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FAQs on Amblygobius Gobies, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Genus Amblygobius Gobies

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

Summary/key points:
  •  Rainford's Goby (Amblygobius rainfordi) are not really algae eaters; needs a good deal of "interstitial fauna", eats worms, crustaceans, etc. that reside in the algae and substrate; may only live 6-12 months unless he has inline fishless (and coral-less) zooplankton refugium to supplement food or learns to eat thawed frozen food sent to him via a baster daily.
  • Banded bullet goby (Amblygobius phalaena) and sleeper gobies sift sand for meat - supplement with live brine shrimp (fresh hatched, Selcon soaked) and Mysid shrimp to supplement food, several times/day as needed.
  • Sixline wrasse will compete with Rainford's goby for food. Goby needs peaceful tank; no yellow tangs, damsels, or mean clowns; big tank with lush hair algae growth is best for the copepods and other creatures that live in the algae.
  • Amblygobius decussatus (Orange Striped Goby) seems to actually eat algae, not just the crustaceans living in the algae.
  • Amblygobius semicinctus/phalaena eat filamentous algae, but mostly copepods, Mysis shrimp, and other small crustaceans.

Amblygobius rainfordi with ex-sunken belly 11/9/12
Hi :)
Just wanted to share a success report with an Amblygobius rainfordi. I picked the little one at my LFS on July. It had, as it's sadly usual with these fishes, a sunken belly. Needless to say, once added to the tank it begun to pick on my sand bed like crazy. It's a mature DSB, the tank has a surface of 110x55 cm, less than 30% of the sand surface is covered by rocks, and the grain size is 0.1 - 0.7 mm, the sand depth is around 10 cm.
<Sounds good>
The second photo was shot last week. Same fish of course. The third photo shows the rainfordi, the day it was introduced, together with a year-old resident, a female mandarin which was quite skinny when introduced, a year
later, and apart from being really fat, has maybe grown more than 50% in length in one year.
Regarding its diet, I've observed it taking (of course) mouthfuls of sand and filtering them, and also picking at some algae and cyanobacteria growth I have on the side glasses, which I don't bother to clean, as (after examining samples on the microscope) they are full of copepods, small nematodes and other critters. However, it also filters and spits the algae, so I guess it doesn't actually eat the algae, but it eats the animals that live on it.
Seems that a mature DSB should be considered mandatory for this species. Of course, it can be a risky addition. If the DSB is too small it can be too much of a predatory pressure...

Neither the rainfordi nor the mandarin have even tried frozen food or pellets. They just ignore it. I've never observed them taking any of the food I add. The mandarin prefers to hunt on the rocks, and the rainfordi clearly prefers the sand, also spending some time on the glasses.
<Some do, some don't accept other (prepared aquarium) foods>
Best regards,
<Thank you for writing in, sharing your experiences. Bob Fenner> 


Sand-Sifting Goby (Starved Due To Old Age?) -- 04/07/10
Hello Eric,
<<Hiya Gene>>
Just a follow up on a different topic.
My sand sifting goby died today. I had him for about 2 years.
<<Mmm, died of old age perhaps... Some species only live a couple years with many going only a couple to a few more than that. And it seems the smaller the species the shorter the lifespan>>
He did a wonderful job keeping the sand in good condition.
<<Ah yes'¦ I am fond of Amblygobius phalaena for this purpose as it seems less prone to 'dust' my corals'¦though it is still a prodigious digger that can disrupt a DSB'¦and gets too large (easily to 5' in captivity) for all but the largest home systems, in my opinion>>
He began getting thinner and thinner
<<I have noted this with several fishes I thought to be getting 'long in the tooth'>>
-- I tried target feeding him some Nori -- but it just wasn't enough. I really don't know if he died of old age or starvation. How likely do you think is was starvation?
<<If it was not provided supplemental feedings (New Life Spectrum pellets are great for this), this is always a possibility. But'¦ I have seen fishes that were/are seemingly well fed begin to 'waste away' in their old age. I'm not sure if this is a result of a loss of ability to metabolize foods or the loss of ability to simply 'compete' for foods'¦either way'¦'old age' does seem to play a part in the fishes 'ability to get enough nutrition' to maintain body weight>>
I would hate to buy another one only to see it suffer.
<<In my experience, these fish are generally hardy aquarium inhabitants that will eat almost anything. There could be a myriad of reasons for a fish to starve to death...anything from inadequate foods/feedings offered, to bullying, to parasites'¦and yes, maybe even just old age. If you have the proper environment and the fish is fed/accepts several small feedings daily of quality food items (I very highly recommend the NLS pellets for ALL your fishes) then I think there is little chance of another similar fish is going to 'suffer'>>
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>
Re: Sand-Sifting Goby (Starved Due To Old Age?) -- 04/07/10
Nice reply!
<<Glad you think so!>>
I will be looking for another based on your comments.
<<Very good>>
And will add NLS pellets to his diet.
<<Ah yes! All your fishes and inverts that will accept/ingest this excellent prepared food will benefit>>
BTW, my tank is a 125g mixed reef with 30g refugium.
<<Ah good'¦though most are not exceedingly large, I do think these Gobies enjoy a bit of real estate to roam and 'chomp' upon. The refugium is also an excellent adjunct to your system, for many reasons, not the least of which is to help keep your substrate populated>>
<<Cheers'¦ EricR>>
R2: Sand-Sifting Goby (Starved Due To Old Age?) -- 04/08/10
Can't readily locate the golden head sleeper goby in the Atlanta area -- so thinking of trying the orange spotted goby. Did some reading and the V. puellaris seems to be a good alternative to the V. strigata. What'da think?
<<Hi Gene'¦ These two Valenciennea species are similar in size/captive care requirements. V. puellaris may be a 'bit more delicate,' but if you can find one that will accept the NLS pellets, I give you good odds. EricR>>

R4: Sand-Sifting Goby (Starved Due To Old Age?) -- 04/10/10
Thanks, Eric.
<<Quite welcome, Gene>>
I have enjoyed the conversation and advice
<<As have I>>
-- which I will take and keep a single Dragon goby.
<<Is best>>
If he can keep your 375g in good order -- he'll do just fine in my 125g.
Also, purchased a leather "tree" -- don't recall the specific name. As of yet (one day) it has not opened to its potential. I have a large yellow Fiji leather that can sometimes takes its sweet time opening up -- thus, I'm not overly concerned at this point.
<<A noxious pair of organisms for sure'¦hopefully you employ chemical filtration (carbon/Poly-Filter) to help some with the allelopathy>>
<<Cheers mate'¦. EricR>>

Amblygobius Phalaena/Feeding 1/4/10
<Hello mystery writer.>
Read the FAQ, still have a question, Amblygobius phalaena or Dragon Goby.
<Is a Sleeper Banded Goby.>
He pretty much completely cleaned the sand bed within the first 24 hours and the number one issue I've heard of with these guys after my research is that they tend to starve in many tank situations.
<Yes, many are lost in captivity from starvation and jumping out of tanks.
They are continuous feeders in the wild, feeding on filamentous algae, various crustaceans, nematode worms, etc.
They are best kept in reef type settings with adequate fauna.>
Mysid and brine shrimp are the primary supplemental feeding alternatives with occasional meatier fare like squid, clam bits. My concern is that I gave him a cube of Mysid shrimp today and he gulps them into his mouth then does the standard lower jaw vibration filtering process, but then spits out the Mysid via his gills. I'm worried that he is not taking in the food. I'm going to try WWW advice for New Life Spectrum pellets and see where that gets me but I'm worried that he just not getting the supplemental feeding philosophy. Common problem? Not a problem?
<Try the NLS pellets, it may help, but these fish do best in larger reef type systems with a populated live sand bed.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re Amblygobius Phalaena/Feeding 1/9/10
Update, the New Life Spectrum is working great and he eats well now.
Success story there I guess.
<Is a very nutritional product and is actually all I feed. You may want to visit their web site and watch
the video, is truly amazing. Thank you for sharing with us.
James (Salty Dog)>

Amblygobius bynoensis/Feeding 9/29/09
Hello WWM crew,
About 5 weeks ago, I purchased a Sleeper Byno Goby (Amblygobius bynoensis) from Liveaquaria. The description on their site read that it ate Cyanobacteria from the sand.
<Do not eat it, the fish feed on microfauna in the sand bed and may appear as Cyano is being eaten.>
I also read on another site prior to buying him that these guys also sifted microcrustaceans from the sand.
My 125g tank had been suffering from a good bit of Cyano on the sand, despite my efforts in maintaining good water quality, water movement and proper lighting periods. The tank also contains about 100 lbs or so of live rock. Based on the above, I presumed there'd be enough food for the goby to forage from. However, its gotten progressively more emaciated over these 5 weeks. It constantly sifts through the sand and nibbles on the rockwork here and there, but ignores all flake or frozen food I put into the tank.
<No guarantee these gobies will take prepared foods, some accept, some do not.>
Same goes for Nori sheets. I noticed, though, that when I scrape green algae from the back wall, it quickly rushes over and grabs a mouthful of algae floating in the water column. So, in order to help him get something in his belly, I use a blade to scrape algae from the back glass once or twice a day now. Despite getting skinnier and skinnier, it's still active and spry. But I'm worried that it's just a matter of time before it succumbs to malnutrition. Any suggestions?
<Your best bet would be to get some live pods to populate the sand bed. You will likely need to do this on a weekly basis until the population is self sustaining.
Depending on where you live, a link to one etailer is here. http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=DT-COPHS&Category_Code=livepods
James (Salty Dog)>

Rainford's Goby I have a very nice 72 gal. bow front reef tank that is doing very well except for two Rainford's Gobies I put in a couple of weeks ago. The water chemistry is normal, all of my corals and other livestock are living blissfully, but I can't get the Rainford's to eat anything and they are getting pretty skinny. I have tried live brine shrimp, new hatch brine shrimp and frozen Mysis shrimp, all to no avail. They nibble at the substrate now and then to 'sift' it. They seem content in every other respect, they just won't eat. Any suggestions? Do Rainford's have some special diet? >> Thank you for writing. These gobies (genus Amblygobius) are some of my favorite fishes for reef tanks... but they do need a good deal of "interstitial fauna" to keep them fat and happy. Most folks supply this in-the-gravel food by having robust live rock in a well-aged set-up... but how to provide it in the short term? You do have (of course, because you state this IS a reef tank) live rock... Do you have another system or a sump/refugium area where you can either move the Rainford's Gobies to or move some of the sand to them?  A few weeks ago, I was in Fiji collecting these fish... by simply setting a net on the bottom, stirring the bottom with my hand, and after going back to the surface for a breath of air, coming back and "pushing" the gobies et al. into the net with my hands... They eat worms, crustaceans, etc. that reside in the substrate...  Bob Fenner

Sandsifter gobies Dear Mr. Fenner, I'm furious over misinformation that cost 2 fishes their lives. My 100 gallon tank has not quite live sand (inoculated with copepods, baby bristle and spaghetti worms and tiny white sand stars, but not nearly enough to get a good start in my large tank), and covered with brown algae and diatoms, do to poor circulation at that time. I really wanted something that would clean the sand. Aquacon (www.aquacon.com) had the perfect solution. They said the banded bullet goby (Amblygobius phalaena) would keep the sand sparkling clean by sifting and eating all the algae. I bought 2 and for 6 weeks the tank looked like a winter wonderland. Then they died within a week of each other. I called Aquacon to order more and the lady tried to dissuade me saying the banded gobies were short lived. I got 2 more anyway, one didn't survive the shipping. That was almost a month ago. Two days ago I bought 2 beautiful yellow-head sleeper gobies. They'd been at the LFS for over a week, and since I trust this store and I was in a hurry I broke my cardinal rule of asking to see the fish eat first. These guys went into my 40 gallon tank and began sifting sand immediately, even though the huge royal Gramma was irritated at having to share his tank. I'm mad at myself for not doing my homework first, but I might not have learned as much had I done so. I went to your book (my salt water bible), and found that sleeper gobies indeed sift the sand, but not for algae, but for meat. It dawned on me that my poor banded gobies were short lived because they starved to death! No wonder they're short lived--DUH! So I took some frozen (thawed) brine shrimp plus and bloodworms and mixed them in the sand where the fishes are currently sifting. I don't like this very well, as I'm fighting a nitrate problem (wet/dry system) in the big tank, but it has a large sand star to help clean detritus. The little tank has less good filtration, but I want these gobies to live and prosper. This morning I was thrilled to see the banded goby eating food with the rest of the fish. I feel better about him. I'll continue to do everything I can to get the yellow-heads to accept given food. Thank you for letting me vent. I know you are very busy and my little tirade doesn't need a reply unless you have advice on how to feed this sweet little pair of gobies. Sincerely, Linda Kuehn <Very sorry to hear of your losses... and I urge you to offer live brine and Mysid shrimp to these gobies (in the absence of substantial interstitial fauna) to sustain/fatten them... And to execute regularly (weekly) water changes (about 20%) really helps to maintain water quality with these bottom dwellers. Maybe decussatus should be suggested as hardier, more suitable species of gobies... Do offer the live foods several times a day. Bob Fenner> 

Amblygobius phalaena As ever, thanks for a great service. From reading your site I have learned more in the past month than I did after several years in the hobby. If I can't find what I am looking for, I end up learning much more in the hunt! <Me too... I suspect this is a common "benefit/liablity" of the way the content is arranged... by design> I have an Amblygobius phalaena -- I note that it has numerous "common" names -- and I am worried that he might be losing out at feeding time. <Yes and very common as well> Would the addition of Nori be helpful in his case?  <Mmm, possibly... having photographed this species a few times in the wild, it is associated with environments that have macro-algae and vascular plants in abundance> He shares the tank with a Long-nosed hawk, Fire fish, watchman goby, and blue damsel. He does wonders for the sand but I am not certain that there is enough life for him there. He does manage to get food at the daily feeding but he is a bit shy and only gets the food that is carried to him in the current. I have to admit that he is quickly becoming one of my favorites. <Maybe try some live foods... perhaps Mysid shrimp... consider adding a refugium, a DSB somewhere in the whole arrangement, more live rock... to generate more readily available, palatable food stuffs...> For reference: 58gal Oceanic 50lbs Live sand 70lbs of rock(35 live, 35 dead reef rock) no nitrates, phosphates pH 8.1/8.3 dKH 11 Calcium 400ppm Sealife Systems Pro Series 300 Wet/Dry Plus Skimmer I feed a variety of frozen foods at least once a day. <Do consider the above... live food source augmentation> Thanks for your time. I know that your response will be an invaluable addition to my continuing education. Have a great weekend. Lee <Have a great life/time my friend. Bob Fenner>

Marc's Promised Pix, E. quadricolor f', Hood picture Hi, guys, <whassup> Sometime ago I promised Anthony a picture of my 45G hood with 2 VHOs and a pair of 150W MHs. It is a corner tank setup. So here it is with a few tank shots.  <dude... the hood is built with a nicely open structure, but the tank is crammed into a corner and the side mounted fan is mere inches from the wall. This really could work better (top mounted fan for starters... assuming you don't want to drag the tank further out from the wall... heehee> The anemone is the center piece of the tank with some soft corals as well. The H. crispa is about a foot across, started out as your normal 4 inch LFS fare. Had a rough start with him but eventually nursed him to good health. <the anemone has nice color and fantastic polyp extension...very fine> It was a choice between this fellow and a bright orange BTA. But after what I've been through with the crispa, I couldn't part with it. The BTA on the other hand is extremely hardy. It also has longer tentacles and packs quite a sting. The H. crispa is much better behaved, especially in a small tank. (I had originally had both in a 210G tank.) The crispa does seem to prefer stronger light than the BTAs, though. <in the second photo I think I noticed a Rainford goby... wow, if so we might need to talk. This fish needs a TREMENDOUS amount of food and hair algae to survive (picking crustacea from the algae). Most service on prepared food for 6-12 months and then die. Do consider setting up an inline refugium for him. What a beautiful fish. Lets talk if necessary> I had both in the tank for a short while; wanted to make sure one or the other would survive the move. Both did but the BTA was stinging the crispa. You might be able to see a few crinkled tentacles on the back left. Should heal up in a few days but the BTA had to go to a new home (a local aquarist who is already having good luck keeping anemones.) Anyway, enjoy the pics and thanks for all the advice along the way. Marc <thank you my friend, best regards, Anthony>

Re: Hood picture Rainford goby Hi, Anthony, The tank is six inches from the wall and the back of the hood (which is mostly open anyway) is 4 inches. Seems to stay pretty cool with the fan going.  <fair enough> I don't think I'll be dragging it anywhere ;-) <heehee> On the Rainford, you are correct he is in the tank. Doesn't seem to be any skinnier than when I acquired him about a year ago but he has only been in the new, smaller tank for about 4 weeks. He eats prepared food quite well; think I really need to worry on this guy? <Ahh...yes, my friend. This "challenging" fish like many others is not a problem to feed as legend has it. Most will definitely eat prepared foods... but they simply die of a dietary deficiency without the right kinds of prey. Without a tremendous amount of natural plankton in the tank, I sadly will not be surprised if this specimen goes the way of so many others. Help him and yourself by culturing fresh hatched and Selcon soaked brine shrimp (the only time brine is useful... fresh hatched hours old), feed frozen mysids and Gammarus shrimp... and definitely set up a fishless course media refugium for pod culture. Few aquarists keep this fish through a second year let alone a first. The move to a smaller tank will not help your cause either. Best regards, Anthony> Thanks, Marc

In Search Of An Algae-Gobbling Goby... Hi all, <Scott F. with you today!> I contacted previously about Amblygobius Ranford, and realize that this is not the fish for me. Thanks for the advice and info. I would still like a goby, and I like the look of the Amblygobius gobies. I for article at WWM it was indicated that some species eat algae (http://www.wetwebmedia.com./amblygobius.htm )  . I have a well established 135G tank of 3 years, with a refugium . One of the reasons I am interested is I have heard that they will eat hair and other filamented algae's. (Many will. It does, however, depend on the individual...Some simply like crustacean fare...> I have normal algae growth, but my tangs just won't touch the stuff. <Annoying, I know- but some tangs may not eat all of the types of algae that occur in captive systems> Thanks Bryan <Well, Bryan- I can recommend another Amblygobius species that I have personally kept, and actually have seen eat algae: A. decussatus, the "Orange Striped Goby". Not always an easy on to find at most dealers, but worth seeking, IMO. Try Marine Center or LiveAquaria. They may get these in from time to time. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>

Amblygobius Ranford diet 10/10/03 I am look into getting 1-3 Amblygobius Ranford for my tank. I will well established 135G tank of 3 years. <good... but please be sure to have a mature fishless refugium too inline for plankton production> One of the reasons I am interested is I have heard that they will eat hair and other filamentous algae. Is this true or do they only eat the little guys the live in the algae? <the latter my friend. They comb the turf for microcrustaceans... hence the need for a fishless (and coral-less) zooplankton refugium> I have normal algae growth, but my tangs just won't touch the stuff. <use Diadema urchins instead. Yikes... and the though of a Rainford goby with Yellow tangs or any such bully is frightening. Do pamper this passive fish. No damsels, mean clowns, tangs, etc. Think Firefish goby peaceful type tank> I am also curious if they would be suitable in groups. Finally, I have heard conflicting reports that they always hide or are always out, and I want to know which is most generally true. <both - sort of. This goby has no association with tunnels or bolt holes like many other goby kin. They are also easily intimidated (hence no active community fishes like yellow tangs, etc)> Great looking fish, but before I buy it I want to make sure its what I'm looking for so I can enjoy watching it and it can survive long term in its new home. Thanks, Bryan <this is a very difficult fish to keep. I frankly don't think you have a prayer of succeeding with it in a mixed community fish tank. Perhaps admire it from afar my friend if you cannot set up a species tank for them. Anthony>

Ranford questions 4/27/04 Thanks for the info, Adam. Another question regarding the Rainford. I originally had about 2 inches of sand (not live). When I snail died I did see a lot of tiny worms on it but I have no clue as to how they got there. <The best source of live sand is live rock...  If you have a sand substrate, critters that have hitchhiked on your rock will move to the sand.> Anyway, I decided to add 2 pounds of live sand adding it at about an inch and a half for as much as it would cover. So now he forages mostly on the new sand. Is there any way to tell how 'live' the sand is and how do I know if he is getting enough without waiting till he is malnourished? <Watching for weight loss is about all you can do.> Is there a way to add crustaceans to the sand without having to grow it myself and how often would I need to make the additions? <Allowing the population to grow in a predator free environment (refugium) is the best way.  Also, many aquarists allow their tanks to mature fishless in order to allow all of the crustacean populations to grow to sustainable levels before introducing predators.> Since it is not eating anything other than what it forages what are the chances of my being successful with it in such a small tank? I Know I should have asked this before I bought it but the information I had (from the seller) made it sound like it would eat prepared foods. <As I said, watch for weight loss and try a variety of prepared foods.  If you have some filamentous algae growth, this will help a lot.  Do consider a refugium also, not just for 'pod production, but for all of it's other benefits too!  Best Regards.  Adam.>

Rainford goby looking for a burger 7/1/04 Hi crew, Everyone seems to be complaining about hair algae, I could use some for my Ranford. Is there anything I can give him in its place. <well... its not actually the hair algae that they eat, but rather they sift sand and comb the turf looking for microorganisms. Hence the common (and accurate) recommendation for only keeping these fishes in huge tanks with lush algal turf (dense with critters) and/or mature refugiums> I have not had any since I bought him 3 months ago. I have a 10 gallon (ammonia and nitrites 0, nitrates around 20 and 1 gallon change a week), <ughhh... there is no chance IMO of this fish surviving in a 10 gallon aquarium under any practical circumstance. It is my strong advice that you trade, sell or donate this fish to a larger aquarium with the means to support it. Else is will continue to starve slowly in your tank. Can you get it to eat thawed frozen Mysis shrimp in the interim?> with the Ranford, a Sixline wrasse, a clown goby and PJ cardinal. <I cannot imagine how this fish will/would compete with a six-line wrasse here my friend> The Ranford just sifts sand. Is there any way I can tell if there is still any life left in my live sand? <it simply is not enough sand by volume to support and such feeder> The Sixline eats everything and moves around a lot but they all get along including a peppermint shrimp. The clown and Cardinal are not intimidated by the wrasse even though he usually beats them to the food. They seem to agree that whoever gets it first wins and the other one backs off including the wrasse. <its just a bad mix of fishes from the start <sigh>> The clown used to just peek out and grab food swimming by his hiding place but now he swims (actually scoots) to the top when the food is there. The Ranford has one torn gill fin split in two and tattered, looked like fin rot. <ughhh> It has been like this two weeks and I do not see any improvement nor any problems with any other fins. <do put this fish in an isolation tank (another 10 gallon, bare bottomed with a sponge filter and some cured live rock... then power feed it for the next month or so until we can figure out the next move> I've been using Melafix for a week but it has not improved. <I'm not surprised> Since it is only one fin it is more likely due to injury. Any suggestions? <just separation, mate... get this fish out and hope the six-line doesn't become belligerent as they are prone to be in time> Thanks for your help in the past and for a great site. <best of luck, Anthony>

Rainford goby II 7/6/04 Thanks, too bad I did not know this a few months ago. When I bought it I based it on the info of Dr. Foster which said care is easy and listed foods it would take. <its best to do enough research about species you buy from non-commercial entities to put things in perspective and get an intelligent consensus. The overwhelming majority of hobby literature on this species states that it is categorically a very difficult fish to keep alive> In their defense they did also say a mature 30 gallon set up. For mandarins they say difficult. <yes... good/better to hear> Anyway, until I can find it a home I put in a tank divider, added some new live sand and bought pods that I drop in  with a baster (while the filter is off) plus newly hatched brine shrimp. <outstanding> I am not sure why you do not like my fix of fish. <it is too much for a ten gallon tank my friend... especially a tank so young and unsupported (no refugium, mature DSB, etc)> I spent a number of months experimenting and switching until I got to this setup which looks very peaceful to me. <you have been fortunate with the six-line wrasse so far... this wonderful little fish is extremely territorial and has been regularly known to chase other fishes to death in much bigger tanks> The wrasse is very active but he does not bother any other fish and they have learned to get their share of food despite his quickness. <good to hear... you may have a passive specimen> The cardinal just hovers, the clown goby perches and the Ranford has his head in the sand all day. Is the wrasse competing with the Ranford for pods? <yes> I never see him eat from the sand although he does blow at it once in a while. Besides, he eats so much during feeding time I can not imagine him having room for more. <ahhh... OK. Anthony>

Finicky Ranford Goby... Sorry, I think that my computer just sent my email when I tried to break it up into two paragraphs; here is the second part. <Oops..> The Rainford goby has now been in a 10 gallon quarantine tank for six days and will not eat.  I have tried frozen brine and Mysis shrimp, formula two frozen and flakes, even Angel Formula, and it won't touch anything.  I also put a Tupperware of sand into the quarantine tank to see if it would sift that.  The live rock from the main tank are too big to fit in the quarantine tank.  Is there anything else I can do for the fish?  I was thinking of biting the bullet, dipping it, and adding it into the main tank, which (and back to the lack of foresight in my suggestion) does not yet have a refugium as I am still saving money for a small CPR hang on model.  Please help, and again, thanks for your time. Rob <Well, Rob- I'd be inclined to add some pieces of live rock from your display or another established system into the quarantine tank for him to forage one. In addition, you could purchase some life amphipods from a number of e-tailers (Indo Pacific Sea Farms comes to mind) and feed these live foods to get him going. Don't give up just yet, and try to defer releasing the fish into the display tank until he is finished with the quarantine period. Don't give up! Regards, Scott F.>

Amblygobius semicinctus or phalaena   8/23/06 Hi there WWM crew, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! I'm emailing about a new fish I procured at the LFS, and wanted to find more information about it.  Doing my research through the WWM website, I've found that the "Dragon Goby" they labeled is actually a "Banded Goby", or Amblygobius semicinctus/phalaena (not sure because the pictures between the two look really similar). <Are very similar in appearance, utility> As for now, I know that these hovering gobies eat filamentous algae, but mostly copepods, Mysis shrimp, and other small crustaceans, am I correct? <Yep> I would like to know what to actually feed it, in order to make sure it stays healthy. <Mmm, usually not much of an issue... these gobies readily accept most all foods> So far, it looks like it has done a fine job cleaning the sand-bed.  I just want to make sure it doesn't starve for any reason.  My last diamond goby had territorial issues with an aggressive Kole tang, and starved to death.  This banded goby has actually gotten along quite well with the Kole tang. So, to sum up, I'd like to know what foods I may feed it.  Thanks! Alex <I'd use mostly defrosted/frozen meaty foods of small-enough size, and a baster (plastic) to "blow" these down toward the goby... about the same place, times daily. Bob Fenner>

Ranford goby and Cladophora consumption    5/21/07 One question. Does anyone know for sure if a Ranford goby eats Cladophora prolifera. <Mmm, if so, only very little> I have read they (R. goby) need growing algae to help survive. Is this algae to <too> tuff for the little goby? Thanks All    Bob Carter <Am a bit lost here... If you're hoping to feed this Goby with algae, this would not be the course I would go (I would use other prepared foods for)... And/or if you're hoping for algal control in any degree here, I don't think this will work. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ranford goby and Cladophora    5/21/07 Thank you Bob, I was looking to purchase a Ranford for my nano tank (24 gal.) because of its relatively relatively small size. <I see> Upon my research, several internet articles proclaimed poor results with these fish. <Usually due to their being starved twixt collection to retail and beyond> Unless there was significant algal growth, because of their large consumption of it. <Mmm, no... perhaps folks were referring to the benefits of such for providing (among other things) interstitial fauna for consumption... Amblygobius are not really algae eaters> And many aquarists have had poor success with algae supplementation. My reef tank has zero algae because of the turbo snails, I even supplement the snails with dried Nori. My plan was to purchase a clump of Cladophora prolifera for the R. goby's diet as well as meaty fare of Mysis et al. <Well... the best is having an auxiliary live sump (aka refugium... with purposeful DSB and macroalgae for food production...>     One article compared this goby to an algae blenny in its consumption of algae. <Mmm, no. Fishbase.org unfortunately has no linked resources here for this species, but: http://www.google.com/search?q=amblygobius+diet&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7PCTA The genus really only consumes "some" algae> However I am not familiar with this type of algae but a LFS is selling small clumps of it for refugiums and or tanks. <I like other genera, Divisions, other than the Cladophorales here... Please see WWM re macroalgae use period, its place in refugiums... The indices, search tool...>    Please advise on your experience with this beautiful animal.   With Much Gratitude     Bob Carter <You have read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amblygobius.htm and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>

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