The Red Stripe Goby (Valenciennea puellaris) is a brilliantly colored fish native to the Indo-Pacific region. Its beauty and hardiness make it a popular choice for home aquariums. They’re a moderately sized fish, reaching up to three and a half inches (9 cm) in length and have a lifespan of three to five years.
Colors and Appearance
The Red Stripe Goby is instantly recognizable by its distinctive coloration. Its head, body, and caudal fin (tail fin) are a vibrant reddish-orange with thin, vertical yellow stripes along the lateral side of its body. The dorsal fins and pelvic fins are also orange, though they fade to a lighter shade of yellow at the tips. Male and female Red Stripe Goby look virtually identical.
Habitat and Behavior
The Red Stripe Goby lives in ocean coral reefs as well as sandy flats, lagoons, and mangrove swamps. They will also make a home in brackish waters, where they have been known to coexist with other species like the Royal Gramma and Sixbar Wrasse.
In the wild, the Red Stripe Goby is a peaceful traveler that spends its time searching for food, marking its territory, and hiding from predators. When in groups, the Red Stripe Goby exhibits a unique pecking order with the largest and most dominant taking control. It can also coexist peacefully with some other fish, such as the Bicolor Blenny.
Since the Red Stripe Goby is an active swimmer and loves to explore, you’ll need an adequately sized tank with plenty of hiding places. A 20-gallon (76 liters) tank is a good size for a lone specimen, but for groups 25-30 gallons (9-11 liters) works better.
When it comes to decorations, the Red Stripe Goby loves Mediterranean look. A sandy substrate, some large rocks and sturdily secured coral branches make great additions. You’ll also need plenty of live plants and if you can, add soft corals, sponges, and sea fans too.
The Red Stripe Goby is a carnivorous fish and will accept most frozen, freeze-dried and live food prey. Provide a varied diet of brine and mysis shrimp, krill, bloodworms, and marine formulas to keep them healthy. Feed them two to three times daily and only give them what they’ll finish within a few minutes.
The Red Stripe Goby is a hardy fish that’s easy to care for, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off on other care requirements. Regular water changes should be done about every two weeks to maintain good water quality. You should also be sure to keep the water temperature in the range of 72-78° F (22-26° C), and the pH between 8.1 and 8.4.
The Red Stripe Goby is a peaceful community fish that should do well in most home aquariums. They can coexist happily with other peaceful species of the same size and temperament such as the Midas Blenny and the Banggai Cardinalfish. Avoid keeping them with larger and more aggressive species that may pester or bite them.
The Red Stripe Goby can be challenging to breed in captivity, so if you’re looking to start a breeding program you’ll have to set up a separate tank or use a species tank. Breeders also recommend adding multiple males and females to the setup so that the male can entice the female to spawn.
When it’s time to spawn, you’ll notice the male will establish a breeding territory and start wooing the female with courtship dances. If she’s receptive, the pair will then embrace and a small batch of eggs will be released. The eggs usually hatch within two to three days, and the fry can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp.
The Red Stripe Goby is a popular choice for home aquariums because of its vibrant colors, peaceful personality, and hardiness. While they do require some extra care, with the right tank setup and maintenance, you can expect many years of enjoyment from these wonderful fish.
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