Stiphodon percnopterygoinus

I have always wanted to have a river tank with some Stiphodon gobies, and now I do.  These interesting little rapids-dwellers come from Taiwan, where most of the colorful species currently popular in the aquarium hobby come from.  They live in fast-flowing coastal streams that are oxygen-rich, shallow and bright enough to foster a healthy growth of algae.  These gobies are such good algae eaters that they can easily clean off several square inches of surface area in a day.  They are also very territorial, and where there are many in an aquarium (I have about 30 of them), small groups form up and stick to their little areas of the tank.  Each group will have a dominant male, a sub-dominant male or two and several females.  The dominant males flash a lot of color.  S. percnopterygoinus is referred to as the ‘yellow stiphodon goby’ on the import lists, but I am not sure why.  The displaying males have a jet black eye and dorsal fin.  The other unpaired fins are red.  The body becomes very dark, almost black, at the front and back, while the abdomen flashes a bright tan… I guess it looks a little bit yellow in contrast.  These gobies will readily spawn in an aquarium, but the fry will not survive.  In the wild the larvae are washed downstream to the ocean where they live through a long planktonic stage.  Once they settle they find a freshwater stream to return to.  There are several very colorful species in the hobby right now, and a tank with a lot of them is fun to watch.  Enjoy…

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