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Nemateleotris magnifica
Orange Firefish, Fire Wormfish, Fire Goby, Magnificent Dartfish

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish > Orange FireFish - Nemateleotris magnifica

Photos & Comments

firefish1.jpg (13kb)
Photo Credit: Brian Pickavance

Name: Nemateleotris magnifica
Origin: Indo-Pacific Oceans

Size Behavior Reef
8 cm Social Safe


This is a very hardy fish that adds great color to any tank. I usually see mine in groups so I think itīs safe to say that they are schooling fish. Great beginning fish.

Contributed by Kevin P.

These are great little fish. They like to have current and plenty of caves and holes to dive into if they get spooked in a tank. They are a must in order for this shy fish to feel comfortable. They are also known tank jumpers so if you have more agressive fish as tankmates it's best to keep a cover on the tank at least until the Fire Fish gets settled in to its new surroundings. They are said to be social...but I have read all too often that people keep them in large groups and little by little they begin to disappear until only one is left. Because of this I would only keep them in mated pairs (if you were lucky enough to find one) or singly. Mine will accept any food I offer to the tank, including flake.

Contributed by JP Dias

This fish is a great addition to a beggining or built tank. It is easy to care for and is fun to watch. Be sure to buy some sort of rock with burrowing holes, for they like to hide if they are shy or if they feel threatened. Once adapted to the surroundings, it will try to socialize with the other fish in the tank. Also it will swim more. You can find this fish often at your local pet/fish store at inexpensive prices. I have one of my own, I have had it for a week or so. It started out lying down under anything it can find, but now it is acting social with the other fish, and swimming out in the open more. It takes any food cubes, flakes, or hand-fed food.

Contributed by Tom Oleary

The Firefish can be a gentle, colorful and entertaining addition. Aggressive tankmates love to send the little guys running for their hiding places. Some individuals can become so bullied that they hardly show themselves. In the absence of bullies, however, the Firefish will hover head-first in the current waiting for passing bits of meaty food. Its cousin, the Purple Firefish, is less shy, grows slightly larger and has purples and violets in place of reds and oranges.

Contributed by David Seibel

I put a firefish in my new reef tank yesterday. It's the first fish. There are already some polyps and a cleaner shrimp. I was floating the plastic bag to acclimatise the fish, and the shrimp was getting curious. I'd read how timid firefish can be so I put a little bit of mysis in the tank to distract the shrimp. I let the fish swim out of the bag, and he promptly ate the mysis. It wasn't as if he was LFS really looks after its fish. He then took up position near a powerhead, and swims there, at the front of the tank, all the time, snapping at bits of 'food' which swirl past him. Timid? Not this one.

Contributed by Brian Richards

I picked mine up a year ago and got lucky, got a mated pair. They did actually mate once (found a little guy) but wasn't able to catch him and ended up disappearing. In the process of upgrading the tank, scooped some sand out into the new one. He came out of the cup of sand I dumped in the tank. I figure the nests are buried in the sand. They showed some interesting behavior, the male was always out, the female only came out at feeding time to grab some food, then rushed back under the rock. Never being aggressive before whenever any other fish got near their home, the male would actually chase the other fish (chromis, scooter etc). During this time neither one went very far from the bolt hole, when normally they cover the whole tank.

Contributed by Karla Steves

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