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RAINBOW GOBY (Stiphodon Ornatus)

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These gobies aren’t too difficult to keep provided some basic requirements are met.

Most importantly the water must be clean and well-oxygenated at all times so we suggest the use of either an over-sized filter, additional powerheads, flow pumps, or airstones.

Base substrate can either be of gravel, sand, or a mixture of both to which should be added a layer of water-worn rocks and pebbles of varying sizes.

Aged driftwood can also be used but avoid new pieces since these usually leach tannins which discolour the water and reduce the effectiveness of artificial lighting which should be relatively strong in order to promote the growth of algae and associated micro-organisms (see ‘Diet’).

Some aquarists even maintain an open filter sponge in the tank to provide an additional food source.

If keeping multiple males of one or more species structure the rockwork to form plenty of potential hiding places and broken lines-of-sight to reduce the likelihood of excessive aggression.

Also bear in mind that males in particular tend to dig into the substrate when sleeping or spawning meaning larger rocks are best positioned directly on the tank base to prevent any risk of collapse.

They don’t sleep in the same burrow each night and females have been observed to occupy uninhabited ones.

Although not a feature of this species’ natural habitat aquatic plants can be used with hardier genera such as Microsorum, Crinum, and Anubias likely to fare best.

The latter are particularly useful as their leaves tend to attract algal growth and provide hiding places.

Since they need stable water conditions and feed on biofilm these fishes should never be added to immature set-ups and a tightly-fitting cover is necessary since they’re able to climb glass.

While weekly water changes of 30-50% tank volume are essential the rest of the tank needn’t be kept too clean and algae can be allowed to grow on all surfaces except the viewing pane.