Firefish

Fire Dartfish

Family: Ptereleotridae Picture of a Firefish or Fire Dartfish, Nemateleotris magnificaNemateleotris magnificaPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Seth Weintraub
Latest Reader Comment - See More
God these are interesting facts. I WANT ONE!  Annika

   Firefish or Fire Dartfish are a beautiful addition to almost any aquarium! They are a good community fish and are very comfortable in a reef setting. They do like a cave or to burrow in sandy substrate.

   These fish belong to the family Microdesmidae, or Wormfishes. Before 1986, the Firefish or Fire Dartfish were classified as blennies and gobies. The Wormfishes comprise 36 species of eel-like fishes that include the closely related Purple Firefish, Nemateleotris decora.

   Their elongated dorsal fin is used to signal other firefish as well as a "locking device" similar to the triggerfish.

For more Information on keeping marine fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium


Geographic Distribution
Nemateleotris magnifica
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Ptereleotridae
  • Genus: Nemateleotris
  • Species: magnifica
Purple Firefish
Report Broken Video
Firefish or Fire Dartfish are a beautiful addition to almost any aquarium!

Purple firefsih are a good community fish and are very comfortable in a reef setting. They do like a cave or to burrow in sandy substrate. These fish belong to the family Microdesmidae, or Wormfishes. Before 1986, the Firefish or Fire Dartfish were classified as blennies and gobies. The Wormfishes comprise 36 species of eel-like fishes that include the closely related Purple Firefish, Nemateleotris decora. Their elongated dorsal fin is used to signal other firefish as well as a "locking device" similar to the triggerfish.

Firefish, Nemateleotris magnifica
Report Broken Video
A bonded Firefish pair in captivity

This is a rare find! Even if you try to raise several juveniles together, they may never form a permanent bonded pair as they grow up. When they are around 2.5," give or take, they become mature and that is when the will kill each other until one remains. They can be kept in a nano tank as small as 10 gallons with no other fish and 40 gallons if you want tank mates. Either way, the tank MUST have a sealed lid with no holes of any kind. Equipment cords, skimmers, etc, will have to be tightly fitted through that back black strip or if you have a sump, over flows are a typical "go to" place for Firefish! Only peaceful fish as tank mates and a reef setting is best.

Maintenance difficulty:    The Firefish or Fire Dartfish is easy to keep. They will readily eat most anything you feed them.

Maintenance:    Feed all kinds of live, frozen, and flake foods. It is best to feed small amounts several times a day. Since they feed on planktonic animals in the wild, they will do well with small protein foods like brine shrimp. Make sure they have plenty of places to hide, i.e. rockwork or live rock.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    Firefish or Fire Dartfish are found in the Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Hawaiian, Marquesan and Pitcairn islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to New Caledonia and the Austral Islands; throughout Micronesia.

Social Behaviors:    This fish feeds in groups in the wild, they are found swimming into currents near reef heads feeding on planktonic animals. Several individuals may share the same hole (especially juveniles). Firefish have a habit of flicking their pennant-like first dorsal fin back and forth. They are a territorial fish with each fish requiring approximately 10-20 square centimeters (1.5-3.0 square inches) of vertical space. They will establish a heirarchy of dominance in the aquarium.

Sex: Sexual differences:    We have not found this information.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Temperature:    No special requirements. Normal temperatures for marine fish is between 74 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Length/Diameter of fish:    Firefish or Fire Dartfish adults can grow to 6.0 cm (2.4 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 30 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    Weak to moderate water movement is appreciated.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    No special requirements.

Availability:    This fish is readily available and is inexpensive, the Purple Firefish is somewhat rarer and slightly more expensive.

Author: David Brough. CFS.
Lastest Animal Stories on Firefish


Annika - 2016-05-29
God these are interesting facts. I WANT ONE!

Reply
Jeff - 2015-06-17
Your mums a cute little guy!

Reply
Brian - 2007-10-18
I have a purple firefish that is so funny to watch! It spends a lot of time swimming in the powerhead current trying to catch particles of food that float by, or "bickering" with my yellowtail blue damsel. Nothing serious, just fun and games!

  • Anonymous - 2012-04-11
    If you have more than one in a 15G or less they may fight. And they don't stop until there is a victor.
Reply
Robert - 2007-03-22
He is very fast and cool. He unfortunately died while he was with many other fish :(

  • Anonymous - 2012-04-11
    Sad:(. Make sure to keep the others from death.
Reply