Red-Tailed Rock Goby (Sicyopterus lagocephalus)
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The Red-Tailed Goby is a fish with plenty of personality. Mature males develop a bright red tail and bold blue body coloration when courting females!
The Red-Tailed Rock Goby (Sicyopterus lagocephalus), also known as the Blue Stream Goby, is an uncommon goby that is widespread across much of the Indo-Pacific. During courtship and rainy season, males develop incredible blue coloration across the body as well as a bright red tail. This breeding form coloration is among the most colorful of any goby species. The Red-Tailed Rock Goby is also known for its ability to climb waterfalls through the use of a modified suction disk on its underside. It is a very outgoing species that will often choose and guard a rock or other piece of aquarium decor as its territory.
An aquarium with heavy water flow (10 to 15 times turnover per hour) and very clean, clear water is required for the Red-Tailed Rock 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 Red-Tailed Rock Goby is a micropredator in nature. It is known to accept frozen and live meaty foods of appropriate size. This fish sometimes will not accept dry foods. As long as it is kept in a well-maintained, mature aquarium with high water flow, the Red-Tailed Rock 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-Tailed Rock Goby. Due to its small size, it can be kept with most other peaceful fish and 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 Red-Tailed Rock Goby is not outcompeted for food. This fish can be somewhat territorial, especially smaller tanks, so it may occasionally bully other passive, slow-moving bottom-dwellers if space is limited.
It is very difficult, if not currently impossible, to raise the fry of the Red-Tailed Rock Goby due to complex larval stages. In nature, adults spawn and their fry hatch in freshwater, then 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 beginning to exhibit adult coloration.
The Red-Tailed Rock Goby has the ability to climb glass and jump out of the water, so an aquarium lid is necessary to prevent escape.
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 during rainy season breeding
- 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
- Will not harm plants
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 72° - 79° F (22° - 26° C)
- pH: 6.0 - 7.5
- KH: 4 - 8 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 15-20 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 may 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 this fish may prey upon them. Larger shrimp species are typically safe with this fish that are too large to fit in the goby's mouth.
- Origin: Indonesia
- Average adult size: 4 - 5 inches (10 - 13 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1.5 - 2 inches (3.8 - 5 cm) for juveniles, 3 - 4 inches (7.5 - 10 cm) for adults
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