Ever heard of the saying "guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days"? Well if you find yourself getting a pet dragon fish you will never have a problem with them sticking around. The dragon goby is also known as the violet goby or dragonfish. The dragon goby is a small fish with very beautiful and colorful scales, but don't be fooled by their beauty as they happen to be scavengers with sharp teeth! Only in the wild that is. Dragon gobies are very small and have been seen to grow between 3-5 in (7.5-12.7 cm) at pet stores. However, in wild algae waters, these can grow up to 24 in (60 cm)!
Dragon gobies can be a great fit for your fish tank or aquarium as these dragons (unlike their name) are quite docile. They can share their tank with other fishes like guppies, platies, glassfish, and more. The violet goby dragon is found largely across the coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico which also happens to have a lot of manta rays and stingrays and hence these little fishes tend to become their snack. Read on to discover more.
What do they prey on?
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
Varies per species
How much do they weigh?
Up to 11 oz (311 g)
How long are they?
3-24 in (7.6–61 cm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Gray, purple, blue, yellow
What are their main threats?
diseases like columnaris, fin rot and bacterial infections
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Brackish streams and muddy estuaries
Atlantic coast of North and South America
Dragon Goby Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a dragon goby?
Violet gobies are often considered extremely hostile and are often sold as 'the aggressive fish' but that is not necessarily the case. These are generally submissive when it comes to being tank mates with other fishes and many times these fishes happen to be partially blind too. Having said that, if they are to share their tank with another goby dragon, they become extremely territorial and are not afraid to use their sharp teeth to stand up to the 'aggressive fish' title and become the superior of the two fish dragon.
The violet goby dragon fish is renowned for jumping, hence it requires a larger tank size as compared to most of the other small fishes. It is also seen that dragon gobies are more active at night and tend to hide in the shaded regions of their tank during the daytime. This can be because the gobies are used to living in muddy and brackish waters where the sunlight doesn't reach as much as compared to clearer waters.
What class of animal does a dragon goby belong to?
Dragon gobies belong to the subclass of animals which is fish. These are small as compared to the other fishes but you can bet that this brave little fish can hold its ground when facing other fishes.
How many dragon gobies are there in the world?
There are over 2200 species of goby fish around the world. These fishes vary from each other depending upon their size, the waters they inhabit, and their colors. However, information regarding the total number of violet gobies around the world cannot be estimated. As of now, the conservation status for these fishes happens to be classified as Least Concern by the IUCN.
Where does a dragon goby live?
Dragon gobies live in brackish water streams. They can also be found in river estuaries mostly across the coastal regions of the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean Island regions.
What is a dragon goby's habitat?
Dragon gobies or violet gobies live in brackish water with a high amount of salt content. These fishes have small eyes and are partially blind. Due to this, gobies are primarily scavengers and are often seen scooping gravel from the river floor in order to consume the edible content from it while tossing aside the inedible content. They use their sharp teeth in order to scrape algae off the rocks.
In order to keep them as pets in your fish tank or aquarium, it is essential that the dragon goby habitat condition is being replicated. To ensure this, they should be kept in water with a pH level of the dragon goby range which is between 6.5-8.5. Also, the salinity should be maintained between 1.0006-1.0008.
Who does dragon goby live with?
Unlike other scavengers, dragon gobies prefer living by themselves and tend to get extremely territorial in the presence of another violet goby. The goby doesn't mind sharing its living space with other brackish water fishes such as the bumblebee goby, ghost shrimp, or guppy.
How long does a dragon goby live?
It is observed that the dragon goby's life span extends up to 10-12 years when it is living in captivity. It has also been seen that these fish can live longer than a decade but the likelihood of that occurring is a rare instance.
How do they reproduce?
Gobies breed during the springtime. Breeding can also occur during summer. During the breeding cycle, the adult male chooses a place for the female to lay her eggs. This usually includes covered places like beneath the shells or inside the holes of rocks. When it is time the female goby lays her eggs in this nest and it is the male goby's job to be on the lookout for predators and watch over the eggs until they hatch.
What is their conservation status?
There are about 2200 species of Gobies around the world. The IUCN has categorized these dragon gobies to fall under the category of Least Concern.
Dragon Goby Fun Facts
What do dragon gobies look like?
The dragon goby is a beautiful fish with scales consisting of colors like violet and blue exhibiting incandescence with shades of grey. These fish have long razor-sharp teeth and very small eyes. Females of this species are observed to have small, blunt, and yellow-colored genital papilla while the males have a long and pointed one. Their body is shaped like that of an eel.
How cute are they?
The dragonfish is an extremely beautiful creature. The shades of violet and blue on its body make it impossible to miss the eye if seen in brackish water territories. They have two ventral fins which are of the same shade of color as their body. They can be amazing tank pets and mingle with other brackish water fishes quite easily.
How do they communicate?
Studies conducted show how dragon gobies are often seen communicating with shrimps. This takes place on the basis of tactile communication. Gobies have been seen warning their shrimp friends of dangers and predators by flicking their tails!
How big is a dragon goby?
This dragonfish is usually observed to grow not more than 3-5 in (7.5-12.7 cm) in length when kept in captivity. The wild dragon gobies grow up to 26 in(60 cm) in length which happens to be five times the size of the captivated dragon gobies! These can also weigh ranging from 1-10 oz (28.3-283 g).
How fast can a dragon goby swim?
If the dragon goby is considered to be as fast as other goby species, it would swim steadily at speeds of 13 in/s (35 cm/s) and burst at the speed of almost 29 in/s (75 cm/s) which is quite fast as compared to other small fishes like black molly or the round goby.
How much does a dragon goby weigh?
Depending on its habitat, surrounding and diet pattern this dragonfish can weigh anywhere between 1-10 oz(28.3-283 g). The main cause of variance in the dragon goby's size is the diet it consumes which changes depending on its habitat.
What are the male and female names of the species?
Males and females of this species are both identified by the same name.
What would you call a baby dragon goby?
A baby dragon goby is referred to as a dragonfish.
What do they eat?
The violet goby happens to be a subspecies of the goby fishes. These are usually carnivores but have been observed to scrape algae off of rocks and eat it as it is one of the primary sources of nutrition for the gobies. In the wild, the goby is seen scooping in gravels from the water bed and eating the edible content off of it while throwing away the inedible content.
When kept in a fish tank or an aquarium it is seen that these dragon fishes don't take a liking to the common fish food since these fishes are scavengers by their nature. Hence in captivity, the dragon goby diet includes baby brine shrimp, frozen blood worms, or vegetable flakes.
Are they poisonous?
No, the dragon goby fishes aren't poisonous and they can get along very well with fishes like the ghost shrimp in fish tanks.
Would they make a good pet?
The dragonfish is quite rare as compared to other species of the goby fish however it also happens to be quite easy to take care of. All you need do is feed it on time, replicate its proper living conditions so it grows healthy and keep them with other brackish water fishes of the same size.
The beauty of these fishes makes them an interesting pet to have as an addition to your fish aquarium.
Did you know...
The dragon goby distribution takes place widely across the Southern part of the USA and Central America. It is also seen happening on a large scale in the northeastern part of South America and the Caribbean Islands.
They are highly susceptible to bacterial infections and are prone to catch diseases like fin rot and columnaris quite easily.
Is the dragon goby aggressive?
Generally, the dragon goby is quite calm. It's partially blind, likes to live by itself, and tries not to take up fights with other fishes. In an aquarium, they are observed to be hiding in shaded regions, away from sources of light, and are active during the nighttime.
These fishes are hostile and territorial in the presence of another dragon goby and can start fighting with them. It is also observed that gobies get aggressive and start picking on fishes that are smaller than them in size. Hence, it is advised to keep these fishes in a separate tank if you have other small fishes or another goby present. However, it is completely fine to surround them with other freshwater fishes like the guppy or glass shrimp preferably of the same size as the goby itself, so that they don't really become aggressive towards these fishes.
Can the dragon goby live in freshwater?
Unlike some other species of goby like the knight goby and the bumblebee goby which are used to living in freshwater, this dragonfish requires a higher level of pH and salinity and thus it becomes very difficult for it to survive in freshwater regions.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these giant guitarfish facts and giant frogfish facts pages.
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