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Paul B
11/10/2008, 05:31 AM
I once wrote that engineer gobies are kind of benign in the fact that they are reef safe and won't eat your fish. I need to re state that to they won't eat fish unless they fit into their mouth.
These eel looking fish are called "engineer gobi's" because they dig tunnels all over the place, sometimes causing the rocks to fall. They get quite large and go unnoticed because they are noctural and during the day they act like moray eels hiding most of their body with just their head sticking out of a rock.
They will eat anything and are very easy to keep.
My tank has over 25 small gobies of varying types and lately I have noticed that I am missing four of them. Two small clown gobies and a small butterfly that I collected which was a little smaller than a nickel and another fish.
The other fish was a pregnant sand sifting gobi which is a skinny fish about an inch or so long.
I was trying to take a picture of this fish and I moved a rock for the shot.
As soon as I did that, the engineer gobi darted out and grabbed the fish, head first and brought it into a tunnel.
I ran and got a large bucket and started to remove rock to find the gobi. I removed the rock on half of the tank and noticed that the engineer had a tunnel going the 6' length of the tank all the way to the bottom. It snaked under all the rocks. Eventually after about 15 minutes he let go of the pregnant fish.
The fish was too large for the engineer to swallow but 15 minutes with his head in another fishes mouth killed her.
I did a ciserian and collected the eggs but they were (of course)unfertile and will not hatch.
I am sure this engineer is the cause of the other missing fish as they were all smaller than this engineer gobi.
I had this problem before with an 18 year old cusk eel or brutlyd fish. I always wondered why I had a problem with small fish disappearing.
I will build a trap for this fish and give it away or keep it in my local water tank. If anyone wants him, let me know.
I just noticed while looking at the picture, that gobi to the right is the male partner of the pregnant fish that was killed by this engineer.

http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh270/urchsearch/gobies011.jpg

C. Friesen
11/10/2008, 11:57 AM
Sorry for your loss. Thanks for the information. I have a small Rainford Goby and I would n't want to lose him if I pick up an Engineer Goby in the future.

Chris

Paul B
11/10/2008, 12:25 PM
I also have a small rainsford gobi and as of today I still have him but I have set a trap and hopefully by tomorrow the engineer will be on his way to a new home.

Mappelbaum37
11/10/2008, 01:12 PM
Let us know how that trap works out.. Seems interesting..

Paul B
11/10/2008, 02:11 PM
Right now he has been laying next to it trying to figure out how to get at the food inside. Hopefully when the lights go out he will try harder

Garage1217
11/10/2008, 08:31 PM
Fish eating fish... A sad thing
http://www.garage1217.com/REEFPICS/FIREFISHOWNED.jpg

woodiecrafts
11/10/2008, 08:39 PM
Sorry to hear about your SS Gobi Paul. Its always sad to lose a fish, much less one that you are trying to breed. I do appreciate learning the info on the engineer Goby. I have always thought about one, just never got around to getting it though, and now I am glad that I never did.

Aqua Keepers
11/10/2008, 09:23 PM
This is the first time I've heard of this. Do you target feed him?

Paul B
11/11/2008, 04:22 AM
This is the first time I've heard of this. Do you target feed him?

He gets plenty to eat. I target feed everything and he gets the most to eat.
He has been there for a few years but now he is large enough to fit many of the gobies in his mouth and I guess he has taken a liking to them.

Happy Veterans Day

Paul B
11/12/2008, 04:37 AM
So far my trap works great. I have caught almost all the fish in my tank except the engineer gobi.
He must have watched me build it.

rgulrich
11/12/2008, 07:04 AM
In the fish world, by and large, the rule of mouth (vice "rule of thumb" for old adages) is that if it fits, it's food. And on occasion, even if it doesn't fit, sometimes it's food as well.
This applies to freshwater as well as marine fish.

Cheers,
Ray

watson_barrett
11/12/2008, 07:44 AM
get some pistol shrimp, they will protect your gobies from the engineer....

Aqua Keepers
11/12/2008, 07:51 AM
pistol shrimp=food for engineer

Paul B
11/12/2008, 08:54 AM
get some pistol shrimp, they will protect your gobies from the engineer....

Say what?

Aquarist007
11/12/2008, 06:21 PM
Sorry to hear that Paul--its tough when you have an unobserved predator in your tank.
I think I have one now--I've lost 20 snails in the last two weeks--just empty shells--so something is preying on them.

Paul B
11/13/2008, 04:17 AM
I think I have one now--I've lost 20 snails in the last two weeks

Thats usually hermit crabs. They don't usually get their homes at a real estate office so they have to evict the snails, (and eat them while they are at it) My crabs love snails so I dump a load of mud snails in there in the summer.
For some reason, some of them are still living.

Now it's a quest for catching that engineer. It gives new meaning to life and it will prove to me who is the smarter vertibrate, an electrician or an engineer

Aquarist007
11/13/2008, 01:02 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13736917#post13736917 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Paul B
Thats usually hermit crabs. They don't usually get their homes at a real estate office so they have to evict the snails, (and eat them while they are at it) My crabs love snails so I dump a load of mud snails in there in the summer.
For some reason, some of them are still living.

Now it's a quest for catching that engineer. It gives new meaning to life and it will prove to me who is the smarter vertibrate, an electrician or an engineer

then there must a rogue hermit left in the DT--most of mine now inhabit the refugiums;)

good luck catching that goby

Paul B
11/14/2008, 06:11 AM
OK I caught him, it took cunning, sneakiness, super intelligence,
fear, courage but most of all...............................................







Removing all the rock.
I also needed a reason to re-aquascape and had a few hours to kill




:lol: http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh270/urchsearch/Cleaningtank005.jpg

Paul B
11/14/2008, 06:12 AM
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh270/urchsearch/Cleaningtank007.jpg

Aquarist007
11/14/2008, 06:21 AM
so that's what a "quickie" is LOL

glad the wine bottle survived

Paul B
11/14/2008, 06:26 AM
Capn, there are probably 12 bottles in there. Only the good stuff like Grand Marnier, no cheap booze in my tank.

I put the lights on a couple of hours early to see how it looks. I do like it as it is very open and has a lot less of the smaller rock.
The fish are not awake so I can't find most of them. I really hope the smaller blue stripped pipefish is in there somewhere as he is my favorite and easy to lose when you remove rock.
Mated pairs of them are not easy to find.
The mandarin is up early and giving me very dirty looks as the two diatom filters, I am sure desimated the pod population.
He just stares at the rock, then stares at me as if to say,
"if I was only 180 lbs heavier I would show you what to do with that diatom filter"
I guess I will put some corals back in there as there are only a few now that I am sure I made the water problem a thing of the past (I hope)
Then I can get into your posts as to if I should tumble chaeto or not tumble it.
Oh I guess I need a fuge or sump for that. Oh well, maybe in my next life.
Now I need some time to get to the sea to dump some mud in there. It is entirely too clean looking and I need some tiny life.
I have to go to the marina this week to cover my boat so I will bring a net and see what is growing on the docks.

Paul B
11/14/2008, 01:04 PM
That engineer gobi is on his way to a new home even as we speak, or type.
A fine young serviceman came to pick him up.
There hasen't been anyone in my home in uniform since, well never. I diden't live here when I was in the service.
He is a really nice guy and I haven't been called Sir in I don't know how long. My wife almost died when he called her Maam which I am sure she hasen't been called in a long time either.
It's a real pleasure to see someone in uniform especially such a nice respectful person. It made my day.

Paul B
11/14/2008, 01:04 PM
sorry double post

Aquarist007
11/14/2008, 03:46 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13746036#post13746036 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Paul B
That engineer gobi is on his way to a new home even as we speak, or type.
A fine young serviceman came to pick him up.
There hasen't been anyone in my home in uniform since, well never. I diden't live here when I was in the service.
He is a really nice guy and I haven't been called Sir in I don't know how long. My wife almost died when he called her Maam which I am sure she hasen't been called in a long time either.
It's a real pleasure to see someone in uniform especially such a nice respectful person. It made my day.

hope you are replacing the engineer goby with an "electric"ian eel:eek2: :lol:

I don't believe engineer gobies are on Peter thread of fish to avoid in the reef tank so I will add a link to this one

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=13746959#post13746959

Aquarist007
11/14/2008, 04:02 PM
I also add the information to this blog:

http://www.reefcentral.com/wp/?p=285

mcrist
11/14/2008, 04:16 PM
I would not consider an engineer goby as a fish to avoid; I think you are misinterpreting what happened. If you keep any predator fish with other fish that they can eat of course you may have a problem.

I have several engineer gobies and never had any problems, but I keep them with similar size fish or larger.

Aquarist007
11/14/2008, 07:20 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13747115#post13747115 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mcrist
I would not consider an engineer goby as a fish to avoid; I think you are misinterpreting what happened. If you keep any predator fish with other fish that they can eat of course you may have a problem.

I have several engineer gobies and never had any problems, but I keep them with similar size fish or larger.


you make a good point---it should have been stated more as a caution towards EG's--then to totally avoid them.

jman77
11/14/2008, 07:29 PM
"I have several engineer gobies and never had any problems, but I keep them with similar size fish or larger."

Ditto , I have fish even smaller with him and no problems,

Paul B
11/15/2008, 04:08 AM
Engineer gobies are a very nice, long lived reef safe fish but like any other fish they should not be kept with fish small enough to fit in their mouth. They are not very predatory but they usually eat in the dark and will sample anything small enough. They eat anything including flakes. I keep very small gobies and butterflies and lost about 5 of them. I am not sure if the engineer ate all of them but I saw it grab a gobi and drag it into a hole, the gobi was much too large for the engineer to swallow and I really don't know how he planned to eat her but he held her long enough to kill her. Any fish at least as wide as an engineer gobi will be fine with them.

Aqua Keepers
11/15/2008, 06:05 AM
Paul B, I wonder if it had more to do with the fact that the Gobi was carrying eggs?

Paul B
11/15/2008, 10:34 AM
The pregnant fish was definately not in great shape and could hardly swim. She was bloated from something besides eggs and was exhausted from being chased by other fish. I don't think the engineer could have caught her if she was in good shape as engineers are kind of slow moving, their only plus is that they can swim backwards as well as forwards.

Bri Guy
11/15/2008, 05:20 PM
I had to hook my engineer out of my 30 and put him in a 55 FOWLR, very neat fish, but digs constantly, and unless you want to tear the tank like Paul did, I think hook and line is the only other option.

Aqua Keepers
11/15/2008, 06:15 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13750982#post13750982 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Paul B
The pregnant fish was definately not in great shape and could hardly swim.

That's something to be thought about. Like I said this is the first time I've heard of these guy's picking off other fish regardless of size.