Chapter 1

For the Love of Gobies...

I remember the first time I saw first day on the job at the pet store and I was put to scraping tanks.  I worked steadily, watching the fish in whatever tank I was working in, and then I came to the row of saltwater tanks.  It was the 2nd one that I worked on, though it didn't need much scraping, I spent the most time messing around in it.  Why?  It was that cute little face on that funny little creature hopping around in the tank with me.  I was in love!  White, with pink spots and lines, big bright eyes, and full of personality and curiosity.  This little guy wanted to see everything I was doing, as long as I didn't get too close.  I noticed that this was another of those strange saltwater fish, so I didn't think it too odd that it wasn't quite built like a normal fish.  I had to know what it was.  I scanned the names and prices on the side of the tank, but had no idea which one of the many names went to this little guy.  I started looking at the other fish, eliminating names that were obvious, but still not finding out what I needed to know.  I noticed one of my co-workers strolling down the next aisle, so I called him over and asked him to please point out to me what this adorable little guy was.  "Oh, that's the goby!" was the reply I got.  I scanned the names once more...there it was....The Pink Spotted Goby.  I won't mention the price I saw listed because I swore to myself long ago that I'd never pay that much for a fish!  I intend to have one of these eventually, so we won't think about that now.  <giggles>  Quickly I added up in my head what it would cost me to have one of these, and I mumbled a "Yea, right" to myself and continued with my work day.  As the day wore on, I noticed that every chance I got I was walking by that tank and peering in to see the goby.  By the day's end, he was greeting me at the front of the tank, looking at me as I looked at him.  I told him good night, and it began again the next day.  Well, it has been 7 weeks now, and I still visit my little friend daily.  Usually he will greet me at the front of the tank, hopping around so sweetly and gracefully.  So began my love affair with the goby, and my desire to learn all I could about them.   


The next day at work I was full of questions.  I asked a few of my coworkers about them, but decided it was time to do some research on my own.   My first lesson was from Adam...explaining how they have no swim bladder, therefore don't swim the way a regular fish does.  He showed me how the hoof shaped belly fin acted as a foot so that he could "hop" around the tank.  I was fascinated!  I am still doing research about them, and will be adding to this article as I learn.  The goby is a bottom feeder, so this works out well for him. 

This particular goby has a long slender body, and he's not very big...about 3 inches long at most.  I had an empty tank at home, a 35gal. hex tank, and started thinking about setting it up.  I thought about how cute this little guy would look in there.  Then I also thought about the horror stories I've heard and expense of a saltwater tank, the smaller it was the harder it was to keep and maintain.  I browsed our few aisles of saltwater fish and noticed that the goby came in all colors and sizes.  I've brought some of them with me, and will list them with a name in my Saltwater Goby Index, listed below.   As I worked my way around the fish room, getting acquainted with the tanks we have set up, I noticed the name "goby" listed on a freshwater tank, and my spirits began to rise.  Maybe there was a chance yet.  "Bumble Bee Goby" is what the name said, so I quickly scanned the contents of the tank, in desperate search of a cute faced creature that I could take home to my tank.  This is what I found...