Most reefers get a little bit iffy at the thought of adding a sand sifter goby to the reef tank. The thought of a sand spewing fish dropping aragonite particles all over the ever precious acan frags and scolymia is just too painful to fathom. Valenciennea bella is a gorgeous species that will certainly warren an addition to the standard reef tank, along with whatever sand-sifting related risk it might come with.
These photos by Hiroshi clearly show the beautiful maroon and red coloration that these gobies adopt. Certainly unusual and much more attractive looking compared to their other standard aquarium fare counterparts such as V. puelleris, which are almost always silvery-white based. V. bella is found in the waters of Japan and questionable Philippines. The lack of specimens showing up from the usual Cebu and Philippines shipments leads us to think that it’s either a geographical error, or it might just be simply located somewhere where collection is unavailable yet.
Although commonly found in pairs in the waters of Japan, it is by no means common and cheap even in the local Japanese trade. Specimens are few and costs somewhere along the lines of 200USD, not cheap at all compared to the other Valenciennea gobies. The lone specimen offered for sale below by Sangodo is one of the rare occasions that the bella’s sandsifting goby has been offered to would be goby enthusiasts.