Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Bella Sleeper Goby inhabits the sandy bottoms of reefs of Japan. With this small range, its availability within the aquarium trade can be inconsistent. Its body is torpedo shaped with an overall maroon-pink coloration, a pair of sapphire blue stripes on each side of its face and yellow-gold eyes. Adult Bella sleeper gobies will eventually develop a black patch under their chins. This species is truly one of the most striking of the Valenciennea gobies. A relatively peaceful fish, the Bella sleeper goby will aerate and keep the substrate clean, including managing nuisance cyanobacteria. It does this by taking mouthfuls of substrate and passing it through the gill plates, extracting microorganisms and other food. In turn, your aquarium’s sand bed will appear squeaky clean but at a cost. Small mounds of substrate throughout the aquarium will be noticeable where the Bella sleeper goby has been and in some circumstances for larger individuals, areas of the aquarium’s substrate may be more dramatically re-aquascaped. It is not uncommon for your Bella sleeper goby to also create a “hole” to retreat to suddenly if felt threatened and this is usually surrounded by a large mound of substrate. An adult Bella sleeper goby can reach a size of approximately 6″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Bella sleeper gobies are primarily carnivorous, feeding on small organisms and other material from the substrate. A diet largely consisting of high quality frozen preparations is necessary to maintain optimal health, coloration, and immune function. Such foods can include, but are not limited to, brine shrimp, calanus, mysis shrimp and other carnivore mixes. We highly encourage soaking frozen foods in vitamin and fatty acid supplements. Multiple, small feedings per day rather than one large feeding will also create more of a natural environment for the Bella sleeper goby as it would feed in the wild. Bella sleeper gobies may accept high quality flake and sinking pellet foods. Live foods, such as brine shrimp or blackworms, are an engaging treat from time to time.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 90 gallon aquarium is ideal to house a Bella sleeper goby. A tight fitting lid is needed because these gobies are known to jump out of aquariums. A Bella sleeper goby will be indifferent to the amount of live rock in an aquarium, as an open sandbed is more important in order for it to sift and feed. This fish should not be put into a biologically unstable aquarium, as it is sensitive to ammonia and nitrite, and it would likely also perish from a lack of food as a result of an unestablished sandbed. Do not house a Bella sleeper goby with overly aggressive and pugnacious tank-mates. Only one Bella sleeper goby is recommended per aquarium; this species is not compatible with other members of the Valenciennea genus. Bella sleeper gobies may show territoriality in smaller aquariums to similarily shaped fish that hang out near the bottom (i.e., firefish, blennies, other gobies). A Bella sleeper goby will feel most at home in a reef aquarium, posing no threat to corals. Small shrimp may be at risk with very large individuals. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Medium: 2″ to 3-1/2″; Large: 3-3/4″ to 4-1/2″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.