Acquired: Fish / pet store
By Adeline Gale
Posted May 02, 2013
I started with a 10 gallon aquarium with only one tiny fish, but after a visit to a specialty saltwater aquarium store I had to have more fish, and thus needed more space. One of the reasons I needed a larger aquarium were these beautiful eel-like fish, the Engineer Goby or Convict Blenny.
This fish looks like an eel, but it's not, which is nice as eels can be a bit troublesome. It can grow up to 18 inches, and likes to burrow in the sand -- because of this you must be certain to make sure your reef rock or other aquascape is placed on the bottom of the aquarium before you put in the substrate, otherwise there can be some avalanches. These fish are compatiable with corals (reef), but if you place corals low in your aquarium they can end up buried by the workings of this fish.
There are minimum tank recommendations for this fish, the lowest I’ve seen as 20 gallons while others suggest 70 gallons. We went the rule of one inch of fish per five gallons and then monitored our fish to ensure they fit within these parameters.
It’s a very hardy fish, easy to take care of, but because it does like to burrow in the sand and hide around rocks, you won’t see it much unless it is feeding time. They eat twice a day and are pretty good with most meaty foods, such as frozen shrimp, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, finely chopped table shrimp, and frozen preparations for carnivores. Our two gobies would eat prepared and packaged tiny frozen cubes we just dropped in the tank.
They get along well with each other, and other fish, mostly keeping to themselves. I had seen these fish in a display aquarium at the specialty saltwater shop and they would swim together. Ours, in a much smaller tank, took to two burrows opposite each other, but would sometimes be seen together swimming around the back of the tank.
It is warned that adults can eat ornamental shrimp and small crabs. This may be true but we never experienced this. Our aquarium was decommissioned and our fish sold back to the store we bought them from when we were moving and about to have a baby. Taking care of an aquarium was just too much work, even as easy these two fish were.