Scientific Name:
Nemateleotris magnifica
Other Common Names for the Firefish Goby:
Fire Goby - Fire Dartfish - Magnificent Dartfish - Red Fire Goby



The Firefish goby is 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. These little members of the Gobiidae family are absolutely beautiful. Their fiery appearance is what gives them their name. The Firefish goby has a soft yellow face that fades into a vibrant white, covering the anterior of the body.  The posterior part of this fish is pink to orangish-red. They have black highlighting their dorsal, anal, and caudal fins. A Firefish goby can reach up to 3 inches in length and requires an aquarium of at least 20 gallons with a soft, fine substrate to burrow in. 


Firefish gobies are omnivores. They will swim or hover in the water current waiting for food to float by. They will accept pellet or flake foods sometimes, but for good nutrition, they need small meaty meals like Mysis shrimp, phytoplankton, copepods, and/or prepared or frozen offerings of crustacean or fish flesh. It is strongly recommended that these fish be fed twice per day as they are not aggressive eaters and could get outcompeted for food by more aggressive fish.


As stated earlier, a Firefish goby can reach up to 3 inches and requires an aquarium of at least 20 gallons. In addition to its striking coloration, the Firefish goby is also known to be a sweet-tempered fish with lots of personality. They will become territorial of their burrow and may be aggressive with other gobies. The best bet for keeping multiples is to keep a pair if they are a mated pair. When you first add a new Firefish goby to your tank, expect it to hide out for a few days.  When startled, a Firefish goby will dart to a safe place and hide until the coast is clear.  This safe place could be a small cave or a tight area behind something - coral, a heater, etc. It’s a good idea to make sure your tank has some rockwork so your Firefish goby has a few options for places to hide. They will make a little burrow in the sand to sleep in and will share the burrow with their mate if they have one. If you intend to keep fish  - especially a goby, a netted lid is recommended.


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