Everything Reef Team
28 Apr , 2023
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An excellent choice for the beginner is the Firefish Goby. With its striking colours and peaceful temperament, it can make a great addition to any reef tank. A real fun-to-watch fish with plenty of personality.
The Firefish Goby’s scientific name is Nemateleotris magnifica. It originates from both the Pacific and Indian oceans. It typically swims at depths from around 20 to 200 feet. It often faces against the current. It does this to allow its intended prey to come to them instead of trying to hunt for it themselves.
It is fairly long and slender in appearance. It’s front half is white, but look closely and you will see it’s face is actually yellow. The striking thing about a Firefish Goby’s appearance has to be it’s rear half, which is usually a very bright orange/red. Noticeable is it’s dorsal fin which is very long in comparison to it’s other fins. It uses this over-sized fin for a variety of reasons. The first being, it allows the fish to hold onto rocks while in a crevice, thus preventing prey from pulling it out from the crevice. Secondly, the fin is also used when signalling other Firefish.
A Firefish Goby will typically be two to three inches in length for a fully grown adult.
Firefish Gobies are considered to be a peaceful fish and for the most part calm in nature. They can however be aggressive towards their own species, so it’s advisable to only have one of these kinds of fish in a single tank at a time.
Firefish Gobies are considered to be planktivores, which means they are used to eating floating food suspended in the water column. In a reef tank they will love Black worms, Brine shrimp and Mysis shrimp, but can get along with a good quality flake food too once they have got used to it being in their diet.
Firefish Gobies are considered to be one the easiest reef tank fish to keep. They are a very hardy fish and are often the first fish to add to a new aquarium, coming second to only a Clownfish perhaps. They are very easy to find and most LFS (Local Fish Stores) will have them. A generally recommended minimum tank size is 30G to keep a Firefish Goby, although many do have them in nano-tanks. Water parameters should consist of a temperature between 72-80-F with a PH between 8.1-8.4. Salinity should ideally be between 1.020-1.026.
These fish do have a tendency to jump out of fish tanks though, so if you have a lid then make sure you use it. It’s natural behaviour is to swim against the current, so at least a medium strength flow would be best suited to this fish. It is also recommended to have a sand-type substrate as they often like to burrow.
The Firefish Goby is considered to be reef safe. They do not eat corals or invertebrates, or attack other fish.
They can be kept with a wide range of tank-mates and can get along with most other popular reef tank fish, which is one of the main reasons for their overall popularity. Often seen happily living together with Clownfish.
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