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FAQs on Goby Reproduction

Related Articles: Gobies & their Relatives, Amblygobius Gobies, Genus Gobiodon Gobies, Genus Coryphopterus Neon/Cleaner GobiesShrimp/Watchman Gobies, Sifter/Sleeper Gobies/ValencienneaSleeper Gobies/Eleotridae, Mudskippers,

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

Pic of Goby's eggs by Sissy Sathre

Eviota Gobies     10/16/19
Couldn’t find much information on this subject anywhere so thought I’d ask the guru’s ;)
I have a small group of 4 Eviota nigriventris in my 20 cube. Is there any way to tell the difference between the sexes with these guys?
<Gobies like many other marine fish, don't display sexual dimorphism, they start their lives as females and the most dominant becomes a male, in the case of the Red Neon Goby, the most noticeable difference is that adult/mature males have larger dorsal fins, I believe your gobies are still juveniles so, only with time you'll see which one will be the male, there is usually only one male and several females in a group… hope this helps. Wil.>

Trimma Goby Breeding       8/8/12
Dear Crew,
Another day of paradise in the reef tank.  Just noticed my one of my Trimma gobies guarding her eggs.  I was watching her for an hour and could not tell what she was doing.  Looked like she was rubbing her head.  I examined closer and noticed a ton of little eggs right under her.
<I see these>
  This is now my second species of breeding fish in the tank with the other being red spot cardinals.  I have tried to find some research on how to raise the eggs but could not find any.  Any advice where you can point me.
<What little we have is here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobyreprofaqs.htm
I'd be searching MBI's and Breeder's Registry files, perusing Frank Hoff's works... pronto!>
 Take a look at the pic.
<Best for you to "hit the stacks" re... a library visit; read here:
and soon! You need to be raising foods... moving the rock, young to a setting where they won't be pulled out by mechanical filtration and destroyed. Bob Fenner>

Yasha goby sexing   5/4/10
I have heard conflicting views on sexing Yasha gobies. If you get one that has a brown spot on the pectoral fin it will pair with one that doesn't.
<This is one semi-prominent difference twixt the sexes...>
Liveaquaria.com "Divers Den" always shows one of each when they sell their matched pairs of Yasha's with the Alpheus randalli pistol. Also can the randalli pistol be sexed.
<Can, but hard to see... there is a difference in the gonopores, females lack setae on the small chela...>
I have heard that one is red/white and the other sex is red/white/yellow.
<Mmm, not as far as I'm aware, no>
Thanks for the wealth of information that you provide.
<Bob Fenner>

Diamond Goby Mated Pair Behavior  - 5/12/2006 Hi Bob, <Tim> I've been involved with reef keeping for three years now and would like to formally thank you and the crew for providing me with an exceptional education through your website. <A pleasure, honor to serve> I have an interesting situation and have not been able to find any similar experiences posted on any forum website. I have a mated pair of Diamond Gobies which I've had for several months (yes they do make a mess of my DSB but my wife insisted!). <Heee... on the gobies or the mess... or both!?> On a daily basis for the past several weeks the pair have performed the following ritual with one particular piece of live rock: they both dig a burrow under the rock then one of the two (how do you sex a goby?) <Most can't be... externally> gets underneath the rock and the other completely covers the rock with sand (what was my DSB). The first time it happened I intervened almost immediately and lifted the rock off and let the goby swim calmly away. On turning the rock over to replace some of my DSB, I noticed a fleshy mass that was attached to the underside of the rock, It didn't look to me like an egg mass, not like I've seen with my continuously spawning pair of True Percs. <There is more diversity amongst the fishes than the rest of the vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) combined...> I obviously don't want to lose the goby, but I also don't want to interfere with their natural behavior. Is this a spawning event? Or, is this a goby divorce? <The former> Thanks in advance for any input/comments that you might have on this. Best regards, Tim <Do, please, keep good notes... consider what foodstuffs you might be able to culture, use here... to feed the young. Bob Fenner> Gobies Breeding?...Dead Baby? - 04/03/06 Hello... <<Howdy>> I would really appreciate your help. <<I'll try>> I have a marine setup containing 2 Blue Cheek Gobies.  They have made their home underneath rock work.  Last night we found a small formed baby fish floating (dead) at the top of the tank.  Is it possible that this could belong to the Blue Cheeks?? <<Mmm, maybe...they are known to breed in aquaria, though I'm not aware as to what level of success.>> Or did it arrive on the live rock? <<A possibility I suppose...though I wouldn't think it likely.>> Bearing in mind I last purchased a piece of rock over 4 months ago! I have kept the baby fish in hope that someone maybe able to identify it. <<Send us a sharp close-up picture (.BMP or .JPG format of no more than a couple hundred KB) and we may be able to help.  EricR>> Sight-Sexing Signigobius ocellatus? 7/28/05 Just a quick question to ask if there is a positive way to sight sex this goby? <Not unless you count dissecting it and seeing its gonads.> I cannot find specific information on it.   <In general, marine fish don't really display sexual dimorphism.> Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. <Often, Twinspot Gobies are sold in pairs, and were caught that way in the wild. Your best bet for a presexed pair would be to go that route.> Your Friend in Maine Penny  :0) <Mike G>

Re: Sight-Sexing Signigobius ocellatus? 7/28/05 Thanks for the extremely quick response.   <You're welcome.> Yours is the same answer I've been finding.   <Sorry for that. I hunted around a bit before responding, but found nothing.> This being the case as well as other information stating they don't do well alone unless in pairs, in your opinion, do you feel these fish should be collected unless collected & offered in pairs?   <I am pretty sure they're being aquacultured by Proquatix. Could be wrong. If this were the case, then I'd always recommend aquacultured as opposed to not any day.> I own a soft coral aquaculture facility & reef aquarium store & work hard to provide appropriate care/conditions & information to my customers.   <Good customer service is always important.> Your help here can help me help many others as well. <And we are happy to provide it when you need it.> Thank you in advance. <Not a problem. Good luck.> Penny <Mike G> Sexing a signal goby <Hi Anita, PF here tonight> About a month ago a purchased a scooter goby, well I thought I did.  Thinking that my biggest problem would be getting him to eat, was easy as he is a little pig. but due to stress I have had problems with him getting white spot and fin rot. I have treated him but no progress in health and one of his fins is half gone and seems to still be a problem.  Thinking it was my water I did all the tests possible and all was ok.  He is in a tank on his own with a star fish and pistol shrimp.  Now I have found out that the shop gave me a two spot goby and he is probable fretting for a mate.  How can I sex him as I need to get him a mate for company. Anita <Well, in all honesty Anita, I don't know how. From looking the pictures over, and searching on the web, it looks to me like only they know. Sorry I can't aid you more, PF. Maybe someone else here has a better idea?>

Blue cheek gobies breeding 12/13/03 hi crew, do you have any info on what to do as my gobies have suddenly started breeding!!! <hmmm... there is actually a book on Neon Gobies and breeding (by TFH) that has much insight I am sure for this family and your endeavors to breed goby kin> its only a small tank by all accounts (40uk gallons) I took out all my other fish as I have just set up a 90 (UK gal) tank so I just have the two gobies in there and a couple of feather dusters, in the 90 gal I now have a long legged urchin, an Atlantic anemone, 1 flame angel, 1 yellow tang, 1 batfish, 2 scooters, and 2 clowns, I removed these in case they ate the fry???, <yikes... your biggest long term risk to fish and invertebrates alike is and will be the batfish> however this then upset the gobies which ate what I presumed to be eggs (dirty yellowish) will they breed again on there own or have I upset the balance by removing the other fish? <they will likely breed again with continued good feeding and water quality> how long does it take to hatch? <not sure here, but I wonder how much fishbase.org has on the topic. Do take a peek over there... often you can find reproduction info and more importantly, links in the references to more in depth papers and articles> and finally if they do breed again how often is the breeding cycle? many thanks crew great site keep it up well done. Jim Millar <best of luck, Anthony>

Blue cheeks breeding! Dear WWM crew, <G'day> Tonight I discovered that my blue-cheek gobies have made a new nest under a rock and that one of them is inside guarding a bundle of yellowish eggs. What should I do, will they hatch, and if so, how long?  When they hatch what should I feed them? Should I separate them, when they hatch? Does this happen often in captivity? Thanks in advance, James Matthams <I'd love to help you here James but have no idea what species you are referring too. It underscores the need for using scientific names with common ones. Are you referring to the marine or brackish species (or a FW one)? Do look yours up on fishbase.org and follow links for reproduction/breeding... and also look up your species on the Breeders Registry  too (many spawning reports). kindly, Anthony>

Reproduction in Watchman Gobies Just wondered if there is a sex difference with yellow watchman gobies.  Is it the dorsal fins i.e. male spiky and female smoother?  Also how hard are they to breed? <Mmm, maybe there are secondary sexual characteristics in this species... please see these areas on the Breeder's Registry: http://www.breeders-registry.gen.ca.us/cgi-bin/swishsearch.pl?Cryptocentrus+cinctus Note that size is mentioned in the one account, but that the sexes were about equal in length. If you have data, please present it to Stanley Brown. Bob Fenner>

Spawning, rearing Eviota gobies I really appreciate the answers from the previous questions I had.  This one should be pretty simple.  I have three gold neon headed pygmy gobies (Eviota pellucida).  I would like to breed them.  Any clue how? <Not directly, but some ideas on how to proceed. I strongly suspect that this gobiid has a similar life history to the very popular Gobiosoma gobies... whose tank breeding and rearing is well known. I would seek out this information on the Net (e.g. the Breeder's Registry) or in written works (e.g. Frank Hoff's). You will need to become familiar with and set-up some live food culture systems for supplying the young... Please keep good notes re your efforts and share your experience/observations. Bob Fenner> Philip Spawning Banded Gobies? Hi I purchased two banded gobies from FFExpress about a year ago, the tank they are in is a 55 gallon with live rock, Tangs, clowns and some anemones. I noticed a large egg mass underneath of a large piece of live rock, which one of the gobies is guarding and fanning with its tail constantly. I realize the survival rate in a tank like this would be null but I was wondering if this is common with gobies? Thanks John Halliburton >> Congrats. Only a matter of good care and feeding... Take a look through the success reports posted on Gobies on the Breeder's Registry: including links, articles on culturing food organisms... do this soon. Bob Fenner

Seeking Goby Info Hello ~ <Hello. My name is Steven Pro. Anthony Calfo and I are helping Bob out while he is away.> I recently purchased two threadfin gobies, Stonogobiops nematodes. They're in my 20 gallon seahorse tank along with two Randall's pistol shrimp, Alpheus randalli. I am interested in determining their gender, as well as finding out whether they have been successfully bred and raised in captivity. My online searches in general as well as at the breeder's registry and fishbase.org  <Hmmm, these were going to be my suggestions.> have not yielded much information in that regard. I read somewhere that there are no external differentiating characteristics between the sexes. <I have found the same thing said in my references; no external differences and not bred in captivity, yet.> Do they change gender like clownfish? Would six of these fish do well in a 20 gallon tank? <If these two are living together comfortably already, you may just have lucked out and gotten a pair.> Please point me in the right direction as to where I can find comprehensive information (beyond what they eat and optimum tank conditions) on these delightful little fish. <There were two articles written in the January and February issues of Aquarium Fish Magazine, but I do not remember these giving any more information that you already seem to know. Definitely worth a read anyway.> Many thanks, Sherri 

Question regarding Blueband Gobies <<Hello, JasonC here sitting in Bob's chair, working on Bob's computer, and hoping I can answer your question.>> I am new to marine aquariums, and have enjoyed many of the fascinating things that happen in a reef tank. <<is an endless subject for study.>> My aquarium is 150 gallons, and stocked with one Percula clown, one cardinal, one mandarin goby, and two Blueband gobies. I also have several different corals including a hammer, brain, several mushrooms, and a leather. My question is regarding the two Blueband gobies, lately one of them has been hiding most of the day, and the other has become very defensive when it comes to the first one. I noticed to day that the goby that has been hiding is also getting quite large. Is she about to have young? <<certainly sounds like it.>> Are they egg layers or live bearers? <<they are egg layers/substrate spawners>> anything special I should do form them? <<let them do their thing.>> Any help that you might be able to give would be great. Thank You Mark
<<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

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