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

Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies are fascinating marine fish that create a fascinating display of symbiotic relationships in a home aquarium. These small, colorful fish are known for their unique partnership with certain species of burrowing shrimp, which provide the Tangaroa Shrimp Goby with a safe haven while the goby keeps guard of the shared burrow and alerts the shrimp to any potential predators or dangers.

Tangaroa Shrimp Goby care involves providing a suitable aquarium environment, proper diet, and regular maintenance. These small, colorful fish require a well-oxygenated tank with plenty of hiding places and open swimming space. They need a varied diet of small, meaty foods, including brine shrimp and copepods. 

I remember the first time I set up a Tangaroa Shrimp Goby tank; I was truly amazed at how quickly the shrimp and goby formed a bond and how effortlessly they worked together for mutual survival in their aquatic world. Caring for these fish can be just as rewarding as observing their behavior, and with proper knowledge on tank setup and maintenance, any aquarist can provide a thriving environment for these captivating creatures.

Key Takeaways

  • Establish a proper tank setup to create a comfortable environment for shrimp and goby alike
  • Ensure high water quality and consistent tank maintenance for the health and well-being of Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies
  • Observe and monitor for signs of a healthy fish and address any illness or strain-related issues promptly to maintain their unique symbiotic relationship.

Species Summary


The Tangaroa Shrimp Goby (Cryptocentrus caeruleopunctatus) originates from the Western Pacific Ocean, specifically found in the waters around Fiji and Tonga.


Typically, these gobies live up to 5 years in a well-maintained aquarium environment. However, their lifespan may vary depending on factors such as the quality of water and diet.


The Tangaroa Shrimp Goby is an attractive fish species with a light beige color adorned with blue speckles. Its unique pectoral fin shape makes it easily recognizable from other gobies.


As a relatively small fish, the Tangaroa Shrimp Goby typically reaches a length of around 3-4 inches when fully grown.

Growth Rate

Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies have a moderate growth rate. Given proper care and a nutritious diet, they can reach their adult size within a year or two.

Behavior & Temperament

These gobies are known to have a peaceful and shy demeanor. They often exhibit interesting behaviors such as forming symbiotic alliances with pistol shrimps. One time, I even observed mine laying in the sand, trusting its shrimp partner to act as a lookout.

Male vs Female

Distinguishing between male and female Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies can be quite challenging. However, males may generally be more slender and slightly larger than females, but this is not a foolproof identifier.

Remember to maintain proper water quality, provide adequate hiding places, and offer a varied diet to ensure that your Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies continue to thrive in your aquarium.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

When I first started keeping Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies, I learned quickly that tank size matters. For a pair of these unique fish, a 20-gallon tank is the minimum recommended size. Keep in mind, larger tanks provide more room for exploration and less stress for them.


Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies don’t require intense light, so aim for low to moderate lighting. I’ve found that adjustable LED lights work well, as you can easily control the intensity to suit their preferences.

Filtration & Aeration

A stable, well-filtered tank is essential for Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies. I recommend the use of hang-on-back or canister filters to maintain good water quality. Aeration is equally important; a simple air stone or sponge filter ensures adequate oxygen levels.


These gobies thrive in temperatures between 74°F and 81°F (23°C-27°C). A reliable heater is vital to maintain stable temperatures. Invest in a quality heater and place it near a gentle water flow for even heat distribution.


Substrate choice is critical, as Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies burrow and form symbiotic relationships with shrimp. I’ve had success using a mix of fine sand and crushed coral to create a comfortable burrowing environment.


In my experience, the key to decorating is providing ample hiding spots. Opt for rocks or ceramic caves for the shrimp, and PVC pipes or small overhangs for the goby. Create a platform for the burrow entrance, allowing shrimp and goby to build their home.

RocksShrimp hiding spots
Ceramic cavesShrimp shelter
PVC pipesGoby hiding spots
Small overhangsGoby shelter


Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies are not fussy about plants, but I like adding low-light, hardy plants for extra cover and oxygen production. Java fern and Anubias are excellent choices, as they require minimum care and won’t be disturbed by the goby or shrimp.

Water Quality

Water Temperature

When it comes to Tangaroa Shrimp Goby care, it’s crucial to maintain a stable water temperature. The ideal range for these fish is 74-82°F (23-28°C). In my experience, I found that keeping the temperature at a consistent 78°F (25.5°C) produced the best results in terms of their health and activity levels.

Water pH

Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies thrive in water with a pH level of 7.8-8.4. It’s essential to keep the pH stable because sudden fluctuations can be stressful for these sensitive fish. Invest in a reliable pH test kit and adjust the water’s pH levels accordingly.

Water Hardness

These gobies are also particular about water hardness. They prefer:

  • Calcium: 450 – 500 ppm
  • Magnesium: 1,250 – 1,350 ppm
  • Alkalinity: 8 – 12 dKH

It’s essential to monitor these parameters and maintain a consistent balance for the overall well-being of your Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies.

Water Changes

Regular water changes play an essential role in preserving optimal water quality. I usually change 10-20% of the water bi-weekly, ensuring that I remove accumulated waste and replenish crucial elements. These routine water changes help maintain water stability and keep my Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies healthy and happy.

Tank Maintenance

Maintaining a healthy tank environment is essential for the well-being of the Tangaroa Shrimp Goby. It’s important to monitor water parameters and carry out regular water changes. I remember when I first set up my Goby tank, I learned the hard way how crucial it is to invest in a quality test kit.

The ideal water temperature for Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies is between 72°F to 78°F. A heater and thermometer should be used to maintain the proper temperature. Remember to keep the heater with a sufficient wattage for your tank’s gallon capacity.

When it comes to water quality, a stable pH level of 7.0 to 8.5 is required. Additionally, the following parameters also need to be maintained:

  • Salinity: 1.021 to 1.026
  • Ammonia and nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: under 20 ppm

A filtration system will help manage these parameters. I always advise others to pick a filter with both mechanical and biological filtration capabilities for the best results.

Weekly 10% to 20% water changes are necessary for a clean and healthy tank. Ensure to replace the water with fresh, dechlorinated, and properly salted water.

Clean the tank glass, decorations, and filter components regularly. A magnetic glass cleaner or soft fish-safe scrubber can be used for scraping off algae. Speaking from experience, a routine tank cleaning will prevent any future headaches.

Lastly, never overfeed your Tangaroa Shrimp Goby. Excess food can decay in the tank, leading to poor water quality. Feed them only what they can consume in 2-3 minutes, and promptly remove any uneaten food from the tank with a net or siphon.

Tank Mates

Compatible Fish Species

When choosing tank mates for Tangaroa Shrimp Goby, it’s essential to select peaceful and calm species. Some ideal options include:

  • Clownfish: These colorful and active fish can coexist well with Tangaroa Shrimp Goby due to their peaceful nature.
  • Firefish: Known for their vibrant appearance, they make excellent tank companions because they prefer to stay in their designated areas and do not disturb the shrimp goby.
  • Cardinalfish: These small, peaceful fish are easy to care for and can live harmoniously with shrimp gobies.

I once made the mistake of adding a more aggressive fish to my Tangaroa Shrimp Goby tank, and it caused a lot of stress for the goby and its shrimp partner, so it’s crucial to stick with peaceful species.

Incompatible Fish Species

Avoid adding the following incompatible species to your tank:

  • Angelfish: They may become territorial and attack the Tangaroa Shrimp Goby, causing stress and harm.
  • Dottybacks: These aggressive fish may relentlessly chase the shrimp goby, reducing its quality of life in the tank.
  • Triggerfish: Known for their aggression and territoriality, triggerfish are not suitable tank mates for shrimp gobies.

Carefully select your tank mates, so your Tangaroa Shrimp Goby can safely coexist with its companions and thrive in a relaxed environment.


What To Feed

The Tangaroa Shrimp Goby’s diet primarily consists of small crustaceans and microorganisms. It’s crucial to provide them with a variety of high-quality foods, such as:

  • Frozen or live brine shrimp
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Finely chopped seafood
  • High-quality pellets or flake food

I remember when I first started keeping Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies, I was amazed at how quickly they adapted to eating a range of different foods.


Feed your Tangaroa Shrimp Goby twice daily, giving them only the amount they can consume within two to three minutes. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality and potential health issues for your fish.


  • Feed small portions: Breaking the daily food ration into smaller portions can help prevent overfeeding and maintain better water quality.
  • Keep an eye on your fish: Observing your Tangaroa Shrimp Goby while they eat will help you determine if you’re providing the right amount and type of food.
  • Vary their diet: Including different food sources will ensure they receive all necessary nutrients for optimal health and coloration.

Common Diseases


In my experience with Tangaroa Shrimp Goby, they are relatively hardy, but can fall victim to some common diseases.

  • Ich: Also known as white spot disease, caused by an external parasite.
  • Fin Rot: Caused by bacteria or fungus, and could lead to fin loss.
  • Skin & Gill Flukes: Small, worm-like parasites that infect gills and skin.


Being aware of the symptoms can help us identify the disease early on:

  • Ich: Small white spots or patches on body, rapid breathing, and rubbing against surfaces.
  • Fin Rot: Fins appear frayed, discolored or milky, and fins gradually erode.
  • Skin & Gill Flukes: Scratching, erratic swimming, red and swollen gills.

One time, I noticed my Tangaroa Shrimp Goby constantly rubbing against objects in the tank. After careful observation, I discovered it was suffering from Ich.


Prompt treatment is crucial to preventing the spread of infection among other fish in the tank.

  • Ich: Increase temperature to 86°F/30°C, medicate with copper-based treatments.
  • Fin Rot: Isolate affected fish, apply broad-spectrum antibiotic medication.
  • Skin & Gill Flukes: Treat with anti-fluke medication like Praziquantel.


To maintain a healthy environment, follow these guidelines:

  1. Regular water changes
  2. Proper aquarium filtration
  3. Don’t overfeed or overcrowd tank
  4. Quarantine new fish for 2 weeks before introducing them

By complying with these preventive measures, I managed to keep my Tangaroa Shrimp Goby tank disease-free for a long time.

Signs of a Healthy Fish

A healthy Tangaroa Shrimp Goby exhibits certain characteristics that are easy to spot. One key indicator is their vibrant coloration, which is a good sign that they are in optimal health.

Active swimming and searching for food are also positive indicators. A Tangaroa Shrimp Goby that is constantly exploring its environment is likely feeling good.

Just the other day, I noticed my own Tangaroa Shrimp Goby darting around its tank and playing with its shrimp companion. This is a great example of their social behavior when they’re in a healthy state.

Moreover, a robust appetite is another sign of a healthy fish. Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies should readily accept a variety of food offerings, including frozen, live, and even pellet foods.

Maintaining an appropriate weight is also essential for the well-being of your Tangaroa Shrimp Goby. A fish that is neither too thin nor too bulky showcases its optimal health.

Additionally, clear eyes are crucial for these fish. Cloudy or damaged eyes may indicate an underlying health issue that requires attention.

Similarly, their fins should be intact and without any signs of fraying or damage. This is crucial to their swimming abilities and overall health.

As a final point, it’s important for their scales to have a smooth appearance without any visible signs of injury or infection. This is another indication of a thriving Tangaroa Shrimp Goby.

By looking for these signs, you can ensure that your Tangaroa Shrimp Goby is in the best possible condition and enjoying a healthy and happy life in your aquarium.

Signs Your Fish is Sick

One day, I noticed my Tangaroa Shrimp Goby acting unusually. It’s essential to recognize the signs that your fish may be sick so you can take action. A sick fish may exhibit various symptoms, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, abnormal swimming patterns, and damaged fins.

Lethargy is a common sign of illness, and your once active Tangaroa Shrimp Goby may suddenly become less energetic and swim less. Additionally, if your fish is refusing to eat for an extended period, it could indicate a health issue. Keep an eye on your goby’s appetite and make a note of any changes.

Another cause for concern is if your fish starts swimming irregularly or seems to struggle while doing so. This might be a sign of internal infection or swim bladder issues. In some cases, damaged fins, especially when paired with other symptoms, can point towards an underlying health problem.

If you notice any of these signs, it will be crucial to take action, such as quarantining the fish, monitoring water parameters, and providing proper care to ensure a swift recovery. By remaining vigilant and acting promptly, you can ensure the well-being of your Tangaroa Shrimp Goby.


Breeding Setup

To prepare a breeding setup for Tangaroa Shrimp Goby, you need to get a separate tank. I recommend a 10- to 20-gallon tank with fine sand substrate, as it allows the goby and shrimp to feel secure. Make sure to provide plenty of hiding spots using rocks, caves, and small PVC pipes.

How To Breed

Breeding Tangaroa Shrimp Goby requires patience and careful observation. It’s crucial to ensure you have a male and female pair. The female goby’s belly will become noticeably rounder when she’s carrying eggs. At this point, provide a high-quality diet for the gobies.

Once you’ve noticed the swelling, wait for the male to dig a burrow under one of the hiding spots. The male will then invite the female to lay her eggs inside. Keep an eye out for signs of spawning, like the male fanning the eggs to improve oxygenation.


After mating and laying eggs, the male Tangaroa Shrimp Goby becomes responsible for their protection. During this time, monitor the water parameters and maintain a stable environment. Once the larvae hatch, they’ll need to be fed with appropriately sized food, such as rotifers or baby brine shrimp.

In my experience, it’s essential to maintain a clean and stable environment for the fry. Regular water changes, proper filtration, and nutrition are key to successful breeding of Tangaroa Shrimp Goby. Remember to give them enough space to grow and develop properly as well.


Caring for Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies can be a rewarding experience for any aquatic enthusiast. These fascinating creatures require attention to detail and proper tank setup.

It’s important to maintain excellent water quality and provide sufficient hiding spots for the Goby and its shrimp partner. The symbiotic relationship between these two species is truly remarkable and worth observing firsthand.

In my personal experience, watching the teamwork between Tangaroa Shrimp Goby and its shrimp companion as they maintain their burrow is fascinating, especially since this interaction demonstrates a unique level of cooperation between two different species within the natural world.

It’s important to feed them a balanced diet of high-quality pellets, flakes, and the occasional live or frozen food. Remember, good nutrition will encourage overall health and growth for your pet.

Though Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies might not be as flashy as other aquarium inhabitants, their peculiar behavior and captivating collaboration with their shrimp pals undoubtedly deserve a place in any saltwater tank.

If you invest time and effort in providing Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies with the environment they need, you will be rewarded with an enriched, captivating aquatic display that showcases the diverse and complex partnerships found in nature.


How big of a tank does Tangaroa Shrimp Goby need?
Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies require a minimum tank size of 10 gallons. Ensure it has a sandy substrate for them to burrow.

What are their ideal water parameters?
Maintain a temperature of 72-82°F, pH of 8.1-8.4, and a salinity level around 1.020-1.025.

What should I feed my Tangaroa Shrimp Goby?
Offer a diet of brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and other meaty foods. They may also eat pellets or flakes.

I once noticed my Tangaroa Shrimp Goby appearing less colorful and less active. Turns out, I was underfeeding! I increased the feeding frequency, and they bounced back in no time.

Do Tangaroa Shrimp Gobies play well with tankmates?
Yes, they’re peaceful and can coexist with other marine species. Avoid aggressive or overly large tankmates.

Are they easy to keep for beginner aquarist?
They’re relatively hardy fish, making them suitable for beginners as long as their specific needs are met.

Remember, a healthy tank environment and proper care will help your Tangaroa Shrimp Goby thrive.

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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