Diamond Goby and Its Unique Sand-Sifter Nature Habits

For some people and serious aquarists, the Diamond Goby may be the visually appealing type of fish. It may not colorful or lively or vibrant, but the fish has its own natural charm and appeal. This is basically a peaceful reef fish that will make your tank lively and interesting. The fish will cheer up your aquarium with its personality and unique spots. The reason why people love having this fish is because of their naturally hardy nature. It would be easy for beginner as well as advanced aquarists to care for the fish. It’s also fun to watch them sift and dig through the sand. If you want to learn about this Diamond Watchman Goby, this is the right time! Read through and learn the details of their care in your saltwater aquarium.

What to Like about Diamond Goby?

It’s safe to say that Diamond Watchman Goby is a cool fish that is great and easy to care, and their habit of sand-sifting the bottom would be an interesting sight to watch. The scientific name is Valenciennea Puellaris. The popular name is Diamond Goby, but there are also other names for them, including Diamond Sleeper Goby, Orange Spotted Goby, and the Watchman Goby. The fish can grow up to 6 inches, max. If you want to keep them, make sure that you have at least 20 gallons of long fish tank.

Diamond Goby

As it was mentioned before, this is a peaceful fish. It isn’t aggressive at all. Although it is quite colorful with yellow, orange, and white, many aquarists think of the fish as something not too-visually appealing. The care level is pretty simple and straightforward. It is super easy to care for the fish, which makes it ideal for the beginners. The fish is most active during the day, so it would be a perfect time to watch them dash around.

The fish has a lifespan expanding from 5 years to 8 years within captivity. But there are different opinions and experiences about this lifespan factor from different aquarists and hobbyists. They are carnivorous fish, which means that they like meaty food. If you buy it from the fish store, the price would be around $30 up to $45.

The Natural Habitat

This fish shares similar features like other saltwater fish for reef aquarium trade. You can find Diamond Goby from the natural reefs located in Pacific Oceans as well as Indian Oceans. They can be found at the areas of Red Sea and also Great Barrier Reef. In the wild, the fish like lagoon setting or habitats. They also like hanging around along the locations of the outer reef.


Diamond Goby is a sand-sifter. It means that they would gulp (a mouthful of) sand and then rake through it so they can find tiny food morsels. It’s interesting to see them sift and also dig through the sand. They would suck those sands into their mouth and then let those sands out from their gills. This is a really unique habit that makes them appealing to observe.


Proper Caring Guide

In general, Diamond Goby is a moderate (medium) sized fish. Their full growth can only go about 6 inches, but they look so compact. With the torpedo-shaped body construction, they are interesting (and fun) to watch. They like to burrow themselves under live rocks. They like to stay close (or on) to the sand because they can suck in and sift the sand whenever they like it.


When they are fully grown, the fish isn’t exactly small. They need at least 20 gallons of tank. It is preferably that you go with the long-style tank because this fish would be attached to the substrate. It is advisable that your tank is 12 inches x 30 inches in size, or around 30.5 centimeters x 76 centimeters. You should have twice the size of the original tank if you have more than one sand-dweller fish at your aquarium. But you may want to be extra careful about it because different types of sand-dwellers would mean that there is a certain of aggression, which can lead to fighting. So, be careful when you want to include Jawfish, Engineer Goby, and others with this Watchman Goby.


It’s crucial to have a DSB (Deep Sand Bag), considering that they are naturally burrow-digging creatures. It will make them happy because they can freely sift through the sand. Although it is always possible to care for them in a bare-bottom fish tank, it would be so strange and unnatural. After all, most saltwater fish tank would have live rocks as well as other structure. Having the DSB is important – more to the reason because it will make the fish happy. If you can meet the general conditions, you will get the reward of your time! Your fish would be a peaceful and happy one, digging under those rocks and sifting through the bed sand. They will love finding those tiny morsels as their snacks while keeping the things neat and tidy and the top side layers oxygenated.


Proper and Correct Feeding

As it was mentioned before, watching the fish gulp in the sand and then expel it out from the gills is seriously fun. Although they can find their own food through this method, it won’t be enough to keep them healthy. After all, they are carnivorous animal, which mean that you should feed them mysis shrimp, copepods, live blackworms, frozen brine shrimp, and also other (prepared) marine foods. There are some reports that smaller bristleworms are a part of the fish’s diet. The meaty tiny morsels are just snacks for them.


It’s crucial that you observe and monitor the fish. You should do it to ensure that they are properly and having enough to eat. Considering that this fish is the peaceful type and they spend most of their times right on the bottom, it’s highly likely that the greedier and more active fish would take the fish before the food can finally get to the Diamond, provided that you have other fish inside the tank. If this is your case, do target feeding directly. It will improve their chances to get the food so they won’t starve. Starvation is one of the common cases with this fish species.


Tank Compatibility and Mates

This Diamond Goby is considered reef safe, which means that it will leave corals (as well as other invertebrates) alone. They are considered the peaceful (community) fish that will befriend other saltwater fish, the non-aggressive type, naturally. This fish will only display aggression when:

  • They are kept within other type of Diamond Watchman Goby (or the Sleeper Gobies) inside the same aquarium
  • They defend their territory or area against encroachers


NEVER keep this Goby with other predatory or aggressive fish that would find the Goby appealing for meal. You don’t want to keep this Goby with Picasso Triggerfish, Groupers, or Lionfish. It isn’t advisable to keep the Goby with semi-aggressive types, such as Damselfish, Pugnacious Dottybacks, and others.


Despite the types of fish that you should avoid when keeping the Goby, there are actually some other suitable pairs for this fish. Because of their naturally peaceful nature, this fish is perfectly paired with Lawnmower Blenny, Neon Goby, Firefish Goby, Pajama Cardinalfish, and Marine Betta.


Proper Reproduction and Breeding

When you mix two Diamond Gobies together, it is possible to expect aggression. That’s why it is more likely if you buy a pair. It is also a good idea to buy (previously bonded) pairs. They will likely share a burrow and then lay the eggs inside it. It is the male’s responsibility and job to guard the eggs. He will do it for 3 days to 4 days until the larvae appear. Expect it to happen after the lights-out. The larvae of Diamond Goby are phototropic. They could be caught with a larvae snagger. They would also be attracted to a shiny surface or surface with flashlight. The fry would be fragile. It can be complicated and a challenge to rear, even by the regular standard of saltwater fish setting.


Diamond Goby is basically a digger. They really like spending time inside their burrow. When they are spawning (when they are pairing) or at night, they may likely cover up the entrances entirely. So, don’t be panicky when you don’t see them for several days. This is basically a normal behavior. You just have to understand their nature.


The Unique Name

Why is this fish also called the Sleeper Goby? It’s because they tend to exist peacefully on the sand. They like to spend their times there, not moving around. That’s why they are called this name. Moreover, this fish is also called Watchman Goby because of their (symbiotic) relationship with some shrimp (such as the Pistol Shrimp) having poor sight. The Gobies are watching over those shrimps. But such a naming isn’t actually applicable to this Diamond Goby because this sand-sifting creature isn’t the species that pair up with the shrimp.


Buying the Goby

As it was mentioned before, the price is ranging from $35 to $40 in the local fish store. This fish may not be the most popular saltwater types, so you may not find them easily at those stores. But if you are looking for them online, you may be able to find them.


In general, the fish is an impressive option for community reef fish tank that comes as a long tank and with DSB. Make sure that you limit the number of sand-burrowing creatures inside the tank. This fish is amusing and fun to watch as they have their own personalities and they are energetic. Not only the Diamond Goby can go along well with most creatures (invertebrates, corals, and fish), but they will be happy in the deep and abundant sand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.