News / Species Spotlight / Highly Underrated Fish - Gobiodon citrinus (09/17/14)

Highly Underrated Fish - Gobiodon citrinus

In the Wild

Lemon Clown Gobies are usually found in pretty shallow tropical water, somewhere in the 6 to 30 foot range all over the Western Pacific. They are known as a coral commensal species, meaning they live in and around corals. In this case they can often be found perched on Acropora, or schooling around them in groups of less than 20 or so individuals. There they live on small plankton, copepods and coral mucus. These and other fish in the genus are known to remove algae from Acropora; some of the fish in the genus eat the algae.

Because they have a very short population doubling time (the amount of time it takes a group to double in size), they are very resilient as a species.

In the Aquarium

With a maximum size of just over two inches and a lifestyle that isnt all that active, Lemon Clown Gobies are perfect for nano tanks; even better for nano reefs. They are a very hardy fish that ships well and eats easily in captivity. They can be kept singly in small aquaria, as small as 5 gallons and in larger tanks or in their natural groups in larger (75 and up) tanks.

These are well suited for Acropora tanks and even beneficial for them save one exception. If kept in groups, it is fairly common for these fish to spawn in captivity. When this happens, the female will generally lay her eggs on the underside of branching corals. Where she lays the eggs the coral will die back. In a healthy system, the coral should easily recover from this. While the captive breeding is pretty easy, rearing the young is quite challenging as they are extremely small and feeding them can be frustrating.

Scott W. Michael, Reef Aquarium Fishes, 500+ essential-to-know species, 1st ed. (T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ, 2005)

Quality Marine Internal References:
Adam Mangino, Eli Fleishauer