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FAQs on Valenciennea/Sleeper, Sifter Gobies:  Foods, Feeding, Nutrition

Related Articles: Genus Valenciennea Gobies

Related FAQs: Valenciennea 1, Valenciennea 2, Valenciennea Identification, Valenciennea Behavior, Valenciennea Compatibility, Valenciennea Selection, Valenciennea Systems, 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,

Don't let yours get too thin

Golden Headed Sleeper Goby. Sys., feeding, gen...      6/14/14
There is much conflicting information as to whether the male or female Golden Headed Sleeper Goby (V. strigata), guard the eggs. Most state it is the female, however “official” places say the male guards them.
<Usually the male as far as I know>
Also, why are they called Sleepers?
<For their propensity to "lay down" on the bottom>
They seem to busy to be slacking off! Have they been successfully raised in captivity?
Fishbase.org states they have a lifespan of 1 year.
<Mmm, perhaps two>
This seems to line up with how long most people can keep them, however I had one for 1.5 years in a 150 gallon tank years ago (lost it due to a tank crash because the “sitter” didn’t top it off)…. I was new to the hobby at the time and should have had a top off! So my guess is they may live to around 2 years in captivity, and should be obtained while small and as pairs if possible. One source said they were full grown at 4 months (after they settle in the reef), and one source, which I have to disagree with, said if they are not paired up they do not live as long….
<Interesting... perhaps anthropomrphising, but one rarely encounters non-pairs in the wild>
such was not my experience. Your thoughts? Sorry, these are tough questions, but I would enjoy the answers for a write up I am doing! On a side note, is it possible that it may not be that they are as hard to take care of, but waste away due to them possibly just being at the end of their life cycle?
<Sounds likely>
At times, they are not FED enough by an alert aquarist (or they may have internal worms and should be treated for that after purchasing).
<Yes; assuredly>
And why in the WORLD do some websites that SELL them state that 30 gallons is enough?
<A mistake; just marketing: The way of the businessperson is sales and profits. >
UGH! Makes me want to send a strongly worded email! lol On a side note, mine ate prepared foods and was a huge fatty in my 150 gallon, so based on that, would 75 gallons be enough for one, 150 gallons for two?
<The bigger the better... would express in terms of open/sandy area square footage per... at least 3-4/>
(they occupy a space of 2’ x 5’ in the wild so 150 gallons is larger than that, and with a refugium should help the fauna levels in the sand. If a person didn’t care if their sand was dead, what would be the smallest tank size for one that fed on various prepared foods?
<Would depend mostly on the types and frequencies of foods; and the individual fish; their developmental history>
Or do they just NEED fauna from the sand?
<Almost entirely this>
Thanks for your time and energy!!!
Çarrie :)
<Thank you for sharing yours. Bob Fenner>

Valenciennea puellaris And Deep Sand Bed/Valenciennea Systems/Feeding 11/23/10
Hello crew,
<Hello Sean>
I am writing you fine folks today with several questions regarding the potential for keeping Valenciennea puellaris while simultaneously maintaining a healthy deep sand bed.
<Can be very challenging in your size tank.>
I did follow WWM guidelines on research through your site but fell short of getting any solid answers to the questions I have so please excuse any redundancy. My current tank set up is this: 90 gallon marine (48x24x18)
Sg: 1.024
Ph: 8-8.2
Ka: 9
Ca: 400
phos, ammonia, nitrite & nitrate are all undetectable.
150-200 lbs live rock, various lps corals, some Zoas.
Equipment is as follows: (2) dual 54w T5HO with 75% actinic lighting, (2) 100 gpm powerheads (I know I need more but how much?), Remora Pro skimmer, Fluval 405 canister filter (used for Phosban and occasionally carbon), tank heater.
At this moment, I am keeping only a Fire Shrimp, Peppermint Shrimp, green bta, and several snails (my fish were wiped out due to an Oodinium outbreak about a month ago and I am letting the tank run fallow for several months [quarantine tank is set up and ready for future livestock]). In my tank I have a substrate consisting of very fine (almost sugar fine) non silicate sand at a depth of 4.5 to 5 inches depending on where in the tank you are looking. The tank has been running for nearly a year now and at night you can see a multitude of minuscule creatures resembling shrimp and other creatures too small to make out yet detectable nonetheless (I use a flashlight which lights up their eyes somehow) running about across the sand bed and all around the base of live rock all about the tank. I have noticed that at no time since running the dsb have I ever been able to detect any nitrates which I attribute to the dsb and also possibly to the skimmer (both working hand in hand?). My first question relates to the notion that having a sand sifting goby gobbling up all of the critters that make up the fauna in the first layer of the sand bed is bad for the denitrification function of the sand bed itself, is this true to the best of your knowledge?
<In your size tank, definitely.>
I hate to think that all the work and time put into this functioning wonder would be destroyed just to appease my desire for a gleaming white sand cover.
My next question is, would the sand bed fauna be able to reestablish itself while the goby feeds on the critters found in and around the first and possibly second layer of the sand bed. I do not want to watch a fish such as this starve to death due to an insufficient supply of copepods etc. Finally, would certain areas of the tank not penetrable by fish such as a cluster of smaller dead coral boulders in the corners act as a refugium for the copepods in question (I have noticed them concentrated in these areas)?
<Is likely you only see many there because it is impenetrable.>
I have searched for answers on this topic and have come up with a lot of different opinions, most of which I do not trust. This is why I am asking you good people today. I love your site and respect the opinions and experiences of all of your staff, I am a big fan of Mr. Fenner's work and hope to buy a copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" sometime soon.
Thank you for your time and attention to my questions, much appreciated.
<Your tank/sand bed is much too small to keep these fish for any length of time without supplemental
feeding as they will soon strip your sand bed of beneficial fauna and then slowly starve to death.
They are not a good choice if you have a functioning DSB as yours appears to be.
Although it's not impossible to keep them in smaller systems such as yours, supplemental feeding will be a daily chore. Some folks have had some luck by burying food near their burrow which the fish will sense and begin digging to locate/eat the food. If you are lucky, eventually they will sense the food as you put it in the tank and eat off the bottom. Keep in mind that this suggestion does not always work. There are other critters useful to do this that require little to no care, they can consist of small Brittle Starfish, Nassarius Snails, and/or a Sand Sifting Starfish. In your system, no more than one small specimen of the later.>
Yours Truly,
<Cheers, James (Salty Dog)>

Clam question.. And Valenciennea nutrition  -- 11/12/09
Salutations to those who worship at the Marine Altar,
<Heeeee! All bow down>
First I would like to give you an earnest thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do in educating the masses.
<Am frequently wondering what/where the reward is otherwise... Keep looking for that paycheck!>
I only wish the
LFS's in my area followed your advice as gospel like I do.
<Mmm, collectively we have MUCH more experience than "they". Even just I myself have been involved more than full time actively involved in the trade for more than 40 years>
They currently have a 14" nurse shark in a 55 gallon tank-
enough to lose my business forever I am afraid. My question is simple enough, but I will give you some background on my setup.
75 gallon marine running for 2.5 months
7" DSB
120 lbs. live rock
79 degrees
PH 8.3, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all 0.0
calcium 450. I dose the tank with Iodine and chelated Iron for my bumper crop of Gracilaria. (Side question- when I add these supplements after a water change do I dose based on total tank volume, or based on the new water added to system?
<The calculated, best guess as to total actual water volume; i.e., deduct for displacement by the DSB et al.>
I have been dosing based on new water only....)
<Likely this is fine as well>
Eheim magnum
<Mmm, Eheim and Magnum (MarineLand) are too different companies>
canister filter with carbon and filter floss (Changed and cleaned weekly for water polishing purposes only)
Remora C protein skimmer cleaned daily removing 3/4 of a cup of tea colored skimmate each day that I attribute to light bio-load
3 Maxi-Jet 1200 powerheads
Cora-Life Power compact hood with (2) 96watt 10,000K bulbs on a 12/12 light cycle
Livestock is as follows- (2) 1" Tomato clowns, (1) 1 1/2" Coral Beauty and 1 4" *Valenciennea strigata** *(I will explain later)
Colony of fast spreading Star polyps,
<Do keep these steadily trimmed back>
various sponges and feather dusters growing and spreading like wildflower,
<Neat literary device, metaphor>
number of clams and scallops that came encrusted on liverock, 5 snails, 5 hermits, and a few different types of yet unidentified macro-algae growing on rock.
<Great diversity!>
My question concerns one of the larger clams that came on the liverock.
This clam was extremely active as far as opening and closing went, but differed in the respect that it was attached to the rock seemingly from the front inside of the clam, instead of the side of the shell being attached to the rock like the other clams. I feed the clams and feather dusters every few days with Phyto-Feast, which is 1- 15 micron concentrated live micro algae food. A few days ago I adjusted a power head from the back of the tank to the front, so the visible parts of the rock would get better flow, and it was in a position where the clam could barely feel it, as opposed to not feeling it all before moving. The next day i noticed the clam was missing, and all that remained was a grey colored "foot" where the opening to the clam was previously attached. I looked high and low for the shell, and then noticed the clam had moved directly into the blast zone of the power head! I was unaware it could move like that,
<Some bivalves are very mobile indeed>
and wondered if that foot was integral to the clams heath in any way, and should I be concerned that the clam is directly in the flow of the power head?
<Mmm, no>
Or does the clam know what is best for itself and I should leave well enough alone?
<If it can move...>
I also want to explain that your site is my home page, and I often spend time reading about various species and have done so for years.
Unfortunately before finding your site and Mr. Fenner's CMS and Mr. Calfo's RI I was victim to poor advice coupled with lack of research- much to the dismay and demise of previous livestock.... Enter my desire to own some sort of Gobioid creature for my underwater utopia. I swear I researched each and every specie only to purchase a *Valenciennea strigata*, and upon quarantining the fish and logging on to Wet Web Media I realized my serious error in research. I felt like someone with a Black Tipped reef shark in a 20 gallon tank with a dozen Cleaner Wrasses for food.
<Heeee! Not that bad!>
Fast forward to me feeding him all sorts of standard aquarium fare- Mysis, pellets, and after reading that they fed on pods I bought Arcti pods- only even after watching him feed on all the above with enthusiasm he was still wasting away. I thought he was done for and went on fishbase.org and saw they also fed on nano plankton as well. My last ditch effort was mixing Mysis, Phyto-Plex, Arcti- pods, spectrum pellets, Oyster Feast, and Spirulina together and freezing it. I then chopped it into cubes and lightly covered it with sand in his favorite forage zone. He is now filling out at an incredible rate, and is a completely different fish- color wise, not hiding all the time and returns to the spot with ferociousness every time i stick the frozen goods there.
<Ah good>
I think adding the micro organisms was essential to his health and wanted to share that information- freezing was an important part as there was no other way to get oyster eggs and micro algae to settle in one place in the substrate to ensure he ingested them.
<I will share/post your statements. You have saved many animals through your investigation, efforts and sharing>
Sorry for such a long winded email, but it is the first time I wrote after years of admiring.... I also wanted to ask if a 30% water change a week is too much?
<Not too much; particularly if the water is pre-made, assured of consistency ahead of use>
Thank you very much for all you do in tolerating the ignorant masses like myself who think they know everything only to find the error of their ways at the expense of a fish's life- and here's to not making those mistakes ever again! 'ciao!
<Thank you Leon, mi bello. Bob Fenner> 

Questions About Valenciennea sexguttata/Six Spot Sleeper Goby/Systems/Feeding 9/21/09
<Hello Tony>
I have recently started my first nano reef (4 months old, 34 gallon) and my wife thinks the reef and WWM gets more attention than she does now days :)
<Usual behavior for this species.>
The aquarium is running stable with a small cleaning crew, 2 Amphiprion ocellaris, 1 Meiacanthus oualanensis and a couple of corals I received from friends I made through the new hobby (Euphyllia glabrescens, Euphyllia Parancora, Montipora capricornis, Sinularia Dura and a Lobophytum sp.). The
tank is fed with Brine shrimps, Mysis, algae pellets and ordinary flakes alternating.
I'm now searching for a fish that would occupy the lower half of my aquarium and found the Valenciennea sexguttata that looks nice, lives in the lower half and even helps me keep the sand sifted, but I'm not able to
find enough info online that isn't more like rumors and I don't want to make any bad decisions here so I wonder if you would like to comment some of the rumors I have read.
I'm concerned that the fish might be to large for my tank but people (including LFS) say it grows really slow and some keep it in 10 G tanks successfully, would you agree?
<No, this fish does better in larger systems with a well established sand bed.>
Rumors also states that even if it's a sifter it doesn't toss the sand around that much, and it's not any trouble to get it to eat Mysis or brine if there isn't enough algae, do you agree?
<I've seen these fish take to prepared foods quickly, and saw an equal amount starve to death. Just sharing my experience with the fish.>
Finally, do you think it's ok to keep the fish with the once I have? I don't have any plans on expanding on the fish side after this last one that needs to be a bottom dweller.
<I would not add, believe it will be short lived in your system.>
Thanks for any help and I really enjoy reading the FAQs on the site :)
<You're welcome and glad you enjoy. James (Salty Dog)>

Valenciennea strigata feeding habits. Robert, <Amy> I have a 55 gallon fish only tank with a Valenciennea strigata, a blue damsel, a strawberry fish, <Mmm, what is this?> and a percula clown. I have about 80 pounds of reef sand and several coral replicas in the tank. I am feeding the fish Prime Reef flake food and all the fish are feeding well except the Valenciennea strigata. He usually stays hidden in the huge hole he dug under the edge of a coral replica during feeding time (anytime I open the canopy) and by the time he comes out, all the food is gone. I have only had him a week and he is spending more time out in the open, but should he come out and feed like the rest of the fish during feeding time?  <Not on these food choices... this is a "sand-sifting" species, that derives the bulk of its nutrition from sieving out "interstitial fauna"... worms, crustaceans and more minute invertebrates found in and amongst the substrate... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/valenciennea.htm> Any time he spends out of the hole is spent sifting sand! Should I buy him some sinking pellet food or does he just eat what he finds in the sand? <Ah, the latter... if there is enough to sustain him/her... These fishes need plenty of "live" substrate... a few square feet per individual of established live rock/sand system... best placed months after a system has been set-up> I don't want to starve him but I also don't want to pollute the water by leaving food for whenever he decides to come out of his home. I just purchased a copy of your book on Amazon.com this morning and am anxiously awaiting its arrival as I gain a lot through your website. <Ahh, you will enjoy, gain by its reading> Thanks again, R McClain <Do read over the materials on WWM for now. Bob Fenner>

Goby Going Hungry Hello! <Hi there! Scott F. here!> I haven't written in a long time (that's a good thing!)  but a couple things have come up and so I thought I'd drop you guys a line (thanks ahead of time for your great advice).   I currently have two tanks set up, one is a 55 gallon saltwater and the other is a 10 gallon freshwater.  First of all, my tanks are kept between 72 and 74 degrees and the SG in my salt is at a steady 1.024.  Both tanks have zeros straight across for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates and have been set up for about three months. Ok, the bad stuff...I have a Spotted Rafael in my 10 gallon and I recently noticed that he has blisters (?)  near his mouth, one is just back from the corner of his mouth and the second is underneath the crack of his mouth.  I see him everyday and I never noticed them before so I think they appeared suddenly.  They don't seem to have grown at all, and he still eats like normal, but I have never seen anything like this on a fish so I thought I'd see what you guys thought.  The blisters aren't discolored in any way, they seem to just be a bit of skin stretched out....Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated! <Really tough to ascertain from here...could be some kind of Vibrio infection...could be some sort of tumorous growth. I'd look in the disease FAQs on the wetwebmedia.com site for some ideas. Keep an eye on this condition, make sure that your water conditions are of high quality> Onward!  In the 55 gallon tank I have two silver-tipped sharks (one is about four inches on is less than 2, I know they will outgrow this tank quickly!), a Goldstripe maroon clownfish, a golden head goby, a sand shifting starfish, a red legged hermit and an Astrea snail.  All of the fish get along great, but the newest addition - the goby - has not been eating.  I have only had him for four days, the first two days he spent excavating hide holes and by the third day he seemed to have chosen his final location and he camps out there all day.  I will admit I have very little information on what exactly they eat, the LFS said they will sift through sand on the bottom and pick up "leftovers" but I'm getting the feeling he was horribly wrong, I have seen a little information that says they eat worms and other sand creatures and *that* is actually what they are searching for when they sift the sand, my tank is pretty low on live rock and the sand was not live when I got it, I can't imagine that there would be enough life in it to support a creature that only eats sand inhabitants...Is this little guy doomed in my tank? <Well, to be quite honest...probably. Don't feel like it's all your fault, though. This fish, and for that matter, all of the so-called "sleeper gobies", are extremely difficult to keep fed for extended periods of time; most slowly starve to death in captivity. They will generally only survive in very well established aquariums with live sand beds and refugia to encourage the growth of infaunal invertebrates and worms, which form the basis of their diet.> Should I put him in a friends more established tank or is there food I can feed him that will fatten him up again and keep him happy? <I think his best bet is to be moved into a well-established aquarium> I plan on getting some live sand culture in the future, but that isn't helping him now so any advice would be great!  Thank you so much for putting up with me!  Have a great week! Sincerely,     Rachael <Well, Rachel- I think that you'd be doing the right thing by moving this guy to a more established system. Be sure to establish a very "live" sand bed and a refugium if you do try to keep these types of fishes in the future. Truth is, they really are not good choices for captive systems, IMO. I think that you've learned a lot from this experience, and you will certainly move on to more success in the future! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Blue Cheek Goby Hi,<Howdy, Cody here.> When I feed my fish a mixture of flakes and brine shrimp, will a Blue Cheek Goby eat the remains of the food that fall onto the substrate? And would one of these fishes live happily with a regal tang, Potter's angelfish, and a ocellaris clownfish, 2 cleaner shrimps, and 3 crabs?<I would target feed with a turkey baster to make sure he gets his fair share of food.  As far as compatibility please read here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/valenciennea.htm Cody.> Many thanks Darrell

Hungry Goby? I have a yellow headed sleeper Gobi (Valenciennea strigata) and he is acting fine and sifting like crazy, but he is loosing a lot of weight fast. I had this problem with a Kole tang about 4 months ago and 4 year old blue damsel. However, my mandarin, cleaner shrimp and Mustard Tang are fine and seem to be thriving. Tank 55 gal Wet dry Skimmer 70 Lb LR Can't seem to figure this thing out. Primary source of food is Mysis and whatever they can scavenge. Mysis is feed every 2-3 days and water parameters are right on. Perhaps a parasite? Peter <Well, Peter- internal parasites are a definite possibility. Many fishes do harbor these organisms, and the problems can manifest in your tank. These fishes tend to waste away in captivity if high protein foods are not eaten regularly. My best suggestion here would be to see that food is placed where he can easily get to it (like on the bottom of the tank). This will help assure that he gets his fair share. In all likelihood, there is not enough infaunal life in the sand to sustain him, so keep the food coming his way. Hopefully, this should fatten him up a bit. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Starvin' Marvin the Bluebanded Goby >Hi all, >>Hi. I have a Valenciennea strigata that has been in QT for a little over a month and it seems to be losing a lot of its girth. It has been eating the omega one flake I have been feeding it, it seems to love this stuff, really tears it up. I am wondering if that is all it is doing, with the amount of food (flake) it is consuming it should not be this skinny. Does this fish need another type of food, I thought omega one had sufficient protein for this fish, or does it just sift it thru its gills and break into tiny little pieces w/o digesting it. I had had exceptional luck with this fish accepting the flake food so I am assuming it would easily accept other types. Should I try something else to fatten it up, and if so what do you recommend? >>Check out this site: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=6575&genusname=Valenciennea&speciesname=strigata It outlines part of what this fish feeds on.  Another issue, unfortunately one that cannot be solved if such is the case, is possible exposure to cyanide.  This poison destroys the gut in such a way that any food eaten cannot be utilized.  I do hope it's more a matter of providing a better/different variety of foods that better mimic its natural diet, rather than cyanide exposure.  Best of luck to you, Marina >Thanks, Ryan

Feeding Sand-Sifting Gobies (6/17/04) Hello, <Hi! Steve Allen with you tonight.>   As I was reading through your FAQS of sand sifting gobies, I noticed that many people's were getting thin and not getting enough food.  My friend has had a pair of them for 2 years in his 72 gallon, and to sustain feeding he has finely chopped up krill and buried it in the sand.  It seems to have worked could because the gobies are nice and fat. <Interesting. Obviously, one would have to be careful not to add too much and mess things up.> Scott. <thanks for the tip. I will post it for the edification of all readers.>

Valenciennea wardii -- a brackish water fish? 10/24/07 An aquarium store called 'Arizona Aquatic Gardens' is selling Valenciennea wardii as a freshwater fish, though recommending it as a brackish water fish (the salinity range suggested spans about SG 1.006 to 1.010). I've never seen this fish traded as a freshwater fish before, and would be curious to know anything about this fish. Is it indeed a euryhaline fish, or rather a true marine fish that happens to tolerate brackish/freshwater for a while? <Likely the latter. Only skimmed through some literature, since I cannot give any first hand information (I'm leaving this query in the marine folder in case someone else can). Following secondary literature (e.g. fish guides) this species is a true marine fish inhabiting sandy substrates. Valenciennea spp. are sand sifters and I guess, aside their apparent long term intolerance to fresh water, it could be hard to properly feed them in a fresh or brackish tank in the long run, since well populated sand beds are rare in these setups. What I found in books is basically the same what is written on fishbase.org: shallow marine, found on sand beds close to reefs, silty slopes, lagoons and coastal bays (perhaps some ventured into an estuary and were caught there). If you want more information, you'd probably have to look at: D.F. Hoese and H.K. Larson (1994): Revision of the Indo-Pacific Gobioid fish genus Valenciennea, with descriptions of seven new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes (23):71 p, or contact the authors. I'm not in the library today to look up more about Valenciennea wardii in this piece, but I guess it is a taxonomical piece, which usually have at least a little ecological information. Since V. wardii is said to be rare it will also help to confirm the ID of the sold gobies. Marco.> http://www.azgardens.com/misc_fish.php http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=217688 Cheers, Neale

Valenciennea wardii    10/24/07 An aquarium store called 'Arizona Aquatic Gardens' is selling Valenciennea wardii as a freshwater fish, though recommending it as a brackish water fish (the salinity range suggested spans about SG 1.006 to 1.010). I've never seen this fish traded as a freshwater fish before, <Me neither. Have only encountered as a full-marine> and would be curious to know anything about this fish. Is it indeed a euryhaline fish, or rather a true marine fish that happens to tolerate brackish/freshwater for a while? http://www.azgardens.com/misc_fish.php http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=217688 Cheers, Neale <Likely you too looked on Fishbase: http://fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=12615 Listed as a marine... I don't think any member of the genus will live long, well in other than full-strength seawater. Cheers, BobF>

Bullet Goby... Thin, Lack of Food?   9/9/07 Hello Crew, <Hi Tim, Mich here.> I have a bullet goby which I has been a great addition to my aquarium, <Glad to hear.> my algae is almost non-existent thanks to him which brings about my problem. He seems to clean so good that I'm afraid he's not getting enough food. <Heehee! Send him my way I could feed him for a while!> To date I've tried feeding him frozen brine, frozen Mysis, algae strips (may or may not be eating) phytoplankton, pellet food (tried that tonight, jury is still out) I'm considering krill next. <Ok. I do have a few more suggestions. I would soak whatever you offer him in a vitamin supplement such as Selcon. You may also want to try Spirulina, dried brown or red algae, or perhaps some Spectrum foods. I have not personally used Spectrum foods but I have heard many extolling its palatability and high nutritional value.> The only other fish he is competing with is a sebae clown which doesn't bother him at all. I really don't want to lose this fish. Here is a pic ... notice the stomach area. <Yes, he does not look well. Perhaps you have friend whose tank has a little excess algae?> Thank You, <Welcome! Mich> Tim

Bullet Goby... Thin, Lack of Food? Now Eating Brine Shrimp  9/10/07 <Hi Tim, Mich with you again.> Some good news, he is eating live brine like a mad man. <YAY!> This is the first time I've ever put live brine in my tank since it has zero nutritional value. I'm going to start hatching some and soaking them in Selcon. <Good, is a start. Hopefully will eventually be able to get him to eat something with more nutritional value such as frozen Mysis.> I hope it's not too late for him. <Me too!> If I get live brine from the LFS, is it a waste of time soaking them in Selcon? <No I think any bit might benefit this fish.> Thank <Welcome! Mich>

Cleaning Sand and Feeding Gobies 06/02/2008 Hello, <<Good evening, Andrew today>> My fiancé© and I have had a 38 gallon tank for almost 2 years now and we have never had clean sand! We have tried everything from sand sifting stars that disintegrate in days, to a huge clean up crew that resulted in hermits eating all our snails, to our favorite the golden headed sleeper goby. But we were never properly educated by the store we bought him from. They told us as long as he has fine grain sand he'll be fine. WRONG! <<Yikes...Very wrong>> He starved in about a month. We have been reading up and we know about the copepods but do we really need a refuge tank? We are very limited with space and money and the refuge isn't really any option at all. <<Not even one of the cheap hang on refugiums? They really are low cost and are of great benefit to your system, especially to promote copepod growth, nutrient export>> We really want to get our sand clean again. We recently added 20 Nassarius snails but they aren't doing much either We would love to get another goby but we don't want another one to starve. Any suggestions? <<Getting another goby is not really a good option, as your already aware, as it will starve also as there is obviously a lack of food in the substrate. I would suggest getting some low flow going over the sandbed. This will stop particles settling, and keep it in the water column to be removed via filtration. Maybe up the filtration level on the tank. Don't know what your tank system is, so, cannot really comment much more on that side of it>> Thanks, The Tuggs <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

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