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Old 09/10/2000, 12:26 AM   #1
JohnL
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Hi All,

I'm looking to find out more about this fish. Anyone have any direct experience or web links to share?

So far, this is the most detailed info I have found.

quote:

Hover Gobies (Genus Amblygobius)

These small fish (4.5-12 cm in length) are generally found over sand areas but some species also occur on hard bottoms. There are at least nine species in this genus, but the species most often encountered in the aquarium trade are
  • Hector's Hover goby, Amblygobius hectori (Smith, 1956),
  • Phalaena's Hover goby, A. phalaena (Valenciennes, 1837) and
  • Rainford's Hover goby, A. rainfordi (Whitley, 1940).

All three species spend a great deal of time hovering close to the bottom, constantly picking at the substrate and spitting
out quantities of sand and detritus. Amblygobius phalaena and A. hectori use the burrow of a shrimp or another fish in the
substrate or under rocks while A. rainfordi does not use a burrow and is often observed swimming over coral growth.

In the wild, Phalaena's Hover goby is observed singly and in pairs, and often shares a burrow with Sleeper gobies or juvenile surgeonfish (Paulson 1978; S. Michael, personal observation).

--
Thanks - John

[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 09-11-2000).]


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Old 09/10/2000, 03:50 AM   #2
billsreef
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The best sucess storys I have heard all seem to point to these guys needing a tank with a fair amount of hair algae. Not sure if it's the algae they are eating or the critters growing in the algae.
I think Kirbster has down a lot of work with these guys. I think there was a lot of discussion on these guys about a year ago with him on RC.

HTH

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Old 09/10/2000, 06:03 AM   #3
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From observation, I think Rainford Goby eats live food just like Mandarin. They pick at liverock all day. I think this is the reason why people observe that they do well in tank with some hair algae.


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Old 09/10/2000, 07:48 AM   #4
Fish Junction
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Feeding has always been a problem with these guys as they do not take well to prepared foods. They are also extremely cautious and need a tank with lots of hiding. They sift sand and dig out burrows under rocks when adapted to tank life and like any sand sifting goby expell lots of energy so therefore need lots of food to not grow continuously thinner and thinner. As with any other wild animal they usually do have internal parasites that live in the digestive tract and this will increase the rate of thinning if the fish is not dewormed.

Recently there have been tank reared rainford's available to stores from C-Quest in PR. The fry just out of larval stage are collected from the ocean when their survival rate is very slim. C-Quest then grows them out at their facility on crumbles, and flake food. They adapt well to fresh frozen food and are not flighty like the wild ones. I would suggest calling around in your area and finding someone who is bringing these in. Lately the ones they have been shipping are in full adult size and the retail price should be no more than $25-$30 dollars.

[This message has been edited by Fish Junction (edited 09-10-2000).]


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Old 09/10/2000, 10:43 PM   #5
JohnL
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Thanks for the replies.

Scott Michael says they do not burrow yet Fish Junction says they do. My primary concern is how they might disturb a deep sand bed. Any other comments are appreciated.

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Old 09/10/2000, 10:57 PM   #6
Steve Richardson
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In case anyone was wondering:



-S


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Old 09/11/2000, 11:53 AM   #7
BRW
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I have two A. ranfordi in my 225 gal. reef now for 6+ months. Got them MO from Inland Aquatics. They appear to be a pair but info. I have seen says sexing is near impossible without microscopic exam. These two are great "very top layer" sand sifters. They nip very small mouthfuls of sand and sift it constantly just above the sand bed. They have grown about 25% in this time. The larger one is out always when lights are on. The smaller one has created a small burrow which it stays in about half of the lights on time. I have had no problem with sand bed destruction or rock undermining from these two. I have lots of fish in this tank including 3 very bada** blue damsels and these two have put up with a lot of harassment. Pretty much hold their own by being quicker and smarter than the damsels. Great fish. HTH.


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Old 09/11/2000, 12:06 PM   #8
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Anymore info on these sorta captive breed ones? Where are they found nativly?

And how might I tell under a scope the sex of a rainfordi? (hopefully without actually cutting it up)

What about behavior with similar looking fish? Wrasses, Swissguards, etc?

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Old 09/11/2000, 12:19 PM   #9
JohnL
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Thanks BRW. It helps a lot. I wanted to make sure it wouldn't start tunneling through the sand bed. I was also concerned about my blue damsel harassing him.

quote:
Originally posted by BRW:
These two are great "very top layer" sand sifters. They nip very small mouthfuls of sand and sift it constantly just above the sand bed. <snip> The smaller one has created a small burrow which it stays in about half of the lights on time. I have had no problem with sand bed destruction or rock undermining from these two.


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Old 09/11/2000, 12:56 PM   #10
BRW
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Forgot to say it but I do have these in with a six-line wrasse and per my observations these two types are oblivious to each other. The six-line sticks to the rock and "showin' off" and the ranfordi stick to the sand almost exclusively (never saw either one more than 6" off the bottom) and could care less if your watching or not.
My damsels were pretty well established before adding these two and they still get harassed if they venture into "Blue Hell" but they seem to wait for the damsels to leave and come right back for more. Not dumb, just persistent :P


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Old 09/11/2000, 01:08 PM   #11
JohnL
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BRW, do yours accept prepared food?


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Old 09/11/2000, 01:58 PM   #12
BRW
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I have never seen them take any prepared foods, frozen, live brine, flake, nothing. During feedings, and I feed heavily and often, they ignore and continue to sift. They may get something unintentionally from the LSB but I have never observed it. I feel the argument holds true here that if they find their "natural" food readily they have no need to even try "new" stuff. JMO


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Old 09/11/2000, 02:31 PM   #13
JohnL
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Thanks again to all who replied.

Tagged for the archives

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Old 09/11/2000, 09:07 PM   #14
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BRW's description of the sifting is very good and very accurate. These guys sift often (I've got them averaging well over a hundred mouthfuls per hour during daylight) but not much total volume. This results in less sandbed destruction than from sifters like sleeper gobies that can sift a tablespoon at a time.

While they do ingest copious amounts of filiamentous algae when it is available, I do not believe it is in any way necessary for their survival. I have brought nearly starved rainfordis back to health in tanks totally devoid of filiamentous algae but rich in sand fauna. The recovery rates were actually surprisingly quick (couple weeks) compared to getting a starved tang back to life. I asked Scott Michael about the algae thing and he disagreed with me, maintaining that they needed algae. I countered with the suspiscion that the gobies were ingesting the algae as an efficient means of obtaining the attached microfauna. This is similar to the habits of rift lake cichlids. I asked Scott about gut analysis and he said no one had ever done it. Of course no one ever will because the expense and time can't be justified.

Anyway, I had to put the rainfords on hold as I have reopened my retail store again, so I don't have much more to add. I plan to start working with them again and I hope to breed them.

KA



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Old 09/11/2000, 09:34 PM   #15
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Hey they are awesome fish I have had one for a few months and mine eats formula 1 and sifts the sand it is pretty cool to watch. HTH
Rick

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