This beautiful, peaceful goby is a very active and visible fish that is an excellent addition to peaceful community aquariums with high water flow.
The Red Neon Stiphodon Goby (Stiphodon sp.) is a very rare freshwater dwarf goby that is native to Japan, Samoa, Cook Island, and The Philippines. It is known for the neon red and orange color that male specimens display. Females are not as colorful, but are still very attractively marked with horizontal black and cream-colored stripes. This fascinating, peaceful fish is an algae and biofilm grazer that is an excellent candidate for the mature nano aquarium.
An aquarium with heavy water flow (10 to 15 times turnover per hour) and very clean, clear water is required for the Red Neon Stiphodon Goby. 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 Neon Stiphodon Goby is a biofilm and algae grazer in nature. It is known to usually accept frozen meaty foods, but such foods should only be fed occasionally. This fish will also sometimes accept high-quality dry foods that are rich in plant matter, but it is absolutely essential that biofilm and algae are naturally available in the aquarium to ensure its long-term health or else it may slowly starve. As long as it is kept in a well-maintained, mature aquarium with good biofilm and algae growth as well as high water flow, the Red Neon Stiphodon 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 because Anubias can foster significant biofilm/algae growth in an aquarium with moderate to high lighting.
Most small rasboras, tetras, hillstream loaches, and other small, peaceful fish are good tankmates for the Red Neon Stiphodon Goby. Due to its small size and diet, the Red Neon Stiphodon Goby can also be kept with dwarf shrimp, although it might eat a few of their fry. Dwarf shrimp are particularly good tankmates in larger aquariums where they can find areas of lower water flow. Peaceful bottom-dwelling fish are also a possibility, but care must be taken to make sure that the passive Red Neon Stiphodon Goby is not outcompeted for food. Female Red Neon Stiphodon Gobies will often congregate together, even with other goby species such as the Blue Neon Dwarf Goby. Males seem to be able to differentiate between females of different species during courtship behavior.
There are reported cases of the Red Neon Stiphodon Goby spawning in the aquarium, but it is very difficult (if not currently impossible) to raise the fry due to their complex larval stages. In nature, adults spawn and their fry hatch in freshwater, then they 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 exhibit adult coloration.
Many Stiphodon gobies have the ability to climb glass, so an aquarium lid and/or rim are necessary to prevent escape.
Our young adult specimens are in excellent health, but many of the males are not yet showing their full mature coloration. This color will be most vivid when the fish are kept in a group.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful red and orange coloration in dominant males
- Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates
- Interesting social behavior when kept in colonies
- Safe with dwarf shrimp
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 68° - 82° F (20° - 27.7° C)
- pH: 5.5 - 7.0
- KH: 4 - 8 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 10 gallons for a single specimen or pair, 30+ gallons for a group
- Diet: Omnivorous. Typically accepts some dry foods and frozen foods, but requires ample algae and biofilm for longevity
- Social behavior: Peaceful with other species, but multiple males may have minor squabbles. Ample territory is recommended for multiple males
- Origin: Taiwan, Japan, Samoa, Cook Island, Philippines
- Average adult size: 1.5 - 2 inches (3.8 - 5 cm)