Now that you are interested in purchasing bumble bee fish or goby, getting informed about them in advance would be helpful.
Before getting some, it must be perfect to learn further about their breeding, diets, requirements, as well as other things related to them.
Naturally, you can find these fish in Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Streams and rivers are the most commonplace to discover this species in nature. They tend to love a location with a lot of hiding spots and typically require brackish water to thrive.
Outside their natural habitat, bumble bee fish can now be seen in nearly any aquarium since these adorable little critters have become many people’s favorite.
However, it does not mean that they can easily survive in a random tank in your home. There are several aspects to take into account if you plan to get these fish for yourself. Keep reading to find out more!
Also known as Brachygobius xanthozona, bumblebee goby is a tiny aquarium species that has excellent behaviors.
When you get them on the market, their size can be around 0.4 inches. Then, once they become an adult, bumble bee fish may reach up to 1.57 inches.
As the name suggests, the appearance of these fish is similar to bee with its black and yellow stripes. Male and female species have a slightly different look.
The precise hue of the yellow stripes may vary from one fish to another. Some of them can acquire pale yellowish patterns while others have an orange shade.
Male bumble bee fish are typically brighter and more vibrant than the female ones.
When it comes to shape, these fish acquire that iconic ‘goby’ form. Bumblebee fish own tiny heads and somewhat slender bodies.
Not only more vibrant and brighter, but male species of these fish also tend to have slimmer bodies than females. However, both of them acquire identical bulbous eyes and a round head.
Most bumble bee fish will have transparent fins. Nevertheless, some of them may get a little black in these parts. Typically, the appearance is due to an annex of the corresponding stripes.
While these fish tend to be a bit shy in the beginning, they will show their great attitude later on. Male species are often territorial and will take their area in an aquarium right away.
Moreover, male species may also demonstrate a little aggressiveness when it comes to territory. However, this condition rarely causes serious problems.
Equipment and Care Needed
Since bumblebee gobies tend to easily outcompeted for snacks by more assertive species, they are not recommended to put in a community fish tank.
If you want to keep these fish healthy and happy, make sure never to make the aquarium overcrowded. Some found that placing bumble bee gobies in bigger tanks may help them live a bit longer too.
It is something to consider if you are planning to maximize their lifespan. For your information, the average life expectancy of bumble bee fish is approximately three years under normal circumstances.
However, some aquarists can make their fish live around four years or much longer. In addition to a more spacious tank, providing bumblebee gobies with consistent high-quality care is the key.
Furthermore, even though these species are frequently traded as freshwater fish, they will thrive better when live in a brackish aquarium. You can prepare a fish tank with water that acquires a low salt level (between 1.0002 and 1.006 grade of salinity).
However, if you are not confident to set up the fish tank, consider browsing for a tutorial to create a brackish aquarium. For general specifications and guides, refer to the following information.
For bumble bee fish, a huge tank is often unnecessary. If you plan to have a decent-sized group, simply prepare at least a 10-gallon aquarium that has a spacious floor. Then, try to make the environment to mimic their natural habitat.
Start with adding sandy substrates to allow them to move freely and dig on it sometimes. However, do not opt for chunky and thick ones like gravel since this item may increase the risk of injury in your tank.
You can also decorate the tank a lot since bumble bee fish may sometimes be very timid and need somewhere to hide.
Try to add plenty of plant species, rocks, and some shrimp tubes for them. Tank accessories like coconut hides will be appreciated too. For the living decorations, pick ones that can manage in brackish water.
When it comes to plants, you may get surprised to discover if a few of them can tolerate a little bit of salt pretty well. For instance, there are Anubias barteri, Taxiphyllum barbieri or Java moss, Seaside brookweed, and Anacharis.
Besides, make sure to keep the aquarium fully cycled. You can put water filtration too, but try to keep it a little weak because bumble bee fish naturally live in calm water. Thus, they may not react properly to a very burly flow.
Consider adding a standard sponge filter that is hung outside or inside the aquarium. On the other hand, try to avoid something like air bladders or strong water pumps.
Besides, it is important to keep the temperature in your aquarium between 72 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the resistance of the water should be around 143-357ppm.
Then, the level of pH in your fish tank should not be less or more than 6.5 to 7.5. For the KH, it should be somewhere between six and 20.
Possible Diseases of Bumble Bee Fish
Bumble bee fish can be prone to several diseases. However, most of the issues have something to do with how the owners manage these cute critters.
Generally, health problems in these fish are caused by poor water conditions and stress. This species tends to suffer from Ichthyophthirius multifiliis or ICH and other stress-related diseases if the sanity levels are not adjusted well.
Since bumble bee fish naturally resides in brackish water that has some salt, moving them to a completely freshwater aquarium may get them in shock. As a result, the above diseases may affect the fish.
For this reason, you should make sure to keep the aquarium conditions at the most favorable levels for bumble bee fish. Ask your supplier in advance and mimic their previous water conditions precisely.
Even though freshwater bumblebee gobies do exist, they are hard to find. You have to purchase them from a reliable breeder so that there is no need to deal with brackish water.
Then, be sure that the purchased fish have lived in freshwater from their early life before you commit.
Once you have brought your fish in their new environment, either brackish or not, make sure to monitor the water continuously. Consider employing a good test kit for the better.
Besides, you also need to replace the water of your bumble bee fish regularly. Keep in mind to test the levels of salinity if the stream is not bought from a specialty freshwater breeder.
The rule of thumb is to put no more than a teaspoon of salt per gallon to obtain the desired salinity levels. However, since exact measurements will work best, simply test the water regularly.
In case one of your bumble fish is eventually affected by ICH, quarantine it immediately since this disease is highly contagious and may wipe out the entire aquarium.
During the quarantine, you can take advantage of over-the-counter copper-based medicines to help the affected fish.
Bumble Bee Fish’ Eating Habit
Unbelievably, feeding bumble bee fish is the most difficult part of having them in your tank. This activity is a little tricky even for an expert.
Since these fish are opportunistic-style feeders, they tend to love anything that is floating around or swimming by. Therefore, you should avoid giving them foods like flakes since such snacks tend to float on the water surface.
Considering this characteristic, giving them living and frozen foods are the best option. You can try providing your little bumblebee gobies with blood and tubifex worms.
If you want to try frozen foods, make sure there is a bit current in the tank to keep the snacks moving around.
Moreover, you can also give hatched brine shrimp to these fish. The same current will be required for the frozen varieties.
Simply remember that bumble bee fish will only eat something when it is shifting or they are going to just ignore the snacks.
Similar to feeding, breeding these fish is complicated. However, it is not impossible when you do the process under the right conditions.
For your information, bumblebee gobies generally lay eggs in shells, flowerpots, or tiny ceramic tubes. Then, how do you know if these fish are ready to mate?
Once they are ready to mate, female species will seem more swollen while the male gobies may acquire a lighter coloration during this period.
You can help the breeding process by adding fresh water into the tank. Female bumble bee fish are capable to lay around 100 to 200 eggs at one time.
If you are interested in triggering the breeding process further, simply provide these fish with rich-protein food in a higher amount. Then, add an overturned dome or some soft ceramic tubes to the aquarium to keep the eggs safe.
After that, the female gobies will leave the eggs so that the male species can protect them.
At this stage, you had better move the eggs to a new tank to increase their survival rate. Otherwise, consider moving the adult fish instead to another aquarium. Whichever choice you take, leave the male bumble bee fish behind.
While the male species may guard the eggs at first, they will eat the fry afterward. Thus, you need to separate them no more than a week.
Then, the incubation period may last from seven to nine days. After the fry can swim freely, you can feed them infusorians cultures. Once they are big enough, invest in baby brine shrimp.
Companions for Gobies
Is it possible to put bumblebee goby with betta in the same aquarium? As mentioned somewhere above, these fish typically do not do well in a community tank.
You can keep bumble bee fish in a single species tank. Since they enjoy living in a crowd, consider keeping them in a group of six to seven.
Bumblebee gobies are not such destructive types and it allows you to keep them with additional species. Putting them together with non-bottom dwelling varieties is the best bet.
However, you should never put these fish into an aquarium with bigger species since they may eat the tiny bumblebee gobies.
Then, how is about guppy or millionfish? Is it possible to put bumblebee goby with guppies? Even though these fish are also smaller species, this idea will not be good.
Since bumblebee gobies should live in brackish water, keeping them with other species in a fresh tank will be difficult.
Rather than other guppies or bettas, putting bumblebee goby with shrimp will be a better choice. You can add some large ones to make sure the fish do not count them as snacks.
For instance, you can opt for species like cherry shrimp.
Behaviors of Bumble Bee Goby
The behaviors of bumble bee fish are usually what makes many aquarists fall in love with this species.
While they can be a little shy at first, these fish will rapidly come out of their hiding spot and swim in open water, especially when their necessities are met.
Another interesting point about bumblebee gobies is their social interaction. You can enjoy watching these cute fish playing around the aquarium.
Despite their small size, bumble bee fish have a playful and curious personality that can make them fun to see.
Since the male varieties tend to establish their area in the aquarium, it can result in occasional territorial squabbles.
Bumblebee gobies tend to enjoy socializing with their kind in the beginning. These fish will group up for a while and swim around together until they are ready to go separately.
After each fish claims a small part of the aquarium and guard it fiercely, they may fight a bit if another bumble bee fish enters the territory.
In this case, you may see these fish chasing and bothering each other. However, there is no need to worry since this behavior rarely causes serious injuries.
Purchasing Bumble Bee Fishes
You need to have realistic expectations before buying these fish. Remember that bumblebee gobies are hard to care for.
If you want to have a low-maintenance and easygoing type of fish, consider looking for other cute species out there.
On the other hand, if you are tolerable with proper care and do not mind to spend more time in keeping your aquarium, bumble bee fish will be a perfect option.
Otherwise, do not worry since you can still try to have these cute bumblebee gobies. Besides, some people find it more rewarding to have a fish that requires extra attention.
If you are not sure whether to buy bumblebee gobies or not, there are several reasons to take into account.
First, bumble bee fish are peaceful. Different from other species that often cannot get along with one and another; they are calm.
Second, these fish make a beautiful addition to your tank thanks to their amazing coloring. Thanks to their combination of gold and black colors that follow from head to tail, bumblebee gobies are just uniquely attractive.
Next, bumblebee fish are fascinating to watch. Despite their peaceful character, these fish are very fun to observe since they are very active.
When compared to other species, these fish are full of personality. Anyone seeking for a fascinating nano fish must consider bumblebee gobies as well.
Another good reason to purchase bumblebee gobies is because of their compatibility with other invertebrates.
Buying bumble bee gobies is pretty tricky, especially if you don’t know about this species that much. In a store, they tend to be mistaken because of their similar appearance to brachygobius fish.
Since most fish stores will sell other varieties as well like Brachygobius nunus in addition to bumble bee fish, make sure to be aware of their differences.
Their broken black spots and stripes can distinguish B. nunus. Most of these varieties will require brackish water to survive. However, if you want the freshwater species, choose the B. xanthozona.
Thus, if you are not confident in distinguishing bumblebee gobies with others, purchase them from someone who will not lie. As a result, they will only give the right species.
In conclusion, bumblebee gobies are not very simple to look after, but they do not need intense effort as well.
If you are interested in having these fish in your aquarium, just make sure to build a good environment that meets their requirement and everything should work out perfectly.
To this end, they can bring a colorful look in the aquarium and offer a playful character that is fun to watch. Now, you have been well informed about bumble bee fish and can easily decide whether to get some for your tank or not.