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Firefish Care Guide – Can You Mix Firefish Goby?

If you are considering keeping a firefish goby as a pet, then we are about to tell you all you need to know before you dive in head on. We know, this is such a beautiful and adorable looking fish and all you fish lovers would love to add this beauty to your fish tanks. But it is no good getting a fish you can’t care for.

Can You Mix The Firefish Goby With Other Fish?

As a general rule, No. it is never advised to place bigger fishes with smaller fishes inside of the same aquarium or fish tank since this may pose a threat to smaller fishes. So, angelfishes as well as lion fishes and triggers will make detrimental living pals to your firefish, according to theSprucePets.

However, in general you can expect your firefish to have a peaceful temperament and lots of personality.

All over, your fishes will live in harmony while kept in a tank or aquarium along with the firefish. The firefish is one of the best fishes for a reef tank. It is very polite to its surroundings as it does not bother other fishes, coral or even the spineless creatures found in an aquarium.

However, it is important to ensure your tank is of adequate size to accommodate the quantity of fishes you intend to house, especially if a firefish is in the midst because it tends to get territorial is not given a feeling of having to compete for a living space.

Other fishes that can share the same living space as your Firefish are two same specie gobies, the clown fish or shrimp gobies. Ideally you want to include fishes similar to your firefish; those that are small, timid and slow moving.

Your firefish is so personable, it has developed a loving relationship with the Pistol Shrimp. This relationship is seen when the firefish shares his safe hole with the pistol shrimp. ( http://thepetserver.com/firefish/). Now isn’t this amazing?

What Is The Firefish's Scientific and Common Name?

The Nemateleotris magnifica or the Nemateleotris magnificus is a species of Dartfish, commonly referred to as the Fire goby, Fire Dartfish and Firefish. It may also go with names such as the Firefish Goby, the Red Fire Goby, or the Magnificent Dartfish.

This fish belongs to the Microdesmidae family, or the Worm Fishes. However, before this classification, prior to 1986, the firefish were classified as gobies and blennies. The Worm Fishes is a collection of 36 species of eel-like fishes.

This category of fish also includes the very similar Purple Firefish that is scientifically referred to as the Nemateleotris decora.

While the firefish as many names, the most common name seems to be the firefish goby. Feel free to let us know what you call your firefish in your region.

Where Did It Originate From (Come From)?

The firefish comes from the central and western Pacific that includes the Red Sea, where it is known to live mainly in Coral reefs.

The Fire Dartfish can also be found in large masses off the eastern coast of Africa, the Hawaiian Island and along the coast of the Ryukyu Islands mainly in the north and to the Austral Islands, according to animal-world.

This fishes are usually found just above the ground facing the water current at an average of between 6 and 70 metres (20 and 230 ft), deep. As the current pushes planktonic foods by, these fishes learn how to catch their meal.

They are generally quite small, which adds to their appeal as pets. A fully grown adult Firefish Goby in only about 3 inches in length and they often times can be found in sandy burrows, either in pairs or alone, while offsprings live in small groups.

Present day, the firefish can also be found in the Maldives, Indonesia, and the Coral sea.

What Colours Does It Have?

The colourful firefish has been loved by many for years because of its amazing beauty. This fish showcases a yellow head while the front portion of it body carries a clean white colour.

Toward the latter part of its body, this diversely coloured fish sports a pinkish to organishred colour, while all of its fins are black which the fish continuously flips back and forth. We believe that it is these strikingly beautiful features that has caused the fish to become so popular among marine personnel and fish lovers.

Many people have referred to the Firefish Goby as ornamental, magnificent and just simply an out of this world beauty. Because of it elegant array of colours, the fish makes a great addition to any mini or nano reef while it’s colourfully patterned body allows it to stand out.

Further, you can expect the firefish to have a very slender appearance, with its first spinal dorsal fin being greatly elongated, possibly as long as the fish’s entire body. The purpose of this long fin is to signal other fishes, of potential danger when spotted and also used to easily burrow itself into crevices as a mean of protection.

The firefish also has a swim bladder which allows it to stay stationary for long periods of time with its head pointed toward the water surface.

What Is The Best Tank Size For A Firefish?

Ideally, the firefish Goby should be placed in a large tank, approximately 30 gallons or larger. There have been stories about this fish trying to jump out of smaller tanks when startled of if it feel threatened or otherwise insecure.

Persons who are used to having this type of fish as a pet tend to build a halide system around the tank, about 10 inches tall. This ensures the top is kept open. Further, the edges of the halide are made of plexiglas. This, as we were have come to understand, will assist you in keeping you pet secure. Or simply apply a tightly closed lid, according to theSprucePets.

When keeping this fish as a pet, the tank it’s kept in should mimic its home environment as closely as possible. There should be live corals and other living organisms. In addition to live plants, lighting should be kept at medium brightness, especially tailored for this salt water fish.

Further oily hands can potentially cause problems for this fish so it is recommended that we minimise the amount of times we place our hands inside of the fish tank. Further, it is also advised not to empty the tank while fixing and cleaning and to avoid using any cleaning detergent inside of the tank.

There should also be a strong and consistent water flow in your tank and at least 2 square feet on surface space at the bottom of the tank to accommodate more than two gobies. It is also advised to provide a safe haven for your firefish, perhaps a hiding hole, just so you make her feel at home. A cut piece of PVC works fine for this purpose.

If this is not an option for you, then you can provide aquarium sand, so your little friend can dig himself a hiding hole but ensure the sand is relatively smooth to protect the firefish delicate fins.

What Is Their Behaviour Like?

As covered previously, the firefish is generally very peaceful and makes a good tank mate to other fishes.

This fish is also the entertainer. While it may be shy in the inception, as soon as our little Firefish Goby gets used to everyone in its surroundings, you can expect it to ensure everyone is entertained, even us humans. However, at first, when placed inside of the tank, your little goby may go into hiding until he feels safe.

The firefish hates to have his home intruded. This fish is very territorial and each fish requires 10 to 20 square centimeters (1.5 to 3 square inches) of space vertically, according to ​animal-world.

Such a large territory for such a small fish allows your firefish to assert its dominance over its living space.

Further, we have also learned that firefishes can be so territorial that it is advised to house an adult fish, as the only one of her specie in a tank. They should only be kept in pair if you plan or mating the two fishes, otherwise, some aggressive behaviour may start, according to thepetserver.

What Do Firefish Goby Eat?

There seems to be some confusion on the eating classification of your favourite and very popular fish. While some have stated the firefish as a carnivore, others have stated this fish as a omnivore.

Whatever the case may be, please ensure that its diet consists mainly of meats and vegetables. Essentially, you should feed your firefish a diet rich in proteins and vitamins. Good dietary choices include thinly chopped small crustaceans such as crabs, shrimp, lobsters, and others.

Your Firefish will also enjoy eating brine fish, whether live or frozen as well as mysis shrimp and certain prepared foods. These are eaten in conjunction with vegetation you provide inside of the tank. You should feed your fish small portions at various times daily.

What Temperature Should Their Water Be?

Water in a tank where you house your firefish should be 70 to 80 F and the water should be more alkaline than acid with a ph of 8.1 to 8.4. Also, while water hardness should be kept at 8 to 12 dGH. Generally, your tank water should be keep similar to coral water.

Providing water in these conditions will ensure you protect the life of your firefish. Firefishes generally live for about 3 years but the wrong temperature and quality of water could shorten this life span. When you decide to care for a fish as delicate as the firefish, you want to ensure you are prepared to take on the responsibility.

Is It Easy To Breed Firefish?

Well, as we have found all along, breeding the Firefish Goby is not very demanding. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind. As we have already mentioned, these fishes thrive in peace and serenity and a little startle would see them jump out of their tank. As such, the right tank size should be the very first requirement when thinking of breeding these fishes.

Also, their temperament makes them able to coexist with other fishes except those from its own species. The lighting condition of the tank where they are breed needs to be moderate, as is the case with the current that passes over their reef. And as we have discussed, the fish largely feeds on live or frozen brine fish, shrimp, etc and the diet should have some vegetables, according to reeftime.

Are They A Good Family Pet?

So is the firefish a good family pet? In our opinion, certainly. They are beautiful to look at and have huge personalities. While it is important to take extra care of your firefish, it is still worth your while having this fish, along with a collection of a few other small fish inside your tank.

Your kids will love to look at the fire fish in action, especially when he is entertaining the other fishes and allowing them to join in the fun. People who own fire fishes as pets have stated how much they enjoy looking at the firefish while it plays in their tanks.

However, as mentioned through this article, it is absolutely important to ensure you feel your firefish little stomach a small portion of food a few times per day to ensure he gets adequate nutrition.

That being said, this fish requires very low maintenance and will not take up a lot of your time. They are not harmful and though they take some time, they do eventually blend into their new environments. Please be sure not to place your firefish in any danger and ensure you place a tight cover on your tank, just so in the event something scares or startles your fish, he does not jump out of the tank.

I mean, you wouldn’t want to return home to find your fish on the floor. That’s not the place for him, he belongs where he is safest and most protected and can breathe easily.


I do hope you enjoyed reading this article since it meant a lot to be able to shed some light on fire fishes and the importance of keeping these tiny little creatures safe. We know a lot of you, especially those marine hobbyists, would love to have the eye pleaser in your home, nestled inside your tank.

Indeed, we just want to ensure the firefish you take home does not become a statistic, like so many other who have ended up with such because they lacked the knowledge on how to care for these delicate little fishes.

Please be sure to let us know what you thought of this article in the comments, as questions, make a statement and start a discussion. Sharing is caring, do also remember to share this post if you liked it and check out our other guides, such as the Copperband Butterflyfish or Damselfish.


Hey, thanks for passing by, welcome to the blog for Pet Fish fans. This is me, Wayne, and my son Theo. I started this journey after we bought him hist first Fish Tank of fish. Follow my site for my research and info on Pet Fish.