This dwarf goby boasts brilliant coloration in males and is an active and entertaining fish for peaceful aquariums with high water flow.
The Red Lipstick Sicyopus Goby (Sicyopus rubicundus) is a very rare freshwater dwarf goby that is native to Indonesia. It is known for the yellow second dorsal fin and bright red/orange coloration that mature male specimens display on their lips and back half of the body. Females are not as colorful, but are still very active and interesting. This fascinating fish is a micropredator that is an excellent candidate for the mature aquarium. There have been some instances where they may go after dwarf shrimp or other nano ivertebrates but they are safe to keep with larger species of shrimp.
An aquarium with heavy water flow (10 to 15 times turnover per hour) and very clean, clear water is required for the Red Lipstick Sicyopus Goby, especially when it is kept in warmer water. This fish is native to shallow, clear, fast-flowing waters and it is sensitive to declines in water quality, so regular aquarium maintenance is a must.
The Red Lipstick Sicyopus Goby is a micropredator in nature. It is known to accept frozen and live meaty foods of appropriate size. This fish usually will not accept dry foods. As long as it is kept in a well-maintained, mature aquarium with high water flow, the Red Lipstick Sicyopus Goby is a hardy and entertaining fish. It will not bother aquarium plants. In fact, Anubias species are an excellent plant to keep with this goby.
Most small rasboras, tetras, hillstream loaches, and other small, peaceful fish are good tankmates for the Red Lipstick Sicyopus Goby. Due to its small size, it can be kept with most other peaceful fish and larger invertebrates that are too large to be considered prey. Peaceful bottom-dwelling fish are also a possibility in a large enough tank, but care must be taken to ensure that the Red Lipstick Sicyopus Goby is not outcompeted for food and space. The Red Lipstick Sicyopus Goby can be somewhat territorial, especially smaller tanks, so it may occasionally bully other passive, slow-moving bottom-dwellers if space is limited.
There are reported cases of the Red Lipstick Sicyopus Goby spawning in the aquarium, but it is very difficult (if not currently impossible) to raise the fry due to their complex larval stages. In nature, adults spawn and their fry hatch in freshwater, then they are immediately swept downstream to marine ocean waters where they feed and develop. As the fry mature, they swim great distances back to full freshwater streams, often on completely different islands than where they originated. At this point, the fry have become young adults and will soon be sexually mature and exhibit adult coloration.
Many gobies have the ability to climb glass and jump out of the water, so an aquarium lid is necessary to prevent escape.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful bright red/yellow coloration in dominant males
- Peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates too large to be considered prey
- Interesting social behavior when kept in colonies
- Very active with lots of personality
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 72° - 79° F (22° - 26° C)
- pH: 6.0 - 7.5
- KH: 4 - 8 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 10 gallons for a single specimen or pair, 30+ gallons for a group
- Diet: Micropredator. Requires high-quality frozen and live foods of appropriate size. Dry foods will likely be ignored.
- Social behavior: Peaceful with most other species, but multiple males may have minor squabbles. Ample territory is recommended for multiple males
- Not advised to house with dwarf shrimp as this fish may prey upon them. Larger shrimp species are typically safe with this fish.
- Origin: Indonesia
- Average adult size: 1.5 - 2 inches (3.8 - 5 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1.5 inches (3.8 cm)