After we placed the escaped Sharknose Goby back into the display tank, he became harassed constantly by our second Sharknose Goby. He was being chased and pushed around (I don’t think they have teeth to bit each other with) and never got very much food. He is smaller than the other Goby and has been looking a little rough since the filter sock incident. I use the description of “he” even thought I do not know the sex of our Gobies, but prior to the disappearance these two Gobies got along very well and even acted like a mated pair.
So, in an attempt to correct this bad behavior we decided to put the second Goby, the one that was doing the chasing, into a “time-out” if you will. Catching him was not easy, but we finally caught him and placed him in the sump, leaving him down there for a few days. We tried to feed him, but after the first day he just hid under the rocks and wouldn’t come out much.
When we put him back into the display tank he immediately found the other Goby and started displaying what appeared to be submissive behavior. Prior to our “time-out” experiment they wouldn’t even be near each other, each taking positions at opposite ends of the tank. Now, even though their behavior is not nearly as cohesive as it was originally, it is much better. The second Goby does a little chasing, but not as aggressively, and I wonder if this is a part of becoming mated pairs again.
Only time will tell, but I think our little “time-out” may have helped, but not because of any remorse felt on the Goby’s part. I think removing him from the other fish, especially the other Goby, and placing him back a few days later makes him have to establish roles in the fish hierarchy all over again.