The Red Neon Stiphodon Goby (Stiphodon sp.) is a rare freshwater dwarf goby native to Japan, Samoa, Cook Island, and The Philippines. Male specimens of this species exhibit a stunning neon red and orange coloration, while females possess attractive horizontal black and cream-colored stripes. These peaceful fish are algae and biofilm grazers, making them ideal for mature nano aquariums.
To ensure the well-being of the Red Neon Stiphodon Goby, it requires an aquarium with heavy water flow (10 to 15 times turnover per hour) and clean, clear water. Since they inhabit shallow, clear, and fast-flowing waters in their natural habitat, they are sensitive to water quality declines, making regular aquarium maintenance crucial.
In nature, the Red Neon Stiphodon Goby feeds on biofilm and algae. While they may accept occasional frozen meaty foods, it is essential to provide natural biofilm and algae in the aquarium for their long-term health. They may also consume high-quality dry foods rich in plant matter, but biofilm and algae should remain their primary food source. This goby is hardy and entertaining as long as it is kept in a well-maintained, mature aquarium with sufficient biofilm, algae growth, and high water flow. They are not known to bother aquarium plants, and Anubias species are particularly suitable since they promote biofilm and algae growth under moderate to high lighting.
The Red Neon Stiphodon Goby can coexist peacefully with small rasboras, tetras, hillstream loaches, and other small fish. They can also be kept with dwarf shrimp, although some fry may be consumed. In larger aquariums with lower water flow areas, dwarf shrimp make excellent tankmates. It's possible to house peaceful bottom-dwelling fish with the Red Neon Stiphodon Goby, but care should be taken to ensure they don't outcompete the goby for food. Female Red Neon Stiphodon Gobies often gather together, even with other goby species like the Blue Neon Dwarf Goby. Males display the ability to differentiate between females of different species during courtship behavior.
While there have been reports of the Red Neon Stiphodon Goby spawning in aquariums, raising the fry is extremely challenging due to their complex larval stages. In the wild, adults spawn in freshwater, and the fry are immediately carried downstream to marine ocean waters where they develop. As they mature, they swim great distances back to full freshwater streams, often on different islands from their origin. By the time they return, the fry have become young adults, soon to exhibit adult coloration and reach sexual maturity.
It's important to note that many Stiphodon gobies can climb glass, so an aquarium lid and/or rim are necessary to prevent escape. Although young adult Red Neon Stiphodon Gobies may not display their full mature coloration, their colors will be most vibrant when kept in a group.