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joshthom

Interested in Desert Gobies

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In future I'd like to start a colony of these guys. Just testing the waters to see how viable that is, and if anyone around is selling them. Would love to know price ranges as well. Thank you. 

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1 hour ago, Novice said:

I saw them at Smith's a week or so ago. Had quite a few.

Annerley had some too last time I went there a couple of months ago.

Okay thanks, Smiths is local-ish to me. Any idea if they have both males and females? Are they even sexually dimorphic when young? Sorry to bother, but really appreciate the help!

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1 hour ago, QldMick said:

livefish have some but their pretty expensive unless you buy 10.

Tempting, but 10 would likely be too many for the 30 gallon I was planning, plus there's no real way to choose what genders I'd be getting 

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I've never kept them. 

Smith's had lots, all about an inch and half, maybe a bit bigger.

I didn't look that closely to see if they had both sexes, I was on a lunch break and was busy checking out their rainbows.

The angfa journal, Fishes of sahul volume32 no.3 has a fantastic article on Desert gobies, a cool pic of a male guarding eggs is on the cover. 

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Desert Gobies are super easy to keep - but you'll need a bunch.  30 gallons is about a 3' tank and I've keep a couple of dozen in there.  I made up a heap of caves using 2" long 13mm PVC pipe, glued in trefoil (three bits).  It's amazing to see a 2" fish actually turn themselves around inside such a tight location.  Keep the ends facing the front of the tank so you can see inside them.  When there's a bunch of eggs, they'll hatch in a week or so - I used to pull them out and put them into another tank and let them hatch out without the male.  Why - purely as my main goby tank had the couple of dozen with little cover.  I assume if you had a tank with lots of structure, the babies will survive.

Couple of key desert goby notes.  They only live for a couple of years, and after a year, they'll stop breeding.  So you'll need to breed them often - every year consistently to keep them.  Miss a year and you'll have heaps of adults and zero next generation.  The lovely big ones you see in the images online are the geriatrics and invariably they won't breed.  The big males are gorgeous - but they just fight for domination and not for getting the girls into caves.  The 2nd note is - goby young are quite fragile.  They don't like being moved around until they are well over 10mm in length.  Under that and they'll die in droves when moved.

The only reason I got out of my desert gobies is that they were taking up too many tanks of babies (due to the 2nd note above).  But they are amazingly easy to breed.

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3 hours ago, Ancalimon said:

Desert Gobies are super easy to keep - but you'll need a bunch.  30 gallons is about a 3' tank and I've keep a couple of dozen in there.  I made up a heap of caves using 2" long 13mm PVC pipe, glued in trefoil (three bits).  It's amazing to see a 2" fish actually turn themselves around inside such a tight location.  Keep the ends facing the front of the tank so you can see inside them.  When there's a bunch of eggs, they'll hatch in a week or so - I used to pull them out and put them into another tank and let them hatch out without the male.  Why - purely as my main goby tank had the couple of dozen with little cover.  I assume if you had a tank with lots of structure, the babies will survive.

Couple of key desert goby notes.  They only live for a couple of years, and after a year, they'll stop breeding.  So you'll need to breed them often - every year consistently to keep them.  Miss a year and you'll have heaps of adults and zero next generation.  The lovely big ones you see in the images online are the geriatrics and invariably they won't breed.  The big males are gorgeous - but they just fight for domination and not for getting the girls into caves.  The 2nd note is - goby young are quite fragile.  They don't like being moved around until they are well over 10mm in length.  Under that and they'll die in droves when moved.

The only reason I got out of my desert gobies is that they were taking up too many tanks of babies (due to the 2nd note above).  But they are amazingly easy to breed.

I'm thinking I'll start off with about 5, and let the colony grow larger from there. Much of the gobies at smiths aquarium didn't have the distinct colouring I've seen in pictures. Does this develop more with age? How can you sex them without the brighter colour of the males? What ratio of male to female would you recommend (to avoid too much fighting, and to avoid harassment of the females)

Also, how do you think they'd fare in a high-ish flow tank? I'm hoping to keep some dwarf rainbows with them as well. 

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The colour develops with age - and (sadly) the bigger and past it males have the best colour.  Best to breed them young and continuously.  You'll find that they will lay - and probably hatch out in a community aquarium.  But the young are a bit pathetic and other faster fish will eliminate them pretty quick, not to mention that the parents will wack them as well.  Hence why I'd separate them from the parents.  As for flow, they are a goby, so if you are smashing around the current, they probably won't like it - but I've had them in a recirculating system with air driving filters going flat out - and they were fine.  Dwarf rainbows (I assume you mean Macc's or nigrans or the like) don't like high flows.  The larger rainbows (Tris, spendidas) are what live in the middle of rivers - maccs and the like prefer gentle backwaters.

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