Jump to content


Darters Compatable With Stiphodon Gobies?

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Peixe11

  • NANFA Member

Posted 17 December 2019 - 12:22 AM

I know the gobies are not native. But I have 2 of them in my planted tank that I want to move to a higher current tank. Thinking about setting up a river manifold tank in the 50ish gallon range within the next year. Since I have also wanted to have darters in river tank since high school I figured that I could combine those two goals. Just curious if anybody has any experience mixing darters with non native hill stream fish like Stiphodon gobies and loaches?


Also would like species recommendations for darters. I live in the DC metro area and would love to know what species in the region are legal to collect and adjust well to captivity.

Edited by Peixe11, 17 December 2019 - 12:22 AM.

#2 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 17 December 2019 - 07:21 AM

You would have a very short drive to creeks in the Potomac drainage system (Frederick County, MD) that have invasive populations of Rainbow darters which are a very colorful and robust species.  This is an invasive population.  Greenside and Fantail darters are also both local and native.  I am not familiar with the temperament of the gobies, but if they are fairly peaceful they should be fine with the darters. 


Any of the local shiners you'd catch in the same creek systems would be fine with your bottom dwellers.  Just be able to ID what you catch--juvenile Creek chubs would grow quickly and then make meals of any smaller fish.


Sounds like an interesting set up.  Others will chime in with info [and likely pics] of the aforementioned fish caught locally.  Good luck. 

Nick L.

#3 Peixe11

  • NANFA Member

Posted 17 December 2019 - 10:06 AM

Thanks Nick! Definitely plan on posting pics on this forum if my plan comes to fruition. Were the rainbows introduced as baitfish?

#4 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 17 December 2019 - 10:45 AM

I've never heard for sure.  Wouldn't be surprised.  But I checked the USGS page and they don't have any info listed as cause of introduction; 



Selfishly, I'm not overly disappointed they are there.  Not sure if there has been a study to see if they have made any significant impact to the ecosystem.  I've seen all 3 species listed in my first post living side by side for a handful of years, so who knows?

Nick L.

#5 Leo1234

  • NANFA Member
  • san clemente, california

Posted 21 December 2019 - 07:13 PM

I have mixed Darters and loaches with Stiphodon Gobies in the past. I keep a lot of natives with non native hill stream fish, but I would say generally it should be fine depending on the species.

What species of Stiphodon do you have?

Larger ones like the blue neon (Stiphodon atropurpureus), Stiphodon Semoni and the rainbow Stiphodon should be okay with most darters. The gobies eat mainly encrusting green algae and biofilm while the darters are carnivores so they shouldn't compete too much for food. Loaches I might worry about as some species like warmer temperatures than darters, so going for something like hillstream loaches or sinibotia would be better.

If you have any questions about the gobies, loaches or some of the other non native (and some native) hillstream fish, feel free to message me
Good luck!

#6 Peixe11

  • NANFA Member

Posted 24 December 2019 - 02:22 PM

Leo1234 thanks, I am not sure to be honest. They were sold as Stiphodon Sp. with common name blue goby. So far have not seen any coloration on them they are just silver. My main worry was that because they have a similar body shape to darters there might be conflict if they enter each others personal space. I've seen that in saltwater fish before. My plan for stocking right now is the gobies and some local darters plus some hillstream loaches then some kind of barb or native cyprinid. Should be fun.

Did you do anything special to encourage the green algae growth? I figured bright lighting is needed but was wondering if there is any other tricks.

#7 Leo1234

  • NANFA Member
  • san clemente, california

Posted 24 December 2019 - 04:40 PM

blue goby is usually Stiphodon atropurpureus or Stiphodon Semoni. they will color up especially whit other males in the tank or to defend their territory. I am not sure if they will fight for space, though a dominate goby might chase others away from his favorite rock. For the algae growth, I usually just have bright light and high water flow. I forgot what specifically is needed, but if you can get a rock with some of the algae already on it that might help it establish faster

#8 gerald

  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 25 December 2019 - 09:34 AM

Piexe -- Do you have another tank with non-algivorous fish?  You can switch the rocks back and forth between the two tanks: one tank to grow algae, and one to eat algae.  Otherwise you will likely end up with whatever types of algae the gobies don't like to eat.  Merry Christmas!

Gerald Pottern
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users