Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community Archives > Marine Fish Forums > Seahorses & Pipefish

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12/24/2007, 10:16 PM
urbanrat84 urbanrat84 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 17
Engineer gobies and seahorses

Hi,

I'm planning on getting some engineer gobies. They are classified as a 1 on the seahorse.org tankmate list which is described as - "completely safe all the time with small to large horses, almost no exceptions". I haven't found any references to people keeping engineers with their seahorses and was wondering if there is anyone here I can talk to that does?

Megan
  #2  
Old 12/25/2007, 09:04 AM
JennyL JennyL is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 245
Hi Megan,
These creatures are called blenny and goby but I think they are more closely related to the eel .

I would not recommend keeping them with seahorses.
They can grow to 18" and will wreck havoc with the substrate, especially sand which could cause your rock to tumble. They obviously need a large tank and they are very social and prefer to be in groups.

I think a tank dedicated to them specifically would be very interesting.
__________________
Janet
  #3  
Old 12/25/2007, 09:45 AM
urbanrat84 urbanrat84 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 17
Hi Jenny, thanks for the reply. I am aware of their sand moving and rock tumbling habits and have re-scaped the tank just for them - I have provided artificial tunnels and large caverns under the live rock they can inhabit if they choose to, plenty of options for them. The rock is resting securely on the bottom of the tank and is not unstable. Before now I have had a thin layer of crushed shells just simply to cover the bottom from view for aesthetic reasons which I have removed in preparation for the engineers - I am not interested in having a deep sand bed in the display part of the tank and am putting sand in just for the gobies. I don't mind that they will stir it up - in fact I am hoping they will keep it well turned over so any detritus can get filtered out of the water and the sand won't get discoloured. I should also mention the size of the tank - 48 gallon. Currently in the way of fish I have 3 captive bred banded pipefish, 2 CB common seahorses (H. taenopterus), 4 PJ cardinals and 1 mandarin.

I have read that engineer gobies/convict blennies are only aggressive towards conspecifics and are a very peaceful community fish despite their length, though they may eat fish as small as clown gobies if kept with them. That all sounds fine for my tank but would be great to get some first hand experiences rather than just go by what I have read.
  #4  
Old 01/01/2008, 06:02 AM
urbanrat84 urbanrat84 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 17
Bump - no seahorse owners have kept them as tank mates?
__________________
Megan
  #5  
Old 01/01/2008, 09:31 AM
amutti amutti is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MA
Posts: 46
How big is your sh tank? These things get huge! I think it's a terrible idea. The lfs has a 3 year old pair some one wanted to get rid of. They eat relatively large meat . . . I'd guess the wouldn't mind eating an expensive seahorse snack.
  #6  
Old 01/01/2008, 12:35 PM
rssjsb rssjsb is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 341
Wet web media recommends that multiples of these fish (which is best for them) be kept in systems 100 gallons or larger. I've been looking into them for my 90 but have decided against it.

What kind of CB pipes do you have?
  #7  
Old 01/01/2008, 08:10 PM
urbanrat84 urbanrat84 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 17
Hi amutti - Thanks for the reply. I notice you also have seahorses - what tank mates do you have with them in you 29g? In answer to your question, my tank is 48 gallon.

"They eat relatively large meat . . . I'd guess the wouldn't mind eating an expensive seahorse snack."

What is the LFS feeding them and how 'large' are the pieces you've seen them eat? Everything I have read on the nature of engineer gobies has said they are peaceful towards other fish bar small fish such as clown gobies. The sp. of seahorse I have are H. taeniopterus which are quite large - from everything I have read I find it unlikely they would view them as food, fry perhaps yes, but I can't say that from experience which is why I am here asking questions! Can you tell me your reasons for thinking they would eat seahorses?

rssjsb - I have CB Banded Pipefish (Doryrhamphus dactyliophorus) from Seahorse Sanctuary in Perth, Australia. While I have found Wet web media very helpful on a lot of marine topics and great as a general guide, there are things that I come across which is not consistent with information from other sources - seems that way in all things marine! My reading and advice I have received from ppl who have kept engineers long term is that once they form a pair, they harass any other convicts residing in the tank to death - regardless of the size tank they are in. I think the concept of keeping them in groups comes from the fact that they school together for safety when juveniles, there will be aggression towards each other as adults unless they are a pair. As for tank size, Wittenrich, Matthew L., "The Complete Illustrated Breeder's Guide to Marine Aquarium Fishes", p 242. says:
"A single pair can be maintained in a 20-gallon aquarium. A group of adults will require at least a 40-gallon aquarium. Once compatible pairs have formed, they can be transferred to smaller aquariums."

Regarding tankmate compatibility Wet web media says:

"Engineer gobies are unusual amongst coral fishes in their total lack of antagonism toward other fishes or invertebrates. They will eat very small fishes, crustaceans and worms, but otherwise leave larger-than-mouth size organisms totally alone. Reciprocally, all but the meanest of fishes leave them be, letting “live and let live” with the Pholidichthys residing in their dug out caverns and caves... accepting of almost all food and tank mate situations...It’s only downside is its prodigious digging behaviour, and this is easily checked by careful arrangement of rock work."

Marine Center: "This species is indifferent toward other fish species... Large individuals will eat ornamental shrimps and tiny fishes."

I would really like people's first hand experience's on keeping these fish with seahorses. Or horror stories of their engineer gobies eating other fish would be good also if there are any.
__________________
Megan
  #8  
Old 01/01/2008, 09:36 PM
rssjsb rssjsb is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 341
Megan - Well, there you go. Looks like you've done more research than me on these things. Maybe I'll reconsider a couple for my 90. Also, I missed that you're in Australia - it's the only place I've heard where CB pipes are available. That's really great.

Won't clutter up your thread any further - I hope someone with first-hand experience stops by with some useful advice.
  #9  
Old 01/02/2008, 01:53 AM
urbanrat84 urbanrat84 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 17
Quote:
Won't clutter up your thread any further - I hope someone with first-hand experience stops by with some useful advice.
Not at all, thanks for the advice!! Maybe you should get some engineers first, put a few seahorses in then tell me what happens, he he!!
__________________
Megan
  #10  
Old 01/02/2008, 03:10 AM
pledosophy pledosophy is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,913
The main issue would be destruction. they topple over rocks, corals, etc. Can cause stress, and in some case injury. I wouldn't rate them as a 1, myself more like a 3 IMHO.
__________________
THE MEDIOCRE MIND IS INCAPABLE OF
UNDERSTANDING THE MAN WHO REFUSES TO BOW BLINDLY TO
CONVENTIONAL PREJUDICES AND CHOOSES INSTEAD TO EXPRESS
HIS OPINIONS COURAGEOUSLY AND HONESTLY
  #11  
Old 01/02/2008, 06:45 AM
urbanrat84 urbanrat84 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally posted by pledosophy
The main issue would be destruction. they topple over rocks, corals, etc. Can cause stress, and in some case injury. I wouldn't rate them as a 1, myself more like a 3 IMHO.
Hey pledosophy, I've read quite a few of your posts about tank companions and you have tried many different fish. Thanks for replying If the rock is stable and on the glass with the sand around it as recommended with these fish and the corals were fixed (bought the glue today, don't have any large pieces) would that solve these concerns? Any others you can think of I'd need to address? I noticed there is an 'etc' in your post...

When I repositioned the LR, I rocked it all back and forth pretty vigorously and any pieces that moved were repositioned, I'm pretty happy with it but don't want to jinx myself by saying its fool proof - if it proves not to be enough I will glue it together.

I was curious as to why they are rated a 1 and yet I can't find anyone who's kept them with seahorses! Sounded ideal! It was the tank mate list that gave me the idea of keeping them and the more I found out about them the more interested I became in keeping them. As their sand shifting behaviour is at night, I can't see it bothering the seahorses - 'Mr Ed' and his female sleep higher up on their hitches and are not easily disturbed - they are the last to wake up in the morning when lights come on. I give them half an hour to get moving before breakfast.
__________________
Megan
  #12  
Old 01/02/2008, 07:33 AM
Paul B Paul B is offline
30 year and over club
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 5,657
I have kept them with seahorses for years with no problems. I have one engineer gobi in my reef now but no seahorses. I also have mamy tiny gobies and bleenies. I think they scare the engineer more than he scares them. The engineer is afraid of just about everything. I have had many of them for many years and I never had one get more than about 6". Maybe they sell a different type in Australia.
They are very easy to keep and will eat anything including flakes but I prefer to feed mine pellets which I drop near his den.
They are active at night and do not really come out fully in the day. A couple of pellets near his lair at night may be needed in a tank of seahorses if you only feed them some live swimming food. The gobi may not come out in the day to be fed. In a tank full of fish they will fine enough to eat on their own.
Paul
  #13  
Old 01/02/2008, 07:48 AM
urbanrat84 urbanrat84 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Paul B
I have kept them with seahorses for years with no problems... I have had many of them for many years and I never had one get more than about 6". Maybe they sell a different type in Australia.[Paul
Thanks so much Paul, just the kind of info I was hoping for! We don't have convict blennies commonly for sale in Australia, the fish I am interested in buying are imports from America. I believe we do have a similar red variety though I have only ever seen one for sale and it was difficult to get a look at - I only saw the tip of its tail.

Cheers and may I just say I'm so impressed by how long you have had your tank, I can only hope mine is as long lived!
__________________
Megan
  #14  
Old 01/02/2008, 08:57 AM
Paul B Paul B is offline
30 year and over club
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 5,657
Megan they are black and white here and usually are the cheapest fish for sale except for blue devils. They are about $7.00
And thanks for the comments on my tank.
I started it a month after I left Australia, I was on R&R from Viet Nam.
I stayed in Kings Cross in Sydney and it was the first time I dove. I hear Kings Cross is kind of seedy now.
  #15  
Old 01/02/2008, 01:35 PM
nauticac4 nauticac4 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Greenville, NC
Posts: 284
I havent kept any seahorses but as far as destruction...My engineer has been a model citizen, doesnt bother anyone, he kicks up the sand from time to time and has burrows throught the 120 he is in, with the rock against the bottom of the tank he has yet to topple anything over. I have seen him pick up small pieces of rubble and shells and clear them from his burrow but thats about it. I'd vote a 1 and go for it let us know how it turns out.
__________________
I'll think of something intelligent to put here eventually
  #16  
Old 01/02/2008, 02:29 PM
pledosophy pledosophy is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,913
Quote:
Originally posted by urbanrat84
Hey pledosophy, I've read quite a few of your posts about tank companions and you have tried many different fish. Thanks for replying If the rock is stable and on the glass with the sand around it as recommended with these fish and the corals were fixed (bought the glue today, don't have any large pieces) would that solve these concerns? Any others you can think of I'd need to address? I noticed there is an 'etc' in your post...

When I repositioned the LR, I rocked it all back and forth pretty vigorously and any pieces that moved were repositioned, I'm pretty happy with it but don't want to jinx myself by saying its fool proof - if it proves not to be enough I will glue it together.

I was curious as to why they are rated a 1 and yet I can't find anyone who's kept them with seahorses! Sounded ideal! It was the tank mate list that gave me the idea of keeping them and the more I found out about them the more interested I became in keeping them. As their sand shifting behaviour is at night, I can't see it bothering the seahorses - 'Mr Ed' and his female sleep higher up on their hitches and are not easily disturbed - they are the last to wake up in the morning when lights come on. I give them half an hour to get moving before breakfast.
I think your plans sound great. Might still have some toppled over corals once and a bit though, same things happen from some snails though too.

Glad you like the tankmate guide so much. Hopefully the new one which will be up very soon will be as inspiring.
__________________
THE MEDIOCRE MIND IS INCAPABLE OF
UNDERSTANDING THE MAN WHO REFUSES TO BOW BLINDLY TO
CONVENTIONAL PREJUDICES AND CHOOSES INSTEAD TO EXPRESS
HIS OPINIONS COURAGEOUSLY AND HONESTLY
  #17  
Old 01/02/2008, 06:16 PM
urbanrat84 urbanrat84 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 17
Thanks for all your help everyone. I'll let you know how it goes!

Paul B - yes, Kings Cross has a rep for being a red light district. You wouldn't know it driving around during the day.

nauticac4 - thank you for the encouragement, I have a feeling engineers are going to become my favourite fish!

Pledosophy - a new tankmate guide would be great! I'll be getting a new camera soon, then hopefully I can post pics of my tank for everyone to see. Engineer gobies and all!
__________________
Megan
  #18  
Old 01/02/2008, 11:33 PM
amutti amutti is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MA
Posts: 46
Hi urbanrat84,

I have southern erectus. They are housed with many coral, 4 peppermint shrimp, 2 porcelain crabs, a dwarf sea hare and 3 Catalina gobies. The tank temp is between 69-72F.

The lfs is feeding the pair of gobies raw fortified shrimp -- shrimp cocktail size. These two gobies are about 18-20" long? I don't know how old. They are a breeding pair.

Sorry for sounding so alarmist. These gobies just seem too big, clumsy, and ugly (as adults) for a seahorse tank.

Good luck with these.
  #19  
Old 01/05/2008, 09:51 PM
larrynews larrynews is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: beavercreek ohio
Posts: 6
I have an engineer gobie in my 90 reef and he will eat anything he can et in his mouth bought 3 dart fish they were gone in 3 days one a day , that is the first time i have ever noticed him eating my fish, have never put one in a sh tank though. he is at least 12 inches if not bigger got him 3 years ago he was 1 or 2 inches
  #20  
Old 01/07/2008, 01:26 AM
finsurgeon finsurgeon is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 105
My engineer was 11" when I got him 2.5 years ago. He digs a lot, and even though my rocks are on the glass, he's buried s few corals I had set out on the sand away from the rocks. He's about 13" long now, and has kept the pathway under all my rocks from one end to the other clear of sand. I've never caught him eating anything alive, but I don't have seahorses - but I do have pipefish including 2 small bluestripes. He'll take krill from my hand and frequently investigates when I'm working in the tank, but he never comes out to swim around, even at night. He seems to prefer the half-in half-out of his burrow, advancing even all the way out to grab food before backing back inside. I've enjoyed watching him, but the whole burying thing has been a bit of a pain.
  #21  
Old 01/07/2008, 06:18 AM
urbanrat84 urbanrat84 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 17
Thank you everyone for your input. I'm picking up my engineer's from the airport tomorrow!! Very excited, will let you know how it goes.
__________________
Megan
  #22  
Old 01/07/2008, 11:40 AM
JennyL JennyL is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 245
Megan,

I must say you are really flirting with disaster here and not being fair to the fish already in your care.

You have a small 48G tank which because of water displacement holds less than that and you already have 10 fish plus other animals in this tank.
Now you are adding a species that obviously needs a much larger tank.

I really hope you will reconsider what you are doing. After all, it's their home and they depend on us to provide the best care possible.
__________________
Janet
  #23  
Old 01/08/2008, 06:24 PM
aquasena1 aquasena1 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Edmond. OK
Posts: 157
Quote:
Originally posted by urbanrat84
Bump - no seahorse owners have kept them as tank mates?
I bought 2 [2 inch long] for my 95 gal seahorse/ reef tank without knowing anything about them. Once they grew to 8 inch long eels and competed to see which could move the most sand, I evicted them. They now live in our 215 fish only tank and continue to practice "enginering" the landscape. At 12 and 14 inches they are truly monsters!!

They never bothered the seahorses, tho.
__________________
Barb
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef Central™ Reef Central, LLC. Copyright ©1999-2009