Engineering on the Reef

Busy this week, but I thought I’d share a little about the newest inhabitant of the reef: engineer goby.

Engineer gobies (sometimes also called “convict blennies”) are actually neither a goby nor a blenny. They’re eel-like fish of a “gobioid” nature, which means they look like gobies and act like gobies, but aren’t true gobies at all.

In the aquarium or reef environment, engineer gobies are social, peaceful, and generally able to get along with most other species of fish and invertebrates. They do occasionally snack on “bite-sized” specimens, but mostly that applies to tiny invertebrates like gammarus and not to the fish people keep as pets.

They’re called “engineers,” in part, because of their tendency to dig and tunnel through gravel beds. As a rule, it’s important to set the reef’s foundation rocks directly on the bottom of the aquarium before adding an engineer goby, unless you’re interested in a tunnel-prompted rock slide. (Yes, they really do tunnel that much and that well.) Fortunately, my reef is set on a solid foundation, and not on the sand, so I don’t expect any issues with tumbling rocks.


He hasn’t got a name yet, but I’m glad to take suggestions…

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