In the wild, the Firefish Goby is usually found in groups hovering over the reef, harvesting planktonic food that drifts by in the current. The docile, Firefish Goby is timid and in the wild, each will have a "bolt-hole" into which it quickly ducks when threatened. In the home aquarium, the Firefish Goby needs multiple safety zones amongst rocky crags or outcroppings into which it can dart if stressed. This member of the Gobiidae family is generally not aggressive towards other fish except those of its own species. However, a mated pair can live peacefully together.
To best recreate their wild habitat, the Firefish Goby requires a 20-gallon or larger system with moderate lighting conditions and a moderate current passing over the live rock "reef." Keep in mind that a stressed Firefish Goby will try to jump out of your aquarium. As such, house the Firefish Goby in aquarium systems with a lid.
Along with algae and zooplankton growing in the aquarium, the diet of the Firefish Goby should consist of vitamin-enriched brine fish (live or frozen), mysis shrimp, and prepared marine foods.
Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 1" to 1-1/2"; Medium: 1-1/2" to 2"; Large: 2" to 3"
Nemateleotris magnifica, known by a variety of common names including fire goby, magnificent fire fish, fire dartfish, or red fire goby is a species of dartfish native to the Indian and Pacific oceans from the eastern coast of Africa to the Hawaiian Islands and from the Austral Islands north to the Ryukyu Islands. It is an inhabitant of coral reefs where it can be found at depths of from 6 to 70 metres (20 to 230 ft). It is usually found just above the bottom, facing into the current, where it awaits its prey of small invertebrates.
They usually have a bright yellow head, merging into a white body, gradually shading into a red-orange tail. Their dorsal fins are very long, and the fish flicks it back and forth. This is used as a signal to conspecifics. As a full grown adult, it reaches a maximum length of 9 centimetres (3.5 in). Adults occupy sandy burrows alone or in pairs, while the juveniles live in small groups. These fish are monogamous and They will retreat to burrows if threatened.
Nemateleotris magnifica feeds on brine shrimp, mysis shrimp and sometimes zooplankton growing in aquaria. They should be fed two times per day. They are considered reef safe and they are peaceful and sociable. They can be found at many online and local fish or pet stores, they are for starter marine fishkeepers but can sometimes jump from the water. They will also make schools if many are put into a tank.
- Larson, H.K. (2010). "Nemateleotris magnifica (errata version published in 2017)". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2010: e.T155229A115288769. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T155229A4751981.en.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Nemateleotris magnifica" in FishBase. December 2013 version.
- Sanford, Gina (1999). Aquarium Owner's Guide. New York: DK Publishing. pp. 141. ISBN 978-0-7894-4614-5.
- Dakin, Nick (1992). The Macmillan book of the Marine Aquarium. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-02-897108-7.
- Photos of Nemateleotris magnifica on Sealife Collection