Facts

Latin name Vanderhorstia macropteryx
Common name Bigfin shrimpgoby
Family Gobiidae - Vanderhorstia
Origin Australia, Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand
Max length 8 cm (3.1")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 100 l (26 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Always reef safe
Aggressiveness Mostly peaceful but might be aggressive towards similar species

Food

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

Jumps out of open aquaria

This species is known to jump out of open aquaria.

Territorial

These fish enjoy having their own territory and can be very aggressive towards most approaching fishes.

Small aquaria

This species can be kept in a small tank, if it is specifically equipped to meet its needs.

It is recommended however, to keep it in an aquarium which is larger then described above.

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. 

Substrate

These fish prefer a substrate which allows it to burrow.
A substrate consisting of sand, coral pieces, shells and small pieces of broken up shells is ideal for them to dig holes in.

One can also arrange rocks to enable the fish to create a hole underneath, making certain they are secure and cannot fall over.

There should be space to enable them to make a hole which is at least 1½ inch (3 cm) longer than their own body.
Other animals digging in the sand, can stress this species, if the aquarium is not spacious enough. Be therefore aware of, for example of Wrasses which burrow at night.

Lives in symbioses with the Pistol shrimp

These fish can have a symbiotic relationship with a Pistol shrimp of the genus Alpheus.

Genus description (Vanderhorstia)

There are multiple undescribed species in this genus, see Vanderhorstia spp.

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.

References and further reading

About references

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

aggressive territorial, nano small aquarium
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