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Dragon Goby

Dragon Goby

By Clint Norwood

Also known as: Violet Goby or Dragon Eel
Origin:   The Americas, from North Carolina to Brazil
Latin Name: Gobioides broussoneti
Temperature: 68 - 77°F (20 - 25°C)
pH:   6.5 to 8
dH:   Medium to Hard
Temperament:   The Dragon Goby is a gentle monster, it's nowhere close to as mean and evil as it looks. The Dragon may sometimes eat a small sick or injured fish but it is not a predatory fish. Dragons get along well with other non aggressive fish.
Adult Size:  Up to 2 ft    (60cm)
Smaller in captivity
Minimum Tank Size:   30 gallons, but bigger is better
Feeding:  Best results with small live foods, but will accept frozen and/or pelleted and flake foods. Loves worms.
Comments:   Here is a novel fish. Though it looks like a viscious predator, it's really a teddy bear. The Dragon Goby will do well in a community of not too small fish. It is easy to care for and will always be the main attraction for your visiting friends.
Dragon Gobies like caves and rocky hiding places, and enjoy a good roll in the sand. They are very active for a goby, not in the least skittish.
If you see Dragon Gobies for sale in a petshop they will almost always claim they are very aggressive and not to be trusted with other fish, this is wrong.
Please don't pass off on the Dragon because it's ugly and mean looking, give em a chance.
© Clint Norwood, Images and text


Name : Nick
Comments : I just bought a dragon goby for my tank. It is around 4.5" presently, and he is in a freshwater tank. If you get one, and he hides out a lot during the day, check up on him later on at night, when it is dark, he'll venture out.

Name: Jared
Comments: First off, most people get the wrong idea and info. about these fish. I have owned aquariums for 7 years, and my dragon fish (dragon goby) for 2.You don't need a brackish tank if your tapwater is slightly high. Around 8.5-9.5ph. Most eat algae wafers, and shrimp pellets. Mine was 5" when i bought it, and is now 14". If you make a rock cave, they will stay there awhile. They don't like fast moving water or rough gravel.

Name: Byrl
Comments: I have had my dragon fish for 2 years. He was around 4" long when I got him and is 1' long and very thick and healthy looking now. He has been one of my favorite fish out of a hobby extending a period of over 12 years. He is a gentle giant that's great in a community tank. The only aggression or appearance there of was towards another dragon fish I purchased at the same time. He had out grew the other dragon by a couple of inches in length and was alot thicker than the smaller one...he would chase the smaller one when it would get near him, but he never went looking for a fight, we'll say. The smaller dragon met its demise by finding a power sweep intake that's syphon had fallen off (may she rest in peace ).These fish are very hardy fish that have survived a couple instances of very harsh conditions.My dragon's like to hide in tight surroundings,but they don't mind whether it's day time or night time when they come out to stir around and patrol for the almighty shrimp pellet or frozen blood worm.I would recomend these fish to Long John himself if he wouldn't cook them.

Name: Effendi
Comments: I recently bought a Dragon Goby. It was EXPENSIVE. I'm living in Singapore and that that kinda fish is rarely seen here. So I bought it. I thought it would eat my small fishes like my baby giant whiptail bumblee goby.My banded knifefish and all. But it didn't. Currently its livin with them along with a new addition of A threadfin paradise. Its not ugly..It really has a beautiful body with gold bands... Really weird yet attractive. Mine's currently small around 10cm? Still a baby. Hope its colours will stay that way.

Name: Seth Thompson
Comments: I have had my dragon fish for about 6 months its doing great. I lost my first one due to temp of the water and the ph. I recently came across another place that had dragon fish so I purchased another one, the two became friends instantly they are doing great now. I hear alot that unless you have a 125-200+ then they won't survive, thats a myth, I have a 55 gallon tank and they do just fine. My two dragon fish are 8 and 10 inches they're still small but they do well with smaller fish. I just bought baby cichlids, they're still there.

Name: laura
Comments: Had our dragon goby for 5 months now going strong and has grown 2 inches in the meantime reaching about 8 inches now. He loves frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp but will also eat flakes and algae tabs. He loves his big corner cave but is always out swimming around non the less. Great fish personality and doesn't bother a soul (not even the neons or cories).

Name: Janet
Comments: Went and got a baby dragon today, mostly out of sympathy for it. They had 3 of them in a tank full of Red belly Pacu. The clerk proceeded to tell me how mean and agressive they are, how they need water thats 80F+ and how one "bit" her and left a hole in her hand. ( they are maybe 4 inches long).. so far it hasnt bothered a thing, including the feeders for the mean evil nasty goldfish.

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Comment : I got my dragon goby at waimart too.he was very cool he died of know reason maybe oldness
Posted by fishkid on 2010-01-07
Comment : My dragon goby is doing very good but i dont seehim eating but i did do some research and found out that they eat at night time he is almost always on the tank bottom when he's not he's always swiming on the corner hes not gotten territorial his only three companions are two mollies and a sword tail very good fish thank's for reading...
Posted by fishkid on 2009-12-03
Comment : I was given a violet goby 9 months ago when it was about 5" long and skinny. Now it is about 13" long and fat even though I knew nothing about them and seem to have been doing everything wrong. I have a gravel and rock bottom and it took turns sharing a little decorative cave with the red tail shark. And, it eats flake food and crisps. I did put a pipe in for a cave and it moved right in so it doesn't fight with the red tail as much but it really fights with the sailfin pleco. Never have had any problem with it eating any tankmates even when we had dwarf frogs in with it.
Posted by holytoledo on 2009-06-09
Comment : I just bought a sick Dragon Goby, I`m hoping to be able to return it to health but I`m afraid that the store may have already done it`s work and saw to its demise, I`m starting to think it`s too late for him. He`s very pale in colour, his fins and tail are clamped together very tightly, he`s not eating, and he moves around only for a few seconds and then just falls to the bottom of the tank. He`s currently living in the same conditions as my betta - they`re getting a long fine; no fighting or nipping at each other. But i wish there was something I could do for my Dragon Goby...
Posted by Natasha on 2009-01-02
Comment : I have had my dragon fish for 4 1/2 Years Now!!! And he has been great! When purchased he was about 3 1/2" - 4" and now he about 18"-19", almost as round as a half dollar. Unfortunately I feel he may only a few days left...=o(....I have moved him back and forth from brackish to fresh water with no problems in a 55gal, yet this last move to a new tank and drastic change of enviroment I think will be his last. WHEN MOVING..TAKE YOUR TIME !!I WISH I DID THIS TIME! He probably had years still left. Also..I have had him eat a couple of small fish when they were ill, yet shared space for 4 years with some others as small as minnows, and has only eaten flakes
Posted by Adam on 2008-12-26
Comment : i bought a dragon goby about 5 or 6 months ago and hes been fine with my smaller fish up intill tonight he sits in his little corner and has been staring at the littler fish like he wants to eat them and when they come close he sticks his head out and trys to bite them at least thats what i think hes trying to do...but i do love him haha
Posted by michael flynn on 2008-10-18
Comment : Have had a dragonfish for a way long time. Got him when he was only 4 inches and now he is over a foot. He did most of his growing in a 125 gallon tank but when my roomie moved and took his tank, we had to move most of the fish to two much smaller tanks. All of the mollies eventually expired and now what I have left are a pleco and this enormous violet goby. Him and the pleco fight sometimes but never inflict wounds. I think they are just pushing each other around to maintain their hiding places as their own. How long do these gobies live? Its been over 3 years!
Posted by Caidyn on 2008-07-27
Comment : We just a goby and put him/her in our shark and barb tank because he/she was listed as aggressive..... well we have since found that to be wrong. He/She was tormented by our barbs so we moved him/her to a tank with a couple of frogs to make sure would be suitable for our large community tank. And as we have found in mutiple articles on the net, he is gentle and a lot of fun to watch now he is in a better environment. He/she comes out of hiding a lot during the day now and is doing well. Can't wait till he/she is bigger, right now is about 6 inches and healthy. Thank You everyone for the great info.
Posted by bj on 2008-07-25
Comment : Like most people, I was worried when my dragon didn't go to the surface and eat the flakes the petstore said he'd love. But, as a friend pointing out, if he's pooping, he's eating. It turns out that they're not the predators the store had made them out to be...they're more like lazy vultures! My dragon likes to snort around in the gravel and eat the algae and flakes that fall there. They don't have air bladders, so they prefer to cling to the side of the tank or walk around on the bottom and find their food that way. Also, to those of you who have had your dragons might be that you're keeping them with too many fish. While the dragon is supposed to be hardy, I've heard that it fails quickly if there's too much amonia in the water.
Posted by Ashley on 2008-05-11
Comment : I just brought home an almost 7" dragon goby yesterday. He is fascinating! He must be comfortable in my tank as he does not seem to care to hide. He burrows down in the sand at the very front of the tank. I love that he moves around somewhat frequently, rearranging the sand as he desires. My young daughters are facinated by him too! He is in a 30 gallon brackish water tank with several small mollies. Very glad I got him! I'd be happy to know what others find their Dragon Goby's favorite food to be. Check out his photo if you'd like:
Posted by Joanna on 2008-02-14
Comment : I just bought a Violet Goby and although I've had them in the past, this one is acting much differently than the rest. I've not had him a week yet, but he doesn't hide, and prefers to float at the top of the tank in the fake plants. Is this normal? I've never seen them so out in the open. I'm worried that since I got him from Walmart (had to save him) he may have come with a disease of some sort, or is this just normal behavior? Could he be at the top because he doesn't like the gravel on the bottom? He is in a community tank with 2 plecos and about 2 dozen guppies. I don't know who else to ask.
Posted by Amber on 2008-02-12
Comment : Hey everybody, just wanted to talk about my dragon goby. I bought it at Wal-Mart for $6.54 (Pretty cheap for such an awesome fish!), and it is really cool. It doesn't bother my 5-inch silver dollar or my baby pictus catfish (Both from Wal-Mart), I just got the catfish, had the silver dollar for about 5 years now. Anyways, the dragon goby scared me at first because it wouldn't eat and it was making weird mouth gulping motions. But I saw this video on youtube that said that they filter feed by doing that, and everything is fine.
Posted by Richard on 2007-12-01
Comment : i just purchased a dragon goby i have it in my tank with dinosaur eels robefish catfish and a rocket gar. its getting along pretty well what kind of worms do you reconmend i have blood worms for my betas will they work my robefish catfish and dinosaur eels eat small chicken liver and rosies. the pet store said they eat pettets but he dont seems to like them. lety me know soon as you can
Posted by garland on 2007-09-14
Comment : great info,great help! I was worried that my dragon fish was not doing well,but it sounds like it's okay! Thanks
Posted by linda on 2007-09-12
Comment : I have had a goby for about 6 months and it is very social i have never seen it hide and there are plenty of hiding spots in my tank, I have several different fish in it, sharks, mollies, cat fish, and even a blue lobster, i have only ever seen it dart at a few baby mollies and it has consumed a few but it is quite a social is about 6 inches long
Posted by kimberly_mla on 2007-09-07
Comment : my son had a dragon goby for about 1 month and it just recently died; it looked like it swallowed a rock and couldn't breathe. That's what the pet store said, is this normal? Answer by Admin: That is possible, Dragon Gobies do sift thru the sand to find food.
Posted by Regina on 2007-04-17
Comment : well....first of all thank you everyone for all of your comments it was very helpful....i have had my Dragon Goby for about 2 months and have not yet seen it eat, but he seems healthy and happy sharing a 55 gallon tank with my 8 in. black fin shark, 7 in. goldfish, 9 in. pink kissing fish, 2 in. blue kissing fish and 15 in. algae eater....i had a butterfly fish and a 14 in. shark also....but they died in the move....very sad.....but thank you again everyone for the very useful i know i have been supplying him with the right food and he probably is eating
Posted by Krista on 2007-03-28
Comment : ya i got a goby a month or 2 ago and its still very little like 10 centimeters but i recently got a 38 gallon tank for my piranahhs and put my dragon in the 25 gallon tank as well a black ghost knife , 4 ruby sharks, and 2 plecos..there all being dumb tho there just sitting there breathing on the bottom of the tank my gony is the most active and my knife is putting its mouth at the top of the tank the temperature is like 26 and i dont use salt water so umm , wat should i do??
Posted by Jeremy on 2007-01-26
Comment : I bought a dragon goby to go with my clown loaches, catfish, angel fish, albino red fin and bali sharks and some others. it was about 5" long and the talk of my tank. It died after just 3 days. I was bummed, I have plenty of hiding spaces and fake plants in my 60 gal hex. The Ph was around 6.8-7.0 -78 degree water. I was going to put ciclids in this tank and take the ph up to 8.2 but decided to go with the tropical semi-aggressives. after some study, it appears that goby's like brackish water. I wonder if I raise my ph if I can get another goby without damaging my other fish that are okay with 7.0 ph. I think I will gradually raise my ph to 8.0 and try to find another goby.
Posted by Jeff on 2006-12-17
Comment : i just got a dragon goby and there really cool. in the day it stays near my ship in my tank and at night he swims alot. it very friendly with my glass fish, goldfish, cat fish, and my tri colored sharks, and my alge eater. there a really good fish.
Posted by anthony on 2006-10-14
Comment : Recently when I visited my local pet store they had some dragon gobies for sale. I'm planning to buy one soon for my aquarium. Seems like an interesting and nice fish to have as a pet.
Posted by wildlife lover!! on 2006-09-15
Comment : i just got a violet goby. yea it is realy cool. i wish it would be more active though because i like to see it swim. also, i dont know if he is eating. how do i know if he is even out to eat because i have other fish in there that mihgt eat all the food before it does. plus i have a fat goldfish that eats alot. so i hope everything goes well with it.
Posted by Phill on 2006-08-12
Comment : I have a Dragon Goby that is about 7" long. Mine seems to do great in my african cichlid tank along with a spotted dojo loach. My PH is around 8.1 and temp of 80 deg. I was told these fish would not get along, well they were wrong, even about my loach. The dragon goby does not even bother the baby cichlids that are less than 1" long. Nor does the 6" long cichlid bother him. Mr dragon goby does not seem to like large gravel. But i have watched him grab rocks and place them where he wants them. I have seen him eat remains of ghost shrimp in my tank, blood worms and alge waffers. He is the main attraction of my tank and comes out of his cave when I walk up to the tank. (thinking i am going to place a cube of blood worms at his door)
Posted by William on 2006-07-15
Comment : We HAD a beautiful dragon fish for too short a time. Nowhere in my research did I find a mention that they apparently jump or can climb out of the tank with the fin underneath. This comment is not meant to discourage you, just a warning. They jump(or climb) so make sure to close the tank lid.
Posted by Tonia on 2006-07-03

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