Maximum size : 5 cm

Golden Malili Goby - Mugilogobius rexi : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


Golden Malili Gobies (Mugilogobius rexi) are exquisite, serene, and resilient fish, making them an excellent choice for aquarium enthusiasts. These captivating gobies are ideally kept as a harmonious male and female pair. However, should you desire multiple pairs within the same aquarium, providing ample visual barriers amidst the decor is crucial, as is ensuring the aquarium offers sufficient space to prevent territorial conflicts between males. The Golden Malili Gobies boast slender yellow bodies and gracefully rounded fins, with the males showcasing a vibrant array of colours and intricate patterns that surpass those of their female counterparts.

Whether you opt for a species-only aquarium or a community setup, selecting peaceful species of comparable size and temperament with similar water requirements is vital. Suitable tankmates may include Peaceful Dwarf Barbs, Tetras, Ricefish, and Dwarf Rainbowfish. It is advisable to refrain from introducing significantly larger or more aggressive species to maintain a harmonious and stress-free environment.

Observing these gobies in a diagonal position above the substrate is not uncommon, adding to their intriguing behaviour. Creating an optimal habitat for Golden Malili Gobies necessitates a well-established aquarium with efficient filtration, ensuring water quality remains pristine. While maintaining a gentle water movement, a substrate of soft sand or fine, smooth gravel is preferred. Providing an assortment of resting places, including driftwood, slate, rocks, and small pebbles, will enrich their habitat. Dense plantings strategically placed within the aquarium will offer the gobies shelter and a sense of security.

Regular and frequent water changes are highly recommended to promote the aquarium's overall health and vitality, effectively minimizing nitrate levels and fostering a thriving aquatic ecosystem.

Golden Malili Goby Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Golden Malili Gobies is a relatively straightforward task. However, mature males exhibit distinct characteristics that differentiate them from females. Their vibrant yellow colouration is notably brighter than that of females, accompanied by larger fins that enhance their visual appeal. Additionally, males display a distinctive pattern of dark bands adorning their fins, further contributing to their striking appearance.

In contrast, females possess a paler yellow hue, creating a noticeable difference from the more vibrant colouration exhibited by their male counterparts. In addition, the fins of females are translucent in nature, lacking the intricate patterning observed in males. By recognizing these key visual distinctions, aquarists can discern the gender of Golden Malili Gobies with ease.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameMugilogobius rexi
Year Described2001
Other NamesLemon Goby
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
ReproductionEgg Depositor
LifespanUp to 3 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 7.0 - 8.0
GH 2 - 8
TDS 50 - 100
Ideal Temperature
77 - 82
25 - 27

Natural Habitat

Golden Malili Gobies are indigenous to the captivating aquatic landscapes of Southeast Asia, specifically Lake Towuti and Lake Mahalona in Sulawesi, Indonesia. These exquisite gobies thrive in the tranquil embrace of moderately flowing and shallow warm waters characterized by a silty substrate. The natural habitats of Golden Malili Gobies boast an abundance of flourishing aquatic vegetation, including the enchanting presence of freshwater mangroves.

Lake Towuti and Lake Mahalona provide a pristine environment for these gobies, offering the ideal combination of water conditions and habitat features that support their well-being. The moderately flowing waters contribute to the dynamic nature of their aquatic homes, while the shallow depths create a serene and inviting sanctuary for these remarkable fish. In addition, the silty substrate found in their habitats contributes to the overall ecosystem, providing a suitable foundation for their unique behaviours and interactions.

Embracing the beauty of aquatic plant life, the habitats of Golden Malili Gobies are adorned with thick clumps of aquatic vegetation. The presence of freshwater mangroves adds an exquisite touch to these vibrant ecosystems, fostering an intricate balance of life and creating a captivating backdrop for these beautiful Gobies.


Breeding Golden Malili Gobies in a home aquarium has been reported, although successfully raising their fry presents notable challenges. As of now, there are no documented instances of the successful rearing of these goby offspring. When spawning, these gobies deposit their eggs in round clutches on decor with vertical surfaces within the breeding tank.

Should you still choose to embark on the endeavour of raising the fry, it is recommended to carefully siphon the hatched larvae out of the breeding tank and transfer them to a separate rearing tank. The rearing tank should not exceed a volume of 12 litres to ensure optimal conditions for the fry's development. Furthermore, to support their nutritional needs, providing the fry with infusoria or powdered fry food is advisable, facilitating their growth and vitality.

Regular small water changes are crucial to maintaining a healthy environment for the fry. This practice helps prevent the accumulation of waste within the tank, mitigating the risk of elevated water pollution that could prove detrimental to the fry's well-being. By diligently managing water quality, you contribute to their overall success and increase their chances of thriving.

Diet & feeding

Golden Malili Gobies are known for their adaptable feeding habits, displaying a versatile palate when it comes to food selection. While they are not excessively selective eaters, these gobies do exhibit a preference for meaty foods. Therefore, to ensure optimal nutrition and health, it is recommended to provide a diverse diet to meet their dietary needs.

A well-rounded diet for Golden Malili Gobies should include high-quality dried foods, such as flakes, granules, sinking pellets, and algae wafers. These provide essential nutrients and serve as a foundation for their nutritional intake. However, to further enhance their diet, it is advisable to incorporate regular feedings of live or frozen foods. In addition, offerings such as daphnia, cyclops, mosquito larvae, and vitamin-enriched brine shrimp can provide valuable protein and nutrients that promote the well-being of these gobies.

Other Gobies of interest