View Full Version : Help! Yellow Clown Goby won't eat!

06/19/2006, 09:29 PM
We got this little guy Saturday the 17th, and have yet to see him eat. He has found a mini-coral (some branchy green thing about 1 inch tall) and really seems to like it, too. He swims up to it, nestles between its branches and does a little fish dance, rubbing all over it.

He is the only fish in our Aquapod 24 reef tank. Labs are all within normal range.

We've tried turning off the main pump and using a syringe to deposit these foods near him: Cyclopeeze, defrosted mysid shrimp, soft pellets. We've left the pump off for about 20 minutes and observed his behavior closely before restarting it. He has perhaps gulped at one mysid.

Ideas or suggestions? I hear now that many of these guys just starve in captivity!

06/20/2006, 08:20 AM
Unfortunately what you heard is correct. Mine staged a hunger strike at first, but I got lucky and he came around. I did what you're doing -- fed something different each time until I found something he'd take. I fed four or five times a day at first, because he'd only take a single bite, then lose interest. It took months of careful feeding to get any weight back on, but one day he just up and decided eating was okay afterall and now he's a pig.
If you got yours to take anything, you're over the first hurdle. I'd suggest buying a few different foods along with a garlic additive and possibly another feeding stimulant like Entice. Live brine might work as well. Then try feeding him something different each time, both with and without garlic/Entice, until he takes something (at which point you should go out to dinner and celebrate). Next time try that food again, but be prepared, he might be like my goby and change his tastes.
Here are the foods I feed my goby:
Brine -- eventually he learned to LOVE the Wonder bread of fish foods
Hikari Mysis (chopped) -- at first he had no interest, loves them now
Hikari Marine 'S' small pellets -- he'll just about sit up and do tricks for these
Squid -- there was a time he'd take nothing else, then he suddenly lost interest
Marine Cuisine -- 50/50
Plankton (cut up) -- likes these almost as much as brine
Seaweed sheets -- he rolls up inside the sheet like it's a blanket and gorges on greens; I think these little guys like their salad!
Cyclopeeze (freeze dried) -- he likes it, but doesn't go crazy
HBH soft pellets (green/red) -- likes them, but I don't get a huge response

You have an advantage with him being the only fish in the tank, I found it very hard to feed mine with a wrasse nearby that would gobble everything I put in before the goby could think about eating it. Keep trying, he may come around. Good luck :)

06/20/2006, 11:44 AM
Another good thing to know and they are not hungry is cause they are capture with cyanide and that completely distroys their appetite and even if they eat cause of it will die... alot of my reef friends had got a clown goby and well the longest that we all could keep them was 2-3months really hard fish but is not you or that they are hard to feed is the way they are capture... so good luck with it... sorry to say but i dont thing is gonna make it...

06/20/2006, 11:52 AM
mine liked live blackworms, also loved cyclopeeze. I thought he wasn't eating at first because you really didn't see him gulp at the food....but he actually was eating. good luck, they're great little fish.

06/20/2006, 02:00 PM
Update: I found info from an archived ReefKeeper.com article that indicates he will want live food, so we are getting some brine shrimp and phytoplankton tonight to try with him, along with some other suggested fresh/frozen items.

I'll provide an update. Thanks all for your help and advice!

06/22/2006, 07:31 PM
Update: The live brine shrimp are working! Additional reading indicates that this particular goby is a "lazy eater", preferring to eat a little bit all day long rather than eat a lot at one time. I can see how, in the presence of more voracious eaters, these guys would eventually starve. It certainly affects my future decisions about what other fish to eventually add to the tank.

I just wish this kind of info was more readily available pre-purchase. I may just have to author the definitive Yellow Clown Goby article on Wikipedia!

06/22/2006, 07:43 PM
From the day I added my little guy he has eaten anything and everything I have put in the tank. I just took this pic a few minutes ago


06/22/2006, 09:04 PM
Mine didn't eat the first week we had him. After that, he kind of slowly came around. The food actually has to float in front of him and then he chases it. I talked to a few people and they said that theirs pretty much did the same thing. Do you have any pods in your tank? Do you ever see him picking at the live rock?

06/24/2006, 09:22 AM
Update: "Odie" (yep, we named him) seems to like chasing out after his food. His appetite is improving, though I still won't say he's becoming a pig. He does not seem to pick at any live rock, though.

What are "pods"? (sorry for stupid question)

Peggy, your goby is certainly more "rounded" than ours. Odie still has a sunken cheek look to him.

06/24/2006, 06:02 PM
You're over the hump and well on your way then, congrats :)
'Pods is short for copepods, amphipods & isopods -- little crustaceans that appear out of live rock and form the base of the food chain in a tank. They're great little tank cleaners and provide constant snacks for your fish. Dosing the tank with phyto helps encourage the 'pod population by providing them with a source of food. :)

06/24/2006, 06:32 PM
....but if you dose your tank wiht phyto be careful you don't over do it. That could cause an algae outbreak.

06/25/2006, 04:50 PM
We do add some phyto every couple of days. Come to think of it, we are having some algae bloom out, too.