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FAQs on Violet Gobies 1

Related Articles: There's a Dragon In My Tank! The bizarre and beautiful Dragon Goby By Jeni C. Tyrell, Fresh to Brackish Gobioid Fishes

Related FAQs: Dragon/Violet Gobies 2, & FAQs on: Dragon/Violet Gobies Identification, Dragon/Violet Gobies Behavior, Dragon/Violet Gobies Compatibility, Dragon/Violet Gobies Selection, Dragon/Violet Gobies Systems, Dragon/Violet Gobies Feeding, Dragon/Violet Gobies Disease, Dragon/Violet Gobies Reproduction, & Brackish Water Fishes in General

Dragon (Violet Goby), sys.   - 04/14/08 Hello, OK I have heard and read much about this wonderful fish that I recently lost in our fish tank. I will try again with another, but before I do, I want to be sure that I have as much information as possible so that I can assure that the Goby has a fair shot at a decent life here. <Indeed.> First, I keep reading about sand as a definite MUST have in the Brackish tank. OK<..this is great,. but would somebody please tell what kind of sand (please be specific) is OK for the tank? I keep hearing that Marine Sand (about the only one I can seem to find in stores and online) is NOT acceptable. If there is indeed an acceptable sand for this Goby,...a brand name or specific type would be most appreciated!! <Marine sand would be fine though perhaps not the ideal. Smooth silica sand (also called "silver sand") would be nice, as would smooth river sand. Basically avoid anything jagged. These fish feed (in part) by plowing through mud, filtering out small prey; let them do this in the aquarium. They also eat plankton from midwater and algae scraped from rocks. In the aquarium, feed bloodworms, algae wafers, and periodically "plankton" in the form of brine shrimp or daphnia.> Also,...the salt factor seems to be up for debate as well. <Only debated by the ignorant; these are estuarine fish, period.> I've been told Marine Salt is not advisable, yet I've been told Aquarium Salt is not good either? Can you please clear this up for me? What kind and how much per gallon of water? <Marine salt mix, of the type used in marine aquaria. Instant Ocean, Reef Crystals... whatever is cheap and easily obtainable in your area. Aquarium "tonic" salt, the stuff used in freshwater tanks, is not acceptable, and neither is cooking salt. As for the amount, you're aiming for 25-50% salinity of normal seawater, i.e., 9-18 grammes of salt mix per litre of water at 25 degrees C. That should result in a specific gravity of SG 1.005 to SG 1.012. The precise value you aim for doesn't matter, just so long as it is kept reasonably consistent over time: sudden, dramatic changes in salinity will stress/kill the filter bacteria.> Thanks so much,....I love your informative site! I also wonder if the Australian Desert Goby would be OK in Brackish water too with the Violet Goby. <Chlamydogobius eremius is indeed tolerant of brackish water. It can actually do perfectly well in anything from hard freshwater through to twice the salinity of seawater. Should be fine with the Gobioides sp., though don't force them to compete for space or burrows. Set up some small caves for the Chlamydogobius eremius, and then some sand and larger burrows (PVC tubes are ideal) for the Gobioides.> td <Cheers, Neale.>

Sick Dragon Goby - please help!  3-11-08 Hi Guys! I desperately need help with my new Dragon Goby. <Ah, before we get started, do make sure you have this fish in a proper brackish water aquarium; their lifespan in freshwater aquaria is poor.> I was at Pet Smart the other day to buy some small fish for our freshwater tank when I saw their new addition: Dragon Gobies! <Uh oh.> So I asked the sales associate (who on previous occasions had proven to be quite knowledgeable when it came to freshwater setups) whether or not this little guy would make a good addition to my tank. He assured me that the Goby should get along famously with his new tank mates and that the setup I had would be perfect. <I see where this is going...> So I bought one and took him home. <Never a good idea BEFORE you've read up on a fish. This is absolutely crucial when we're talking about oddball fish because so many of them have "issues" that need to be accommodated. That's why they're oddballs and not common community fish -- because they're DIFFERENT to regular community fish!> Our tank is 110 Gallons, fresh/brackish water. <No such hybrid; that's like being both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time. You either have a freshwater tank or a brackish water tank. Yes, some freshwater fish do well in brackish water (e.g., Guppies) but that doesn't mean that you can set a tank up that is acceptable to both brackish and freshwater fish at the same time.> We have a cichlid substrate in the bottom, so the PH is a steady 8.0. <You mean coral sand? Good; that's fine for this fish.> The filter is well established and our ammonia is nonexistent, as is the Nitrite level. We don't have a heater in the tank, but the temperature never falls below 70F. <Nope, you need a heater. Doesn't work this way. Gobioides broussonnetii shouldn't be kept below 72F/22C, and most other brackish water fish are from the tropics, and will be stressed when the water temperature stays below 77F/25C for any length of time.> Everything is natural - slate backdrop, substrate floor, tree roots and live plants... and recently plenty of algae. <Algae is good: Gobioides broussonnetii is partly an algae-eater, and uses its sharp teeth to scrape green algae from rocks.> The inhabitants are: 6 African and South American Cichlids in varying sizes from 3-5 inches in size, a small group of Platys and a handful of mini crabs, all of which get along great. <Most of these cichlids are likely salt-intolerant, so long term this is going to work. The Platies will do fine at SG 1.005, the minimum specific gravity for Gobioides broussonnetii maintenance. Acclimate them slowly though, because they aren't really brackish water fish, merely salt-tolerant by dint of their evolutionary history. Cichlids are a mixed bag: some species occur in brackish and even marine environments, but many get stressed by prolonged exposure to brackish water. 'Malawi Bloat' is a fatal disease associated with the excessive use of sodium chloride in tanks containing Mbuna and other Malawian fish.> We feed the fish color bites, which they love (all other food winds up decaying - they don't even touch it). <Long term Gobioides broussonnetii needs a mixed diet with lots of algae; I recommend Plec-type algae wafers. Frozen (not freeze-dried) worm foods such as bloodworms are also important. Live brine shrimp are a favourite. Colour-enhancing fish foods are NOT a staple food, especially for your African cichlids that need green foods to do well. You're dicing with death here, because once cichlids become constipated they become very vulnerable to bacterial infections.> When we put Leroy (yes, they all have names) into the tank, he seemed quite happy and none of the other fish were bothering him. <I say this too often, but fish couldn't care less about having a name. What they want is the right environment and the right diet.> He eats the small snails that hang out on the glass and the plants - I've never seen him go after the regular fish food. <Indeed not.> However, within a couple of days, he started showing small gashes in his fins. <Likely Finrot or Fungus, perhaps caused by attacks by the Cichlids; I have seen Mbuna for example shred the fins on Polypterus, a fish of similar size and shape to Gobioides broussonnetii. Moreover, if your Cichlids are not getting a balanced diet (and they're not) they will be opportunistically trying out anything.> We thought that maybe one of the other fish had started picking on him...but to this day, I've never seen any of the other fish acting aggressively towards him. <I've never seen a house get broken into by thieves -- but I'm told it happens!> The Cichlids fight amongst themselves, but seem to regard neither Leryo nor the Platies as competition and completely ignore them. <Not convinced...> Leroy's fins have deteriorated badly - they look ragged and in some places have all but disappeared. Yesterday, I saw that he had something that looked like an open wound under his left side fin which is sticking out a bit too. <Finrot and/or Fungus. In any case you MUST do two things, stat! First, raise the salinity of the aquarium to at least SG 1.005. That is about 25% seawater, 9 grammes of marine salt mix per litre (about 1.2 ounces per US gallon). This will obviously stress/kill the cichlids, so the cichlids or the Goby will have to go. Your choice which. But doing neither will result in the death of one or other type of fish. Secondly, you treat with a combo Finrot/Fungus medication such as Maracyn or eSHa 2000.> I've already tried running a full treatment of Melafix through the tank, but to no avail (I couldn't get to the filters to take the carbon out - but since it wasn't a necessity, I hope that didn't affect the outcome of the treatment too much). <Two things here: One, you MUST remove the carbon. This isn't negotiable. Carbon removes medication. Simple as that. You can add as much medication as you want, but if the carbon is in the filter, you'll achieve precisely nothing. Secondly, Melafix doesn't work. It's cheap and "new age" and I suppose that's why people buy it. But it doesn't work very well either.> Two of our other fish have ragged fins, but not nearly as bad as Leroy's ( plus they're the two that get picked on by the bigger fish, so a bit of wear is to be expected I think). <Definitely serious. Treat the tank at once.> Leroy's still swimming around and active, but it's very painful seeing a great fish like him deteriorating and not knowing what to do about it. <I suspect you know exactly what to do, you've just chosen not to, for reasons that passeth all understanding. This fish is dying because you bought it without thinking whether you could house it properly.> All his symptoms point to a bacterial infection, but since I couldn't find too much about Dragon Gobies, I decided to do more research and found your site. <Oh, there's plenty about these fish out there. Articles on this site, my book, the Aqualog book, and most decent aquarium atlases have this fish too.> Last night, we've started running a treatment of Tetracycline in the tank - complete with filter change and removing of the carbon. <Thank the gods!> I'm stopping by the store on my way home to buy the remaining 3 courses for the treatment. From what I read in your other advise on Dragon Gobies, I'm not sure whether that might be too harsh of a treatment.. but it's the best I could come up with. <Certainly better than what you've been doing up until now, but let me make this crystal clear: without BRACKISH WATER, this fish has little to no chance of survival in the long term. And adding a "teaspoon of salt per gallon" or whatever doesn't make water brackish; go measure out 1.2 ounces of MARINE SALT MIX (e.g., Instant Ocean or whatever, not "aquarium salt") and you'll see how much you need to add PER GALLON.> Is there anything I can do to help him heal without compromising the other fish in the tank? <Nothing. Nix. Nada. Nyet. Non.> Thank you in advance for your help! Yours, Nina <Good luck, Neale.>

Violet Goby... sys. mostly...   3/2/08 Hi, I purchased a "dragon goby" at PetSmart last night and was told he is a predatory freshwater fish. A quick Google search revealed this was completely incorrect. <Indeed. Neither predatory nor a freshwater fish. Brackish water fish that eats plankton, algae and small worms would be closer to the mark.> As we were driving home the front suspension of our car broke and apparently it's a miracle we got home without the car failing, so my husband won't drive any where. My question is can/should I *temporarily* put him in a tank with table salt? <Adding a small amount of salt (ideally rock salt or kosher salt) to the tune of about 6 grammes per litre would be quite helpful as a stop-gap. If your water is soft rather than hard, then raising the hardness through the use of a Malawi salt mix would also help. One recipe follows, but you'll find others online. Per 5 gallons/20 litres 1 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 1 tablespoon Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) 1 teaspoon marine salt mix (sodium chloride + trace elements) > I know this is not the same and not advised but would it be better than freshwater? <In the very short term, yes.> Currently, he doesn't look so good. He's more pink than grayish and has been swimming somewhat sideways. Thank you, Kate <Hope this helps. But please do focus on rehoming in a slightly brackish (SG 1.005) aquarium, perhaps alongside guppies and mollies, knight gobies, etc. Cheers, Neale.>

Dragon goby sys. 2/17/08 Hello! I recently got a dragon goby from the local pet store - not knowing he was brackish - and added him to our freshwater tank. Its a 33 gallon, and right now we have the following in it; 2 Bala sharks, clown Pleco, dojo loach, 2 black tip sharks, emperor tetra and 3 black skirts. I realise this is going to be a little crowded as they start to grow up (right now they're all about the same size and I am assuming age). Our goby seems to be doing fine right now, he eats plenty and is growing a little, but we know now that he's not going to prosper in this environment. So my question is, can we change the tank to brackish without harming the other fish, or do we need to get a brackish tank specifically for our goby? I know we will have to get a second, larger tank eventually and separate the fish as they grow, but if our goby is suffering, I'd like to help him as much as possible before its too late. Thanks for your time, Kelly <Hello Kelly. Your Violet Goby/Dragon Goby -- Gobioides broussonnetii -- is indeed a brackish water fish. While they do occur in freshwater in the wild, they are rarely far from the sea, and in aquaria seem to last only a year or two in freshwater conditions. So long term, yes, you will need to rehome him. The problems when brackish water fish are kept in freshwater conditions vary from one fish to another, but overall it is a greater sensitivity to disease: Lymphocystis, Finrot, Fungus and so on. The best thing with Dragon Gobies is to move them into their own tank. They have quite special needs: sand for digging (either silica sand, river sand, or coral sand) plus several PVC tubes or similar for hiding in. They like rocks, because they scrape away algae using their special teeth. Plastic plants are a great addition, too. Because Dragon Gobies are completely peaceful, they work superbly well with livebearers such as Guppies and Mollies that will thrive under the same conditions. Glassfish and Wrestling Halfbeaks and Orange Chromides could be added safely, too. Unfortunately, none of your other fish is suitable for such a community with the exception of what I believe you mean by "Black Tip Shark", what I would call Sciades seemanni. This is a brackish/marine catfish and is also very peaceful and an excellent community fish, though predatory. While sold as a freshwater fish, it is really a brackish/marine fish and doesn't do well in freshwater tanks. Sciades seemanni is one of my all-time favourite fish, and surely among the most shark-like fish in the hobby. Do a Google search for Sciades seemanni just to check we're singing from the same hymn book though. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Dragon goby  2/21/08 Thanks for the quick reply! It looks like we are going to rehome the other fish into a second tank and use our 33 gallon as the brackish tank. I will keep the sharks with the goby and probably add another species or two - thanks for the suggestions. It looks like you are a right about what the black-tip sharks are really called, which is great because I searched black tips on Google and nothing that looked like my fish came up! Anyways, thanks again, you were very helpful! Kelly <Hello Kelly. Sounds like you're making the right choices. Do be careful not to overstock the 33 gallon tank though. Both Dragon Gobies and Shark Catfish get fairly big (expect at least 20 cm/8" for the catfish, and at least 30 cm/12" for the goby). While you could well keep them perfectly happy in the 33 gallon tank for the next year or two, before too long they'll need something a bit bigger (a 55 gallon tank would be ideal, and allow space for some midwater fish like Archers or Sailfin Mollies). Shark Catfish are among my very favourite fish in the hobby, and I'm sure you're going to enjoy them. Cheers, Neale.>

Dragon Goby... hlth.    1/28/08 Hello there, <Hello,> I bought a dragon goby, Gobioides broussonettii at the end of December, after Christmas. <Nice fish.> It's been getting along nicely in my 29gallon tank but my problem, or rather his problem, is that his fins were kinda jagged upon purchase, the biggest tear healed right away but what's left isn't really healing. I've got a very fine sand for substrate with some crushed coral in there underneath, and he lives under the pile of rocks that I have on one side burrowing away most of the daytime. None of the rocks are sharp, and his fins do seem to be healing to some extent. They're clear in the damaged areas from the regeneration, but these spots never seem to regain their colour. <Likely Finrot or similar bacterial infection; use an antibacterial (e.g., eSHa 2000) or antibiotic (e.g., Maracyn).> I was wondering if there's anything I could be doing about this, or if I should just let him be, and it will heal over time? <Bacterial infections sometimes heal by themselves but usually they do not, so its best to treat all wounds with an anti-Finrot medication.> If his diet is a factor, he's currently being fed algae tablets that I crush up for him after I turn the lights off, I will be buying some brine shrimp soon enough. <These fish are quite easy to feed. Live brine shrimp are a great treat, but have little nutritional value. Algae pellets and (wet) frozen bloodworms make a good basic combo.> Specific gravity is at 1.005 <This is at the low end, but should be adequate, and unlikely the problem.> -Collin <Cheers, Neale

Violet Goby HELP! -- 1/28/08 I have read, what I am sure is all there is printed to read on the Violet Goby. <Perhaps, but seemingly not everything on Tetraodon fluviatilis or Tetraodon nigroviridis; these pufferfish are widely reported as *not* good community fish, and wild fish are known to eat fins/scales along with their normal diet of plant material, algae and small invertebrates of various types.> I foolishly put my young Violet Goby in my tank (55Gl) with my 3 GSP. there is plenty of places to hide and have lived seemingly peaceful for the last two weeks today however, in a course of 12 hours the goby's fins are almost gone. <"Hiding" is not what Gobioides spp. want to do -- they are burrowers. If at all possible, keep in a tank with a sandy substrate.> I have moved the Goby to my quarantine tank, it has been cycled and have the same water conditions as my community tank. levels are perfect ammonia nitrite nitrate all 0 PH 8.0.( temp 75. Sal. 1.005 ) They are all fed their own proper diets. my question is can my Goby regrow his fins and live a long healthy life. <Yes, they will regrow, but you will need to make sure Finrot doesn't set in by treating appropriately.> or should I just make him comfortable as he slips away? <Nope.> any answers would be much appreciated. thank you Jessica <Cheers, Neale.>

Fish didn't make the move, Violet Gobies (Gobioides spp.)   1/26/08 Hello, I'm in a crisis. <Oh?> I've just moved and have been doing so in shifts. We brought the tank and fish (violet goby, molly, Plecostomus, and 2 angels) the other night, but as I got them here and setup the tank again, I noticed one of my angels did not make it, and then discovered that I had forgotten the box that has all products in it (salt, test strips, water remedies...etc.). So, I made a made dash to the store to purchase these things. I got the tank setup and the fish all seemed fine that night. When I came back the next day, my Violet Goby was not doing well at all. He had what looked like blood in his fins and his tail seems paralyzed at the tip. <Please understand this first: Violet Gobies (Gobioides spp.) are BRACKISH WATER FISH and their lifespan in completely freshwater tanks is poor. Since you also have a Plec and some Angels, I'm assuming this is a freshwater tank.> I had once again forgotten the box of supplies, but the neighbors have a pool, so I asked for a testing strip to at least get a rough idea of what was going on in the water. Everything seemed fine to me, but I touched up the conditions a bit. <The fish has a systemic bacterial infection, likely caused by Aeromonas spp. similar to those that cause Finrot and bacterial septicaemia. These bacteria block the blood vessels in the epidermis and fins, and this is what causes the inflammation. After a while the surrounding tissues die. The bacteria get in when fish are physically damaged or exposed to high levels of ammonia for extended periods. So either rough handling when you were transporting the fish, or else problems with filter in your new aquarium, were the triggering issues. You'll need something like Maracyn to deal with this. In brackish water Violet Gobies are basically hardy, but in freshwater they are already severely stressed, and any little thing can tip them over the edge. That's what happened here.> Now today, the water is fine, but the blood in its tail is vibrant and in a much bigger spot. I have not found ANY information on this. I need help. <Define "fine". Unless you're keeping this goby in brackish water at SG 1.005-1.015, then it most certainly is NOT fine.> I'm not sure what to do for it. If it can pull through, I want to give it the chance, but I don't want it to suffer. <Comes down to this: If you put the fish in a brackish water aquarium and treat with Maracyn, there's a good chance the fish will recover. At the moment the tissues look inflamed rather than necrotic, so you still have time. Your Mollies will do better in a brackish water tank than otherwise, and up to about SG 1.003 the Plec would adapt as well (and SG 1.003 would certainly be better than nothing). But the Angels will NOT tolerate brackish water. On the other hand, if you can't be bothered to set up a brackish water aquarium and would sooner just kill off a fish that you didn't research properly and is sick because you kept it in the wrong conditions, then nothing I say will change your mind. But in a plain vanilla freshwater aquarium this fish is, basically, doomed.> It seems o be hanging in there, but I have to check on it, because it will look like it died, but then when I scoop it with the net, it starts flailing about again. <I bet. It's in agony!> I've attached a picture. <Yuk.> I would really appreciate any help you can offer. ~Stephanie <Done my best! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Fish didn't make the move  1/26/08 Thanks for your quick response, first off. <Not a problem.> I use aquarium salt... I guess not the same? <Nope. Marine salt mix is [a] not overpriced cooking salt, but more importantly [b] raises the carbonate hardness as well as the salinity. These two things are required for brackish water.> It was doing just fine before the move and I've had others before this one and kept them in the same conditions. <And how long did they last? Unless they all lived for an average of 10 years and reached their adult size of 40-50 cm, then they didn't do "fine". Most brackish water fish will muddle through in freshwater for a greater or shorter period of time, just like people can live for a while on nothing but McDonalds. But ultimately both scenarios will end the same way: badly. And it's not just me saying these are brackish water fish (though I flatter myself I know a little about the topic). Feel free to visit Fishbase to confirm. http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=3856 Note the "Prefer muddy bays and estuaries" statement. In fairness, you don't need a lot of salt to keep them happy, and even 10% seawater salinity (SG 1.003) should help enormously.> What do I need to do to make it brackish? <Ask and ye shall receive: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracsystems.htm There are various useful linked topics from there as well.> and where can I find Maracyn? <In the US of A, most anyway aquarium store. In other states, you may need to ask your vet for Erythromycin.> ~Steph~ <Good luck, Neale.>

Re: Fish didn't make the move  1/26/08 Ok, sorry. I found a store but do I need the Maracyn or Maracyn 2? ~Steph~ <I'd start with Maracyn first. Erythromycin is a pretty general purpose medication and should handle the bacteria causing the problem here. If it doesn't, you can always switch to Maracyn Two down the line. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Fish didn't make the move... Dragon Gobies  1/27/08 Thank you so much for your help! I didn't even wait for your reply. I did some more researching and ran to the store. <Cool.> I'm pretty frustrated with pet stores in general right now though. <Can happen. While many stores offer excellent advice, some do not, and if you're unlucky enough to buy an exotic type of fish and receive poor advice at the point of sale, things can get real messy, real fast.> I went to a PetSmart and got the items I needed and out of curiousity asked if they had Dragon Gobies. The girl pointed out the tank with 2 of them in it. I asked if it was salt water to which she replied, "No, it's freshwater". <Not good. When you see this, it's heartbreaking to know that in all probability that fish will die a miserable death within six months.> Then I explained what I am going through and she said, "Well, it seems just fine in there" <Humph.> This is a BIG problem. Wal-Mart sold me aquarium salt for my dragons. <Oh dear. For what it's worth, it's better than nothing, especially if the water is already hard and alkaline. But long term, you want marine salt mix. By my reckoning, 6-9 grammes per litre is required to create SG 1.003-1.005 conditions. The Mollies will thrive, but the catfish less so and the Angelfish definitely not, and should be removed as soon as possible.> (Oh, and by the way, the other two dragons I had were killed by my husbands puffers. They were literally eaten alive. It wasn't pretty.) <I bet. On the whole puffers do not make good community fish.> Do these companies know/care? <Difficult to say. I imagine that few businesses actively want to mislead their customers or abuse animals. But do all companies work equally hard to ensure that customers receive accurate information on the fish they buy? That's a trickier question, and in all honestly I think many stores can definitely do a better job than they are doing now. But this does underline what Bob Fenner and all of us here at WWM say to aquarists: read up on a fish before buying it.> Obviously, they do not care enough to ensure that their employees are trained to give advice on any matters fish related. <Certainly seems this way sometimes. But some stores do make an effort, and it's up to us to patronise those stores that do.> Anyway, thank you again for your help. Hopefully, my little guy will pull through this and I have definitely learned something today :) <Cheers, Neale.>

Violet Goby... sys., hlth.  1/2/08 Normal environment is a hexagon 55 gallon tank. Had a leak develop and pulled up an emergency 10 gallon. All fish are fine and healthy. Came into the kitchen this morning to prepare breakfast and felt something under my feet. It was my violet goby on the floor! As near as I can tell he went out a small area that allows access to the heater control. Anyway I snatched him up and got him back in the tank. He had some floor dust on him - I touched him long enough to clean that off. He appears fine minus the huge dorsal fin that runs down his back - I cannot see the fin. No idea, no explanation but if it was somehow damaged what are the chances of it growing back? I put some frozen brine into the tank and he ate, everything appears normal but the fin concerns me. I do not see any open "wounds" per say, just a line down his body where the dorsal should be. <Violet gobies are excellent jumpers; indeed most gobies are, and eel-shaped fish even better, so an eel-shaped Goby is at real risk of leaping out of uncovered tanks! In any case, within reason, fish will recover from the trauma of landing on the floor. Fin membranes will grow back quickly, and spines eventually, though sometimes not to their full extent. Skin grows back quite quickly. The prime risk is Finrot/Fungus, to treat against these as a precaution. Do also remember these are BRACKISH water fish, and are extremely prone to disease when kept in freshwater. So don't keep at less than SG 1.005.> The other tank has a sealed top and they will be moving back into it today. This should eliminate the problem reoccurring. <Very good.> Thanks <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Violet Goby   1/9/08 It turns out he was ok from that - fin intact - he just had it laid down. Now, starting last night he swims to the top of the tank and pokes his head out, sinks down and back up again. Pretty much lethargic. Water is almost perfect, about 77 degrees and the rest of the fish are fine. He is still breathing and other than swimming to the top of the tank and drifting back down a few inches there is little or no movement. Ideas? <You haven't mentioned water chemistry. These fish must be kept in brackish water; when kept in freshwater, they do poorly, and usually sicken and die. So please tell me what the salinity is in the aquarium. I cannot stress this point strongly enough: you should be adding marine salt mix (not tonic salt) to each bucket of water at not less than 9 grammes per litre (i.e., SG 1.005 upwards). In addition, Violet Gobies (Gobioides spp.) must have suitable hiding places as well as soft sand (not gravel) for digging in. Wild fish forage by shoveling mud and silt through their gill rakers. In the aquarium, they will do the same thing with silica sand, removing small food particles easily. But gravel stops them doing this, and ultimately these fish are at serious risk of starving. Violet Gobies are in part algae eaters, so once or twice per week should be given algae wafers or pellets. They will feed on these quite happily as they soften up on the substrate. Otherwise, stick with wormy/plankton foods -- bloodworms, brine shrimps, daphnia, etc. It should be very obvious that Violet Gobies are not "normal" fish that can be dumped in a community tank. On the other hand, they mix wonderfully with brackish water things such as Mollies that leave them alone.> They are back in the big tank, as an FYI. <Hope this helps, Neale.>

Dragon Goby Health 9/26/07 <Hi Patty, Pufferpunk here> I have a 3 year hold dragon goby. Over the last 2 months I have watched him eat (hand fed him) and he continues to lose weight. <What exactly are you feeding him?> He looks dangerously thin now. Could he have some type of parasite? <Possibly, They are generally wild-caught fish which can very well come to you with internal parasites.> He shares a 50 gallon tank with a mud skipper and another goby who seem to be very healthy. <It would help to know more information, like the specific gravity, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates & pH. What is the other goby? It wouldn't hurt to treat him for internal parasites. Try soaking his favorite food (mine loves live blackworms) in an anti-parasitic drug like, Metronidazole (a freshwater fish medication) or Levamisole Hydrochloride (a livestock dewormer. See: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library/hospital/internal-parasites-prevention-and-treatment/ > Thank you for your help, Patty <I hope this helps. ~PP>

Dragon gobies    5/21/07 I know that there isn't much info on these fish but I know that more is  being discovered. <There's actually lots about these fishes in the aquarium press. Take a look at the Aqualog brackish water fishes book, or perhaps my one from TFH. Goby scientist Naomi Delventhal covered this species in considerable depth in her chapter on gobies.> I went to Wal-Mart (yes, bad idea, but I had to rescue  them from there) and bought 1 dragon goby, a 10 gallon tank some rocks  and plants. <10 gallons far too small. A healthy specimen will reach 30 cm or so within the first year, and up to 50 cm when fully grown.> Cleaned all and put him in. At the store he was all swimmy but once he settled in he became secluded (which I know is common) what I'd like to know about are his uncommon traits. The water is not brackish, yet he seems to be doing fine. <These are indeed hardy fish, and will tolerate freshwater conditions for long periods. BUT NOT FOREVER.> His tank mates are a snail, a Pleco, 12 swordtails (male and female), a very docile female crown beta that itself is very social, and some unknown number of ghost shrimp. <None of these fishes are really suitable, except maybe the swordtails, which will do okay in brackish water at SG 1.005. Swordtails don't like brackish water, but at low salinity it won't harm them.> Now, I didn't notice him eating before, but noticed he's been living for a few weeks now and my shrimp population is dwindling... <When starving, dragon gobies will eat shrimps and small fish. Their normal and preferred diet is a mixture of infaunal invertebrates (worms and insect larvae, for example) plus algae. They also filter feed from the water (live brine shrimp are ideal). It is likely you are not giving the goby enough food to eat, and since he's hungry, he's eating what he can. Bear in mind that when properly cared for these are NOT PREDATORY, and people have kept them with even guppies and not lost any fish.> So, someone suggested I feed him algae wafers, so I did which he seems to like. (He does the whole gulp and inhale nibble thing). <Quite so. The little teeth in his mouth are for scraping algae from rocks. Try offering some fresh algae, e.g. sushi Nori, and see if he goes for that.> My questions being, One: if my swordfish mate, will he eat the eggs? <Swordfish don't lay eggs, they produce live babies. If properly cared for the goby will ignore them, but if hungry he will eat them. But your swordtails will do that, too.> Two: even though he is doing ok in freshwater, should I put him in brackish anyway? <Yes, he needs a bigger, brackish water tank. At least 30 gallons, and ideally 55 gallons.> Three: I know this is asked a lot, but how can I mate the dragons (hoping for new info)? Do I just buy many and hope for the best? <Not been done yet, and probably complex. Many of these brackish water gobies lay eggs in burrows but the baby fish are planktonic, drifting around in the sea for a couple of months. Anyway, the first step is getting a group of them. They are territorial. In  a big tank people do keep them in groups, and they are quite fun like that. The fish "fight" by lining alongside each other, and push one another to see who is the strongest. Either way, each fish must have a PVC tube burrow of its own.> Four: should I put my goby pal on a diet and try to feed him live food vs. wafers? <He needs BOTH. They are filter feeders AND algae eaters, so doing just the one thing is wrong. A mixed diet of frozen bloodworms, live brine shrimp, and algae pellets is an excellent starting point. Watching them filter feed the brine shrimp is terrific fun -- they swim in the water, gulping the brine shrimp into their huge mouths like baleen whales!> Thank you for your time! -Dave <No problems, and good luck.>

Violet goby not eating   4/12/07 I have a violet goby. <By which I assume you mean Gobioides sp., a large, greyish fish with a big mouth and tiny eyes, right? This is, as I hope you know, a brackish water fish, and needs 25-50% salinity to do well, i.e., SG 1.005-1.010. It will not do well in freshwater though, and will likely die kept under such conditions.> It has been doing well for a good three months but in the last 3 days it has stopped eating and it's face has begun to look emaciated. <This often happens in freshwater aquaria when brackish water fishes are kept in such tanks. So, first question, what water conditions do you have? If in freshwater, it is doomed, so please provide brackish water conditions. Aquarium tonic salt is *not* acceptable here, you need proper marine salt mix.> I don't know what to do I try to put food near him so that he doesn't have to go far to eat but he just doesn't seem to care. <What foods are you offering? These are algae eaters and filter feeders, so you need to give them algae and tiny, tiny foods such as brine shrimp however large and predatory they may look. They prefer to sift sand when feeding, and will gulp the sand, spit it out, and extract the goodies they find in it. They will also scrape algae from rocks (that's what their teeth are for). They also enjoy small or broken algae pellets, bloodworms, blackworms, and chopped earthworms. They have little interest in larger foods such as river shrimp or feeder fish, whatever the retailers sometimes suggest.> Do you have any ideas of what to do? <Well, first check the living conditions: you want brackish water, a soft, sandy substrate, and suitable burrows for the fish to hide away in (PVC tubes are ideal, but hollow ornaments will do fine). Secondly, the usual things: check the pH (at least 7.5) and the hardness ("hard" on whatever scale you use). Thirdly, reflect on its tankmates. Because they are essentially blind, they cannot compete with fast-moving things like scats and Monos. Far better to keep them with other slow-moving species such as fat sleepers and flatfish. Fourthly, do bear in mind they need lots of space. These are among the largest of all gobies, and your specimen has the potential to reach around 50cm/20 inches in length. Hope this helps! Neale>

Dragon Goby Tankmates  3/3/07 Hi, my name  is Liz. <Hi Liz, Pufferpunk here> I  got a dragon goby thinking it was a fresh water fish. <Common mistake.> Now that I know it is not, I am planning on getting a new tank and turning my 32 gallon into a brackish tank. <Great!> I'm having a hard time finding many fish that I can put with him in the new tank.  Could you give me some ideas on what fish I could add?   Right now he is living with my angel fish. <There are many BW fish you could keep with him.  Mollies, Figure 8 puffers, bumblebee gobies, knight gobies, for a few (not all of them though).  Keep it to a few extra tankmates.  Be sure he has lots of good hideouts, especially if you're planning on the puffers, as they can get nippy.  If they do bother your dragon, you'll have to re-home them.  Mine seem to do fine together.  My tank is heavily decorated.  Be sure to research each fish before you buy them, as BW fish do require different care/feeding than FW fish. For more dragon goby info: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i3/Dragon_Gobies/Dragon%20Gobies.htm For more info on puffers: www.thepufferforum.com. > This will teach me that just because it's in  fresh water doesn't mean it likes freshwater. <Unfortunately, many LFS find it easier to keep BW fish in FW tank for selling.  It costs them too much to have a special section for BW.  Most will tell you it's OK to keep BW fish in FW too.  This will cause lowered immune systems & shorter lifespans.  ~PP> Violet Goby--Drooping Dorsal  3/2/07 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I've had my violet goby for 5 or 6 months in a 30 gallon tank in brackish water.  It eats normal fish flakes or pellet--anything really. In the last 3 or 4 days it seems that its top fin has dropped down from standing up and I was just wondering why?  If there's to much ammonia in the water or if my other fish are bugging it? <What makes you think there's too much ammonia?  Have you actually tested the ammonia? Please write back with the following in your letter: Exact test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH & specific gravity.  How much salt are you using?  Are you using marine salt?  Who are it's tank mates?  You might want to look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i3/Dragon_Gobies/Dragon%20Gobies.htm Also, in your return letter, please use proper punctuation, capitalization & spelling.  I have corrected this one, as it will be posted in our FAQs.  The next letter will be returned unanswered, unless this is done.  It is exhausting & time consuming, for me to correct every letter someone sends here.  Thank you!  ~PP>

Dragon Gobies Stuck in Aquarium Ornaments  2/20/07 You might want to add to your FAQ about aquarium ornaments (or look into it--I think others have had the same problem).   <It will be now Cathy, thanks.> At least with sand, these swamp babies are burrowing fools - I came home yesterday to find that little Smaug had burrowed underneath a hollow ornament and was up inside of it.  I had been tempted to buy one of those large "mangrove root" ornaments but glad I didn't, because that was hollow as well (long tubes of hollowness for "roots").  Probably would never see him again if he crawled up inside of something like that.   <Actually, that's exactly where my Dragon lives.  The fake mangrove root I have in my BW tank, has an end of one of the roots broken off & he slips inside it & lives in there.  He has no problem turning around inside the ornament & comes out often, to eat.> I got a set of those "lock rocks" (I think they're by Penn-Plax) and made him a cave to put on top of his burrow, surrounded by lots of live plants (java fern, Anacharis, giant Val.s) - he's burrowed underneath that as well but at least he can't get stuck in it.  I'm trying to stay away from things like PVC pipe, just for aesthetic purposes, though I know they can be used. <They definitely love their caves!> As for the live plants, my giant Val.s aren't doing so great (the rest are fine - is it even possible to kill Anacharis? ;)) but he really enjoys hiding in them/swimming thru them and digs around frequently at the bases, I think he probably eats bits of plant material there.  It seems worthwhile for me to try to keep live plants with them if possible - we'll see how expensive it gets though.  Will keep you posted if I learn anything interesting or helpful.   <Sounds like a happy life for your Dragon!> Seems like I read that you have a planted brackish tank? <Nope, I have a 90g planted discus tank.  No surviving plants in my BW tank.  ~PP> Best Wishes!  Cathy

Old Discussion on Dragon Goby, New Discussion on Glassfish, BW plt.s  2/22/07 On 2/20/07, crew <crew@mail.wetwebmedia.com> wrote: Dragon Gobies Stuck in Aquarium Ornaments  2/20/07 [...]<Actually, that's exactly where my Dragon lives.  The fake mangrove root I have in my BW tank, has an end of one of the roots broken off & he slips inside it & lives in there.  He has no problem turning around inside the ornament & comes out often, to eat.> LOL how cool :)  I'm such a worry-wart (my girls call him "Mama's little bog monster.") - just had this vision of the poor little guy getting stuck in something like that. < [...]<Sounds like a happy life for your Dragon!> So far so good!  I've bought 2 glassfish (au naturale, no ink thanks) - Chanda ranga, for the brackish tank  They are still in quarantine, but for all I've read, they should be good tankmates for him.  I know that they were eating flake food in the store but I can't seem to get them to eat anything so far (have tried flake food, frozen brine shrimp, frozen AND freeze-dried bloodworms, freeze-dried plankton).  I've read varying accounts of glassfish, some say they are good eaters, others say they need live food.  They are very timid, I'm wondering if they would eat better if there were more of them in my tank (5 or 6 total)?   <<A school of them would be nice.  They may just be adjusting to their new home.>> I don't even know where to get live food - I tried to grow my own brine shrimp for my livebearer fry but I'm filing that one under "failed experiment." <<I get blackworms from my LFS.  Rinsed well in a brine shrimp net & stored in a shallow container with a little water, in the refrigerator.  My dragon's favorite food!>> Seems like I read that you have a planted brackish tank? <Nope, I have a 90g planted discus tank.  No surviving plants in my BW tank.  ~PP> Heheh well that might be us pretty soon too, I have read it's very hard to keep plants in salty water.  What about marine plants though?  Do you think any of them could do well in BW? <Marine plants won't fair well till a SG of around 1.018.  There are many BW plants that folks have success with, just not worth the trouble for me, since I already have a FW planted tank I'm happy with.  Here's a great thread on BW plants: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4792&highlight=brackish+plants  ~PP> Thanks again, Cathy

"There's a Dragon In My Tank!"  Gobioides broussonettii - questions, comments... 2/12/07 Hi All (This one is really for PufferPunk, if possible), <Hi Cathy, you've got me!> I wanted to thank you for a very informative web site - I've been doing a lot of researching for my brackish tank and it seems that all roads lead to WWM :) <Most do but there are also a few other good ones...> My question is about substrate for these awesome fish.  "Smaug" is about 4"long, has been in a 29 gallon tank which has been gradually "brackified" to a SG of 1.005 over 2 weeks' time.  I originally had plain gravel and crushed coral in the tank but have decided that he should have a sand substrate for a more natural habitat.  Long story short, I put this little one into my 10 gallon "guest tank" with some of his salty water and put fine marine sand into the 29G tank (it's still "settling"... I didn't know how to rinse the sand very well.  It's fine sand, how are you supposed to rinse it?).   <I just rinse in a bucket, while stirring with my hand, till clear.  Pour off the top water & repeat.  Never do get all the particles out...  Adding some filter floss to the filter, usually clears the water up in a day.> Then someone told me that this fish might eat the sand and get impacted or sick from it.  Is that true?   <Never heard that one--ask the fish in all my SW tanks or the fish in the ocean.  They seem to have no problem with sand.> Since I have bought this sand and put it in the tank, I'd hate to waste the investment and effort but I don't feel good about putting him back in until I have some idea that it will be ok for him.  I also have a bag of calcite (by Seachem), grey coarse sand but it seems kind of jagged and sharp.  These are my options at the moment, gravel, sand, calcite or any combination of them. <The sand is fine.> I do also have some comments about the article "There's a Dragon in my Tank"- I would have liked to email the author directly but there was no email in the article.... so hopefully this will reach her. <It has> While it is a very informative article and I am so glad for this resource, some of my experiences with this fish have been different than what I read in the article.  For example, "Lacking the normal fish's swim bladder, they are poor swimmers and wiggle back and forth like a snake in the water or scoot along the substrate and rocks on their lateral fin."  Hmmm...  Mine swims all over the tank at night, gliding around and performing graceful aquabatics that put any other fish to shame.  Yeah, kind of snakelike, eelish, but definitely not a poor swimmer.  Perhaps this is a sign of stress?  Or because he is young and small?  But to my (albeit untrained) eye, he seems to be having a pretty good time.  He does occasionally go to the surface, then back down but there is no ammonia or nitrite in the water - I've checked. <Definitely does not swim like any other "fish" I've seen.> "This is not a fish for beginner aquarists or even experienced freshwater aquarists beginning in brackish water." Why on earth not?   <Mostly because of their difficulty to feed.  Many starve to death, considering their poor eyesight & distaste for flakes.> Can I just say, this is my first brackish tank.  I'm not what you'd call an experienced aquarist (I've only had a FW community tank for 5 months before this one). I guess I don't understand what the difficulty is in keeping this fish.  Proper marine salt, properly dissolved, gradually added to the tank - check.  Hydrometer - check. Regular water changes/good water quality - check.  Proper feeding (he eats everything I've offered - shrimp pellets, brine shrimp, bloodworms, Hikari Sinking Wafers...).   With all due respect, I feel like the article is "preaching to the choir" - the person who is researching the proper care of this creature is exactly the kind of person who should have them.  Do people really say, "I feel like starting a brackish tank.  Now, what kind of fish likes slightly salty water?"  I think most of us have certain critters in mind, and go from there. <Unfortunately, you are not the norm for most beginner fishkeepers.  Even when you go to almost any LFS, they'll tell you "BW consists of just adding a little aquarium salt to your tank.  Sure, you can keep them in a 10g tank.  Oh yeah, they'll eat flakes."  Lost of folks go years without ever doing a water change on their tank--only topping off.  I can go on & on about how poorly fish are kept, even by some so called "experienced" hobbyists.> And lastly... "A lot of these are sold because of their odd appearance and common names. Who wouldn't want a purple dragon? But that is insufficient reason to buy a fish".  IMHO these are perfectly good reasons to buy a fish.  They are fascinating in appearance and behavior - I know that's why I wanted to get one :)   It's just that... nobody should ever take on any animal without knowing what their needs are and being prepared to meet them.   <If only everyone thought like you!  Then I wouldn't be so busy helping fix all the mistakes everyone makes, because they didn't do any research of any kind & bought this really cool purple dragon that their LFS told them would be fine in their FW community tank, with just a little bit of salt & flakes for food.>   So kudos and thanks to you all, for helping me be more informed - mission accomplished, no? :) <Kudos back to you, for being the kind of fishkeeper that all should be!  ~PP> Thank you for your time, Cathy
Re: "There's a Dragon In My Tank!"  2/12/07  - 02/15/07 [...] gravel, sand, calcite or any combination of them. <The sand is fine.> Sand it is, then.  I'm sure he'll be happy to leave the small "guest tank" and go back to his 29g. I do also have some comments about the article "There's a Dragon in my Tank"- I would have liked to email the author directly but there was no email in the article.... so hopefully this will reach her. <It has> I appreciate your patience :) [...] <Definitely does not swim like any other "fish" I've seen.> Nope.  But it's the coolest thing I've seen in my tanks since the molly's last brood of babies :) "This is not a fish for beginner aquarists or even experienced freshwater aquarists beginning in brackish water."> Why on earth not? <Mostly because of their difficulty to feed.  Many starve to death, considering their poor eyesight & distaste for flakes.> I can definitely see that.  Actually tankmates seem to be the biggest problem - I tried a few mollies, but the females actually gorged themselves eating their flake food and then his food (they were sick on the bottom the next day with tummyaches - but fine now).  After I took out the 2 females, the male started chasing the Dragon around trying to mate with him (it sounds funnier than it was- but I can't help laughing when I say it).  Maybe guppies would be nicer. Anyway, for now the little fella will just have to have the tank to himself.  I was thinking about getting a Knight Goby... maybe a couple of Bumblebees, and make it a brackish goby tank.  Any comments or suggestions on tankmates?   I know that 29g is not a very big tank, I'm still thinking on it. <<Other gobies should work well.>> Nobody should ever take on any animal without knowing what their needs are and being prepared to meet them. <If only everyone thought like you!  Then I wouldn't be so busy helping fix all the mistakes everyone makes, because they didn't do any research of any kind & bought this really cool purple dragon that their LFS told them would be fine in their FW community tank, with just a little bit of salt & flakes for food.> Well thank you :)  I've been involved with avian rescue for some years... the stupidity never fails to amaze me, both on the part of the people who buy parrots and the stores that sell them. By the time our organization sees them the stories get pretty sad.  ("What, you didn't KNOW that a wild animal in your home will behave like a wild animal?  Millions of years of evolution will be undone just because you brought this creature indoors?")  So I know where you're coming from.  By all means - carry on, carry on - and thank you again for your time :).   <<Glad you understand my intent.>> Attached is a photo of Smaug, if you would like to have more "dragon" photos for the web site, I will send you some more when I take better ones and the tank is all finished settling in :).  Also attached is a photo of my African grey parrot feeding peanut butter to my dog (just because it's cute)  LOL <<Very cute--thanks for sharing!  ~PP>>

 Dragon Goby--Sand  2/15/07 Thank you so much for all your help. Just so's you know - the sand is perfect, he *LOVES* it :) <Wonderful, glad to help.  ~PP>

Escape-Goby  1/22/06 Hi, Pufferpunk here>      As I got out of bed one morning, I made the unfortunate discovery that my violet goby had escaped the tank and was lying half-dried upon the floor. It was still alive, so I immediately placed it back into its brackish aquarium. Ever since then, it keeps its dragon-like fins retracted close to its body and seems a little red around the gills. Furthermore, I have not seen him/her eat a single thing. What is the best course of action I could take? <Are you sure it's still alive?  I'd just leave it alone for a while & not try to feed it.  Add Melafix to the water & make sure it's in brackish water.  Tape up any openings in your hood, so this doesn't happen again.   ~PP>   - Darel

Regrowing Fins, Violet Goby  9/25/06 Hello! <Hi Cari, Pufferpunk here>   I have had my 2 F8 puffers and Violet Goby for nearly a year now. They  have survived the tribulations (with the help of this website) that I  experienced as a new-to-brackish owner. Until very recently, I've kept the trio in a 10 gal, pH fairly stable at 8, 0 ammonia, Nitrate under 30, SG about 1.01 (via hydrometer).   <From what I can tell so far, that tank is seriously overstocked, as the puffers require at least 10g ea (15g better) & the goby at least 30g.> Violet Goby purchased at PetSmart (*groan*, sold as fresh water, of  course).  Was originally about 5 inches, seemed very healthy, if not a little skittish, for the first few months. I went through a small amount of trouble getting him(?) to feed, eventually he settled on shrimp pellets & finishing off whatever frozen food the puffers dropped. I have also bought a variety of tubing in an effort to provide a place  for him to hide. Last December, after purchasing a rubber tube, I noticed a steep climb  in pH. Thinking the tube could be causing this, I removed it and the  goby became very desperate to hide, wedging himself between the filter tubes & the glass, racing around in terror, digging up all the plants, making a general mess. Within a short time, he refused to eat,  Stranger--within two weeks he had lost all of his fins completely!  Only the tiny nubs of muscle where his pelvic fins should have been remained! <Ouch!> Goby made a slow recovery once I purchased new, plastic tubes to serve as caves. Eventually his anal, ventral and pelvic fins regrew (though his pelvic fins seemed 'wrinkled' and slightly malformed, anal  and ventral fins show no sign of the incident, no deformities and no ragged edge), his tail is growing back in ragged parts but his dorsal fin shows almost no sign of regrowth. He is eating tremendous amounts, has almost doubled in size, is very active almost a year later from this incident but has not regrown all of his fins.  Because he now measures over 8 inches, I switched the trio to a 29 gal just last week and all seem very satisfied with the move. <Aha!  That's what I was waiting to hear! =o)> I used most  of the water and gravel from the 10 gal and water conditions are  stable. <You say "gravel" & earlier, mention "pH fairly stable at 8".  You can keep it most stable, by using crushed coral or aragonite as a substrate, instead of gravel.> Is his diet affecting his fin growth? Does he need some sort of  vitamin? He will not touch algae wafers and there was plenty of algae  growing in their old tank. <That's surprising.  Mine loves algae wafers & I see him constantly nipping on the algae growth in his tank.  Blackworms are also one of his favorites.  I soak them in Zoe vitamins while in storage in the fridge.> I've never observed the F8 puffers nipping at his fins and it seems highly unlikely they could eat his entire anal and ventral fins in the first place. The puffers are very lively, adorable and have never had  any fin or health problems at all. Thank you for reading my letter! <It may be too late, as the fins were lost quite a while ago but it wouldn't hurt to add Melafix to their water.  ~PP> Cari

Overcrowding/Tankmates/Violet Goby Care  7/16/06 Hi, <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I was wondering if it's okay to have a Pleco, 4 Otocinclus, 3 platys, 4 tiger barbs, 2 blue Gouramis, 1 molly, 1 Bala shark, 3 African frogs, 2 paradise fish, and 10 ghost shrimp in one 30 gallon tank? <Let's start with some of the larger growing fish: Blue Gouramis, grow to 4" each. Bala shark, a schooling fish that grows to 10". African frogs (you didn't say dwarf, so I'm assuming clawed frogs?), grow about the size as your fist & will eat anything it can fit in it's mouth. Paradise fish, grows to 3". Pleco, grows to 18". Did you research adult sizes of these fish?  I'd at least rehome the Bala shark & Pleco.  You can find a dwarf form of Pleco for that tank, like the Bristlenose.  Be sure to keep a close eye on water parameters with those remaining fish & don't add any more.  Check ammonia, nitrites (should always be 0) & nitrates (<20).  Do weekly water changes of around 50%.> Three of my tiger barbs fight a lot and have a greenish coloration from missing scales. Is there anyway to stop them fighting? <A school of fish usually consists of 6 or more.  Less may cause squabbling.> I had received a 3-4 inch violet goby in a one gallon tank with dirty water (I've changed it out and need to get some marine salt) and am not able to get a new tank until next week. It is cramped and but otherwise healthy. How fast do violet gobies grow and how long can I keep it in there?   <It will not live long at all in that bowl.  I'd keep it in your larger tank, until you can get it it's own brackish tank.  The molly can go with it.  It will grow to 18" & eventually need at least a 30g tank.  See: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i3/Dragon_Gobies/Dragon%20Gobies.htm > I had checked the place where I got my other fish to see if they had violet gobies and saw they were in the same environment as the tropical fish. The gobies at the pet store were healthy. <They can live in FW for a while, but will suffer from a lowered immune system, usually wind up with reddish tumors on their body & early death.> The worker there told me to feed it feeder fish but I had put some in, but it didn't eat until I fed it algae wafers. :) It doesn't seem to be much of a meat eater either. It leaves fish and shrimp alone. Is it okay to put it in my thirty gallon tank temporarily since it is bigger then the one gallon? <Yes, do that for now.  They do not eat live fish & can barely see them, never mind, hunt them down--they have very poor eyesight.  sinking pellets, blackworms or algae wafers, is what they like.> Thank you for all your help! I learned a lot from this site! <Glad to help~  ~PP>

Re: overcrowding/ tankmates/violet goby care   7/22/06 Hi again! Thanks for all your help! The Pleco will be moved with the shark into a 10 gallon tank until I can get hold of a bigger one. The fish had already been purchased without my knowledge so I didn't get a chance to research on them. I was on vacation, so I didn't find out about the fish until I got back. A thousand thanks to you PufferPunk :) <Glad to help!  Be sure to give a good talking to the person that bought fish without your knowledge.  Fish do not make good "presents"!  ~PP>

Violet Goby caught in filter!  6/29/06 Hello! <Hi Neko, Pufferpunk here> Thanks very much for having the Wet Web Media.  It has been a huge help in helping my aquatic life through strange incidences, problems or generally getting things set up. <Glad to hear it!> I've come across an odd and unexpected problem.  My Violet Goby, which I've had for maybe a year now, had somehow wiggled her way up into the filter.  I had left the screen off it accidentally with the last filter and water change and didn't find her until the next morning after taking all the plants and decor out, and even tearing up my house hoping she hadn't leapt from the tank. She was still very alive, however tired.  Which isn't unexpected.  But her mouth looks bloodied up and a bit torn up.  What can I do to resolve this?  I am so worried for her.  She's so beautiful.  She had even laid eggs not long ago.  I'm assuming that's a good sign! Another problem surrounding her is that she seemed to have responded badly to an antiparasitic medication I had put in over a month ago, and had started to thin out.  I stopped feeding her when her stomach bloated (which I can now contribute to her laying eggs), but since I had no idea she was a she at the time, I assumed she was constipated or had swim bladder.  So I added extra aquarium salts, and changed the water daily to help flush her system.  It seemed to be working, too.  But then her stomach looked to collapse (again, eggs I figure).  Now it seems fine, but she is still really thin.  I've been feeding her soaked freeze dried blood worms until I can get her some nice, frozen blood worms.  Also Tubifex worms in those cubes, soaked and poured into the waterfall to help push them to the bottom and flakes.  I've also dropped in algae wafers for her to munch on.  But with her mouth so badly hurt, I'm afraid she won't eat or be able to eat.  I've done a thorough water change today to get anything out of there that might cause infection like food wastes, ammonia and fish waste.  I'm also adding something called 'Complete Remedy' which is made for external parasites, fungi and bacteria.  If she seems to respond badly to that, I intend to do another water change and slowly remove it, then try something else for her.  It's all I have on hand and it's an all around medicine, so I'm hoping it'll help.  I really don't want her to die. Anything you can recommend would be a huge help.  I'm sadly limited on funds right now, and if you know of any medications or remedies that'll help her within a limited budget, please let me know. <As she has responded poorly to meds before, I wouldn't add anything to her tank, except Melafix and/or Pimafix.  They are all-natural & won't harm scaleless fish or your biological filtration.  I would also be sure your fish in in at least, low-end brackish water.  A specific gravity of 1.005 would be good.  Make sure you are using marine salt & measure with a hydrometer.  If she has freshwater fish for tank mates, they will not appreciate this much salt in their water. (It takes close to a cup of salt/5g to make a SG of 1.005).  ~PP> Thank you for your time and any help!  Neko

Ropes and Dragons Robert, I have a 45 gallon freshwater live plant setup. PH7.6 Hardness apx10 Ammonia and nitrite at zero. I recently purchased two new rope fish and a Pleco (I think that's what it's called).  <Mmm, maybe a member of the family of mainly South American Sucker Mouth Catfishes, Loricariidae: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/loricariids.htm> The two rope fish died within two days and a day later the rope that I've had for 6 months died. <Not unusual to have new Ropes bring in disease, stress... Our coverage of this and the related Bichirs: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bichirs.htm> Then last night my small dragon Goby died. The ropes got the "glassy" eyes and discoloration before they died and the Dragon lost a lot of weight and showed a large white section on it's tail before it died. So far the other inhabitants haven't shown any problems; they are: a larger Dragon Goby (about 6"), two Bala Sharks, 1 Clown Loach, 1 Pleco (algae eater), and several neon tetras. I did a 20% water change and filter maintenance after the first two died and I've been running my Diatom XL (normally for polishing only) a couple hours a day. Any possibilities you can offer will be greatly appreciated. <I would do what you have done... and add some activated carbon/powder to the diatom> As a side note. I have already purchased a cheapy 10 gallon setup to use as a quarantine tank in the future.  <Good idea> You might also be interested to know that the fish came from Pet (not so) Smart. <Yikes...> Thanks Again Tom Peterson Kissimmee, Fl <Sorry to hear of your trials and tribulations. Steady on my friend. You're moving in more positive directions. Bob Fenner>

Gobioides broussonettii "South African Dragonfish" 4/19/04 Hi! <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I found your site while trying to learn about this fish. They have recently appeared in my local PetSmart, priced just under $5. A tempting impulse purchase price for a really interesting looking fish! <Yes, definitely not an impulse purchase.> Trying to learn about them, I am getting an impression (not yet confirmed) that the PetSmart chain is carrying them in many other locations. <I've seen them for sale in a lot of shops around here.> So I'm thinking there may be a run on "Dragonfish" info, both from people who want to know what they're getting into first and from those who already bought the fish and can't get it to eat. Perhaps you could write, or refer us to, a summary of this fish's needs and habits? <Sure, I recently lost one I had kept in FW it's whole life (before I knew any better). by the time I realized the problem with keeping it in FW (grew red tumors all over), all my BW tanks were filled with fin-nipping puffers. I now have a new one in BW.> For instance, it's a brackish water fish -- how much salt is best?  Temperature, pH?  <crushed coral substrate), temp 80.>   It reaches 20" in length, but is a very eel-shaped fish; how much tank room will it need at maturity? <I'd say a tank that was at least 20" long.> Diet - brine shrimp and bloodworms are mentioned, would finely ground flake foods be any use? <I've never seen mine eat flakes, but it's possible. Since they are "filter feeders" & they scrounge through the gravel, shoveling it up with their mouth & "chin fin" (that's what I like to call it), scooping it up & spitting out substrate, swallowing whatever is in there (could be leftover flakes). Mine also love algae wafers. When I feed the tank worms in a cone feeder, he knows exactly where to wait!.> Since some people are having difficulty feeding them, how can buyers choose a fish that is in good condition and what can we do if we brought one of these home and it hasn't been properly fed in the store? <Just try to get one that is moving around a bit if poked at & doesn't look too thin. I doubt they are fed properly in a shop--too much competition. I saw one in a goldfish tank once. I doubt any food got near the bottom of that tank!> Well, that kind of thing. And anything else violet goby fans think new Dragonfish owners ought to know... <That's all I can think of. ~PP> Thanks!  Elizabeth B. Naime <Oh yeah, don't they remind you of the creature that pops out of that guy's chest in the movie, Alien?>

Violet Goby Hi. This is my first time owning fish and after the purchase of my tank I bought fish not knowing about the Cycle process. On of those fish was a violet goby, who is looking to be doing well and the tank is 18 days old. Now I was not told this fish was BW and have recently changed that. My Question is, is I heard Violet goby's are very slow fish that hang around on the bottom all the time. Well my goby likes the surface of the tank and pops his head out of the water a lot. Could you tell me if my Goby is alright? < Go to Marineland.com and got to the Dr. Tim's library header and look at the article titled " The First Thirty Days". This will give you some idea on what is going on with your new tank. I think that your goby may be suffering from ammonia or nitrite burns that may have affected his gills and  near the surface where the oxygen concentration in the water is at its highest level. Increase the aeration and decrease the water temp to the mid 70's for awhile until things get better.-Chuck> Violet Goby, uncycled tank (two fer) Hi. This is my first time owning fish and after the purchase of my tank I bought fish not knowing about the Cycle process. On of those fish was a violet goby, who is looking to be doing well and the tank is 18 days old. Now I was not told this fish was BW and have recently changed that. <The addition of salt may well kill or at least stall the establishment of nitrification... this could be the root cause of the behavior... environmental disease> My Question is, is I heard Violet goby's are very slow fish that hang around on the bottom all the time. Well my goby likes the surface of the tank and pops his head out of the water a lot. Could you tell me if my Goby is alright? <I have seen quite a few of this species... and never any that stay at the top, stuck their heads out... at all. Seems unusual... If your tank is not cycled (detectable ammonia, nitrite) I would NOT feed this animal, and WOULD get/use a cycling product like BioSpira. Bob Fenner>

Violet goby Hello, I would like to say that your information on violet gobies being hard to keep is untrue and I have several violet gobies that I have had for many yrs. But they r a little more than just fish they do take a little special care. They r pretty easily kept though. Thank u for your time. -From- Mike J Gunn <Can you describe what you mean by taking a little special care for others benefit? Bob Fenner>

Dragon/Violet Goby has Problems Swimming 3/3/04 Hey :) <Hey yourself, it's Pufferpunk again> I'm sorry to be troublesome, but this is regarding our inherited violet goby. <No trouble at all!> We suspect he may have swim bladder disease, probably as a result of the trauma he has experienced.  I know this is common in gold fish -anyone ever seen it in a goby before?  <Not yet> Any suggestions?  I'm concerned that it may be a bacterial infection.  He is spending an inordinate amount of time at the top of the tank, and seems to have trouble swimming to the bottom. <You could start out with his diet.  Try feeding him shelled peas, or algae wafers.  What is he eating now?  My goby does a lot of hanging out on the glass sometimes.  Is he able to get to the bottom at all?> Thanks in advance Julie <Hope it's just his diet, let me know. ~PP>

Dragon/Violet Goby Foods?  3/4/04 Hey all and especially Pufferpunk :) <Hello> Well things looked real rough this morning but we did another water change and tonight he looks a lot better.  <Yippee! =o)> This morning he was really struggling to get to the bottom.  When I got home tonight he was hanging out on the side of the tank about 2/3 down, and now he's resting peacefully on the bottom. SO I'm hoping maybe this means we're past the worst - truthfully I was doubtful if this poor guy would even survive the transition to our home at all. <I hope this was all just caused by stress.  Like I said before, he had acclimated himself to survive in poor conditions.  Even though you knew his conditions needed to improve, it is still shocking for him to adjust to a cleaner tank, along with the water parameters that change with it.> what do you feed your goby?  We've got live brine shrimp and also shrimp pellets. <Mine loves blackworms & algae wafers.> Wow its crazy getting used to this new fish!  I have a 20 hex of freshwater - guppies - and I'm slowly moving that colony into a fully planted 72 bowfront.  I know a fair amount about freshwater and about plan tanks, but nothing about this guy!  Lucky for him anyway I do have experience with fish.  It makes me mad that a pet store is so irresponsible to sell this fish to someone without explaining its needs, much less explaining that it gets very large and needs a large tank! <Unfortunately this happens more often than not.  Sometimes I just hang around my LFS listening to how they sell BW fish & puffers.  I am always printing out info for them give to the customers to read when they purchase these special fish.  Your dragon's lucky to have you!> Julie <Enjoy! ~PP>

Feeding a Dragon 4/11/04  This message is directed to Pufferpunk.  <Hi, it's me, PP>  This is Julie, the one who inherited the Violet Goby from the well-meaning brother-in-law. The fish is doing very well and has grown a lot since we got him! All signs of swim-bladder disease disappeared within 24 hours, and no problems since.  <That's great!>  A few questions, I hope you'll be willing to answer. We got a nice big tank for him, and so we want to get it set up. What do you use for your substrate?  I have mine in a tank with other BW fish, so I use crushed coral (or aragonite is good) to keep the pH stable at around 8. Your dragon would prefer something small enough to pick up & scrounge around in, making caves as he goes.>  Also, When you feed your fish worms do you just dump em in, or do you use one of those worm feeders?  <I use a cone worm feeder. My goby always knows when there are worms in there & waits underneath for them to fall.>  So far ours doesn't seem real interested in anything other than algae tablets.  <Some dragons like shrimp pellets too.>  Thanks, in advance. hope all your fish are doing well :)  Julie  <Yes, all my fishies are happy & healthy. You're dragon sounds like he's in for the same too! ~PP>

Sick dragon goby (Paisley) I hope you can help me. We started our tank at the end of December. We have had our goby ever since, he has done really well until yesterday when I noticed he had a white "film" on his back. I have tried looking up diseases but can not find anything. Needless to say, he was dead this morning and was even whiter. Can you please help me figure out what it could have been.  Thank you, Sherrie <It sounds as if your fish might have Columnaris.  This is a bacterial infection that spreads across the skin of the fish.  It can be extremely hard to get rid of unless caught early.  With use of a quarantine tank I treat with Maracyn and it usually helps the fish return to health.  It can spread to other fish, so keep an eye on them.  If any of it's tankmates should start to have this move them to a separate tank and start treatments.  Good luck. -Magnus>

Dragon/Violet Goby 3/01/04 Hi there. <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I ran across your website and it seems you have some folks who are knowledgeable about brackish water tanks. <Well, thank you!  Hope I can help.> My husband and I have "inherited" a Violet Goby from his brother-in-law, who had it and lost interest in it.   <Good thing for the fish, he now lives with someone who cares =o)> He offered to give us the tank, but insisted we must keep the fish.  We are considering it a "fish rescue" project because the poor creature was being kept in a (15?) hex with only about 5 inches of extremely dirty water in it, and was only being fed about once every several weeks.   <Poor fish!> It is amazing that it is still alive.   <No kidding, tough fish!> At any rate we have done a little reading, but as we already have the fish and tank in our possession we don't have a lot of time to do research - we must begin caring for it now.  We realize it will outgrow this small tank.  We already have plans of moving it into a 20 hex once that tank's inhabitants have moved into their new tank; beyond that we will have to make a further investment.  We would GREATLY appreciate any suggestions you can give to us on keeping this interesting fish.   <I assume you have already cleaned out the tank & put the fish in fresh water?  Probably a big shock to the fish, since it has actually acclimated to the poor water conditions & is now in a completely different environment.  See: http://www.tomgriffin.com/aquasource/oldtanksyndrome.shtml  Hope he's ok.  Anyway, these are brackish water fish.  Aragonite or crushed coral substrates are used to help maintain a stable alkaline pH of around 8.  I suggest keeping these fish at low-end BW (in a specific gravity, or SG of 1.005-08).  You must use marine salt.  You will need a hydrometer to measure the salinity.  It takes a cup of salt/5 gal of water to raise the SG .005.  If the goby was in FW originally, then you should start out your tank in FW and raise the SG .002/week, until you reach the desired SG.  This is so you don't destroy the good nitrifying bacteria (if there's any left) and shock the fish as you add salt.  SW bacteria are different than FW, so you need time for the SW bacteria to develop as the FW bacteria dies off slowly.  If the tank was completely cleaned out (I hope you didn't use soap!), then all the "good" bacteria has been destroyed.  The only product that is available that contains live bacteria is Bio-Spira.  I suggest you add it to his tank.> We would especially like to hear suggestions on a good tank-mate for him. (her?)  One fish I have always been attracted to is the puffer; I know that there are a few brackish species, such as the figure 8 and the spotted puffer.  Would either of these be appropriate?   <I have a dragon goby.  I would recommend at east a 30g for an adult, as they grow to 18".  Mine lives with some F8 puffers, knight gobies & bumblebee gobies.  They all prefer the same SG & basically the same foods (blackworms, plankton, brine shrimp), except the puffers need more hard shelled foods (like snails) to keep their teeth trimmed.  My gobies all love algae wafers too.  I recommend you keep the goby alone for a while to make sure the tank is ok.  After you upgrade to a larger tank, you could add some other gobies & puffers.  Mollies would work too.  I definitely wouldn't recommend a green spotted puffer.  They are extremely aggressive & prefer SW as adults. If you are going to make the tank BW, then since most BW fish kept at LFS are kept in FW, you will need to acclimate the new guys slowly. If the store keeps their puffers in BW (congratulations, you've found a store that really cares about their fish), cycle your tank at whatever SG the puffers are living in at the store. If you already have an established BW tank and are buying a puffer (or other BW fish) kept in FW at the store, you need to acclimate it very slowly. Whenever I change a fish over from FW-BW, BW-SW, or visa-versa, I use a drip system.  I put the fish in a bucket below the tank I will be moving it into, covered by water from the tank the puffers were living in, about 1" over its head.  I tie a knot in an air hose until it drips enough water into the bucket to raise or lower the SG in the bucket .001/hour. I know this all seems a lot to new fish owners, but BW is definitely a little more work than FW.> Thank you in advance for any help you can give us. Sincerely yours, Julie and Chris Ford <Enjoy your dragon!  (Doesn't it resemble the creature that pops out of that guy's chest in the movie, alien?) ~PP>

Dragon Goby 2/29/04 Hey Pufferpunk. <Hey yourself> I just really want to thank you - you definitely told me some things I needed to know.  He's in fresh water with a small addition of "aquarium salt" that I use for my freshwater guppy tanks, so I do need to purchase some different products.  We're making a pet store run tomorrow. <Like marine salt & a hydrometer.> So far he seems to be doing well.  He's swimming around quite a bit and really likes the heater - previously there was no heater in his tank and, although I know they can live in cooler water, I think he appreciates the warmth because he has been swimming up and attaching himself to the glass right next to the heater.   <Poor chilly fish. =o{> We didn't *completely* change the tank out - just added water and a little salt - cause I didn't want to totally freak his system. <That's good, just keep doing 20% water changes, while cleaning the gravel every day, until his tank is clean.  don't forget to use water w/the same temp as his tank & add Dechlor.> Thanks, again, for the tips.  I'm glad to hear the f8 puffers are a good choice.  We've got a huge learning curve here but gratefully there are folks like you out there!  <Awwwww, shucks!> My brother-in-law means well, but these are people who should never have pets because every pet they have had since I have known them, they have either had to give it away, or it died an untimely death. This fish was on death row.  My husband really likes him, so that's good since all our other pets are "mine." Julie <Same in my house.  I'm happy you saved him!  ~PP>

Violet Goby Hi I have had a violet goby now for about 3 months now and can't find out much on them ! My goby has a orange dot that looks like a egg in side the bottom fin, the one that looks like umbrella . I think it has gotten bigger now has a little white line on the inside. The lady at the pet store we bought her from said she didn't know, but there where two of them in there so do you think you can help ?  < Are you sure it's a goby and not a Dottyback? Also, please capitalize all your "i's" and no "u's" for you. It saves us time as we have to go and correct spelling, caps, etc, as these queries end up as FAQ's on the Wet Web. James (Salty Dog)> 

Dragon Goby Question We bought a Dragon Goby a few days ago, he is 3-4 inches long, a fairly good sized goby in perfect health. The other day we noticed a white/pink patch about the size of a dime in between his mid section and his tail, that had pink/red patches in it. We have no idea what it may be. My husband thought about parasites so took it upon himself to do a fresh-water bath for a few minutes. He did fine, but now it looks more like a flesh wound with streaks running through it. We have never had a disease in the tank before. When this happened he has pretty lethargic, not a lot of swimming or eating, and did not use his tail hardly at all. Right now he is still in our main tank since we do not have another place to put him. Please help before our other fish get sick. <... what sort of circumstances... system, food, tankmates... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/bracgobifaqs.htm re other people's accounts with this species... do any of their experiences relate to yours? Bob Fenner> Tank Mates for Violet Gobies 10/22/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I have a Violet Goby and I would like to know what are their tankmates? I keep him in brackish water and I have a 20 gallon tank. I am getting a 55-100 gallon around Christmas. I have no other fish in there with him. He is about 4-5 inches long. I have been told a dinosaur eel would be good but I am not sure. Please tell me some tankmates. Thanks in advance for the help. <The "dinosaur eel" or Polypterus, is not a BW fish. In the tank you have now, you could keep the goby with other gobies, like knights or bumblebees. When you get a larger tank, you could add more gobies or even a few figure 8 puffers. The problem with your goby is competition for food. Once you add other fish with them, there is a large chance they will be out-competed for food & starve. They are filter feeders & practically blind. Are you using marine salt to make his tank brackish? See: http://badmanstropicalfish.com/brackish/brackish.html for more ideas. ~PP>

Goby with Mouth fungus   10/6/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Good morning Crew - your site has been an incredible resource to me for a loooong time. Thank you all so much!! <You're very welcome!> On to the terrible situation: I recently purchased a Violet Goby (Dragon goby). He (or she) is roughly 6 inches long and appeared healthy in the freshwater tank in which he was being kept for 3 weeks at the LFS. I assumed that this fish was acclimated to freshwater from his stay at the store and when I brought him home I put him in my cycled freshwater QT tank. <Still though, it needs to be kept in brackish water.> Well, it's only been 3 days and his health has immediately dropped. His physical symptoms are a bleeding, white-rimmed mouth, faded color, and he is not eating. It's terrible to behold and I'm in absolute horror. I immediately contacted the fish store to see if could possibly return him to "safety" but they are closed for a week. Here are my QT tank parameters: capacity is 10 gallons PH is right around 7.8 Alkalinity is stable Zero nitrite and ammonia Temp. ranges from 74-78 I have fluorescent light on 10 hours per day water hardness is high Nitrate is between 20 and 40 ppm (on the high side) I treat the water with AquaSafe, a small amount of Stress Coat, and a very small amount of aquarium salt. Only tankmate is a small algae-eater (my QT janitor) The nitrates couldn't be causing this fish detrimental distress, right? The only thing I can think of is the gravel is larger grade stuff and he could have injured himself sifting for food. It almost appears that he has mouth fungus, but as I have never seen anything quite like this, I am hesitant to treat. However, I do have "Maroxy" in my fishy supply cabinet if this is the case. I have attached pictures of the Goby's mouth. Please be warned that they are disturbing. What is your advice at this point? I feel terrible and at fault - it breaks my heart to see this fish in distress and pain, but my hands are tied until I know what the cause is. I am changing a small amount of the water every 4 hours to lower nitrates. http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b360/Meechity/goby2.jpg http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b360/Meechity/goby1.jpg Thank you very much for your time, and I'm sorry to have bad news like this to dampen your day :o( <It looks to me, that the goby has damaged it's mouth foraging through some extremely rough or dirty  gravel.  These fish are filter feeders that scoop up sand into their mouth & filter out food particles.  The Maroxy should help but I'd also add Melafix & Pimafix.  In addition, get marine salt & a hydrometer & raise the specific gravity of it's tank to 1.005.  It will take around 2 cups of salt (pre-dissolved) to reach this salinity.  The algae eater will not appreciate salt.  I doubt the fish will start to eat again until it's mouth is feeling better.  Make sure whatever foods you feed it reach the bottom of the tank, so the fish can find it (they are practically blind).   Generally, they do not eat flakes.  Mine loves blackworms, plankton, brine shrimp (as a treat only) & algae wafers.  Good luck, I hope he heals up quickly~  ~PP>

Eels and Dragonets do not mix'¦.  10/5/05 Hello I'm asking if there is a chance that my 13-inch white cheeked moray eel could have eaten my dragon goby. <I am not familiar with the common name dragon goby; by any chance do you mean a Dragonet or a Mandarin goby? Perhaps (Synchiropus splendidus)?  If this is your specimen then perhaps yes the eel could have eaten him, as they (the dragonets) are slow moving and nocturnal. As for the eel while they usually rely on crustaceans for food, a Dragonet would have been an easy target.> I have noticed that my dragon goby is missing, because he usually wanders around the tank. But the pet store that I bought him from said that the moray would not eat a dragon goby and that my fish was probably hiding. <Eels are predators.>  I have searched high and low for my dragon goby with no sight of him not even fins or anything you find as leftovers to a feeding. <If this fish in question is a dragonet, it's possible that it dies of other reasons. They are notoriously hard to care for with the majority of them starving in captivity.> I think it might have been my moray because of the lack of evidence that my dragonfish would have left like fins scales etc.. I really want to know for sure so I can see about getting a refund on my fish at the store. <Well, good luck with that. Adam J.> <<Mmm, these are brackish to marine animals, Gymnothorax and Gobioides... don't mix. BobF>>

Big Cat, brackish goby 9/30/05 Sorry to bother you again <no problem> ,but would a Red-Tailed Catfish be a good tankmate for a Violet Goby. I know that a Red-Tailed Catfish gets big and I am prepared for that, but I  have been keeping my Violet Goby in brackish water, I put in one teaspoon per gallon. Right now I have a 20 gallon, but in a week I am getting a 55 gallon. Thanks again for the help.  <As your situation stands you cannot adequately house a redtail catfish.  This fish grows to over three feet and rapidly outgrow a 50g, you need at least a 240g tank and he will outgrow this as well.  The redtail cat is also a strictly freshwater species, it will not acclimate to the conditions you are keeping your goby in.  I do not suggest this combination of fish.  Good luck, Heather-LinearChaos> Sexing Violet Goby 9/29/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here? Excuse me but do you know how to tell whether a violet goby is a boy or girl. Thanks in advance. <Sorry, but only the goby knows for sure.  Are you keeping it in brackish water?  ~PP>

Gobioides broussonettii in SW, Copper in foods  9/4/05 Hello, I have searched your FAQs for information on the Gobioides broussonettii, also known as the violet goby, or dragon fish. I was unable to obtain anything of help. I am aware that they are a brackish fish. Mine is currently in a fresh water tank with two Apteronotus albifrons, black ghost knife fish. I recently removed my snowflake eel from my 55 gallon saltwater tank and was curious if the dragon fish can be acclimated to the conditions of my reef tank. <Can be done... this fish is marine at times, in places. Here on fishbase.org: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=3856&genusname=Gobioides&speciesname=broussonettii> The lack of the eel leads me wanting something of its character. If this is possible, a procedure would be greatly appreciated. <Slowly... a few thousandths per week, raise the saltwater/salinity of the Goby's environment (sans the knives of course)> One more unrelated question. I recently noticed that both the flake food I use in my reef tank, (Wardley's) and the frozen brine shrimp, (Ocean Nutrition Brine Shrimp Plus) have copper sulfate listed in the ingredients. <A common preservative> I was under the impression this would kill invertebrates and have discontinued use but have had no adverse side affects. Any input on this matter also would be greatly devoured. I thank you for your time. <Can be problematical in "free" concentration (cupric ion), but there is not much in the foods, and this quickly "falls out of solution". Bob Fenner> Dragon Goby  1/29/06 <Hi, Pufferpunk here>I recently bought a " Dragon fish " from Wal-Mart but they could not tell me anything about it. <No surprise there!> I have searched many sites and there is nothing like what I have. This fish is about eight inches long, flat, with tall  fins lining the top and bottom, lining the entire length of it. The head is  about the size of half a woman's thumb. ( Just the part with the nail.) The head  is box-like, with four smaller fins, one on each corner. The fish is very  gentle and likes dark corners. If you can tell me any information on this  critter, I would be grateful. <Check out this info: http://www.aqualandpetsplus.com/Oddball,%20Dragon%20Goby.htm  ~PP>  

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