Golden-headed Sleeper Goby
Blueband Goby ~ Blue-cheek Goby ~ Pennant GliderFamily: Gobiidae Valenciennea strigataPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Rachel Dixon
"This lovely fish has a pearly white colour for the body and a yellow face with a blue stripe across the cheek. It is an easy-to-keep fish and makes an ideal introduction to gobies as long as there is enough substrate for them to sift through; it constantly digs for food particles...Rachel Dixon"
The Golden-headed Sleeper Goby, Blueband Goby, or Pennant Glider are not only pretty fish, but are great for a marine environment where you want the substrate to constantly be sifted through. These fish really use their mouths! They are constantly digging and turning over the sandy substrate. Besides this ongoing activity of "chewing" the sand, these gobies can communicate with each other by producing signals with their mouths.
For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium
Golden head sleeper goby (Valenciennea strigata)
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Golden Headed Sleeper Goby in captivity looking thin.
This male Golden Headed Sleeper Goby, V. strigata, is a perfect example of how they eat and the challenges aquarists face. As you can see by the indented belly, this goby probably has internal worms and may be getting treated by the aquarist. No matter how much they are fed, the parasite will eventually kill them. Sadly, up to 85% of these fish are infected and should be treated upon purchase. Make sure they are eating in the store before buying since the medication needs to be soaked in food and fed to them. They do best in a tank that is 150 gallons or more; however in smaller tanks, they should be fed 4 times a day.
Golden Headed Sleeper Goby (Valenciennea strigata)
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A male and female pair in captivity.
This short and sweet video is an excellent example of a male and female pair of Golden Headed Sleeper Gobies. You can see the male is the one with the elongated 2nd dorsal spine and the female's first dorsal is short. They both look well fed and do not have concave bellies. Some aquarists in an attempt to prevent sand storms use rougher substrate, however this impedes their ability to feed an substrates like crushed coral will lacerate their mouths and gills. Provide them with bits of reef rubble, small rocks and large but broken up shells to build their house with. In a 150 gallon tank, feed 2ce a day, however in a minimum tank size of 75 gallons, they will need to be fed 4 times a day since the "live" sand in this sized tank will eventually be decimated and they are huge eaters!
Maintenance difficulty: The Golden-headed Sleeper Goby, Blueband Goby, or Pennant Glider are moderately difficult to keep, considered good for a more experienced aquarist with a larger system, where they can find plenty to eat.
Like other members of the Valenciennea species, they feed by taking up mouthfuls of sand and pass it through their gill covers to extract small crustaceans, worms and algae. It is important that they have a sufficient amount of "live" sand for them to sift through.
Maintenance/Foods: A typical goby, they eat small crustaceans and other small marine organisms. Live brine and a high protein krill are ideal for the aquarium. This fish thrives on nearly all marine frozen foods, live and flake foods once feeding.
Habitat: Natural geographical location: Golden-headed Sleeper Goby, Blueband Goby, or Pennant Glider are found throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. (They are technically no longer classified as a "sleeper" goby, which is the family Eleotridae).
Social Behaviors: The live in pairs and like to burrow in the sand, especially juveniles.
They are peaceful with other fish especially their own kind and may be considered safe to keep in pairs or small groups where space and filtration capacity allows