Yellow Watchman Goby


Hug a mod Nano Reef Moderator
Retired Moderator ⚒️
Dec 27, 2004
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Long Island, NY
Common name(s): Yellow Shrimp Goby; Yellow Watchman Prawn

Scientific name: Cryptocentrus cinctus

Family: Gobiidae

Origin: Sri Lanka, Maldive Islands, Red Sea

Maximum Size: Up to 3"

Lifespan: Up to 5 years

Care: The Yellow Watchman Goby is just a great fish to keep in a nano tank. They are very easy to keep and add color to your reef as they are very nicely colored yellow. Their body has small blue spots near the face and fins and when viewed closely, they have a very funny look....I tried to capture this in one of the photos below. They are very hardy and once acclimated can survive some swings in tank conditions. They do like a sandy bottom and usually set up camp in a particular crevice or hole. If you have aggressive fish, they may appear scarce. When I lost my sixline, which picked on him, the goby become much more of a presence in the tank.

A Yellow Watchman will develop a symbiotic relationship with many pistol shrimp. See the post on the Yashia Haze goby. The pistol keeps the tunnel clean and the goby brings food back for the pistol. Like most nano fish, they prefer standard parameters and, as always, stability is more important than the exact number per se. They can be kept in a tank as small as 10G's and are reef compatible. I've never seen them nibbling on corals.

Feeding: Yellow Watchman's are carnivores. They are very easy to feed. They love mysid shrimp but will also eat slow sinking pellet and enriched brine shrimp. If you have more aggressive fish about, make sure the goby gets his course. If they are shy, you can pipette some mysid into their hole/crevice in the LR.

Sexing/Breeding: This species has reportedly been bred in captivity and is also difficult to distinguish between male and female with the female supposedly being more gray in color. On the whole, breeding has been accomplished by some expert marine aquarists but would be very difficult for the average enthusiast.



My clown goby pretty much eats anything it can get its mouth on (mind you, they do have pretty big mouths and jaws so dont worry if that mysis seems a bit big) except dried nori. It wouldnt eat the first few days that i got it, and hid deep in its cave. I just took some garlic soaked frozen seafood mixture, and squirted it right in its cave, then i guarded the cave from my two cleaner shrimps and my snails, little by little started eating more. Now it eats like a clownfish.

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