Elacatinus puncticulatus
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Elacatinus puncticulatus
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Elacatinus puncticulatus
Source: Sushi Girl1995 / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Elacatinus puncticulatus
Source: Cjarvis42 / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Facts

Latin name Elacatinus puncticulatus - (Ginsburg, 1938)
Common name Red Head Goby
Family Gobiidae - Elacatinus
Origin East Pacific, Central/West Pacific
Max length 4.4 cm (1.7")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 50 l (13 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Always reef safe
Aggressiveness Docile but might be aggressive towards similar species

Food

Recommended
  • Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)

Subsceptible to ich

This species is easily susceptible to Marine Ich (Cryptocaryon irritants), when stressed by other fish, bad water quality, or when relocated.

Secure overflows

This species may get lost in overflows because of its small size.

Frequent feeding

This fish requires feeding several times a day, especially when newly added.

When the fish can find its natural food in the aquarium it requires less frequent feeding. 

Sensitive during transportation

This species is very sensitive during transportation and acclimatizing into the aquarium.

Target feeding

It may be necessary to target feed this species, otherwise it might have difficulties to obtain enough food.

Lives in a pair

This species can live as a pair (male and female).

Bred in captivity

This species can be bred in captivity, one can therefore consider asking your local fish store for a captive bred specimen.

Docile

This species is very shy and docile, so one should be careful when keeping it with more aggressive fish.

Family description (Gobiidae)

Gobies (Gobiidae) are generally small fish, which live close to the bottom. Many of the species are fairly hardy and well suited to aquaria. The behaviour of the different kinds of Gobies varies greatly and some can be very interesting.

The most common types of Gobies in aquaria are the following:

Sand eating Gobies (Amblygobius, Koumansetta and Valenciennea)
Sand eaters filter the sand through their mouths and out of their gills.

They are generally bigger than other Gobies, but they are usually peaceful, so size is not a problem.. They can however be aggressive towards their own species.

One must be aware that they can eradicate the micro life in the substrate when the tank is too small. If there is not enough live food in the sand, it can be difficult to ensure the fish stay in good condition, as they require frequent feeding.

They may spread sand across the corals when they eat.

Shrimp Gobies (Amblyeleotris, Cryptocentrus and Stonogbiops)
Shrimp Gobies have a symbiotic relationship with Pistol shrimps, but one must first find out which species can live together.

The shrimp and Goby live together in a small hole in the sand or under a stone where the shrimp maintains the hole, so it will not collapse over time. The Goby helps by looking out for enemies, since the shrimp does not see well in sunlight, as it will have become accustomed its vision to the darkness of the hole.

Neon Gobies (Elacatinus/Gobiosoma)
Thesef Gobies are very small and like the Cleaner Wrasse, it eats parasites off other fish.

These Gobies are easier to keep alive in the aquarium than Cleaner Wrasses, as they can eat a wide range of foods.

Clown Gobies (Gobiodon)
These fish are very small and therefore suitable for small aquariums. Clown Gobies will often hide inbetween the branches of stony corals, like Acropora for example.

They generally eat many types of food, as long as it is small enough.

FishBase

Aquarium trade Rarely
Distribution Eastern Central Pacific: Gulf of California to Ecuador.
Spanish common names Gobio

References and further reading

About references

Henry C. Schultz. 2002. To Clean or Not to Clean: Gobiosoma Species - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)

James W. Fatherree. 2011. Aquarium Fish: A Look at the Gobies - Advanced Aquarist - (English)
Bob Fenner. "True" or Combtooth Gobies, the Family Gobiidae - Wet Web Media - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).

Tags

pair couple, docile shy, hard to feed
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