Suntail Goby



Suntail Goby, Cryptocentrus aurora

  • Common Name: Suntail Goby
  • Latin Name: Cryptocentrus aurora
  • Distribution: The Suntail Goby is naturally found in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Maldives, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The original wild fish come from these areas.
  • Max Size: Up to 3 inches (7.6 centimetres)
  • Temperature Range: 76-82°F (24-28°C)
  • pH Range: 8.1-8.4
  • KH Range: Not specified
  • Care Level: Moderate (Note: They are a bit delicate and require proper care)
  • Lighting Preference: No specific lighting preference
  • Preferred Food: Carnivorous; feeds on small invertebrates and meaty foods. Recommended diet includes frozen or live brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and finely chopped seafood.
  • Behaviour: Suntail Gobies are peaceful and social fish. They exhibit a symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimp, where the goby acts as a lookout while the shrimp digs and maintains a burrow.
  • Suitable for Reef Tanks: Yes, Suntail Gobies are suitable for reef tanks as they are generally reef-safe and won’t harm corals or other invertebrates.
  • Interesting Facts:
    • They form a symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimp, benefiting both species.
    • They create burrows in sandy or gravelly substrates, mimicking their natural habitat.

The Suntail Goby, scientifically known as Cryptocentrus aurora, is a visually striking fish species. It exhibits vibrant colours, with its body adorned in shades of orange, yellow, and white. With a maximum size of approximately 3 inches (7.6 centimetres), it is relatively small in stature, making it suitable for smaller aquarium setups.

Natural Habitat

In its natural habitat, the Suntail Goby can be found in coastal areas with sandy or gravelly substrates. These habitats often feature a combination of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and rocky formations. The gobies seek refuge and create burrows within the sand or gravel, allowing them to blend in and find protection from potential predators.

Keeping Suntail Gobies Healthy: Care Level and Difficulty

The care level for Suntail Gobies is considered moderate, making them suitable for aquarists with some experience. Maintaining stable water parameters is crucial to ensure the well-being of these fish. Regular monitoring of temperature, salinity, and pH levels is necessary to provide a suitable environment for their growth and vitality.

Special Requirements and Feeding

Suntail Gobies have specific requirements to thrive in captivity. They require a sandy substrate that allows them to burrow and create their shelter. Providing suitable hiding places, such as rock formations or PVC pipe sections, mimics their natural habitat and helps alleviate stress. These gobies are carnivorous and feed on small invertebrates and meaty foods. A diet consisting of frozen or live brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and finely chopped seafood is recommended to meet their nutritional needs.

How Many Should I Keep?

Suntail Gobies are generally social fish and can be kept in small groups of 2 to 4 individuals. Having multiple gobies enhances their natural behaviour and provides a more engaging display within the aquarium. However, it is crucial to consider the tank size and overall compatibility of tank mates when determining the appropriate number of gobies to keep.

Lighting Preference

Suntail Gobies do not have any specific lighting requirements beyond providing a well-lit aquarium. Adequate lighting is essential for the growth of beneficial microorganisms and the overall health of the aquarium ecosystem.

Suitable Tank Mates

When selecting tank mates for Suntail Gobies, it is important to consider their peaceful nature. They generally get along well with other peaceful species, such as small reef-safe fish, gobies, blennies, and certain shrimp and snail species. However, caution should be exercised when introducing them to more aggressive or territorial tank mates to avoid potential conflicts.

Symbiotic Relationship with Pistol Shrimp

The Suntail Goby (Cryptocentrus aurora) forms a fascinating symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimp. These two species share a mutualistic bond where they benefit each other. The goby acts as a lookout, keeping watch for potential threats, while the pistol shrimp digs and maintains a burrow in which both species seek refuge. This unique partnership showcases their co-dependent nature and enhances their chances of survival in the wild.

Reproduction in the Wild

In their natural habitat, Suntail Gobies reproduce through a process called spawning. During the breeding season, the male and female gobies engage in a courtship ritual to initiate reproduction. They perform intricate dances, displaying vibrant colours and patterns to attract a mate. Once courtship is successful, the female deposits her eggs, and the male fertilizes them externally. The eggs are then guarded and cared for within the burrow until they hatch.

Breeding Cryptocentrus aurora  in Detail

  1. Set up:

To encourage successful breeding of Suntail Gobies in captivity, provide a suitable environment within an aquarium. A sandy substrate is essential for the gobies to dig their burrows. Offer suitable hiding spots using rock formations, PVC pipes, or ceramic tubes. Maintain stable water parameters, with a temperature range of 76-82°F (24-28°C), a salinity level of 1.022-1.026, and a pH range of 8.1-8.4.

  1. Courtship/Spawning:

Breeding begins with an elaborate courtship display. The male goby showcases vibrant colours and patterns while performing intricate dances to attract the female. Once courtship is successful, the female deposits her adhesive eggs, and the male fertilizes them externally. The male then guards and cares for the eggs within the burrow until they hatch.

  1. Rearing:

After spawning, it is crucial to remove the adult gobies from the breeding tank to prevent them from consuming the eggs. The eggs will hatch within a few days, and the larvae will enter a pelagic phase, drifting in the water column. Provide a dedicated rearing tank with suitable conditions to ensure the successful development of the larvae. Offer appropriate live foods, such as rotifers, copepods, and newly hatched brine shrimp, to meet their nutritional needs. As the larvae grow and develop, they can be introduced into a larger grow-out tank or sold to other enthusiasts.

Sexual Dimorphism

Suntail Gobies do not exhibit significant sexual dimorphism, making it challenging to differentiate between males and females based on physical appearance alone. However, during the breeding season, the male’s colours and patterns may intensify, displaying more vibrant hues compared to the female.


The Suntail Goby (Cryptocentrus aurora) is naturally found in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Maldives, Indonesia, and the Philippines. While there may be captive-bred or line-bred strains available in the aquarium trade, the original wild fish come from their natural habitat in these regions.


The Suntail Goby, or Cryptocentrus aurora, is a visually stunning fish species known for its vibrant colours and unique behaviours. Its symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimp, moderate care level, and compatibility with suitable tank mates make it an attractive choice for marine aquarium enthusiasts. Understanding their breeding behaviour and providing the appropriate setup and care can allow aquarists to witness the captivating process of reproduction and the successful rearing of their offspring.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Suntail Goby”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Basket
Scroll to Top