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The blue-banded goby or Lythrypnus
is a member the family Gobiidae.
These intensely colorful fish are native to the Eastern
Pacific Ocean and the coast line of California. It is, in fact, often
referred to as the Catalina goby.
constitute one of the largest groupings of fish
on the planet. The group is comprised of 267 assorted genera and 2,100
individual species. There are even freshwater gobies but all but about
200 are saltwater varieties. Of those, gobies most commonly live a
demersal existences inhabiting tropical and sub-tropical reef
are renowned for their near symbiotic
relationships with crustaceans, sponges and sea urchins. Of the entire
spectrum of bottom dwelling creatures you can add to a reef tank, it is
the goby that is most likely to end up becoming the center of
blue-banded goby is a
small fish only reaching a length of
2-2.5 inches when fully grown. They are cylindrical bodied species with
bright reddish orange coloring and rather unique looking neon blue
vertical banding starting at their heads and working its way back to
other gobies, you will never see the Catalina goby stray to
far from its sanctuary. In a reef tank you will often see them sunning
themselves on rocks or hiding under the friendly protection of a sea
Gobies are exceedingly docile creatures.
They make excellent
additions to any reef tank provided their tank mates are equally mild
mannered. Unlike many bottom dwellers,
the blue-banded goby exhibits no
territorial behavior toward members of its own species. You can add as
many to your reef tank as you please as long as there are enough hiding
places and food to accommodate a thriving, bottom dwelling community.
These are a short lived creature. They generally only live about 18
months. Warmer water temperatures seem to expedite their expiration
date. If it is conducive to the other members of the reef, it is
recommended that the water temperature be kept between 68-72°F.
These are a carnivorous species. They will remain quite hardy
throughout the remainder of their limited lifespan if fed vitamin
enriched brine shrimp, or a similar commercially raised live
crustacean. They will also eat frozen marine food formulated for
carnivores. They have even been known to develop a taste for marine
Unlike many marine fish,
gobies frequently spawn in captivity.
Although they have similar color palettes, you will find that you can
distinguish between male and female blue-banded gobies with a little
practice. If you look closely you will see that some of them have
slightly longer dorsal fins than others. These are the males of the
species. Determining the sexes is not essential to the prorogation of
the species. Gobies are bi-gendered. If there are no males present in a
group of gobies a hormonal surge will be triggered in the most dominant
female until she undergoes the transformation into a male.
deposit their eggs in an empty shell or
any of the various other hiding places you provide for them. The male
will then guard the eggs until they hatch. Fry can be fed liquid or
powdered marine food developed hatchlings. When they grow a little
bigger they can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp.
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Saltwater & Marine
Fish Care & Breeding Guide
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