Bumblebee Goby

Bumblebee Goby
Bumblebee Goby
Bumblebee Goby
Bumblebee Goby

Despite the picture making them look quite large, Bumblebee Goby’s are a tiny little fish that isn’t much bigger than the length of your thumbnail. They prefer a bit of salt in the water and are strictly carnivores.

Common Name(s) : Bumblebee Goby

Family : Gobiidae


Species : Brachygobius Xanthozona

Origin : Asia – Western Indonesia, Thailand, South Vietnam

PH : 7.0 – 8.5

Hardness : Moderately Hard to Hard

Temperature : 23 – 28°C / 73–82°F

Maximum Size : 4.5cm / 1.7″

Lifespan : 3 years

Aggression Level : Low-Medium (3/10)

Recommended Tank Size : 20 Litres +

Strata : Bottom


Prefer a planted tank. Add some driftwood plants to help create their natural environment.


  • Most Large / Medium Tropical Fish (avoid Angelfish)
  • Dwarf Cichlids


Carnivores, they will pretty much only accept bloodworms and brine shrimp in an aquarium.


Males tend to thinner when looking from overhead, females are much broader and fatter especially when full of eggs. When spawning males are the more colourful sex while females produce a visible ovipositor just prior to spawning.

Spawning occurs in a cave. The act itself is pre-empted by a colour change in both species (although it is more pronounced in males), in which the back 2/3 of the body loses the dark pigmentation and turns a deep gold colour, while the front 1/3 becomes very dark.

The male fish become much more active in their attempt to entice females into their respective caves to spawn. If a male is successful a female will enter the cave and lay a batch of up to 200 eggs, which are then fertilised by the male.

The female then takes no further part in proceedings, while the male will remain in the cave, guarding the eggs until they hatch. The female can be removed at this point.

The eggs hatch in 3-4 days and at this point the male should also be removed, as they will consume the fry once they become free swimming.

We have attached a detailed You Tube video of some Gobies breeding for another perspective.


Gobies are rarely able to tolerate freshwater (most are marine) but these guys live in both fresh water and salt water in the wild. We add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt per 10 litres to keep them very happy.

They are surprisingly undetered by larger specimens in the aquarium. They generally are out and about making them a good subject for the tropical aquarium.

Bumblebee Gobies will not tolerate any other fish in their territory and comically will attempt to chase one out. Of course with them being so small they don’t always win these arguments with tank mates.


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