The Hardy, Colorful, Nano-Friendly Yellow Watchman Goby

Saltwater SmartsBy Saltwater Smarts 4 years ago
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Yellow watchman goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus)

 Marine aquarium hobbyists who maintain a nano tank can find it challenging to acquire fish that are well-suited to their diminutive systems. But with the yellow watchman goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus), they can get all the attributes they seek—small mature size, attractive coloration, hardiness, and interesting behavior—in a single package. While the yellow watchman goby, aka the yellow shrimp goby or yellow prawn goby, can be housed by itself with no problems, in my opinion, it’s much more interesting and rewarding to keep it as it commonly occurs in nature—with an Alpheus spp. pistol shrimp (e.g. Alpheus bellulus, the tiger pistol shrimp) sharing its burrow. In this mutualistic, symbiotic relationship, the shrimp, which has very poor eyesight, continuously excavates the burrow while the goby stands sentinel against predators. At almost all times, the shrimp keeps at least one of its antennae in contact with the goby so it can immediately sense when danger is near via the goby’s body language. Physical traits:C. cinctus has a torpedo-like body shape; two distinct dorsal fins; a rounded caudal fin; the typically goby-esque fused pelvic fins; high-set, bulbous eyes; and an oversized, “frowning” mouth. MORE

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  Fish, Invertebrates, Opinion, Reef, Science, Tanks
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Saltwater Smarts is a unique online resource created by long-time aquarists Chris Aldrich and Jeff Kurtz to inspire and entertain a new generation of marine aquarium hobbyists while helping them acquire the reliable, authoritative knowledge base they need to succeed with a saltwater system. By clarifying key concepts, techniques, and terminology, as well as sharing expert insights from fellow enthusiasts and industry professionals, Chris and Jeff hope to promote a more accessible, sustainable, and enjoyable marine aquarium hobby. Read more about our mission and the contributors who are part of our team.

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