Aggressive Engineer Goby??


New Member
Hi Guys,
I am in need of some serious advice. I inherited an engineer goby about three years ago and the the last year I've several fish just disappear in my tank (55g, FOWLR). I just purchased a flame hawk and now he's gone missing. Yes, I've checked everywhere inside and out of the tank. This is not the first time either. I've also have lost a bartlett anthias, a picasso trigger, Christmas Wrasse, neon goby and now my little hawkfish. I asked if the hawkfish would get along with my goby and they (fish store) thought they should be just fine together considering they are both bottom dwellers. I have never found any carcasses or fish matter anywhere and often many of my snails go missing and all that is left is their shells. The only culprit I can think of is my goby as he is the only survivor of all my mishaps. I do have a small yellow tang and three small clownfish that seem to be just fine. Clownfish spawn regularly. Also, I added a flame angel with the hawkfish and so far he's been ok. I've been told my water parameters are perfect. I also just lost a new blue tang but I was told that it must have been a fluke accident because he looked fine and the water parameters were great. Found his body. His bladder was slightly enlarged but they said that can happen when they get freaked out and end up dying by stress. He was dead in a matter of 1 hour after eating. Yes, I'm sure I have an engineer goby not an eel and I can post pics of you think otherwise. He's about 12-14in now with yellow and black strips and makes a mess of my sand and rocks every night shifting them around and leaving a cemetery of snail shells behind. What are your thoughts as to what is happening with my fish? Please help!!! Thanks!


Active Member
before you introduce your fish you should try and rearrange your rock work to screw up the territories. you could also just give the fish to the fish store if it is killing all of your fish, you also could put a seperator in the next time you put a fish in and see if it isnt some disease.
I had the same problem in my 55g FOWLR tank when I first started off. Had an engineer goby and some damsels, slowly my damsels started to disappear, no bodies, nothing. I learned that engineer gobys can be aggressive when they are alone. So I went and bought another engineer goby, never had any problem with anything, be it fish or inverts, going missing. Adding in the second one was no problem, they did a funky thing for the first hour but nothing aggressive towards each other. Though with the size of yours if you add another one id try to get one of similar size. Also, you said you lost a neon goby, I've been told that goby breeds don't mix well. but for some reason engineers are best kept in groups or pairs. And if you think he disrupts your tank, wait till you have 2. So if I were in your shoes I'd get another one. And I'd love to see a picture of your goby, mine aren't quite that big yet, only about 6-8 inches.
Thanks, Eric


New Member
Thanks for the advice guys. Looks like I need to find him another home. I'm going to call my LFS and ask if they'll take him now. Wish me luck. Attached are what he looks like now after 5 years.



had one just like that about 10-12 inches or so. a awsome fish loved him alot but i had the same issue id add 10 chromis and slowly one by one they would dissapear. i added a clown goby gone in the first day firefish there one day and gone the next.. but he always looked fat never caught him eating a fish or even harrassing a fish but got him out a month ago and added another 10 chromis and i still have 10 chromis.. coincidence .... i dunno but it is what it is