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FAQs on Clown Gobies 1

Related Articles: Genus Gobiodon Gobies,

Related FAQs:  Gobiodons 2, True Gobies Gobies 2Gobiodon Identification, Gobiodon Behavior, Gobiodon Compatibility, Gobiodon Selection, Gobiodon Systems, Gobiodon Feeding, Gobiodon Disease, Gobiodon Reproduction, True Gobies: Goby Identification, Goby Behavior, Goby Selection, Goby Compatibility, Goby Feeding, Goby Systems, Goby Disease, Goby Reproduction, Amblygobius Gobies, Neon GobiesGenus Coryphopterus Gobies, Mudskippers, Shrimp Gobies, Sifter Gobies

Gobiodon okinawae

Stocking 35 gallon, Gobiodon  - 1/30/2006 Hello I would not usually trouble you with a question as I use the search and know that if you look most have been answered before but.. I have a 35 gallon tank that is 6 months old and have 1 tibicen angel <This tank size/shape is too small for this fish> 1 tomato clown (small) and a BTA 6 inch diameter 1 watchman goby and Alpheus shrimp 1 green clown goby 2 cleaner shrimp 2 camel shrimp A Fromia star 10 snails assorted Star polyps Brain coral Leather coral (soon to be donated to my friend) Some mushrooms and Ricordea 20 kg of LR 150 watts of 50/50 pc lighting A prism skimmer that works!!! <Heee!> Amm 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 3ppm Calc 500 <Too high...> Ph 8.3 Alk high on Red sea test kit Can I get 1 more Gobiodon rivulatus to make a pair or am I too heavily stocked? <I would not place two Gobiodons in this system or one of less than two-three times this size, surface area. Bob Fenner> I am very diligent in my testing and checks and change 10% water a week with I.O. salt mix

One More Fish? - 11/27/05 Hi, We have a 23gal saltwater tank. We wanted to know if we can get one green clown goby? In our tank we have live rock, 1 trumpet coral, 1 firefish, 1 clown fish, 3 green Chromis, 1 dwarf angel, 1 neon goby, and 1 cleaner shrimp. So we just wanted to know if we can get the clown goby. And the tank is doing very well. Keith <<I wouldn't add the goby, you're already "full-up". EricR>>  Clown Goby Pairs - 10/02/05 Hi guys, We have a 180g reef.  Current inhabitants = mated false perculas, mated watchman gobies (with pistol)<<neat!>>, 1 six-line wrasse, 1 common firefish.  Future stocking plan = above, plus clown gobies, bicolor blenny, royal Gramma and maybe a tang or a reef-safe butterfly.  Our next purchase is the clown gobies.  My question is how many is doable...?  Ideally, we'd like to get two yellow clowns, two citrons, and two greens.  Is this permissible? <<I would say so, yes.>> Or should we cut it back to 4? <<Six of these little guys should be fine.>> Just wanted some input.  Oh, and would it be preferable to introduce them all at once, or two by two? <<I would do "all at once.">> Thanks again for your help & great site! John <<A word of caution John... I have heard others tell, as well as witnessed first-hand, clown gobies nipping at/irritating Acropora corals to the point they don't express their polyps and eventually decline.  I've also seen bicolor blennies nip/eat on soft corals such as colt coral (yuck!).  I don't know what you have in your tank, and this doesn't mean you'll experience the same, just be sure to keep an eye on things if you add these critters <G>.  Regards, EricR>> Encountered a "new" clown goby in the LFS (for Mr. Fenner)  9/19.5/05 This is in reference to the "five-lined coral goby" Gobiodon quinquestrigatus.  He's not mentioned on your web site.  I saw this beautiful guy hiding with the other clown gobies in the LFS.  He's now happily living with green and yellow clown gobies in my nano. Most of the people who worked at the LFS were as surprised to see him as I was!  General reaction (mine too) was "they come in orange?" http://www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=22462 Apparently (from the posted photos) these guys, like their citron cousins, come in a range of colors.  Mine varies from orange to pink to purple-ish depending on light and mood.  Just lovely.  You may want to make reference to them on your Gobiodon page, especially if they are being collected more frequently. Thanks for all of the wonderful info!  You've spared me much head-and heart-ache (and probably saved many fish-lives). <Thank you Dan.  James (Salty Dog)> Dan <<Thank you for this Dan. Bob Fenner, back from MACNA... and trying to catch up>>

Clown goby/feather duster 8/25/05 Hi all- I love your site.  I apologize in advance for the size of this photo, but I have no idea how to resize. <Mmm, a few ways... try right-clicking on/over it... opening it in a few of your programs... (re)saving, sizing... as a jpg, bmp> I have often had questions for you but typically I can find the answers somewhere on WWM.  Thank you so much helping me with all of my fish research.  Anyway... I have a yellow clown goby and a feather duster which have become the best of friends, and I thought you might find the picture amusing.  They were introduced around the same time and have had a great relationship since then.  Do you know if this is common?  Thanks and have a great day. Katy <Is not uncommon for Gobiodon's to pretty much perch wherever they'd like... neat that the worm has unlearned to respond by closing. Bob Fenner>

Gobiodon okinawae... How To Catch? - 08/25/05 Hi again, <<Hello Luis>> I would remove if possible.  Any idea how to catch it in a 60 gallon aquarium full of corals and rock?  Goodbye acros.....sniff <<I don't think traps are/would be as effective with these little guys but you can go that route if you have access to one.  I caught five of the little devils out of a 375g Acro tank using a version of a "slurp" gun...It won't be easy, but it can be done.  I rigged rigid tubing to one end of a ball-valve, flexible tubing to the other end (long enough to reach the sump and provide some mobility to move along the length of the tank), and attached a filter sock to the end of the flex tubing to trap the fish.  I started a siphon in the tubing and shut the valve...I then began my stalk...in about an hour I had all five safely bagged (unharmed) and ready for transport to the LFS.  The "gun" works surprisingly well.  The more drop you have going to the sump (i.e. - more suction) the better it works.  What you have to do is creep up on the fish, getting as close as possible with the end of the rigid tubing, and then crank the valve open letting the suction pull in the fish.  If the fish dashes in to the rocks, just go in after it with the tubing...though I found stealth and patience to work best.  I used 1" diameter tubing and valve (more flow), but I believe 3/4" would do a good job as well.>> Best regards Luis Lopes
<<Good luck, EricR>>

Yellow clown goby with bacterial lesion?...tumor?... 8/24/05 Dear WWMedia, I've included a picture of my yellow clown goby which has had this lesion/tumor for the last 2-3 weeks. <I see it> Can you tell me what might have caused this?  Fish is eating well and other tankmates show no signs of disease. Tankmates include a green clown goby, shrimp goby, cleaner goby, tang, copperband, mandarin, and clowns. <Perhaps this is just resultant from a physical trauma... but could be genetic, developmental... "only time and experience" can/will tell. Bob Fenner>

Gobiodon okinawae Eating SPS Polyps - 08/22/05 Hi, <<Hello>> Last week bought a okinawae to put in my 60 gallon aquarium. <<Fascinating little fish...but can be devils...>> In the first 2 days he would not eat any brine shrimp or Mysis and I thought he was just scared and in a few more days would start eating.  In the third day I noticed him biting the Acroporas and eating all the frozen foods. <<Have experienced this myself.>> I know that each fish has his own personality, but I wonder if it will ever stop eating the polyps. <<Likely not before the decline of the coral(s) due to the constant irritation/predation.>> And what about the Acroporas?  Any reason for me to be worried? <<In my opinion, yes.  These fish are found naturally in the wild among these corals, but this behavior in the confines of an aquarium can/usually is lethal for the coral.  I would suggest you remove the fish if you wish to keep the Acroporas.>> Thanks in advance Luis Lopes <<Regards, EricR>>

Panda Clown Goby? 7/26/05 Hey crew! <Hey, Mike G with you this afternoon.> How's everything this fine Saturday evening? Me and my wet friends are doing great. <Good to hear.> Anyway, on to the question: I found this goby (Paragobius lacunicolus) at Live Aquaria. They state it as a clown goby though I'm not so sure it is. They list it as a difficult specimen, though most clown gobies seem hardy. They don't list why it is supposedly difficult and I can't find any information on WWM or fishbase.org. Has anyone there had any experience with this fish or know it's true identity? Thanks for the help with this peculiar fish. http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=2230 <Well, LiveAquaria lists the creature as a Paragobius species, whereas the Clown Gobies we know of are Gobiodon species. So, it is not technically a Clown Goby, just a fish that looks like one.> As always, thanks for any help, <No problem, Mike G> Nick

Re: Panda Clown Goby? 7/27/05 Yeah, I thought that clown gobies were only from Gobiodon. <Technically.> So, it isn't really a clown goby, but is there anywhere I can find out about this guy? <I searched around for you, but came up blank so far.> It's the first time I can't find anything on fishbase or WWM. <Ditto.> I don't want to get a fish that is considered difficult that almost no one has any experience with. <Why not be the one to first keep and share their experiences with it?> That seems to be an exercise in futility. <No, just inconvenience.> Thanks, Nick <Mike G>

Clown Goby question 7/7/05 I just purchased a green clown goby and added him to my tank.  He hid under a rock right away and now I can't find him, he's not under the rock any longer. <Might still be there... perhaps died and dissolved... jumped out...> The other fish in my tank are 3 damsels, 2 clowns, and a mandarin dragonet.  Is it possible for him to be burrowed in the sand? <Mmm, no... not burrowers> How long can he burrow?  Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jennifer <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobiodon.htm and the linked files at top where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner> Panda coral goby Hello, I am interested in a Panda coral goby but I have found no info on how to care for them. <Never heard of this common name... nor has Fishbase.org... is this a Gobiodon species? I would like to know what they eat? What do they use as shelter? How hard are they to keep? What kinds of special needs do they have? And any other info you can think of that can help me make a decision about whether I should try to keep one or not. Thanks for your help. Chris Shaw <Chris... see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobiodon.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>   

Yellow clown goby with hole in his head Crew, <HI!!!> This is the first time I've written to you, but I've found answers to many of my questions on your site in the past. Thank you! <No problem - it helps us all :)> Tonight we noticed that our yellow clown goby has a sore/hole on his head between his eyes and his fins look ragged. He didn't want to eat anything tonight, but he appears to be moving and swimming normally (which is to say not much). He does not appear to be breathing heavily. He has been living for about a year in a six gallon tank with two peppermint shrimp, crabs, snails, some mushrooms, a little xenia and his favorite hangout, a Sinularia (I think). Water parameters have always been fine except we've had trouble keeping the pH much above 8. <Try more aeration\protein skimmer\more airflow in the room\dripping Kalkwasser> He eats mostly flake and pellet food, and I'll admit that I don't feed him frozen food nearly as often as I'd like to. When I saw him I was reminded of the 'hole in the head' that I have seen mentioned, but that doesn't seem to be typical for a goby. I have attached two somewhat blurry photos of him. I would be very grateful if you could help me identify/treat his condition. <Looks like some sort of infected injury or lesion, most likely bacterial and not the HLLE that you see in tangs and such. Try quarantining (even a bucket with an airstone and a heater would work, with daily or bi-daily water changes or some Amquel usage) and treating with a broad spectrum anti-biotic, such as Furan-2, (make sure to run the treatment in its entirety!) and see if you notice an improvement in a few days. I would also try soaking his foods in Selcon, or another vitamin\HUFA rich supplement. Good luck!>  Thanks,
<You're welcome>
<M. Maddox>


- Citron Goby Losing Color - I can't find an answer on your site, or anywhere else on the web. I have a yellow clown goby in a 20 gallon hex. Parameters are near perfect (nitrites-0,nitrates-10-15, ammonia-0, ph 8.2, temp 76, salinity 1.024). I run a magnum 350 at 100gph through a 9w U.V sterilizer. I'm feeding him frozen vitamin filled Mysis. He's in the tank with 2 seahorses, a green clown goby, 2 peppermint shrimp, and a cleaner crew of hermit crabs and snails. He seems to get along quite well with everyone and is eating well, so I don't understand why he would lose his color. Its happened over the past week.  I've got a net in the tank now to try to catch him unaware, to get him to a qt tank, but he's very swift. Your help is greatly appreciated. <Think it could be a couple of things... 20 gallons is a small marine tank and as a result subject to pretty strong swings in any one of many directions; evaporation, overfeeding, water changes all will make changes to the water chemistry that the animals within will feel. If I could encourage you to do anything, it would be to at least double the size of this tank, if for no other reason that to stabilize the environment. Also, do try to sneak some other foods in there... I realize the seahorses will mostly eat Mysis, but the fish need a more balanced diet. Imagine eating your favorite food three times a day for the rest of your life... how long before you lose your color?> Jonah
<Cheers, J -- >



- Citron Goby Losing Color, Follow-up - Thanks! what would you suggest as variety for the goby? <I suggest perhaps some Formula One or Pygmy Angel Formula. Also the New Life Spectrum pellets are very good. Cheers, J -- >

Yellow Clown Goby with "parasites" This is my second go round buying yellow clown gobies in which they develop small yellow ?parasites. These bumps resemble flaps or tissue like people that have skin tags. <Ah yes... you are likely correct here... parasitic copepods likely> It's very strange. I had fresh water tanks for years and in October '04 finally leapt into the marine world. With freshwater fish I've dealt with injuries, fungus, infections, ich, anchor worms, flukes and some other odd parasites (particularly on goldfish and Koi).  I have a 40 gallon System II by SeaClear (with the bioballs removed), have 2 powerheads and a protein skimmer. My temp. runs 78-79 degrees. I was keeping salinity at 1.0024-25 and have lowered it to 1.0023 for the last couple weeks (in case I'm not keeping as close tabs on it). I have 2 1/2 - 3" live sand and 50 pounds of live rock. I cycled it for a month with nitrates never going beyond 40 ppm. For the last month they've remained stabile at 20 ppm. <Okay> These parasites look like none I've ever seen. Are they possibly endemic to yellow gobies? <Possibly. Have you seen this pic: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobyfaqs2.htm  hard to make out... but the "black sticks" are copepod parasites on a goby in the wild> I have not seen these bumps on the green, black or red gobies in the store but have seem them on the yellow clown gobies at the store sometimes. The fleshy looking tags are yellow (not clear or white) there are at least a dozen on each side of the fish on the body, all fins and gill cover. Some lay flat some stick out like flaps or tags.  <Do send along a pic if you can> First the history, in December I bought 2 yellow clown gobies and (I was a bad girl) I introduced them without any dip or quarantine. I don't have Acro coral and didn't even know they liked it. They ate Mysis shrimp very well, were very active and after a few days developed "bumps" but were still acting happy. I rushed off to the pet store to buy a couple cleaner species. I released my neon goby and cleaner shrimp and by the next morning the neon goby and both yellow gobies were gone!  Cecil our red serpent star looked guilty (he'd previously dismantled another serpent star and was the quickest to the food every time I fed) so I've got rid of him thinking they might have either been killed in their sleep (or he just ate all the remains once they died). <Not likely... "the" green serpent star can be trouble in this regard, but not other (known) species... unless the Gobiodon were very weakened... These little gobies are quite quick, aware in good health> I adjusted a few parameters slightly. I lowered salinity to 1.0023, temp to 78 instead of 80, bought a few Acro frags, read more, and started over. Jan 21, I bought 2 more yellow gobies, used a 6 minute freshwater dip with Methylene Blue released the gobies (yes again no quarantine tank, my husband's remodeling the bathroom I'm putting the quarantine tank in!). They liked the Acro, <Yes, this genus of goby/coral are almost always found in intimate association in the wild> one disappeared after 48 hours and the other one developed these bumps. We no longer have any predators. The current tankmates are a firefish and scooter dragonet (first two fish I bought in November), a six line wrasse and 3 Banggai cardinals (all eating well), a pistol shrimp, <Mmm... this might be a/the culprit> 2 cleaner shrimp, hermits, snails, 2 sandsifter stars, and a wild caught percula clown (he's another story). I've had large feather dusters and several assorted soft coral frags mainly zoas and mushrooms (If they thrive, a frag will be enough to get it started and if they don't I wont have a $60++ specimen fouling the tank). <These two could consume the gobies as well>   The cleaner shrimp don't seem to be helping him any. All the parameters are reading good should I wait longer or put him in the hospital tank. What would I treat with? <Mmm, "Marine Clout" or other medicine containing organophosphate (yes, bug killer)... DTHP, Neguvon, Masoten, Dylox... this economic poison mal-affects terrestrial insects and (closely related physiologically, teleologically) crustaceans... of the latter which I believe the bumps are indicative> Are they sensitive to copper since they hang out with Acro (is Acro sensitive to copper like other inverts)? <Are copper sensitive... maybe an 8 out of ten on some scale of such> Short note on the clown. Jan 1, I bought a tank raised ocellaris "Swimmy" (I refused my 5 year olds other choice of Nemo)... <I will leave the wisdom of this choice up to you... not what I would have done however> ...a few mornings when the lights came on he showed ich spots. The shrimp picked him clean within the first 15 minutes. Jan 21 he was dead, not sure why. <Mmm, unusual... your source/retailer has a defective program for preventing cross-contamination (please show them this, or make known the comment)... their systems (likely on a centralized filter) and net, specimen container dips... should exclude the vectoring of such a parasite... Tank-bred fishes are by design, remarkably disease free... from their producers.> He ate algae based flake, frozen Mysis, and brine shrimp and was very active. My husband was so sad about Swimmy he stopped by a local store yesterday and had to buy a clown because it was 1/2 the price I paid! ("Swimmy 2" is a wild caught percula) Yesterday, I used a 6 minute freshwater dip with Methylene blue and bought a bubble tip anemone for Swimmy 2 just in case he adapted to it. Swimmy 2 is wild caught percula woke up with white spots this morning which were taken care of by the shrimp. So far he hasn't given the anemone a look. They tried to sell me a carpet anemone but I read their much harder to keep... <Yes> ...and need to spread out on the sandy substrate, I have more rock less substrate surface.  Any advice at all is appreciated. <Mmm, I do wish we could go back to the bathroom remodel... have you had a quarantine tank, procedure in place, not have had your system become infested (it is)... now a balance of variables must be diligently monitored, kept to prevent hyper-infective states> I've read a lot, took the salt water aquarium class at Orange Coast College a few years ago but was very happy to find this website this morning! Seeing Robert Fenner and Anthony Calfo's name on this website was to me like seeing a celebrity.  Thanks much, Cindy <Heee!> P.S. I bought 3 Banggai previously that did not eat. These current 3 were in the store and the whole group was tracking on people as they walked by. To me this means they're used to being fed (they react the same way my freshwater angel does). So far they were a good choice, and I didn't let my daughter name them Stripey!. <Good observations, descriptions... I would/do encourage you to indulge your little one... and retain these elements of "childishness" in yourself as well... A valued life lesson from one who recognizes such in himself. Bob Fenner> 

Not researching your citron goby before purchase - 1/19/05 Thanks, I know I should have researched first, but couldn't resist him! <Actually, believe it or not, these are sometimes hard to get in good condition at times. They can sometimes be a bit rare. I understand seeing it and wanting it. Be careful though. Enjoy you clown goby. Do read and research before purchasing the future to save your livestock and you some money and effort. Thanks for being part of it all!! ~Paul>

Citron goby care  - 1/18/05 Hi guys. Craig here from NZ. <Hey Craig> I have just obtained a cute little Yellow clown goby and he seems fine hiding in a cave. <Not abnormal> I think he is being careful as I have other fish in my small reef system. <Well, depending on the fish he might have reason to hide, eh? Do posses a noxious body slime so likely will be fine in time> At this stage I have no Acro's and am wondering if this will prove to be a problem. <Well, shouldn't be a problem but a more natural environment is always a good idea.> Are they hardy and easily fed? <Uh oh, Craig. You purchased an animal without researching it first? Shame. Well, these guys have spunk! please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobiodon.htm> When do they usually feed? <they tend to feed throughout the day. with no particular feeding time> I have fed him flaked Spirulina through a syringe but he didn't seem interested. <Not likely going to eat Spirulina. I would try a food source made for omnivorous feeders and or frozen or live Mysid shrimp. Cyclops-eeze is also something to try. Mix it in saltwater and use a baster to slowly add the food.> What do you think? <I really like these fish and can be hardy with a stress free environment (read....fish that won't harass them to death) quality marine foods, and good water quality. Hey, that is pretty much what all aquarium specimens need. Go figure! Teehee! =) Thanks for being part of it all and such a good sport! ~Paul> Cheers Craig

Cleaner Gobys need not apply! - 8/11/04 Hi, Frank here again. <Hey Frank! Paul here in Utah this week> I was thinking of getting one more fish that stays small. <Ok> What's your take on a cleaner/neon goby. <No thanks. These fish rarely do very well long term in an aquarium setting in my experience. Some people do have luck with them but I find them to starve over time as they rarely find enough from cleanings and don't take to frozen foods too well. If you were to try one you could try fresh live baby brine (Artemia or live rotifers)>  Will he get along with my 6-line wrasse, percula clown, and most importantly my bicolor blenny. <Not likely.>  I know some blennies chase gobies and the cleaner goby is the same shape and style of fish almost (long and skinny). <Very true. This has been reported to me as an issue> Will the cleaner goby's cleaning ability make him recognized and safe by my other fish and the bicolor blenny, or is he doomed. <Likely doomed>  Would a blenny nip cause the goby to hide and keep his distance or are they wimps, would the goby just take abuse and eventually die? <Depends on the personality of the goby. I would say that there is a chance it never even tries to clean any of your fish and just starve to death.>  My tank is 25 gal, 30x12x14 inches. I know all fish are territorial to some extent, but stocking capacity aside, would the cleaner goby be ok and would any niche that he might have be able to co-exist with the others. <Not likely, in my experience. I would try a Citron Goby or sometimes referred to as the clown goby. More of a bottom dweller. The Gobiodon atrangulatus grows up to 1.5 inches. The small size will come to you generally 1 to 1? inches; the medium generally 1? to 2? inches; the large generally 2? to 4 inches. The Clown Goby, Green prefers a tank of at least 20 gallons with plenty of places to hide & swim. The Gobiodon atrangulatus is a carnivore and likes to eat brine & Mysid shrimp and other meaty treats. The Clown Goby is a low maintenance fish and may act peacefully toward other fish. Able to breed. Reef-safe. Seems to get chased a lot by the Pseudochromis. Keep the water quality high (SG 1.020 - 1.025, pH 8.1 - 8.4, Temp. 72 - 78? F). Good luck to you! ~Paul> Thank you now and for all the past advice, Frank

Just one more....How about a Clown Goby (8/8/04) Hi, Frank here again.  <Leslie here this time> This is related to one of my previous questions.  According to previously read advice read, all over this amazing web site I would have to say you would condone a 25 gal tank with one small perc clown, small 6-line wrasse and a bicolor blenny.  My question is if I really had to add one more fish, could I possibly add a tiny clown goby because I read they can max out a 1.5 inches.   <Had to eh?  You would not be twisting your own arm now would you? Those are all pretty small fish, so  I suppose if you absolutely had to add just one more fish you could but the little goby is not the best choice. Bicolor blennies are known for picking on gobies and firefish. > Can you tell me how this would affect bi-load, living and feeding niche as compared to my current fish, and are they jumpers like those long skinny gobies, and are they pod eaters or do they accept the usual food like flakes and brine and Mysis? < Here is some info on the Clown Gobies....... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobiodon.htm I don't think it would have a huge impact on your bioload. They are reported in the literature as fairly easy to keep and quite charming. I personally have found them difficult to feed and have had poor luck with them.  I would not recommend them. The literature says they will accept meaty foods and can be fed once a day in a tank with live substrate, more often without. They are not dependent on pods as are many other fish. I do not think they are jumpers but your bicolor blenny is certainly capable so you should have a covered tank. If you have to have an additional fish a better option would an Assessor  There are 2 species commonly seen in the aquarium trade one yellow and one blue. They are very interesting and hardy little fish. ...here is a link to an excellent article http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-04/hcs3/index.htm> Thank you very much?  I'll be back, lol. Frank Your welcome and we will look forward to it, Leslie.

Clown Gobies Dear WW Media, <Hi Laurie, MacL here with you tonight> Recently I purchased a green clown goby and a yellow goby for my 150 gallon tank and have had both fish in quarantine for the last 2 weeks.  The yellow is eating well and will accept baby live brine (enriched with Selcon), Cyclop-eeze, Sweetwater zooplankton, and tiny pieces of frozen formula one. It is hard to tell, but I think the green goby is only eating the baby brine. <Not good unless the baby brine has been supplemented with Zo?or Selcon or something similar. Brine shrimp alone doesn't have much nutrition.> Its abdomen is sunken (it arrived that way) and I am concerned that it might not be getting enough to eat. <It might also possibly have some type of intestinal worm or even possibly cyanide. I hope not but its always important to pick a fish that is healthy looking at the store. Sorry didn't mean to sound like I was preaching.>  Theoretically, will the baby brine be enough to help it gain back some weight?...Or, is there another food you would suggest trying? <I'd try to get some pods or at least soak the baby brine with some Zo?or Selcon or some other type of vitamin supplement.>  I have read that copepods are a big part of this fish's natural diet---aside from spending a large fortune to ship in some ocean plankton is there any other good copepod substitutes? <You can get copepods in various places. Many stores online sell them and you can find Mysis most places. Your local pet store might be cultivating them. I know people who put pieces of PVC in their tank for the pods to breed. Then they close off both side pull it out of the tank and use it to seed other peoples tanks.> Originally when I set up my Q-tank I added a small live rock from the main tank to help establish the bacterial bed. Along with the rock came a few Mysis(?) shrimp that resided in the main tank. <Great copepods!>  These seem to be the perfect size (2xs the size of new hatched brine) for the goby's little mouth but I haven't notice it eat any. I did try live brine adults but these were too big--- neither goby attempted to eat them. The last few days I have tried adding the baby brine three times a day (without fouling the Q-tank) to give the goby a longer foraging time since after a few hours the numbers of brine floating about decreases. To complicate matters I have noticed a few patches of its skin that seem bleached/discolored and possibly a white spot or two today.  It still is eating though. <This doesn't sound good. It might be ich, the vitamins should help this as well.> Unfortunately, I moved the yellow goby to the main tank a day ago in hopes to reduce competition for food. The yellow goby has no spots, looks very healthy, and it is eating ok in its new environment. Assuming that these fish are pretty resistant to ich could I possibly have infected my main tank? <Possibly but you might not have as well if its showing no signs of infection. Its always best to do a full quarantine but I do understand your thinking on this.> After watching the behaviors of both fish I would recommend to anyone interested in clown gobies to pick the yellow species over the green since they seem hardier, more outgoing, and are more likely to move about in the open. I have a 2 year old mandarin in the main tank which eats baby brine etc. and despite what the books say it seems much hardier than clown gobies. <I'm betting your mandarin is also eating Mysis and other pods in your rocks. Good luck, MacL> Thank you, Laurie

Clown goby question Hi!<Hi! MikeD here>  I'm inquiring about possibly getting a clown goby for my tank.  I have a 55 gallon tank that is recently set up (we've had it for about 8 weeks or so).  It has 4-5 inch deep live sand bed.  approximately 30 pounds of live rock.  We have a refugium w/ith some live sand, live rock, and macroalgae and tons of "bugs" crawling around in there.  So far we have added 1 sand sifting star, 2 Nassarius snails, 1 royal Gramma, 3 blue/green Chromis and 1 cleaner shrimp.  All seem to be going very very well.  We haven't had any losses -- we added this live stock slowly after the tank cycled with the LR/LS.    We were thinking of adding one more fish to complete the tank.  We like the clown goby<Nice little fish, and very under-rated for quiet tanks> --  either citrinus or atrangulatus.  We do not have coral, but plenty of little hidey holes in the live rock -- do you think that would be ok for a clown goby, or do they really need coral to hide in?<In my estimation, they should do just fine as it sounds like a perfect set up for them>  Also, I'm kind of confused, we were going to order them online because we can't find them in our local LFS and really aren't happy with their fish quality anyway, but the site says that they will fight with their own species and recommends one per tank; however, your website's article on clown gobies indicates that they will pair off and getting them in pairs can be a good thing.<The trouble can be in getting a true pair, that is, one male and one female, as they appear the same>  I really really want to do what is best for the fish, so I'm writing to get your opinion on this before we actually make any purchase.  In your experience, would a clown goby work with the other fish I have, and would it be best to get 1or 2?<One would definitely work very well, while with two there's always the chance of conflict, in this case literally 50/50. I would think there's enough room for one to get away from the other in a 55 gal. tank, while this probably would be less true in a smaller tank. With clowns, you have the added advantage of their not being an overly active fish, increasing the odds of success. There are no absolute guarantees, but I suspect you'd be just fine.> Thanks so much for any advice!!!<Hope this helps> Amy

New Yellow Clown Goby Hi again !<Hi Back...MikeD here> Thanks so much for your sound advice! I currently have a nano marine set-up, 10 gal, 10 lbs live rock, 3 inch sandbed, which is currently housing 3 small false Clownfishes. After a month's quarantine and a fallow tank, my tank and fishes are now ich free, which I owe it all to you guys!<Glad it worked!> The fishes are in its 10th day in the display tank, ich free and eating, which I hope would continue to stay that way. I have plans to upgrade to a 50 gal. tank as I've seen them very active and 10 gal. won't do them justice.<You'll probably be much happier. Often larger tanks are actually easier and ALWAYS more forgiving if you err a little.> Yesterday I went to the LFS and saw this less than 1 inch yellow clown goby. Out of pity I purchased him because he was really banged up.<Been three all too often.> He had beaten fins and some injury on his body, but no severe bleeding or red spots. He's now in the QT and I am nursing him to health. I've read the FAQs on them and found little information on how and what to feed him. I've given him small pieces of squid, prawn, Tetra sinking morsels and Tetra flake food but still he wouldn't eat. Is it because he is still recovering from his injury and shipping?<Possibly. I'd suggest using a good antibiotic if there's body damage, and even for the fins. Even with healthy Clown gobies it's often best to start them out with live brine shrimp to get them started, and with an injured one, may be it's only chance> I'm observing him and sometimes he'd "stand-up", sometimes at the corner hiding. I've also observed that he'd really stand still, and I thought he was dead because there was little movement, event mouth and gill movements were really at a minimum. Is he relaxing or something ? Would he accept the food I'm giving if he has adjusted to the QT ?<Likely not. Again, live brine if possible> I may put some Methylene blue<NO!!!! Many gobies are scaleless or nearly so to the point that die based medications can be fatal!> on the QT to help him in healing 3 days from now, I'll just give him time to adjust.<My suggestion would be Maracyn (brand name for Erythromycin) an antibiotic that I've used for over 30 years>  I hope he gets better.<me too> Hope you could advise on what food and how to take care of him.<I hope the info helps, but if he doesn't make it, keep in mind they are delicate little guys to begin with, more so if injured, so you took on an uphill battle, very commendable in my book, so it's not your fault> Thanks!<Good Luck and You're very welcome>

 Re: New Yellow Clown Goby Hi MikeD ! <Hi back, MikeD again> Thanks for the advice! It's really good to ask the experts first before doing anything.<Whoa...no expert here, just an old guy that's been doing this a long time **grin**> Well, he's still not eating. And last night I put some light on to check his condition. He has a little frayed top fin, but what concerns more was that he was injured, but he has lots of 'warts' like things protruding in his body and fins. I am unable to get a clear ID on what he has, its either Lymphocystis or Marine Ich, or both. I know what ich looks like because of my clowns =) .. but I am not sure about the actual appearance of Lymphocystis, all I know is that it looks like big ich (cotton like) and the bump comes from within the body, and it also manifests on fins. Its a little bigger and more protruding than ich, and he doesn't have rapid breathing.<That's a good sign> Is it okay if I lower the salinity a bit?< A "bit" probably won't do any good, and I believe clown gobies are a tad more delicate than many of their tough little cousins> I am doing daily water changes to assist his healing. I read the FAQs and there is no cure for Lymphocystis except for good water and environment.<I'd continue with what you're doing until you can be sure (a good magnifying glass might help) as the wrong treatment can often be worse than the disease!> Thanks again !<You're very welcome. Continued good luck> Romel -Yellow clown goby adopting anemone!- Dear all, I bought a Yellow Clown Goby and it kept swimming and playing with my Anemone H. Crispa??? Is this normal behaviour or is the anemone "eating" my Goby or vice versa??? It nips on the anemone and doesn't appeared to be stuck on the anemone.... I pity my Clarkii Clown caused the anemone was its home till it was "chased away" by the mini goby... <I was not aware of any such behavior from yellow clown gobies, but after reading this I stumbled upon this thread on reefs.org: http://reefs.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=34400 Apparently these guys will associate with other organisms besides Acropora and other SPS corals. Go figure. You can rest assured that the anemone is not eating your goby, if it did the goby would simply be sucked inside. Keep an eye out for damage on the anemone just to be safe, but I think you're in for a not so common treat! -Kevin> Cheers! Caleb

Goby Quarantine Period Bob: I was at a seminar that you gave in Brooklyn, NY on May 9, 2003. I came across some notes I took from that day, and it seems that you said Gobies do not need a standard quarantine period. I wrote down "a few days". I wanted some clarification, since I just purchased a 1" Yellow Clown Goby (Gobiodon okinawae) and it is currently in my quarantine tank. Thanks, Rich (*bursting* with anticipation on RI). <Thank you for writing. I do stand by the general statement re a foreshortened quarantine period for most (small) gobies and blennies... for what quarantine is worth, any more than a few days presents a "bad trade-off" with loss of weight, overall health> Ps: Did you cut your hair yet? Every time I forget what you look like, I think of Sam Kinison, sans hat! ;) <Ha! Did have some trimmed off, but am adamant to keep my neck warm... and besides, Sam.K is dead! Bob Fenner>

A mated pair of green clown goby? 3/24/03 Hi, recently I have bought a ~7" table Acro and come with it there are 2 green clown gobies (ha-ha.. that is the main reason why I bought it!). One of them is ~1.5" and the other one is ~2". Is there any chance that they can become a mated pair? <they are almost certainly already mated... occurring this way commonly> And for green clown goby, is there any way to tell male vs. female? <yep... the one that talks less is the male> And who tend to be bigger? <that depends on your perspective...heehee. Ahhh... can be either, but usually female> And the most worrying thing is that for the past 2 days, did not manage to get them to start eating yet. <they do need very fine foods> At the mean time I have been feeding live BBs and rotifers. <excellent> Hope they won't starve to death. Any suggestion who to get them to come out and eat <yep... a couple hits off a bong. Err... I mean, in due time. The live plankton you are offering is temptation enough> (they only move around within the Acro and only see one of them come out once at night)? Thanks in advance and have a good day.. Best regards, Edwin <and kind regards to you too my friend. Anthony>

Clown/Goby Feeding and Majano questions Greetings! Three days ago, I added my first fish tenants to their new 30g home after five long weeks of cycling.  The True Percula and Citron Goby appear to be doing well, although the goby has adopted the upper heater suction cup as its perch, causing my wife to question the wisdom of my fish choice.  The only anomalous reading thus far was a brief ammonia spike of 0.2 after 24 hours, which was remedied by a 3g water change. I was unable to get either fish to eat flakes or pellets, and they let the Formula 1 frozen food sink to the bottom.  The LFS has brine shrimp, but I now know they are bereft of nutrition.  I did, however, seem to hit pay dirt with Sweetwater Zooplankton.  Both fish have nibbled at this (and my peppermint shrimp happily eat the rest).  My question is this:  is zooplankton a sufficient nutrient source for these fish?  I would still like to try Mysis shrimp, but have not yet purchased them.  I am more concerned about the goby, since I have seen it attempt to eat much less than the clown.  <  The plankton alone will not be sufficient although it is a very good food.  Try to give them a varied diet with as many different foods as possible.  They should take flakes after awhile but just be patient.> Next question: I have a Majano problem that is primarily located on one piece of LR (about 2-3 pounds out of about 30 pounds total).  In addition to the Majano, I have noticed some tiny Aiptasia growing, as well. Unfortunately, my shrimp are altogether uninterested in helping me with the Aiptasia.  Would it be feasible to pull the piece of rock, nuke the small polyp Majano and Aiptasia with the hot Kalk mixture, rinse with my heated/aerated change water, and return to the tank?  Any idea how long it would take for those suckers to drop off?  Would the ensuing die-off be too great a bioload for my new inhabitants?  Should I just chuck the piece of rock in question?  There are about 3-4 of each type of pest located elsewhere in the tank, but at least 30 Majano on this rock and about a dozen Aiptasia.  <Make sure your shrimp are actual peppermints and not camels which are peppermint look-alikes.  If these are peppermints they should eat the Aiptasia in time.  You can find everything you need to know in the Majano here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/otherpstanemfaqs.htm Best regards, Cody.> Thank you again for all your assistance thus far. JPM

Fang Blennies, Gobiosoma, Gobiodon Will M. grammistes and M. atrodorsalis get along in the same tank?  Do these fish do as well alone as in a group? <Alone. Not a good idea to mix any species, specimens of the Nemophini. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sabertoothblens.htm> Also, I was contemplating a Cortez Red Head Goby.  If I can't afford to get more than one, should I wait?  Would two be enough?  I'm not interested in breeding them, just interested in their general health. <This fish is fine singly or in its species company> Last, I heard the Green Clown Goby occasionally picks on SPS corals from Scott Michael's book.  Any experience with these guys? <Yes. And yes, they do... if have enough Acroporids present not a big problem. This is where and what they live on in the wild> Would they make a good addition to a reef tank with lots of Dartfish, blennies, and other gobies? <If there's enough food, not-aggressive types as tankmates, sure.> Cheers, Chris (aka newkie) <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Yellow Clown Goby question I purchased a yellow clown Gobi about three weeks ago, and he seems to be nibbling on my polyps, and likes to rest on top of them all the time. Are my polyps going to die? <It depends on how severely he's nibbling. It certainly is a strong possibility> Since they are all closed up because he is on them constantly <In time they will likely be gone> Also when I put frozen or dry flake food he is not interested at all. Every where I've read they recommend this fish heavily for reef type systems. But none of the articles mention them eating polyps. <Fish don't read. They are all individuals with individual personalities. No fish is truly reef safe nor a community fish. Variations from the norm occur frequently> Thank you for your info. <My pleasure! Hope that I've helped. David Dowless>

Clown Goby Chow... Happy Holidays Wet Web Crew! <And a great holiday season to you and yours! Scott F. with you here tonight!> Just a quick question... I think I've decided on the fish for my new 20G reef. I'm thinking 2 Purple Firefish and 2 Clown Gobies. <Be careful with the Firefish. Many times, when placed in pairs or groups, one fish will dominate the other(s), until he or she is the only one left! Unless you obtain a true mated pair (rare), or have a large tank with lots of rockwork to separate the fishes' territories, I'd keep one to a tank..> It has been cycled with L/R for about 3 weeks now. However a week and a half ago I found a really skinny Mandarin at the pet store, so I brought him home. Put him in the tank and he quickly became the fattest mandarin I have ever seen. <Great to hear that. A mandarin that eats is a joy to behold!> So I took him back hoping he would have a better chance of surviving long enough to go to a new home. I say this because now that I've been digging through your FAQ's on clown gobies I've seen that they too like to munch on critters in the substrate. Do you think the Mandarin would have depleted the clown gobies munchies? Or will he be fine with frozen Mysis and the likes? <I think that it's more common to have a clown goby eat frozen and other prepared foods, such as Mysis, than it would be for a mandarin to do the same. You are right, though, as far as 'pod eating fishes, such as mandarins: In a small tank (I mean anything under 50 gallons), it would be problematic to have more than one to a tank, as the 'pod and infauna population simply would not be sufficient.> Merry Christmas if we don't speak again before! Melinda <Same to you, and I'll though in a Happy New Year at no extra charge!>

Stow away jackpot! Hi Bob! I thought I could ask you a question about a stow away that I recently picked up from Tropicorium from Romulus MI. I purchased a 4-5 in. Acropora tan with white tips about two weeks ago. Along for the ride was quite a few critters. I first noticed a couple of large crabs. One "fuzzy" brown with blue eyes and another solid white with black eyes. No big deal, they don't seem to be damaging the coral so I left them in. After a closer look with a flashlight at lights out I noticed not two crabs but 7, and a very small clown goby. I feel I got more than I bargained for. My question is how can I get my clown goby to feed. I have tried to use prime reef in a dropper above the coral, but the goby refuses to leave the branches. He's a beautiful fish and I would like hate to lose it to starvation. Any ideas? <Try frozen Mysis shrimp and/or Seawater Zooplankton. Also, keep a close eye on that coral and the crabs.> Best Wishes! Brad Stefanko

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