Fish Profile

Blue Neon Goby Care: Requirement, Lifespan, Breeding, Tank Mates

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Blue Neon Goby, scientifically known as (Stiphodon atropurpureus) is a group of small beautiful fish. Stiphodon in Greek refers to tightly packed teeth, which is present in the upper lip of the Neon Blue Goby fish. There are other fish from the same family which grows to a larger size and have a dull color. However, the Blue Neon Goby is small in size with bright neon blue color making it the most suitable fish for an aquarium. This fish is considered to be one of the rare fish in the fish keeping hobby.

Many Goby fish are Barkish fish or saltwater and only a select few goby fish are adapted to freshwater. Mostly Goby fish from Asia origin tend to be freshwater. Neon Blue Goby is one of them and thrives well in a freshwater aquarium.

Introduction Blue Neon Goby

The Blue Neon Goby are some of the most beautiful fish that I’ve come across in my fish keeping journey. The shape of the body and its mouth paired up with its color makes it one of the best fish to keep in a smaller sized aquarium. They do require a little bit more attention but the time you put into it is definitely worth it. These fish look great in a Nano planted tank.

And in this article, we will be learning about everything that you need to know before bringing home your first pair of Neon Blue Goby.


Blue Neon Goby is also known as Dwarf Neon Goby, they are naturally found in the Asian waters. These fish are native to Micronesia, Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia. But the Neon Blue Goby fish are not easily found in these regions as well because they are very rare and hard to catch.


The Blue Neon Goby has a typical Goby fish-like body. However, the color of the fish is different. Usually fish from the Goby family are either brightly colored or very dull. But, the Blue Neon Goby closely resembles Neon Tetra in its body coloration.

The body of the Neon Blue Goby is lined with a beautiful bright blue color from the tail to the head of the fish. The bright blue color blends with the black color throughout the body.

At a glance, the Neon Blue Goby might look like a Dwarf snakehead but the dorsal fins are different. These fish have two distinct dorsal fins which give the Blue Neon Goby a unique appearance. The male fish has a slightly darker shade of blue color in its body than the female fish.


The Blue Neon Goby are some of the rarer freshwater goby. Since they do not breed easily these fish are not found in all the local fish stores at all times. But you will have a stroke of better luck finding them with other local fish breeders or through the internet.


Blue Neon Goby fish are fairly priced. You can find some of these fish in your local fish store now and then. A pair of these fish will cost you around 7-$9$. But you will get a better deal while buying a school of Blue Neon goby fish. A school of Blue neon fish can be bought for 25$-30$.  I would suggest you buy a school of these fish as you will get a better deal for your money.


Blue Neon Goby has a relatively low lifespan. These fish live for about 2 years at the max in the wild. They don’t live that long life. And in your aquarium, if you can provide the fish with good water conditions and proper care it can live for up to 18 to 20 months.

Sexual Difference

It is a bit difficult to distinguish the gender of Blue Neon Goby. Both male and female fish have similar body shapes and sizes. Coloration in the body of the male and female are also almost similar. If you want a pair of male and female Neon Blue Goby the best option for you is to get a school of these fish and let the fish pair up on their own, by nature’s way.

Social Behavior and Tank Mates

Neon Blue Goby fish are usually peaceful and don’t bother about other fish in the same tank. However, these fish will get aggressive when other fish move towards their territory. These fish tend to create their territory as soon as it is comfortable in its new environment. These fish usually spend most of the time around their territory.

The Blue Neon Goby fish are bottom dwellers so any top feeder and mid-water swimming fish will be suitable as tank mates.

I would suggest you add other fish from Goby family-like Bumble Bee goby of similar size. Hillstream Loaches, Tetra fish, Siamese Algae eater, Harlequin rasbora, etc. These fish are safe with shrimp so you can put all the colorful shrimps in the same tank.

Fish Keeping Difficulty

Blue Neon Goby is hardy fish. But they do require a lot of maintenance in the tank. These fish have an intermediate difficulty for caring. You will need to provide them with a live source of food often of times and do regular water changes and maintenance as these fish require crystal clear water. If you can do these simple tasks it is pretty easy to keep these fish.

Tank Size

The Neon Blue Goby fish are also known as Dwarf neon goby due to its small size. Although they are small in size they pack a ton of personality for the size. You can house the Blue Neon Goby fish in a medium-sized planted tank. I honestly believe that a pair of this fish belongs in a masterfully scaped planted tank.

The Blue Neon Tetras do very well in smaller tanks. You can house a pair of these fish in a 10 Gallon tank. And if you want to raise a school of 5 to 6 Blue Neon Gobies by themselves a 20- gallon Long Aquarium will be more than enough. If you are going to keep a school of these fish make sure to add a handful of plants and hiding places in the aquarium.


You can choose to use a wide variety of lights in your aquarium. The Blue Neon Goby don’t have any particular requirement regarding lightings, but they do prefer dark spaces around the Aquarium. You can obtain these conditions by densely planting the aquarium with aquatic plants. Aquatic plants require a good amount of lighting to survive and grow.

For the tank housing Neon Blue Goby you can use a Beam work EA timer FSPEC LED Aquarium light. I had success using this light in my smaller planted tanks. You can also upgrade the lights if you decide to get a bigger aquarium. Fluval Plant 3.0 will be the perfect light if you choose a larger tank.

Substrate and Decoration

Blue Neon Goby will look stunning in a planted tank. The beautiful bright neon color of these fish will make a good contrast with the plants in the aquarium. For substrate, you will be better off using aquarium soils like the ADA Aqua soil. The ADA Aqua soil comes in black colors which makes the fish appear brighter and at the same time provides important nutritional supply to the plants planted in the aquarium.

You can use decorative pieces without any sharp edges. The sharp edges may cause injury to the fish. You can also use driftwoods of various shapes and sizes in the aquarium to make the tank more appealing to the eyes. Your fish will use the driftwoods as cover when they feel threatened or when they feel stressed.

Blue Neon Goby Diet

Blue Neon Goby fish are carnivores in nature which means the diet of the Blue Neon Goby is chiefly composed of animals. In the wild these fish feeds on small fish fry, crustaceans, insects, small worms, and will even feed on plants at times. In an aquarium, you can feed the Blue Neon goby with fish pellets. Pellets can be okay as a staple food but you can also provide other natural sources of foods like bloodworms. Feeding them with Daphnia’s, Brine Shrimps, Tubifex worms, etc will fill up the appetite of your fish.

Maintaining Water Quality

The water quality is very crucial for the health of any fish. These fish are very sensitive when it comes to water quality. The water should have balanced parameters and should be clean at all times. Here are some water parameters that need to be noted properly while keeping Blue Neon Goby.

Water Temperature

Blue Neon goby can withstand a wide variety of temperatures. These fish ar every hardy in nature and are capable of surviving in the harshest of nature. In the wild the Neon Blue Goby fish live in water temperatures of around 70°F to 78°F. In your aquarium, you should set the temperature around 73°F to 75°F.

Water pH

In the wild where the Blue Neon Goby fish are collected from the water is found to have basic ph. The pH of the water was found to be around 8.0 – 8.5. You can set your aquarium water pH at around 8.2 – 8.4 which will be perfectly suitable for the fish.

Water Filtration

You will need to have a good aquarium filtration system for these fish. There should be a good amount of water flow in the aquarium. The Blue Neon Goby come from shallow fast moving clean water. You should try to replicate that nature for your fish in your aquarium. You can use powerhead filters. Powerhead filters provide good filtration with a good amount of water flow which is perfect for the Neon Blue Goby. You can also choose to use a Hang on Back aquarium filter which is capable of filtering the water properly and provides good water current at the same time.

Water Maintenance

You will need to do a tremendous amount of water maintenance if you are willing to keep the Blue Neon Goby. Blue Neon Goby requires pristine water conditions to thrive and grow properly. If the water parameters or conditions are degraded the fish will instantly stress out. Blue Neon Goby is very water condition sensitive. A slight degradation in the water conditions will stress out your fish and may kill them over time. And to avoid these complications you need to perform regular water changes and run an adequate aquarium filtration system.

Fish Disease

Neon Blue Goby fish require very good water conditions. And when the water conditions are not as suitable as it should be these fish tend to gets stressed out pretty quickly. The immunity of the fish decreases as a result of stress and your fish becomes susceptible to many diseases like:

White Spot disease / Ich

Blue Neon Goby gets infected with white spot disease pretty often. It is mainly due to poor water conditions. When the parameters of the water are not kept in check the fish will be more susceptible to the white spot disease. Other factors contributing to the White spot disease in the Blue Neon Goby are poor water filtration, decreased aquarium temperature, the introduction of the infected fish into the tank, etc.

You can easily treat this disease if you follow the basic protocols by doing a partial water change and add some medicine commonly found in your local fish stores.

Swim Bladder Disease

Blue Neon Goby fish are fast swimmers and at times when the fish swims against some obstacles, they tend to injure themselves. When there is any trauma around the body of the fish it may suffer from Swim Bladder disease. Your fish will not be able to swim properly when it gets infected by this disease. The fish will die if you do not treat this disease in time.

Treating swim bladder disease is not very complex. However, you need a fair amount of knowledge about your fish. You should reduce the flow of water in the aquarium. You need to keep the water clean and add some aquarium salts which will aid the recovery of the Neon Blue Goby. Feeding the fish with boiled peas has also shown some positive results.

Breeding Blue Neon Goby

Breeding Blue Neon Goby can be challenging at times. You can barely sex the male and female fish. They look pretty same so separating a pair for the breeding process is not possible all the time. The best way to get a pair of this fish is by buying a bunch of Blue Neon goby and letting them pair up on their own. You can start preparing the breeding tank after a couple of Neon Blue Goby fish gets paired.

Breeding Setup

You should use a 20-gallon Aquarium as a breeding setup. This space will be useful as Blue Neon Goby gets aggressive while breeding and one of the Blue Neon Goby might get aggressive towards the other. So you should have enough space for the fish to hide in if they get aggressive towards each other.

Preparing the Breeding Pair

You can feed your Blue Neon Goby with plenty of live food to encourage them for breeding. A well-fed pair of fish is more likely to breed than any starving pair.

Breeding Procedure

In the wild the Blue Goby fish usually breeds before rainy season or shortly after the rain. To get similar parameters like in the wild you can do heavy water changes and increase the aquarium water temperature by 2°F which will exponentially increase the breeding activity of the pair of the fish.

The female fish usually lays its eggs on a smooth surface, so you can also add a plate with a smooth surface for the female fish to lay eggs in.

They can lay around 1000 eggs at a time during its peak maturity. The female fish will lay its eggs on a smooth surface and the male goby fish will fertilize the egg afterward.

The Female fish will take care of the egg until it hatches out.

A pair of Neon Blue Goby fish can breed up to four times in a year.

Caring For the Fry

Blue Neon Goby fish fry are very small in size when they hatch out of the egg. The fish fry will consume its yolk sac and then search for food around the aquarium when they start to swim freely. You can feed the free-swimming Neon Blue Goby fry with Baby brine shrimps. And when the fish fry grows you can feed the fry with pellets manufactured for a fish fry. Feeding the fry with live food will make the fry grow out faster. Daphnia and Cyclops are some of the best food for the fish fry.


Blue Neon Goby is irresistible fish. The unique body shape with the beautiful bright neon blue colors makes all the difference. If you have enough experience and want a small fish for your planted tank, these fish are the ones to go for. They do require regular water maintenance and aquarium cleaning, but all good things come with a price, don’t they?

If you want a fish full of personality without compensating the beauty of the fish, you should get a school of these fish without hesitation.

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