Emma Turner takes a look at a stunning goby for the brackish aquarium.
Scientific name: Mugilogobius mertoni (Weber, 1911).
Common names: Kanu goby, Chequered mangrove goby.
Origins: Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mayotte, Mozambique, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rodrigues, and Seychelles.
Size: To 8cm/3.2”.
Diet: These need a variety of small meaty foodstuffs and frozen Daphnia, Cyclops, bloodworm, white mosquito larvae, vitamin-enriched brineshrimp and baby brineshrimp should be ideal. They may get interested in small sinking pellets/granules and crushed flake.
Water: This species is from marine, brackish and freshwater environments, but most commonly encountered in brackish estuaries, mangroves and coastal freshwater streams. Hard, alkaline water is required, preferably moderately brackish. Temperature should be 25-28°C/77-82ºF and water well oxygenated.
Aquarium: A mature tank with good filtration and water movement is necessary. Have soft sand, with resting places, such as driftwood, caves formed from rocks/slate, and scatterings of cobbles/small pebbles. Plants are not necessary.
This species is best as a male-female pair. If more than one pair is together, ensure visual barriers and a spacious tank, otherwise males may fight.
Tank mates should be peaceful and of a similar size, as adult specimens will prey on tiny fish.
Several vibrant geographical colour variations are known.
Sexing: Sexually dichromatic. Well-conditioned males will be more colourful than the fuller-bodied females.
Identification: Elongated body, a rounded head and mouth terminal to sub-terminal. Dorsal spines total seven, dorsal soft rays total six to eight, anal spines one. There are six to eight anal soft rays and two dorsal fins. There are 26 to 37 scales in lateral series, eight to 13 in posterior transverse series and nine to 19 small pre-dorsal scales.
Base of pectoral fins and pre-pelvic area has small cycloid scales. Belly has ctenoid scales.
The caudal is rounded, body brownish, grey-yellow to grey-violet with seven to 11 dark diagonal stripes on the flanks, two to three black spots or short stripes at the base of the caudal. First dorsal has a black mark and a white stripe on its superior margin. The head displays several irregular red and blue stripes.
Availability: The fish pictured was recently on sale at Maidenhead Aquatics, Crowland.
Price: £9 each.
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