Dragon Goby

Dragon Goby
Species NameGobioides broussonnetii
Common NameDragon Goby, Dragon Fish, Violet Goby
Care LevelModerate
Lifespan5-10 years
Adult SizeUp to 24 inches (60 cm)
DietCarnivore
Minimum Tank Size50 gallons
Temperature72°F – 78°F (22°C – 25.5°C)
Water ConditionspH 6.5-8.5, Brackish water

About the Dragon Goby – Species Summary

Originating from the muddy, slow-moving waters of Central and South America, the Dragon Goby — also referred to as the Dragon Fish or Violet Goby — is an eel-like fish that has piqued the interest of many aquarium enthusiasts. This elongated, nocturnal creature is cloaked in a silver-blue hue with a series of dots running down its sides. Possessing a peaceful nature, its prehistoric, dragon-like appearance is contrasted by its relatively shy demeanor.

Dragon Goby Lifespan

On average, the Dragon Goby has a lifespan of 5 to 10 years when provided with optimum care in captivity. Proper feeding, tank maintenance, and consistent water conditions are key factors that influence their longevity.

Appearance

The Dragon Goby’s unique appearance is a major draw for aquarists. Its slender, eel-like body is adorned with a shimmering silver-blue skin, and a pattern of dots that cascade down its sides. It has small eyes, as it relies more on its excellent sense of smell than sight. Its dragon-like look is further accentuated by the presence of long, whisker-like barbels around its mouth, which assist in searching for food in substrate.

Average Size

As a juvenile, the Dragon Goby is typically around 4 inches in length. However, with time and proper care, they can grow impressively, reaching lengths of up to 24 inches (60 cm) in captivity.

Dragon Goby Care

Tank Size

For an adult Dragon Goby, a minimum of 50 gallons is recommended due to their potential size and active nature. If one plans to keep multiple Dragon Gobies or other tank mates, an even larger tank will be required.

How To Set Up Their Tank

Emulating the Dragon Goby’s natural habitat is crucial. Incorporate a soft, sandy substrate as they are burrowers and enjoy digging. Decorate the tank with rocks, driftwood, and caves, ensuring they have multiple hiding spots. Plants can also be added, but ensure they are sturdy like Java fern or Anubias. Being a brackish fish, the addition of marine salt (specifically designed for brackish tanks) is required.

Lighting Requirements

Dragon Gobies are nocturnal and prefer dimly lit environments. Use subdued lighting, or provide plenty of shaded areas through decor and plants.

PH

Maintain a pH level ranging from 6.5 to 8.5.

Temperature

A consistent temperature between 72°F and 78°F (22°C and 25.5°C) is ideal for these fish.

Water Parameters

Brackish water conditions are essential. The specific gravity should be maintained between 1.005 and 1.012. It’s also essential to monitor levels of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, keeping them as low as possible.

Disease Potential

Like all fish, Dragon Gobies can be prone to typical aquatic diseases like ich, fin rot, and parasitic infections. A proper quarantine procedure for new tank mates and plants, combined with regular tank maintenance, can prevent most diseases.

Food & Diet

Being carnivorous bottom-feeders, Dragon Gobies thrive on a diet of bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and tubifex worms. They also appreciate sinking pellets formulated for carnivorous fish. It’s vital to ensure food reaches the bottom, as they are poor competitors for food.

Behavior and Temperament

Despite their fierce appearance, Dragon Gobies are peaceful and can be quite shy. They are often seen burrowing or sifting through the substrate in search of food. Due to their nocturnal nature, they are more active during the evening.

Tank Mates

When considering tank mates, aim for other peaceful brackish water species. Mollies, Bumblebee gobies, and Archerfish can be considered. Avoid aggressive or very small fish that might bully or be seen as food.

Breeding

Breeding Dragon Gobies in captivity is challenging and not well-documented. In their natural habitat, they are believed to be cave spawners. Providing a calm environment, with numerous caves or PVC pipes and maintaining optimal water conditions, might encourage breeding behaviors.

Dragon Goby FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)