They are marine or saltwater fish with long slender bodies. Gobies are bottom dwelling fish. More than 2000 species of gobies are available.

Some of them are colorful whereas others are drabber and covered with stripes and spots. Some species show symbiotic association with shrimps. Gobies are active, assertive and relatively resistant to disease. They can help you keep the aquarium clean. They are easy to care and suitable for beginners.

Gobies do best in an aquarium with lots of rocks and crevices as hiding places. Try to use a fine grained substrate in order prevent injuries to the delicate undersides. They require hard, alkaline freshwater, tropical or slightly brackish water. Make sure your tank is well covered because these fish are big jumpers. You can feed them with a variety of fresh and prepared foods containing vegetable matter and protein. Their diets vary from species to species but they require live food sometimes. The popular choices of live foods are small shrimp and crustaceans.

Gobies are perfect for community tanks with other fish of same size. They are peaceful fish, although a little territorial.

Clown Goby

Clown Goby


Neon Goby

You can keep them with other non-aggressive surface dwelling species like guppies. Like I mentioned before, some species are territorial and such species should be kept alone whereas other species can be kept in pairs or small groups.

You have to provide them with caves or tunnels in the aquarium for spawning if you want to breed them. Eggs are laid on the roof of the spawning site and the parents will guard the eggs. In most species, the males will build nests and persuade the female to lay eggs in them. When the fry become free swimming, you have to feed them with Infusoria or Rotifers. Stressed gobies may eat their eggs and fry, so it is advisable to separate them at that early stage.

Goby species have a pelvic fin that develops into a disc-shaped sucker. This sucker helps them attach on to the glass, rocks or wood in the aquarium. It is difficult to distinguish between male and female. The best water temperature for them is 72-78ºF and pH level should be 8.1-8.4.

The popular aquarium choices are Clown gobies, Neon Gobies, Sleeper Gobies, Lythrypnus Gobies, Hover Gobies and Coryphopterus Gobies. Among the most popular is the small and colorful Neon Goby. Most of them grow up to a length of 4 inches and their lifespan is from 4 to 6 years.