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Reef Fish Guide
Neon/Cleaner gobies
Gobisoma spp. (Subspecies: Elacatinus)

Common Name(s): Sharknose/Cleaner goby (Gobiosoma evelynae), Neon goby (Gobiosoma oceanops), Golden neon goby (Gobiosoma evelynae) 

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Reef Fish Guide designation and why

Take it home
(captive-bred is a better choice)

Adult cleaner/neon gobies are small, and can be maintained easily in a new or old tank. They pair and spawn readily and regularly, making captive bred specimens a very sustainable and increasingly available choice, and therefore, the best choice. Commercial breeders raise eggs separate from their parents, but a home aquarist may see them spawn and rear their young on most anything solid. Even though the young are fully developed in a month and fish has a life span of about one or two years, they have a high survivability rate.

Tropical Eastern Atlantic

Maximum Size
Range from 1.6 inches to 2.0 inches (4 - 5 cm)

Care Requirements
Minimum tank size for these fish is 30 gallons. This genus of gobies is known for their extreme hardiness and great utility; they are considered a great first fish for a beginner aquarist. They are fairly disease resistant and will frequently clean tankmates and help control disease. They will actually nip ich cysts off other fishes and have been known to remove the viral infection Lymphocystis.

Food: These gobies like to eat meaty foods, including vitamin-enriched live and frozen brine shrimp, frozen mysid shrimp, finely shaved table shrimp, and frozen food for carnivores. In a reef tank, it should be fed about once a day, but in a tank without live substrate you must feed it several times a day.

Compatibility: These make great additions to most reef aquariums, especially ones with small tankmates. They are non-predatory and non-aggressive fish species but may fight with some of their own kind. If you do keep these fish in a relatively aggressive tank setting, make sure to provide plenty of hiding spaces and food directed to the gobies so they don't starve. Also, take care when choosing tankmates for gobies; due to their size, these fish may become a meal for a larger, aggressive fish.

Captive-bred fish available, better choice


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