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FAQs on Goby Systems

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 Disease, Goby Reproduction, Amblygobius Gobies, Clown GobiesNeon GobiesGenus Coryphopterus Gobies, Mudskippers, Shrimp Gobies, Sifter Gobies

Coryphopterus signipinnis.  Here off of Wakatobi.  

Goby Dust'¦The 'Engineering' Nightmare? -- 03/06/08 Crew, <<Ben>> Thank you in advance. <<Happy to assist>> I recently added a Diamond Goby to my 240. I made sure he was eating at the LFS for several days before getting him and he continues to eat well at home. <<Excellent>> After finally adding him to the display after QT he is now "going to town" on my sand. <<Indeed'¦and likely 'crop-dusting' your rock/corals>> I have a grain size mixture that includes oolitic sand. He is doing such a good job that I have a good amount of particulate matter in the water column now. <<No doubt'¦the fish are quite the 'stirrers'>> Will this be detrimental to other livestock in anyway, gills etc.? <<It may cause some irritation to those organisms that can't slough it of easily (e.g. -- plating Acroporids)'¦but for the most part it should cause no harm>> I understand that the photosynthetic animals will not receive quite as much light until this thing works itself out, but what about fish? <<The fish will be fine'¦ But don't expect this to 'work out.' The goby will always find another place to dig'¦or at the least, gobble up mouths-full of sand and sprinkle it around the tank (crop-dusting)>> I'm hoping this is purely aesthetic for the time being and won't hurt anything. Last time I went snorkeling the water wasn't exactly crystal clear, so I hope the fish will be okay. I guess I'm just used to my water being extremely clear with UV, carbon etc. <<Indeed, is/will be more bother to you than most anything else in the tank. I have a 6' Barred Goby (Amblygobius phalaena) in my 375g reef display that keeps quite a bit of the fine substrate/detritus in suspension. If I had it to do over I would forgo the goby'¦but not because of any 'harm' it has done to the system/livestock>> Thank you, Ben <<Quite welcome. EricR>>

Pygmy Goby Conundrum 10/29/07 The amount of information on Pygmy Gobies is limited to, well, nothing. Just pictures from proud owners. So I have a question for you. I have a beautiful pair of pygmy gobies, a candy cane striped (Trimma cana) and a neon (Eviota pellucida). They're happily housed by themselves in a 12g nanocube with plenty of liverock and zoanthid colonies. They did have a Sixline Wrasse however he thought it would be fun to jump out the one time I didn't close the lid before I left for work. <Perhaps this is best...> I also have a 75g reef. The inhabitants are a Kole Tang (scaredy cat), 2 Clarkii Clowns, a small, but full grown, Green Spot Puffer, a fat neon goby, and a yellow wrasse. The Puffer is docile as can be. The only thing he's ever tried to bite is my finger. :) The tank has been set up for roughly more than 7 months, a successful upgrade from a 45g. Coralline has taken over and all corals are happy. <Okay> Okay here's the question. I'd like to sell the 12g nano and keep the pygmy gobies. Do you foresee any problems with doing so? <Mmm, maybe making sure they're getting food> I know you can sometimes keep neon gobies in groups... And none of the other inhabitants would eat the gobies. Except perhaps the pistol shrimp? <Would if it could> My main worry is that the gobies will become so shy they won't come out to eat. <Yes> The wrasse, puffer, and clowns are really aggressive eaters (although they had no problem with the sixline's food happiness). <But the smaller tank made finding food easier> What do you think would happen? I could perhaps set up a small breeder in the tank but on top of the pumps, overflow, etc I think they'd get lost to the casual observer. Thanks in Advance Yvette <Only experience here can/will tell. Bob Fenner>

Circus Goby or Black Barred Convict Goby, Priolepis nocturna, gen. care, sys. , fdg.  -- 08/31/07 Hey guys, I recently purchased a small goby for my nano tank at work. They had him listed as a circus goby. Live Aquaria shows him as a black barred convict goby. <Is a Priolepis nocturna. A little more here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobyidfaqs.htm > He's a really beautiful fish and a great size for my tank (9 gallon cad lights). <As always, bigger would be better, 20 gallons or more is generally recommended. A cleaner goby, either Gobiosoma oceanops or Gobiosoma evelynae would be better in a tank of your size.> I saw him eat frozen food in the store before I bought him. <Good.> I put him in the tank on Friday and he immediately hid behind a rock. A few minutes later he moved over to a more secluded place, and after 30 minutes he was only visible with a flashlight because of the place he was hiding. When I came into work on Monday he was nowhere to be found. I checked all around the desk and floor and am confident he didn't jump out. <But can and does happen.> I read one post from a guy who had one in a 14-gallon nano and never saw him unless he was aquascaping. My question is how am I supposed to feed and care for a fish that I can't see? <Challenging, but possible.> He's in the only fish in the tank, so he won't be able to eat the leftovers from other fish. <He shouldn't' have to worry about leftovers if he's the only fish there, all will be fresh meals for him.> I'm tempted to move my rocks around and look for him, but I know he'll just hide again in the future. What do you think I should do? <Well, this is what many gobies do. They perch and hide, seldom swimming in the water column. Is hard to recommend any other fish in such a small tank.> Thanks, <Welcome, Mich> Josh

Re: Marine Substrate Q; Sand Size for Goby  -- 05/08/07 good day to all! <Hello Again.> (follow-up question) sir <No formalities, Adam or AJ is fine.> regarding the size of my sand, it is about 1mm to 2mm, is that okay for fishes that tend to burrow in the sand like a yellow wrasse and a sand sifting goby? will they get hurt since it is not a sugar fine sand? <Depends on how small the specimens are, but if your getting an average sized goby, this shouldn't be a problem.> thanks! <Welcome, Adam J.>

Twin spot gobies Sel., sys.    4/13/07 Hello there, <Afternoon> Simple question. I have a 12 Gallon AP. I want to add 2 small fish to my tank (twin spot gobies) I can really do with just one, but heard that they usually are paired and I would not want to break up a relationship here. If I can just find one alone do you think it best that I just get the one? Or since they are pretty small do you think I can get away with two? The tank is well established, with 17lbs of coralline encrusted live rock, 2 inch fine sand bed, some Zoo's, Rics, etc.. I do water changes religiously on the 10, 20 and 30th of each month. <Nice routine> I run Purigen, and filter floss along with CL-150 chiller and Blueline hd-20 pump. Heat is not an issue. I do not believe having a skimmer on this small a tank since the total volume of water is like 9 gallons, maybe 10 is a necessity. <Never a necessity, always a viable option> However, add the fish....hmmmmm.. What do you think? <If you could obtain a mated pair then you could add the two, however, this Goby (Signigobius biocellatus -- I'm presuming) will take time and aggression to form a pair from two individuals and in a tank this small this may be a problem. Also I would increase the sand bed further in your tank if you wish to keep a 'sand-sifting' fish, however this will further reduce your already minimal water volume. Look for a mated pair or, presuming you have a quarantine area, try to allow two to pair in here over their 4-6 weeks period if it is of similar or preferably larger volume> I appreciate your time and hope this one gets posted quick. Thanks again! <Thanks and should be posted daily, Olly>

Sandsifting goby, how big a tank?   9/16/06 Hi there, <Hello> I have a 29 tall tank that has 2 (paired) clowns, a few corals and a cleaner shrimp. Tank is quite stable. We would like to add a new fish and I became enamored by a Sand Sifting Goby at the LFS. It is labeled as a Diamond Goby, but it is more green and brown in color, has bands and two small black spots as well. I think it is a Barred Goby. I would guess the fish is about 2 inches. We put it on hold, but now I am worried we don't have enough sand for it. I also read that they will eat regular food, too. Is this a bad fish for us? If so, do you have any suggestions on an interesting addition for our tank? <I think the more important question is how established is your sand bed.  Sand Sifting gobies need a well established sand bed with lots of micro fauna to feed on.  The only problem is that in a small tank, they can sometimes wipe out the entire population.  Yes, some will eat prepared foods, but not always guaranteed.  I would definitely make sure he is eating before you take him home. -- Cheers! Dr. J> <<Yep, he's new! RMF>>

Gobius bucchichi...Not For Tropical Systems - 05/14/06 Thanks is advance as your answers are always helpful :) <<Very welcome>> Dear WWM, I just bought a sand sifter goby that was supposedly tropical, but I come to find it is actually a Gobius bucchichi which I have learned is a subtropical fish. <<Indeed it is, and doomed to a shortened life-span if kept in a tropical system...much like the unfortunate Catalina Goby seen in the (tropical) trade>> Is this in fact a sand sifter (resources on this fish I find to be very limited). <<Not sure...but its habitat (mud/sand grass beds) and food items (polychaetes/amphipods) would seem to indicate so>> Will it jump out of my tank and is it ok if the tank is around 78 - 80 degrees F. <<I would not expect the fish to survive the long-term at these temperatures>> Any other info on this fish will be very helpful. <<A bit of info here ( http://www.fishbase.se/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=46334), but like you say, doesn't seem to be much else out there>> Many thanks again!, Adam <<Regards, EricR>>

Substrate for Goby/Shrimp combo. 8/9/05 Mornin' Bob <Cheers... Anthony Calfo here in his stead> First let me apologize if this has gone to the wrong place, I found your link while perusing the Goby section on your excellent pages! <Welcome!> I'm considering making a return to the hobby after a break of quite some years and of course a lot's changed since then! While researching current thinking on Reef systems I've got bogged down on the BB/SSB/DSB/Plenum issues and this is compounded by the fact that I'm very keen to house the Goby/Shrimp combination and the obvious effect this will have on substrate choice, plus the fact that I have a very large quantity of  (dead) Oolitic sand which I would like to use in what will be a reef system with very few reef-safe fish, small clawed crustaceans( Lysmata, Thor, Saron) etc. I think I'm now up to speed re. Live Rock, Skimming, Carbon, Phosphate reduction, Turnover ,Lighting etc. I would like the Goby/Shrimp to be able to exhibit normal behaviour, hence my problem. The system will be integrated within the main tank as I have no space (nor desire) to run a sump. Would their digging spoil a DSB or even release anoxic toxins from a DSB by digging? <Not at all. If the DSB is kept healthy with adequate (proper and necessary) strong water flow above it so that solids do not accumulate excessively... then all will be fine. And this is easy to accomplish. Seek to produce random turbulent water flow as with closed loop manifolds (you can fid some neat and current links/pics on this subject over at Reefcentral.com)> You mention adding tubes to the substrate, ( I can't find the link) which I'd thought of. <Yes, excellent idea. Just bury under the rocks/in the sand and let them do the rest> Would a 1" substrate with tubes covered with sand be better? <That's not deep enough for the shrimp and goby or efficient DSB activity (NNR)> In either case I could never run a system B/B. <I too very much like deep, fine sand beds. I think your oolitic sand is a best bet. Do enjoy at 4-6" (10-15 cm)> Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer cos I'd prefer not to proceed rather than get it wrong! Kind Regards, Steve. <kindly, Anthony> Jumping Gobies! Good Afternoon (or whatever time it is when you come across this email). <Afternoon here- Scott F. with you> This pertains to recently purchased Gobies. I have tried 3 times to keep a Maiden Goby (Valenciennea Puellaris) or sometimes called Diamond Goby. Each time it leaves the comfortable surroundings of my tank for a much harsher environment - the carpeting. I have lost 3 of the same type Gobies this way. The last one, which jumped last night, lasted less than 12 hours. A little tank information: I have a reef set-up 45 gallon tall. I currently have a little over 13 tank turnovers per hour but my oxygen level is still low so I plan on adding another power head to bring my turnover rate to near 20/hour. <The low oxygen level is of concern...do add more circulation and surface agitation for gas exchange> I have removed the top on my aquarium in order to bring the O2 level up with little success. My skimmer is properly sized and working great. After the first Goby committed suicide, I purchased and installed a section of egg crate (louver) over the approx. 4" open section behind my light (light sits directly on top of tank). The second Goby found a way out of this so I decreased some of the cutouts (for HO Skimmer and the like) where there were no openings larger than the 1/2" X 1/2" squares. My 3rd Goby worked his way out of this last night. I even tried a night light that was suggested. My question is this: I like the Goby and it's sand sifting properties. Is there anything I can do other than covering tank with screen like material and/or buying a Goby larger than the 1/2" openings? <Unfortunately, I think that using a screen like material is your best bet (Fiberglass, not aluminum), short of covering the whole top with acrylic or plastic. If the fish wants to get out and become "reef jerky", as they say, about all you can do is make the task more difficult for it> Are there any other Gobies or Goby like fish that sift like the Goby but that don't like to jump? <Unfortunately, a lot of these types of fishes (sand sifting gobies and Tilefishes) tend to have the jumping habit. Personally, I have always used brittle stars to do the job. In actuality, there are a lot of people who argue (and I think quite correctly, in many cases) that sand-stirring creatures are not needed in most well-maintained sand beds, as they tend to decimate the sandbed fauna that contribute to the function of the sandbed.> I hate to have to switch to the sand sifting stars. They aren't nearly as fun to watch. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks, J.T. Craddock <Well, J.T.- I think your best bet is to use the screen material, or to simply discontinue the use of these types of fish in your tank. Wish there was a better solution I could offer, but I think that your options are kind of limited in a situation like this. Good luck! Scott F.>

- Symbiotic Gobies and Circulation - Hi Crew!! <Hello, JasonC here...> First off, I have been reading TONS on your site and have learned an incredible amount.  I read something today that has me concerned, regarding water flow and soft corals.  I have a small (2-3") brown star polyp colony in my tank.  The water motion in their present location is mostly in one direction.  I can put them almost anywhere in my tank, which would mean potentially less flow but a more changing direction.  I have had this colony about 4 weeks, and they are doing great, even seem to be growing nicely. Do I fix it if it's not broken (move them)? <I would... do consider perhaps another power head in the tank to help stir things up some more - variation in flow is very important for long term success.> My next question has to do with a Pistol Shrimp - Goby tank I am considering for the office. What is the ideal substrate for burrowing? <Sand.> Best (most likely to bond) Goby? <Chances of getting a non-paired set to "bond" is lower than winning a high-stakes lottery. Unless you obtain both as an existing pair, it's not going to happen. Alphaeids are incredibly diverse, and the pairing between the goby and a particular shrimp is very specific. You can't put a random goby and random shrimp together and expect them to get together... unless you get them as a pair via expert collection, even then one or the other probably wouldn't make the trip... it's just not easily feasible.> Because they are both low in the tank suggestions for other occupants? <Based on the size you mention... I wouldn't put anything else in this tank.> What is the best clean up crew for this tank, I know pistol shrimp are formidable hunters? <You would be the best clean-up crew.> Any other sound advice for this concept? <Learn to dive and go see them where they live... not to be crass, but it's just not realistic in a captive system.> BTW, this tank will be a smaller, probably ~20g, and dedicated to this idea. Thanks again for offering such sound info time after time, Bill <Cheers, J -- >

Re: orange-spotted goby Do orange-spotted gobies need a substrate of 100% sand? or can they live with 50% crushed coral and 50% sand? <Yes, can live happily in mixed size substrates> I have a 75 gallon tank with a substrate of crushed coral and I would like to keep a goby, so I need to know. There are already fish and invertebrates including 2 Clark's Anemonefish, 3 assorted damsels, 20 snails, and a bunch of live rocks. Can I add sand to an already established tank or not? If so, how would I do it? <Yes. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsubstr.htm and the related FAQs files (linked, in blue, above). Bob Fenner>

-Bullet-proof gobies; take 2- Kevin: Regarding "bullet-proof" gobies, it is my understanding that the Orange-Spotted Sleeper Goby (Valenciennea puellaris)--or Maiden Goby per WWM--often slowly starves to death in most tanks.  It requires a substrate with lot's of life. I was told to wait at least a year before considering one. I do not know about other species of this genus. <Yes, you will indeed need a large surface area of healthy sandbed to keep these critters fat and happy. If the tank is running a deep live sand bed, it will have to be very large to accommodate a fish who's entire life is devoted to consuming the very critters that you strive to populate your sandbed with. In smaller tanks, their effect can be extremely damaging to the sandbed fauna populations, and ultimately to the goby itself. While doing this, they will sift sand all over the rocks and sessile inverts in the tank. My advice; stay away from sand sifting gobies if you wish to have a healthy sandbed. -Kevin> Steve Allen.

Bacteria question 4/5/04  I have a 10 gallon saltwater tank for 8 months. I replace 1 gallon a week. It has a firefish goby, a rainfordi goby, a clown goby, 4 dwarf seahorses, snails and hermits and a peppermint shrimp. As long as I leave it alone all the numbers are good except for nitrates which are about 20. But when I change the filter insert (penguin mini) everything goes up. I assume that I am losing a lot of bacteria by changing the insert. Is there any way to minimize the affect. It seems to take two weeks to get back to normal.  <I am assuming you mean that you get some ammonia and nitrite when you clean the filter element in the penguin. This is likely due to the die off of some of the bacteria in the element, especially if you expose it to fresh water. A good practice would be to wash it in the water you take out when you do a water change.>  A few weeks ago when I got the rainfordi I asked you about his not eating and you recommended patience. I still do not see him actually eat but at least now he does his thing which is sifting sand into his mouth and out his gills. Hopefully he is finding nutrition there.  <Rainford's are 'pod specialists. They often will not eat prepared foods. If they do, chopped Mysis shrimp is a good choice. Brine shrimp can be used to get them to start eating, but is not nutritionally adequate for long term use. These fish do best in large well established reef tanks where they can constantly forage for tiny crustaceans. Best Regards. Adam>

Keeping Catalina Gobies - 4/13/04  I was wondering about Catalina Gobies. <OK> I have been searching on the 'net, and I found some places that said they are impossible to keep, <What??? If kept at reef temps then yes> nonetheless breed in captivity <They do breed in captivity and were actually some of the first fish farmed in the 70's. They tend to spawn in the summer months (water tends to often be colder than normal due to upwelling> (recommended temp 72-75 F there) <This temperature recommendation would cause extreme stress on this small goby and there is notoriously high mortality rates associated with this goby when kept in a warm water environment> and another said they were one of the best coldwater fish, and are quite easy to breed in captivity (temp. 66-72 F) <At the Monterey Bay Aquarium we keep the water temp around 58 to 60 degrees. We don't often see mating behavior but we are able to keep them full term (approx. 2 years) with very little to nil in the way of disease and mortality. Do quarantine them thoroughly though. Also, be sure to get them from a reputable dealer> I know the second temp is correct, <60 degrees is a good number to shoot for> but what is "proper care" for this awesome species. <Very striking when kept in small schools, the small Catalina Gobies will dart in and out of the rockwork and perch on their favorite lookout in the coldwater reef aquarium. It is not usually an aggressive fish, but may quarrel with con-specifics if housed together in a small tank. An aquarium of 30 gallons or larger is usually suitable.  Although it will tolerate a tropical water temperature, (76 to 78ºF will result in higher than normal mortality), the Catalina Goby thrives in the cooler temperatures associated with the island where it is found, Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles, California. Temperatures there range from 58 to 72ºF. In fact, it is quite hardy and disease resistant if kept in the proper environment.  In the wild, the Catalina Goby eats small pieces of fish and plant material. In the aquarium, it will consume almost any prepared foods for carnivores, Mysid shrimp, table shrimp, and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp. It should be fed twice per day.> BTW this is Robert from the 900+220 tank. <Glad to meet ya Robert> I would like to have 8-12 blennies <Do you mean gobies?> in the 220, with lots of rock, anemones, crabs, small fishes, Nudibranchs, <careful> 'cukes, <Again, be careful here> macro, LS, and an eel (JK) <Hahahahah. Sounds about right> Thanks in advance. <Thanks for being part of it all. ~Paul>  Robert

More on Sleeper Gobies Hi I was just wondering if yellow headed sleeper gobies needed a lot of sand, <An inch or two of more fine material is good. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsiftfaqs.htm > because I was thinking of getting a pair I have an extremely thin layer of sand on the bottom of my tank, I currently have a pair of tomato clowns, flameheaded Dottyback, lunar wrasse, coral beauty and a green lined wrasse I have no corals yet but I am getting some for Christmas. And is the Sarcophyton species good for a beginner? <Yes, most are hardy soft coral species> Sorry I cant say how many gallons my tank is because I'm Australian and I don't know how to use gallons but its 180 litres <A liter is a bit more than a quart... so four liters is about a gallon. Divide liters by four to get gallons. Bob Fenner>Thanks

- Suicidal OS Goby - Dear Sirs <Did someone knight me while I was sleeping?> Firstly may I take the opportunity to congratulate you on a great resource that is WetWebMedia, only came across it recently (where have I been!). Secondly I just don't know how you guy's find the time to answer so many questions, but immediately know one day I too would be writing one! And it's today! Ok to the point. I lost an OS Goby recently which decided in less than 24 hrs after introduction to get out of the tank into the space above the glass and aquarium lid, found it in the morning when feeding. I have covered all the gaps where the inlet/outlet pipes come into the tank with cling film, mainly to prevent evaporation, so was perplexed how this fellow made it out. So after some thinking, and the fact I like these chaps & that in all the time I have had the tank set up I have not lost a fish before due to jumping out went for another OS Goby on the it must be a one off bit of bad luck! He was introduced to the main tank today and after some initial attention mostly from the Blue-streak Devil (Abudefduf oxydon) all calmed down. He made a little dug out in the sand at the back behind a rock and seemed fine. Lights out at 11pm. I am on WetWebMedia and the computer is only six feet away and I hear this bang crash sound from inside the hood of the tank at 11:45pm. Yep you guessed it. It's our little friend out of the water and inside the lid. Lucky I was on hand to ease him back into the water. The only slight gap is where the skimmer puts water back into the tank. I have just tried to reduce this gap further still, but it must have taken some working out that it was there in the first place clever chap! Do you think he is being harassed by some other fish in the dark? Other tank mates; Lipstick Tang, Three Domino Damsels, the Blue-streak Devil, cleaner wrasse, Tassel Filefish, plus a cleaner shrimp.  I am working tomorrow so need to get to bed soon, otherwise I would stay on night watch. I am expecting the worst in the morning.  If we get through the night any ideas? <Not really... you've already tackled this about as well as can be done - these fish jump, no surprise there - so you have to use whatever means necessary to block any route of escape. You might want to look for fiberglass bug screen, and use this to help shield any odd sized areas.> Guess this is a tall order. <Yeah... the nature of these fish... you might want to spend one of your evenings watching to see who's hassling this fish - they typically don't make these leaps unless they think their options are better elsewhere.> Kind regards Gary <Cheers, J -- > 

- Suicidal OS Goby, Follow-up - Dear J I think all you guys deserve a Knighthood! I am writing to you from England, so will try and put a word in. <Please give Her Majesty my regards.> Thank you so much for your reply.  <My pleasure.>  The good news is the Goby is still alive and well 'inside' the tank.  <Excellent.>  Since that night I don't think he has attempted another break out, yet!  He now seems quite settled and has set up home at the front under a large chunk of ocean rock. During the day he is out and about on his business so it may be any initial attention from the other fish has relented. I will try and sit up and see who may be doing the bullying if there is any further occurrence. Also I will see if I can do anything else to make the gaps more secure as per your suggestion with fiberglass. <Specifically, would be non-metal window screen - not sure how prevalent this is in the UK, but here in the states, few homes come without screens on the windows to stop bugs from entering the house. There are many types/materials - you just want to make sure you don't use a metallic version.> Take care and thanks. Gary <Cheers, J -- > 

Quarantine Tank Permanent Resident Thank you for you fantastic site. Recently I read one of the articles on the site about the great benefit of a cleaner goby (Elacatinus oceanops). So, I decided to add one to my FOWLR (had some problems with tangs and ick) tank, which I have had up and running for about 5 months now. I did the research and thought the goby would be compatible with the Niger trigger, well my research was faulty and I was completely wrong. <Perhaps a meal instead...> I have rescued the little guy and put him in my 20 gal. QT with my scopas tang who is almost completely cured of his ick problem. My question is, since the trigger wants him for a snack, can the goby become a permanent quarantine tank resident (if he eats flake food) or should I invest in something like a hang on refugium. The fish is very interesting and since I had to order him the LFS won't take him back. I refuse to allow him to become trigger food. And yes, I am using copper to treat the tangs ick. <Mmm, such small gobies could live in twenty gallons... but not in continuous contact with copper. Your idea of adding a refugium is excellent... more volume, filtration, stability... a great home for the goby and more interesting possibilities for you as an aquarist. Bob Fenner>  Catalina Gobies Thank you for your QUICK response about the "fish capacity". You mention the green brittle stars are fish predators. Are the brown brittle stars fish predators as well?  Also, you mentioned that the Catalina goby is a cold water fish. How cold?? Very Respectfully, Wayne  >> Less so, but still yes, the Brown Brittlestars are predatory. Catalina gobies (Lythrypnus dalli) collected during the summer months... when the water temp. is a balmy mid to upper sixties will live in water in the low seventies for some time (about half live a month)... the ones collected in other seasons have to be kept in a system with a chilling mechanism. Bob Fenner Citron goby Good afternoon, Mr. Fenner, I have recently purchased a citron gobies and have read in your book that they need a peaceful home. <Yes> I have a 55 with a Foxface, coral banded shrimp, cleaner shrimp, two convicts, one mandarin, and one cleaner gobies. Are any one of these specimens a problem? <Convict what?> I have not seen him eat yet. My tank has been up for about 2 years. my specs are ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 18 ph 8.3 salinity 1.24 and my temp is 80 degrees. My ORP reads during it low point about 240 during the day and back up to 300 during the night. If you see any possible problems please let me know and I will return him soon. <Nothing obvious... you are unlikely to see this animal eat... at least for quite a while... this is a reclusive species that feeds on small plankton... that are likely rising out of the substrate by night.> .Thanks once again. Ryan. PS: If your ever in New Orleans let me know I'll buy you a few pounds of crawfish... <Yum, ditch bugs... Procambarus clarkii... have a few favorite recipes myself. Bob Fenner>

Blenny / Goby / Angel Compatibility Hi Bob, I want to thank you for answering my dwarf angel question. It is great to see someone who is willing to share their time and expertise with others to advance a hobby. <Glad to be of service> Here's my question: I want a tank where everyone gets along, or at least tries to; The Tank of Tranquility.  <Mmm, more like a mini-sea of detente... Natural environments are only seemingly peaceful at times> I have a 300 gallon tank with a lot of live rock, live sand, and a plenum. The footprint is 96 x 24 inches. It has 5 big cleaner shrimp, some hermit crabs, and some emerald crabs. I have a bicolor blenny. I want to add a lawnmower blenny, a orangespot blenny, a dragon goby, a neon goby, a mustache Jawfish, and either a blackfinned shrimp goby or a spottail shrimp goby. We read a lot about certain blennies and gobies not caring for fish with similar body shapes, colors, drivers license numbers, or what not. Do you think these guys would get along with each other and their backboneless tank mates? If not, who do you suppose the trouble maker would be? <The fishes should all get along okay together... but the shrimps may be consumed by some of the new fishes... particularly the Jawfish> By the way, the bicolor blenny and the flame angel spend * a lot * of time swimming along side-by-side literally touching. What do you think those two are up to? <Being pals in my/our anthropomorphic view. This between-species behavior is quite common... in the wild as well as captivity. Bob Fenner> Thanks so much, Dale M.

Atlantic shrimps and fish compatibility Mr. Bob Fenner Has been sometime since the last contact with you. It was about my home made Ca reactor.... it is working fine.... alk is 12 and Ca about 450. <Yes I remember your name. Excellent> This time I need your advice about the possible introduction of two animal species in my main tank : 100 gallons ; half a dozen of soft and hard corals; a lot of small Atlantic Hermit crabs (Calcinus spp?)  <Perhaps> two Lysmata amboinensis and 3 fishes: purple tang, blue damsel and pigmy angel. Other fishes, like 1 Z. Flavescens, 1 Mandarin and a Clown have died with Amyloodinium (probably), four weeks after the introduction of an apparently healthy, but now also dead, Leucosternon. <A shame> In another tank I have for several months 5 gobies, Gobius paganellus and a lot of small shrimps, Palaemon elegans, all collected by myself here in Madeira Island. They look great an growing and I am thinking to put some of them, may be two gobies and two small shrimps, in the main tank. Are there some known incompatibility between this shrimps and the Lysmata? This kind of shrimp is very fast moving in the water, so I think that may be they could escape from the damsel in the first contacts. I am tempted to try the cohabitation but first I want your opinion <Don't know of any such incompatibilities... not specific predators on each other, occupy similar but distinct food, space niches... as you likely know, having collected them> Mr. Fenner, thank you in advance for your reply Flávio Ribeiro <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Catalina gobies, cool to coldwater Hi Bob (or Lorenzo or...), I came across an interesting display the other day at the LFS. the guy had pairs or single Catalina gobies placed throughout his reef section. I figured he was victim of a terrible shipment mistake since he is shown to be (thus far) rather knowledgeable. I asked him & he said: "no, no mistake. I ordered them all." I asked why, since they are all going to go to ill equipped homes, as very few people set up cold water aquariums. He said that these were aquacultured or tank raised (I forget which) and as such, are actually accustomed to warmer water. I have a small tank running @ 76 degrees and was tempted, but it sounds sketchy to me. Is this TR story really BS? <Mmm, as far as I'm aware folks don't raise Lythrypnus dalli in captivity (yet)... though other Gobies are in good numbers (Gobiosoma species). These folks might want to check their invoices, with their supplier... These animals might live at 76 F. for a while... if collected during the summer (the surface temp. off of San Diego, approaches seventy or so, but at depth... it's much cooler (low sixties...)... not a good gamble. Bob Fenner>

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