Skip to content

Yellow Watchman Goby – Complete Care Guide

  • by
Watchman Goby

Yellow Watchman Facts

Yellow Watchman Gobies, also known as the Yellow Shrimp Goby, are relatively easy-to-keep and peaceful fish that are often kept in saltwater aquariums. Their vibrant yellow coloration and light speckles make them fascinating fish to keep in fish tanks. Yellow Watchman Gobies get to be about 4 inches (10.16 cm) in length when in adulthood, which is a nice medium-sized goby species. This article will go into the care required to keep a Watchman Goby.

Aquarium Requirements

The Yellow Watchman Goby spends most of its time in the sand bed or inside of its burrow. You will rarely see it come up. I only really see them leave the sand bed when chasing food or chasing fish away from their territory. Because of this, a nice deep sand bed is incredibly important for this fish. I would push to have a sand bed at least 3 inches deep. Make sure your live rock is also touching the glass or sitting on a piece of egg crate. This is recommended so that when the Watchman Goby digs, the rock does not fall on it.

This fish species is known to dart up and jump out of aquariums when startled. It is recommended to place a well-fitting lid on top of your aquarium. Somehow fish always manage to find the smallest holes to jump out of, so a good lid will help prevent that.

Water Parameters

Having water parameters within range is important to have a balanced and healthy aquatic system, as well as happy fish. The water parameter requirements for Watchman Gobies are:

  • Water Temperature: 72°-78° F
  • dKH: 8 – 12
  • pH: 8.1 – 8.4
  • Salinity: 1.020 – 1.025 sg

Consider getting a High Range pH and KH test kit to test for pH & dKH. Keeping your temperature between 72° and 78° can be accomplished with a heater. Take a look at my guide which showcases some great aquarium heaters. Lastly, I would pick up a Refractometer from Amazon to keep an eye on your salinity levels. If calibrated correctly, refractometers are much more accurate compared to a hydrometer which loses accuracy due to salt buildup on the dial.

Do Watchman Gobies sift Sand?

Watchman Gobies sift sand around their burrow. They do a great job of keeping the sand around their burrows clean through sifting. Areas out of their territory will likely not be touched.

Is the Yellow Watchman Goby Reef Safe?

The Yellow Watchman Goby is reef safe. It normally keeps to itself and should not bother coral, shrimp or crabs. However, coral laying in the sand may get shifted around or could be slightly buried by this fish.

What Do Watchman Gobies Eat?

Yellow Watchman Gobies are carnivorous by nature. In an aquarium, they are not incredibly picky eaters and will eat food such as Mysis Shrimp, Brine Shrimp, and many other meaty foods. From experience, I have also seen them eat Pellet Food such as New Life Spectrum Marine Formula but they will gladly eat most that are offered. It is recommended to observe and make sure your goby eats food that is put into the fish tank. Because it is a bottom-dwelling fish, it is often outcompeted for food.

It will also consume food while it is sifting through the sand. There are often really small copepods in the sand or algae growing which the Watchman Goby will consume.

Tank Mates

The Yellow Watchman Goby should do well with most other peaceful saltwater fish. They should do great with Clownfish, Wrasses, Dwarf Angels, Chromis, and many other species of fish. They will be fine with even larger fish like Tangs, Foxfaces, and Rabbitfish. Trouble may arise if you introduce other gobies or jawfish into the aquarium. The Watchman Goby will compete with these fish for territory which is stressful on both parties.

I would recommend adding a Pistol Shrimp into your aquarium with your Watchman Goby. The Goby and Shrimp have a symbiotic relationship and it is incredibly to observe in an aquarium.


It is possible to breed Watchman Gobies in an aquarium. However, I do not have any experience with it so cannot provide information on this topic. It is almost impossible to distinguish between males and females, but if you’re lucky, you may get a breeding pair!

Final Notes

Watchman Gobies are excellent additions to both fish-only and reef aquariums. They usually keep to themselves but are willing to defend their territory from invaders. If you are looking for a little burst of yellow, consider adding this goby to your aquarium. If not, check out more saltwater fish by following this link.

Image by Haplochromis on wikiMedia