Max Size: 5cm

Red Belted Goby (Sicyopus zosterophorus)

The Red Belted Goby is an excellent looking, active, peaceful and friendly small fish. You can have them in a community aquarium provided tankmates are chosen with care. Fish that are similar in size and temperament is ideal. However, please don't keep them with large, boisterous fish as they will be hunted or outcompeted for food.

The Red Belted Goby only appears to be slightly territorial when breeding so you can keep several together as well as other stream-dwelling gobies providing there is plenty of space and enough food source.

Gobies are capable of climbing the aquarium glass and jumping out of the water so it would be better if you kept them in a covered aquarium to prevent them from jumping out and dying.

The Red Belted Goby has a dark-black body with the back half being bright reddish-orange colour. The dorsal fin is darkish black with white edging, and they have a second dorsal fin that is a yellowish colour. The rest of the fins are transparent. The females are almost colourless.

These Gobies do appear to exhibit differences in colour pattern depending on locality.


Red belted goby
Red belted goby
Red belted goby
Quick Facts
Scientific NameSicyopus zosterophorus
Other NamesFlaming Arrow Goby, Belted Rock-climbing Goby, Ornate Goby
OriginsChina, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Palau Island, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Taiwan, Vanuatu
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespanup to 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 10
TDS36 - 215
71 - 79℉
21.7 - 26.1℃


Because the Red Belted Goby is a carnivore; it would be best if you aimed to feed your fish on a diet primarily of meaty foodstuffs such as live and/or frozen daphnia, brine shrimp, lobster eggs, cyclops, Mysis shrimp and bloodworm. Bloodworm should be used sparingly as it is hard for your fish to digest.

You can also cut up earthworms from your garden or chop up shop brought mussels, prawns, krill and fresh fish (be sure only to use fresh or frozen fish and not fish canned in oil).

You can also try your fish with dried foods formulated for predatory fish and made up of insect material such as Fluval bug bites, which can also be used to supplement the diet.

Get to know your fish and test which foods they prefere and which they ignore but always be sure not to overfeed your fish and remove excessive uneaten food whenever possible.

Tank Mates

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the Red Belted Goby could include:

Peacock Gudgeon(Tateurndina Ocellicauda)

Sexual Dimorphism

Males display long unpaired fins, and the first dorsal fin is noticeably longer. Also, the males are more colourful, with the front portion of the body being darkish grey/brown and the lower part being orange to red.

In contrast, the female's unpaired fins and first dorsal fin are not extended and are virtually colourless. However, some maturer fish may have pale orange pigmentation in the anal fins and the basal dorsal.

Other Gobies of interest

Bumblebee Goby(Brachygobius doriae)
Empire Gudgeon(Hypseleotris compressa)
Golden Malili Goby(Mugilogobius rexi)
Peacock Gudgeon(Tateurndina Ocellicauda)
Date Added: 03/11/2020 - Updated: 10/08/2022 11:14:27