Underrated Gobies and Where to Find Them


Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Apr 19, 2021
Serving a spiritual successor to my thread on eels, the continuation of said thread, and most recently, my thread on puffers which are often overlooked, this thread discusses a number of freshwater gobies that are not as appreciated in the hobby as I feel they deserve to be. This list does NOT include gudgeons, freshwater blennies, nandus, or any other goby-like fish that is not a true gobiiforme.

Schooling Glass Goby
Gobiopterus chuno

Beginning the list with a very unique species, the schooling glass goby is a very small shoaling species of goby that attains sizes of about 1". I couldn't find even 1 thread here from the past decade that even so much as mentioned these. These gobies are usually found in slower-moving freshwater and brackish areas in the wild. Very uniquely for gobies, these fish are by no means bottom-dwellers, and as you could probably infer from their name, even school. These fish prefer small meaty foods, both live and frozen. Nothing really much bigger than say, brine shrimp. They are very sensitive to bad water parameters, so it is important to regularly maintain your water quality. In my opinion, these are some of the smallest and most unique fish in the trade. They are also very peaceful. According to what I'm seeing on Aquatic Arts, you can expect to find these fish for about $3-4 a pop. Prefer a neutral pH.

Yellowstripe Goby
Mugilogobius chulae

The yellowstripe goby is a rare Asian species which is known to occur in both fresh and brackish water. Much like the aforementioned goby, this species is a micropredator, and prefers small, meaty foods. It is believed that they prefer at least mild brackish water. Mugliogobius chulae is a fairly peaceful fish that rarely exceeds about 1.5". Though usually peaceful, these fish, much like many other species of gobies, are known to be territorial, so extra care is advised when keeping these with slower-moving, more peaceful bottom-dwellers. More or less moderate care. Usually about $15. Prefer a pH anywhere from neutral to alkaline.

Spotfin Goby
Redigobius chryosoma

The spotfin goby, much like the other two on the list, is found in both fresh and brackish water. These fish often reach a length of about 2", and compatible with most peaceful schoolers and bottom dwellers too large to be considered prey. Much like the yellowstripe goby, they are territorial, and must be looked after especially close in the company of other peaceful bottom dwellers. Consistent with the other two entries, these gobies eat mostly small, meaty foods. Usually about $15. Prefer a soft to neutral pH. May eat smaller shrimp.

These are all fish that are very rare. Aquatic Arts pretty much holds a monopoly on them at the moment, when it comes to retailers. I hope this list helped some people on their quest for a unique bottom dweller or schooler.
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Goliath Tigerfish
MFK Member
Jul 28, 2005
Thanks for this.
I would love to get my hands on a school of glass gobies. You would think being from around Taiwan somewhere they should be easier to find....but no.
I will start asking around.

More underrated gobies in my opinion:
Redspot Rhinogobius
Rhinogobius Rubromaculatus

The are found locally in streams in in Central Taiwan. These streams are rocky with a substrate of various sized, rounded river rocks and gravel. The stream are not torrential but become so very quickly, and for short times, during heavy rainfall and typhoons.
The gobies are generally found in pools of calmer water and use the highway of riffles to get around.
In the tank they grow to only about 5cm with stocky body. Being predators they will eat small fish but anything larger than full grown neon tetra should be fine. They are not very territorial and a group of 6 can be kept in a well-scaped 20gal. Males will display to each other and when courting changing color to bright red speckles when doing so. Males protect the eggs which are laid in caves or surfaces the male has cleaned.

Rhinogobius Candidianus
No common used as they are rarer (in the trade)
Candidius Goby has been used before


This species in found in central Taiwan in similar habitats to R. Rubromaculatus. That is where the similarities end. This goby get much larger to about 8cm with a mouth to match it. It will actively hunt down in fish in the tank it thinks it can take down so tank mates need to be of a suitable size. Although strong currents are not needed as they live in calmer pools, some water flow is appreciated.
They like caves to hide in as well as use for spawning sights and in the right setup breeding is not too difficult. Raising fry in the tank is difficult as almost every fry will be eaten by the adults. Keep clean water to see them in their best dress. As ingle specimen could be kept in a 20gal if scaped well but a larger tank is better suited to their temperament. Once settled, this fish is not shy at all. If keeping a group look at at 55gal as minimum with a 75gal being a better choice. In the right community or species tank they are a great fish to keep with rewarding behavior in groups.
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MFK Member
Nov 9, 2019
my freshwater red lipstick goby syciopus rubicundus in coldwater tank,the fishes above him are cobitis sp. and crosocheilus sp.

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