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Bumblebee Goby

Brachygobius Xanthozona



    This popular little Goby is available from time to time. It is a brackish water fish that is not suited for a freshwater set up. Given proper conditions this fish can make an interesting addition to your brackish tank.
Quick stats:
    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: 1 inches , (4.5cm) Same for both sexes
    Tank: 20 gallons, Brackish water
    Strata: Mostly Lower, will visit all levels
    PH: 7.5 to 8.5
    Hardness: Mediun hard to hard
    Temperature: 75°- 86°F (24° to 30° C)


    Order: Perciformes
    Suborder: Gobioidei
    Family: Gobiidae
    Genera: Brachygobius
    Species: xanthozona

Common name:

    Bumblebee Goby , Bumblebee fish

Image gallery:

    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum
Bumblebee Goby

    Western Indoneasia, Thailand, South Vietnam. Mostly in estuaries.

General Body Form:

    Elongated and round. Typical for the family the ventral fins are fused together to form a suction disc. There are two Dorsal fins separated by a wide indentation. The rear dorsal is located above a similar shaped anal fin. The back portion of the tail fin is rounded.


    The Basic background color of the the Goby is a pleasant Honey Yellow or mustard color. This color is marked with a series of Black vertical band and spots. Usually there are four main bands, The first runs over the fishes head near the eye. The next two bands cove the body and slightly on the fins. The final band ends at the start of the tail (caudal) fin. In between the bands There can be less pronounced Black spots. As the fish ages the Black tends to fade and the Yellow becomes more pronounced.


    Feeding your gobies will be the most difficult part of maintaining them. They will eat only live food such as Brine shrimp, Daphnia, Cyclops and Mosquito larvae. Some have had success in getting the fish to eat frozen, however they seem not to recognize it as food unless it is moving. Although they can be kept in a community setting with other salt tolerant species ( Mollies or Platies ) they will remain shy and not flourish. They will be happiest in a species tank. Keep a fairly large number, ten or more, in the tank and provide plenty of hiding places such as stones tubes and caves. Plants will be limited to salt tolerant varieties and probably the best choice will be the die hard Java fern, plastic may be a better choice. The water should have a small amount of marine mix to increase the salinity. One to two teaspoons per two gallons should be OK. Although you do not want heavy circulation, aeration and filtration should be efficient.


    Brackish estuaries with plants as well as open areas of Southeast asia


    Not one of the easier fish to breed. Condition the fish well with a varied diet of small live foods such as mosquito larvae, brine shrimp and Daphnia. I has been reported that breeding can be initiated by the addition of some fresh water to the tank. You should be able to tell when the fish are ready when the females become visibly plumper and male's black bars almost disappear. The eggs are usually laid in flower pots, under rocks or in caves. The eggs are guarded fiercely by the male. In four to five days the eggs will hatch. The fry are very difficult to feed and should consist of liquid foods (infusoria ) and then baby brine shrimp. Once hatched you should move the parents as they tend to eat the young. The young will swim in all strata of the tank and after four to five weeks settle on the bottom and start to take on the adult coloration.

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Turk1509
Cute fish however can be trouble to feed. Mine spit our fish food so I have to feed em frozen shrimp also smart fish in a sense as they will wait in the spot that my red cherry shrimp have had their babies and pick them off if they can mine are in freshwater with only slight slat(not enough to be considered brackish) and are doing fine.
From: Kristopher
Bumblebee gobies rule! I set up a species aquarium July of 2002 (20 gal high-brackish) just for them and boy did they thrive. My last 2 gobies passed away Nov of 2009-they lived for 7 years. They took to frozen brine shrimp. They never touched flakes. I kept the tank cool around 72 degrees. Had a few crypts and gave them plenty of hiding spaces i.e. rock caves and driftwood. They are territorial and seemed to know when I was looking at them they would swim close to the glass probably realizing feeding time was near. I changed water conditions every once in a while. Sometimes I add salt sometimes not.
From: Michael
I've 2 Bumblebee Gobies for a while and they are my favorite fish. I have managed to give them dried bloodworms which they love. There favorite food is krill though. One of mine tried to eat it whole wen the krill was bigger than him. They also eat flake food. They have a big personality. They thrive in my 29 gallon exotic community tank with a foot long Dragon Goby!
From: Sue
I've had my two bumblebees for the better part of a year now and they're one of my favourite fish. I keep mine with two guppies, two bristlenose catfish and blue neon tetras. I've noticed that they like to nibble on the tail of one of my guppies, but I've had no success in stopping that. Anyway, if anyone has difficulty in feeding their bumblebees I suggest you try crushing any small black snails in your tank and letting it drop to the bottom. The first time I did this my brother in law was showing me how much guppies should go wild over it. But it was my bumblebees who loved it. They got fat quick and I've stopped throwing out every snail that comes in on the plant I buy.
From: Glen
Had 5 of these guys for about a year and are great to watch. Never had problems feeding them frozen foods or even flakes. Tank has mainly been fresh water with a slight bit of salt added. Great fish but they do like to have a munch on fins if there are similar sized fish in the tank(guppies etc.). Anyway hope you all enjoy if you get the chance to own.
From: Diane
I have had 2 in my fresh water tank for a little over 1 month. They are doing great and they are fun to watch. Like the Cichlids they come to the front of the tank and watch me watching them. They put on a great show swimming to the top of the tank and then zinging down to the bottom. They are thriving in a 46 gallon tank with Neons, Fancy Danio, Tetras, and 3 Pleco's. They seem happy and healthy so far.





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