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FAQs on Fresh/Brackish/Marine Sleeper Gobies

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Peacock Gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda tank combos?       8/6/16
Hi Neale,
I have been doing a lot of reading and considering what to put in my 29 gallon tank next. I read your article on 8 Fun Gobies and when I saw the Peacock gudgeon, saw him on YouTube and he is totally gorgeous and friendly too. However, I'm not turning up so much about their habitat-- what would be a good biotope. I've read they can be found in rivers though. I also read it should be housed with higher level fish so they don't compete with food... but this little guy eats bloodworms, so I wonder, could they be kept with algae eating bottom feeder like a Blue Neon Goby (Microsicydium atropurpureum, Microsicydium formosum)? And since they both occur in rivers, would the habitat of the Blue Neon be compatible with the Peacock or would they dislike the turbulence?
<The latter; the Neon-type gobies (there are many) alongside the widely traded Stiphodon species are Sicydiinae, a subfamily of goby adapted to hillstream environments. Coolish water, lots of oxygen, and a diet based around aufwuchs is what they need. Quite adaptable in the short term, but long term, they probably do need quite specific conditions to thrive.>
I'd read the Hillstream Loach works well with blue neon goby. I'm sure he'd be fine with both.
<Correct; the hillstream biotope is what the Neon Gobies need. Unlike the Peacock Gudgeons that are classic sleeper gobies (Eleotridae) that favour sluggish if not still water habitats.>
My water is VERY hard, and it is high PH of 7.8. Can these species tolerate that?
<Hillstream gobies will probably be fine with it, since they're oceanic gobies with a marine larval stage. But the Peacock Gudgeons really do look better in soft water with a neutral pH.>
This tank would be a lot of work to set up... I want to add more plant life and have large stones and get the algae growing on them. I am talented at growing algae, lol. I could do stones in a small tank then move them to the large one. I just wanted to check with you if my parameters are good, combination of those fish are good, and if the environment is nice for all of them if I create a biotope for Blue Neon Goby and add Peacock Gudgeon to the mix.
<I don't see the two species overlapping. On the other hand Neons might work okay with Rhinogobius species, despite their much different distribution.>
For another totally different option if the above isn't the best idea, I'm thought maybe Norman's Lampeyes and Peacock Gudgeon. I read they tolerate a higher PH, but do you think my water is far less than ideal for them? I also read they were a good tankmate for Peacock Gudgeon? If i did heavily planted tank with both of those would that be more or less a good idea than the Blue Neon Goby with Peacock Goby??
<Lampeyes and Peacock Gudgeons should work, though not in very hard water; 2-12 degrees dH, pH 6-7.5 would be my suggestion. In very hard water, better options would be things like Chlamydogobius eremius, which are hardy and easy to breed.>
Anyway, below are the links but I'm sure you already know all these species since you specialize in interesting types of aquarium fish.
<Well, have kept them, at least, and spawned some of these gobies (including Peacocks) but not raised their fry.>
Thanks Neale, being new to this hobby it helps to look before I leap when making a major change to a tank. And since it's only 29 gallons, there are only so many smaller fish that like my water and I think I've covered them all now in reading and near ready to decide and move forward!
<Hope this helps! Neale.>
Re: Peacock Gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda tank combos?      8/8/16

Thanks Neale.
<Welcome, Jill.>
I am sad about the peacock goby, but there are many fish I shouldn't keep here. Great about the cool neon blue gobies which I was afraid I couldn't keep!!! I am leaning towards this hillstream theme now. I like the idea of a river biotope. I would like to stock 5 neon blue gobies, 1 river loach, then is there a small schooling fish, 1- 1.5" range, that likes the
current and water type?
<Pretty much any streamlined barb, Danio or Rasbora will thrive in this.
White Cloud Mountain Minnows and their Vietnamese relatives, Tanichthys micagemmae, are also good choices with the smaller gobies and loaches.>
I have a few lime green Endler's in there now but afraid current will not be good so am planning to move them to another tank.
<Correct; Guppies are adapted to still or sluggish water, such as canals and ponds. Swordtails are more streamlined and inhabit streams, and can work nicely with gobies and hillstream loaches of similar size, though they will be competing for algae, so wouldn't be my first choice of tankmate.>
I looked at white clouds since they're common for this theme but they're to 2 inches and I want a large school so I should probably go smaller, maybe to 1.5" max. I am hoping to find a brightly colored smaller fish to add for lots of interest and activity without overstocking. I only have 29 gallons so I'm limited.
<Tanichthys of either species would be ideal for this system, and a dozen or two wouldn't overstock a 29-gallon system with decent filtration.
Indeed, getting 18-20 minnows, plus half a dozen gobies sounds fine to me.
None of these fish are messy or big.>
Would either of the other 2 fish we discussed earlier, Dusty Millions or Swamp Guppies enjoy this tank with high current? They are both attractive enough I might even do a smaller school with them if they get larger.
<Micropoecilia parae and Micropoecilia picta are both adapted to relatively weak water currents, as the "swamp" part of Micropoecilia picta's name suggests. Micropoecilia parae is a little more streamlined and a better swimmer, but neither is an obvious choice for a hillstream biotope.>
I am wanting a fish for midlevel tank activity with nice color and playfulness in the current since the other fish, while beautiful, mostly congregate around sucking on algae all day! However, I have never seen either of these 2 fish Dusty Millions or Swamp Guppies locally and so I would like to know several more common varieties that I could use, or try
ordering...which I will probably need to do anyway for the neon gobies.
<You might look at Alfaro cultratus, Xiphophorus multilineatus and many of the Goodeidae as possible options for tanks with brisk currents.>
How sensitive are these neon goby and hillstream loach fish to water temps too? It is unheated and at 77 degrees right now at 6:30am during August, our hottest month. That could possibly rise to 78 during day. Outside temps are hitting 100 degrees. General the thermostat is set for 78 except when I am doing a lot of busy work or cooking sometimes I crank it to 75-77 range, but the majority or time it is set at 78. The tanks are in a west facing room. I guess I could purchase blackout curtains, but I have a lot of plants in there too...I would need to rearrange everything.
<Seasonal high temperatures are rarely a big deal, especially if you can kick up the aeration a bit. It's the (lack of) oxygen that kills rather than temperature per se. But 365-days of high temperatures are a no-no.>
I guess I could buy ice cube trays on Amazon and freeze prepared fish tank water and drop some in each morning and evening? How many trays would you suggest for a 29 gallon if this is a good idea? I would probably only need to do this in summer, and empty corresponding amounts of water too maybe at the time of adding the cubes.
<People certain do employ systems like this. I'd suggest a 1-litre or similar plastic container (like the sort used to hold ice cream), fill it with water, freeze, and then simply float as-is in the water. But this is really only on extreme days. A few days or even a couple weeks in the high 70s/low 80s isn't going to kill hillstream fish provided water current and
oxygenation are sufficient.>
Thanks again.
Have a nice weekend.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Never heard of it 11/12/11
So I couldn't resist the fish when I saw it. I am fairly confident that it is Giuris margaritacea based on FishBase photos.
<Nice fish!>
Great colors, active "swim and sink" lurker style of behavior.
<Sleeper Gobies do seem to be more forward than the average "true" Goby.
Partly it's because they tend to be bigger and more predatory, I'm sure.
But if you can work around that, they're often very rewarding fish.>
I'm thinking I want to keep him alone until I figure out what he eats and if he is aggressive.
<Virtually all Sleeper Gobies are opportunistic predators, and while green foods will be a significant part of their diet, very few Sleepers will pass up the opportunity to eat small fish and invertebrates. Under aquarium conditions they're often omnivores, happily taking white fish fillet, chopped seafood, frozen bloodworms, and pellet foods (my Sleeper Goby, a Mogurnda species, enjoys Hikari Cichlid Gold). As for aggression, Sleepers tend to be territorial and predatory rather than aggressive. If kept with dissimilar fish of suitable size, they're good choices for mixed species set-ups.>
At first glance he really does not seem the type for a community tank.
<Community tank, no. But similar-sized catfish, loaches, perhaps even South American cichlids, yes.>
Great colors a handsome fish. And can find pellets by smell!
Ominously there does not seem to be much discussion in the forums about this fish.
<Partly because it's rare in the trade. But you may also be having problems because another name, Eleotris margaritacea, has been used in the past. Do also try searching for "Irian Golden Nugget Gudgeon", another trade-name for this species.>
I'm wondering if you guys know of the fish in the hobby and might be able to shed some light beyond the FishBase entry.
<Gets to about 20 cm; colours vary with mood; males exhibit stronger colours, often golden-green, hence the alternative common name; does well in freshwater provided extremes are avoided. A second species, Ophieleotris aporos, is sometimes called the Snakehead Gudgeon. It is very similar in size and shape, but colours somewhat different, more bluey than golden, and occurs in both fresh and brackish water habitats. This species is said to be quite aggressive, but I've never seen it myself.>
In particular, does he need brackish water?
<Adults don't, no. Larvae develop in the sea though.>
What is an ideal temp range? Fish base says 20-30C which seems rather wide.
<Actually pretty typical for Australasian gudgeons, which tend to be really rather tolerant animals. A middling value, 25 C/77 F, would be about right, perhaps a trifle cooler in winter.>
<I'm attaching a photo of this species that Bob may want to use alongside this rely. The photograph shows a mature male; note the golden cast. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Never heard of it 11/12/11
Should I give him algae wafers from time to time?
<I doubt he'll eat them, but you can try, perhaps by starving him for a few days beforehand. If he takes floating pellets and flake, you could certainly try Spirulina-enriched brands designed for Mbuna, livebearers and the like. Otherwise, focus on Spirulina fortified brine shrimp and gut-loaded earthworms or river shrimps as the best way to get greens into this fish.>
Thanks for all the info Neale.
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Re: Never heard of it, Eleotrid 11/26/11
Neale I have attached a pic of the probable Giuris margaritacea. Have I identified it correctly?
<I think so.>
Please excuse the messy tank... Really need to clean the back of that tank.
<Nice fish; good luck with it! These Sleepers tend to be tough fish, but there's little known about this particular species, so do look out for problems, and avoid the obvious risks like "feeder" fish and excessive Thiaminase. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Never heard of it
Thanks. He's easy to keep, turned him on to pellets very quickly. He greedily takes every type of sinking or floating pellet I have. Enjoys the only live food I feed, earthworms.
<An excellent live food. Very safe, nutritious, and apparently delicious!>
Greedy and will boldly steal food from other fish. However like you said territorial and predatory vice aggressive.
<Absolutely. These big Sleepers have a bad name as being "aggressive" but they're really not. Given space and the right tankmates, they're superb additions to mixed-species set-ups. Full of character and quick to learn. One of the few fish that seem to demand "pet" names -- within minutes of getting my Purple Spotted Gudgeon home, my girlfriend had already decided he looked like an "Earl".>
Great colors and showing better by the day.
Thanks again for your insight.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Hi, would Sleepy Cod be compatible with Silver Perch 1/11/10
if not can you suggest other tankmates for Sleepy Cod. Thanks
<Oxyeleotris lineolatus are large (to 45 cm) sleeper gobies that like other sleeper gobies eat anything they can catch. But while territorial they aren't aggressive, and can make excellent aquarium fish given sufficient space. Provided their tankmates are too big to swallow whole, feel free to try them out with any non-aggressive midwater fish. Silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus) are fairly aggressive and wouldn't be my first choice. Cheers, Neale.>

Keeping peacock gudgeons 11/20/2008 Hello to everyone in the Crew. I hope you are all doing well and keeping warm! I was at PetSmart this weekend getting cat food, so I thought I would stroll by their row of tanks. This store perpetually struggles with water quality, and it seems their latest plan of attack is to remove the gravel (seems to me, a much more sensible idea would be to stop feeding their tanks those chalky vacation wafers, but that's another story). Apparently they are trying new kinds of fish every few months. They got "Venus cichlids" Nimbochromis venustus, and now they have Tropheus duboisi, sigh. At least they are $30, so probably won't be going home to uncycled 10 gallon tanks. Now, here's my point, finally! They have peacock gudgeons for $10 - one of my dream fish, a fish I have never seen in town before. They certainly did look tiny in person! I am going to be sure to quarantine any new arrivals, and it'll be another week or so before I actually make a purchase because I have lots of research to do. I have three tanks that I believe might work - a 10 gallon tank with Glowlight tetras and harlequin Rasboras, a 20 gallon empty tank, and 29 gallon tank with three Curviceps cichlids and some little tetras. I am working on getting the enormous Synodontis eupterus out of there (unfortunately he fared poorly in the 55 gallon because the Kribs kept nipping at him). I would love to have an opinion on which tank would be the best. They seem small enough to house in a 10 gallon - the water quality stays very consistent there, nitrates very rarely get 20 ppm, 10 ppm is the norm. I have very hard Florida well water, so the water chemistry doesn't budge. I also have an empty 10 gallon tank that I could set up expressly for a few peacock gudgeons, if it turns out they fare better alone. (Can you tell that I am recovering from multiple tank syndrome?) Any tips on what's best to feed them? They don't seem like eager eaters, probably frozen bloodworms and tiny bits of frozen seafood would be the staples, but perhaps some Nori? They seem very delicate, sort of along the lines of threadfin rainbows, and I would be happy to provide a bigger tank than 10 gallons, although they seem like they would get lost in anything over 20 gallons. Do they like to be in pairs, or in an even/odd group? Sorry for the barrage of questions! I am just so excited to have an opportunity to keep this fish, and am trying my best to do everything I can to make them happy. I know they will need to be rehabbed when I bring them in, as they probably have eaten very little if anything - hence the quarantine period...or maybe the 10 gallon tank will be their permanent home... Thanks so much for your help, Nicole <Hello Nicole! Synodontis eupterus is one of my favourite catfish, and as you probably know, it's a true gentle giant. They work great in tanks upwards of, say, 40 gallons when combined with non-aggressive fish of appropriate size. Things like Senegal bichirs for example, or African Butterflyfish. Congo tetras would be good too, as they're usually very well behaved and non-nippy. The Peacock Gudgeon Tateurndina ocellicauda is one of the fish I keep at home. It's surprisingly hardy and quite easy to maintain, despite its delicate appearance. They're naturally from quite soft water habitats, so if you can dilute your rock hard tap water 50/50 with rainwater or RI water, that'll help (mine live in a 50/50 tap water/rainwater mix). But unless you're breeding them, I doubt water chemistry is critical. They mix well with small, non-aggressive tankmates. I keep mine with a small whiptail catfish, a lone bumblebee goby, and a school of Aspidoras pauciradiatus catfish. There are also various snails and shrimps. http://homepage.mac.com/nmonks/Projects/freshwaterreef.html Mine like frozen bloodworms plenty, and also live daphnia and live mosquito larvae. They aren't huge feeders, and if I skip feeding them a day that doesn't seem to cause any problems (though like the bumblebee goby, I suspect they're eating juvenile cherry shrimps). The tank is not even 10 gallons in size. There are four, two boys and two girls. The girls are constantly on display, while the males are usually guarding eggs. Wild fish supposedly form schools, but I haven't seen much evidence of that; in fact they are slightly territorial if anything. I haven't bothered to rear the fry (no room!) but they seem to spawn constantly. They do enjoy having lots of plants and hollow ornaments to hide in, and also like to dig burrows between the plant roots and the back of the tank. So I'd recommend using smooth silica sand rather than gravel. Generally pretty easy animals. Gudgeons are popular aquarium fish in Australia,; it's a shame we don't see them in Europe or the US all that often. Cheers, Neale.>

Eels and Puffers (Sounds like a Political Convention) Hi Anthony! Just to keep you updated... In one of my last emails, I mentioned that my grouper ate one of my dwarf puffers. You replied that they are toxic and I said I'd let you know if my grouper made it through the night. First off, I want to make a correction. My 'grouper' is actually a Marbled Sleeper Goby! And he really eats a lot. Good news is that it didn't die after eating the puffer! =) He's eating Neons now. Are all puffers toxic? Someone told me that my dwarf puffer isn't. Any idea? <yes... it is my understanding that all Tetraodontidae have some degree of toxicity to the flesh. With such poor swimming skills and soft pliable flesh (read: little other defense short of inflation) it stands to reason that this is so. Its just that not all predators are affected by this... some surely have evolved to tolerate it...perhaps your goby. Its like some people that can eat spicy food and others who need a fire extinguisher and a good magazine after a spicy meal>> I came home today to find my moray lying on its side gasping for dear life. This is the second day after I purchased it. After reading all your FAQs I decided to put 5 gm.s of salt for my 15 gallon tank. <Well, Hallelujah and pass the ammunition!> I don't have a hydrometer but what do you estimate the salinity to be now? <couldn't say without a hydrometer <wink>. Dissolved solids (including salts) in tap water...previous salt? It would be more responsible to get the hydrometer> I decided to stop at 5 gm.s 'cos I also have a Caecilian in the tank. I read that Caecilians get blisters if there is salt but the lady that wrote into the forum said that she put 5 gm.s for every gallon of water! I think that's REALLY too much. And so she concludes that salt does not suit caecilians. Anyway I decided to stay at 5 gm.s 'cos I'm confident the caecilian can take it. Will keep you posted if it develops blisters. <and please understand the real problem here is inappropriate/incompatible tankmates. We are asking fishes to live together from very different environments> The salt seemed to have a magical effect on the moray. After less than an hour it was very obvious that he had recovered from the brink of death. It was really remarkable to see it recover so fast. <my point about many of the freshwater morays not being so freshwater, my friend> Anyway I hope he eats soon. Do they always open and close their mouth as if they are panting? <I would say that they seem to naturally have a deliberate breath (not quite labored)> Is squid a fave food of theirs? <big-time> I heard that there is a neurotoxin in the eel's skin. <hmmm... I haven't licked one yet... I'll get back to you on this one <wink>> Is this true and will it affect my other fish? I read someone's experience in a forum and he said that his fish died after he introduced an eel into the tank! Not eaten up but they just died... <seems very unlikely> Look forward to your humorous replies Anthony! Thanks again! =) <thank you for saying so, my friend. Anthony>

Frightful Purple-spotted Gudgeon Bob I love your site! <<Not mine, my friend, all of ours>> <glad to be of service> I have had my brackish tank established now for 5 months. It contains a purple-spotted gudgeon and a knight goby, 4 mollies and 2 silver scats. Everything is perfect in the tank except for one problem. My purple-spotted gudgeon has always acted very strange. Whenever a water change is made, or at any point at which I have to put my hand in the tank he flips out slamming into the rock and glass, finally turning dark and floating by the heater. All of the other fish just hide out. He will eventually returns to normal but this behavior seems odd. Just thought you may have an answer. Thanks Jason <it is unfortunately a prolonged source of stress/duress for some wild-caught fishes... the whole captivity thing. Most fish adapt... some never do. Your gudgeon has been required to live in the small confines of an aquarium in close proximity to unnatural tankmates that it would never see in the wild (or at least not so close for so long <G>) and under bright light likely (more than used to). It may simply be that this specimen is not going to adapt quickly, if at all. Sounds like a good excuse to set up another aquarium to me <VBG>. Best regards, Anthony>

Raising gudgeon fry... Hi guys! I've decided to try to raise the purple-spotted gudgeon fry. <Neat... a gorgeous fish when spawning> On Thursday night, when the eggs were three days old (our of their four-day gestation period), I took the rock the eggs were on and put it in a 5.5g tank. The tank has a 50w Tronic heater and an air tube connected to the weakest air pump I have. (Earlier experiments with knight goby fry showed the problem with too much water circulation: the fry get blown around and presumably can't get to the food.) <Yes... I like a barely going line attached to an old sponge filter... helps by culturing food, aerating, circulating water... w/o blasting all about, sucking up the fry.> The fry hatched between Thursday night and Friday afternoon. Many of them are sitting on the bottom, twitching occasionally; a few are twitching while either swimming or being blown around the tank. I added one drop of Liqui-fresh 1 egg-layer fry food on Friday afternoon, and another one on Friday night. Now, in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the tank water is cloudy. <Typical... the yolk part of the Liqui-fry...> I'd like to do a water change, but how do you keep fry that are maybe 2mm long and half that in width and height from getting in the water you want to throw out? <Drape a small piece of panty hose, cheese cloth or filter Dacron over a length of air-line tubing, and (this will take a while), siphon the water out slowly... replace with water a bit warmer, but of the same/similar make-up (best from an established tank> I did add a sponge filter to the end of the air line -- it was in use on the fry tanks before the move, and has been sitting in the molly tank since the move. I am hoping there will be sufficient bacteria left in the filter to deal with some of the cloudiness in the fry tank. <And more> While a fair number of the eggs have hatched, a larger portion of them have not. Some of them seem to be turning a bit whitish. Is this what I've heard referred to as "fungussing"? And should I add anything (Methylene blue?) to the water to deal with it? <I would siphon out the "bad" eggs, and add the Methylene blue ASAP> Meanwhile, back in the adult gudgeons' tank, the male gudgeon was confused when his rock full of eggs suddenly disappeared. I put a slightly-similarly shaped rock where the egg rock had been, and he's perching on it. <Good idea. Bob Fenner>

Re: raising gudgeon fry... >I've decided to try to raise the purple-spotted gudgeon fry. ><Neat... a gorgeous fish when spawning> Did you get the photos? I took a lot of photos this time around for the eventual article... These have become some of my favorite fish. <<Yes, thank you... will be posting along with your notes... on dailies later, then on to brackish gobies FAQs on WWM>> >I'd like to do a water change, but how do you keep fry that are >maybe 2mm long and half that in width and height from getting in the >water you want to throw out? ><Drape a small piece of panty hose, cheese cloth or filter Dacron >over a length of air-line tubing, and (this will take a while), >siphon the water out slowly... replace with water a bit warmer, but >of the same/similar make-up (best from an established tank> None of the tanks have been here for more than two weeks, since we've just moved, but the filtration is well-established from the old place. I could take "new" water out of the 55g and heat it a bit more before I add it to the fry tank. <<This is what I would do>> >I did add a sponge filter to the end of the air line -- it was in >use on the fry tanks before the move, and has been sitting in the >molly tank since the move. I am hoping there will be sufficient >bacteria left in the filter to deal with some of the cloudiness in >the fry tank. ><And more> The water quality has improved already. <<Cycling of sorts>> >While a fair number of the eggs have hatched, a larger portion of >them have not. Some of them seem to be turning a bit whitish. Is >this what I've heard referred to as "fungussing"? And should I add >anything (Methylene blue?) to the water to deal with it? ><I would siphon out the "bad" eggs, and add the Methylene blue ASAP> Aaargh. Too late. When we got here today, all of the eggs still on the rock had fungused. I removed most of the bad eggs with a net, and siphoned out most of the rest with a pipette. The sponge filter seems to be pulling them in, so cleaning that later should take care of the remainder. Next time I'll add the m. blue to the fry tank when I put the eggs in there. <<Don't be too discouraged... this is very common on "first spawns"... should improve on succeeding events percentage wise> I do still have a fair number of live fry. They are starting to swim around for themselves. They still look like two black dots on a transparent body. <<Neat>> I'm not really keeping track of tank parameters this time, aside from temperature... the test kits are scattered/packed and the thermometers are on the tank. Fortunately, the gudgeons spawn fairly frequently. Lack of air conditioning and a warm day triggered it this time. For the eventual article, what tank parameters should I record? <Temperature, pH, hardness... what they're doing in a time-frame, your speculations>> I know I should include everything that I put into the tank, but what other items/readings/etc.? <<Feeding, spawning, hatching behavior... Bob Fenner> Thanks, Ananda

Gudgeon fry... take 2. Hi Bob, Bad news: I lost the rest of the gudgeon eggs and fry to the fungus. I did, however, have some that had become free-swimming before they succumbed. I returned the gudgeons' rock to the same location and orientation in the tank. <There will be other times> Good news: the gudgeons just spawned again (i.e., within the last hour!). I saw the last few minutes of it. They used the same rock. Previously, they had used a larger "carved" rock, or the side of the tank. I think they prefer the current rock because the side they use is at an angle, rather than vertical like their previous spawning sites. Interestingly, the female turns dark a few hours before spawning, while the male turns dark later to guard the eggs. I hadn't seen the female turn dark before. <This happens> I didn't really expect them to spawn right away, as I recently salted the tank because of a spot on one of the rainbow's fins. <Good idea> No need to post this one on the dailies; just thought you might be interested in their behavior in using the same rock to spawn again. --Ananda <Always. Be chatting, and writing. Bob Fenner>

Uh oh!! gobies! Oh no! I didn't do my homework! <<Ah... now you know, research before you buy.>> I have been checking up on the versatility (in relation to salinity) on the fish I would like to include in my 55 gallon setup and I put marbled gobies in as something I would like, but I didn't realize they got so massive! I can't possibly accommodate something that gets upwards of 2 feet! can you maybe suggest a goby or two that are smaller(!), and hardy in a 55 gallon heavy-brackish setup? <<I did just reply to your earlier email with some links, but here is the Brackish Goby link again: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobioids.htm This should give you a good start. Cheers, J -- >>

Brackish Goby Here is a picture of a goby I have In my tank. He has more than doubled in size since I purchased him. I have done some research and he appears to be a sleeper goby?? Could you tell me if this is true and about how large he will get. Thanks Jason <A very nice Fat Sleeper Goby, you can see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gobioids.htm In the wild can attain two feet in length, but about the biggest I've seen in captivity is half this. Bob Fenner>

"Sleeper goby" I have a "sleeper goby" this is the only name I have . I would like to find the scientific name. It is bluish gray on the body , top fin is edged in red , lower fins are edged in white and behind the gill fins , his eyes are a very cloudy blue , he can be hand fed but at times has to make 2 or 3 tries to get the food into his mouth ( I think he has very poor vision) his tank has a pot large enough for him to hide in but he prefers to hide behind it vertically , he is very peaceful . he will eat "anything" but favors frozen blood worms , frozen brine shrimp and dried Tubifex worms. I have had him for about four years and he is thriving and seems content But I don't know for sure if I am doing everything right or is he just adapted to what I'm doing. any help would be appreciated ! Thank you for your time George Boud <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobioids.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

Re: "sleeper goby" Thank You I now know it is a Dormitator maculatus <Ah, good. Bob Fenner>

Marble Goby in Thailand? 2/23/04 Do you know where to sell the Marbled Goby size between 3"-5" to be aquarium fish. We live in Thailand. <Gosh, I live in Chicago. Do you have a phone book? Call around to the fish stores & check the open markets that sell fish. Are you aware of how large they get? A goby will eat any fish it can fit into it's very large mouth!. Good luck! `PP>

Mogurnda mogurnda 11/11/04 Hi, Pufferpunk here> Hi- I have this fish at home now and I don't have a lot of information on it. They told me at the pet shop to add salt to the tank daily. Is this correct? <Nope this is a FW goby. I have one I raised from an egg. Males are thinner & smaller than females. My female grew to around 7" & the male around 5". The female was almost 2x as wide as the male. She spawned on the glass & the male fanned the eggs. Very cute! He would try to attack me if I went near his nursery. They will eat their young, so I had to scrape the eggs off the glass & move to hatch them. I put the parents in a 15g breeder tank, so I wouldn't have to move the eggs anymore. They got boiled by a defective heater. =o{ It was a very sad sight!> They also told me to feed regular fish food and I do know they eat other live insects, fish, worms, etc. What do you recommend and could you recommend a good reference book for me to have?? Here's a good page: http://www.nativefish.asn.au/northernpsgudgeon.html All those foods sound good. They will eat any fish they can fit in their mouth. Mine ate 18 1" algae eaters in 3 days!> Thank you, again. Lisa Griffin <Very pretty fish, enjoy! ~PP>

Breeding The Marbled Goby Dear Bob, <Edgar> I have tons of questions about marbled goby since it caught my attention that seems nobody can breed them in captivity. Can they be breed in aquarium ? <As far as I know, Oxyeleotris marmorata has been in captivity: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=5376&genusname=Oxyeleotris&speciesname=marmorata This is an important food/aquaculture species in S.E. Asia> what's the different between male and female ? <Perhaps a difference in girth during gonad maturation?> do they breed like gudgeon ? <I suspect you are correct here> how come I couldn't find this information on the net? <It may be "proprietary"... a business secret... or likely, a matter of scientific, rather than hobbyist interest... You might try a large/college library search: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm> I've search all over the place and now I plea for your help. Edgar Tjai. <Perhaps you will be the one to do this, write it up... Bob Fenner> Yellow Headed Sleeper Goby 10/26/06 Hi, <Hello Sam> I have a 29 gallon tank with 40lbs live sand and 15-20lbs live rock. My tank has been running for about 2 months. This past weekend I purchased a Yellow Headed Sleeper Goby and a Yellow Mimic Tang. I didn't read up on the sleeper goby until after I bought him and found out that they usually starve to death. <Should have read up on the Mimic Tang also. Do not know which type you have, either the Eibli or the Pyroferus, but both require moderate care and would prefer a 70 gallon tank. The sleeper goby you have is difficult to keep, especially if you are a newbie. They would prefer a 50 gallon tank with a live sand bed, (you do meet that requirement) and an attached populated refugium.> I was wondering if you think he will survive long in my tank and what I need to do to help him survive. <I'd see if you can return both of these fish. Your tank and experience level (assuming you are a newbie) will need improving to successfully keep these fish.> He has made a home for himself under one of my rocks too, I'm not sure if that is a good sign or if it is relevant at all. I've read that the sleeper goby will eat small crustaceans and live fauna in the live sand, what exactly if fauna? <fauna> <Fauna are animals of a given region considered as a group of animal life, living organism characterized by voluntary movement. Check your dictionary.> Also, what about copepods, I know that I can buy them at my LFS, will the goby eat them. <Should, you will need plenty of them to keep an ongoing population.> Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Samantha S.

Re: Yellow Headed Sleeper Goby - 10/28/06 Hi, <Hi Sam> I've been in this hobby for about a year and a half now so I have a little bit of knowledge. I realize that I will need a bigger tank in the near future, but for the mean time, my Yellow Mimic Tang seems to be very happy. I have determined that she is a Pyroferus. She is quite small, only about 2 1/2 to 3 inches. She is eating a ton which is great but I know I'll need to do more frequent water changes. The Yellow Headed Sleeper Goby has been very active and sifting through the sand bed. His stomach looks small and I tried to get him to eat some Cyclop-eeze and freeze dried brine shrimp last night but he wasn't interested. Are there any supplements or anything that might get him to start eating? <Nothing out there that I know of. These fish do best in a seasoned tank with a populated live sand bed. Your best bet would be to get some copepods, and plenty of them.> Could he still getting used to the tank, he's only been in there for a little less than a week. <Unlikely. Do read FAQ's here on this subject, see what others have been experiencing and the crew's suggestions to such. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/eleotridfaqs.htm> Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Samantha S.

Sleeper Goby/Systems/Feeding 6/5/06 Hi, <Hello Carrie.> Quick question. I have a 150 gallon tank with 1 to 4" of sand depending on how the powerheads blow the sand at the bottom. I purchased a gold head sleeper goby back in Oct. of 2005 and it has been fine, even eats pieces of raw shrimp from on top of the sand. I read that they like to be in pairs, or they will not live as long. <Generally, the Gold Head Sleeper Gobies are aggressive toward one another unless a mated pair.> That said I felt I should buy a 2nd, then I wondered if the tank would sustain 2, or if the reason my nitrates are about 30 to 40 (though my phosphates are usually close to "0" and my sps pls and anemones grow great), may be because the goby is eating the beneficial stuff out of the sand? <Very possible. With sand beds that deep, the sand should be teeming with beneficial organisms to aid in nutrient control.> Would that contribute to higher nitrates? <Yes> Yes, I have a refugium, though I need a larger one for my 150. I have read that a lot of people are noticing that the nitrates being 30 to 40 are not a big deal, as long as the phosphates are low. <Corals/anemones do not well long term with high nitrates.> I have seen my Montipora digitata grew twice as big in 4 months, as well as the other corals under these conditions, and any added corals are fine, so there must be some validity to that. Back to the goby. That being the "scenario" would a 2nd be okay, just keep the one (who will be lonely per web sites I have read) or should I eliminate (return) the first goby? <Since the Gold Head Sleeper Gobies are a little difficult to keep, and yours seems to be doing great, I'd hang on to him.> My ph is 8.1 Alk 2.5 to 3.5, am. 0, nitrites 0 (always 0) cal 400 to 450. Carrie, do read the links I've pasted and related links above. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/deepsandbeds.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/valenciennea.htm> Thanks! <You're welcome. Please, in future queries, no more abbreviations. Thank you. James (Salty Dog)> Carrie ;) Keeping Sleeper Gobies-Food Is Everything! 8/26/05 Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I've had a Yellow Headed Sleeper Goby and a Brown-Barred Goby. I enjoyed both fish, but they died fairly quickly. <Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence with these difficult-to-feed fishes. They often starve to death slowly in aquariums. I'd place them right up there with Mandarins on the "feeding-is-critical-to-success" scale.> If you could pass on any feeding tips Id appreciate it. I've had my saltwater tank 6 months after having numerous fresh water tanks. Any tip or help would be great. Thank you for your time, Bobby <Well, Bobby- you are considering taking on a challenging fish. These gobies will generally feed on small crustaceans and other substrate-based fauna. Your best chance of success with these fish is to keep them in a very well established system with a deep sand bed and/or refugium, which can help produce sufficient quantities of natural foods for them to forage for. Good prepared foods to feed the fish include items like frozen Mysis shrimp, Cyclop-Eeze, and live black worms (yep- the freshwater kind, believe it or not). I would not use the black worms as a mainstay of their diet, but these can help get them eating and provide some nutrition. regardless of what you feed, do plan on making food the highest priority for keeping these guys. If your system is ready (i.e.; biologically diverse and well established), and if your freezer is well-stocked-then select healthy specimens, quarantine them, and feed them like mad! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Sleeper Goby injury/disease? Mr. Fenner, <John> I have had an orange spotted sleeper goby in my 30 gal. Aquarium for about 9 months now. He is eating fine and "sleeping" fine every night and comes out as soon as the light comes on in the morning. I have a 9 watt U.V light as well as a skimmer and 2 penguin filters. Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate -25 , ph-8.2, salinity is 1.022, temp is 79 F. In the last few days I have noticed a raised bump in the "meat" part of his tail so I don't think any internal organs are involved. it is about .5 cm large and appears somewhat red (he has white skin so this is easy to see). The only thing I can think of is some type of parasite, <Mmm, not necessarily. Far more likely a "bump" from a physical trauma> but it doesn't fit the description of anything in the disease chart. I have a bottle of Green-X but don't want to dose my main tank, <Don't> and he wouldn't like it very much in the quarantine tank as there is not much substrate or rocks for him to dig under. if this is a lymphocyte of some kind is there much chance of it spreading to other fish in the tank? <Highly unlikely> It could just be an injury of some kind <Bingo> but I'm not completely sure. He doesn't even seem to notice that's it's there. Is there any danger in leaving him alone for a week or so, or will he infest my tank by then? (Assuming it's a parasite) the cleaner shrimp (and I know Greenex is poison for them) may be able to help him but I'm not sure of this either. can you leave an internal parasite alone forever or will it keep getting larger? you can cut them out right? Any suggestions? THANKS!!! John Fillier <I would leave this fish where it is, not treat it, the tank... rely on good food, time to self-heal this fish. Bob Fenner>

Sleeper Goby Hey Crew, <Mark> A few questions regarding setting up a Q-tank if I may. <Go ahead> Looking to pick up a Sleeper Gold Head Goby (Valenciennea strigata) in a few days for my 75G (setup 2+ years, 40# LR, 4" oolite DSB, two clowns, purple tang and a cleaner shrimp). Q-tank is 15G, have a hang-on power filter that will take foam elements that have been in my main tank for awhile. Questions: -Should I fill (or partly fill) the Q-tank with water from the 75G? <Yes> -Considering is a sand sifter, go a shallow sand bed or stay bare bottom? <Mmm, a toss-up... if the animal looks fine otherwise, I'd add substrate... but if you think you might want/have to add medicant/s, I'd omit it... Actually... if the fish looks fine I'd probably skip quarantine altogether... and just pH adjusted freshwater dip and place it... More to be lost than gained with many such fishes (touchy, easily starved varieties)> -Tank previously setup with eggcrate lid, okay or should I be looking for a glass top? <All openings large enough to exit up must be covered> -How to feed the goby while in QT? <A "turkey" baster... meaty food items, frequently> -What should be the minimum stay? <None to a few weeks> Lastly, when is Part2 in the NMA series due out? <Heeeeee! Wish I could tell... a few to several months likely> Thanks in advance, Mark <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Looking for fish I've been trying to locate info on the bony-snouted gudgeon, but haven't been able to find much more than a summary at best. I'm not even sure they sell them in the US. Any help would be great. <Not familiar with this common name... is this an Eleotrid... a sleeper goby? Do you have a scientific name you can send along? Bob Fenner>

Re: Looking for fish I found Butis humeralis listed under one of the few pictures I found. There is also a Butis butis, but the coloring looks different. I did find out it's some kind of Eleotrid, but that's about it. I found a few different names for them, (Duckbill sleeper, bony-snouted gudgeon, crazy fish) but I'm not sure which one's are for what. (Conflicting info and many different types.) <I looked on fishbase.org re these species as I have never seen them in the trade... and know little more. You may be the principal source of information if you try and keep this fish in captivity. Bob Fenner>

Gobies/gudgeons (Mogurnda sp) Hi guys, <Ah, there you are! Sorry to have missed you and Mark this wknd> In the 4/29/2 Daily Q&A page photos of the gobies, the center one is Mogurnda adspera (Mogurnda mogurnda) -- aka the purple-spotted or purple-striped gudgeon, though I've frequently seen it called a goby. (I have three of them.) <Yes... Thank you for this. You can right-click the images... see their labels/identifications as properties. Bob Fenner> --Ananda

Re: gobies/gudgeons (sp) >Hi guys, ><Ah, there you are! Sorry to have missed you and Mark this wknd> The Saturday event went until after 10pm, rather than ending earlier as we thought it would. Sunday we spent in the airport. The traffic and the security lines at the airport had been horrendous when we arrived, so we left 3.5 hours to get to the airport, drop off the car, and wait for security. We could have done it in 90 minutes. And then the plane was almost an hour late... some person at the previous stop had checked in luggage but not boarded. They had to go through all the luggage to find that one person's bag and get it off the plane. Next time we go down to SD it'll be a longer trip. But we didn't choose the flight, so not much we could do about it. <<What hassles... but warranted... If it were up to me, I'd have folks board naked... Would make the airports really fun places to visit>> >In the 4/29/2 Daily Q&A page photos of the gobies, the center one is adspera (mogurnda) -- aka the purple-spotted or >purple-striped gudgeon, though I've frequently seen it called a goby. (I have three of them.) ><Yes... Thank you for this. You can right-click the images... see their labels/identifications as properties. Bob Fenner> Hmmm. That doesn't work on Internet Explorer on the Mac... <<Oh... someday all functionalities will operate cross-platform... or something like this. Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Later,

Re: I need info on Jade goby This is as close as I could get same body exactly. different color green with black stripes <Have you looked thoroughly on fishbase.org under the family Eleotridae? Perhaps check the "native" gobies, Gobioids for where you're located under cross-referencing the genera on the "country" listing. Bob Fenner>

Re: I need info on Jade goby Eleotridae under species genre or common name? couldn't find, and where are pictures you're talking about? thanks <Eleotridae... the images are placed by species... Go to: fishbase.org and place either the common name: Sleeper Goby, Gobies in the "common name" find tray... or open up the family information below there... and then search by genus in the "genus" search tray. Bob Fenner>

View Pictures here it is thanks now I just have to figure how to order more of these guys pet store warehouse here in NY don't have. Julie <Ah... looks like a species... know where, how to look further? Bob Fenner>
Jade goby Was reading your daily Q and A's again. "Jade goby" is the latest name dealers are calling Dormitator maculatus. I guess they sell faster than "Fat sleepers"?! <Yes my friend... the Eleotrid (sleeper "goby") I suspected. Bob Fenner> Cheers, Naomi Delventhal

I need info on Jade goby hi, what is the scientific name for the jade Gobi. Julie <Mmm, name not found on fishbase.org, any of my printed reference works. Do you have a photograph? Bob Fenner>

Re: I need info on Jade goby not a great picture will try again <Oh my! Worse than mine! Bob Fenner>

Re: I need info on Jade goby <We're getting closer... looks like an Eleotrid of some sort. Is this in brackish, fresh or marine water? Bob Fenner>

Re: I need info on Jade goby I think its a goby Killie fresh water <Hmm, interesting. Please go to www.fishbase.org and place these common names in their search engine... And further down, try out the family name Eleotridae... do any of the species pictures that come up look familiar? Bob Fenner>

Sleeper Gobies and the Metric System <<JasonC here giving Bob some time to prepare for his upcoming dive trip.>> Hi I was just wondering if yellow headed sleeper gobies needed a lot of sand, because I was thinking of getting a pair I have an extremely thin layer of sand on the bottom of my tank, <<how thin is thin?>> I currently have a pair of tomato clowns, flame headed Dottyback, lunar wrasse, coral beauty and a green lined wrasse I have no corals yet but I am getting some for Christmas. And is the Sarcophyton species good for a beginner? <<most times, yes>> Sorry I cant say how many gallons my tank is *because I'm Australian and I don't know how to use gallons but its 180 litres Thanks <<No problem. A quick and dirty way to convert liters to gallons is to divide by four - a liter is actually 0.26 US Gallons, so you have a 46.8 gallon tank. Anyway, it sounds like your tank in well stocked, and you may have some difficulties with the Lunare wrasse and some of your coral choices, especially as the wrasse grows. As far as the sand bed goes, you may want to consider carefully whether or not you should be adding anything else to your system. More sand would help, but you don't want to the tank. Good luck. J-- >>

Sleeper Goby Bob, I was given a Lrg. Sleeper Goby the other day. He/she is gulping and filtering the substrate continuously as well as gulping frozen food. He/she is about 4 inches long. My question(s) are as follow: Is he compatible with Angels, Tangs and a small Lion? The substrate is not live, so is it a good possibility that he will starve, even given the fact that he is eating what the community eats? And finally, does he need a partner to survive? Thanks for your help, Doug <Compatibility, ultimate size depends on which species this is... Maybe take a long view on www.FishBase.com under the common moniker... they also post some nutrition/feeding notes... by species. No partner necessary. Bob Fenner>

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