Introduction to the Catalina Goby

The Catalina Goby is considered one of the most beautiful gobies and rightly so.

Its beautiful bright red body and striking blue mask are stunning. Its stripes and yellow coloration in the tail are the icing on the cake for this beauty.

A very peaceful species that wont harm other fish, corals, or invertebrates, it is difficult to keep in most community tanks due to its requirement for cooler temperatures than usual. See below.

The Stunning Catalina Goby

Catalina Goby Quick Facts

  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Hardiness: Moderate
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gal (114 L)
  • Size of fish: 2 inches (5 cm)
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Temperature: 60.0 to 70.0° F (15.5 to 21.1° C)
  • pH Range: 8.1-8.4
  • Diet: Carnivore


Fish keepers ought to think twice before choosing this fish for their tank. The Catalina Goby is considered a sub-tropical fish as they come from cooler waters. Keeping these Gobies in warmer temperatures found in many common reef tanks can really shorten their lives and you will need to plan accordingly.

You will need to ensure that your fish is happy and healthy, and not just force it to live in warmer than normal temperatures, purely for your viewing pleasure. Do not keep this fish in temperatures higher than advised.

Catalina Goby Quick Aquarium Guide

  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gal (114 L) – A minimum of 30 gallons is required for a single fish.
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: Yes
  • Live Rock Requirement: Rock structures are important.
  • Substrate Type: Live Sand.
  • Lighting Needs: Any
  • Temperature: 60.0 to 70.0° F (15.5 to 21.1° C)
  • Specific gravity: 1.023-1.026 SG
  • pH Range: 8.1-8.4
  • Brackish: No
  • Water Movement: Prefers calm areas.
  • Water Region: Mainly bottom and along the reef structure.

The Catalina Goby

Catalina Goby Quick Feeding Guide

  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Flake Food: Yes. Make sure the food is small enough to fit in its mouth.
  • Pellet / Tablet: Yes. Make sure the food is small enough to fit in its mouth.
  • Live foods (fish, shrimp, worms): Yes. Zooplankton, amphipods and copepods.
  • Feeding Frequency: Several times per day.


These Gobies thrive on live foods such as Zooplankton, amphipods and copepods. They also accept and do will on frozen mysis and brine shrimp. If possible, try to vary their diet and ensure they get some high quality flake food.

Social Behaviors

The Catalina is a territorial fish, however, you can keep several in an aquarium of at least 50 gallons. They are generally peaceful with other small fish but are targets for bullies if you keep any aggressive fish in the same tank.


The Catalina Goby can change its sex. The males generally pick out a secluded spot, such as a cave and will coax the female into laying her eggs there. The males will then guard the eggs. The males can act very aggressively towards any fish that ventures close to the eggs. The fry are extremely difficulty to raise in captivity and very few successful breeders are able to raise them in captivity.