Yellow Watchman Shrimpgoby

Cryptocentrus cinctus


(7 Reviews)

Yellow Watchman Shrimpgoby

Yellow Watchman Shrimpgoby

Cryptocentrus cinctus


(7 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Carnviore
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Max Size: 4 inches

The Yellow Watchman Shrimpgoby, Cryptocentrus cinctus, also known as the Yellow Watchman, Yellow Watchman Prawn, or the Yellow Shrimp Goby is one of the most popular aquarium fish in the trade. They are famous for their bright yellow bodies and bright blue spots all over their heads, fins, and body. They are known to form a symbiotic relationship with shrimps to secure their burrows. The Yellow Watchman thrives in tanks with plenty of live rock, a sandy substrate, and a tightly sealed lid to prevent escapes. Only one should be kept in each aquarium unless it is in a very large tank as they can become territorial. The Yellow Watchman will feed on a varied carnivorous diet and are known to be able to spawn in home aquariums. Males and females differ slightly as the females have a more muted yellow coloration. The Yellow Watchman also has a wonderful "frown" on its face making it seem constantly grumpy. Overall, this is one of the best all-around fish you can have in your tank. It is easy to care for, hardy, fun to watch, beautiful, and a wonderful tank mate. 


Unlock the Fascinating World of the Yellow Watchman Shrimp Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus) for Your Saltwater Marine Aquarium

The Yellow Watchman Shrimp Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus) is a captivating and interactive addition to saltwater marine aquariums, renowned for its symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimp and vibrant personality. With its engaging behaviors and eye-catching appearance, this species has become a beloved choice among marine enthusiasts. In this product description, we will delve into various aspects of the Yellow Watchman Shrimp Goby, including its natural habitat, reef compatibility, size, lifespan, dietary preferences, aquaculture potential, temperament, suitable tank mates, tank requirements, water conditions, alternative common names, compatible tank mates, and the advantages of acquiring Yellow Watchman Shrimpgobies from Saltwaterfish.com.

Habitat and Distribution: The Yellow Watchman Shrimp Goby is native to the Indian and western Pacific Oceans, where it resides in sandy and rubble-rich environments close to coral reefs and rocky substrates.

Reef Compatibility: The Yellow Watchman Shrimp Goby is considered reef safe, contributing to the overall health of your coral reef system by not causing harm to coral polyps. Its behavior of burrowing in the sand aids in adequately maintaining your aquarium substrate.

Size and Lifespan: This species typically grows to about 3 inches (7.5 cm), making it an ideal choice for smaller aquariums. Yellow Watchman Shrimp Gobies can thrive for 5 to 8 years with proper care, providing lasting entertainment and companionship.

Diet: The Yellow Watchman Shrimp Goby is a carnivorous species that primarily feeds on small crustaceans, zooplankton, and organic debris. Offering a varied diet of high-quality marine pellets, frozen foods, and live prey ensures that their nutritional requirements are met.

Aquaculture Potential: Yellow Watchman Shrimp Gobies are available in the aquarium trade, with both wild-caught and recently aquacultured options.

Temperament: Yellow Watchman Shrimp Gobies are known for their engaging behaviors, particularly their symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimp. They cohabitate in the same burrow, with the shrimp acting as a lookout and the goby providing protection through its keen eyesight.

Suitable Tank Mates:

  1. Dartfish (e.g., Firefish Dartfish): Peaceful dartfish species can coexist harmoniously with Yellow Watchman Shrimp Gobies, adding diversity to the tank.
  2. Anthias (e.g., Lyretail Anthias): Peaceful anthias species can create a vibrant and engaging tank environment alongside Yellow Watchman Shrimp Gobies.
  3. Dottyback (e.g., Orchid Dottyback): Select dottyback species with contrasting colors and behaviors that can share the tank with Yellow Watchman Shrimp Gobies.
  4. Blennies (e.g., Tailspot Blenny): Peaceful blennies can cohabitate with Yellow Watchman Shrimp Gobies, contributing to the dynamics of the aquarium.
  5. Cardinalfish (e.g., Banggai Cardinalfish): Cardinalfish with distinct characteristics can coexist with Yellow Watchman Shrimpgobies, enhancing the visual interest of the tank.
  6. Pistol Shrimp: Alpheus spp.

Symbiotic Partnership: The symbiotic relationship between the Yellow Watchman Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus) and the Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus spp.) is a fascinating and mutually beneficial alliance that is often observed in saltwater marine aquariums. The relationship between the Yellow Watchman Goby and Pistol Shrimp is a classic example of mutualism, where both species derive advantages from their cooperation. The goby provides the shrimp with protection and a watchful eye while the shrimp digs and maintains a burrow that offers a safe haven for both.

Role of the Yellow Watchman Goby: The goby, also known as the watchman, has exceptional eyesight and is vigilant about potential threats. It perches itself at the burrow's entrance, keeping an eye out for predators and signaling potential danger to the shrimp by darting back into the shelter.

Role of the Pistol Shrimp: The pistol shrimp, armed with an enlarged claw, is an excellent digger. It uses this specialized claw to create and maintain the shared burrow. The digging action of the shrimp helps to aerate the sand and create a safe retreat for both organisms.

Benefits of the Relationship:

  1. Protection: The watchman goby's keen eyesight acts as an early warning system against predators, allowing both the goby and the shrimp to retreat to the safety of their burrow if danger approaches.
  2. Aeration and Cleaning: The pistol shrimp's digging activities help to aerate the substrate, promoting the circulation of oxygen and the removal of waste products. This contributes to a healthier environment for both organisms.
  3. Food Source: As the pistol shrimp excavates the burrow, it may uncover tiny prey organisms that become food for both the shrimp and the goby.

Behavior and Interaction: The Yellow Watchman Goby and Pistol Shrimp share a close bond. The goby typically maintains proximity to the burrow's entrance, while the shrimp spends more time within the confines of the shelter. When the goby senses danger, it retreats into the shelter, signaling the shrimp to do the same.

Tank Requirements and Water Conditions: A tank size of at least 30 gallons is recommended for a single Yellow Watchman Shrimp Goby, offering ample space for burrowing and swimming. Stable water parameters, proper filtration, and suitable lighting are essential for their well-being.

Other Common Names: In addition to the name "Yellow Watchman Shrimp Goby" or "Cryptocentrus cinctus," this species is sometimes referred to as the "Yellow Prawn Goby" and the “Spotted Watchman Goby’”

Acquiring Yellow Watchman Shrimp Gobies from Saltwaterfish.com

Their commitment to ethical and sustainable practices ensures you receive healthy and responsibly sourced specimens. Saltwaterfish.com provides comprehensive information about each species, assisting in well-informed decision-making. With a variety of options, excellent customer support, and a streamlined purchasing process, Saltwaterfish.com ensures a seamless and rewarding experience for marine enthusiasts.

In conclusion, the Yellow Watchman Shrimp Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus) is a captivating and interactive addition to saltwater marine aquariums. Its engaging behaviors and unique symbiotic relationship make it a cherished member of marine ecosystems. By providing suitable tank arrangements and selecting compatible tank mates, enthusiasts can appreciate the vibrancy and charm of these captivating fish in their aquatic sanctuaries. When considering the addition of this remarkable species, choosing Saltwaterfish.com ensures a reliable and ethical source that prioritizes the health and well-being of marine life. With proper care and attention, the Yellow Watchman Shrimp Goby can become a remarkable centerpiece in any saltwater aquarium, enriching the allure and beauty of the underwater world.

I got a two of them and they acclimated and ate well. After a few days the pair are now inseparable. I recommend a pistol shrimp like a tiger or randalli to provide better caves for the watchman. Great to watch them guard the cave while the shrimp make the cave bigger.


Reviewed by: Albert V on June 27, 2018

I love the fish he/she is cheap and lovable looking


Reviewed by: Julius on May 1, 2018

My mom surprised me when she bought my yellow goby (jack). He came in pristine conditions and fit right into my 20 gallon tank. He pared up with my pistol shrimp very well and are living happily in a burrow together. Thank you to my mom and this website for such a great goby. This is also an entry for coralfish12g because the two Wyoming whites would also be a great addition to my 20 gallon reef tank. thank you : )


Reviewed by: Tommy Holczynski on July 10, 2017

Very pleased with my shrimpgoby. He is an awesome addition to my tank. He arrived very healthy and shipping was prompt. Thanks.


Reviewed by: Sara on May 6, 2015

Acclimated easily - arrived a good size so was not overwhelmed by the other creatures in my tank - definitely a good addition!


Reviewed by: Laurie Bessette on April 9, 2015

Happy addition to our tank. He is very active and is like a dart when it comes to eating. He's fun to watch and has taken to resting/sleep vertically with his head facing down.


Reviewed by: Salvatore Cugno on Feb. 20, 2015


Reviewed by: Emily on Oct. 26, 2014

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