Fish Profile – Goby Fish The Ray-finned Fish

Goby fish belongs to the Gobiidae family. This family has many members that are present all around the world. It ranges from less than 1cm in adult fish size to 24 inches. A variety of nature, food consumption, color, and many other things are present in this family.
In this article, you will learn about the goby fish’s origin, types, feeding habits, interesting facts about different goby fish species, and brief information about round goby fish, saltwater goby fish, and dragon fish goby.

Goby Fish Origin

Gobby fish is a small to medium-sized ray-finned fish. It’s distributed throughout the globe, i.e., fresh water and saltwater goby fish. They are specifically present in the Sea of Azov, Eurasia, the Black and Caspian Seas, and their tributaries. However, these bottom dwellers are abundant in the tropics and live in shallow waters and reefs.

Types of Goby Fish

Goby fish has many species. There are 2,200 species of goby fish present. 1600 out of all are freshwater fish. Some famous types of salt and freshwater goby fish are enlisted and briefly discussed.

saltwater goby fish

Saltwater Goby Fish

  • Diamond Watchman Goby

Diamond Watchman goby fish is a 6-inch, beautiful introduction to small aquariums. It has a glimmering silver body with blue dots on the head and orange dots on the body. This carnivore fish is present in parts of Australia, the Philippines, the Red Sea, and the Maldives. Here are some water requirements for these fish.

pH: 8.2–8.4 Temperature: 74–78°F Salinity: 1.020-1.026
  • Neon Goby

This beautiful goby fish can grow up to 2–3 inches. They have a torpedo-like shape with black bodies with blue lines running through the body. They are native to Florida and the Caribbean Sea. Furthermore, they grow over carnivores’ diet. Here are the suitable water parameters if you want to introduce them in your tank, as keeping them in the tank is easy.

pH: 5.5–7.0 Temperature: 68–82° F Salinity: 1.020-1.025
  • Crystal Goby

Crystal goby is another famous type of goby fish that can grow up to 2 inches in size. This elongated and scaleless fish appears transparent. They feed on zooplankton. They are native to the Mediterranean and the East-Atlantic Ocean and live over mud, shell, or sand bottoms in coastal waters. Furthermore, they can live under 1,400 meters of water depth and prefer to live in cold temperatures without aquarium heaters, i.e., 9.8°C.

  • Dragon Fish Goby

This is a bluto goby fish that can gain the size of 24 inches in the wild and up to 15 inches in captivity. They have a long, cylindrical silver body with a black strip running down the body. They love to eat meaty food and prey on small tank mates. Likewise, they prefer to live in the following water conditions.

pH: 6.5–8.5 Temperature: 75–82°F Salinity: 1.006–1.008

Freshwater Goby Fish

  • Bumblebee Goby

Bumblebee goby is another famous type of goby fish that can grow only 1–1.2 inches. They have golden-yellow and black alternating strips across the body and a large head. These carnivores are native to the western parts of Borneo and the Natuna Islands. They thrive in the following water conditions.

pH: 7.0–8.5 Temperature: 72–84°F Length: 1–1.2 inches
  • White-Cheek Goby

White check goby is another famous freshwater goby fish with 2 inches in total length. These playful and active fish have regular white and red checks on their bodies. They are native to China and Vietnam. They love to consume brine shrimps and blood worms. Here are some optimum water parameters to remember while setting up the aquarium for them.

pH: 7.5–8.0 Temperature: 59–77°F Length: 2 inches

What Do Goby Fish Eat

Goby fish love to eat various foods. Here is the list of the food that you can feed them.

Plant-Based Organic Matter/Decomposers
Diatoms Detritus (organic debris)
Blue-green algae Nematodes (microscopic worms)
Macrophytes (aquatic plants) Protozoa (single-celled organisms)
Animal-Based Processed Food
Fish eggs and parts Brine shrimp Cyclops Mysis shrimp Frozen mysis/brine
Plankton Reef plankton Real Oceanic Egg

About the Round Goby

This section is specifically about round goby fish. Here, you’ll learn about some interesting facts and their features.

Are Round Goby Fish Venomous?

No, round goby fish are not venomous. However, they can carry diseases, i.e., Type E Botulism and Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV). Moreover, they are aggressive and can displace the native fish from their original habitat.

goby fish


Here are some features of round goby fish.

  • Shape: They have small cylindrical bodies with large heads. Moreover, the lips are thin and have frog-like bulging eyes.
  • Age: Round goby has a maximum 4-year lifespan.
  • Size: Usually, the size is between 3 and 6 inches. They rarely grow up to 10 inches.
  • Diet: Diet varies among the young and adult round gobies. Young round gobies love to eat all the time, while adult / mature eat once a day, i.e., at night. They eat invertebrates, aquatic insects, and other animals.
  • Nature: Round goby is a small, active, bottom dweller and aggressive fish. They have an invasive nature and negatively affect the ecosystem.
  • Color: Color changes throughout the lifetime in shades of grey.
Young Solid slate grey
Adult Black, brown, and olive green markings on the grey
Old Molted grey with brown and olive green markings

More Facts About the Goby Fish

Goby fish has many species. There are many interesting facts about different species. Here are some of them.

  1. Dragon gobies are nocturnal. They have small eyes that lead to partial blindness.
  2. Rifle Goby spawn their eggs in freshwater, and on hatching, young fry instantly move to marine water.
  3. Pygmy goby is among the smallest fish in the world, as it can only grow to 9 millimeters.
  4. Pistol shrimps and Watchman Goby have a symbiotic relationship. They live together and protect each other.
  5. Mudskippers are an interesting goby fish species that can walk, climb, and even come out to water.
  6. Bumblebee goby is a cave spawner and has golden-yellow and black alternating strips on their bodies.
  7. Yongeichthys nebulosus and Amoya caninus are poisonous goby fish species.


Goby fish has 2,000+ species that are equally present in fresh and saltwater. Some saltwater Goby fish can even survive in freshwater and other harsh conditions. They consume various foods that range from grazing to prey on small freshwater crustaceans. Round goby and Dragon gobies are one of the interesting species with some distinct features. Some other species have many interesting facts.

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