Scientific Name:
Nemateleotris decora
Other Common Names for the Purple Firefish Goby:
Decorated Firefish - Purple Dartfish - Decorated Dartfish - Elegant Firefish


The Purple Firefish goby is native to tropical waters in the Indo-West Pacific, from Mauritius to Samoa, north to Ryukyu Islands, and south to New Caledonia. These little members of the Gobiidae family are absolutely beautiful. The head is purple and the body color is whitish or yellowish, gradually darkening to deep grey towards the tail. The fins have longitudinal bands of purple, red, black and orange. A Purple 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. 


Purple 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 Purple Firefish goby can reach up to 3 inches and requires an aquarium of at least 20 gallons. In addition to its striking coloration, the Purple 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 Purple Firefish goby to your tank, expect it to hide out for a few days.  When startled, a Purple Firefish goby will dart to a safe place and hide until it deems the coast is clear.  This safe place could be a small cave or a tight area behind something - a large coral colony, a wave pump, a heater, etc. It’s a good idea to make sure your tank has some rockwork so your Purple 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.

DecoraGobyMarinefishNemateleotrisPurple firefishReefchaser

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