Introduction to the Neon Goby

The Neon Goby is a small goby with distinctive blue lines on its body. These iridescent blue stripes on both the top and bottom of the fish make it a welcome addition to any colorful reef tank. Sadly, these fish only have a life span of approximately 18 months.

The Neon Goby is an excellent fish for beginners. While the lifespan is not a long one, it is an extremely hardy fish fish and is easy to breed. Suitable for most community tanks, it also provides great benefits for your tank and its inhabitants as a “cleaner”. The Neon Goby will clean cryptocaryon and other parasites from your fish and reef and will also consume dead flesh in finds.

The Neon Goby – Image Source

Neon Goby Quick Facts

  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Hardiness: Very Hardy
  • Minimum Tank Size: 30 gal (114 L)
  • Size of fish: 2 inches (5 cm)
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Temperature: 72.0 to 78.0° F (22.2 to 25.5° C)
  • pH Range: 8.1-8.4
  • Diet: Carnivore

Maintenance

The Neon Goby is very easy to keep and a great choice for beginners to the salt water fish keeping hobby. A good reef, substrate and live rock environment are important for this fish to thrive.

Neon 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: 72.0 to 78.0° F (22.2 to 25.5° 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 Neon Goby – Elacatinus oceanops

Neon 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.
  • Feeding Frequency: Several times per day.

Social Behaviors

Neon Gobies in the wild can be found alone, in pairs, and in schools of 20-35. This Goby is usually very peaceful, but will defend its territory and has been known to attack its own species.

They will often develop a friendship with a “host” fish that they will clean. As long as you are not keeping it with fish big enough to fit the Goby in their mouth, then they should be safe from being devoured! They also do a great job in cleaning corals and invertebrates.

Breeding

Thought to be one of the first marine species to be bred in the hobby, the Neon Goby is relatively easy to breed.

While determining the sexual differences, they will always spawn in pairs. Considering the difficulty in determining the sex of the fish, it is best to buy multiple fish, in the hope that you will get a pair who breed. The fry are easy to raise, and are best moved into their own fry tank.

The female will lay her eggs on the bottom, a rock or similar plastic surface. If your intention is to breed these fish, then it is advised that you use easily removable pots for transfer later to a fry tank.

The fry will eat zooplankton. Unicellular planktons, like Euplotes (ciliatae plankton) and Brachionus rotifers can be easily produced at home or purchased online/your local pet store. It takes approximately one month for the fry to mature.