Engineer Goby

Pholidichthys leucotaenia

(5 Reviews)

Engineer Goby

Engineer Goby

Pholidichthys leucotaenia

(5 Reviews)

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Engineer Goby Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Carnivore
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Max Size: 12 inches
The Engineer Goby, Pholidychtys luecotaenia, has a black body with a white horizontal stripe. They are very hardy and peaceful and can be housed with other peaceful fish in a reef tank setting, but may become territorial towards other blennies, gobies or dartfish in smaller tanks.

Gobies tend to stay mainly towards the bottom of the tank, burrowing and sifting through the sand. However, this goby is also a known jumper, so a tightly fitting lid is suggested. Diet should include a variety of frozen or live mysis shrimp and vitamin enriched brine shrimp 1-2 times daily.

Keeping the Engineer Goby (Pholidichthys leucotaenia) in Your Saltwater Aquarium

The Engineer Goby, scientifically known as Pholidichthys leucotaenia, is a unique and intriguing addition to saltwater aquariums. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide essential information on the care and maintenance of the Engineer Goby, addressing critical aspects such as its habitat, reef compatibility, size, lifespan, dietary requirements in captivity, aquaculture availability, compatibility with other marine species, sexual dimorphism, juvenile to adult coloration changes, temperament, specific tank requirements, and precise water conditions. We will also list common names for this species and explain why choosing Engineer Goby from is wise.

Habitat and Natural Range of Engineer Goby

The Engineer Goby is native to the Indo-Pacific region, particularly the coral-rich waters of the western and central Pacific Ocean. In the wild, they inhabit sandy and silty areas near coral reefs, making burrows in the substrate.

Reef Compatibility of Engineer Goby

The Engineer Goby is generally considered reef-safe. They are not known to harm corals or other invertebrates, making them a suitable choice for reef aquariums. They can even benefit the reef ecosystem by aerating and turning over the substrate with their burrowing behavior.

Size and Lifespan of Engineer Goby

Engineer Gobies are relatively small, typically reaching a size of about 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 centimeters) when fully grown. They can have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years with proper care, providing long-term enjoyment in your aquarium.

Diet in Captivity for Engineer Goby

Engineer Gobies are opportunistic feeders in their natural habitat, primarily consuming small invertebrates and planktonic organisms. To ensure their health in captivity, it's essential to provide a diverse diet, including:

  • Frozen Foods: Offer a variety of frozen foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and other marine-based offerings.
  • Dry Foods: High-quality marine-based dry foods, like pellets and flakes, should be included in their diet.
  • Live Foods: Occasional live foods like copepods and small worms can add variety and meet their nutritional needs.

Aquaculture and Availability of Engineer Goby

Engineer Gobies are available in the aquarium trade, but aquacultured specimens are less common. However, choosing reputable suppliers like is crucial to ensure you acquire healthy and well-acclimated specimens.

Compatibility with Other Fish and Invertebrates for Engineer Goby

Engineer Gobies are generally peaceful and can coexist with various marine species. Here are five compatible companions:

  • Firefish (Nemateleotris spp.): These peaceful fish are an excellent match for Engineer Gobies.
  • Blennies (Ecsenius spp.): Most blennies are peaceful and suitable for reef tanks.
  • Chromis (Chromis spp.): These small, schooling fish are compatible with Engineer Gobies.
  • Clownfish (Amphiprion spp.): Clownfish and Engineer Gobies can coexist harmoniously and are a classic pairing in reef tanks.
  • Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata spp.): Cleaner shrimp are peaceful and offer a functional role and an interesting addition to your tank.

Sexual Dimorphism of Engineer Goby

Engineer Gobies do not exhibit significant sexual dimorphism, which means distinguishing males from females based on physical characteristics can be challenging.

Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes in Engineer Goby

Juvenile Engineer Gobies typically have a pale coloration with a thin, dark vertical bars pattern. As they mature into adults, their colors can become richer and more defined, showcasing their unique beauty.

Temperament of Engineer Goby

Engineer Gobies are known for their peaceful and non-aggressive nature. They are not territorial and usually keep to themselves, focused on their burrowing activities.

Tank Requirements for Engineer Goby

To ensure your Engineer Goby thrives in its environment, follow these tank requirements:

  • Minimum Aquarium Size: A tank with a capacity of at least 50 gallons is recommended for a single Engineer Goby. Larger tanks offer more swimming and burrowing space, making them an excellent choice if you keep multiple specimens or other marine species.
  • Substrate: Use a fine sand substrate, as Engineer Gobies enjoy burrowing and creating their burrows in the sand. Providing them with an appropriate substrate is vital for their well-being.
  • Live Rock: Incorporating live rock structures can provide shelter and hiding spots, which Engineer Gobies may use as a starting point for their burrows.
  • Water Temperature: Maintain a stable water temperature between 74°F and 78°F (23°C to 26°C).
  • pH: Keep the pH level within the range of 8.1 to 8.4.
  • Salinity: Maintain a salinity level of 1.023 to 1.025.

Detailed Water Conditions for Engineer Goby

To ensure the health and vitality of your Engineer Goby, maintain the following water conditions:

  • pH: Keep the pH level in the range of 8.1 to 8.4 to support optimal biological processes.
  • Salinity: Maintain a stable salinity level between 1.023 and 1.025 to replicate the conditions of their natural habitat.
  • Water Temperature: The ideal water temperature for Engineer Gobies is between 74°F and 78°F (23°C to 26°C).
  • Water Flow: A moderate water flow is suitable for this species, avoiding strong currents that might stress them.

Common Names of Engineer Goby

The Engineer Goby is also commonly known as the Convict Goby, Convict Blenny, Engineer Blenny, or Engineer Goby.

Why Choose the Engineer Goby from

Acquiring the Engineer Goby from offers several advantages:

  • Healthy Specimens: is committed to providing customers with healthy and well-acclimated Engineer Gobies.
  • Reliable Source: By choosing, you ensure the acquisition of responsibly sourced and ethically collected marine species.
  • Expert Guidance: provides expert guidance and support to help you successfully care for and enjoy your Engineer Goby in your saltwater aquarium.

In conclusion, with its unique behaviors and compatibility with reef tanks, the Engineer Goby is an intriguing and functional addition to any marine aquarium. When well-maintained, Engineer Gobies can contribute to the vitality of your aquatic community. Choosing as your source for these captivating fish ensures you receive healthy and responsibly collected specimens and the expert guidance needed to care for them effectively.

Moves almost like an eel but looks like a giant freshwater neon....they do dig so don't get a herd of them....mine "built" right on the front glass, so it is like watching an ant farm....

Reviewed by: Mel on April 3, 2017

I have bought several of this fish. Had one that lived 10 years in the same tank (55 gal.). I had another live three years in a 20 gallon. It is a simple fish, but fun to watch. And they are cheap!

Reviewed by: Floyd on Oct. 25, 2016

This engineer goby remained visible for about three days. It was eating, then promptly disappeared! I am guessing he is being reclusive as most engineer gobies are. I'll keep an eye out and update when he reappears.

Reviewed by: Eric Roberts on Aug. 22, 2016

O.K. Not a very complicated fish.

Reviewed by: Jerry Miller on March 22, 2016

So if ur afraid of an eel messing up your tank this guy is perfect he will get big and is eel looking but goby peaceful eh likes to dig holes and have a cave area under rocks

Reviewed by: Ashley House on May 14, 2012

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