Bumblebee Goby Best Care Guide: Size, Tank, Food & All | 2023

By: Martin McAdam
Updated: March 20, 2022

The bumblebee goby also called the banded coral goby, is a wonderfully colorful addition to any aquarium. It's peaceful and will do well in community freshwater setups as long as there are no other invertebrates like starfish and urchins that may eat it.

Bumblebee Goby

Bumblebee Gobies easily adapt to a new home and quickly become accustomed to their owners, often swimming up to be hand-fed. They are even considered intelligent enough to remember people they have met!

Let's get to know about this interesting fish!

Facts And Characteristics About Bumblebee Goby

Given below are a few facts and characteristics about Bumblebee Goby. Let's have a look at them one by one.


Bumblebee Goby colors are typically white or cream with black spots covering their upper body. They have a brown stripe that goes through the middle of the fish horizontally.

Bumblebee Goby

The dorsal fin is transparent but has black edges. Bumblebee Goby tend to be about 5cm in length with an oval-shaped body.

The Bumblebee Goby has no scales, and instead, their bodies are covered by velvet-like spots that resemble scales. The males of this species have more elongated bodies than the females do.

Their appearance is very distinctive; bumblebee gobies are typically white or cream with black spots covering their upper body. They have a brown stripe that goes through the middle of the fish horizontally. The dorsal fin is transparent but has black edges.

The Bumblebee Goby gets its name from the dark vertical stripes on its body which resemble a bumblebee. They have a small mouth that is upturned at the corner, and they usually live in large groups so they can be seen swimming around together often.


Bumblebee Goby is usually found in the Indian Ocean off the coasts of Thailand, Sumatra, and Myanmar.

Bumblebee Goby

They are also found in parts of Indonesia such as Java and Sulawesi, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia (New South Wales), Vietnam, China (Fujian Province), Taiwan, and the Nicobar Islands, which are closer to India. They are usually found in shallow waters that are less than 10m deep under rocks or rubble of corals. 

Their habitat is usually devoid of sponges, algae, sea anemones, hydroids, or any type of soft coral growth.

They are also found in areas that have strong currents that can flow freely, which is helpful for their reproduction process. They like their surroundings to be dimly lit because they are naturally nocturnal creatures.

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Although the Bumblebee Goby is a hard fish to breed, once they have been able to reproduce successfully, they can continue doing so. The Bumblebee Goby is a mouthbrooder which means that the female will carry her eggs in her mouth until they hatch out as healthy fry.

Bumblebee Goby

The breeding process starts with the male building a nest by blowing lots of bubbles. He then uses his fins to secure it to seaweed or rocks near the surface of the water.

Once he has found the perfect place, he will start swimming back and forth in front of the female with his fins flared out, trying to entice her into mating with him.

If she is not ready, she will swim away, but the female will turn around and start swimming towards him if the moment is right. The male then releases his milt into the water, followed by the female releasing her eggs which are then fertilized.

The male will fertilize the eggs and then allow the female to pick them up using her pelvic fins before they settle on their body. The male will chase the female away to protect the nest site and fry for around six weeks.

The male and female will display certain behaviors such as flaring their fins and rolling around each other before mating. The male will do this to attract the female while she releases her eggs for fertilization.

The male then plants these in the sand and guards them while they are being hatched so not many other fish can get to them. At all times, there should be at least two males per every one female, if not more. Females who are not being guarded by a male are likely to be harassed by other males.

Average Lifespan And Growth Of Bumblebee Goby

Like many fish kept as pets, the Bumblebee Goby has quite a short life span that ranges from two to three years. This is because most wild-caught specimens usually only make it past 18 months old before passing away from old age.

Bumblebee Goby

In captivity, the Bumblebee Goby has a good chance of reaching around five years old as long as it is given a healthy diet and kept in ideal conditions. This species should not be kept with other fish who will harass them, especially larger fish that may try to eat them.

The Bumblebee Goby can grow anywhere between 4-5cm in length and weigh between 7-10g.

What Equipments Do I Need?

Besides the aquarium that you will use to house your Bumblebee Goby, there are some other accessories that you may want to consider purchasing.

These include a good internal filter which should be large enough to create an efficient flow of water in the tank. This is important because it helps keep the water free from debris and ensures healthy oxygen levels.

You should also get a good heater because this is important for maintaining the specific water temperature, which you can find out by checking online or consulting with an aquatic specialist.

Keep in mind that they are very sensitive to changes in temperature, so if it gets too high, they will become stressed, and if it becomes too low, it could end up killing them.

Another important item that you must get is a good water conditioner which is used to neutralize the hard tap water in your tank and remove any chlorine or harmful chemicals.

Seachem makes a good one to get because it does a great job of removing pollutants from the aquarium while also being easy on the eyes of your fish.

It is incredibly important to make sure that the filter system in your aquarium is working properly. If it isn't, then harmful debris will build up and harm your Bumblebee Goby's health, not to mention making the tank look very dirty.

Just take a look at your fish every day and check to see whether there are any visible signs of problems.

Do They Get Along With Other Species?

This fish species is very aggressive towards its kind, and it should therefore be kept alone. If you want to keep more than one of them in your aquarium, then you must put very little or no tank mates with them because they will become easy targets for this predator.

If you still think that a Bumblebee Goby might be the right pet for you, you must get one bred in captivity because wild-caught specimens are often taken directly from their natural habitat, which will cause them great stress.

Are They Dangerous?

Although these fish are very aggressive towards their kind, they pose no real danger to humans or tank mates. They are very difficult to get on your fishing line because they are very fast swimmers and often hide deep within rock crevices.

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Bumblebee Care Guide

In order to keep your bumblebee goby healthier, there are a few things that you need to take care of. Some of the requirements are given below. Let us have a glance at those requirements one by one.

Tank Requirements

Bumblebee Gobies can be very fussy and hard fish to keep, and as such, an expert should ideally attempt this species before a beginner does. However, if you intend to get one, there is no reason it couldn't make a great addition to your tank.

Bumblebee Goby

A standard community tank will be perfect for them; make sure you leave plenty of space between the Goby and any other fish in the acrylic fish tank as they are very shy and like to hide away, especially when stressed.

If there is another Bumblebee Goby in the aquarium, it is important to keep one male per every two females at least, and this is even more important if they are the only fish in there. They will not tolerate other males and will be constantly harassed by them.

The Bumblebee Goby species of fish is a very rare and unique creature that is difficult to maintain in captivity. Their tank requirements are different from other more common saltwater aquarium species.

An owner needs to understand their pet's needs before getting it because this species can prove to be a costly mistake if you do not provide the correct housing.

Their tank should be no smaller than 100 liters and must have a proper lid with fine-meshed netting to prevent the fish from escaping.

The lid is an important feature because this species can jump very well when startled or in search of food, so it is important to keep them in an enclosure where they will not injure themselves on impact.

The aquarium should also be well-planted because this species can be very shy and like to hide in vegetation during the day.

If you keep other fish that may uproot or knock over your low light plants, you must place them in pots or baskets that will prevent them from being moved around.

Water condition and lighting

Bumblebee Gobies are quite sensitive to water conditions, so it is important to have the right equipment in their tank. The heater must be set between 26-28 degrees Celsius or 78-82 Fahrenheit.

Bumblebee Goby

A good thermometer with increments of 0.5 degrees should also be added to monitor changes in temperature throughout the day.

Another important element of the tank is the lighting because although this species is naturally nocturnal, it will adjust to its surroundings once it becomes adapted to captivity.

If you are planning on keeping more than one fish, then you must prepare the aquarium with plenty of hiding places for them to feel safe. The best way to do this is to make caves out of rocks, seashells, or artificial aquarium decor.

Pay attention to the quality of your lighting because this will determine how well you can see your fish during the night or daytime.

Some species may revert to their natural nocturnal behavior when they do not have adequate light conditions, so it is best to keep them in an aquarium with lighting that can be changed at the press of a button.

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The Bumblebee Goby is a carnivorous fish that feeds on meaty foods such as brine shrimp, small pieces of raw fish, chopped krill, and any type of flake food. They will usually only come out at night to feed, so feeding them during the day is pointless as they will not be able to see it.

Bumblebee Goby

They tend to feed on small crabs and other crustaceans in the wild. However, In captivity, they will eat anything that has been put in the water, so it is important to feed them small amounts of food at least three times a day.

If feeding in the day, it is a good idea to feed a food that does not sink as quickly as this will make it easier for the fish to find. Artemia nauplius is an excellent choice for feeding these guys because they are very small and float on the surface of the water.

This species can be very picky when it comes to its diet, so make sure that you do not feed it anything that you think is safe. If your fish continues to eat, then it means that what you are feeding them does not present a threat, and you must try something else.

If the food continues to rot in their tank, this may also indicate poor water quality, so make sure that you monitor both issues and address them as soon as possible. If you find it difficult to feed your fish, then there are a few options that you can turn to.

One is freeze-dried bloodworms, which will fulfill their dietary requirements and take care of their teeth and gums by causing them to grind at the food for several hours. Another good option is frozen live foods such as brine shrimp, Rotifers, or Daphnia.

Finally, keep in mind that your Bumblebee Goby's diet should be supplemented with algae wafers or pellets because they contain high amounts of protein and micro-elements that the fish needs to survive.

When choosing live foods for your fish, it is important to choose wisely because not all of them are safe for consumption. A good example is feeder fish such as guppies which carry several diseases and pests that may affect your Bumblebee Goby.

Ensure that the food you choose has been properly frozen beforehand because this will kill any parasites while also eliminating any hazardous bacteria that may have developed.


After you have filled your aquarium with water, you must now consider the aquascaping. This beautiful species will need to be provided with plenty of hiding places because they are naturally nocturnal and become easily stressed if they do not have adequate surroundings.

They are very shy creatures, so you must make their new home as natural-looking as possible. The best way to achieve this is to use rocks, seashells, and another artificial aquarium decor so that you can create caves for them to hide in.

Pay attention to the size of your rocks because if they are too small, then they will damage their skin or be swallowed as food. Also, ensure that the rocks are not sharp so that the Bumblebee Goby does not injure its fins or get cut.

The substrate that you use in your aquarium is also important because this will determine whether you have a clean or dirty tank.

The best way to go about it is using sand, although you should consider using a fine-meshed net when shifting it around because small grains can get stuck in the tank.

Another good option is to use grade-A aragonite because it is easy to clean, does not cause irritation or damage to your fish, and is aesthetically pleasing.


Keeping the tank clean is incredibly important if you want to keep your Bumblebee Goby alive and healthy for a long time.

Bumblebee Goby

As with most fish, this species should ideally be kept in an aquarium that has been set up for a couple of months or a new one equipped with an under gravel filter.

The Bumblebee Goby is very sensitive to poor water conditions, so you should ensure that the tank has been set up properly and also get your hands on some activated carbon which will help remove any dissolved organic materials from the water.

You should also get a good water conditioner that will help to neutralize your tap water and also remove any chlorine or harmful chemicals. A good one is made by Seachem, which does a great job of removing pollutants from the aquarium.

You should also check on your fish every day, do regular weekly water changes, and clean out the substrate, replacing it with fresh substrate.

Tankmates Of The Bumblebee Goby

The Bumblebee Goby should never be kept with violent or fin nipping fish species but can usually get on well with others such as Clownfish, Damselfish, Anthias, and even smaller species of Goby.

Bumblebee Goby

They can be kept with any non-aggressive species of freshwater fish that require the same water conditions. If you want to house them with others, then you must have a very large tank, have no other fish species in the tank with them, and constantly monitor their interactions.

Common Possible Diseases and Cure

There are no known diseases that affect these fish in the wild, but they can become victims of ick or marine velvet if housed in an environment that is not properly taken care of.

Bumblebee Goby

Other common diseases this species suffers from includes marine ich, marine white spot, and sometimes copper poisoning.

Suppose anything like this appears on your fish. In that case, you should immediately bring them to a veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible because they do not tolerate medications very well.

Treatment generally involves putting the sick Bumblebee Goby into quarantine and giving it frequent water changes to keep the water quality at a good level.

The best way to keep these fish healthy is to maintain a good tank and never house them in an environment that has harmful chemicals like chlorine or nitrates.

Make sure that you use a water conditioner before putting them into any tank and provide them with plenty of hiding places and a diet rich in algae and other green foods.


Overall this fish will make a great addition to your aquarium if you can provide it with enough space and the right environment. It is important to remember that these fish are very territorial and should be kept by themselves in a large tank because they can become very aggressive towards their kind.

If you do house them in the same tank as others, then make sure that they have a large enough tank, constant supervision, and plenty of hiding places because they can become easy targets for other fish.

These fish should always be housed in marine environments with a specific gravity between 1.020 and 1.025 and should not be placed in freshwater tanks because it will cause them great stress.

The Bumblebee Goby is one of the best fish to keep in a saltwater aquarium as long as it does not contain other Gobies because they will become easy prey for this predator.

Last but not least, make sure that you don't place them with fin nipping or violent species of fish and that their tank mates are non-aggressive freshwater fish that require the same water conditions. This fish is a great addition to any aquarium and will live an average of 2 years if properly taken care of.


AquaMarinePower.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We go to great lengths to help users better understand their aquatic friends. However, the content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

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