Rainford Goby: The Court Jester of the Ocean World

By Hannah Henegarrainfordgoby2-1

Rainford Goby (Court Jester)

Rainford goby (also known as the Court Jester Goby) is a species of goby native to tropical reefs of the western Pacific Ocean. The goby lives at depths of from 2 to 30 metres (6.6 to 98.4 ft). This species can reach a length of 8.5 centimetres (3.3 in). It can also be found in the aquarium trade.

The Court Jester Goby, also referred to as the Rainford’s Goby, was first discovered in the Western Pacific in 1940 by Whitely and gets its name from its brightly colored body. The body is green and blue with horizontal orange stripes running the entire length of the body. The Court Jester Goby is very timid and peaceful and is a great addition to the reef or fish only aquarium. Rainford’s Goby is extremely popular for “nano” aquariums due to its vivid coloration as well as its very small size and environmental impact.This species tends to stay near the bottom of the aquarium constantly sifting around for copepods and nibbling on filamentous algae.

It should be kept in a 10 gallon or larger aquarium that is well-established and has live rock and sand on which the fish can graze. It is best to keep only one of this species in an aquarium, unless the tank is large with an abundance of hiding places. The species spends a lot of time sifting around on the bottom and among the rocks in search of food. Rainford’s Gobies have a very small impact upon their environment which is helpful in regards to the biological load of the system and provides additional tolerance for other fish or coral species to be added to a reef aquarium. They are a very peaceful species and should be kept with peaceful tankmates of a similar size as they can be picked on by larger, slightly more aggressive fish. It is rarely aggressive towards other species. Also, it is possible for the Court Jester Goby to spawn successfully in an aquarium.


Rainford’s Goby is an omnivore and in addition to eating filamentous algae, it can be found sifting around in the sand for copepods and other planktonic snacks within their natural environment. A supply of live copepods would be ideal in the aquarium, but other meaty foods such as live, frozen, freeze-dried, and vitamin enriched brine shrimp, and finely chopped mysis shrimp; Spirulina-based omnivore pellets and flake foods should also be used. This species likes to graze and should be fed 2 to 3 times per day. Rainford Gobies are not really algae eaters; they need a good deal of interstitial fauna, such as worms, crustaceans, etc. that reside in the algae and substrate.

Hector Goby

Hector’s Goby, also known as Hector’s Hover Goby, has a bluish-black body with bright yellow horizontal stripes and an eyespot on the dorsal fin. They can grow up to 4.75 inches. They are reef compatible. The Hector Goby

A 10 gallon or larger aquarium with plenty of hiding places is suitable for this fish. It can be included in a reef aquarium and the fish will sift the sand as well as graze on hair algae. The tank conditions should range from 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4. The light requirement is medium due to them being bottom swimmers. It is non-aggressive towards other fish and will not bother invertebrates in the tank. This makes the care level easy for gobies.


Hector’s Goby is easy to feed and its diet consists of most marine foods. It consumes large amounts of algae, worms, and prepared foods such as vitamin enriched mysis shrimp and brine shrimp.Hector’s Goby is easy to feed and its diet consists of most marine foods. It consumes large amounts of algae, live black worms, live brine shrimp, and frozen preparations for carnivores.

Like other gobies, they are generally compatible with: Dwarf Angelfish, Anthias, Basslets, Batfish, Blennies, Boxfish, Butterflyfish, Cardinalfish, Clown fish, Damselfish, Filefish, Hawkfish, Pseudochromis, Puffers and Tangs & Surgeons.