Yellow Watchman Goby: Care, Breeding, Diet & Behavior

Yellow Watchman Goby Complete Guide

A Yellow Watchman Goby, also known as Yellow Prawn Gobies, are popular for their symbiotic bond with pistol shrimp. Since this shrimp species has weak eyesight, they mostly rely on the Yellow Watchman Gobies for protection.

In return for the defense, pistol shrimps provide the Yellow Watchman Gobies a home in their burrows. The shrimp digs the hole and co-lives with the Goby. This helps them both stay protected from predators.

The Yellow Watchman Gobies have a peaceful temperament and can live in various fish communities. Therefore, they make an excellent choice for beginning aquarists.

Appearance and Markings

As the name suggests, the Yellow Watchman Gobies are yellow in color, ranging from bright yellow to even orange-yellow. They have bright blue spots around their head and fins. They have a stern and solemn-looking expression on their face. These fish grow up to be three to four inches long in size.


The Yellow Watchman Gobies can live up to 5 years or a little longer, depending on their care and maintenance. It is essential to provide them with the right habitat or recreate it in your aquarium to avoid letting them get stressed. The key to their lives’ longevity is good care and maintenance.

Natural Habitat And Water Conditions

The Yellow Watchman Gobies are found in tropical regions. This is why they require temperatures ranging from 72 degrees Fahrenheit to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, they are saltwater fish and need slightly saline water with a hardness of 8 to 12 dKH and pH levels around 8.1 to 8.4, making the water alkaline.

Since the Yellow Watchman Gobies are bottom dwellers usually found near their burrows, they prefer calm water. They can only be kept as a single fish or as a mated pair which requires an aquarium of at least 30 gallons with plenty of loose rubble and a sand bottom while also providing enough space for them to swim.

Behavior and Temperament

The Yellow Watchman Gobies are pretty peaceful in nature. However, they can become aggressive and territorial when they are placed in the same space with their own species of the same gender. Therefore, it is crucial that you only introduce one goby to your tank or a mated pair.

In addition, their symbiotic relationship with the pistol shrimps or snapping shrimps allows them to hide inside burrows in the sand. They usually laze around the openings of their burrow or peek from behind rocks to stay protected. They are not very active and do not swim around much.

Their calm nature is what makes them an excellent choice for beginning aquarists. They usually settle well with other species and can even make fantastic tank mates for other species.

However, they should not be placed with other aggressive species such as triggers.

Care and Maintenance

While the Yellow Watchman Gobies are pretty peaceful and calm in nature, they become aggressive when sharing their space with the same gender of their species, as mentioned above.

When aggressive, they might jump out of the aquarium or small openings. This is why it is crucial to have a tight-fitting lid to prevent them from escaping.

Known for the symbiotic relationship with the pistol or the snapping shrimps, it is often surprising to most aquarists that you do not necessarily have to place the shrimp in your aquarium. Instead, you can introduce the gobies on their own.

However, when doing so, provide them with many hiding places such as rocks or even pieces of PVC pipes for readymade burrows that they could hide into. It is also essential to have enough rubble and sand at the bottom as they like to dig. These fish can get quite stressed if they do not have enough hiding spaces.

Yellow Watchman Goby

Diet and Feeding

The Yellow Watchman Gobies are not very picky when it comes to food. They can be fed a variety of fish food from live food to freeze-dried or even frozen. Ensure they are getting the proper nutrients and vitamins. However, they are carnivores and should therefore be fed high-protein food.

They should be fed at least 2 to 3 times a day. When kept with the symbiotic shrimps, the gobies eat the food, after which the said shrimp cleans up the crumbs. It is also essential to observe that the gobies get enough food since they are slow eaters.


Due to their sensitive nature, provide Yellow Watchman Gobies with a safe environment if you wish to breed them. The way to distinguish between their genders is that the females are often more rounded.

While breeding may seem challenging, maintain the quality of water and all the other requirements while providing the parents or the mates several narrow hiding spots. It is best to keep them separate and have no other species in the aquarium for the given time.

Once mated, the fry needs to be taken care of especially and fed small pieces of food.


The Yellow Watchman Gobies are a very calm species unless introduced to the same gender of their own kind. They have a symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimps, where they work in tandem to keep each other safe and healthy.

These gobies are beautiful to keep in aquariums owing to their magnificent color patterns. But, they are sensitive in nature which is why they require ample hiding spots. These you can provide by placing adequate sand and rubble in the bottom and placing rocks or PVC pipes.

Due to their carnivorous nature, they need a proper intake of food that is rich in protein. These fish are great for beginners who wish to start a fish community in their saltwater aquariums.