A few questions about my new bumblebee gobi
Hi, I'm new here, but I'll post more about that in an actual intro post.
Last week I added a bumblebee gobi to my tropical aquarium (20 gal, 75 degrees) and so far, it's doing really well (I did add a salt cup) except for one thing- it's not eaten very much. I've been feeding flake food in the hopes that it would get the leftovers like my ghost shrimp used to, but the schooling fish in the tank have gotten to be much more voracious eaters than I expected.
So tonight, while picking up crickets, I decided I'd try offering, in addition to flake food, a frozen/thawed brine shrimp/Spirulina mix. I'm hoping (please comment if you've experience in this) that either my gobi will be more competitive for the brine shrimp or the schooling fish will be so thrilled at the prospect of high protein, high calorie food that something will drift down to the gobi.
My real question, though, is this:
I also picked up two tiny tiny terra cotta pots, with the idea that maybe this would afford better shelter for the gobi. However, this was an impulse buy from two stores down (and 59 cents apiece, but I still feel like I got ripped off) and I don't have any idea what I can actually do with them to make them gobi-sized hides. Any ideas? I'm going to wait to put them in 'til I know how to clean them/if I should put them in at all. Cleaning advice? They also have adhesive stickers on them as opposed to most decor having tags- should I be worried about that?
Will having a hide or two just for it make my gobi more aggressive? It's the smallest and slowest animal in the tank, but you never know.
Finally, are there any recommendations of where to put a hide for a gobi? Moving water, near the salt cup, etc.
By the way, I'm not keeping the gobi in there forever. I'm planning on (eventually) starting a brine tank where I'd keep it.
Sorry for the long post, but thanks for reading!
Bumblebee gobies need brackish water. I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean by "adding a salt cup"... could you please explain this? Photos often help a lot if you can post them.
Terra cotta pots can be great fish shelters, can be cleaned with bleach water. (1/4 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water) After rinsing well in the bleach water, they should be rinsed well in clean (no bleach) water and left to air dry for a few days so you are assured they dry completely through. Bleach will evaporate if allowed to completely air dry. The bleach water solution should also help you to remove the stickers and remove any sticky residue left behind. The pots can be soaked in the bleach water for sticker removal if need be... but be sure they are completely air dried for a number of days before rinsing them again in clean water. If you detect any odor of bleach after the drying phase, rinse or soak in unbleached water again and let dry for a few more days. If you can dry them in direct sunlight,even better.
As for the goby... bumblebees tend to do best in a small school of their own kind, and require very small holes/places to hide. They will usually select holes that are just barely large enough for them to squeeze into. I'm not sure working with a terra cotta pot can offer this type of confined space.
What is the pH and KH reading for this tank? Along with brackish water, bumblebees tend to thrive best in harder water with higher calcium levels. Honeycomb rock is one of the best to use not only for helping to keep calcium/hardness up, but it offers the type of little holes that the bumblebees love. Live rock can also be used.
SPG/salinity for a bumblebee tank should run in the area of 1.009 - 1.013, so a hydrometer or refractometer will be needed to determine salinity. Fair warning before you adjust things... tetras will not do well or survive long at those salinity levels.
It is very likely that lack of shelter and lack of salinity are the reason your goby hasn't eaten well. If you get that fixed you should see some positive changes in your goby. Long term in freshwater means certain death to a bumblebee.
Also I might add that getting a bumblebee goby to eat prepared food is like getting a cat to eat salad. They almost exclusively eat live and frozen food.
Furthermore they are very slow and cannot beat anybody but other bumblebee gobies to the food.
I'm not sure I agree with the live food info. I have successfully trained bumblebees to eat small pellet foods, such as Spectrum 1 mm pellets, frozen formula 1 food (completely thawed), frozen brine (completely thawed), tubifex worms, and also tropical flake foods. Live food may be what this fish is used to, which means you may need to start with live and slowly work it over to prepared, but it can be done with enough patience and diligence.
...I never said only live.
There are many species of bumblebee goby. Some are brackish water fish while others are freshwater fish. Do you have any idea which species your goby is?
According to the description given by Peter McKane's article "10 Things to Know about Gobies," mine's a Brachygobius xanthozona. The article (I don't think I'm supposed to link offsite on here?) states that this species tolerates freshwater better.
@serecinda, the other species is Brachygobius nunus , which (again, according to Mr. McKane) are more saline-dependent and have broken black stripes (or spots) instead of solid ones. Mr. McKane says that they're technically called Golden Banded Gobies.
Thanks for the advice on the pots! The pots are pretty small, but not fitted to a goby size. Maybe an inch and a half wide at the brim and two inches deep.
I haven't taken the pH or hardness of the water recently, but last time I did a pH reading, it was a tad basic. Maybe 7.4? I can't remember what the hardness was. I'll run a full panel tonight (if I have time) and post.
In other news, though, I caught the goby eating flake food off of the substrate. I also suspect it very much enjoys brine shrimp, though I haven't actually seen it eat those yet.
You can link offsite to things like informative articles.
This site lists eight different species:
You can upturn the flowerpots so that the gobies can swim inside the drainage hole. Just make sure your goby can fit or he might get stuck!
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