Blue Belly Red Goby (Lentipes ikeae)
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This newly-described goby is a real standout that can develop brilliant coloration and display fascinating behavior!
The Blue Belly Red Goby (Lentipes ikeae) is a very rare freshwater dwarf goby that is native to Indonesia. This species is relatively new to the aquarium hobby. It is known for blue abdominal color against an otherwise reddish body that mature males can display. Females are often not as colorful, but are still very active and interesting. This fascinating, peaceful fish is a micropredator that is an excellent candidate for the mature aquarium.
An aquarium with heavy water flow (10 to 15 times turnover per hour) and very clean, clear water is required for the Blue Belly Red Goby, especially when it is kept in warmer water. This fish is native to shallow, clear, fast-flowing waters and it is sensitive to declines in water quality, so regular aquarium maintenance is a must.
The Blue Belly Red Goby is a micropredator in nature. It is known to accept frozen and live meaty foods of appropriate size. This fish often will not accept dry foods. As long as it is kept in a well-maintained, mature aquarium with high water flow, the Blue Belly Red Goby is a hardy and entertaining fish. It will not bother aquarium plants. In fact, Anubias species are an excellent plant to keep with this goby.
Most small rasboras, tetras, hillstream loaches, and other small, peaceful fish are good tankmates for the Red Lipstick Sicyopus Goby. Due to its small size, it can be kept with most other peaceful fish and larger invertebrates that are too large to be considered prey. Peaceful bottom-dwelling fish are also a possibility in a large enough tank, but care must be taken to ensure that the Blue Belly Red Goby is not outcompeted for food. The Blue Belly Red Goby can be somewhat territorial, especially smaller tanks, so it may occasionally bully other passive, slow-moving bottom-dwellers if space is limited.
There are reported cases of the Blue Belly Red Goby spawning in the aquarium, but it is very difficult (if not currently impossible) to raise the fry due to their complex larval stages. In nature, adults spawn and their fry hatch in freshwater, then they are immediately swept downstream to marine ocean waters where they feed and develop. As the fry mature, they swim great distances back to full freshwater streams, often on completely different islands than where they originated. At this point, the fry have become young adults and will soon be sexually mature and exhibit adult coloration.
Many gobies have the ability to climb glass and jump out of the water, so an aquarium lid is necessary to prevent escape.
Our young adult specimens are in excellent health, but many of the males are not yet showing their full mature coloration. This color will be most vivid when the fish are kept in a group.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful bright red and blue coloration in dominant males
- Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates too large to be considered prey
- Interesting social behavior when kept in colonies
- Very active with lots of personality
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 72° - 79° F (22° - 26° C)
- pH: 6.0 - 7.5
- KH: 4 - 8 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 10 gallons for a single specimen or pair, 30+ gallons for a group
- Diet: Micropredator. Requires high-quality frozen and live foods of appropriate size. Dry foods will likely be ignored.
- Social behavior: Peaceful with most other species, but multiple males may have minor squabbles. Ample territory is recommended for multiple males
- Not advised to house with dwarf shrimp as they may pray upon small dwarf shrimp but can be kept with larger species of shrimp
- Origin: Java and Bali, Indonesia
- Average adult size: 1.5 - 2 inches (3.8 - 5 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1 - 1.5 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm)
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