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Bumblebee Goby: How To Care For One

Bumblebee gobies are, for some aquarium owners, the best available fish there is to own. We’ve heard from several aquarium owners who rave about how fascinating and cute these small creatures are. They pretty much always steal the show in aquariums.

However, if you intend to purchase a bumblebee goby for yourself, there are particular aspects of care that you must feel confident with. These fish have certain dietary needs that must be met in order for them to flourish.

The good news is that taking care of this fish is a lot simpler if you know what to do. As you continue reading, we will go over all the information you should know, including their favored brackish habitat and their complex feeding requirements.

We want to make sure you have reasonable expectations about how and what it’s like to own these lovely fish!

Bumblebee Goby

Species Summary

Brachygobius is the scientific name for bumblebee gobies.
Brachygobius is the scientific name for bumblebee gobies.

The bumblebee goby is undoubtedly a special creature to take care of. These fish have gained a lot of popularity among aquarists mainly because of their appealing appearance.

Brachygobius is the scientific name for bumblebee gobies. There are several fish species offered under the “Brachygobius” name, but the distinctions between them are so slight that few people can even see them.

Although this fish species is very sought-after among fish owners, they require some special sort of maintenance. To thrive, bumblebee gobies require a well-organized environment and a nutritious diet. This fish isn’t for you if you’re seeking a species that is easy to keep and doesn’t involve any work.

If you decide to go with your plans to buy and keep a number of bumblebee gobies, be sure to choose some healthy ones, and look for any symptoms of illness or damage. If there are any issues, visit a different shop. You ought to pay no more than $5 for each fish.

Expert Tip: A Bumblebee Goby should survive for around 3 years when kept in good habitat. They might even live longer than that, but it depends on the fish in question and how well it is cared for.


They are little fish that don't require a lot of room.
They are little fish that don’t require a lot of room.

Gobies have intriguing personalities and are pleasant to look at, making them great tank companions for home aquariums. They are little fish that don’t require a lot of room, hardly growing more than 1.5 inches at maturity.

These fish are rather well described by their name, which is also their given name. They have a distinctive striped design, which is the first thing you’ll come to acknowledge. Their entire body is covered with alternating black and golden/yellow stripes.

Between fishes, there can be some variation in the exact shade of the golden/yellow stripes. While some samples tend more toward orange, others may have patterns that are somewhat more pale yellow. The most colorful fish are usually males.

Bumblebee gobies have the distinctive “goby” form in terms of shape. The spherical head and plump body of this species add to the bumblebee similarities. They even move across surfaces like bees while jumping. Males often have slimmer bodies than females. The same round head and big eyes, however, are shared by both.

The fins are transparent in most cases. Some fish also have a tiny portion of black in their fins. It usually extends from the matching stripe.

The Brachygobius genus has several closely related species, although it can be difficult to distinguish them from one another due to their subtle differences. They do, however, have similar needs.


 They are ideal for nano aquariums as a result.
They are ideal for nano aquariums as a result.

Bumblebee gobies are popular among aquarists because of their small size and bright colors. Rarely do these fish exceed 1.7 inches in length in the wild (4.3 cm). However, they grow to a little lesser length in a tank about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). Some fish never even get there. They are ideal for nano aquariums as a result.

However, if you want to try to extend their lifespan, you’ll probably need a little larger setup.

Bumblebee Goby Care

The majority of inexperienced aquarists usually struggle with the specific care that bumblebee gobies need. Therefore, you should be expecting them to survive for around three years with adequate care without it, they don’t live very long.

That being said, taking good care of this unusual fish is absolutely possible. The secret is to thoroughly understand their unique demands and provide them with the best possible living environment. All fish require a clean habitat, even bumblebee gobies. This shouldn’t be a problem with regular tank maintenance.

Regular partial water changes and removing excess algae are the key responsibilities involved in keeping the tank clean, but there are also additional duties to complete, such as using a gravel vacuum and making sure all of your equipment is in good condition.

In monitoring the conditions of the water in your aquarium each week, use a water testing kit. You will be able to identify any issues as soon as they arise and take action before they have a negative impact on the health of your fish.

Expert Tip: A clean environment is the greatest strategy to stop outbreaks since unhealthy water conditions encourage the growth of illnesses.

Tank Size

The size of the Bumblebee Gobie species, at maturity, is only 1.5 inches.
The size of the Bumblebee Gobie species, at maturity, is only 1.5 inches.

The size of the Bumblebee Gobie species, at maturity, is only 1.5 inches. You can get away with a typical 10-gallon nano aquarium even if you plan for a school of seven bumblebee gobies. It’s a size that fits these little gobies, but you still want to make sure everyone has room to roam and hunt for food without feeling cramped.

Although the sucker disc adaption is present in all gobies, it isn’t very effective. They also don’t swim well. The water current in your tank should be kept to a minimum as a result. You just need the output of your filter.

Note: Anecdotally, we’ve seen throughout the years that bumblebee gobies appear to live a little bit longer in bigger tanks. This is something to think about if you want to prolong their lives and keep them past the three-year threshold.

Diseases To Look Out For

The bumblebee goby is susceptible to a lot of diseases. However, this is typically brought on by things owners can manage and control. Stress and unclean water are typically the root causes of sickness in gobies. Unfortunately, because of improper salinity levels, many fish of this species contract Ich and other stress-related illnesses.

Fish grown in brackish water are required to have some salt. The body goes into shock when transferred to a tank with just freshwater, which causes the sickness indicated earlier.

We must emphasize how crucial good water quality is for bumblebee gobies. Keep an eye out for maintaining ideal tank conditions. Before purchasing, get in touch with your fish provider and precisely replicate their water conditions.

Freshwater bumblebee gobies do occur, although they are uncommon. If you don’t want to deal with brackish water, you need to be certain that the freshwater breeder you choose is reliable. Be certain the fish has lived its entire life in freshwater before you make a commitment.

Keep checking the water after settling your fish into their new environment, whether it is brackish or not. If you didn’t buy from a specialized freshwater breeder, perform frequent water changes, and don’t forget to check salt levels.

Typically, a teaspoon of salt per gallon is all that is needed to get the correct salinity levels. Of course, precise measurements are always preferable, so perform frequent tests.
It’s critical to confine your fish as soon as possible if they do contract Ich. The illness is extremely infectious and has been known to destroy whole tanks.

Once the fish has been isolated, you can treat it with over-the-counter copper-based medications.

Food & Diet

Feed them in tiny portions several times throughout the day.
Feed them in tiny portions several times throughout the day.

A good diet is vital to keep your fish healthy. Providing a variety of nutrition can help keep your fish healthy and disease-free. One of the most difficult aspects of keeping Bumblebee Gobies is feeding them. They are very selective eaters that only consume their preferred foods.

Usually, dried foods are not an option. The majority of the time, flakes and pellets will be neglected and left to waste on the tank’s bottom. These things shouldn’t make up a fish’s whole diet because they are inadequately nutritious anyway.

Since they are carnivores, they require a diet high in protein. To maintain the health of your fish, you will need to spend money on high-quality live or frozen food. Excellent choices include bloodworms, daphnia, and tubifex worms. Brine shrimp are also typically provided by aquarists since they are simple to hatch and raise.

Some gobies may have unique preferences. Dried foods may be acceptable to some but not to others. Though it’s best to not count on it, you might even be able to teach them to accept select foods.

Feed them in tiny portions several times throughout the day to reduce the burden on their digestive system. You might probably be overfeeding your fish if there’s food left to notice all over.

For the first few weeks, keep a close eye on your gobies at feeding times to make sure they agree with the food you’re providing. You need to be patient, but if they refuse to eat anyway, you might have to mix things up a little bit.

Bumblebee Gobies are worth the extra work, don’t let their challenging feeding demands discourage you. Feeding times become a lot simpler once you’ve established a diet and a schedule.

Behavior & Temperament

Bumblebee goby is one of the sweetest-tempered fish
Bumblebee goby is one of the sweetest-tempered fish

The bumblebee goby is one of the sweetest-tempered fish you’ll ever meet. They are timid beings who would prefer to remain hidden than display aggression. Having said that, some territorial behavior has been documented. Typically, the fish will aggressively protect a tiny area of the tank that they claim as their own.

A fight can break out if another fish of the same species comes in. However, this seldom involves major injuries and is generally only mild fighting.

Expert Tip: Gobies want to interact with other gobies of their own species. They thrive especially when kept alongside other bumblebee fish. They don’t regularly swim in synchronized patterns, but they do occasionally form groups during the day.

Bumblebee Goby Tank Mates

It might be a challenge to find suitable tank mates for the bumblebee goby. Bumblebee gobies are often kept in single-species aquariums. This is mostly because of their dependence on brackish water, and never on their temperament.

The fish’s tiny size may also make them prey for bigger species. Fish will compete with each other for the food you provide. They’ll practically always lose those battles because of their little size.

The Brachygobius genus, however, has a number of species within it. Also, most people would find it difficult to distinguish between them because they all appear to be similar. Therefore, a bumblebee community may always be created. For a tank that holds 10 or 15 gallons, we advise a school of about 7 fish.

Shrimps may be kept in your aquarium as well. To avoid the fish considering them as food, only use huge shrimp. Thus, it is not recommended to raise species like cherry shrimp.

How Many Bumblebee Gobies Should Be Kept Together?

Bumblebee gobies would like to stay together as a community, in a tank.
Bumblebee gobies would like to stay together as a community, in a tank.

By character, bumblebee gobies would like to stay together as a community, in a tank. Being solitary in a tank will not make them survive. Preferably, in a small tank in your home or office, at least a minimum of 3 colorful bumblebee gobies should be kept together.

But the more the merrier, bumblebee gobies would be happiest if 6 of them would have happy times inside the tank. You will have no problem because these species are not aggressive. So you will have no problem if you mix them up with other fish that are also domesticated and non-aggressive in nature.

In a tank full of different fish, the presence of bumblebee gobies will also add a lot of color to your tank. Other fish that would blend well with bumblebee gobies are swordtails, guppies, mollies, barbs, plecos, tetras, rainbows, and plates.

Are Bumblebee Gobies Aggressive?

The bumblebee goby is a small, peaceful fish popular in the aquarium trade. These gobies are not aggressive and will do well in a community tank with other peaceful fish. They are bottom-dwellers and prefer staying close to the substrate, where they will build small caves or burrows.

Bumblebee gobies are omnivorous and will eat various foods, including flakes, pellets, frozen foods, and live foods.

These gobies are named for their colorful stripes, which resemble those of a bumblebee. Like the pollinator it is named after, the bumblebee goby is not aggressive, but there are instances where they may nip at the fins of other fish. This usually happens when the goby is establishing its territory or if it feels threatened.

If you see your bumblebee goby nipping at the fins of another fish, try to provide more hiding places and caves for them to establish their territory. With a little time and patience, your gobies should learn to coexist peacefully with the other fish in your tank.

Do Bumblebee Gobies Eat Snails

The simple answer is yes, bumblebee gobies will eat snails.
Bumblebee gobies eat snails.

One of the most common questions we get asked about bumblebee gobies is whether or not they eat snails. The simple answer is yes, bumblebee gobies will eat snails. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering feeding your bumblebee gobies snails.

First, it’s important to know that bumblebee gobies are not particularly active fish. They tend to spend most of their time hiding in rocks and other structures in the aquarium. This means that they’re not going to be out hunting for snails all the time. If you have a lot of snails in your aquarium, the bumblebee goby may only eat a few of them.

Second, bumblebee gobies are relatively small fish. This means that they’re not going to be able to eat very large snails. If you have large snails in your aquarium, you may want to consider removing them or feeding them to another fish.


The bumblebee goby is popular because of its unusual and lovely appearance. They imagine having a large group of these little fish swimming about their tank as they relax and take it all in.

However, they get disenchanted when they learn about some of the care requirements.
Unless you’re willing to provide this fish with the right care, you should think again before acquiring it.

You may easily spend a lot more time maintaining your aquarium once you are engaged with the maintenance routine that bumblebee gobies require to survive. We do urge you to give it a try, though, if this doesn’t discourage you. The fish that need a little additional care, in our opinion, turn out to be the most rewarding.

The owners of these fish felt the same way and many of them also had wonderful experiences with them. If you’re up for the task, taking care of bumblebee gobies is a unique experience, and we know you’ll absolutely love it.

About Rencel Leyran