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Goby - Desert (Chlamydogobius eremius)

Goby - Desert (Chlamydogobius eremius)

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Though uncommon, the desert goby is a popular fish species amongst brackish aquarium keepers but are a fantastic species for any aquarist to try out. The deer goby is found all through Central Australia in freshwater catchments and streams, all the way to brackish water systems. These are fish that prefer alkaline water conditions and they are a great alternative to the common higher PH loving species like African cichlids. Desert gobies also have a different aesthetic compared to a lot of other freshwater aquarium fish as they spend most of their day on the bottom of the aquarium darting amongst the aquascape. They are also a relatively easy species to care for, only reach a maximum size of 6cm, and can be bred in captivity. 

Gobies are often only found in saltwater settings however The Australian desert goby is a true member of the Gobiidae family and can thrive in fully freshwater settings. These desert gobies have a relatively simple but striking aesthetic. They have a sulphuric yellow and olive-green base colour that spans from head to tail along with an array of spots. It is not uncommon for desert gobies to have darker body colours however the white, green, and brown spots contrast well against this. Most notable the desert gobies have a stunning powder blue colour on their fins that look phenomenal as these fish display to each other in the aquarium. The best part is these colours only get deeper and more vibrant as the desert goby matures in the aquarium. 

These quirky-looking fish can live for up to 5 years and should be fish that displays themselves regularly in the home aquarium. As they come from incredibly harsh environments out in the wild, these fish are well adapted to rapid changes such as PH, salinity, and temperature. It should be noted that keeping them in stable conditions will always be best, as this reduces the potential stress the fish will go under. These native Australian fish are best kept in groups to ensure they feel comfortable. Breeding the desert goby in the home aquarium is possible and can be quite easy. Males tend to be more vibrant than females, primarily the lower jaw being a bright yellow along with the dorsal fish sporting a powder blue patch. Females are far less vibrant in coloration and tend to be rounder in body shape when compared to males. Females will lay up to 250 eggs and leave the responsibility to their mate to fan and guard the eggs. 

 Tank Recommendations for your Desert Goby

These desert gobies get to a maximum length of 6 cm and are a great fish species to keep in a species-only setting or with peaceful native Australian fish. As they are best kept in groups of 6 or more, these fish would need an aquarium with a minimum volume of 60 liters. 

Desert goby come from sandy, rocky environments, and replicating this would give these fish a comfortable home and accentuate their earthy colours. They will love plants in their aquarium and are tropical fish best kept at 24-26 degrees. Though the desert goby is adaptable to a range of water parameters it is best to keep them in a PH range of around 7.0-8.0 and add a little bit of salt or mineralize to the aquarium. 

 Suitable Tank Buddies

Due to their peaceful behavior, the desert goby is great to include in community aquariums. They can be kept with a wide range of smaller fish species however as they are bottom-dwelling fish that might get outcompeted by other tank mates in the upper portions of the aquarium. 

 Usually Compatible

Dwarf rainbowfish, peacock gudgeons, bumblebee gobies, and smaller, peaceful aquarium fish.

 Sometimes Compatible

Purple spotted gudgeons, mono argenteus, and scats which are peaceful but may outcompete the small desert gobies during feeding.  

 Rarely Compatible

Larger species may prey on the desert goby such as spangled gudgeon or show aggressive behavior like silver perch.  

 Feeding your Desert Goby

Desert gobies are fairly easy to feed, they take to a wide range of common aquarium foods like pellets or flake. A high-quality, protein-rich pellet would make for great staple food, this can be supplemented with live blackworms, frozen blood worms, brine shrimp, and similar food options. Ensuring that the food sinks to them is always best due to their bottom-dwelling nature. 

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