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Should I get a Diamond Watchman Goby?

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by raptor72, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. raptor72

    raptor72 New Member

    My 11 gal. QT is almost ready to kick my clowns to the 125 gal. DT so I'm looking at my list to see what I'll put in there next. I've had my eye on this sand sifter, but I'm wondering if all that sifting will be bad for my beneficial bacteria. Input please.
  2. btldreef

    btldreef Moderator Staff Member

    They're jumpers as well, a fact that many overlook or just don't know.
    IMO, if you have a very established, healthy tank, you can usually get away with one sand sifting goby. I have had one for years (banded bullet goby). I've learned not to place corals in the sand because he will bury them 99% of the time. Diamond gobies sift A LOT of sand and pose a threat to the beneficial fauna in your sand bed. How old is your tank? How deep is the sand bed?
  3. raptor72

    raptor72 New Member

    I've had it running since Feb. The sand bed is about 1 1/4" deep and about 2" on both ends.
  4. snakeblitz33

    snakeblitz33 Active Member

    So, BTLDreef, what fish/goby would you recommend if not a diamond watchmen goby, if one still wanted a goby?
    I ask because I'm not very good with fish - I'm a lot better with equipment, DIY, chemical balances and corals... I'm trying to learn my fish better!
  5. btldreef

    btldreef Moderator Staff Member

    With a 1-2" sand bed, you could really deplete your sand bed, especially since the tank is >1 year. A lot depends on the quality of your live rock and sand, but it's usually safe to assume that the goby could deplete a sand bed, especially one of the heavier sifters like a Diamond Watchman.
    I do not think that all the sifting gobies are terrible (I have two). The Greenbanded Goby is actually a great little fish. They don't sift too much and can be kept in small groups.
    I know some like Yellow Watchman, but I've had some bad experiences with them getting very aggressive as they mature. I had a mated pair and one day my male just went insane. He killed the female, a mandarin, ripped out the eye of my Bullet Banded, attacked and shredded the fins of a 8+" Sailfin Tang, etc. All fish he had been with for over a year. Feedings habits/diet weren't changed, nothing changed, he just went nuts.
    I recently bought a PinkBar Goby, and although it is technically a sifter, I haven't seen too much damage. My Yasha Goby is awesome. She only sifts out enough to build herself a little cave. She's paired with a Randalli Pistol Shrimp and are honestly two if my favorite critters in all my tanks.
    The Randalli Shrimp Goby (Orange Stripe Shrimp Goby) and the Tangoroa also don't sift a ton.
    My big thing: don't get a sand sifting goby to be used as a member of your cleaning crew. Fish shouldn't be considered cleaners.
  6. scsinet

    scsinet Active Member

    I had a diamond once that I bought to keep the sandbed turned. He was in a 90g established tank with a 3" sandbed and a very good population of pods. He completely wiped out the pod population then starved half to death (would not take any foods from me) before I turned him into an LFS to find a better home. I doubt he made it. Lesson learned.
    I have a yellow watchman in my 120 reef and he's been a fantastic fish... tough as nails. He has survived 1 biofilter crash and 2 chiller failures, and he's in his 3rd tank with me. Lots of personality.
    I have a pinkspot goby C. leptocephalus in my 180g at home. He was the very first fish I ever bought in the hobby and I still have him. My wife calls him grumpy because he always has that "grumpy goby" expression. I have had him paired with a pistol, but the pistol has long died. He's probably my favorite fish.
    Any of the watchman species who do not get their food primarily by sifting would probably be fine.
  7. raptor72

    raptor72 New Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BTLDreef
    With a 1-2" sand bed, you could really deplete your sand bed, especially since the tank is >1 year. A lot depends on the quality of your live rock and sand, but it's usually safe to assume that the goby could deplete a sand bed, especially one of the heavier sifters like a Diamond Watchman.
    I do not think that all the sifting gobies are terrible (I have two). The Greenbanded Goby is actually a great little fish. They don't sift too much and can be kept in small groups.
    I know some like Yellow Watchman, but I've had some bad experiences with them getting very aggressive as they mature. I had a mated pair and one day my male just went insane. He killed the female, a mandarin, ripped out the eye of my Bullet Banded, attacked and shredded the fins of a 8+" Sailfin Tang, etc. All fish he had been with for over a year. Feedings habits/diet weren't changed, nothing changed, he just went nuts.
    I recently bought a PinkBar Goby, and although it is technically a sifter, I haven't seen too much damage. My Yasha Goby is awesome. She only sifts out enough to build herself a little cave. She's paired with a Randalli Pistol Shrimp and are honestly two if my favorite critters in all my tanks.
    The Randalli Shrimp Goby (Orange Stripe Shrimp Goby) and the Tangoroa also don't sift a ton.
    My big thing: don't get a sand sifting goby to be used as a member of your cleaning crew. Fish shouldn't be considered cleaners.
    That's a lot of good information.
    Maybe I'll start looking at one of the goby/shrimp combos.
    As far as the sifter being purchased as part of a CUC, no, I just like watching the one at my lfs swim around and sift the sand.
    BTLDreef Thanks again.
  8. flower

    flower Active Member

    This is just my two cents.....FWIW...oh the difference a few years make.
    I loved my sandsifting goby, (I had diamonds as well) I had a goldenhead sleeper goby, that fish had the most personality above any fish I ever had, the lawnmower blenny is the second. The problem with the sandsifters are many. First, they must eat constantly (that sifting action) and that depleats the sand of fauna, they learn to share the fish food most of the time so that doesn't sound at first like a problem. They dig and move the sand to suite themselves, unstable rocks will fall, and they dig to the glass bottom...they make it their purpose in life to change the sandbed.
    However without the stuff in the sand, the sand can't do it's job of growing the good bacteria that breaks down nitrates. Now water changes do remove nitrates, but not enough after the tank has been up and running for some years, old tank syndrome is what comes to mind. The balance is no longer working...like a dead system. Adding fresh seeded sand from another tank will help but the sandsifter will not let the sandbed heal...it keeps sifting away.
    To get my tank back up to snuff I had to let go of my wonderful fish. He was awesome. So people please consider what the sandsifters (stars or gobies) are doing to your tank....a refugium will help. They are not a good as part of the CUC, snails do a much better service.
  9. raptor72

    raptor72 New Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flower
    This is just my two cents.....FWIW...oh the difference a few years make.
    I loved my sandsifting goby, (I had diamonds as well) I had a goldenhead sleeper goby, that fish had the most personality above any fish I ever had, the lawnmower blenny is the second. The problem with the sandsifters are many. First, they must eat constantly (that sifting action) and that depleats the sand of fauna, they learn to share the fish food most of the time so that doesn't sound at first like a problem. They dig and move the sand to suite themselves, unstable rocks will fall, and they dig to the glass bottom...they make it their purpose in life to change the sandbed.
    However without the stuff in the sand, the sand can't do it's job of growing the good bacteria that breaks down nitrates. Now water changes do remove nitrates, but not enough after the tank has been up and running for some years, old tank syndrome is what comes to mind. The balance is no longer working...like a dead system. Adding fresh seeded sand from another tank will help but the sandsifter will not let the sandbed heal...it keeps sifting away.
    To get my tank back up to snuff I had to let go of my wonderful fish. He was awesome. So people please consider what the sandsifters (stars or gobies) are doing to your tank....a refugium will help. They are not a good as part of the CUC, snails do a much better service.
    Great, I'm just absorbing it all.
    I do have one sand sifting starfish, but I notice it only burrows on the front half of my tank and doesn't touch the middle or back. My fuge is also running well. I'm still doing research on the goby/shrimp combo.
  10. flower

    flower Active Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Raptor72
    Great, I'm just absorbing it all.
    I do have one sand sifting starfish, but I notice it only burrows on the front half of my tank and doesn't touch the middle or back. My fuge is also running well. I'm still doing research on the goby/shrimp combo.
    I sure do miss that goby, I actually cried when I gave him away. I had him about 3 years before I realized I needed the sandbed in tact.
    I got nassarius snails for keeping the sand in the SH tank (30g) turned and clean. That's something to think about too. A sandbed undisturbed too long could release toxins if it gets moved around or stirred too much. Keeping it stirred is important as well.
  11. raptor72

    raptor72 New Member

    Yup, I've noticed some of the charts that state how many snails to add per the size of tank. It's almost astounding to think that you would actually have room for fish in there when you look at the number of snails recommended. I can't imagine 40 snails in any normal size tank, and that's just one type, about half of what they recommend.
  12. flower

    flower Active Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Raptor72
    Yup, I've noticed some of the charts that state how many snails to add per the size of tank. It's almost astounding to think that you would actually have room for fish in there when you look at the number of snails recommended. I can't imagine 40 snails in any normal size tank, and that's just one type, about half of what they recommend.
    I used snails in my 30g seahorse tank....65 altogether
    20 nassarius
    25 cerith
    20 nerite
  13. slice

    slice New Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Raptor72
    Yup, I've noticed some of the charts that state how many snails to add per the size of tank. It's almost astounding to think that you would actually have room for fish in there when you look at the number of snails recommended. I can't imagine 40 snails in any normal size tank, and that's just one type, about half of what they recommend.
    I struggled for quite a while to find any form of CUC balance for my tank during the run-up to where it is now. As a tank evolves and bioload/feeding regime changes, one may need to closely observe and adjust the CUC accordingly. I still have no clue what a good recommendation should be, I adjust to what I see going on in the tank (read: I'm stumbling through it).

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