Purple sleeper gudgeon Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 24, 2022

The purple sleeper gudgeon is a peaceful, hardy, and beautiful freshwater fish that makes a great addition to any aquarium.

This species is native to Australia, and is closely related to the barramundi. They can grow to be quite large, but are still peaceful enough to be kept with smaller fish.

Purple sleeper gudgeons are not commonly seen in the aquarium trade, but they are becoming more popular as people learn about them.

If you’re thinking about getting a purple sleeper gudgeon, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about their care.

Species overview

The purple sleeper gudgeon ( Oxyeleotris marmorata) is a type of freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia. In the wild, they can be found in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

These fish prefer slow-moving waters with a lot of vegetation. This could be anything from a swamp to a rice paddy.

The purple sleeper gudgeon is a nocturnal fish, which means that it is most active at night. During the day, they will often hide among the plants to avoid predators.

This fish is not currently very popular in the aquarium trade. However, that may change in the future as more people learn about them.


Purple sleeper gudgeon

The Purple sleeper gudgeon is a small freshwater fish that is dark purple in coloration. They have a long and thin body shape with a forked caudal fin.

The dorsal fin is short and located about two-thirds of the way back on the body. The anal fin is located towards the back as well and is roughly the same size as the dorsal fin.

The pectoral fins are small and located near the head of the fish. The ventral fins are located towards the bottom of the fish and are also small in size.

The Purple sleeper gudgeon has large eyes and a small mouth. They are a peaceful fish that is often found in schools.


The typical purple sleeper gudgeon lifespan is between 2 and 4 years. However, these fish have been known to live up to 6 years in captivity.

As with any fish, their lifespan will depend on a number of factors. The quality of the water they’re in, their diet, and the level of care they receive all play a role in how long they live.


The Purple Sleeper Gudgeon grows to an average length of around 4-5cm.


Tank Size

The purple sleeper gudgeon is a small and peaceful fish that can do well in a wide range of tank sizes. The recommended minimum tank size is 10 gallons but they will also do fine in something as small as 5 gallons.

As with most fish, they will be much happier (and healthier) in a larger tank. If you can provide a 20 gallon tank or larger it will give them plenty of room to swim and also provide some extra space in case you want to add more fish in the future.

Water Parameters

The purple sleeper goby is a freshwater fish that is native to the rivers of Southeast Asia. In the wild, they can be found in countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

In terms of water parameters, they prefer slightly alkaline water that is on the harder side. The temperature can range from 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Water Temperature: 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Levels: 7.5-8.5
  • Water Hardness: 10-20 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4-8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

You have a few options when it comes to the substrate in a purple sleeper gudgeon tank. The most popular choice is to go with a dark gravel since it can help make the colors of these fish “pop”.

Another decent option is to use a sand substrate. This can be a little nicer for the fish since they’ll spend a lot of time near the bottom of the tank. It’s also easier on their gills since there’s less of a chance for them to come in contact with sharp objects.

As for decorations, you have a few different options. These fish love to hide so anything that provides them with some shelter is a good idea. Driftwood, rocks, and caves are all great choices.

You can also add some plants to their tank if you want. Just be sure to choose something that can withstand a fair amount of abuse since these fish love to dig. Hornwort, Java Fern, and Anubias are all good options.

Common Diseases

The purple sleeper gudgeon is a very hardy and disease-resistant fish. They’re not immune to sickness, but they are much more resistant than most other freshwater fish.

The vast majority of illnesses that these fish experience are the usual freshwater culprits. Ich is the most common, but various other infections and parasites can strike too.

Be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary so you can act fast. White spots, scars, cuts, or a change in behavior are all causes for concern. Even a disease that isn’t very severe can progress into something serious if left untreated.

When you notice something it’s important to act fast. Consult your vet and begin treatment immediately. The sooner you act, the higher the chance is that your fish will recover.

Of course, the best way to keep the risk of disease low is by simply keeping the tank in great shape. Not providing clean, high-quality water conditions will significantly increase the chance of your purple sleeper gudgeon getting sick.

Behavior & Temperament

The purple sleeper gudgeon is a peaceful and social fish that does best in small groups. They are active fish that enjoy swimming and exploring their environment.

Although they are peaceful, they can be territorial with their own species. So, it’s best to keep them in groups of 3 or more. This will help reduce any aggression and make them feel more comfortable in their surroundings.

The purple sleeper gudgeon is also a very active fish. They are constantly swimming and exploring their tank. This makes them a lot of fun to watch!

Overall, the purple sleeper gudgeon is a great addition to any community tank. They are peaceful, social, and active fish that are sure to bring some excitement to your aquarium.

Tank Mates

The purple sleeper gudgeon is a peaceful and social fish. In the wild, they live in large schools and are constantly interacting with other members of their species.

This social nature transfers over to the aquarium. They’re perfectly content living in a community tank as long as there are enough of them.

The ideal group size is six or more. This will help reduce aggression and ensure that everyone gets their fair share of food.

As for specific tank mates, the options are endless. These fish get along with just about anyone.

To give you some ideas, here are a few compatible species:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Mollies
  • Endler’s Live Bearers
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Amano Shrimp


The purple sleeper gudgeon is a peaceful and relatively easy to care for species that is well suited to the home aquarium. They are a great addition to a community tank and will do well with most other peaceful fish.

This species is not sexually dimorphic, meaning that the males and females look identical. The only way to tell them apart is by looking at their genital papilla (the opening just behind the vent).

Males have a longer and narrower papilla than females. Females also have a small egg-like swelling just behind the papilla.

To breed purple sleepers, you will need to set up a breeding tank. This should be a bare-bottomed tank with plenty of hiding places. Driftwood is a good option.

The water should be soft and acidic with a temperature between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

When ready, add a group of 4-6 fish to the tank. The ratio of males to females doesn’t matter too much.

The spawning process is triggered by a change in the water conditions. This can be achieved by doing a large water change or adding peat to the tank.

Once spawning begins, the female will lay a few hundred eggs on the plants or driftwood. The male will then fertilize them.

The eggs will hatch in 3-5 days. At this point, you can remove the adults from the tank.

The fry will be very small and need to be fed infusoria or baby brine shrimp. They can be moved to a grow-out tank when they are large enough to eat regular food.


Overall, we think the Purple Sleeper Gudgeon is a great fish for beginner and experienced fishkeepers alike. They’re not too difficult to care for and make a great addition to any community tank.

Their unique coloration and peaceful nature make them a joy to own, and we think you’ll be very happy with them if you give them a chance.