Reef to Rainforest: Discovering Tropical Species, Places, Nature


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Nemateleotris magnifica - Fowler, 1938

A delicate looking but durable species when kept with peaceful tankmates. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

Although timid in the presence of large and aggressive tankmates, this is a durable, attractive fish that can be kept in smaller aquariums and is perfect for the peaceful reef tank.

Family: Ptereleotridae

Other common name(s):

  • Red Firefish
  • Fire Dartfish
  • Magnificent Dartfish
  • Fire Goby

Native range:

Habitat: Reef-sand interface. Flat rocks with depressions dug underneath them provide excellent shelter sites.

Maximum length: 7.9 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 38 L (10 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater to bottom.

[edit] Feeding

Carnivore. Feed meaty foods, such as enriched brine shrimp and mysid shrimp, at least once a day.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

While passive toward most other species, it will quarrel with members of its own kind. Therefore, it is best to keep one or a pair in the same tank. (The firefishes are often found as monogamous pairs in the wild.) Sexing individuals is difficult. Firefish have also been known to fight with their close relative, the Purple Firefish (Nemateleotris decora). These fish are potential prey for a wide ­variety of fish tankmates, so select their neighbors carefully. In a ­boisterous aquarium, it may hide constantly and not compete ­successfully for food. It is not a threat to ornamental invertebrates.

[edit] Notes

This lovely species hovers over the substrate, twitching its dorsal spine, possibly to communicate with members of its own kind. It takes most of its food from the water column. Firefishes are skilled jumpers; keep only in a covered aquarium.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about FirefishRDF feed
Common name Firefish  +, Red Firefish  +, Fire Dartfish  +, Magnificent Dartfish  +, and Fire Goby  +
Family Ptereleotridae  +
Genus Nemateleotris  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 3 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 10 gal  +
Native range Indo-Pacific  +, East Africa  +, Hawaii  +, Marquesas Islands  +, Pitcairn Islands  +, Ryukyu Islands  +, New Caledonia  +, Austral Islands  +, and Micronesia  +
Reference 101 Best Saltwater Fishes  +
Specific name magnifica  +
Swimming level Midwater to bottom.  +
Text credit SWM  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +