Symbiotic Relationship Questions


New member
Hello Reef Central! I am currently wondering for my new reef aquarium about symbiotic relationships. I already have clownfish and nems together, and I have heard about pistol shrimps pairing with gobies to make burrows... This is really fascinating to me, but which types of gobies will pair with pistol shrimp? Do they all pair? Is the pairing process guaranteed? My tank is peaceful and I plan on getting a cleaner shrimp eventually as well, would that cause problems with the pistol shrimp? Sorry for so many questions, hopefully, some of you guys can share some insight! Thank you.


New member
There is no guarantee they will pair.

I had a Yellow Watchman Goby that paired with a pistol shrimp in a 55g tank. That shrimp died and I got a bigger tank. When I moved the goby to the new tank, I got him a new friend. Dropped the shrimp in the tank and he quickly established his new territory - on the complete opposite side of the tank from the goby.

If your tank is only 20g, there's not much room to move around, so they should find each other. But I don't think there are any guarantees.

As to which ones - I only have knowledge of the YWG and Tiger Pistol Shrimp. I would assume any of the pistol shrimps would work, but the goby would need to be one of the watchman varieties. None of the others, at least according to liveaquaria, are known to form that symbiotic relationship.


Cloning Around
Staff member
RC Mod
Premium Member
As to which ones - I only have knowledge of the YWG and Tiger Pistol Shrimp.


I have paired multiple Yellow Watchman Gobies and Tiger Pistol Shrimp over the years. They pair easily and are fun to watch.