Common names for the Chalk Goby include the Blue Dot Goby, Blue Dot Sleeper Goby, White Sand Sifting Goby and Chalk Sifting Goby.

These fish are bright white with electric blue spots around their cheeks. These are busy little fish that require a deep sand bed made up from fine grain sands.

They occupy the lower portion of your tank ad will spend their time sifting through your sand bed or making themselves little borrows.

Tank Requirements & Facts

Chalk Goby
Chalk Goby
  • Minimum tank size: 70 Gallon (318 Litres)
  • Prone to disease: No
  • Beginner Compatible: With Caution
  • Adult Size: 5 inches (12.7cm)
  • Reef Compatible: Yes
  • Predator Tank Compatible: No
  • Care Level: Some special requirements
  • pH: 8.1 to 8.4
  • Temperature: 22°C to 27°C
  • Preferred Tank Level: Sand bed dweller
  • Lots of hiding places required
  • Tight fitting lid, these fish have been known to jump.
  • Number to a tank: To be kept singularly in larger tanks it may be possible to house a similar fish, but you should expect some aggression towards fish of the same species or shape.

Feeding

These fish have special requirements with feeding. They spend their day sifting through the sand bed looking for live foods. They will accept some frozen foods and their diet should be supplemented with these foods. An established tank (minimum of 6 months old) would be preferred for these fish as they will make light work of even large sand beds.

  • These are carnivores
  • They sift through your sand looking for things like pods. They will eat some algae as a result of sifting, but it is not their predominant source of nutrition
  • They enjoy grazing on a population of Copepod’s so a refugium or regular introduction of Pods is recommended
  • They will accept some frozen foods

Acclimatisation

When acclimating your Chalk Goby it is best to do so in a deep bucket that the fish is unable to jump out of.

Place your fish in the bucket and then drip acclimate for about 45 minutes at a rate of 3 drips per second. This should bring the fishes water parameters in line with your tanks parameters.

Once your fish has been drip acclimated, catch the fish with a net and place it gently into your tank. Do not put any of the water the fish originally came in, into your tank.

Care should be taken after adding the fish to ensure there is a tightly fitting lid on the aquarium at all times. These fish are known to be jumpers and they are more likely to jump when first introduced to an aquarium.

Why You Should Consider A Chalk Goby

These active little fish may not have the fancy colours that some sand sifters have, but they will work hard in your tank all day long cleaning and aerating your sand bed. Unlike gobies such as Blue Cheek Gobies, they do not make a sand storm in your tank. They are much tidier sand filtering fish. There will be some fines that show up initially, but they will soon clear with some filter floss.

Chalk Goby - White with Electric Blue Dots on Cheek
Chalk Goby – White with Electric Blue Dots on Cheek

They seem to enjoy building themselves little borrows to sleep in, mine has built himself 3 different bolt holes, that he can dart in or sleep in. When he is not sand sifting around his bolt holes, he is building them up. He has built himself multiple entrances to his main sleeping hole by using the larger pieces of crushed shell that he can’t sift. It is fascinating to watch him at work.

These fish will readily accept frozen foods and live foods, meaning even if your sand bed isn’t really established enough for them to thrive, you can supplement their diet. No one wants to starve their fish!