Bumblebee Goby Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating fish to add to your aquarium, the bumblebee goby might just be the perfect fit. These small, colorful fish are native to the brackish waters of Southeast Asia, and are known for their striking appearance and engaging personalities. In this article, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about caring for bumblebee gobies, from their lifespan and tank requirements to their diet and breeding habits.

The Bumblebee Goby is a popular aquarium fish due to its unique appearance and peaceful temperament. They require a tank of at least 10 gallons with a temperature range of 77-82°F, pH range of 7.0-8.0, and a diet of small live or frozen foods. They are generally peaceful but may become territorial towards their own species.

First, let’s take a closer look at the bumblebee goby’s physical characteristics and behavior. These fish are typically around 1-2 inches in length, with vibrant yellow and black stripes that resemble the pattern of a bumblebee. They are relatively slow-moving and peaceful, making them a great addition to a community tank with other small, non-aggressive fish. Males and females are fairly similar in appearance, although males may have slightly more intense coloring or longer fins.

To provide the best possible care for your bumblebee goby, you’ll need to set up a tank that meets their specific needs. This includes a tank size of at least 10 gallons, with plenty of hiding places and plants to mimic their natural environment. You’ll also need to maintain a consistent water temperature between 72-82°F, with a pH level of 7.0-8.0 and moderate water hardness. Regular water changes and proper filtration are essential for keeping your bumblebee goby healthy and happy.

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Bumblebee Goby Care: Species Summary


Bumblebee gobies (Brachygobius spp.) are small, colorful fish that are native to brackish and freshwater habitats in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.


The average lifespan of bumblebee gobies is 2-3 years, although with proper care, they can live up to 5 years.


Bumblebee gobies are small, reaching only 1-2 inches in length. They have a distinctive black and yellow striped pattern, resembling a bumblebee, hence the name.

They also have a small dorsal fin and a rounded tail fin.

Size and Growth Rate

Bumblebee gobies are slow-growing fish, reaching their full size of 1-2 inches within the first year of life.

Behavior & Temperament

Bumblebee gobies are peaceful and social fish that do best in groups of 3-5 individuals.

They are active swimmers and enjoy exploring their environment. They are also known to jump out of the water, so a tight-fitting lid is necessary.

Male vs Female

Male bumblebee gobies are generally smaller and slimmer than females.

During breeding, males develop a bright red or orange coloration on their belly and fins.

Overall, bumblebee gobies are fascinating and unique fish that can make great additions to a peaceful community tank.

With proper care and attention, they can thrive and provide their owners with years of enjoyment.

Tank Setup

Setting up a tank for your Bumblebee goby requires careful consideration of several factors. Here are some important sub-sections to consider.

Tank Size

Bumblebee gobies are small fish that typically grow to be around 1.5 inches in length.

As a result, a tank of at least 10 gallons is recommended for a single goby, with an additional 5 gallons for each additional fish.

A larger tank will provide more swimming space and help to reduce aggression between fish.


Bumblebee gobies prefer low to moderate lighting conditions, so it is recommended to use a low-wattage light or keep the tank in a naturally lit room.

Avoid bright, intense lighting as it can cause stress and discomfort to the fish.

Filtration & Aeration

A good filtration system is essential for maintaining water quality in your Bumblebee goby tank. A hang-on-back filter or sponge filter is recommended, along with a small air stone for aeration.

Be sure to clean or replace the filter media regularly to keep the water clean and clear.


Bumblebee gobies are tropical fish that require a consistent water temperature between 75-82°F.

A reliable heater is necessary to maintain the proper temperature in the tank.

It is recommended to use a submersible heater with a built-in thermostat to ensure accuracy.


A fine-grained substrate, such as sand or small gravel, is recommended for a Bumblebee goby tank. The substrate should be kept clean and free of debris to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.


Bumblebee gobies are shy fish that prefer hiding places to feel secure.

Provide plenty of hiding spots with rocks, caves, and driftwood. Avoid sharp or rough decorations that can damage their delicate skin.


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Live or artificial plants can be added to the tank to provide additional hiding places and create a more natural environment.

Be sure to choose plants that are compatible with the Bumblebee goby’s water parameters and do not have sharp edges or thorns that can harm the fish.

Overall, setting up a tank for your Bumblebee goby requires careful consideration of several factors.

By providing the proper tank setup, you can create a healthy and comfortable environment for your fish to thrive in.

Water Quality

Water Temperature

When it comes to Bumblebee goby care, maintaining the right water temperature is crucial.

These fish are native to brackish waters in Asia, so they require a slightly different temperature range than most freshwater fish.

The ideal temperature range for Bumblebee gobies is between 75-82°F (24-28°C).

I recommend using a reliable aquarium thermometer to monitor the water temperature, and a heater to maintain a consistent temperature.

Water pH

Another important aspect of water quality is pH. Bumblebee gobies prefer a slightly alkaline pH between 7.5-8.5, which is similar to their natural habitat.

Be sure to test your aquarium water regularly using a reliable pH test kit and make adjustments as needed.

Keep in mind that sudden changes in pH can be stressful for fish, so it’s important to make any adjustments slowly over time.

Water Hardness

Bumblebee gobies also require a specific level of water hardness to thrive. These fish prefer moderately hard water with a range of 10-20 dGH.

If your tap water is too soft, you can add some aquarium salt or a commercial buffer to increase the hardness.

On the other hand, if your water is too hard, you can dilute it with some distilled or RO water.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for maintaining good water quality and keeping your Bumblebee gobies healthy.

Aim to change 10-20% of the water in your tank every week to remove any accumulated waste and replenish essential nutrients.

Be sure to use a water conditioner to remove any chlorine or chloramines from your tap water before adding it to your tank.

Tank Maintenance

Maintaining a healthy and clean tank is crucial for the well-being of your Bumblebee goby. Here are some tips to keep your tank in top condition:

Clean the Tank Regularly: Regular cleaning of the tank is essential to keep the water clean and healthy. Clean the tank at least once a week, and change 20-30% of the water.

Use a siphon to remove debris and uneaten food from the substrate.

Check Water Parameters: Regularly test the water parameters to ensure that they are within the appropriate range.

Bumblebee gobies prefer slightly acidic water with a pH range of 6.5-7.5 and a water temperature of 75-82°F. Keep the water hardness between 5-12 dGH.

Monitor Filtration System: The filtration system is crucial for maintaining a healthy and clean tank. Ensure that the filter is running correctly, and clean or replace the filter media as necessary.

Check for Signs of Disease: Keep an eye out for any signs of disease or illness in your Bumblebee goby.

Common diseases include fungal infections, bacterial infections, and parasitic infections. If you notice any signs of illness, quarantine the affected fish and treat the tank with appropriate medication.

Regularly Feed Your Fish: Bumblebee gobies are relatively small and do not require a lot of food.

Feed them small amounts of high-quality food, such as frozen or live brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia, twice a day. Avoid overfeeding, as this can lead to health problems and water quality issues.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your Bumblebee goby has a healthy and clean environment to thrive in.

Personal Anecdote: I have found that maintaining a regular cleaning schedule and monitoring the water parameters has been the most effective way to keep my Bumblebee gobies healthy and happy. By keeping the tank clean and the water quality high, I have been able to enjoy these fascinating fish for many years.

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

Bumblebee gobies are generally peaceful and can be kept with other small and non-aggressive fish species. Some compatible fish species include:

  • Neon tetras
  • Dwarf gouramis
  • Otocinclus catfish
  • Cherry shrimp

It is important to note that while these fish species are compatible with bumblebee gobies, it is still important to monitor their behavior to ensure they are getting along well.

Incompatible Fish Species

There are some fish species that are not compatible with bumblebee gobies due to their aggressive behavior or size. It is important to avoid keeping these fish species with bumblebee gobies:

  • Cichlids
  • Tiger barbs
  • Betta fish
  • Large catfish

How Many Bumblebee Gobies Should be Kept Together?

It is recommended to keep bumblebee gobies in groups of at least 3-4 individuals. They are social fish and will feel more comfortable and secure in a group.

It is important to ensure that the tank is large enough to accommodate the number of bumblebee gobies being kept.

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Personally, I have found that keeping a group of 5 bumblebee gobies together in a 30-gallon tank has worked well for me.

They are active and playful, and it is always entertaining to watch them interact with each other and the other fish in the tank.


Feeding your Bumblebee goby is an important aspect of their care. These fish are carnivorous and require a diet consisting of live or frozen foods.

What To Feed

Some suitable food options for Bumblebee gobies include:

  • Brine shrimp
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Bloodworms
  • Tubifex worms

It’s important to note that these fish have small mouths, so the food should be appropriately sized.


The frequency of feeding depends on the age and size of the fish.

Younger and smaller gobies should be fed more frequently, up to 3-4 times per day. Adult gobies can be fed once or twice a day.


Here are some tips to keep in mind when feeding your Bumblebee goby:

  • Offer a varied diet to ensure your fish receive all the necessary nutrients
  • Remove any uneaten food after a few minutes to prevent water quality issues
  • Consider using a feeding dish to prevent food from sinking into the substrate
  • Observe your fish while feeding to ensure they are eating and behaving normally

Remember that a healthy diet is essential for the overall health and well-being of your Bumblebee goby.

Common Diseases


Bumblebee gobies are generally hardy fish, but they are still susceptible to certain diseases.

One common disease that affects bumblebee gobies is Ich, which is caused by a parasitic protozoan.

Symptoms of Ich include white spots on the fish’s body and fins, and the fish may also appear lethargic or lose its appetite.

Other diseases that can affect bumblebee gobies include fin rot, bacterial infections, and fungal infections.


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Symptoms of diseases in bumblebee gobies can vary depending on the specific disease.

However, some common symptoms to look out for include lethargy, loss of appetite, abnormal swimming behavior, and discoloration or lesions on the fish’s body or fins.

It’s important to monitor your bumblebee gobies regularly for any signs of illness.


If you notice any symptoms of illness in your bumblebee gobies, it’s important to act quickly to prevent the disease from spreading to other fish in your tank.

Treatment options for bumblebee goby diseases can vary depending on the specific illness, but some common treatments include medicated food, baths in medicated water, and the use of antibiotics or antifungal medications.


Preventing diseases in bumblebee gobies is key to keeping them healthy and happy.

One of the best ways to prevent diseases is to maintain good water quality in your tank.

Regular water changes, proper filtration, and adequate aeration can all help to keep your tank clean and healthy.

It’s also important to quarantine any new fish before adding them to your tank to prevent the spread of disease.

Signs of a Healthy Bumblebee Goby

As a proud owner of bumblebee gobies, I can attest to the fact that they are fascinating creatures to watch.

However, it is important to ensure that they are healthy and thriving in their environment. Here are some signs to look out for:

  1. Active and alert behavior: A healthy bumblebee goby will be active and alert, swimming around the tank and exploring its surroundings.
  2. Good appetite: A healthy goby will have a good appetite and eagerly eat its food.
  3. Clean and clear eyes: The eyes of a healthy goby should be clean and clear, without any signs of cloudiness or discoloration.
  4. Smooth and intact skin: A healthy goby should have smooth and intact skin, without any visible lesions or signs of injury.
  5. Strong fins: The fins of a healthy goby should be strong and intact, without any signs of fraying or damage.

It is important to monitor your bumblebee goby regularly and look out for any signs of illness or distress.

If you notice any changes in behavior or appearance, it is important to take action quickly and seek advice from a veterinarian or experienced fish keeper.

Remember, providing a healthy and suitable environment for your bumblebee goby is key to ensuring their long-term health and well-being.

With proper care and attention, these fascinating fish can thrive and bring joy to their owners for many years to come.

Signs of a Sick Bumblebee Goby

As a responsible fish owner, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of a sick Bumblebee Goby. These little fish are hardy, but they can still fall victim to a variety of diseases and health issues. Here are a few things to look out for:

  1. Loss of Appetite: If your Bumblebee Goby suddenly stops eating, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Monitor your fish closely and look for other symptoms.
  2. Lethargy: If your Bumblebee Goby is spending more time hiding and less time swimming around, it could be a sign of illness. Healthy fish are active and curious.
  3. Discoloration: If your Bumblebee Goby’s colors start to fade or change, it could be a sign of stress or illness.
  4. Erratic Swimming: If your Bumblebee Goby is swimming erratically or struggling to maintain its balance, it could be a sign of a swim bladder issue or other health problem.
  5. Breathing Issues: If your Bumblebee Goby is gasping for air at the surface of the water or showing other signs of breathing difficulty, it could be a sign of poor water quality or a respiratory infection.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take action immediately. Isolate the sick fish in a quarantine tank and consult with a veterinarian or experienced fish keeper.

Early intervention can often mean the difference between life and death for your Bumblebee Goby.

Personally, I once noticed that one of my Bumblebee Gobies was swimming in a strange, erratic pattern. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the fish had a swim bladder issue. I immediately moved the fish to a quarantine tank and started treating it with Epsom salt baths. Within a few days, the fish was back to its normal, active self.


Breeding Bumblebee gobies can be a challenging but rewarding experience for fish keepers.

These fish are not easy to breed, but with the right setup and care, it is possible to get them to spawn.

Breeding Setup

To breed Bumblebee gobies, you will need a separate breeding tank that is at least 10 gallons in size.

The tank should be heavily planted with fine-leaved plants like Java moss, and you should provide plenty of hiding places for the fish.

How To Breed

To get your Bumblebee gobies to breed, you will need to condition them with a high-quality diet of live or frozen foods.

Once they are in breeding condition, the male will start to build a bubble nest on the surface of the water. The female will lay her eggs in the nest, and the male will fertilize them.


After spawning, it is important to remove the female from the breeding tank, as the male may become aggressive towards her.

The male will guard the eggs and fry, and you should provide him with plenty of food to keep him healthy. Once the fry hatch, you can feed them newly hatched brine shrimp or other small live foods.

Breeding Bumblebee gobies can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With the right setup and care, you can successfully breed these beautiful fish.

I have personally bred Bumblebee gobies in the past, and it was a truly amazing experience to watch the fry grow and develop.

Product recommendations for bumblebee goby:

  1. Hikari Micro Pellets – These pellets are specially formulated for small fish like bumblebee goby, and will provide them with the essential nutrients they need.
  2. Omega One Freeze Dried Brine Shrimp – Freeze-dried brine shrimp is a great option for feeding your bumblebee goby, as it is high in protein and other important nutrients.
  3. API Stress Coat Water Conditioner – This water conditioner will help to reduce stress in your aquarium, which can be especially important for sensitive fish like bumblebee goby.
  4. Seachem Flourish Excel – This liquid fertilizer is a great way to promote healthy plant growth in your aquarium, which can be beneficial for bumblebee goby.
  5. AquaClear Power Filter – This power filter is a great way to keep your aquarium water clean and clear, which is important for the health of your bumblebee goby.
  6. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater – A heater is essential for maintaining a consistent water temperature in your aquarium, which is important for the health of your bumblebee goby.
  7. API Master Test Kit – This test kit is a great way to monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium, which can help you keep your bumblebee goby healthy.
  8. CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate – This substrate is a great option for planted aquariums, and can help to promote healthy plant growth, which can be beneficial for bumblebee goby.
  9. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump – A circulation pump can help to keep the water in your aquarium moving, which can be important for the health of your bumblebee goby.


After learning about the Bumblebee Goby, it is clear that they are a fascinating and unique species that requires specific care. From their origins in Southeast Asia to their small size and peaceful temperament, these fish are a great addition to any aquarium.

Proper tank setup is crucial to the health and happiness of your Bumblebee Goby. From the appropriate tank size to the right water parameters, it is important to create an environment that mimics their natural habitat.

Feeding your Bumblebee Goby a varied diet and providing them with compatible tank mates are also important factors to consider.

Keeping up with regular tank maintenance and monitoring for common diseases will ensure your fish stay healthy and thrive.

Overall, caring for Bumblebee Gobies can be a rewarding experience for any aquarium enthusiast. As with any pet, it is important to do your research and provide them with the best care possible.

Personally, I have found that watching my Bumblebee Gobies interact with each other and explore their tank is a calming and enjoyable experience.

Their unique personalities and behavior make them a joy to observe.

If you are considering adding a Bumblebee Goby to your aquarium, I highly recommend doing so. With proper care and attention, these fish can make a great addition to any aquatic community.


Here are some common questions about Bumblebee Goby care:

Q: Can Bumblebee Gobies live with other fish?

A: Yes, but you need to be careful about which fish you choose as tank mates. Bumblebee Gobies are small and can be easily bullied or eaten by larger fish. It’s best to keep them with other peaceful, small fish that won’t bother them. Some good options include neon tetras, cherry shrimp, and dwarf corydoras.

Q: How often should I feed my Bumblebee Gobies?

A: Bumblebee Gobies are small and have small stomachs, so it’s best to feed them small amounts several times a day. You can feed them a variety of foods, including frozen or live brine shrimp, bloodworms, and small pellets or flakes.

Q: What temperature should the water be for Bumblebee Gobies?

A: Bumblebee Gobies prefer warmer water, with a temperature range of 77-82°F (25-28°C). It’s important to keep the temperature consistent, as fluctuations can stress the fish and make them more susceptible to disease.

Q: How often should I do water changes?

A: Bumblebee Gobies are sensitive to water quality, so it’s important to do regular water changes. A good rule of thumb is to change 10-20% of the water every week. Make sure to use a water conditioner to remove any chlorine or chloramines from the tap water.

Q: Can Bumblebee Gobies be kept in a planted tank?

A: Yes, Bumblebee Gobies can be kept in a planted tank. They like to have hiding places, so adding some plants and decorations can help create a more natural environment for them. Just make sure to choose plants that are compatible with the water parameters and lighting in your tank.

Q: Are Bumblebee Gobies difficult to care for?

A: Bumblebee Gobies are relatively easy to care for, as long as you provide them with the right environment and diet. They can be sensitive to water quality, so regular maintenance is important. Overall, they make great pets for experienced and beginner fish keepers alike.

Personal Anecdote:

I have kept Bumblebee Gobies in my tank for several years now, and they are some of my favorite fish. They have so much personality and are always active and playful. One thing I’ve learned is that they can be picky eaters, so it’s important to offer them a variety of foods to keep them healthy and happy.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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