Saltwater Aquarium/Sand Sifters


I have recently purchases a sand sifting gobby. I dont know the name of him as the fish store just sold him a a MISC sifter. He is pure white with white/silver diamonds near his gills. Any clue what goby this is?

Also Im reading conflicting reports on the sand sifters, some people say they are great for your tank,others say they will kill off all the bacteria in the sand bed. What do you think?

I have a 56 gallon tank with a deep sand bed of about 3-4 inch sand bed. The tank is a little older than a year and I dose it with micro bacter 7 daily just to add supplemental bacteria.

Thank you so much for your help?

Hi Taylor:

Send me a picture so I can help you identify your sand sifting goby. From your description perhaps it's a Sleeper Blue Dot Goby (Valenciennea sexguttata). Often times the blue dots by the ears will also appear gray, or silver in color.

Go to Google Images and type in Sleeper Blue Dot Goby (Valenciennea sexguttata) and see if the images they give are what you have.

In regards to your sand sifting goby killing off all of your beneficial bacteria: In a well established 56 gallon aquarium with a deep sand band, you won't have to worry about this; if anything your sand sifting goby will aid in keeping your sand bed aerated and clean.

Let me know if this is the species you have... I'm curious. You can also send me a picture.

I wish you the best of luck with all your future saltwater aquarium endeavors.


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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

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After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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