Though they belong to a large family of fish, the Goby is a usually tiny addition to your tank. Many species grow no larger than five inches in the aquarium, and even in the wild a Goby longer than a foot is a rare exception. They are also incredibly hardy and long-lived, making them one of the most popular fish to keep in the marine aquarium. Gobies are bottom-dwelling fish with a special “sucker” fin that helps them attach to rocks, coral and the side of the tank. They seem to resemble Blennies as they stick to the bottom of the cage, but Blennies lack this special organ. Some species of Goby also enjoy making small burrows in the substrate of the aquarium. While Gobies are hardy fish, they are very shy and do not survive well in tanks with aggressive and nosey fish that will bully your Goby.

Sub-Species for Aquariums:

Neon – The Neon Goby is the most popular of the aquarium Gobies. It brings bright color, even though it is very small in size. The Neon Goby is horizontally stripped in black and blue or black and yellow. The Neon Goby in the wild is a “cleaner” fish and picks off the parasites from larger, more dangerous fish.

Fire – Bright and colorful, the Fire Goby is a beautiful addition to the aquarium. Divided into three color phases, the Fire Goby begins with a white head that fades into an orange middle that builds in intensity to a deep burnt orange tail. It has a long dorsal fin that can be nipped and destroyed by aggressive fish, so the Fire Goby should be kept with peaceful fish.

Purple Fire – The Purple Fire Goby is shocking and fluorescent in color. Its white body stands in sharp contrast to the bright, neon pink and purple of its fins. It also has a long dorsal fin that can be destroyed by aggressive fish and so it should be kept in tanks where it will not be bothered.

Yellow – Somewhat plainer than the others, the Yellow Goby still brings bright color to your tank. It is a solid yellow and one of the more hardy varieties. Easily adaptable to life in a tank, this variety is better for beginning tank owners than the other Gobies.


Gobies are very easy to keep and most adapt to tank life very well. They have no special water requirements other than those of a normal, healthy reef tank. They even handle water fluctuations well. They are shy fish that require places to hide or a deep, sandy substrate to bury themselves in. They should not be kept with significantly larger fish, fish that will bully them, or nosey fish as these can cause the Goby stress and may make it ill. These are significantly long-lived fish and if well cared for will give their owners close to ten years of bright color and enjoyment.


Gobies require a high-protein diet and some vegetable matter. They do best when their protein is provided through brine shrimp or finely chopped frozen shrimp and fish. Vegetable matter can be supplied through flake and all-purpose foods. Goby are not aggressive eaters, so it is important that owners make sure they get food.

Size: Up to 5 Inches
Freshwater/ Saltwater: Saltwater
Diet: Omnivore
Reef Compatibility: 8
Tank Mate Compatibility: 4
Lifespan: Up to 10 Years

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