Breeding Tateurndina ocellicauda

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Tateurndina ocellicauda will readily spawn in home aquaria as long as spawning locations, proper diet, and good water quality are provided. With proper conditioning, females are capable of producing eggs every one to two weeks.[1] The male will claim a tight, easily defended cave or similar location, and display to a ripe female hoping to coax her inside with him. Spawning may take several hours, during which time the male and female will “squirm” against each other as she lays her eggs against a wall or roof of the cave, taking intermittent breaks. The fertilized eggs are transparent, with a pale yellow or white sheen.
Afterwards the male will guard the eggs and newly hatched fry from predation, and fan them with his fins to prevent fungusing. Once the fry have become free-swimming however, the male may consume any that do not escape unnoticed.


  • Small (5 gallon) grow-out tank, or 10 gallon breeding tank (recommended) with mature sponge filter.
  • Live food cultures for Adults and Fry including Mosquito larvae, Brine shrimp, Microworm [2], and Infusoria.
  • Small 2-3 Inch flower pots [1] or 3/4 to 1/2 inch diameter pvc pipes [2] for spawning caves. Small slate caves, java moss draped over the back of a larger flower pot, and other (sometimes inconvenient) crevices or surfaces may also be utilized.
  • Java moss (optional) which provides hiding spots, and infusoria for young free swimming fry.
  • Air Pump and diffuser (optional). Can be used in place of the male to prevent fungal growth on eggs and developing fry.[3]


After the cave(s) have been introduced the male will spend some time inspecting and choosing an adequate location. To condition the pair, or trio, include live foods such as Mosquito larvae which may help induce spawning.[1] When the fish are ready to breed both male and female will become more colorful, and the female will appear noticeably more plump. Once spawning is completed the male will chase the female out of the cave, and if a breeding tank was used return the female(s) to the normal tank. If the spawn occurs in a community tank, you may choose to carefully move the cave (male and all) to the grow out tank, or wait a few days for the fry to hatch before moving the cave without the male.
Note- Fish do not always choose the most convenient places to spawn, and you may not always be able to safely move the eggs and/or newly hatched fry to a better location. This is why the use of a breeding tank may be the best option.

Egg and Fry Care[edit]

The eggs will hatch within 1-3 days of spawning, and the tiny fry will stay attached the “cave” wall feeding on their yolk sack for up to 6 days before becoming free-swimming. The newly hatched fry will be transparent, but the tiny black specks of the fry eyes should be visible. The male will continue to guard and fan the hatchlings as long as they stay attached to the spawning site, but should removed before the fry become free-swimming to prevent predation.
The young fry will spend most of their time in the upper strata of the tank[3], and can be fed infusoria, microworms, and newly hatched brine shrimp.[1][2] As the fry grow larger, other foods may be introduced such as small mosquito larvae and even flake food.[1] Throughout the process, maintaining good water quality is critical to the health of the fry, and a minimum of approximately 30% of the tank volume should be changed weekly.
Development rate:
  • One month - Fry will remain mostly colorless, and reach about 0.5 inches in length.[4]
  • One – two months = The “eye spot” will be visible [3]
  • Four months - Fry will be up to 2 cm long[3]
  • 7–9 months – The fry will reach sexual maturity [5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Carter, P. (1995). "Tateurndina ocellicauda The Peacock Goby." B.R.A.G.S. Magazine Nov. 1995. Here
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Katuska, E. "Tateurndina ocellicauda, The Peacock Gudgeon." Wet Pet Gazette, Norwalk Aquarium Society Aquarticles. Available Here
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Maloney, D. (1999) "Breeding Tateurndina ocellicauda" Wet Pet Gazette, Norwalk Aquarium Society Aquarticles. Available Here
  4. Pitts, I. (1993). "Tateurndina ocellicauda The Peacock Goby." B.R.A.G.S. Mag. May 1993. Available Here
  5. Barbour, D. "Breeding Tateurndina ocellicauda 'The Peacock Gudgeon'" Wet Pet Gazette, Norwalk Aquarium Society Aquarticles. Available Here