Dragon Goby Care: Complete Guide for Beginners

Dragon Gobies, or Violet Gobies, are unique, eel-like fish that many aquarists enjoy keeping. In this care guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to ensure your Dragon Goby thrives in its new home. We will discuss about the supplies, tank setup, water requirements, feeding, care schedule, possible tank mates, and breeding of dragon gobies.

dragon goby

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Dragon Goby Supplies

To properly care for your Dragon Goby, you’ll need a few essential supplies. Here’s a list of basic items you should have:

  1. Tank – At least a 30-gallon tank for a single Dragon Goby.
  2. Filter – A quality filter with adjustable flow rate.
  3. Heater – A submersible heater to maintain the ideal temperature.
  4. Thermometer – To monitor the water temperature.
  5. Lighting – Soft, indirect lighting for their sensitive eyes.
  6. Substrate – Sand or fine gravel for the tank bottom.
  7. Decor – Driftwood, caves, and plants for hiding places.
  8. Food – Algae wafers, sinking pellets, and live or frozen foods.
  9. Water Conditioner – To remove chlorine from tap water.
  10. Test Kit – To monitor the water parameters.

Here’s a table with the recommended options:

Item Recommendation
Tank 30-gallon, minimum
Filter Adjustable flow rate
Heater Submersible
Thermometer Accurate and easy to read
Lighting Soft, indirect
Substrate Sand or fine gravel
Decor Driftwood, caves, plants
Food Varied and balanced diet
Water Conditioner Dechlorinator
Test Kit pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate

Before purchasing your Dragon Goby and setting up their environment, ensure you have all the necessary supplies for their wellbeing and comfort. Proper equipment is crucial for providing optimal care for your new aquatic friend.

Before Getting a Dragon Goby

Before you bring home a Dragon Goby, research their specific behavior and requirements. Understanding their needs is crucial to ensure a healthy and happy life for your new pet.

As they are nocturnal creatures, Dragon Gobies tend to be shy and may feel threatened in a brightly lit environment. Choose a dimly lit corner in your home for the tank, making sure it is away from direct sunlight.

Plan a well-thought-out tank setup, providing plenty of hiding places and a sandy substrate. Dragon Gobies love to burrow and hide in small spaces, which will make them feel more secure.

Carefully consider the type of fish to share the tank with your Dragon Goby. Ensure that they are compatible in both temperament and environment. Keep in mind that overly aggressive fish might endanger your Goby.

Before adding your new pet to the tank, make sure that the water parameters meet their specific requirements. Cycle the tank to establish a healthy nitrogen cycle and have suitable water parameters for your fish.

Water quality and temperature should be consistent and monitored regularly. Fluctuations in water parameters can cause stress and potentially lead to disease.

Prepare a well-balanced diet of various ingredients. Dragon Gobies need a diverse diet to meet their nutritional needs and keep them interested in feeding.

Finally, establish a consistent care schedule. Regular maintenance and cleaning are necessary to maintain a healthy environment in the tank, and sticking to a routine will provide the best care for your Dragon Goby.

dragon goby

Dragon Goby (source)

Dragon Goby Tank Setup

Start by choosing an appropriate tank size for your Dragon Goby. A 30-gallon tank is suitable for one Dragon Goby, but if you’re planning on having more, consider a 50-gallon or larger tank.

For the substrate, use smooth sand or fine gravel. Dragon Gobies like to burrow in the substrate, so a soft material will prevent injury to their delicate bodies.

Arrange your tank decor to provide ample hiding spots. Use terracotta caves, PVC pipes, or rock formations to create tunnels and hiding places, and incorporate driftwood and live or artificial plants to give them more security.

Install a quality filter with adjustable flow rate. Dragon Gobies prefer slower-moving water, so make sure the flow is not too strong to avoid causing stress.

Place a submersible heater in the tank to maintain the ideal temperature of 75-80°F (24-27°C). Monitor the temperature with a reliable aquarium thermometer to ensure it remains within the suitable range.

Set up the lighting to mimic the dim environment Dragon Gobies prefer. Use soft, indirect lighting or a moonlight setting to keep your fish comfortable and stress-free.

Perform a fishless cycling before introducing the goby to their new home. This establishes the nitrogen cycle, ensuring a healthy environment in the tank.

Lastly, fill the tank with properly treated water. Use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and harmful substances from tap water, and test the water parameters to ensure it’s safe for your Dragon Goby.

Dragon Goby Water Requirements

Maintaining proper water parameters is crucial for the health and wellbeing of your Dragon Goby. The ideal water temperature should be kept between 75-80°F (24-27°C).

Maintain a pH level between 7.0-8.5. Dragon Gobies can tolerate a wide pH range, but be sure to keep the pH stable to avoid causing stress.

Ensure the water hardness is within the dH range of 10-20. This slightly hard to hard water environment is ideal for Dragon Gobies.

Monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels closely. Ammonia and nitrite should always be at zero ppm, while nitrates should be kept below 20 ppm.

Perform regular water changes to maintain water quality. Replace 20-30% of your aquarium water every 1-2 weeks, depending on the bioload and tank size.

Utilize a quality test kit to monitor water parameters. Regular testing will help you address any issues promptly and prevent potential harm to your Dragon Goby’s health.

Top off the tank with treated tap water or reverse-osmosis water. Always use water conditioner to eliminate harmful substances and ensure the water is safe for your fish.

Keep an eye on the tank’s stability. Any sudden changes in water parameters could lead to stress and health issues in your Dragon Goby, so maintaining consistency is key.

Dragon Goby Diet and Feeding

Dragon Gobies are omnivores, requiring a diverse and balanced diet. Providing them with a variety of food sources will ensure they receive proper nutrition for optimal health.

Offer high-quality sinking pellets or algae wafers as the main staple of their diet. These products are specifically formulated to provide essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to your fish.

Incorporate live or frozen foods as supplemental feedings. Bloodworms, brine shrimp, and Tubifex worms are excellent choices, as they provide additional protein sources and encourage natural foraging behavior.

Don’t forget to include fresh vegetables occasionally. Blanched vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and zucchini can be an excellent source of vitamins and fiber.

Feed your Dragon Goby once or twice daily, providing only as much food as they can consume within 3-5 minutes. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and other health issues.

Observe your Dragon Goby’s eating habits and adjust feeding accordingly. Changes in appetite or eating behavior could signal potential health problems or stress.

Maintain a clean tank to prevent leftover food and waste from fouling the water. Regular tank maintenance is essential for your Dragon Goby’s overall health and wellbeing.

Dragon Goby Care Schedule

Establishing a consistent care schedule is vital for maintaining a healthy environment for your Dragon Goby. Sticking to a routine will help you provide the best care possible.


Perform daily tasks such as feeding your Dragon Goby and visually checking the tank and equipment. Ensure the heater and filter are functioning correctly, and keep an eye on the temperature.


Every week, check the water parameters using a test kit. This routine monitoring allows you to detect any potential issues and address them promptly before they worsen.

Perform water changes every 1-2 weeks. Replace 20-30% of the tank volume with treated, temperature-matched water, helping maintain optimal water quality.

Remove any uneaten food, debris, or plant matter from the tank as needed. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of waste and promotes a healthy habitat for your Dragon Goby.


Once a month, clean the filter and replace any necessary parts. A well-maintained filtration system is crucial for keeping the water clean and clear.

Every 3-6 months, inspect the entire tank setup, including the heater, lighting, and decor. This routine ensures all equipment is in good working order, and gives you an opportunity to make any necessary adjustments.

Record your care schedule in a journal or calendar. Keeping track of your routine makes it easier to stay on top of the necessary maintenance tasks, ensuring the best care for your Dragon Goby.

Dragon Goby Health Problems

Dragon Gobies, like all fish, can encounter health problems related to poor water quality, stress, or disease. Identifying and addressing these issues promptly is crucial for your pet’s wellbeing.

Monitor your Dragon Goby for any signs of stress or illness, such as rapid breathing, lack of appetite, erratic swimming, or spots and lesions on their body. Early detection and proper treatment can greatly improve their chances of recovery.

Poor water quality is a common cause of health problems in fish. Ensure you’re maintaining a clean environment, regularly testing water parameters, and performing water changes to avoid issues.

Ich (white spot disease) is a common ailment that can affect Dragon Gobies. Symptoms include white spots on the body, rapid breathing, and rubbing against surfaces. Treat Ich by raising the water temperature and using a medicated ich treatment.

Fin rot is another potential issue, often caused by poor water quality or aggressive tank mates. Address the underlying cause and use a commercial fin rot treatment to help your fish recover.

Swim bladder disease can also affect Dragon Gobies, causing them to lose balance and struggle with swimming. Adjust their diet and water parameters, and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

Preventive care is essential to keep your Dragon Goby healthy. Reduce stress by providing proper water parameters, plenty of hiding spaces, and a balanced diet. Quarantine new fish to prevent the introduction of diseases to your existing aquarium.

In case of an emergency, keep a tank ready for use as a separate quarantine or hospital tank. Prompt treatment in a controlled environment increases the chances of recovery for your Dragon Goby.

Dragon Goby Tank Mates

Selecting suitable tank mates for your Dragon Goby is essential to maintaining a harmonious environment. Choose companion fish that share similar water requirements and temperament to avoid stressing your Dragon Goby.

Peaceful, non-aggressive fish are the best choice for tank mates. Species like Platies, Swordtails, Mollies, Angelfish, and smaller Gouramis can work well with Dragon Gobies.

Avoid housing your Dragon Goby with aggressive or territorial fish, such as Cichlids. These species might harass or injure the Goby, causing stress and potential health issues.

Bottom-dwelling species that share a similar habitat should also be avoided to minimize competition for space and resources. Catfish and loaches, for example, might not be the best tank mates for Dragon Gobies.

Invertebrates like Cherry and Bamboo shrimps, Nerite snails, and Mystery snails can also coexist peacefully with Dragon Gobies. These creatures can even help keep the aquarium clean by consuming algae and leftover food.

When adding new tank mates, introduce them gradually and monitor interactions carefully. This approach allows both your Dragon Goby and its tank mates to adapt to their new companions.

Ensure your aquarium has plenty of hiding spaces, swimming areas, and resources to accommodate all its inhabitants. Proper planning and consideration can prevent disputes and provide a peaceful environment for all your fish.

Dragon Goby Breeding

Breeding Dragon Gobies can be challenging, but it is not impossible with the right conditions and care. Begin by distinguishing the sexes, as males are generally larger and possess more elongated gonopodia.

Maintain ideal water parameters and provide a healthy, high-quality diet to help encourage breeding behavior. Optimal conditions and good nutrition contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of your Dragon Gobies, increasing their willingness to breed.

For spawning, create a separate breeding tank with a sandy substrate, plenty of hiding spots, and dim lighting. This environment should mimic their natural habitat closely, promoting spawning activity.

Introduce a pair of healthy Dragon Gobies into the breeding tank, allowing them time to adjust to their new surroundings. Observe their interaction and look for signs of courtship behavior, such as chasing or displaying vibrant coloration.

Eggs are typically laid in soft substrate, where the male will fertilize them. After a few days, carefully remove the adult Dragon Gobies from the breeding tank to prevent predation on the eggs.

Monitor the breeding tank closely, as the eggs should hatch in approximately 7-10 days. Once the fry emerge, be prepared to provide them with appropriate, size-appropriate food, such as infusoria or microworms.

Gradually transition the fry to a more diverse diet as they grow. When they are large enough to safely coexist with adult fish, introduce them to the main aquarium or find new homes for them if needed.

Keep in mind that breeding Dragon Gobies requires patience, persistence, and attention to detail. By following these guidelines, you can increase your chances of successful breeding.


Now that you’ve learned the essentials of Dragon Goby care, you’re ready to create a thriving environment for your new aquatic friend. Feel free to share your experiences or ask questions in the comments below. Happy fishkeeping!

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