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Old 09-22-2011, 08:33 PM   #1
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unhealthy goby

Ive had my Diamond Watchman Goby for about 4 months now and hes been an awesome addition to the tank (29 biocube) and does a great job at cleaning up the sand bed. I feed him 1-2 times per day along with 2 clowns. ive noticed over the past month or so that he has been getting really skinny and his belly is concaved. I make sure he gets atleast 3 mysis shrimp, and its hard getting it past the voracious clowns. He picks at the rocks and eats copepods off the glass and rocks all day in between mouthfulls of sand. He seems really happy and active but hes just not looking healthy; bad coloration, skinny, and after he eats a piece of shrimp he moves his mouth like hes sifting sand or something and it takes a little bit until he's ready to eat again. He has everything he needs to eat and only healthy foods. Ive started feeding corals cyclop-eeze and he eats that too. Today at LFS I saw some other watchman Gobys that were nice and fat like he was, thats what really sparked my worries.. Anyone know what might be going on?
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:34 PM   #2
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Btw he has no abrasions, or external abnormalities, and doesnt rub on rocks or anything. Just a normal happy Goby.... Maybe he is bolemic??(JK), or maybe he just has a really high metabolism like me! Can metabolisms vary with different fish in the same species?
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:02 PM   #3
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Refreshing this thread... Please help!
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:23 PM   #4
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Try feeding him more if possible. Also, you might want to try adding other foods to his diet. Most fish in the oceans don't solely eat one type of food. I don't know much about gobbies, but I know some of them will eat nori or scallops. The best advice is to do some research and see what other types of foods you can add to his diet.

The only time I ever had a fish having problems eating was with my bamboo shark. It turned out he had goiters from lack of iodine. Goiters happens when the thyroid gland swells in the throat making it difficult to eat. I don't know if gobbies have a thyroid gland or not. You can test your iodine levels anyways it won't hurt.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:28 AM   #5
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Cool. I'll do some research. As for iodine I was told by other aquarists in aquarium advice that I shouldn't be dosing iodine because I should be getting enough in with my water changes and even if there was none, it wouldn't benefit my tank enough to make any difference. If anything, elevated levels would surely harm the tank and since I have no test kit for it and I'm not tracking it I should not dose it. I'll do more research on the goby to see if this could be an iodine issue. Atleast I have somewhere to start now. He really seems like he wants to eat- and he does but has trouble with it. I'll try changing his diet up as well. Thanks!
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:44 PM   #6
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I have quite the chunky goby, mine loves to eat bits of frozen precooked shrimp. I have heard That the mysis shrimp is good for them, but shouldn't be the staple of their diet. I go between the frozen shrimp, mysis, and sinking pellets. Good luck, I used to have to use a Turkey baster to get food to him because of other fish but now he outswims most when the food hits the water!
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:00 PM   #7
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I was at LFS today and mentioned my problem and he said it is very common but sadly he is starving to death and supposedly there's not much I can do about it. Apparently he has depleted all the micro-organisms in the sand and he needs them to survive. Tank is only 29g and I have about 1-2" of sand bed. Apparently this happens a lot when they're put in small tanks and eventually they starve to death. LFS said I could try to add supplements to his food, but it may only prolong the inevitable.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:55 PM   #8
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I am very sorry to hear that. Are you going to put him to sleep?
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:52 PM   #9
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I dont know. It's just sad because he's our favorite fish and the most unique. I have a couple friends with well established 125g reef tanks with 6-8" sand beds and I'm gonna see if one of them can take him. Not sure how I'd put him to sleep... we'd be devastated if we found him dead so I just want to get rid of him. I made some big mistakes since I started the tank including not establishing a deep enough sand bed, and siphoning from the sand bed during water changes (not sucking up the sand just sifting it) which I believe depleted the microbes in the sand that were essential to the health of the goby. When I bought the tank it was recommended by my original LFS to keep a shallow sand bed and sift it during water changes and to keep the live rock clear of the sand by pointing the powerhead towards the bottom and towards the base of the rock. He said putting the rock on top of the sand would eventually cause the entire tank to die because crud would get trapped Under the rock which would make breeding grounds for bad bacteria, viruses, and parasites. I didn't understand that because I know many people that have had very nice tanks running for years with no big problems. some running upwards of 15 years and they have very deep sand beds with rocks placed on top. It is sad that I trusted this guy but he was an extremely knowledgable aquarist and built very nice custom tanks for years and had some of the most beautiful reef tanks at the store. I believe he gave me some bad info. I've learned that every tank is different and unique. There are so many factors that can make or break a setup no matter how "perfect" it is. It's nature, and I believe the most intricate and complicated part of nature is marine life. There's still so much we don't know. That's what makes reef tanks so rewarding. That's why we do it. Sorry for the rambling lol. Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:03 PM   #10
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Maybe you can just get one of your friends to babysit until you have an established tank.
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