Marbled goby Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 25, 2022

The marbled goby is a beautiful freshwater fish that is perfect for beginner fishkeepers. They are easy to care for and make a great addition to any aquarium.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about marbled goby care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

Marbled gobies (Sebastes marmoratus) are a type of rockfish that is found in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. Their habitats range from the Gulf of Alaska all the way down to California.

They are most commonly found in areas with a lot of kelp and other types of seaweed. They use these plants as both a place to hide and a source of food.

Marbled gobies are a popular choice for aquariums because they are relatively hardy and can adapt to a wide range of conditions. They are also known for being very peaceful, which makes them a good choice for tanks with other fish.


Marbled goby

The marbled goby is a unique looking freshwater fish that is sure to stand out in any aquarium.

The body of the marbled goby is long, thin, and eel-like with a unique marbled pattern that is black, white, and gray. This pattern is made up of large patches that are separated by thin lines.

The fins on the marbled goby are also unique. The dorsal fin is tall and starts about halfway back on the body. The anal fin is also tall and starts closer to the tail. Both of these fins have a ragged edge.

The caudal fin is forked and the pectoral fins are large and fan-like.

The marbled goby also has two pairs of barbels on their face that they use to help them find food.


Marbled gobies in captivity have an average lifespan of about 2 to 5 years. As with most fish, there are a number of factors that impact their life expectancy.

The level of care they receive is obviously a big one. If they’re in a well-maintained tank with good water quality, they’ll likely live on the higher end of that range.

The diet they’re given is also important. A varied diet of high-quality food will help them stay healthy and live longer.


Marbled gobies only grow to a maximum length of about 2 inches.


Tank Size

The minimum tank size for a marbled goby is 30 gallons.

This is a small but active fish that spends most of its time near the bottom of the tank. They are peaceful but can be territorial so it’s best to keep them in a group of 3 or more.

If you’re keeping a group of marbled gobies we recommend a tank size of at least 50 gallons.

Water Parameters

Marbled gobies are found in brackish and saltwater habitats. They’re not a typical freshwater fish, but they can be kept in a freshwater aquarium if their water parameters are closely monitored.

The most important thing to remember when keeping marbled gobies is to maintain a stable environment. These fish are very sensitive to changes in their water conditions. Sudden changes can cause stress, leading to health problems and even death.

To help prevent these issues, it’s important to test the water frequently and make small, gradual changes if needed.

Here are a few key water parameters to keep in mind when caring for marbled gobies.

  • Water temperature: 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH levels: 8.0 to 8.4
  • Water hardness: 8 to 12 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 2-12 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

Marbled gobies are an interesting species of fish that come from brackish waters. This means that they can live in either freshwater or saltwater habitats (although they prefer brackish).

When it comes to setting up the inside of their tank you have a few different options. You can go with a traditional gravel substrate, or you can use something like sand.

If you want to use sand we recommend getting a type that’s specifically for freshwater aquariums. This will help to keep the pH levels in check and prevent any problems.

These fish also like to have a lot of places to hide. This can be in the form of plants, rocks, driftwood, or caves.

We recommend using a mix of all of these things to create a more naturalistic environment. Just make sure that whatever you use is safe for freshwater fish and won’t alter the pH levels of the water.

Common Diseases

The marbled goby is a hardy fish that is resistant to most diseases. However, there are a few that you should be aware of.

The most common disease that these fish experience is ich. This is a parasite that can cause a lot of problems if it’s not dealt with quickly.

The most obvious symptom of ich is the presence of white spots on the body of your fish. If you notice this, it’s important to take action immediately.

There are a number of other diseases that can affect the marbled goby, but they’re not as common. Some of the other potential illnesses include hole-in-the-head disease, Velvet disease, and bacterial infections.

As with any other fish, the best way to keep your marbled goby healthy is to maintain a clean and stable environment. This will help to prevent the spread of disease and will also make your fish less susceptible to illness.

Behavior & Temperament

Marbled gobies are excellent jumpers, so it’s important to have a tight-fitting lid on your aquarium. Other than that, they’re relatively low-maintenance fish that are fun to watch.

These gobies are active fish that enjoy swimming around and exploring their environment. They’re not shy, so you’ll often see them out in the open. Marbled gobies are also known to be good jumpers, so a tight-fitting lid is a must.

When it comes to temperament, marbled gobies are peaceful fish that get along with most tank mates. The only exception is if you keep them with fish that are much larger than they are. Otherwise, they pose no threat to other fish and can even be kept with smaller fish.

Tank Mates

Marbled gobies are a great addition to any community tank. They’re peaceful, easy to care for, and don’t get too big.

As long as you have a tank that’s at least 20 gallons, you can add this species.

In terms of finding compatible tank mates, the options are endless. Marbled gobies can live with just about any peaceful community fish.

Some good choices include:

  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Tetras
  • Swordtails
  • Danios
  • Corydoras Catfish


Breeding marbled gobies is a bit more difficult than some of the other species on this list. The process starts with sexing the fish. Males and females don’t look too different, but males usually have brighter colors.

Once you’ve identified the sexes, you need to set up a breeding tank. It should hold at least 20 gallons of water. The water should be on the soft side with a pH of around 7.0.

You can use live plants as decoration, but make sure they’re well-anchored. Gobies like to burrow and may uproot them otherwise.

When the tank is set up, add one male and two females. The male will stake out a territory and the females will choose a spot to lay their eggs.

After the eggs are laid, the male will guard them until they hatch. He will also clean the area around the eggs to make sure they have enough oxygen.

Once the fry have hatched, you can remove the adults. The fry will eat microscopic organisms in the water. You can supplement their diet with baby brine shrimp.


The Marbled Goby is a great beginner fish because they’re so easy to take care of.

They’re also a lot of fun to watch because they’re always on the move and exploring their tank.

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance fish that will still provide you with some enjoyment, the Marbled Goby is a great choice!