Blackray Shrimpgoby (Stonogobiops nematodes)

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Blackray Shrimpgoby
Stonogobiops nematodes
Blackray Shrimpgoby (Stonogobiops nematodes)
Name Blackray Shrimpgoby
Name Lat. Stonogobiops nematodes
Family Gobies
Family lat. Gobiidae
Order Gobies
Order lat. Gobiiformes
Origin Indo-Pacific
Habitat Sandy areas
Diet Carnivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Pair with pistol shrimp
Reef Compatible Yes
Care Level Moderate
Life Span N/A
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 6 cm
Temperature 24-28 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium ~ 200 l
US Units
Size 2.4"
Temperature 75-82 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium ~ 50 gal

Distribution and habitat

The distribution range of Stonogobiops nematodes extends from the Seychelles to Indonesia and the Philippines. They live in pairs on sandy bottoms and sandy slopes near the coast, usually at depths greater than 10 m, in symbiosis with firecrabs.


They need an aquarium with a reef structure that offers numerous hiding, resting and covering possibilities, with living stones that act like a biological filter and free sand areas with a graveable, at least 6 cm deep substrate of fine to medium coral sand

Only calcareous, heavy metal-free sands, gravels, stones or sea sand of various grain sizes may be used as substrate. Filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary to ensure water quality, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. Lighting must correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l

For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention must be paid to constantly good water quality.


In nature they feed mainly on zooplankton. The feed change usually succeeds without problems. The food supply should consist of a combination of live and frozen food, such as small mysis, artemia, bosmids and cyclops, with chopped shrimp and crab meat or a commercially available, vitamin-enriched, frozen food mix for planktivores. High-quality flake and granulated food is also often accepted after an acclimation period

It is recommended to feed small portions several times a day. Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They are territorial and monogamous, so they should only be kept in pairs and placed in the aquarium together with a firecracker pair (Alpheus randalli), with which they live in symbiosis. Keeping multiple pairs is only recommended in a much larger and richly structured tank. They can be well socialized with calm, peaceful fish.

Sex dimorphism

With some experience, the sexes can be identified by their genital papillae.

Reproduction and breeding

There are no known reports of successful breeding in the aquarium.


Firecrackers usually build living burrows under large, flat-topped rocks, which they inhabit together with the gobies. When hunting for plankton, the fish appear to hover in front of the entrance to their burrow, into which they retreat in a flash when threatened. In the evening the crayfish close the cave entrance after the goby has slipped in

As coral reef dwellers, they should not be kept in a fish-only aquarium

If different species are kept together, care should be taken to ensure that the fish match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements and social behavior, and that the setup meets the needs of all species kept together. New fish to be introduced must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: KUITER, DEBELIUS (2007): Atlas der Meeresfische: Die Fische an den Küsten der Weltmeere, Kosmos Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

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