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Diamond Goby Care & Info | Valenciennea puellaris

Is the bottom part of your aquarium lacking a bit of life? We’ve just got the fish for you! The diamond goby is a filter-feeding bottom dweller, champion burrower and the ideal janitor to keep your sand bed clean.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about diamond goby care and how to keep this fish in your own aquarium!

Name (Common, Scientific)Diamond goby, diamond watchman goby, diamond sleeper goby, orange-spotted goby, maiden goby, Valenciennea puellaris
Mini tank size55 gallons
Minimum group size1
Difficulty levelEasy

Diamond goby (Valenciennea puellaris) description

The diamond goby is a typical bottom dweller, with an elongated body that’s flattened at the bottom and a large mouth to help it do what it does best: sifting sand. The fish feature a greyish body with yellow to orange horizontal lines of dashes and stripes.

The species grows to a maximum size of around 7”.

Diamond goby (Valenciennea puellaris) aquarium

You can keep a diamond goby in a 55 gallon long aquarium or larger. Make sure the tank has plenty of bottom space, as this species doesn’t really use the rest of the water column.

In order to figure out what a diamond goby aquarium should look like, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a highly specialized species. These are burrowers and sand sifters that like a thick substrate of fine sand and some live rock to make a hide under.

If you didn’t use live sand from the start, be sure to give your sand bed some time to develop before introducing a diamond goby into your tank. They’ll be thankful for the opportunity to dig around, building mounds and burrows and spitting out sand from their gills after having taken it into their mouth in search of any tasty morsels that might be present.

Did you know? A diamond goby is the perfect janitor to keep your sand bed tidy, aerated and looking nice. You’ll never have messy sand with one of these guys in your tank!

Diamond goby aquarium fish.

Diamond goby (Valenciennea puellaris) compatibility

Diamond gobies are considered peaceful and are also reef safe. They should leave all but the smallest invertebrates alone. There are only two situations in which you might find them displaying aggression: whenever a fish comes too close to their burrow and if there are other similar gobies present, like the yellow watchman goby. This includes other diamond gobies, unless you’re dealing with an established pair.

Do keep in mind that it’s a good idea to avoid keeping this relatively calm species with any fish that might consider it a snack or bother it excessively.

Did you know? Diamond gobies are monogamous, but it’s difficult to tell the sexes apart in the aquarium store. It doesn’t help that they can change sex from female to male!

Diamond goby (Valenciennea puellaris) diet

In the wild, diamond gobies get the nutrients they need from filtering through the sand. Plenty of copepods, detritus, and tiny invertebrates to be found in there! Unfortunately, our home aquariums are too small and clean for a diamond goby to be able to sustain itself with its filtering activities alone.

It can be a little bit challenging to get a diamond goby to accept regular aquarium fish foods at first, but it’s important to try. (Thawed) frozen or live brine shrimp, mysis, copepods and other meaty foods should work perfectly fine. It’s best to feed small amounts 2-3 times a day.

Be sure to not step away from the aquarium immediately. Keep an eye on things to make sure your diamond goby is actually feeding: other fish might get to the food before they have a chance. If this is the case, a feeding tube that transports food directly to the bottom of the tank might prove helpful.

Did you know? It’s pretty normal to not see your diamond goby for a while. These fish do love to stay in their burrow, sometimes even covering the entrance so you can’t see them!


A reef aquarium with beautiful fish like the diamond goby is a dream to have in the home or office. FantaSEA Aquariums offers hands-dry packages from design to build to maintenance so all you have to do is enjoy your tank! Just contact us here with your ideas.

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