Discussion: Gobies

Discussion in 'Marine Fish Forum' started by jlanger, Sep 30, 2016.

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Which species of goby is(are) your favorite(s)?

  1. Randall's Shrimp Goby; A. randalli

    10.0%
  2. Wheeler's Shrimp Goby; A. wheeleri

    20.0%
  3. Sleeper Banded (Dragon) Goby; A. phalaene

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Yellow Watchman Goby; C. cinctus

    5.0%
  5. Spotted Watchman Goby; C. leptocephalus or C. pavoninoides

    15.0%
  6. Neon Gobies; E. oceanops,

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Clown Gobies; G. atrangulatus, G. citrinus or G. okinawae

    25.0%
  8. Hector's/Rainsford Goby; K. hectori or K. rainfordi

    15.0%
  9. Engineer Goby; P. leucotaenia

    5.0%
  10. Two Spot Goby; S. biocellatus

    5.0%
  11. Hi Fin or Dracula Goby; S. nematodes or S. dracula

    10.0%
  12. Yasha (White Ray) Goby; S. yasha

    25.0%
  13. Diamond Watchman Goby; V. puellaris

    25.0%
  14. Gold Head Sleeper Goby; V. strigata

    15.0%
  15. Other goby; please discuss below.

    20.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    TCMAS Weekly Discussion

    We would like to get more reef related discussions going on the forum. We will post a weekly topic to get the discussion started then let you all take it from there. The rules are simple, keep on topic and keep it positive.

    This weeks topic: Gobies

    What species of goby is(are) your favorite(s)?
    [SIZE=5][/SIZE]

    Often small and easily overlooked, gobies are a diverse and very utilitarian group of fishes found in a reef tank.
    Many species provide a service to the wellfare and community of our reef systems. Some species spend their time sifting the substrate or picking at the rocks while searching for food. Some species form symbiotic relationships with other animals that benefit each other. And some species even provide a cleaning service to other fish. No matter the service that these small fish provide, gobies are one of the best fish suited for reef tanks of any size.

    I've included a poll with the some of the more commonly available species of gobies for you to vote for your favorite; poll limit of 15.
    Please discuss any personal history and experiences with these popular and gorgeous fish.
    Which species do you currently keep?
    Which species have you kept in the past?
    Which species do you recommend? Which species wouldn't you recommend?
    Which species have you kept long term despite poor reputations?
    Which species have proved valuable to the maintenance of your reef aquarium?
    Do you keep any gobies paired with pistol shrimp in your aquarium?
    Have you had any success with breeding any goby species?

    So let's spend this week discussing these smaller workhorses of our reef systems.



    This discussion thread is meant for open and honest discussion of this group of fish.
    Please refrain from any negative and/or condemning comments towards other comments that are made. I don't believe that our club really has a "Fish Police" presence and don't expect it to be a problem, but I do want to keep the discussion honest and civil. I'm sure all of us at some point has purchased an animal that wasn't appropriately suited for the aquarium.



    Please check out and vote on the previous "Marine Fish Discussion" threads.
     
  2. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    No surprise here!!!
    Gobies are one of my favorite families of fish!

    My favorite gobies come from the genus, Amblyeleotris; the shrimp gobies.
    While they seem like they don't really do much but just sit around, I enjoy keeping and watching these fish. The relationship that they form with the pistol shrimps is one of the behaviors that makes this hobby so interesting. The gobies spend their days perched at the openings of the burrows keeping an ever-watchful eye out for any threats to their shrimp partner. So diligent are the fish that the gobies will even sacrifice a nice big juicy piece of food that passes by if it would lead them too far away from the burrows. It's interesting to watch the communication between the fish and shrimp as the shrimp is working outside of the burrow. All it takes is a small twitch of a tail or fin from the goby to warn the shrimp of a possible threat. Another behavioral trait that I like os that they're not aggressive. They will stand their ground to protect their burrow and shrimp, but they don't ever bother another fish in the tank; they couldn't care less.
    When it comes to the gobies themselves, there are some very nice looking gobies in this group. The Randall's Goby is one goby that I will probably always have in a tank. This is one bright white fish! The orange stripes add some nice color, but it's the large signal fin with its black spot that makes this a favorite.

    [​IMG]

    And my other favorite is the Wheeler's Goby; the exact same can be said about this fish's behavior as with the Randall's Goby.
    What I can add here is that I am currently keeping a pair of these gobies. So not only do I get twice the attentive behavior of the fish interacting with a pistol shrimp, I get to witness the coupling behavior of the fish themselves. The pair of fish share the burrow with a Candy Cane Pistol Shrimp and they share in the lookout duties. Often the fish guard separate entrances, but they do spend time guarding the main entrance together. When the two fish are together, you can see the bond they have with each other as they often perch side-by-side often making contact with each other. I have not witnessed any spawning or egg masses from the pair, although my female is capable and ready to lay eggs. I recently learned that female gobies are perennially pregnant and can lay eggs whenever the time is right with the pair. And my female has the belly to prove that she's carrying eggs.
    The colors of these gobies is quite elaborate. They're predominately a white/cream colored body with red/burgundy stripes and littered with spots of various colors and layers. Gorgeous!!!

    [​IMG]

    There are plenty other members from this genus that I like; the Aurora Goby (A. aurora) and the Orange Spotted Goby (A. guttata) for sure.

    Another goby species that I really enjoy are the Yasha Gobies.
    I have tried keeping these fish as pairs a few times now. I find that getting these fish to settle into an established system has a few challenges. These are more secretive and timid fish that are easily spooked by other fish. This results in either the fish jumping from the tank or not eating enough and they slowly perish. My most recent attempt was the most successful, as I purchased a larger pair. They did well enough until I lost the male in a freak "accident" and now the female has been less active. I'm starting to think that if I try another pair, I may do so in a species only tank.
    I really find these fish quite striking. The white body with red stripes and yellow accents makes for a bold color pattern that is accentuated by the large eyes and even larger pout that their lower jaw gives them.

    [​IMG]

    But there is one of the shrimp gobies that is my holy grail; the Magnificent Shrimp goby (Flabelligobius sp.)!!!
    I've seen one pair of these in person and they were incredible!!!

    Other gobies that I have kept are the Masked Gobies (C. personatus), the Neon Cleaner Gobies (E. oceanops) and a Yellow Clown Goby (G. okinawae).
    These diminutive gobies species are very good reef inhabitants. They tend to stay in the upper half of the reef and do swim in the water column for short periods of time. They only drawback is their relative shorter lifespans. I started out with multiple specimens and over time, they just drop off one by one. A benefit of the Neon Cleaner Gobies is that they do clean your other fish; if allowed. The Masked Gobies never bothered any of the other fish and tended to be antisocial. I thought they would school together like the cardinalfish, but they did not. I just lost the last one of the three this past week; I believe as I have not noticed it this week.

    [​IMG]

    I will note that the Yellow Clown Goby does have a reputation for picking at SPS corals. When I added one to my 120gal reef, I kept a close eye on the goby and it didn't bother any of my corals. But just recently, I noticed that it was picking at the bases of new frags that I placed into the system. If I can catch the little fish, I will rehome it to my nano system that doesn't have any SPS corals.

    I also like some of the sleeper gobies; Valenciennea sp.
    The Diamond Watchman Goby is a beautiful fish, but I haven't kept one in a long time due to their poor longevity records. But I have kept the Tiger Watchman Goby with better success. If my blenny/goby habitat tank was larger, I would probably try keeping those gobies again.

    Speaking of my blenny/goby habitat, I might add a Rainford's Goby once my foxface outgrows the tank. I like that they are a more active swimmer and will pick algae off of the rocks.

    I have kept various watchman gobies in the past and I wouldn't mind keeping some more of them if I had the tank for them. I have had thoughts of getting a longer large tank and adding dividers to keep various species in separate chambers. But I'm not sure if that would be necessary as most gobies seem to get along well. Has anyone ever had issues with different species of gobies not getting along? I wonder if it boils down to if the fish have separate burrows and pistol shrimps?

    One of the gobies that I find very tempting is the Two Spot Signal Goby.
    Has anyone ever had any long term success with these fish? Individually or in a pair? I noticed that the BRS display reef has some and I would like to know how they fare in a community tank. Or would they be another fish to keep in a species only tank?

    Yea!! Gobies!!
     
    #2 jlanger, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
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  3. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    I can't be the only one that likes gobies!!!

    If you're also a fan of (or considering) gobies, today's LA-DD listing has plenty to offer. So much so, that I wish I had the available tanks for getting more pairs. Not only do they have goby and pistol shrimp pairs, they have bonded pairs of gobies with a pistol shrimp! I've been known to say that the only thing better than having one in your tank is having two!

    Here's links to the gobies if you're interested...

    Wheeler's Shrimp Goby (Bonded Pair) with Red Banded Pistol Shrimp (My favorite!!)
    Hi Fin Red Banded Goby (Bonded Pair) with Red Banded Pistol Shrimp
    Monster Shrimp Goby (Bonded Pair) with Red Banded Pistol Shrimp
    Orange Spotted Shrimp Goby (Bonded Pair) with Red Banded Pistol Shrimp
    Yellow Lined Shrimp Goby with Red Banded Pistol Shrimp

    For the non-shrimp gobies, there's...

    Railway Sleeper Goby (Bonded Pair) (There's two listings of these pairs.)

    I need more tanks.... :help:
     
  4. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Since my first post above, I have added a couple of gobies to my 120gal system

    I was able to find a small Randall's Goby that I wanted to pair up with my existing fish. Not knowing for sure if the two fish would get along, I hoped for the best. Soon (very soon) after adding the smaller male, the female acquainted herself with him and they've been inseparable ever since. But their bonding together has exceeded my expectations as the have exhibited nesting behaviors and have spawned in my reef tank. As a matter of fact, i believe that they're "brooding" eggs right now. Two of the three burrow entrances have been closed up and the female wasn't seen for a couple of days; not even during feedings. I could barely see her inside the burrow and today she was present at the burrow's side entrance. I really wish I could see what is going on inside that burrow.

    Here's a photo of the pair of Randall's Gobies.
    [​IMG]

    And the second goby I added is an Orange Spotted Shrimp Goby.
    Apparently, this goby (and accompanying Tiger Pistol Shrimp) has been around the block within the club; a few tanks at least. I added the goby and the shrimp together on the far side from the other gobies' burrow. After a few moments, the shrimp found a suitable place to build a burrow and they've been doing just great ever since.

    Here's a photo of the newest goby.
    [​IMG]

    And to update the status of the pair of Wheeler's Gobies, they're still doing very well in the nano tank. There are also periods of time when I don't always see both fish, but there's no way to tell if any spawning behavior is occurring. There are times when the female doesn't look as robust as normal, but that could all be due to how much she's eating; they get fed very well!

    Here's this happy couple...
    [​IMG]
     
    #4 jlanger, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
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  5. ChristopherKriens

    ChristopherKriens Xenia Lover
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    I almost pulled the trigger on the hi fins. I've had my eye out for some Draculas for awhile, but they don't seem to be very common..
     
  6. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    It's been a while since I've even seen a single Dracula Goby listed.
    Off topic... but my calendar is open for March 18th. ;)
     
  7. ChristopherKriens

    ChristopherKriens Xenia Lover
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    I ended up with a pair of Helfrichi in my acclimation box and did some video practice since they don't move a whole lot. What a fish!

    [video=youtube;LSQ8w_4bQKM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSQ8w_4bQKM[/video]
     
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    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Nice video.

    I really liked my Helfrichi Firefish (dartfish ;)) that I had in my nano; but it never really adjusted well from shipping.
    After I upgrade, one of these fish is on my very short list of new additions. Although, I am really interested to see if your gramma has any reaction to these fish once added to the display.
     
  9. JELP

    JELP Senior Member

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    Most gobys I've had over the years have had some great personalities. I have a pink spotted watchman that is the exception to that, as he hides out on the side of the tank and is rarely seen. I want to add another the the other side but haven't picked the right guy out yet. In the meantime, I am looking to add a couple Flaming Prawns to the kids tank... hopefully they don't get lost in there.

    [video]https://youtu.be/h6MOj0JLGlc[/video]
     
  10. livestuff

    livestuff I contributed!
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    I have a Randall's and shrimp that I've had for at least 7 +years. Jason ,I think that is very cool to see so many bonded pairs of varies gobies.
    How did u or do u tell the difference between male and female Randall's?
     
    #10 livestuff, Feb 26, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  11. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Nice!
    Unfortunately there's no real easy way to tell the difference from visual cues. Although...
    Since I have the bonded pair of Wheeler's Gobies, I can see the difference between the sexes by looking at their bellies. Female gobies are perennially carrying eggs and thus have a thicker belly. Since my Randall's Goby had a thicker belly, I assumed the fish to be female so I was on the look out for a male. When I happened upon the small goby, the only noticeable difference I could make out was the shape of the signal dorsal fin. My larger goby had a single lobed (circular) fin while this younger goby had a double lobed (clover leaf) fin. I "bought" the boy and hoped for the best; and it worked out.

    When I asked for the pair of Wheeler's Gobies, several gobies were placed into a single quarantine system and the fish would pair up naturally. This is the most common way of getting pairs from retailers/wholesalers.

    If you're into reading very dry text book materials, here's a couple of resources that I have looked into.
    An article named: Social Behaviour and Mating System of the Gobiid Fish by Yanagisawa.
    And the text book: "The Biology of Gobies" by Patzner, Tassell, Kovacic and Kapoor.
    I would really like to acquire "The Biology of Gobies" book, but it's a tad expensive for the casual hobbyist.

    The texts mention that some goby species are able to change sex based on social dynamics, but those accounts were associated with the coral dwelling gobies that are haremic and not the shrimp gobies that form bonded pairs. [Still awake!]

    Since I just lost my female Randall's Goby last night, I'll be looking for another fish; a larger specimen with a thicker belly.
    And I may be tempted to find another Orange Spotted Goby for the one currently in the tank.

    BTW... Keeping a goby for seven years is great as their natural mortality rates in the wild is limited to 1-2 years due to predation and habitat loss.
     
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  12. livestuff

    livestuff I contributed!
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    Yep I'll look at that sometime Thanks

    Very sorry to hear that... They are so unique.

    Wow did not know that. Pick this guy up at All Pets Aquatic in Elk River ( no longer around) along with the pistol Shrimp and have had them
    ever since. This was about 1.5 yrs after I got into the hobby.
    Thanks for the info
     
    #12 livestuff, Feb 26, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  13. JELP

    JELP Senior Member

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    Any body have any experience with white cap gobies?

    Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
     
  14. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    I have seen them, but I have yet to own them. Why not? They're tiny!
    The specimens that I have seen have all been an inch or less in length. Their mature size is still under two inches, so they're one of the smaller goby species. And the fact that they're a shrimp goby, this means that they'll spend most of their day perched at a burrow entrance thus limiting their viewing even more.
    I think they're a very cool goby, though. If I ever set up a nano tank in the 10gal or under range for a specific fish, I would consider these as one of my top choices.
     
  15. JELP

    JELP Senior Member

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    I'm thinking of adding one in the kids Nuvo 40. Might get lost in there but there are only two rocks to burrow under so there is a good chance it will end up being viewable. But I am a little worried that the kids playing in there might keep him stressed. Also worried about feeding such a small fish! I would think fertility frenzy would be good though...

    Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
     
  16. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Lots of threads lately about equipment, but let’s get back to discussing what's really important, fishes!

    (Bump!)
    (Yep, I'm bumping them all!)
     
  17. livestuff

    livestuff I contributed!
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    So last summer I noticed that the Randell Goby openings were deteriorating some what. So I keep an eye on it at night more and noticed no Pistal shrimp.This was not a total surprise since I've had him since 2009 along with the same goby. So a week or so later I went and got another shrimp to have pair up ,all was fine for about a month.. Then I started to notice that the openings to the gobies burrow have been and kept closed up,all 3 of them. Now I was getting concerned thinking that something happened to the new shrimp and the goby was trapped inside. So I tried to open them up myself only to close up again which means shrimp is alive but goby is trapped. I did catch a glimpse of him every once in awhile though the small openings. So I 'd feed him thought these holes hoping shrimp would change his ways. This went on till around the new years time frame and things never really changed and I never saw my goby again:(. This made me very sad ,but then again not unexpected since I've had goby around 9 to 10 years now. So with just a shrimp I have been thinking of a goby to add. So I had stopped at the fish store last week to look and ask questions but made no purchase or order. I was just not feeling it.
    So to shorten a long story I get home THAT day only to find my old Goby sitting in his old spot like nothings happened:)
    We haven't seen him since around early Jan. He's a little thinner but looks really good. SO HAPPY!!!!
    I love LIVESTUFF HAHA
     
  18. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    @livestuff, Glad to hear your goby is still doing well after all of that time.
    I have learned to not get anxious until I haven't seen them for at least a month. But my situation is different in that I have pairs of gobies and that usually means that they're "preoccupied" and don't want to be bothered.

    Speaking of gobies, I have a "new" pair of Randall's in the 32gal Office system; since last November.
    They're both doing very well. I do believe though that the Tiger Pistol Shrimp may have passed. I haven't seen it in a few weeks and more obviously, I haven't heard any clicking either. It may be time to find a pair of Candy Cane Pistol Shrimp; I've only had a single before ao a pair would be nice. The gobies are actually out and about more often; either guarding separate entrances or sitting side by side.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. VikingsCrazy

    VikingsCrazy I contributed!
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    I love gobies!!!!! They are colorful, peaceful, and most of them have great personality! Where are the fire gobies on this list? Or the whitecap goby?
     
  20. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Fire gobies = Dartfish.

    Whitecap gobies were briefly mention above.
    Based on limited availability, Whitecap gobies fall into the Other Gobies category. Otherwise I would have posted the Magnificent Shrimp Goby and the Volcano Goby; just for starters.

    And I also love gobies.
     
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