Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Valenciennea/Sleeper, Sifter Gobies: Compatibility

Related Articles: Genus Valenciennea Gobies

Related FAQs: Valenciennea 1, Valenciennea 2, Valenciennea Identification, Valenciennea Behavior, Valenciennea Selection, Valenciennea Systems, Valenciennea Feeding, Valenciennea Health, Valenciennea Reproduction, & FAQs on: Marine Scavengers 1True Gobies Gobies 2Goby Identification, Goby Behavior, Goby Selection, Goby Compatibility, Goby Feeding, Goby Systems, Goby Disease, Goby Reproduction, Amblygobius Gobies, Clown GobiesNeon GobiesGenus Coryphopterus Gobies, Mudskippers, Shrimp Gobies,


I'm back in the hobby! Query re stocking, mixing sand gobies      12/9/18
<And ladies...>
It's been a long time for me - but, I'm back in the hobby in a much
<Ahh! Welcome back to the fold>
Used to follow threads on your website faithfully.
I have a 45g AIO tank with a Rainford Goby. He's cute and active - but really can't keep up with the sand sifting that needs to be done.
Question: Would it be wise to add a Golden Head Goby - or would there likely be too much territorial fighting? I realize each tank (fish) is different - but, in general is this a bad idea?
<They'd likely get along fine, but if it were me, mine in such a size, shape system, I'd go with either two Rainford's or two Golden Head gobies. More interesting behaviorally.>
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: I'm back in the hobby!     12/9/18

Thank you so much. That seems like a wise recommendation. I’ll get another Rainford.
<Cheers Gene. BobF>

Too many gobies? Fish compatibility questions/recommendations       9/20/14
Hi you guys!
We have had a 210 gallon tank for several years and it had a mandarin goby living happily for many years! We have changed things up now am re-starting a larger tank. This one is about 350 gallons (plus). It has a lot of live rock as well as live sand and about a 25 gallon refugium.
There are some blue reef Chromis, a hippo tang and now we just added 2 Diamond Gobies (best buds!) and several shrimp. Our plan is to add the following fish: Naso tang, Kole tang, yellow tang, a pair of carpenter wrasse, a McCosker's wrasse, Bartlett and lyre tail Anthias, a flame angle, Midas blenny, and a few pajama cardinals, and I really want to add a mandarin goby (in several more months) as well. The Diamond gobies were an afterthought but we still want a mandarin again. Will they compete for food?
<To a degree; yes. Likely not an issue in this size system...>
Will the tank be able to sustain the pod population enough for the 3 gobies long term. One goby is eating the Mysids but the other isn’t yet. We don’t want to overfeed the tank and create other issues but I don’t want any to starve. Should I be adding other things to the tank? Should we be buying or otherwise breeding pods?
<I'd wait and see... likely not necessary to add... to the production in the tank and 'fuge here. Let your observation of the fishes behavior and "fullness" be your guide. >
Last but not least (sorry) is that we want to add a pair of blue throat triggers. We had a pair that were very well behaved for years. But now that I’m getting some smaller fish (and have the shrimp again - cleaner, fire and peppermint), I want to be sure trying the blue throats won’t be a mistake. I don’t want them to eat or harm the smaller fish or shrimp. Should I give up or if so, is there another fish you would recommend in their place?
<Well; these are the most peaceful of Balistids...>
Love your advice. I like happy tank mates and a busy but not overcrowded tank.
thanks for your help!
-Pam and Dave
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re Too many gobies? Fish compatibility questions/recommendations      9/21/14

Thanks for your help Bob! You guys do great things! Appreciate it!
<Ah; very glad to be able to share. BobF>

Hawkfish-Diamond Goby Question     4/15/14
Hello, I have a 110 gallon tank and this past Saturday bought a pair of diamond gobies. I noticed that I didn't see them and began to worry, Then today I saw my Hawkfish harassing one of them in the corner of the tank.
<What they do... worse in smaller volumes; better in larger>

I'm really mad a myself for not thinking to take the hawk out when I tore my rocks out to catch a Niger Trigger. Do you think the hawk is doing it just because they are new or do you think it will always be after them.
<Can't tell...>
That will tell me if I need to tear the rocks out again to catch it. I tried hooking it but it didn't work.
<I'd give all a few days here. Bob Fenner>

Wrasses and Gobies, comp.      5/30/12
Good Evening Crew!
I have a 120 gallon reef tank (48x24x24) with a Cirrhilabrus solorensis male in it among other fish. I would like to get a female solorensis and a pair of Halichoeres chrysus to add. (I have a ton of LR arranged in a semicircle in the middle of the tank that has another ton of additional rock behind the semicircle with pillars at either rear corner) I only found a few FAQs that mentioned mixing these two genera <genera, pl.> and they were promising. However before I purchase these fish (female first then Halichoeres pair next) I would like a more definitive opinion : ). I also have a regularly reproducing pair of Lysmata amboinensis and some Lysmata wurdemanni floating around there somewhere.
<These should all go fine together... the Peppermint shrimp might get munched when molting though>
On a similar note, in the same tank I have a pair of Valenciennea puellaris that are well established and a bit territorial to everyone including me if I sit on that side of the tank. I have fallen head over heels for a pair of Amblyeleotris latifasciata that are doing very well together at my LFS. I would like to have both including the shrimp for the potential new pair. I am very skeptical given the personality of my current gobies. I have no issues keeping my current pair fat as I have a penchant for gorgonians and feed a whole cube of Cyclops several times a week along with oyster feast and P.E. Mysis. I also feed spectrum Thera pellets, omega one veggie flakes, enhanced brine shrimp on occasion, and Nori (not all at once though XD ). I really want these other gobies with their shrimp partners but if they're just going to be harassed I'll contain myself.  
Thank You for Such an Invaluable Site!
<Mmm, about a fifty fifty chance of the engineer and shrimp gobies getting along... And a royal pain to remove if not... Bob Fenner>

Valenciennea Genus Compatibility With A Stonogobiops Yasha  11/28/09
Hello WWM Crew. I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving.
<Hello Korrine, Thanksgiving was enjoyable.>
Currently I have:
29 gallon (set up since March of '09)
About 30 lbs of live rock with about a 4" sand bed
H. melanurus wrasse
<This fish will get a little too large for a 29 gallon.>
S. yasha goby with it's pistol shrimp
4 Peppermint Shrimp
2-3 astraea <Astrea> snails
7 Nassarius snails (6 large; 1 small)
2 Blue Leg Hermits (just recently witnessed the larger hermit eating my 3rd hermit right out of his shell!!)
Zoas, Paly and candy cane
Koralia 2 (600gph)
Dual Bak Pak Skimmer
100 or 150w heater (78.2F)
250w MH just changed over a week ago
Last water readings:
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
Alk 8
Quick question for you. I have been wanting a goby to clean and turn over the top layer of sand for me. I've had a bit of Cyano on it for a little while now.
The goby rarely leaves his burrow unless it's feeding time. Usually sits in the entrance of the burrow watching the world go by. My question is if a Valenciennea goby (looking at the diamond..puellaris) will be to terrorizing to my yasha goby and it's pistol shrimp??
<This fish will not do well in a 29 gallon tank. Is much better to fix the root cause of the Cyano rather than to mask. Read here and linked files in header. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm>
I've attached a photo of my tank after cleaning it and of what it looks like in about a week's time. I've been siphoning off the Cyano with water changes (about 4gal a week), but something to help me would be nice.
ps. I do run a bag of Rowaphos in the return center section of my dual Bak Pak skimmer. Not as helpful as a reactor, but it's a sumpless 29g and I don't have the room to add a reactor.
Thank you for your help,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog) in Michigan>
Kj in South Dakota

Sleeper Goby sifting substrate >I have a 120g reef system, 90g display tank with a 20g refugium and 10g sump.  I have fine aragonite substrate, about 110 lb live rock, 14 corals, one anemone, 10 fish, 3 shrimp, a feather duster worm and a load of hermit crabs and snails.  The system is running perfectly, water quality excellent, fish healthy, most corals growing like mad. >A few days ago I introduced a 3-inch Orangespotted Sleeper Goby (Valenciennea puellaris) after almost a month in a quarantine tank.  Well, he seems to be doing fine, but he sifts through the aragonite continuously, which causes silt to be circulating all around the tank.  The tank is now cloudy with due to these swirls of substrate, and the beautiful purple live rock has now become largely silted over.  It looks terrible, and I also wonder if the corals are now getting adequate light. >>It's creating *that* much silt, eh?  Sounds as though he's having the time of his life. >Catching and removing him is problematic; he is so fast it was difficult catching him in an almost bare 20g quarantine tank.  There is no way I could catch him in the big tank without dismantling the entire reef.  Any suggestions? >>Hhmm...well, if he were an invertebrate that didn't swim I'd suggest the jar.  If he were a damsel, I'd suggest a tiny, barbless hook.  I don't think we should have you use that on the goby, though.  So, if it were my tank and my fish, I'd first try to sort out how to reduce the siltiness (I wouldn't worry too much about the corals not getting enough light, unless there's not enough current to move the silt off them).  Barring that, I would do some rearranging of the tank, so that I could block off a portion of the tank to trap the goby, thus making it easier to catch him.  If you absolutely cannot rearrange the tank to afford this opportunity, then I would find myself the oldest fish shop hand I possibly could, and offer him/her $20 to come and catch the fish.  Other than that, you could try some fine netting and literally "recollect" the fish, this could take some wrangling as they usually need to be chased from the rockwork.  Sorry I can't be of more help, though I think that someone skilled in netting up fish might be able to do it.  Good luck!  Marina Jeffrey M. Zegas

Twin-spot Goby <Hi Kylee, Mac here> I was talked into getting a twin-spot goby without doing the proper research and now that I've researched it I see that they need to be kept in pairs. My question is should I go get one from a store that isn't a mated pair and see if they will pair up? or should I take back the twin-spot goby that I have.  <In all honesty I kept a single twin spot goby for two years by itself.  I know that it is recommended that you keep it as a pair but mine did quite well on its own.  I will say that it paired up with a shrimp goby.  It was probably one of my very favorite fish ever but it did constantly eat in the sand.  Constantly sifting sand through its gills.  Was nice for keeping the sand stirred up but was tough on the sand critters.> Also will the twin-spot goby compete with the mandarin for food?  <Both eat pods so it will provide some competition for the mandarins food source.  You might consider supplementing your pods production with some type of refugium where they can breed without being eaten or consider renewing your pods with some type of outside pods that you bring in.> Thanks, Kylee

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> 

Mandarin/Diamond Goby question   6/10/06 I have a question or two for you.   I have 110 Gallon tank, with about 90 lbs. of live rock.  I am planning to run the tank approximately 6 months to a year before adding any piscine buddies; I really want to let all the critters populate the rock and sand.  Question; would this amount of time provide enough live food to sustain a Mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus), without a refugium? <Likely so... with an absence of competitors> Would he/she eventually eat through all the pods, or would they have enough space and numbers to sustain a healthy population indefinitely? <Likely large enough to sustain an ongoing food population here> I suppose I can make refugium area in my sump, but I don't want to light it since I tend to have heat issues and that is just one more source to worry about.  Can the pods grow fine in the dark?   <Many types, yes> Actually, it is not completely dark since it is in a fish room and receives stray light from the tank above, but definitely not enough "quality" light to grow any macro algae with.  I can put some aragonite sand and some filter floss for them to live in....would this work? <Possibly> Last question; this is regarding a Diamond Goby.  Would that be in competition for food with the mandarin goby? <Particularly when small yes. Still as a consumer of benthic, in-fauna that give rise to other organisms with age, size as well> When they filter the sand, do they specifically target pods, or are they just getting the detritus? <Sift most all "large-enough" worms, crustaceans, molluscs...> Thank you for your time, it is appreciated.  Take care. Paul <Bob Fenner>

Goby Dust 'The 'Engineering' Nightmare? -- 03/06/08 Crew, <<Ben>> Thank you in advance. <<Happy to assist>> I recently added a Diamond Goby to my 240. I made sure he was eating at the LFS for several days before getting him and he continues to eat well at home. <<Excellent>> After finally adding him to the display after QT he is now "going to town" on my sand. <<Indeed 'and likely 'crop-dusting' your rock/corals>> I have a grain size mixture that includes Oolitic sand. He is doing such a good job that I have a good amount of particulate matter in the water column now. <<No doubt 'the fish are quite the 'stirrers'>> Will this be detrimental to other livestock in anyway, gills etc.? <<It may cause some irritation to those organisms that can't slough it of easily (e.g. -- plating Acroporids)'¦but for the most part it should cause no harm>> I understand that the photosynthetic animals will not receive quite as much light until this thing works itself out, but what about fish? <<The fish will be fine'¦ But don't expect this to 'work out.' The goby will always find another place to dig 'or at the least, gobble up mouths-full of sand and sprinkle it around the tank (crop-dusting)>> I'm hoping this is purely aesthetic for the time being and won't hurt anything. Last time I went snorkeling the water wasn't exactly crystal clear, so I hope the fish will be okay. I guess I'm just used to my water being extremely clear with UV, carbon etc. <<Indeed, is/will be more bother to you than most anything else in the tank. I have a 6' Barred Goby (Amblygobius phalaena) in my 375g reef display that keeps quite a bit of the fine substrate/detritus in suspension. If I had it to do over I would forgo the goby 'but not because of any 'harm' it has done to the system/livestock>> Thank you, Ben <<Quite welcome. EricR>>

Orange Spotted Diamond Goby afraid of new Two Spot Bristle tooth   12/5/08 Tang Dear Wet Web Media, <Laura> I have an 85 gallon reef tank with a 2.5" live sand bed and plenty of live rock with the following parameters: KH 9 Calcium 450 Magnesium 1350 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 0 Phosphates 0 Temperature 77-78.5 Tank has a very efficient protein skimmer and a refugium with Chaetomorpha growing in it. Water changes are done monthly. I supplement with trace elements, iron, strontium, calcium, and potassium iodide regularly. My tank is 9 months old Inhabitants are: 1 Multicolor Pygmy Angel 1 Golden Rhomboidalis Wrasse 1 Fiji Yellow Sailfin Blenny 2 Black and White Ocellaris Clowns 1 Midas Blenny 1 Royal Gramma 1 Diamond Watchman Goby 2 Cleaner Shrimp 3 Fire Shrimp 2 Emerald Crabs Cleaner crew of Blue Hermit Crabs and Cerith Snails obtained from GARF. Many SPS and LPS corals and one Crocea clam I did have a Citron Clown Goby that recently passed away, due primarily (my best assumption) to malnutrition. Her stomach was concave most of her life (I had her about 6 months) and she would never eat well enough for me to feel comfortable. <Very... too common> With the exception of my Sailfin Blenny (loves Julian Sprung's Reef Veggies!), my tank thrives of Spectrum Thera-A pellets, Cyclop-eeze, Phytoplankton, and the Sea Veggies daily. Now for my dilemma...My last and final fish was added approximately 6 days ago - a "teenage" Two Spot Bristletooth Tang. It is by far the largest fish in the tank (that is why I added it last) at about 4 inches. She has settled in quite well, eating the Spectrum Thera-A pellets and Sea Veggies voraciously. My Multicolor Pygmy Angel has definitely had some stress issues with her, I say this because she has been swimming in kind of a loop at one end of the tank, something she was not doing before the Tang came in. But, she seems to be settling down as each day passes and I don't see a real issue here. My Wrasse hid behind a rock the first day the Tang came in, and since has been out and about and acting completely normal. The problem (surprise!) is with the Diamond Watchman Goby. <This is surprising to me as well> She is very frightened of the tang, and will not venture out from under her rock covered with mushrooms. If she does come out, the tang zooms down to see it, and with a cloud of sand, the goby is back under the rock. I don't know if there is true aggression on the part of the Tang - I have seen her zoom at the Goby a few times when the Goby gets enough nerve up to try to come out. I have been very worried and have been spot feeding her the Spectrum Pellets (she loves these) with a turkey baster near her home twice a day. This just makes the Tang hang around there more, increasing the problem! I am not sure what to do. The Goby was incredibly active and entertaining before the Tang came in, and sifted sand the entire day, even ate Sea Veggies from our veggie clip when she could sneak them in, and shut herself in her "apartment" every night at 6;30 P.M. You could literally set your watch to it! I feel as if I have really upset a lovely community of fish with the new Tang. He is a beautiful fish, and I researched the compatibility levels very carefully before adding him. My Goby's behavior is really throwing me, and I would welcome any and all suggestions you could provide. <Mmm, patience at this point...> Getting the Tang out of the tank would require breaking the whole thing down - basically a nightmare. Your help is very much appreciated. On another note- I chose the Two Spot Bristletooth Tang because they are, for the most part, hardy, don't get too terribly big, great algae eaters, and just a great reef fish. I was assured by many trusted sources (including much web research) he should be fine for the size of my tank, but I would like your opinion on this as well. Thank you, Laura Garmizo <Thank you for providing so much information so well... If it were me, I would do nothing outside what you have been doing... At least for another week. I suspect the new social dynamic will set in by then... with all becoming "used to" each other. Bob Fenner>

Re: Orange Spotted Diamond Goby afraid of new Two Spot   12/5/08 Bristletooth Tang Hi Bob, <Hello Laura> Thank you so very much for the prompt reply - and the reassurance. <Glad to render it> Will do. This Diamond Watchman Goby was quite a character before the Tang came in. I hope her "chutzpa" will get the better of her soon! Thank you again, Laura Garmizo <I have high confidence that s/he will... What you relate so well is often seen... in captivity, a new animal being added, resulting in a period of readjustment in extant population behavior. Particularly amongst/between organisms utilizing similar space, habitat, food resources... I do think you will have no real problem here in the longer haul. Cheers, BobF>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: