What Do Gobies Eat?

Having a new member of your small reef tank ecosystem is always exciting. Without a doubt, you’ll look at how it fits with others and how it behaves in certain situations. Recently, Gobies became one of the most sought-after species by enthusiasts from all over the globe.

They are one of the most easily-adapted fishes you have ever seen. With a proper diet, it is possible to maximize their life expectancy. So, it is necessary to know what do Gobies eat in a captive habitat. We will try to answer this question for you. Without further ado, let’s begin.

What is the Goby Gish?

Gobies are a part of a large fish family, Gobiidae, that includes more than two thousand distinct species. Some of them inhabit fresh and brackish water, while others live in marine waters. Most of them have small bodies, usually shaped like a torpedo.

Their main characteristics are the lack of lateral line, rounded tail, and two dorsal fins. Usually, they are brightly-colored. Most of them are floor-dwellers and have a weak suction cup formed by the fusion of pelvic fins.

What Do Goby Fish Eat in Nature?

Gobies can be carnivores, omnivores, and zooplanktivores. However, the highest percentage of them are carnivores. What is little known is that many of them are pretty selective of what they will consume. Mainly, they focus on an individual prey item.

At the same time, many of them evolved to consuming foods other fish can’t. The largest chunk of their diet consists of logperch, snails, and aquatic insect larvae. Also, they prey on eggs and young of other fish, lake trout, logperch, and a wide array of species. 

Because of the eating habits, experts perceive them as a danger to the population of other species. You can see these negative effects on the example of the Great Lakes and the Baltic Sea. For example, Round Gobies in Great Lakes eat up to 78 zebra mussels each day.

Gobies as Pets

Their diet is somewhat different when they are a part of the reef tank’s ecosystem. Of course, meat remains their primary food. But, they are comfortable eating artificial foods. So, you will not encounter any problems in that part.

Their feeding habits can be pretty strange since they sometimes won’t consume food that appears still. Consequently, you should make sure that there is a slight current in the tank that will make food move around, especially when you feed them frozen foods. 

How to Feed Sand Sifting Gobies?

Sand sifting Gobies spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank, stirring through the sand. Their primary task is to keep the sand as clean as possible. For example, Tiger Watchman goby is a carnivore, and it eats live black worms and shrimps. But only when it touches the ground. 

Many people struggle with keeping these alive, especially in the case when there is a lot of other fish in a tank. Therefore, coming up with a tactic is a must. Because they need to be in one place for a long time, try to place some of the food in that particular part of the tank.

Do Gobies Eat Algae?

The majority of Gobies are ferocious hunters, but some species are Omnivores. Those are content with eating algae. However, we can see that some species like Stohodon can get used to consuming bloodworms. But, chances of them having algae after that are minimal.

Do Goby Fish Eat Copepods?

As is the case with the highest percentage of fishes, Gobies do eat copepods. However, some species rely on them as their primary food source. That doesn’t mean that this is the only food they should consume, but they should eat it frequently.

When it comes to others, you should also give them copepods. Maybe you can use it as an addition to the food you already feed them with and save on other types of food. Yet, this will not work with all the species. 

Will Gobies Eat Other Fish?

There’s a possibility of Gobies consuming other fishes in the tank. Of course, the fish would need to be small enough for them to eat it. While chances of seeing something like this are pretty small, having an engineer goby in your tank increases these chances significantly.

Still, that doesn’t mean that it will always attack other fish. It’s more likely that an engineer goby will devour the remains of a fish that already died. Nevertheless, there are situations where this one attacks and devours other fishes.

What are the Most Popular Gobies?

Now, we would like to discuss the most popular Gobies, according to enthusiasts. 

  • Fat Sleeper (Dominator Maculatus)

Fat sleeper’s name derives from their lethargic sleepy dispositions. They sift through sand and collect all the remaining particles of food, mainly bloodworms, and shrimps. Despite it not being particularly aggressive, their size implies that they can perceive smaller fish as food. 

  • Marbled Sleeper Goby (Oxyeleotris Mamorata)

Marbled sleeper goby is a species often used in human consumption. However, sometimes it finds a way to our tanks. Even though Marbled Sleeper is a predator, once it settles in your reef tank, it will be happy with consuming pieces of seafood, fish fillet strips, and carnivore pellets.

  • White-Cheeked Goby (Rhinogobius Duospilus)

In the last couple of years, Rhinogobius Duospolus has become one of the most popular goby species. The reason is that feeding them is pretty easy. They don’t consume pellets and flakes. Instead, you should feed them bloodworms and other small meaty food items.

  • Peacock Gudeon (Tateurdina Ocellicauda)

Peacock Gudeon is one of the most common Australasian sleeper Gobies. Thankfully, they are not too needy when it comes to food. They eat either frozen or live food like glass worms, bloodworms, and shrimp. However, they will easily get used to basic fish food.

  • Freshwater Neon Goby (Stiphodon Atropurpureus)

Freshwater Neon Gobies are small, and you can find them in fast-flowing streams. Their diet should consist mainly of algae. Of course, you can mix it with minced seafood. But, it is necessary to know that not feeding them any algae can be a big problem.

In Conclusion

There are many different Gobies to choose from, and many of them can make an excellent addition to your aquarium. Knowing what to feed them with is crucial. Here, you can find all there is to know about their diet and what you should focus on. We are sure you’ll find it helpful.


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