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Brachygobius sp.
Bumblebee Goby

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Bumblebee Goby - Brachygobius sp.

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Nobody has mentioned the swimming behaviours of this fish. They remind me of birds. Most of the time they are "perched" on logs or rocks. They never swim for long, usually only long enough to find another "perch". Having no swim bladder, they sink like rocks when they stop flapping their fins. When they land, the fins on the belly fold out and become stiff to make a tripod that keeps the fish stable. I think this is so cool.

Contributed by Pablo

We purchased 2 bumblebee gobies from a local chain pet store. They did fine the first few days. We put them in a tank with some danios and tetras. We woke one morning and went to check on the fish and noticed the neon tetras were white. Upon closer inspection we noticed that the tails had been bitten off of them. I called the pet store who had us bring the tetras back. I placed the tetras in a bag and put the bag in the water while I got my son ready to go to the store. I noticed the gobies swimming around the bag and thought nothing of it. When I pulled the bag out of the water and wiped it off I noticed water drops forming on the outside of the bag and then realized that they had bitten slits in the bag to get at the tetras. The store said the danios would be fine with the gobies because they were a snippy fish too. Well, we've just had to return the gobies to the store because last night they started attacking the danios. Everyone say's that they are peaceful, maybe we got the demon goby fish of the bunch. I don't know I even bought special food to try and appease them. I would recommend they be kept in a single species tank. Very nice and active fish. I do home childcare and the children loved them.

Contributed by a visitor

I bought my gobies with the intention of breeding them and have been thoroughly educated by my local aquarist who has bred these lilí cuties in the past. First off, if breeding is your intention brackish is almost a must. The ideal way to breed these fish is to slowly (about .001 a week) raise the salinity of your tank. If you are as lucky as I am you local fish store may have these guys in a brackish condition already, if so you have a head start. From here on out it's pretty easy. Iíve seen this trick in action and works amazingly. Once every 2 days you want to do a 10% water change, but do not add any salt to the new water, as this will simulate their natural spawning process. Another must is sea shells, lots and lots of sea shells, this is where they lay their eggs. Iíve bred other fish in the past and have had great success with this trick.

Contributed by Chris Weir

I was doing some research on keeping bumblebee gobies before buying a couple, when I found this site. I've read all the comments and found some pretty significant variation between reports on things like community size, water conditions, size, etc. Of course, this prompted me to do further research. It turns out there are four or five "very" distinct species of bumblebee goby from several regions of the South Pacific. And just as the testimonies would indicate, the species can differ pretty widely in how they should be kept. So, just because it's labled a "bumblebee" doesn't necessarily make it a Doriae or Xanthozona. You should be very attentive to how you introduce it and ask questions about care before you buy it (which is sort of a given anyways). I also recommend a visit to to help narrow the identification and elaborate on the natural state of the fish. Also, don't buy it if it isn't strongly colored. A general guideline is that off-color fish are stressed, sick, or painted. Just another rule of thumb.

Contributed by a visitor

I have had two breeding pairs for quite a while now. Once a year, raise the water temperature and water level a bit to encourage breeding. They seem to like plants such as the Java Fern and Java Moss. They also quite like hiding in Amazon swords and Dwarf Hairgrass and especially the cabbage leaf anubias. My experience with these cute fish is that they do not pick on each other, they just swim around by themselves. Mine like to have a piece of drift wood to swim into if they get scared. You don't need a big tank to breed, but you need to make sure that no other fish will see the eggs laid for a meal. Crystalwort is ideal for this because the eggs blend in with the bubbles on it. Once the eggs have been laid, move the plants over to one side of the tank and put a divider in. This way other fish won't be able to eat them. I like to feed mine small shrimp and flakes, with the occasional frozen bloodworm. If you only feed them flakes they might not look as impressive or grow as big. I would recommend them to experienced fish people because they are not very hardy and require a lot of care. Before you attempt to breed this fish, talk to your local aquarium manager or where you buy your fish.

Contributed by Jack Weeks

A couple of years ago I bought one Bumble Bee Goby and added it to a 200 L tank that houses guppies, mollies, swords and a few cory's. This tank is planted so I figured that I wouldn't see him much. He was always very prominent and did so well that I added three more a few weeks later. Whenever I see them for sale I buy a couple more to add to the tank. There are twelve or fourteen living in that tank now. I was told that they didn't breed in captivity and my fish book states the same thing. Now that I have read the comments I believe I will set up a small tank for gobies only and try to breed them myself.

Contributed by Richard Moore

I would not say that these fish are not for beginners, but you need to get information before buying them. First: They need frozen or live food. Live is better, but I feed mine with frozen bloodworms and they eat it. Second: It is better for them to be kept in brackish water. However they can be kept in freshwater, but you will never get a reproduction. For that, you need brackish water (1-2 tablespoons of salt per 10 liters). Then, you do a water change of 20% of the water with only cold freshwater. This immitates rainfall in their natural environnement. The couple will place in the shape of a T and I don't know how much time later, the female will lay eggs (in shape of pears). Personally, I keep mine in freshwater and they're doing fine. They make me think of bees, they go and fix on walls and objects.

Contributed by Cedric Brown-Page

These pages have enough comments to give the reader a basic idea on the topic. Further comments are still very welcome (through the site's contact form) as long as they provide new and/or advanced information not yet discussed in the existing ones.

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