Zebra Catalina Goby

Zebra Catalina Goby
Latin name:
(Lythrypnus zebra)

Care Level

Expert Only




Blue, Red



Preferred Conditions

sg 1.020-1.025, 68-75° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size


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Have you ever heard of the Zebra Catalina Goby? This captivating fish species, native to the Pacific coast of North America, is a true gem for aquarium enthusiasts. With its striking black and white stripes, playful personality, and relatively easy care requirements, the Zebra Catalina Goby is a popular choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists.

Zebra Catalina Goby: An Overview

The Zebra Catalina Goby, scientifically known as Lythrypnus zebra, is a small fish belonging to the family Gobiidae. These fish typically grow to a maximum length of about 3 inches and have a lifespan of around 3 to 5 years in captivity.

Zebra Catalina Gobies are known for their distinctive appearance. Their bodies are adorned with bold black and white stripes, which help them blend in with the rocky substrate of their natural habitat. They have large, expressive eyes and a small, rounded mouth. These fish are also quite active and playful, often swimming in groups and interacting with each other.

Habitat Requirements

Zebra Catalina Gobies are found in shallow waters along the Pacific coast of North America, from California to Baja California. They prefer rocky or sandy bottoms with plenty of hiding places, such as crevices and caves. In an aquarium setting, they should be provided with a tank that is at least 10 gallons in size and has a sandy or fine gravel substrate.

The water temperature should be maintained between 72°F and 78°F, and the pH level should be kept between 7.8 and 8.2. Zebra Catalina Gobies also require good water movement and oxygenation, so a power filter or air pump is essential.

Diet and Feeding

Zebra Catalina Gobies are omnivorous feeders and will readily accept a variety of foods. They enjoy live foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and daphnia, as well as frozen or freeze-dried foods. They will also eat prepared foods, such as pellets or flakes, but it is important to offer them a varied diet to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need.

Zebra Catalina Gobies should be fed small amounts several times a day. Overfeeding can lead to health problems, so it is important to be careful not to give them too much food.

Breeding Habits

Zebra Catalina Gobies are relatively easy to breed in captivity. They are egg-layers, and the female will typically lay her eggs in a cave or crevice. The male will then guard the eggs until they hatch, which usually takes about 10 to 14 days.

Once the eggs hatch, the fry will need to be fed live food, such as brine shrimp nauplii or microworms. They will grow quickly and will be ready to move to a larger tank in a few months.

FAQs About Zebra Catalina Gobies

  1. Q: Are Zebra Catalina Gobies difficult to care for?
  2. A: No, Zebra Catalina Gobies are relatively easy to care for. They are hardy fish that can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. However, they do require a tank with good water movement and oxygenation, as well as a varied diet.
  3. Q: What is the lifespan of a Zebra Catalina Goby?
  4. A: Zebra Catalina Gobies typically live for 3 to 5 years in captivity.
  5. Q: Can Zebra Catalina Gobies be kept with other fish?
  6. A: Yes, Zebra Catalina Gobies can be kept with other fish that are similar in size and temperament. However, they should not be kept with aggressive fish, as they may be bullied.


The Zebra Catalina Goby is a fascinating and beautiful fish that makes a great addition to any aquarium. With its striking appearance, playful personality, and relatively easy care requirements, this fish is sure to bring joy to any aquarist.

If you are thinking about adding a Zebra Catalina Goby to your aquarium, be sure to do your research and make sure you are prepared to provide it with the proper care. With a little effort, you can create a thriving environment for this unique and captivating fish.