Firefish goby (Nemateleotris magnifica)

If you’re a beginning aquarist, fire goby is a good species that you can choose for your aquarium.

Nemateleotris magnifica, or firefish goby, is a Benthopelagic species of dartfish native to the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is an inhabitant of coral reefs where it can be found at depths of from 6 to 70 meters (20 to 230 ft). It hovers above the bottom, facing the current to feed on zooplankton, copepods, and crustacean larvae.


The Firefish is quite a long and slender fish. Half of its face is white, the other half yellow, with black second dorsal and caudal fins. The Firefish is quite a long and slender fish. Half of its face is white, the other half yellow, with black second dorsal and caudal fins. Its first dorsal is so long, it can achieve the exact same size as the entire fish. There are no big differences between the sexes except that the females are slimmer and smaller.




 It uses its dorsal fin as a “clamp” which allows it the ability to hold itself tight onto a fissure or anywhere in particular that the Firefish would want to stay for a while. With its swimming bladder, it can float in a particular location for longer periods.


Because of its small size, it can be kept in some nano aquariums, but a larger aquarium size is suggested for this fish because of its darting nature. Firefish gobies like to have a "hiding hole," so provide it with some options for concealment. A suggestion is to trim a piece of PVC pipe, which can serve as a cave-like hideout. Then, create a facade of rock around it. it likes to hide is to dig itself into the sand, so use fine aquarium sand or smooth, small pebble substrate. The substrate selected should not be too rough because could damage its fins or body. This fish is resistant to disease and usually can adapt well to aquarium life.


Firefish goby need a strong water flow. Some Firefish goby jump out of the aquarium due to poorly secured aquarium covers. For this reason, house your firefish in an aquarium with a tightly fitting lid. The next largest cause of loss is likely due to stress, damage, and outright predation by inappropriate tankmates. Following closely behind is a lack of nutrition or out-competition for foods.


Firefish are omnivores. Their diet includes meaty foods, including shrimp, brine shrimp, finely chopped fresh or frozen seafood, and vitamin-enriched prepared foods. Because they have relatively small guts, feed this dartfish 2-3 times daily to ensure good nutrition.



Salinity: between 1,023 and 1,027. Nitrites and Ammonia 0 and up to 20 ppm of Nitrates.

Hardness: 8 to 12 dGH

pH: 8.1 to 8.4.

Temperature: 72 to 80 F

Minimum tank size: 20 gallon


The firefish does not bother other fish, corals, or invertebrates commonly found in a reef tank. It may become territorial if it is crowded in a small aquarium (particularly with members of its species). Potential tankmates may include two gobies of the same species, clownfish, or shrimp gobies. Slow-moving, timid tankmates are recommended. Unless it is part of a mated pair, this fish may quarrel with other fish of the same specie

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