Orange Diamond Sleeper Goby
- Species Information
The Orange Diamond Sleeper Goby, Valenciennea puellaris (Tomiyama, 1956) is a wonderful addition to most aquariums. This is an active species that moves about its tank searching through the substrate for food. Sleeper gobies are also called “sand sifting gobies,” as they pick up mouthfuls of sand and sift through it searching for small invertebrates. This process helps keep live sand looking clean and is one of the reasons this goby is so popular in the trade. While they don’t need a lot of swimming room, they do need plentiful amounts of sand to supplement their diet, so a minimum of 30 gallons is recommended for this species. Their constant burrowing in the sand may knock over unstable rockwork so be sure any rock or decorations are secure when this fish is present. At the Sustainable Islands project, we transition these fish onto our hatchery diet, as well as spirulina brine and enriched mysis. It is best to saturate the hatchery diet with water so it sinks to the bottom of the tank, allowing the fish to feed using its natural behavior. Sleeper gobies may jump when startled so a tight fitting lid is essential.
Physical Description– Orange diamond gobies are a beautiful, slender fish with a white body and orange markings. The top half of its body has orange dashes and spots, while a solid orange line runs horizontally along the bottom half of its body. Around its face, bright blue marks are also present.
Temperament– These fish are generally quite peaceful and get along well with peaceful tankmates. They will fight with others of their kind and possibly other sleeper gobies unless it is a large system. It is best to keep only one per tank unless a mated pair is acquired. They will not bother smaller fish or sessile invertebrates, but their constant sifting behavior may cause corals or clams that are placed low in a tank to be covered in sand.
Size– This goby can grow to a maximum of 6 inches and should be kept in 30 gallons or larger with plenty of live sand.
Diet– These fish seem to enjoy our Hatchery Diet, as well as spirulina brine and enriched mysis.
Distribution– Orange diamond gobies are found throughout the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea to the Samoa.