Emma Turner introduces a tiny goby that's capable of dramatic colour changes to suit its moods and surroundings.
Common name: Taiwanese colour change micro goby
Scientific name: Schismatogobius ampluvinculus
Origin: Japan and Taiwan.
Size: Up to 2.6cm/1”.
Diet: These require a variety of small sized meaty foodstuffs. Frozen baby brineshrimp, Daphnia, Cyclops and mosquito larvae should be readily taken and, in time, also be interested in small sinking pellets/granules and crushed flake.
Water: Known from temperate freshwater moderately flowing brooks. Neutral to slightly alkaline conditions are preferable; pH 7.0-7.8, with a general hardness up to 20° DH. Temperature should be between 18-24°C/64-75ºF.
Aquarium: A mature tank which should be well filtered with good water movement and oxygenation. The substrate should be soft sand or fine grade rounded gravel, so the gobies can bury themselves and there should also be ample retreats created from rocks, cobbles, pieces of slate and driftwood. Lighting may be fairly bright to simulate the shallow streams of wild habitat. This species is peaceful, so may be maintained in groups. Tank mates should be small, peaceful and able to thrive in the lower temperature.
Notes: S. ampluvinculus is capable of dramatic colour change, depending on substrate choice and mood. The specimen pictured here adopted a golden hue to match the silica sand.
Sexing: Sexual dimorphism is pretty well developed, with the males always having longer jaws and slightly larger heads than the females of the species.
Identification: Seven dorsal spines (total): nine-nine dorsal soft rays (total): one anal spine and nine anal soft rays. Body colour is creamy yellow-white with four wide transverse dark bands. The eyes are high and close set, tongue is bi-lobed. The most notable features of Schismatogobius are a total absence of scales and remarkable variation in colour.
Availability: Not regularly seen. The fish pictured was on sale at Maidenhead Aquatics
Price: On sale at £17.50 each or three for £50.
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