Golden Head Sleeper Goby
- Species Information
The Golden Head Sleeper Goby (Valenciennea strigata, Broussonet, 1782) is a popular fish for marine aquariums. They are sought after because of their sand sifting behavior, which helps keeps substrate clean. These fish are entertaining to watch as they pick up mouthfuls of sand, sift through it for small food items, and expel it out their gills. Historically these fish have a reputation for refusing prepared diets and wasting-away in captivity. At our Sustainable Islands project, however, we carefully condition these fish from a young age to accept multiple diets. Golden Heads Sleeper Gobies from Sustainable Aquatics have voracious appetites for our hatchery diet, spirulina brine, mysis, and even cyclopeeze. One trick we have learned is to soak our hatchery diet in water, allowing it to sink, then pouring the food into the tank so it settles on the bottom, that way the fish will find it when searching the sand for food. After a few feedings, these gobies will swim to the surface and beg for food with the other fish. Even when they are well-fed, golden head sleeper gobies require a tank with a thick sand bed, as they will constantly sift through it looking for food. If any corals or clams are placed low in the tank, they may be covered by the excess sand expelled by these excavations. These gobies are quite peaceful, reef safe, and generally disease resistant making them a great choice for many hobbyists. This is an active fish that may jump from its tank, so a tight fitting lid or screen is necessary.
Physical Description– These fish have long, narrow bodies and rounded faces. Their bodies are white in color with a bright yellow head and stunning electric blue stripe running horizontal beneath their eye.
Temperament– These fish are very peaceful and will get along with most other tankmates. They will tolerate others of their kind if the tank is large enough, but it is generally advisable to keep only one per system unless they are a mated pair.
Size– Golden head sleeper gobies can reach a maximum size of 6 inches. While they don’t need a lot of space for free swimming, they do need ample grazing area. A tank of 30 gallons or larger is recommended.
Diet– Golden Heads Sleeper Gobies from Sustainable Aquatics have voracious appetites for our Hatchery Diet, spirulina brine, mysis, and even cyclopeeze. One trick we have learned is to soak our hatchery diet in water, allowing it to sink, then pouring the food into the tank so it settles on the bottom, that way the fish will find it when searching the sand for food.
Distribution– These fish are found throughout the Indo-Pacific from Indonesia to Fiji.