Tiger (Wardi) Goby

Valencienna wardii

(1 Reviews)

Tiger (Wardi) Goby

Tiger (Wardi) Goby

Valencienna wardii

(1 Reviews)

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Tiger (Wardi) Goby Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Carnivore
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Max Size: 5 inches

The Tiger Wardi Goby, Valencienna wardii, also known as Ward's Goby, features a beautiful cream-colored body with three wide brown striped bars across its body. Their first dorsal fin carries a false eye and the often have an electric blue band beneath each eye. It is one of the most visually stunning goby species available for the home aquarium. The Tiger Wardi will thrive best in a tank with plenty of live rock, a sandy substrate, and a tightly sealed lid to prevent escapes. Like other goby species, the Tiger Wardi is known to form a symbiotic relationship with species of Pistol Shrimp. They will eat a varied carnivorous diet consisting mainly of brine or mysis shrimp. 

Tiger Watchman Goby (Valenciennea wardi) Care Guide

The Tiger Watchman Goby, scientifically known as Valenciennea wardi, is a captivating and beneficial addition to saltwater marine aquariums. This informational guide offers valuable insights into the Tiger Watchman Goby, including its habitat, reef compatibility, size, lifespan, dietary requirements, aquaculture availability, sexual dimorphism, symbiotic relationships, and more. Whether you're a seasoned aquarist or a newcomer to the hobby, this information will assist you in making informed decisions about keeping this species in your saltwater aquarium.

Habitat of Tiger Watchman Goby

The Tiger Watchman Goby is native to the Indo-Pacific region and can be found in the sandy bottoms of coral reefs and lagoons. These gobies are known for their diligent burrowing behavior, which plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the aquarium substrate.

Reef Safe Nature

Tiger Watchman Gobies are considered reef-safe, meaning they can coexist peacefully with corals and other invertebrates in a reef aquarium. They do not exhibit destructive behaviors that could harm the delicate reef ecosystem. In fact, their burrowing activities can benefit the sandbed, as they help prevent compaction and promote aeration.

Size of Tiger Watchman Goby

When fully grown, Tiger Watchman Gobies typically reach a size of about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters).

Lifespan in Captivity

With proper care, Tiger Watchman Gobies can live for several years in captivity. They have an average lifespan of 5 to 7 years.

Diet in Captivity

In their natural habitat, these gobies are known to sift through the sand in search of small invertebrates and organic matter. To replicate their natural diet, it's essential to provide them with a sandy substrate in the aquarium where they can exhibit this behavior. Additionally, they supplement their diet with high-quality marine pellets, frozen foods such as mysis shrimp and brine shrimp, and occasional live foods like small crustaceans. This diverse diet helps ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

Sexual Dimorphism

Tiger Watchman Gobies do not exhibit significant sexual dimorphism, meaning males and females have similar appearances. It is challenging to distinguish between the sexes visually.

Symbiotic Relationships

These gobies form beneficial relationships with pistol shrimp (Alpheus spp.). The shrimp dig and maintain burrows in the substrate, providing both species shelter and protection. The gobies act as sentinels, warning the shrimp of potential threats, while the shrimp maintain and expand the burrows. This cooperative behavior enhances the safety and living conditions for the gobies and the shrimp.

Juvenile vs. Adult Coloration

Juvenile and adult Tiger Watchman Gobies share similar coloration. They have a white to cream-colored body adorned with distinctive brown or black vertical bars resembling a tiger's stripes. These striking markings give them their common name.

Compatibility with Tank Mates

Understanding the compatibility of Tiger Watchman Gobies with other tank inhabitants is crucial to maintaining a thriving aquarium.


Tiger Watchman Gobies are generally peaceful and non-aggressive, making them suitable for community aquariums.

Suitable Tank Mates

Here are five compatible tank mates that can coexist peacefully with Tiger Watchman Gobies:

  • Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus spp.): These are the ideal tank mates, as they form a natural and mutually beneficial partnership with the gobies.
  • Blennies (Ecsenius spp.): Blennies are known for their quirky personalities and adapt well to community aquariums.
  • Dartfish (Ptereleotris spp.): Dartfish are peaceful and come in various vibrant colors.
  • Firefish Gobies (Nemateleotris spp.): These colorful gobies are peaceful and add a touch of vibrancy to the aquarium.
  • Dwarf Angelfish (Centropyge spp.): Dwarf angelfish can be compatible if introduced carefully and monitored for any signs of aggression.

Tank Requirements

Creating a suitable environment is crucial for the well-being of Tiger Watchman Gobies and their symbiotic partners. Here are the critical tank requirements:

Minimum Aquarium Size: A tank with at least 30 gallons capacity is suitable for keeping Tiger Watchman Gobies and their pistol shrimp partner. Providing ample substrate (sand) is essential for the gobies to exhibit their natural burrowing behavior.

Aquascaping: Create a well-structured aquascape with a sandy substrate, live rock for hiding places, and open spaces for swimming. Ensure that the tank has a secure lid to prevent jumpers from escaping.

Water Conditions

Maintain stable water parameters with the following guidelines:

  • pH: Maintain a stable pH level between 8.1 and 8.4.
  • Salinity: Keep the salinity within the range of 1.023 to 1.025.
  • Water Temperature: 72 to 78°F (22 to 26°C).
  • Water Flow: Gentle to moderate water flow is suitable, as excessive flow can disturb the substrate where the gobies burrow.

Why Choose Tiger Watchman Goby from Saltwaterfish.com

Purchasing Tiger Watchman Gobies from Saltwaterfish.com ensures you receive healthy shipped specimens from reputable sources. We prioritize the well-being of marine life and provide top-quality fish that are carefully selected and handled to ensure a smooth transition to your aquarium. With their fascinating behavior and symbiotic relationships with pistol shrimp, Tiger Watchman Gobies are a valuable addition to any saltwater aquarium. Acquiring them from a reliable source can enhance your aquarium's biodiversity while supporting ethical and responsible marine life acquisition.

In conclusion, with its captivating appearance and symbiotic partnerships, the Tiger Watchman Goby is an excellent choice for a saltwater marine aquarium. When provided with suitable tank conditions, compatible tank mates, and a sandy substrate for burrowing, they can thrive and contribute to the health and vibrancy of your aquarium. Remember that maintaining stable water parameters and offering a varied diet is essential for the well-being of these remarkable creatures in captivity.

Have had other types of sleeper gobies. Favorite has always been the diamond goby. Tried the tiger goby. Incredible. Same quality as diamond but this one adds color and flare. A great choice.would highly recommend.

Reviewed by: Mitch on Jan. 22, 2015

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