How to take care of Empire gudgeon fish?

We will talk about empire gudgeon fish care in this blog post.We will also discuss important factors such as their habitat, types, lifespan, tank set-up,water parameters and healthcare, etc.Everything you need to know about empire gudgeon fish care will be briefly discussed.


In this blog

  • Key specifications of empire gudgeon fish
  • Why is empire gudgeon fish care important?
  • How many empire gudgeon fish should you start with as a newcomer?
  • Habitat of empire gudgeon fish
  • Types of empire gudgeon fish
  • Different strains or colors of empire gudgeon fish
  • General and physical attributes of empire gudgeon fish
  • Empire gudgeon fish lifespan
  • Empire gudgeon fish tank set-up
  • Empire gudgeon fish diet and feeding requirements
  • Empire gudgeon fish healthcare and health conditions
  • Empire gudgeon fish daily care and Bi-weekly care
  • Summary

How to take care of Empire gudgeon fish?

Daily care tips for empire gudgeons

  • Empire gudgeon fish are sensitive to noise, so keep them away from such places.
  • Maintain male to female ratio in the tank
  • Empire gudgeon fish are jumpers so don’t miss covering their tanks with a lid or a hood.
  • Feed them small amounts twice a day by rotating their diets for better health.
  • Feed them a vitamin and  protein rich diet for better colouration.
  • Don’t overfeed them and remove leftovers from the tank to avoid ammonia and nitrate levels to shoot up.It could be toxic to their health.
  • Monitor the water parameters daily.
  • All the vital parameters should be maintained properly.
  • Tank equipment should be in working conditions.
  • Wipe the aquarium glass daily.
  • Observe their color patterns, they become dull when stressed or threatened.Immediately shift them to another tank.

Bi-weekly care tips for empire gudgeons

  • Partial water changes should be done twice in a month.
  • Use water testing kits once a week to maintain stable water conditions.
  • Live food is very important for their health and colouration,so it is important to quarantine the live food in a separate tank for 2-3 weeks before feeding them to avoid all kinds of infections.
  • Make a habit of cleaning the decors and plants once in a month to avoid infections.
  • Filters should be cleaned with scrubbers once or twice a month for maintaining the pristine water conditions.
  • Separate unwell fish to a separate tank until they recover.

Key specifications of Empire gudgeon fish

Scientific name Synonym Hypseleotris compressaEleotris compressus
FamilyEleotridae (gobii family)
Conservation status
Northern Australiasouth-central New guineaThreatened species
Lifespan3-5 years
Body sizeBody shapeColorSpecial traitSexual dimorphism4 inches in length Elongated bodyOrange ,red and blueThey can change their colorsYes
Another namesAustralian empire gudgeonAustralian-carp gudgeon 
Optimum temperatureOptimum pHWater hardness72F-82F7.0-8.56-20 dGH
TemperamentBeginner or experienced Peaceful and shyRecommended for both
Care levelEasy (they are undemanding)
Tank size and set-upTank type (Prefered)20 gallons (75 liters)Planted tank(Preferred)Freshwater Community tank
Preferred plants/decorationsDense plantation
CompatibilityWith similar temperament fish
Number of empire gudgeon fish species found Their exact population is not known but they come in varieties of colors.
No of eggs (average litters size)
Spawning (egg layer)Challenging in aquarium settings3000 adhesive coated eggs

Why is empire gudgeon fish care important?

This Australian beauty is such an incredible aquarium fish, they lit up your aquariums by their vibrant colors.

Empire gudgeon are so hardy and undemanding, yet like any other aquarium fish, they also need right aquarium settings and vital parameters for their survival.

They come under the endangered category and are considered as rare fish due to human activities (chemicals are released in their natural habitats)

How many empire gudgeon fish should you start with as a newcomer?

Empire gudgeons are peaceful shoaling fish,and prefer to live in groups in a planted community tank.

As a newcomer you can get males and females in the ratio 1:1.They can be kept with tank mates which i have listed later in this care sheet later in the tank mates section.Group of  tiny empire gudgeons shoaling together is so beautiful to watch.

Habitat of empire gudgeon fish

Empire gudgeon fish are native to Northern-eastern Australia and Southern New guinea and are mainly found in the lower regions of freshwaters.

Types of empire gudgeon fish

Empire gudgeon fish exact population and types is not known but they come in varieties of colors.

Different strains or colors of empire gudgeon fish

  • Australian empire gudgeon colors brighten up once they adjust in their new homes.
  • Empire gudgeon fish can quickly change their colors when required.

General and physical attributes of empire gudgeon fish

  • Empire gudgeons have golden brown to yellowish tan heads normally but they can be dark brown also in their appearance with a whitish red abdominal region.
  • Males empire gudgeons are larger,much brighter (bright red-pink fins) and vibrant than female gudgeons.
  • Empire gudgeons have ctenoid scales but no lateral lines.
  • Size -12 cm long,medium-sized goby
  • Shape -Elongated body
  • Total number of dorsal spines- 7
  • Total number of dorsal soft rays- 8-9
  • Total anal soft rays- 10-12

Empire gudgeon fish lifespan

  • Australian empire gudgeon can live upto 3-5 years in aquarium settings if maintained well.
  • Feed them supreme quality food and keep them in a stress free environment for longevity.

Empire gudgeon fish tank set-up

Tank sizeLight intensitySubstrateWater parametersTemperatureTank plantsTank mates

Tank size for empire gudgeon

  • Tank size- 20 gallons (75 liters)
  • Australian empire gudgeon prefers a quieter and slower aquarium.
  • Empire gudgeons stay mostly in the bottom areas (bottom-mid) of the tank and swim in the lower half of the tank.
  • The tank should be covered with a lid, as they can jump out of the tanks.
  • Empire gudgeons need swimming space to shoal and display their vibrant personalities.
  • Don’t overcrowd the aquarium by keeping too many gudgeons in smaller tanks.This can affect their health.They look beautiful in a stress free environment. 

Light intensity for empire gudgeon

Light does not play a major role in empire gudgeon aquariums.

  • As such no special lighting requirements.
  • Moderate light intensity is recommended.

Substrate and decorations for empire gudgeon

  • Dark substrates can be used to make them look more vibrant in the aquarium.
  • Rock works and caves- Hiding spaces 
  • Don’t use sharp decorative items,as it can hurt your pets.
  • Clean the substrate and decors once or twice in a month to avoid infections.
  • Empire gudgeon fish don’t require gravels because the leftovers get stuck to the gravels and pollute the water.

Water parameters for empire gudgeon

  • Australian empire gudgeon adapt well in saline conditions and quite warm waters.
  • Optimum pH- 7.0-8.5 (They can tolerate high salinities)
  • Use pH testing kits to maintain the ideal pH in the tank.
  • Water hardness -Soft to medium hardness.
  • Filtration system- Bio-wheel filters are best for gudgeons tanks. 
  • Use water testing kits once a week to check any fluctuations in the water parameters.
  • Partial water changes should be done twice in a month.

Temperature for empire gudgeon

Fish are cold blooded creatures and the temperature plays an important role in their growth and survival.

Slightest change of even a few degrees will result in different behavior in them.If the water temperature gets too high or too low it could be fatal.

Ideal temperature for empire gudgeon fish:

  • Optimum temperature- 72F-82F
  • Use a thermometer to monitor the temperatures daily.

Tank plants for empire gudgeon

Dense plantation is important in their tanks as they thrive well in planted tanks.

Plant coverage provides shelter and protection to them when they feel threatened.Empire gudgeons prefer lurking around in darker regions of the tank so prefer a dense plantation to hide under.

Suitable plants for empire gudgeon fish aquarium:

  • Live plants will improve the quality of water.
  • Floating plants- they grow easily and can handle a wide range of water temperatures.
  • Tall plants & Bogwood

Tank mates for empire gudgeon

Australian-carp gudgeon are peaceful shoaling fish and get along well with everyone.Avoid small sized fish or anything tiners in their tanks because they get eaten up by them.They are kept best in a group of 6.

Good tank mates for gudgeons:

  • Rainbow fish
  • Livebearers- Platies and swordtails
  • Medium sized tetra fish
  • Medium sized peaceful barbs

Empire gudgeon fish diet and feeding requirements

Empire gudgeons are unfussy eaters and accept anything offered to them.They keep lurking around the dense plantation in the tank, and come out only during feeding time.

Vitamin and protein enriched food should be included in their diets for better health and colouration.

Best food for gudgeons:

  • Live food- Small sized meaty varieties
  • Frozen food (enriched with vitamins & garlic)-Cyclops, daphnia, mosquito larvae,chironomid,artemia and mysis.
  • Premium quality fish flakes,small sized sinking pellets / granules.
  • Algae wafers (pearl gouramis compete for algae wafers)
  • Aquatic plants- They munch on aquatic plants too.

Empire gudgeon fish healthcare and health conditions

Empire gudgeon are hardy fish and can easily adapt in various conditions.They only require clean water conditions and good quality food for their growth and survival.

If these needs are not met ,they get susceptible to many freshwater diseases like any other freshwater fish.Always consult your vet what should be done to cure them,never treat them on your own.

Get a thorough knowledge for the pet shop owner about what to do and what not to do if they get any health issues.

Common freshwater diseases:

  • Ich or white spot disease
  • Flukes
  • Decaying fins or fin rot

They become sick due to these reasons:

  • Unstable water parameters
  • Low quality food
  • Bad tank mates
  • Loud noises
  • Overcrowding 
  • Ineffective filtration
  • No aeration or oxygenation
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • pH fluctuations


  • Australian empire gudgeon are peaceful, active and easy to care for.
  • Incredible aquarium fish, which can tolerate a wide range of pH and hardness.
  • Ideal aquarium fish for hard water community tanks.
  • These guys steal all the show in the aquarium by displaying their beauty.
  • According to some research papers,Australian carp gudgeon are a great help by eating mosquitoes.

Frequently asked questions on empire gudgeon fish care

Are  empire gudgeon fish aggressive?

Empire gudgeon fish are not aggressive, they get along really well with other fish of similar size and temperament.They could be intimidating to smaller fish and they might end up eating them too. Male gudgeons will quarrel without harming each other.

Why do empire gudgeon fish change their color?

Empire gudgeons change their color when they are under extreme stress.They start losing color in such stress prone environment.Once they are fine they regain their original colour.So it is advisable to keep them in a stress free environment.They are even sensitive to loud noises, so keep them in a peaceful place.