African Sleeper AKA Clay Goby (Dormitator lebretonis)
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This mid-sized sleeper goby is not often seen in the hobby, but it is a magnificent fish that is very undemanding and full of personality!
The African Sleeper Goby (Dormitator lebretonis) is a freshwater and brackish species that is native to much of Western Africa. It inhabits coastal areas, such as mangroves and estuaries. Many of these areas are brackish, but this fish is also often present in hard, alkaline freshwater areas and can thrive long-term under such conditions. Its generally peaceful demeanor makes it an excellent tankmate for other peaceful fish and invertebrates that are too large to be considered prey.
The African Sleeper Goby will be most active and visible in an aquarium with plenty of cover. If kept in full freshwater, it will certainly appreciate the cover of several live plants, including floating plants that will help diffuse bright lighting. If kept in brackish water, live plant options are much more limited, but Java Fern could work for such conditions. This fish is an excellent jumper, so a secure lid/cover is necessary for its aquarium.
While it is not generally aggressive, the African Sleeper Goby can be somewhat territorial with its own kind, particularly between males. This is not usually a problem in a large enough aquarium with plenty of plants, rocks, and/or driftwood for cover. Males will sometimes squabble in smaller aquariums where such cover is not present. The African Sleeper Goby will typically eat any animals that will fit in its mouth, but is usually an excellent tankmate for other durable fish and inverts that are too large to be considered prey. At an adult size of up to 4.8 inches (12 cm), it is not a safe tankmate for dwarf shrimp, but it is fine to keep with most snails and fish that are too large to be eaten.
The African Sleeper Goby is a generally hardy and undemanding fish that is a standout in the appropriate aquarium. Like many members of the goby family, it is a very unique fish and it has plenty of personality and bold coloration to endear it to any aquarist!
What We Like About This Fish:
- Very uncommon in the aquarium hobby
- Generally peaceful disposition with tankmates too large to be considered prey
- Interesting social behavior when kept in colonies
- Very hardy and active with lots of personality
- Will not bother plants
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 72° - 79° F (22° - 26° C)
- pH: 7.0 – 8.5
- GH: 10 – 20° H
- Minimum tank size: 30 gallons for a pair, 55+ gallons for a small group
- Diet: Predator. Requires high-quality frozen and live foods of appropriate size. Dry foods will likely be accepted as well.
- Social behavior: Peaceful with other larger species, but multiple males may have minor squabbles. Ample territory is recommended for multiple males
- Origin: Western Africa
- Average adult size: 4.8 inches (12 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1 - 2 inches (2.5 – 5.1 cm)