Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Shrimp/Watchman Gobies 2

Related Articles: Shrimp Gobies, Marine Scavengers, Alpheid (including Shrimp) Gobies

Related FAQs:  Shrimp Gobies 1, Pistol Shrimp and Goby Biotopes, & Shrimp Goby Identification, Shrimp Goby BehaviorShrimp Goby Compatibility, Shrimp Goby SelectionShrimp Goby Systems, Shrimp Goby Feeding, Shrimp Goby Disease, Shrimp Goby Reproduction, & Alpheid (including Shrimp) GobiesTrue GobiesGobies 2Goby Identification, Goby Behavior, Goby Selection, Goby Compatibility, Goby Feeding, Goby Systems, Goby Disease, Goby Reproduction, Amblygobius Gobies, Clown GobiesNeon GobiesGenus Coryphopterus Gobies, Mudskippers, Sifter Gobies

Alpheid and Wheeleri Goby WAK

Pairing gobies     2/18/19
Hi crew, I currently have a large (6") pink spotted watchman goby in a 6 foot 150 gallon aquarium. His territory takes up the left 3rd of the tank, he never ventures to the other side.
A friend is selling a 3" 'blue spot' watchman goby (which I believe is just a different colour variation of a yellow watchman goby?) with a red banded pistol shrimp.
<Might be the Cryptocentrus cinctus. See my pix here:
I am curious what you believe the likely outcome would be if I added this goby and shrimp to my setup.
<Likely will get along, possibly pair up!>
A. The two gobies would pair and/or share a cave. B. The new goby would setup territory on the right hand side of the tank and both gobies would ignore each other or C. The existing goby will harass or kill the new goby.
I have read a lot on pairing watchman gobies and I believe they would pair if they were both pink spots or both yellow but really haven't been able to find any info on two different watchmans pairing.
Thank you for your assistance on helping me make my decision :)
<Were this my system, set up, I'd try putting all together. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pairing gobies     2/19/19

Thanks so much Bob, you give me confidence :). I will give it a go and let you know the result.
<Thank you Nicole! BobF>

Yellow Prawn Goby    1/22/17
Good evening guys,
60g shallow tank, two Picasso Clowns, Rippled Coral Goby, Cleaner Shrimp, a few snails, and hermit crabs... I've had a Yellow Prawn Goby in my 90g reef tank years ago, and I felt it was fairly easy to introduce and keep. That particular Goby when introduced, went straight to the bottom of the tank (lights were off), hid for the rest of the day, and by the next day when lights were on it did what Gobies do. I've just now acquired a Yellow Prawn Goby for this 60g reef tank, and it did appear on the smallish side to me at 2" total length and slender, but the fins all looked to be in good shape, he was a bright healthy looking yellow, and I watched him aggressively defend his territory at the store vs. a small Firefish. To me, it was a healthy little Goby. I had seen these small Yellow Prawn Gobies at the LFS two weeks ago so I know it's not a fresh off the plane Goby. I picked the best of the three, floated him for 40mins, and dripped in tank water, etc...
turned off the lights, and he swam to the bottom but didn't hide. He hung out in the middle of my aragonite bed out in the open. My clowns checked him over, but didn't touch him. Fast forward one day, lights go on and the Goby decides he'd like to swim in the mid-upper level of the tank,

and was sucked to the outer protective foam of my Vortech MP40. I quickly turned off the MP40 and he swam away. He still insisted on swimming the upper half of the tank vs. scooting along the bottom. My Clowns checked him out some
more, but they weren't nipping at him or anything. Goby swims to one side of my Innovative Marine SR60 with dual overflows where the Clowns hangout, one Clown gets a little too close and the Goby swims into the narrowest slit for my overflow and into my filter sock. I immediately intro the sock to the tank, Goby swims out in the mid-upper level of the tank. I turn off the lights, and he settles down to the bottom. When the lights were on, I did notice that where his torso turns to tail, there is a whitish patch (stress related?).
<Maybe; or a physical injury>
He swims fine, but I don't perceive he has the strength to escape the suction from the intake/foam for the MP40 (which has remained off). My quarantine tank has been up and running without lights for 2months, and it's a 20g with hang-on filter with the appropriate salinity and temperature. I do intend to double check the water quality there with a water test, etc in the morning. No, I didn't quarantine because one of your articles indicated the Gobies are hardy, and tend not to carry harmful bacteria/parasites, etc.
<And often being quarantined is worse for them than not>
I figured as the only bottom dwelling fish (my Coral Goby remains mid range within my very porous live rock) he would be
best suited for an established system with nothing to bother him on the bottom except a few snails. Did I acquire a Goby that is too small/delicate at 2"? I really don't get the lights on/mid-upper level swimming at all. Thoughts?
<I'd give this fish a bit more time. Do you intend to introduce a prawn/Alpheid here? Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Prawn Goby    1/22/17

Hi Bob,
It's now early the next morning, and lights are still off, and the Goby seems to be just fine at the bottom of the tank - but the lights will turn on in about 4hrs, and I'll be sure to watch him closely to ensure he doesn't turn into Michael Phelps again.
<Heeee! Hopefully not that BIG an ego; it wouldn't fit in the tank!>
I'm open to the Pistol Shrimp, I've had one in the past with a Diamond Spotted Goby... but that Shrimp feasted on all
my hermit crabs. If I am to introduce a Shrimp for him, I'm guessing I should wait until the Goby is a little bigger? Or, do you feel that he'd be less stressed out with a Shrimp at his side?
<Much more re this last... they really protect each other. Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Prawn Goby      1/24/17

Thanks for your insight. Now, introducing a pistol shrimp am I sacrificing hermits, some snails, and eliminating my wish to add a banded serpent star?
<Possibly the first two groups if they venture too near... Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Prawn Goby      1/25/17

Yellow Watchman's still alive and kicking. Even with the white blemish where his torso meets his tail, he sure swims in the open water a lot - I don't think it's an injury. I haven't seen him feed as of yet, and his tank mates are leaving him alone thus I've left him in the system. I wonder if he knows he's a goby?
<Again; unusual... hope it's not looking for a place to leave the tank. Bob Fenner>

Re: Yellow Prawn Goby      1/28/17
Hi Bob,
Just one last thought here... the goby is feeding aggressively, which is a great sign.
Everything else seems normal and he's spending more time on the bottom of the tank.
<Ah good>
I've still rescued him from the overflow twice in the past three days (seven times in the past 6 days). I'm wondering, if my aragonite uncomfortable for him?
<Very probable. I'd make an area, even just set a dish of a couple inches depth (glass or plastic) of finer, or mixed substrate in the system>
Most of the coarse pieces seem to have worked their way to the top of the bed, leaving the sandier substrate under a half inch of crushed coral.
Thoughts? Pic attached.
<As stated. B>

Randall's Gobies Mated Pair And A Shrimp?/Shrimp Gobies/Pistol Shrimp 8/25/10
Hello FAQS crew!
<Hello Eli>
I Got to say I love ur
<Oh please, no text type messages.>
website its my online marine bible!:) I wish it was an app for the iPhone!
<Mmm, Bob, may be an idea worth looking into.><<Already exists as part of the "Net"... will be becoming much more intuitive "interactive" soon. B>>
Well I've been looking for a while and can't seem to find anything that can directly answer my question. I know you all receive a lot of mail a day so I'll try to keep it short and sweet. Well, basically I am in the process of cycling a 27 gallon marine tank so far it has about a 3-4 inch sand bed and 15 Ibs of live rock (more on the way) I'm not going to consider adding any inhabitants for at least a month.
<A good plan. Patience is a virtue in this hobby.>
Not until the water parameters are good and stable! But onto the question, I'm really interested in the Randall's Goby! I would like to have a mated pair and possibly a shrimp but I haven't been able to find much about a pair of gobies and a shrimp. Do you think given the size of my tank and the amount of sand that I have that it would be ok?
<Sure, but do complete your live rock addition.>
Also is there any kind of shrimp in particular that is more likely to "hook up" with this particular goby?
<The Randall's Goby also known as the Orange Stripe Prawn Goby (Amblyeleotris randalli)
will generally form a symbiotic relationship with any pistol shrimp.>
I would rather have this particular tank revolve around the gobies and shrimp and of course the corals I will be adding much later but for now do you foresee any problems with this?
And if so would it be alright to have one goby, one shrimp, and possibly a Midas blenny?
<The Randall's Goby is not aggressive towards other shrimp goby species but may occasionally quarrel with conspecifics if kept together. You may also want to try putting a pair in your system. The male Randall's Goby is easily identified by the fan-like dorsal fin that bares a dramatic eyespot.
The Midas Blenny gets a little too large (six inches) for your present system and would not recommend. Do consider the above or choosing another shrimp goby and possibly adding an additional pistol shrimp.>
Any help is greatly appreciated! And once again amazing site!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Best regards

Aurora Goby 03/31/2008 It just came to my attention that in your Shrimp Gobies page (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpgobies.htm), you don't have the Aurora Goby listed. Perhaps there is still debate as to which genus this fish falls into, but it would seem most have agreed that it should correctly identified as Amblyeleotris aurora. I've had mine in a 12g nano for a few months now. He readily eats frozen meaty foods and has been a nice, flamboyant addition to the mini-reef. (Actually, he's the only fish in there). Every time I write, I make sure to commend you on your efforts and make sure you know how much you're appreciated. If the attached photo can be used, please feel free to do so. Thank you, again. Jason Wedehase <<Hello Jason. Two superb photographs, thank you for sharing these with us. I am sure they will be a valuable addition to the Goby database. Regards, A Nixon>>

Three questions: shrimp gobies, Firefish and turretfish 03/21/2008 Good morning and hope it is as beautiful there as it is here in Colorado! <<Good morning. A beautiful day here in sunny England too today. Andrew at your service today>> I'm afraid I have three questions. I hope you don't mind. <<Don't mind at all>> One of my tanks is a 28 gallon nano, about 4 years old. Very pretty little tank with nice zoos, pulsing xenia, and polyps. For the past two years, I have had, among its occupants, a Amblyeleotris guttata (orange-spotted shrimp goby) and a Stonogobiops nematodes (hi-fin shrimp goby). The first is paired with a Alpheus bellulus (tiger pistol shrimp) and the second with a Alpheus randalli. Recently I came into possession of a Amblyeleotris wheeleri (you call him a gorgeous prawn goby on your web site) and since I couldn't put him into my big reef tank for a variety of reasons, I put him in the nano. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the orange-spotted goby bonded with the wheeleri and they share a burrow, although usually they sit at opposite ends, and the color on the orange-spotted is the best it has ever been. He also stays out more. I didn't think they would fight but am very pleased they are buddies. I would like to add a Alpheus shrimp for the wheeleri. Do you see a problem with this? <<Sounds like they have formed a nice friendship. I don't see any problems adding this>> My second question has to do with this tank as well: I have had a purple Firefish in there, (Nemateleotris decora), also for about two years. I recently bought a second purple Firefish, after seeing a friend's pair (regular Firefish) and although the resident doesn't seem to chase or spar with the newcomer, the new Firefish is remaining hidden almost all of the time. ( I have had him a little less than a week. ) Is there anything I should be concerned about? I know that if he continues to hide, he will not get enough to eat. I don't think I have two males, as there would be more obvious aggression, I think? Should I take the new one back to the store before he starves? <<There is nothing to be overly concerned with, the fish will just be getting used to the environment and will probably be picking for food after lights out. Some fish do take a while to get used to their new surroundings.>> My third and final question has to do with a camel-backed cowfish or turretfish, (Tetrosomus gibbosus). I have had him for the past year and a half in my 150 gallon reef tank and he is a real favorite with everyone. Yesterday morning, my husband found him on the floor and we are all very sad. I know this fish is not a jumper per se but is very active at night. I have seen him with the nightlights. Is this just an unfortunate incident or could someone have chased him out? The only candidate is (I know you won't believe this, but the Lyretail Anthias and the ornate wrasse not only go to ground at night, they never chase him) is a (of course smaller) citron clown goby who had taken a dislike to him, similar color, I think) and chased him occasionally, usually at feeding time. I almost certainly cannot catch the goby without tearing the tank apart, so if you think that's what happened. I will resign myself to not getting another turret. (or trying to find a way to cover it but with the halides/lighting system, etc. it is difficult. ) <<It is possible that it was spooked by another fish which caused it to jump and if this is the case, i am surprised that it did not release any toxins into the tank as these "do" have the capacity to wipe out a complete system with this. In my opinion, with you current stock, i would not add another>> Thank you as always for your wonderful site and advice. I gave Mr. Fenner's book to a friend and I don't think she is going to give it back, so I will just have to buy another one! <<He he he he...it happens, get yourself another copy ;o) Jeanne Brown <<Thanks for the questions Jeanne, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Pistol shrimp/goby joy  8/13/07 Hi guys. For once this isn't a panicky question about an aquarium disaster. We just wanted to thank you for all the information on the site about shrimp gobies and their shrimps. We (rather naughtily) bought a "tangerine striped goby" from our LFS yesterday, having gone there intending to buy a copperband (they didn't have any). Admittedly, this goes against your golden rule of never buying anything on a whim and without reading up on it first, but our trusted LFS manager said it should be fairly easy to keep. We got him home and found that he's really a Randall's Shrimp Goby, did a bit of reading, and decided we'd try to find a shrimp to keep him company. Today we've brought home a tiger pistol shrimp, and within an hour of putting the shrimp in, the two have become completely inseparable. It's amazing to watch, and the shrimp is very entertaining to watch as he tries to build a burrow. Just felt we should share this with someone! Jim+Jo <Greetings. A while back I kept a whole tankful of snapping shrimps, and it was one of the most fun tanks I've kept. It's funny, but things like snapping/pistol shrimps and mantis shrimps are often written off as pests by reef keepers, but when the focus of their own tanks, become engaging pets. Snapping shrimps are incredibly hardy (these were, at least) and because of where the tank was set up, water changes were something that happened once a month, if that. It was the most basic aquarium imaginable: undergravel filter, no chiller (these were coldwater shrimps), and certainly no skimmer or living rock for water quality management. But they thrived! I can't be sure if they bred, but they certainly grew, and their numbers seemed to remain steady. The noise that came from the tank was quite eerie sometimes, like crumpling leaves. Anyway, all this is by way of saying I'm glad you're trying something a bit different, and wish you every success with your new pets. Cheers, Neale>

Yellow Watchman Goby 1 - Hermit Crab 0, adding "corals"   6/23/07 Bob, Thank you for your quick reply. My company is about to make the big switch ourselves and Im am definitely not looking forward the fallout. Enclosed is the original email. <Good> Thanks again for all your help, Matthew Hello WWM crew, Thanks for all your past help! The weirdest thing just happened. A small hermit crab was walking past my Yellow Watchman Gobys cave when the Goby came flying out grabbed the crab and carried him back into his hideout. I couldn't believe what I saw, I did lots of reading about YWG and hadn't seen anything like this. 30 seconds later crab came out of the cave and was about 3in away when the Goby grabbed him and hauled him back in. I was able to count the crabs later and he was still alive. Did a search of WWM and couldn't find any accounts of something like this happening. Any thoughts would be appreciated. <These gobies are carnivorous... will capture, consume crustaceans like Hermits...> One other question while I've got you here. On a completely different topic coral. Never worked with coral before so I've been doing lots of reading. I have a 40T Eclipse system. I've seen reports of people having success with smaller Eclipse systems but haven't seen anything about a 40T type setup. I just have the standard Eclipse equipment with 2 power heads, crushed coral substrate and live rock. Stock wise I have the Yellow Watchman Goby 1 Clownfish. 1 Cleaner shrimp And a hermit crab/snail clean up crew Still in the stocking stage and thought I should look into whether or not coral was an option and begin to tailor my stock list around that. If possible Id be looking beginner level with bright colours. Would this be possible without the addition of hardware? If not would it be possible with the addition of hardware? Thanks for all your help, Matthew <Well... there are a few groups of what folks call "Corals" (not the true softs (Alcyonaceans) or hard/stonies (Scleractinians)... these would need more light, filtration...) that you can/could consider... Please take a cursory read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm By group... re Systems, Compatibility, Feeding... Bob Fenner>

Blind banded high fin shrimp goby Hello! Thanks in advance for your help. <Welcome> I have had my shrimp goby for about 8 months now and he has always hidden in the live rock and darted out to eat. <Generally what they do... in the wild and captivity> On several occasions, he darted out and looked as if he had difficulty finding his way back in the hole. He would bump into the rock repeatedly trying to get back in. Now I believe he is completely blind. I did not see him coming out to eat and then I found him just hanging out in the open, not reacting to any of the other inhabitants unless they touched him. Lucky for him, all the other fish are peaceful. I scooped him up with my hand a placed him in a shallow glass bowl on the sand (with sand and live rock rubble inside) to keep track of him and I have been hand feeding him for 3 days now. He eats like a champ if I stick Mysis right in his face. Other than acting blind, he looks perfectly normal. Ever hear of this before? Any ideas on treatment? <Mmm... have heard of these "blindings"... likely nutritional in origin (avitaminoses)... but could be a pathogen at play... perhaps something environmental... A cure not likely> His eyes are perfectly clear and all my other fish are healthy. He was the last fish I added 8 months ago. The tank is a 54 corner reef with a sump and refugium, 50 lbs of live rock, and a 2 inch sand bed. My water  parameters are fine. The other fish are a flame angel, yellow wrasse, black and  white ocellaris, and 3 Chromis. I also have a fire shrimp and a cleaner shrimp. I usually feed Mysis and occasionally Cyclop-eeze, flake, or blood worms. I was wondering if it could be some sort of nutritional deficiency. <Yes, this is most likely... You could/might try reversing this with soaking foods in a vitamin/HUFA mix like Selcon... Please see WWM re.> Thanks so much for your time. I look forward to your answer. Angela Collison <Bob Fenner>

Re: Watchman Goby not acting goby like 6/6/07 Thanks so much... <Welcome! You're quick!> I only have a small Perc clown and a PJ cardinal (also small) in the tank. Two hermits and a turbo snail. Everything just ignores him. <Sounds good.> I only disturb their lifestyle to feed, and occasionally replace pieces of coral that the snail decides to rearrange. I apologize for the timing. <Just bustin' your chops.> He was in QT for 9 days and then has been in the display tank for two weeks (it always helps to check the calendar). I followed the directions on the Maracyn, which was to dose for 5 days. After the 5 days, I replaced the carbon filter and let him hang out for 4 more. I usually QT for two weeks, so this was coming up just short of. <If time isn't a problem, I would QT for longer. I also advocate treatment (which includes observation after symptoms fade) lasting 3-5wks.> I only started trying to persuade him to move in the past day, because I was worried, and wanted to see what his response would be if I tried to move him. <Understood.> I would take him out and treat again with Maracyn, but I am afraid of overstressing with another move. <Probably the right move, here. Why risk more stress with a move to a less favorable site? Let's just watch and wait and consider what we see. I should ask, how large is this setup? Is it configured to be conducive to watchman goby burrowing (soft sand, caves, etc.)? > Thanks again for the advice and quick reply. <Thank you!> If you have any other suggestions, I am always up for great advice :) Thanx!! Rachael Moore <Have you tried switching your car insurance to Geico? -GrahamT>

Re: Watchman Goby not acting goby like 6/6/07 Either you have only a few interesting sick fish questions, or this is the best sick goby question ever... I can't believe the response time. <Maybe all the other Q's were out of my league, or maybe I have a thing for gobies. Actually, I had a feeling your system was small and I can relate to the "need" to throw the fish into the display and "see what happens". Fortunately for my service accounts, and my fishies, I got over it.> Incidentally, I switch my car insurance every month, just so I can go back to Geico. (If only I liked Australian geckos that much:)) The setup is small... 20gal cube, 3in sand bed, 15 lbs live rock, several corals (hammer, torch, Zoanthid, bubble, star polyps, xenia, Acropora) small powerhead, hang on AquaClear filter... that about covers it. Not anything horribly impressive, but I thought it would be a good goby home. <We'll wait and see how it turns out, but these gobies are usually happier with a little more space. They do get larger than a 20g will comfortably accommodate...> The next step was going to be to wait a month or two and add a pistol shrimp, but if I don't have a happy goby... that idea is out. <You also never know if the pair will, well, pair.> Don't worry about the chop bustin...I have to work at being patient. I still have a way to go.. so you weren't far off in your bustin :) <Good luck! P.S. You might try a different test kit or bringing some water to your LFS for corroboration (sp?) on the nitrates. Your bioload is rather high...> Thanx!! Rachael Moore <-GrahamT>

Dilemma with blue spotted watchman goby  6/4/07 Two nights ago, my blue spotted shrimp goby began acting very strange or sick, and yesterday became pale. He has been very interesting and healthy in the two years I've had him. Never one problem. He is paired up with a pistol shrimp and they are quite amazing to watch. The other night the goby was slumped over in front of the main tunnel of the cave. He looked wore out I did not think he would make it through the night. This came on out of nowhere. The next day, he was outside the cave with the shrimp as usual, but unresponsive to any movement outside the tank....very unusual. <... What is influencing this fish?> He does not seem anywhere near lethargic as he was, but still seems pale. Last night after observing him for hours, he seems at times to remember the cave openings, goes to them, then becomes disoriented. He acts as if he knows where he is, then moments later, wonders to a part of the bottom of the aquarium as if he is looking for the cave opening, but it's nowhere near there. He remains at this time dwelling slowly about. He never left his shrimp's side; now he is wondering far past the shrimp and goes in circles as if confused or blind. Generally when you would come close to him he would swim swiftly into the cave, and at times you could go right up to him. Right now you can be right up to him at the glass and make many quick movements and he does not flinch. Is it possible that he went blind and if so how? Can you please help with any information as to what could be troubling this healthy interesting goby? Thank you. <I wish I could... is this "old age"?... Are there other fishes present? How are they behaving?> I did try every option possible for seeking an explanation on the website. Nothing came close in FAQ or chatrooms. Registering on the site was unavailable also. I really need help. Cindy R <The "usual", S.O.P. of water changes, testing, food supplementation, possibly use of chemical filtrants is about all I would advise here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Dilemma with blue spotted watchman goby 6/6/07
Bob, <Cindy> Thank you for your reply. In addition, let me add this; this Goby, other than being blind, has an excellent appetite, and acting more like normal, short of his eyesight. Water is checked regularly, and all parameters are good. Other fish are doing excellent. Diet is the same it's been for the past 2 years: Mysis shrimp, diced shrimp, scallops, and brine. We believe this goby is approximately 3 years old. <This is about as long as this and related species (congeners) live...> No one has heard of such a condition, but it has become obvious that he is blind. Under close inspection, at certain angles, his eyes have a glaze or cloud of some sort. We are wondering if this is old age, since everything else is in great condition. Thanks again for your help. Cindy <I do think you are correct here re "cumulative genetic defects"... aka "old age"... BobF, feeling older>  

Mystery Goby, Or Common Species in Disguise?   5/24/07 Hi Guys <Scott F. your guy tonight!> I've had a Goby for years and I've always known it as a Chalk Goby. I've noticed a few questions similar to my own but never an answer. What isn't clear on the enclosed photo is the that it has a black dot on it's fin. Any chance you can tell me the scientific name please. Many thanks Alison <Well, Alison- this certainly is a cute little fish! I'll go out on a limb and suggest that this is an Amblyeleotris species, of which there are literally dozens. It could possibly be a regional variation of a common, or at least, known species, or an aberrant color morph. Or, it might even be an undescribed species. I'd break out your favorite caffeinated beverage, a fresh batch of popcorn, and spend a little quality time on fishbase.org looking at the Amblyeleotris genus. Could possibly be a species from the genus Valenciennea, but I'm leaning towards Amblyeleotris. Regardless, he sure is a cool little guy...Hope that you enjoy him! regards, Scott F.>

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: