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Gobies at Sims Tropical Fish

22 November 2021


Freshwater and brackish goby species are not nearly as numerous as their marine cousins, but many of them are well suited to captivity. The goby family (Gobiidae) is one of the largest families of fishes and consists of over 2,000 species. Most of the fish within this species are marine and the rest are brackish or even sometimes freshwater. For a long time, non-marine species have not been easy to find in shops, however, several new species have begun to appear in retail shops. The vast majority of fish labelled as ‘freshwater gobies’ actually end up being brackish. Brackish fishes are ones that live in areas of varying salinity where marine and fresh waters can easily mix. In the aquarium, these fish tend to do best with a small dose of marine salt in their water.

Gobies are underrated by aquarists, though their small size means that they’re among the easiest oddballs to add to a community tank- many of them are well suited to captivity. One of the most striking species is the black goby (Mugilogobius sarasinorum) from Indonesia. This small freshwater goby comes in a variety of colours including brown and grey, but the specimens can appear more of a deep velvety black sometimes. At around 4-5 cm long, these are very striking fish. Males are a bit larger than the females, and though they are territorial they are not particularly aggressive. As with most other gobies, the main problem with the maintenance of this species is feeding; flake and pellet foods are not adequate, and the aquarist will need to supply them with suitable live, fresh or wet-frozen foods.

Rhinogobius candidianus is a colourful goby from East Asia. Sexual dimorphism is obvious, the males being bigger, more colourful, and sporting longer fins. Basic colour is creamy-pink with numerous red and blue speckles on the flanks plus some blue and yellow speckles on the fins. Their basic care is straightforward, though in common with other East Asian fish, these gobies prefer low to middling water temperatures, 18-24 C being ideal.

Aquarists with a taste for the more unusual would find Eleotris melanosoma an interesting species. This South Asian sleeper goby is mottled brown with a pale brown band across its dorsal surface. Like most other sleepers is distinctly predatory, and will need to be fed live or frozen foods. Like most other Eleotris, this species is found in a range of freshwater, brackish water and saltwater habitats. The maximum length of this fish is around 20 cm, but most specimens remain much smaller. Like other sleeper gobies it is territorial and predatory, but otherwise a good companion for dissimilar fish of similar size.

As long as you provide the environment they need, these comical little fish will perform their antics in your tank for years to come.

Click here to view our Gobies available for home delivery.