Bumblebee Goby Care, Tank Mates, Diet, Breeding, & More

Bumblebee Goby Care, Tank Mates, Diet, Breeding, & More

Freshwater or saltwater aquariums are common in home aquariums, however, there is a world of difference in them. Brackish settings are underestimated, yet they have a lot to offer.

The Bumblebee Goby, for example, is an appealing and gregarious fish that brightens up the lowest sections of fish tanks.

They are a little more difficult to care for than most species, so beginners should gain some expertise with other species first.

The task will appeal to experienced aquarists. Bumblebee Gobies are an excellent way to get started with brackish aquariums.

If you’re considering buying some Bumblebee Gobies, keep reading. We’ll go over all you need to know about them, including their favored brackish habitat and difficult feeding requirements.

Bumblebee Goby Facts & Overview

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  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Color Form: Black and yellow stripes
  • Lifespan: Up to 3 years
  • Size: Up to 1.5 inches
  • Diet: Carnivore; live/frozen foods
  • Family: Oxudercinae
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Tank Set-Up: Brackish water with sand and hiding spots
  • Compatibility: Small peaceful fish or a single-species setup

The Bumblebee Goby is a type of brackish-water fish. This suggests that their optimal salinity is somewhere in the middle of freshwater and saltwater.

Some individuals are put off by this. Some aquarists are hesitant to handle salinity, while others are frustrated by the restricted number of tank mates available in brackish water aquariums.

These fish are a fantastic alternative if you are prepared to fish in a brackish environment.

Brachygobius, a genus of the Oxudercidae family, is their scientific name. All mudskippers and gobies, which may be found all over the world, belong to this family.

Bumblebee Gobies are found in Asia, primarily in Thailand and Indonesia. They reside in estuaries and mangroves, where rivers meet the sea, in shallow places.

There are a few species sold under the name Brachygobius, but they are so similar that distinguishing between them is difficult. When purchasing any, don’t be concerned about this.

Each fish should be less than $5.

Make sure the people you’re buying are healthy; look for evidence of disease or injuries. If there are any issues, go to a different retailer.

A Bumblebee Goby should live for about three years if kept in a proper environment. They may live much longer, depending on the particular fish and the level of care provided.

Common Behaviour

These are bottom-dwelling fish that spend the majority of their time exploring the substrate, picking up any food they can find.

They may be a little shy when initially acquainted. As they become more accustomed to their environment and establish a territory, they will progressively gain confidence.

They’re mainly a calm species, though males can be aggressive toward one another at times.

Usually, it’s a territorial quarrel, but they’ll only chase each other away and rarely injure each other. Rather than fighting, their usual approach is to conceal.

Providing a large number of hiding places will help to mitigate this.

The remainder of the time, Bumblebee Gobies are highly gregarious. They enjoy being around other people of their species and will socialize with them. Don’t leave them to their own devices.

You’ll occasionally see them swimming in a group, but they also enjoy spending time alone.

Bumblebee Goby Appearance

These fish are gorgeous, and their diverse personalities combine to form an enticing tank mate for home aquariums.

Their popular name is an excellent description of their appearance. They feature bumblebee-like strong black and yellow vertical stripes from their head to the base of their tail.

The stripes might sometimes reach the fins, although the fins are typically clean.

This species has a spherical head and a plump body, giving it a bumblebee-like appearance. They even flit from one surface to the next like a bee.

The body form of these gobies is similar to that of most goby species. This features ventral fins that act as suction cups, allowing the fish to adhere to tank surfaces.

The caudal fin is tiny, rounded, and fan-like, whereas the dorsal fin is quite short.

A fully grown fish rarely exceeds 1.5 inches in length, making them small fish with limited room requirements.

It’s difficult to sex Bumblebee Gobies. Females have a rounder belly and are slightly fatter, especially while retaining eggs during spawning. When spawning, males also become more colorful.

The Brachygobius genus has numerous closely related species, but the differences between them are so little that it can be difficult to identify them apart. They do, however, have several requirements in common.

Counting scales is a common method of identifying the species, but it takes a microscope, so you won’t be able to do it at home.

Bumblebee Goby Tank and Habitat Conditions

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Bumblebee Goby

This species is native to Asia, where it can be found in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, among other places. They aren’t found in the wild, but the aquarium industry sells them all over the world.

They like areas with a mix of freshwater and saltwater, such as brackish water. The biggest examples are estuaries and mangroves.

They stay in the shallows to avoid larger fish in deeper water. The sunshine is stronger here, but there’s plenty of cover among the plants and detritus.

Warm and slightly alkaline water would be present. In a brackish environment, salinity can vary, but Bumblebee Gobies prefer lower salinity places near the river’s mouth.

The perfect aquarium will closely resemble its natural environment. This increases their chances of remaining healthy. We’ll show you how to construct your own brackish water arrangement in the section below.

Tank Conditions

Because bottom-dwelling fish spend the majority of their time around it, even burrowing from time to time, choosing the correct substrate is critical.

Choose a fine-grained, sandy substrate to place over the aquarium’s base. This type of gravel is smooth and less likely to scrape and injure than coarser gravel.

It’s also critical what you put on top of the substrate. Bumblebee Gobies appreciate having a variety of hiding places, especially when they’re nervous after being introduced to a new aquarium.

Create distinct caves and nooks with rocks and driftwood.

Also, make sure there’s a lot of greenery. Live plants provide natural protection from harsh lighting and rowdy tank mates.

You can choose whatever plant species you want depending on where you want it to go and how you want your tank to appear. You could try Java Fern or Anubias Nana if their tolerance for brackish water is a problem.

You only need a filter and a heater; no further equipment is required. It’s perfectly fine to use standard aquarium lighting.

When using air/water pumps, try to avoid creating powerful currents. These are not well tolerated by Bumblebee Gobies, who prefer mild currents. The filter output should be able to move enough water.

Set your heating to 72-84 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH level should be in the range of 7.0 to 8.5. To get a salinity of 1.002-1.006, use aquarium salt.

Maintaining these water conditions is critical to the long-term health of your gobies.

What Aquarium Size Do They Need?

Bumblebee Gobies are a little species that grow to only 1.5 inches in length. This means that a small group can be kept in aquariums as small as 10 gallons provided they are set up properly.

However, larger tanks are usually preferable. They’re not only easier to keep clean, but they also provide your fish more room to swim about in. It may even help them live longer by keeping them healthy.

How many per gallon can be kept?

The bigger your tank needs to be, the more fish you wish to keep. You don’t want to overcrowd the aquarium because this might cause a variety of issues.

For each additional Bumblebee Goby, try to supply 3-5 gallons of water. The more space you can provide them with, the better.

Bumblebee Goby Tank Mates

You may believe that selecting the correct tank mates is the most difficult decision to make. You must choose species that you enjoy while also guaranteeing that there will be no compatibility issues.

Tankmates for Bumblebee Gobies are more difficult to come by than for other species. Because they come from brackish water habitats, the variety of probable companions is limited.

Their personalities aren’t incompatible with one another. They are a friendly species that can coexist with other fish.

Only while protecting territory or mates do two male Bumblebee Gobies show aggression. Even then, the conflict is almost always non-lethal and results in few injuries.

Bumblebee Gobies are susceptible due to their small stature. Large fish can easily consume them, therefore don’t keep them with fish that can fit them in their mouths.

Guppies and Mollies are two gentle alternatives.

Many aquarists prefer to maintain them in a single-species tank, which eliminates the potential of cross-contamination. This is also useful for keeping track of their feeding, since they may be finicky eaters.

Invertebrates are a fantastic choice to think about. They’ll probably overlook your fish and vice versa. Snails and shrimp (such as Amano Shrimp) can be added to the mix (like Nerite Snails).

Can You Keep Bumblebee Goby Together?

Yes, they should be kept together at all times. They are gregarious fish that spend most of their time swimming in groups.

Keeping a Bumblebee Goby alone would stress it out and maybe cause health issues.

Males may quarrel, but this isn’t a cause for concern. To counteract this, you might retain one male per tank, as long as you also keep some females.


For healthy fish, a balanced diet is important. Providing a variety of nutrition will keep your fish healthy and help them fight sickness.

Unfortunately, one of the most difficult aspects of owning Bumblebee Gobies is feeding them. They are finicky eaters who will only consume items that they enjoy.

Dried foods are almost never an option. Flakes and pellets will be largely neglected and will decompose in the tank’s bottom. These items are inherently less nutritious and should never be the only source of nutrition for a fish.

Bumblebee Gobies are carnivores who require high-protein, high-nutrient diets. They mostly eat live or frozen meals, which are more difficult to procure and preserve. They are also more expensive.

However, there are several live/frozen foods to pick from, such as brine shrimp, daphnia, tubifex worms, and bloodworms.

Individual preferences may be displayed by some fish. Some people may take foods that others do not, such as dried foods. It’s possible that you’ll be able to train them to eat particular foods, but don’t count on it.

To relieve the strain on their digestive system, feed them small quantities several times a day. You’re probably overfeeding if you discover there’s food leftover.

For the first few weeks, keep a close eye on your gobies at feeding times to ensure that they are accepting the items you’re offering. Be patient, but if they aren’t eating, change things up.

Don’t be scared off by their finicky feeding requirements; Bumblebee Gobies are well worth the extra work. Feeding times become a lot easier once you’ve figured out your diet and routine.

Bumblebee Goby Care

In captivity, these fish normally survive for around three years, but with proper care, they may be able to live longer.

Bumblebee Gobies, like any fish, require a clean habitat. This should not be an issue if tank maintenance is performed on a regular basis.

Regular partial water changes and wiping away excess algae are the most important aspects of keeping the tank clean, but there are other activities to complete as well, such as utilizing a gravel vacuum and double-checking that all of your equipment is in functioning order.

Check the parameters of the water in your aquarium once a week with a water testing kit. You’ll be able to notice any issues quickly and address them before they have a negative impact on your fish’s health.

Diseases thrive in poor water quality, therefore keeping the environment clean is the best approach to avoid epidemics.

Although Bumblebee Gobies are not disease-prone, many aquarists mistakenly stress their fish by providing an incorrect salinity, which can encourage sickness.

Bumblebee Gobies are commonly kept in freshwater aquariums, but this is not recommended. The fish’s lifespan will be significantly shortened, especially if they were not raised in freshwater.

Ich, a parasite that appears as white dots all over an affected fish’s body, is one of the most frequent aquarium infections. As a result, it’s easy to spot.

If you find an infected fish, place it in a quarantine tank for treatment to prevent the sickness from spreading to other fish in the tank.

Copper-based therapies for the most prevalent infections are available in supermarkets. If you have invertebrates, be cautious because copper is harmful.


Bumblebee Gobies are not the easiest fish to reproduce, but if you know what you’re doing, you can do it in captivity.

Only when the environmental circumstances are ideal will spawning take place. This entails keeping the tank and the water free of debris. Increase the frequency of your cleaning routine if possible.

A well-balanced diet is also essential. This has to be high in protein. Some people boost their protein intake in order to help promote spawning.

Adding a tiny amount of freshwater to the tank or gradually raising the water temperature to 84°F over several days are two other triggering strategies.

These fish can lay up to 200 eggs at one time. Once breeding has begun, the female Bumblebee Goby will bulge around the abdomen.

The eggs will be laid in a variety of hiding places throughout the tank. With the exception of the father, separate the eggs from the adults once this has occurred.

After about a week, the male will defend the eggs until they hatch. Remove the father at this moment so he doesn’t consume the developing fry.

It will take another week for the fry to begin swimming freely. They’ll still be tiny, necessitating smaller foods. The best option is infusoria; use it until they are old enough to tolerate a more adult diet.

Then you can reintroduce them to the rest of your Bumblebee Gobies.

Are Bumblebee Gobies Suitable for Your Aquarium?

You should now be able to tell whether or not these fish are suitable for you.

There will be a few obstacles to overcome at first, but once your aquarium is up and running, things will be much easier.

Before you buy any Bumblebee Gobies, you’ll need to design their tank and diet. If you’ve done your homework, this should be simple.

After that, all you have to do is clean the tank and test the water on a regular basis to ensure that they remain healthy.

You will be rewarded for your efforts. These are stunning fish that are constantly moving about their surroundings. You’ll be able to see how they interact with one another and even persuade them to mate.

Bumblebee Goby: FAQs

Can bumblebee goby live in freshwater?

The bulk of bumblebee goby species found on the market come from brackish environments in Asia. As a result, you must house them in conditions that closely resemble their natural habitat. A few types of freshwater bumblebee goby, on the other hand, can thrive in freshwater.

How many bumblebee gobies should be kept together?

Bumblebee gobies are social fish who enjoy interacting with the other fish in the tank. If you want to add them to your tank, you should buy them in groups of at least 4-5 for a comfortable life.

Are bumblebee gobies hardy?

While they are tough fish that don’t often develop diseases or problems, you should be aware that they require a lot of attention, both in terms of the food you feed them and the type of water they grow in.

Can bumblebee gobies live with guppies?

Yes, both bumblebee gobies and guppies make good tankmates, due to the water conditions they demand and the size differences between them.

Do bumblebee gobies eat snails?

Because bumblebee gobies are essentially carnivores who want a protein-rich diet for optimal health and growth, they can eat snails.


Bumblebee gobies are not easy to care for, but they do not necessitate a lot of effort. Everything will work out perfectly if you make sure to provide them with the necessary surroundings. If you’re thinking of adding some brackish water fish to your home aquarium, they should be at the top of your list.

We hope that this guide provides you with all of the information you require. If you have any more questions, please share them in the comments section below.

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