Swim of the Bumblebee Goby
Gobies from the Brachygobius genus, bumblebee gobies, are small bottom-dwelling aquarium fish species prominently featuring a delightful bumblebee-like black and yellow striped pattern.
These unique creatures are not for everyone, a community tank with these fish can be troublesome. Due to their preference for brackish water conditions (i.e. water not quite salty, not quite fresh), they aren’t easy to maintain in a pure typical freshwater setting.
For those willing to get out the measuring cup of salt and a little risk, bumblebee gobies make for an exciting addition.
Aquarium enthusiasts will find this fish incredibly rewarding, having unique behaviors not seen in other aquarium species alongside their bee appearance being a wow factor.
Fun Facts of the Bumble Goby
- The Bumblebee Goby is a small fish that needs some same-species friends to get along merrily. They can be aggressive when they are kept with other animals, but adding the correct animal species will make them more peaceful and less antagonistic towards others. Being in a schooling pattern helps keep it happy so you don’t have to deal with any trouble from this little guy!
- Bumblebee Gobies, not wanting to be left behind by their fishy friends can only mimic and scoot along the bottom of the tank. The lack of a swim bladder impedes so they cannot rise up as quickly and easily like other fish in aquarium tanks do.
- The bumblebee goby is one of the smallest fresh water fish with adults only reaching two inches in length.
- In the wild, it is often rain that encourages them to breed. They are sneaky and will seek out a safe hideout or cave with which they can lay their eggs amongst other species’ nests if when those animals are unaware or away from the nest.
A note on the species Brachygobius
The common name “bumblebee gobies” or “bumblebee fish” often refers to one of Brachygobius sp. (B. xanthozona, B. doriae, B., nunus etc.).
*Many bumblebee gobies in fish stores are listed as Brachygobius xanthozona; unfortunately, this is almost always a case of mislabeling, and this species is rarely if ever, available.
The natural habitat of the Bumblebee Goby is in the humid and salty water of estuaries, rivers, and streams in Indonesia (Java), Thailand, Vietnam as well as parts of India. These fish are able to find plenty of hiding places among mangrove roots or fallen branches that lie on top of a muddy substrate with organic residues.
Here these little guys inhabit shallow habitats where they live amid brackish waters covered by mud or sand, which also has an abundance of plants for protection from predators such as larger fish who may want to eat them up!
These little fish are known for their yellow and black striped appearance, a short body shape that looks like a bumblebee. They’re also smaller goby species with an average size of about 1-2 inches (3-4 cm).
The Brachygobius genus is very difficult to distinguish between because they are all almost identical.
Males can be differentiated from females by their more slender body shape and brighter coloration.
Requirements and Water Parameters
Bumblebee gobies are also not the best fish for a community aquarium as they will be quickly outcompeted by more assertive species and can even die of starvation. Bumblebees do their best when kept in brackish water at low salinity (a range between 1.002 and 1.006).
These fish stay very small, so there is no need to set up a large aquarium. For decent-sized groups, at least 10 gallons (38 L) should be enough for them with plenty of floor space.
The tank should always be fully cycled before adding any new inhabitants, but water filtration should remain weak; these animals naturally live in calm waters and may not respond well if the current gets too strong!
Bumblebee Gobies are often difficult to find tank mates for because they live in brackish water habitats. This means that the range of possible companions is relatively small, so it’s important to do your research before adding a new fish into an existing community.
The Bumblebee Goby is a peaceful fish who can live in harmony with other species. They only show aggression to defend territory or mates, but even then fighting rarely results in injury!
Bumblebee Gobies are carnivores and need to eat meat. They prefer brine shrimp, tubifex worms, or blood worms for their diet but anything would do as long as it’s a little more novel than what they’re used too.
You can opt for live, frozen food, or freeze-dried. Take note though: it will be much easier to get them eating the live food!
You can make your bumblebee goby feel right at home with the following aquatic invertebrate foods: Daphnia, Tubifex, Brine shrimp, Copepods and Grindle worms.
These fish are incredibly fascinating. They come in a variety of colors and patterns depending on the region they live, but when it comes to breeding habits- these creatures make for an awesome spectacle!
The males in the Bumblebee Goby species are particularly interesting to watch. Each male establishes a territory of its own and spends most of his time chasing other fish away from it, which makes for an entertaining show!
Encouraging Them to Breed
When your Bumblebee Gobies are ready to breed, the males will take a prime spot in their cave and guard it against other fish. The female has a special talent for choosing these spots wisely as they know that she needs a safe place if her eggs want to survive.
When you look at your tank of Bumblebee Gobies, which usually act like one happy family, most of the time, you might notice some warning signs: females start swelling up around the belly area while all eyes are on them!
There won’t be more babies anytime soon but rather just an extraordinary pregnancy where we can witness how much care is put into making sure this little egg survives inside its mother’s womb until the birth day arrives.
To encourage your Bumblebee Gobies to mate, just pour some fresh water into the tank. As they hear rain on their roof of a home that is only water in this time of year – it will convince them it’s finally raining and breeding season has begun!
To do this, the male will escort the female to his cave or hideout where she will lay her eggs. Once they’re laid, he’ll fertilize them and then guard over them until they hatch after four to nine days have passed.
Telling a Bumblebee Goby’s gender can be reasonably straight forward: males tend to be brighter and more slender while females can vary depending on whether or not they are full of eggs!
As breeding gets closer for both genders, it becomes even easier with males becoming much brighter than before to catch a female’s attention during mating season.