give you fifty fifty odds... if recognized as "helpers" may be left alone... The Hawkfish is the best candidate as a predator here> The Tusk and the bird wrasse already ate a 2" algae blenny. I would like some kind of trigger, is there one that wont bother my stars or snails? Thanks! <Not really. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner goby Hi I've been reading your FAQs pages. Very informative. One quick question. Will my 6 inch long porcupine puffer chomp on a cleaner goby?  <does a bear bring a readers digest into the woods?!? Er... I mean yes. Quite possible... even likely in time> Or will he realize the goby's role?  <even natural relationships are warped in captivity.. many strange behaviors in the confines of a small aquarium> The tank is 55 gal with 40 lbs of rock and only a yellow tang as the other inhabitant. Thanks and I'm sure you can guess why I want a cleaner goby ;) <ahhh... because puffers and tangs are ich magnets?!? Do be sure to have the equipment for a proper Qt tank on hand too. And a second heater in the main tank is a fine idea as well... unstable temps are a common cause of ich in such fishes. Best regards, Anthony>

Fang Blennies, Gobiosoma, Gobiodon Will M. grammistes and M. atrodorsalis get along in the same tank?  Do these fish do as well alone as in a group? <Alone. Not a good idea to mix any species, specimens of the Nemophini. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm> Also, I was contemplating a Cortez Red Head Goby.  If I can't afford to get more than one, should I wait?  Would two be enough?  I'm not interested in breeding them, just interested in their general health. <This fish is fine singly or in its species company> Last, I heard the Green Clown Goby occasionally picks on SPS corals from Scott Michael's book.  Any experience with these guys? <Yes. And yes, they do... if have enough Acroporids present not a big problem. This is where and what they live on in the wild> Would they make a good addition to a reef tank with lots of Dartfish, blennies, and other gobies? <If there's enough food, not-aggressive types as tankmates, sure.> Cheers, Chris (aka newkie) <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

- Neon Gobies and Cleaner Shrimp - Hi! <Hello to you. JasonC here...> My question for right now is - Will a Neon Blue Goby attack a cleaner shrimp? <Not in my experience.> I was under the assumption that they would get along (especially in a 38 gallon tank), but a guy at my LFS said that pretty much any goby or blenny would mess with any kind of shrimp. <For the most part untrue, but could happen due to territorial matters. Or perhaps if was a fang blenny, which are worth avoiding anyway.> That leaves me with a choice to make, if he is correct. <No worries.> I really would like to have both, but am now confused if they will co-exist. <Buy them both.> Thank you very much. - Alex Mills <Cheers, J -- > - Cleaner Shrimp Compatibility - Ditto for a Firefish Goby. Will it get along? <I think so, sure.> Thanks.  - Alex Mills <Cheers, J -- >

- Neon Gobies & Seastars - Hello Crew, I have a few questions today... <Greetings, JasonC here...> I have a 55gal FOWLR with the following inhabitants:  a maroon clown, a green brittle star, a purple pseudo, an x-mas wrasse, a striped damsel, a pink and green cucumber, a pincushion urchin, a small red starfish, two peppermint shrimp and some turbo and Astrea snails.  On this tank, I run a CPR backpack skimmer 24x7 and have two power heads for circulation.  First, I am interested in neon gobies and am double-checking to make sure they will fit in with these tank mates. <I don't trust that green brittle star too much, you probably shouldn't either. They are known to prey on small fish.> Could I add 2 or 3? <Probably only one in a tank of this size unless you had a definite male/female pair. In spite of their size, neon gobies can be relentless on the low man in the pecking order, even in large tanks.> Can I put different neon gobies together? <You mean like yellow vs. blue? I don't think so... same problem would result.> I have possibly overlooked it, but I don't see anything on WWM about their feeding habits. <They will eat pretty much anything.> I currently feed my tank once daily and offer a wide variety of foods (frozen Mysid shrimp, finely chopped krill, Nutrafin flakes and granules, freeze-dried daphnia and plankton, dried seaweed and shrimp pellets, all soaked in Zoe.  Will this routine work for the neon gobies? <Perfectly.> Also, in what I've read, I gather that neon gobies do not really require quarantine periods.  Is this true? <No... all incoming fish should be quarantined.> Next, my red starfish doesn't seem to move around much and I never really see him feeding.  Is this normal behavior?  His physical health looks ok, he is just not very active and I worry that he may not be eating well. <Hmm... the description 'red starfish' doesn't really tell me enough. By any chance do you have the common name or even Latin? It would help determine whether or not it's care requirements are being met.> Any particular food items that this little guy would prefer? <Hard to say. What did you try?> I don't find much info on the web about the red starfish in particular. <Perhaps that's because that's not its proper name.> Finally, I am also thinking of adding a cleaner shrimp to this mix and want to make sure he'll be ok with the peppermints. <You could try, but you are coming very close to the edge of being overcrowded. Everyone in the tank has established territory which they will see as being under threat as you add more life to the tank. Do reconsider...> These are all of my questions for now.  As always, I sincerely appreciate the time and effort put in by all of you to educate and support the amateurs.  Thanks a million!! <You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >

- Re: Neon Goby & Red Seastar - Thank you so much for the prompt response. <My pleasure.> Maybe I'll forego the neon goby and opt only for a cleaner shrimp.  OR, maybe I'll move the brittle star to my 120 gallon tank where the smallest fish is a blue banded sleeper goby. Would removing the brittle star and adding one neon goby and a cleaner shrimp even things out enough? <Well... seastars by themselves do little to the bioload; there really so little to them. My comment about crowding has more to do with available space rather than bioload. A seastar wouldn't impact this, but a cleaner shrimp would likely [and by accident] infringe on the territory of the peppermint shrimp and that could be the end of the cleaner shrimp. Not a certainty that this would happen, mind you, but something to consider.> Would the green brittle star be ok with the young snowflake eel that's in my 120 gallon tank? <I think so.> Also, I believe the proper name for what my LFS calls the "red starfish" is Fromia Milleporella. <Ahhh... that helps enormously.> Maybe I am being neglectful as far as his feeding is concerned because my experience with starfish is limited to the green brittle star, who actively comes out at feeding time and takes whatever he can get his hands on, and a chocolate chip starfish, who actually comes to the top of the tank at feeding time and turns himself over, letting me feed him shrimp pellets directly by hand. <I wouldn't expect the Fromia to do this on auto pilot. You might try offering it a pellet directly.> I do not see the red starfish making any moves toward food at feeding time or actively scavenging at all. <You may not have enough fauna growing on your live rock. These seastars tend towards bacterial detritus as their primary food source. That doesn't mean it won't eat a pellet, but it might need some convincing.> Does this info help you at all in assessing my concerns? <Yes, and having the Latin name will help you find more information about it on the Internet. Here's a good place to start: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seastars.htm > Again, thanks for the information and support. <Cheers, J -- >

Cleaner goby in a seahorse tank? (03/03/03) Hi, <Hello! Ananda here today...> I an  putting together my first salt water aquarium. It is a 20 gallon extra tall.  24" tall to be exact. I will be putting seahorse in it when cycled. My question is can I also put a Gobiosoma oceanops in it as well? <Yes, it should be fine.> Would there be any draw backs to my chose or would another species of goby do better? <None that I can think of... you might need to feed a bit more, which might mean more frequent water changes.> Thank you Lisha <You're welcome. Do check out the seahorse-centric web sites and discussion boards -- we have a small one in the WetWebFotos chat forums. --Ananda>

- Goby and Damsel Compatibility - Hello Mr. Fenner and Crew, The other day I was at my LFS and spotted a really neat looking fish.   The guy helping me out told me it was a greenbanded goby. <Gobiosoma multifasciatum, a lovely fish.> I asked if it would be safe in a tank with a Percula Clown and a Yellow-Tailed Blue Damsel.  He said it shouldn't be a problem at all. After getting him home and having him in the tank for a the first few days, he mostly stayed hidden under or behind some of the live rock.  Today it started getting a little more comfortable, and swimming around.  Tonight as I was looking in, I noticed that the yellow tailed damsel was constantly on the look out for the goby.  Always swimming over to where the goby is at, and chasing him if he was out in the open.  I've looked online quite a bit and can't find any info on compatibility for the goby, other then that they are quite calm themselves. <Neon gobies are compatible with just about anything that won't eat them... the damsel is what you have to worry about here.> I do know the damsel can be a bit territorial. <'A bit' is an understatement. Damsels are well known to attack scuba divers - things considerably larger than them to defend their territory. They are fearless and persistent in this regard.> And they both have picked the same rock to hang around in.  He almost seems to be taunting the damsel.  Constantly swimming right under it.  Should I be concerned for the goby? <I would be - if there aren't other places for this fish to hide, the damsel can and will kill it in time.> Or does this sound like more of a territorial kind of thing that might work itself out? <Will only 'work itself out' if the goby finds another home that the damsel does not consider its space - the damsel was there first.> Thanks for your reply and all the other info I've found on your site. Regards, Jeremy <Cheers, J -- >

Neon goby Hi crew, <Hey there Angela, MacL here with you today> I have a 72" inch 90 g. tank with following inhabitants: 4 turbo snails 4 micro hermit crabs 1 neon goby 3 3" firefish 1 3" valentini puffer 1 2" flame angel (currently in quarantine, acquired last week, 2 weeks to go) last addition (to come): 1 small yellow tang <So exciting> I had purchased the neon goby early on for my future angel and tang, but fell in love with the Toby and decided to add him to the family. The problem: the neon goby dances on the Toby at least once a day; most times "Nurmul" the Toby stays perfectly still or moves away from the goby, but recently he's been puffing up slightly every time the goby lands on him. The other day I actually saw Nurmul puff up-- huge, like a bullfrog-- the rare occasions I've seen him puff was minimal compared to this). I'm not sure if the goby irritated him that time, but it's likely. I'm hoping when I add the flame angel and the tang, the goby will focus his attention elsewhere. <Its possible but they seem to love to pick at puffers and its really not good for the puffer.> The goby also cleans the firefish (another scaleless fish!). The goby also gorges himself with the Firefishes' food. He's really got a gut on him, he eats anything. It can't be healthy. Should I bring the neon back to the LFS? I can't get a cleaner shrimp for the others because Nurmul will most likely eat it. <Definite possibility but I really think you'd be best taking the goby back, he will pester continuously the puffer.  Good luck, MacL> Thanks much + terrific site, <Gracias> Angela

- Fish and Food Selection - Hi Aaron here. First off I would like to congratulate you on THE best fish website I have ever come across. I have a 29 gallon FOWLR with one firefish goby (These fish are awesome!), a few hermit crabs and about 25 lbs of live and base rock (Rock that will eventually turn "live"). I traded in my domino damsel and yellow tang after reading of the firefish's passiveness and seeing my fish chase him. Unfortunately part of his tail fin is missing. Will this grow back?  <Yes, in time.>  In another e-mail question to your site someone gave possible tankmate suggestions that I really liked. I wish to get two or three neon gobies (What amount would be better?), an algae or bicolor blenny and a mated pair of clownfish; ocellaris or sebae, still deciding.  <For the neon gobies, two in a pair or just a single individual. I've seen same sex neon gobies seek each other out for battle in a 180 gallon tank. If you can get a pair, great. As for the rest of the fish, I'd limit your picks to one clownfish and the blenny or just the clownfish pair. With a 29 gallon tank, you don't want to push the limits too far.>  Also, not too far down the road I plan to get some PC lighting and a protein skimmer so I can add coral. The main question is what types of foods should I purchase for these above fish to have a healthy diet? I currently have frozen krill, freeze-dried brine shrimp (I know this food is HORRIBLE for a fish's diet), and those sheets of dried seaweed you can get. Any info would be greatly appreciated.  <All the fish you list will do well with a meaty diet - I'd stock up on some Mysis shrimp, and if your krill is whole, run it through a food processor to reduce the particle size. You might also try some of the New Life Spectrum pellets as these are very well made and an excellent food.> Thanks for all your help in the past and I'm certain in the future. <Cheers, J -- > 

Cleaner Goby et al. Compatibility I want to try to keep a cleaner goby, but what risks do I run into by keeping it with a porcupine puffer and a Sebae anemone. <Besides the risk you're already running with keeping those two, very unnatural tankmates together? I would stay away, never know when the porky might get hungry...but if you have plenty of rockwork should be fine.  I would definitely find a new home for that Sebae anemone though> I read your FAQs and don't want to use a cleaner wrasse and shrimp would possibly become a treat for the puffer.  What is your opinion on what I should do. <I wouldn't worry about anything...and either turn your aquarium into a species tank for the porky or the anemone, not both.  When you've done this, then add a neon\cleaner goby :) - M. Maddox> Rose BTA injury, moving Gobiosoma Hey there hi there ho there! <Is this Annette Funicello chiming in? 'Bout time!> Just doing some reading on BTA in your web and BOY it is fascinating! I had acquired a "yellow" sebae and it started looking bad right away......I wrote about it. LONG story short, I took it BACK (still alive and browning, but it was a malu and NOTHING takes to it, so that was the reason the LFS gave me full credit! (their bad advice) I got a small rose BTA that was there for 3 weeks or more and eating several times a week.  I brought it home and today fed it 1/2 a small silverback (that is how they feed it) Anyhow, I was observing my neon gobies and they had slightly frayed fins with white on them. (NOT on the body) so in my attempt to remove the little darlings to a QT, the rock that the BTA was under came dislodged and he was hit with the rock below, but at the same time I grabbed the rock, so I don't think he got whacked too hard. He shrunk a little on the side that was bumped and 1/2 dislodged from the rock. I looked at his foot and there is no tear, just a few "tiny sheets" of rock (or what was on the rock between his foot and the rock). He spit out his breakfast, as I assume is a defense mechanism (already 1/2 dissolved.. ewwww). Anyhow, I put the rock back how it was. Most of his tentacles are fine, the spot of the "injury" though I see NO sign of one, (maybe just trauma) has a couple tentacles shriveled. Now, this JUST happened. Will he be okay???? <Maybe. Hope so> Catching neon gobies with live rock is a PAIN! <Best to plan on removing all LR> My yellow tang and white molly had no sign of fraying, but my royal Gramma did and he is now in QT as well. I have 2 of the 4 gobies with him. I am using an antibacterial (negative), so I couldn't treat the tank. How do I handle the rogue gobies with out killing anything!!?? Thanks! Carrie :) <Carefully... set out containers to contain the rock... remove... Bob Fenner>

Stalking Gobiosoma Hi! Thanks for the quick email.  I got one more rogue goby out, but the fourth, even if I take the rock out of the water for a second, he sticks inside.  I took most of the rock out and caught my tang, as "bubbles" (is the name) had some fin stuff going on as well.  I have decided that I will sneak up on the genius neon goby and suck the little sucker out with a big siphon tube......can't be anymore stressful than chasing it!  BTA looks great, BTW!  Thanks again! Carrie :) <Welcome and... good fishing! Bob Fenner>

Multiple Neon Gobies, Magnetic marvels, pyramid hats, rambling...  9/19.5/05 Hi there, <Hello> Upon the suggestion of something I read on your site or elsewhere, I had purchased 4 neon gobies for my 55 gallon tank.  Before that they were in QT for a month and during that time, I tried to determine the sexes.  I then released them into the 55 to see if any would pair up and I could remove the 2 left overs as I did read one 1 or a pair can remain. <Yikes... good luck>   In a short few weeks, only 1 remained.  I have determined that they will seek out and kill the same sex until one remains.  Is that true? <Happens at times... but generally no... are pretty social animals in the wild, stocked in good numbers in transition in the trade> I asked a LFS and they said that you can have several in the same tank and they will be fine.  Well, I think that is a bunch of poo, because it seems EVERY salt water creature can only be a mated pair or ONE in each tank (with the exception of clowns with their own anemone in a large tank). <Mmm, not so> My question was, since I do have the BLUE NEON, if I added a GOLD, would the blue attack and kill it as he/she did the others?  Or would the color variation prevent that? <Should be fine to mix...>   I do have a cleaner shrimp as well (the tangs like him and my solar fairy likes the goby)  I did notice the goby will go after and take off any Lympho (unharmful white stuff ...bacteria or non-fatal protozoan....I just can't remember the name) off the wrasse whether the wrasse likes it or not! lol!   I was told that the cleaner shrimp do NOT eat the crypto/Oodinium, but only the neons do, which lead me to buying one of each, but like I said, I WOULD like another, but not if he will kill the gold.  Thanks for your time!!!! Oh, slightly off the subject: I do highly recommend to anyone with a salt water tank, an ionizer!!!!!   I have tested calcium and mag. right OUT of the ionizer and the levels were higher than the tank.....so it is great for keeping levels up.  I know it is basically a magnetized method, right?   <Are you referring to the product the EcoAqualizer? Is magnet "driven"> I have had NO illnesses, NO ich.......and since I put one in, and yes you will hate this.....I do not QT new fish because this ionizer kills ich, and prevents microalgae issues etc. <... how?> Unlike a UV, it does not take out the good stuff. And between my goby and shrimp, I am not worried.  I can always PUT them in QT if an issue arises. <Too late...>   I don't know what your thoughts are on the matter,  and maybe I have been fortunate, but once I move to my 150, I will probably QT then.  I really think a F/W dip for 15-20 minutes with Meth. blue (PS: Meth. blue will kill royal grammas...any other fish it is harmful to <No...> and the ionizer is the BEST and easiest, and least stressful for the fish instead of being in a QT....as most people only have a 20 set up and have to do a ton of water changes if coppersafing as it kills all good bacteria. As time goes on, we all learn something new.  I almost lost my scooter blenny in QT as there are no copepods to eat!  I put him in my main display and he fattened up.  (I have a supplier who I buy copepods off of....now I have a fat mandarin as I supply him every month with new copepods, this was after trading in my scooter)  Thanks for your time and I do appreciate being able to voice my experience thus far.  Have a great weekend! <Thanks... and I won't limit you... have a great lifetime. Bob Fenner>

Greenbanded goby  - 02/27/06 Hi Bob. I have been looking into getting a greenbanded goby (Elacatinus multifasciatus) formerly know as (Gobiosoma multifasciatum). I have not been able to get that much information on these little guys. <Unfortunately, not often offered in the trade> I am hoping you might be able answer a couple of questions I have about them. While reading up on them I have been finding very different information/advice. Are they a cleaner type goby or not? <To a smaller extent than others of the genus, yes> My tank is 72x18x20 and I would like to get a group of 5.  Do they do well in groups or should they be housed one per tank? <Groups are how they're found in the wild> (unless a matted pair of course). I did find out this fish is tank bred. Which makes me wonder why they are so rare. <Less demand than oceanops mainly. The "flounder" effect"> I would also like to know if they will get along with a banded sleeper goby (Amblygobius phalaena). I think it will but, since i am not totally sure about the information I have, could you enlighten me. <I would not mix these goby species> Any other information/advice you have on the care of them please let me know. i know others have asked about this guy but did not have the correct scientific name. I am hoping this might help them out as well. thanks for all your help with this and for all the help you have given me in the past. thanks for everything, with your guidance I have avoided some common issues and am calling upon your expertise once again to avoid possible future complications, Gary. <Do relate your experiences here. Bob Fenner> Cleaner Shrimp/Neon Goby Compatibility  6/20/06 Hello, I have <Hello Paul> A question regarding compatibility of cleaner shrimp and neon Goby.  My son is new to salt water aquariums.  In his tank are a tang, fire fish, neon goby, 2 clown fish, several turbo snails, 2 peppermint shrimp and a cleaner shrimp.  About a month ago, the peppermint shrimp ate the neon goby (yes, my wife saw it in it's mouth).  We got rid of the peppermint shrimp and bought another neon goby.  Now my son is worried the cleaner shrimp is going to eat the neon goby.  Should he be worried?  I don't think the shrimp were under fed but they were voracious eaters. <None of the shrimp you have are known to attack/eat live fish.  I'm guessing the Neon Goby was already a goner.  In that case, the shrimp(s) will scavenge/eat dead fish.> Thanks for your help. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Regards, Paul M. 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

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