Firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica)

Fire Goby

Firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica) are beautiful and peaceful marine fish from the Indo-Pacific. They make nice additions to any marine tank that doesn't contain large or aggressive fish. Firefish are also commonly called fire gobies or magnificent dartfish.

There is also a closely related purple firefish variety (Nemateleotris decora).

Firefish belong to the family Gobiidae.

Firefish are relatively small marine fish, reaching an adult size of only 3.5 inches (9 cm) in length.

They are carnivorous fish that eat zooplankton in their natural habitat. In captivity they can be fed a variety of small meaty marine-based foods (e.g., live brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, finely chopped up seafood) as well as commerical zooplankton (e.g., Two Little Fishies Marine Snow, Kent's Zoomax).

The most important thing is that the food should either be alive or at least moving through the water current. If you give your firefish chopped up seafood the pieces must be small enough so they will remain in the water column for a period of time. Live brine shrimp is a good choice because it swims through the water column. Many firefish are acclimated to eating in captivity on live brine shrimp.

For a demonstration of firefish feeding behavior see the You Tube video below:

You must provide this fish with a varied diet so it doesn't lose it's brilliant coloration. Often the loss of color signals a loss of health and vitality as well.

You'll need to have lots of live rock in their tank with caves and crevices for hiding spots. They will not harm the inhabitants of a reef tank.

Keep in mind that even small marine fish, such as domino damsels or other aggressive damselfish species may harass firefish. You should only keep firefish with peaceful fish of a similar size. Firefish will starve themselves if they are in a tank where they are harassed by the other fish.

Although firefish are generally peaceful fish, they often fight among themselves unless your aquarium is very large with lots of hiding places or a compatible male-female pair is obtained.

Firefish are also great jumpers, especially when startles or frightened. Keep their aquarium covered so you don't find your firefish dried up on the floor someday.

Firefish can usually be obtained for about $14.