Facts

Latin name Valenciennea wardii - (Playfair, 1867)
Common name Ward's sleeper
Family Gobiidae - Valenciennea
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, The Red Sea, Indonesia, New Zealand, Central/West Pacific
Max length 15.0 cm (5.9")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 400 l (106 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Reef safe with caution
Aggressiveness Mostly peaceful but might be aggressive towards similar species

Food

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

Jumps out of open aquaria

This species is known to jump out of open aquaria.

Well established aquarium with pods

This species thrives best when there is a sufficiently large amount of micro life (copepods, amphipods or similar) in the aquarium, so that the it can always find their own food.

Frequent feeding

This species requires frequent feeding, at least a couple of times per day.

Rearranges the sand

This species likes rearranging the sand in the aquarium.

Be sure that the rocks cannot collapse if the sand is removed.

Filters sand

This species assist in keeping the sandy substrate clean by filtering sand in search for food.
Compared to other sand dwelling gobies this one is not as proficient at filtering the sand.

Initially shy

This species can be very shy when first introduced into a new aquarium.

More aggressive fish can be introduced after this species has acclimatized.

Best as a pair

This species thrives best in a pair. (Male and female)

Hiding places

This species needs good hiding places, for example, between live rocks.

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 Yes
Distribution Indo-Pacific: extremely rare, known from widely scattered localities in the Indian Ocean and western tropical Pacific.
English common names Ward's sleeper, Broadbarred glidergoby, Broad-barred sleeper-goby, Broadbarred glider goby

References and further reading

About references

Henry C. Schultz. 2003. The Fish Of Which Dreams (or Nightmares) Are Made: The Genus Valenciennea - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)
Scott W. Michael. Reef Aquarium Fishes: 500+ Essential-to-know Species - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (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

docile shy, pods, pair couple, destructive
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