The neon stiphodon, also referred to as the neon goby or dragon goby, is a small fish in the Gobiidae family. It boasts an iridescent neon stripe along its lateral line, set against a background of deep blue or purple. Other varieties showcase orange or yellow lateral lines. These small, peaceful fish grow to around 2 inches long and do well in planted community aquariums.
Introducing Neon Stiphodon Goby
- Origin: Neon stiphodon gobies hail from freshwater streams in Southeast Asia, including Thailand and Indonesia.
- Size: These fish reach approximately 2 inches in length when fully grown.
- Lifespan: With proper aquarium conditions, the neon stiphodon goby typically lives for 3-5 years.
- Temperament: Neon gobies are generally peaceful, congregating together or with other bottom-dwelling fish. Males may temporarily show aggression while breeding.
- Appearance: Slim torpedo-shaped body with oversized pectoral fins and forked tail fin. Features iridescent neon lateral stripe in blue, yellow, or orange set against dark background color.
- Varieties: Popular morphs include neon blue, neon yellow, neon orange, and neon purple stiphodon gobies. Less common varieties feature red or white stripes.
- Price: On average, neon stiphodon gobies cost $12-18 each. Rare designer varieties can sell for up to $25-40.
Habitat and Tank Requirements
- Natural Habitat: Neon stiphodon gobies occupy shallow, fast-moving freshwater streams and riverbanks across Southeast Asia with rocky or sandy substrate.
- Tank Size: 10 gallon aquarium or larger. Keep small groups of 6-8 individuals.
- Water Parameters: 74-82°F temperature, pH 6.5-7.5, 5-10 dGH hardness. Strong filtration and current preferred.
- Tank Setup: Layer fine gravel or sand with rocks and driftwood to provide hiding spots. Include hardy plants like java fern, anubias, mosses, and floating species. Allow open swimming space.
- Diet: Omnivorous – eats small invertebrates, insect larvae, algae and plant matter in the wild. Accepts quality flake foods, live/frozen foods including daphnia, brine shrimp and blood worms.
- Feeding Habits: Forages constantly at tank bottom and lower levels of the water column. Peacefully grazes on aufwuchs growth on hardscape.
- Hikari Micro Pellets
- Fluval Bug Bites
- Omega One Freshwater Flakes
- Live blackworms
- Crushed algae wafers
- Blanched zucchini
- Reproduction: No distinct breeding season. Males attract and court females, leading them to suitable spawning site in concealed location. Adhesive eggs attached to hardscape. No parental care.
- Breeding Requirements: Trigger spawning by simulating rainy season in native habitat. Perform partial water change with cooler water of at least 10°F lower temp than main tank. Introduce air stone or increase surface agitation to maximize oxygen saturation.
- Spawning Process: Courting male stiphodon goby fans and nips at female, guiding her to previously cleaned hardscape for egg deposition. Hundreds of tiny eggs adhere in a single layer. Parents should be removed once spawning complete to prevent accidental egg consumption. Eggs typically hatch within 5-7 days depending on water temperature.
Common Health Issues
- Neon stiphodon gobies are generally quite hardy but still vulnerable to common aquarium fish diseases like ich and flukes. Maintain pristine water quality and quarantine new arrivals to prevent outbreaks. Signs of sickness include clamped fins, unusual swimming pattern, labored breathing, loss of coloration and appetite. Respond quickly to symptoms with appropriate medical treatment.
- Preventative Method: Perform regular partial water changes, monitor parameters, introduce new fish slowly, and feed variety of high quality foods. Target water stability above all else.
- Compatibility: Peaceful community species like small tetras, rasboras, danios, corydoras catfish, dwarf shrimp and other calm bottom dwellers. Avoid fin nippers.
- Special Care: Requires clean, highly-oxygenated water with moderate current. Not generally recommended for nano aquariums under 10 gallons. Thrives in high quality living streams aquarium setup.
- Legal Restrictions: None.
Suitable Tank Mates
- Ember Tetras
- Green Neon Tetras
- Chili Rasboras
- Pygmy Corydoras
- Otocinclus Catfish
- Red Cherry Shrimp
- Amano Shrimp
- Sparkling Gourami
Distinguishing Males from Females
Males typically grow slightly larger and exhibit more intense coloration, especially during spawning periods where their neon stripes appear brighter. Dominant males show off for females by flaring their large pectoral fins. Females have a slightly rounded belly shape and remain colored down during courtship.
“How many species of Neon stiphodon goby?”
There are approximately 12-15 recognized species within the neon stiphodon group, with new color morphs still being imported from Southeast Asia on occasion.
“How to feed Neon stiphodon goby to make their color brighter?”
Offer a well-balanced diet with focus on protein-rich live, frozen, freeze-dried foods to enhance iridescent stripe. Best choices are bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia supplemented with spirulina powder.
“How Big do Neon stiphodon goby Grow?”
Maximum reported length is 2.2 inches for largest males. Most adults reach 1.5 to 2 inches in home aquariums.
“How fast do Neon stiphodon goby grow?”
They are relatively quick growers, able to attain full adult size within their first 6-10 months with proper feeding. Growth rate does level off after the first year.
“How long do Neon stiphodon goby live?”
Average reported lifespan is 3-5 years in home aquaria with ideal care and water quality. Some hobbyists report neon gobies living up to 8 years.
“How to take care of Neon stiphodon goby?”
Perform regular partial water changes, feed variety of foods, maintain stable water parameters, and provide areas of high current flow. Ideal tank setups mimic their natural habitat.
“Which food products are the best for Neon stiphodon goby?”
Recommended brands include Hikari Micro Pellets, Fluval Bug Bites for small fish, and quality spirulina-enriched flake formulas like Omega One.
“Is good to keep Neon stiphodon goby as Pets?”
Yes, neon stiphodon gobies make fabulous aquarium display fish. They are peaceful, exhibit interesting behavior, add bright pops of color, and are relatively hardy if basic needs are met. An ideal “wet pet” fish.
“Why my Neon stiphodon goby die?”
Premature death typically tied to poor water quality, improper diet resulting in malnutrition, or introduction of disease. Prioritize stable, highly oxygenated water and nutritious foods.
“Are Neon stiphodon goby Aggressive?”
Not normally aggressive though males may temporarily skirmish over prime spawning sites or when defending small territories. Manage this by providing ample broken sightline areas.
“Do Neon stiphodon goby kill other fish?”
No, they are peaceful community fish that should not harm tankmates, only displaying momentary aggression toward rival males of their own species. Avoid fin nippers that could target them due to elongated body shape.
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