The blue-banded goby (Lythrypnus dalli) is also called the catalina goby. It belongs to the family Gobiidae. Blue-banded gobies are beautiful and very colorful fish. They are mostly red with blue bands near their head region. The number of bands vary with each fish. They are small fish that reach an adult size of only 2-2.5 inches (6-6.5 cm) in length.
Blue-banded gobies are found in the Eastern Pacific and off the coast of California. They are bottom dwellers and usually rest on a rock or the substrate in the bottom of the tank. They don't like to stray too far from cover. In their natural habitat you will often see them on rocks and even hiding under the spines of sea urchins. You will need to provide plenty of live rock in your tank for hiding places.
They are excellent fish for reef tanks and are peaceful fish. Don't keep blue-banded gobies with aggressive species. You can keep more than one blue-banded goby in your tank, but make sure that you have provided plenty of hiding places. Also, unless you have a large tank you don't want to keep them with other bottom dwelling species. They may fight over the best hiding spots in the tank, unless lots of them are provided and are spaced far apart.
They are carnivores and their diet consists of mainly meaty foods. They are small fish and therefore need small foods. Vitamin-enriched brine shrimp and mysid shrimps are good food choices. They will also take thawed frozen food and sometimes even flake food.
They are known to have short life spans. Keeping them at warmer temperatures seems to shorten it even further. They must have cooler water temperatures than is normal for most saltwater fish (about 68-72°F or 20-22°C). Keep this in mind when you are choosing tank mates for your blue-banded goby.
Blue-banded gobies can be purchased for about $20-25 each.
Blue-Banded Goby Breeding
Males and females are similar in coloration, however, males have a longer dorsal fin than the females do. One interesting fact about blue-banded gobies is that if there is no male present, the dominant female in a group of blue-banded gobies has the ability to change her sex to that of a male.
Blue-banded gobies will spawn in the aquarium as long as there are adequate hiding spots. Females lay eggs in abandoned shells and then the male guards them. The fry can be fed rotifers when they are free-swimming and then when they are a little older and can eat them, they can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp.