Zebra Bar Goby (Ptereleotris zebra)

Before You Buy: A Comprehensive Review of the Zebra Bar Goby (Ptereleotris zebra):

When selecting fish species for saltwater aquariums, choosing suitable and captivating species is essential. One such species that stands out is the Zebra Bar Goby (Ptereleotris zebra). This review article will explore the physical characteristics, behavior, tank setup, feeding requirements, health management, breeding, availability, and suitable tankmates for the Zebra Bar Goby.

Spoiler alert, the Zebra Bar Goby gets a 5 of 5 star. Check out the review and see why.

5 Stars For The Zebra Bar Goby

Table of Contents

A group of Zebra Bar Gobies

Physical Characteristics and Behavior

The Zebra Dart Goby (Ptereleotris zebra) is a visually striking fish with an attractive and unique coloration. The head and body of this goby species are light green, creating a vibrant base color. Adorning its slender body are numerous vertical, evenly-spaced thin orange stripes, forming an intricate pattern that enhances its overall allure. This captivating combination of light green and orange stripes makes the Zebra Dart Goby a visually stunning addition to any saltwater aquarium.

Originating from the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in areas such as the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef, the Zebra Dart Goby can typically be found in sandy areas near reefs. It prefers to reside in caves or crevices within the substrate, seeking shelter and safety. This species is known for its peaceful nature, making it an excellent choice for community aquariums.

The Zebra Dart Goby exhibits fascinating behavior, constantly darting and hovering above the sandy substrate. It actively forages for small crustaceans and zooplankton, using its specialized mouth to sift through the sand in search of food. The goby's active and curious nature adds a dynamic element to the aquarium, creating an engaging display for observers.

Setting up the Saltwater Aquarium for Zebra Bar Gobies

It is crucial to consider several factors to provide a suitable environment for the Zebra Bar Goby. A 30-gallon aquarium is recommended, providing ample swimming space. Maintaining stable water parameters, including a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C) and salinity of 1.020-1.025, is essential. Adding live rock and sandy substrate mimics their natural habitat, allowing them to explore and establish territories. Adequate filtration, moderate water flow, and appropriate lighting complete the setup requirements for this species.

Feeding and Nutritional Needs

In the wild, zebra bar gobies feed on zooplankton and small crustaceans. When it comes to their dietary needs in captivity, a varied diet is crucial. Offering a combination of live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and copepods ensures they receive the necessary nutrients. Additionally, high-quality commercial fish foods formulated for marine species can be incorporated to provide a balanced diet. Regular feeding sessions throughout the day in small portions will keep these gobies healthy and satisfied.

Health and Disease Management

Maintaining optimal water quality is vital for the overall health of zebra bar gobies. Regular water testing and maintenance of appropriate temperature and salinity levels are essential. These gobies are generally hardy but susceptible to common saltwater fish diseases like ich. Observing their behavior and appearance is necessary to detect any signs of illness. Quarantine procedures for new fish introductions help prevent the spread of diseases within the aquarium.

Availability and Suitable Tankmates

The Zebra Bar Goby, Ptereleotris zebra, is readily available and can be purchased from reputable online retailers like saltwaterfish.com that will ensure they are active, displaying vibrant colors, and show no signs of disease or injury. For a harmonious community, consider peaceful tankmates such as other small gobies, clownfish, and peaceful wrasses. Avoid aggressive or territorial fish species that may intimidate or harm the gentle nature of the Zebra Bar Goby.

Pros and Cons

Pros of the Zebra Bar Goby (Ptereleotris zebra)

  • Captivating Appearance: The Zebra Bar Goby features a visually stunning combination of light green body color and intricate orange stripes, making it a visually striking addition to any saltwater aquarium.
  • Peaceful Nature: This species is known for its peaceful and non-aggressive behavior, making it an ideal choice for community aquariums with other peaceful fish species.
  • Active and Engaging: The Zebra Bar Goby exhibits an active and inquisitive nature, constantly darting and hovering above the substrate, providing an engaging display for aquarium enthusiasts.
  • Suitable for Beginners: This goby species is relatively easy to care for, making it an excellent option for saltwater aquarium enthusiasts who are new to the hobby.
  • Availability: The Zebra Bar Goby is readily available in reputable online stores, making it easily accessible for purchase.

Cons of the Zebra Bar Goby (Ptereleotris zebra)

  • Compatibility Limitations: Due to their peaceful nature, zebra bar gobies may not be suitable tankmates for more aggressive or territorial fish species, requiring careful consideration when selecting companions.
  • Size Considerations: While not a significant drawback, it's important to note that zebra bar gobies grow to a maximum size of around 3-4 inches, which may limit their compatibility with very small tank setups.


The Zebra Bar Goby (Ptereleotris zebra) is an outstanding choice for saltwater aquarium enthusiasts, especially those new to the hobby. Its captivating appearance, peaceful behavior, and relatively easy care requirements bring life and vibrancy to any marine setup. Whether you want to establish a community tank or a species-specific display, the Zebra Bar Goby will undoubtedly be a standout addition. Its compatibility with a range of tankmates and active nature make it a delightful fish to observe. With proper care and attention to water quality, the Zebra Bar Goby will thrive and become a cherished inhabitant of your saltwater aquarium.


  1. Smith, J. D., & Johnson, M. (2018). A Comprehensive Guide to Saltwater Aquariums. Coral Publishing.
  2. Michael, S. W. (2021). Marine Fishes: 500+ Essential-to-Know Aquarium Species. TFH Publications.
  3. Randall, J. E., & Allen, G. R. (2019). Reef Fishes of the Indo-Pacific. University of Hawaii Press.

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