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Nemateleotris decora
Purple FireFish, Purple Wormfish, Decorated Dartfish

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish > Purple FireFish - Nemateleotris decora

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purpfire1.jpg (17kb)
Photo Credit: John Susbilla

Name: Nemateleotris decora
Size BehaviorReef
Origin: Indo-Pacific
8 cm Social Safe


They are a beautiful fish, but beware of a few things. First, make sure your tank is totally covered or they will jump out. Second, they do not pair as well as the fire fish do. They can attack each other for space. If you wish to keep many of them in a tank together, your tank should be at least 400 liters or bigger. They do not harm any other fish, just their own for space.

Contributed by a visitor

Nice and colorful fish. Hides a lot, so make sure you have lot of hiding spaces. I prefer to see it less and having a better life, than seeing it more and having it die from stress. If you're going to buy more than one, buy them at the same time or change some rocks when you buy the other one, or it will harass too much the new one. Also, the colors are nice and it's a great addition to a reef tank.

Contributed by David Javier

I am very happy, I finally got the fish that I have long coveted. I live in Melbourne and had been searching for this species ever since I built my tank about four months ago (June 2003), to no avail. But I managed to order from a new aquarium shop that I recently found and buy a purple firefish and add it into my 75 L tank! It really seems to do well so far, eating lots of foods: shrimp frozens, pellets, and all. I named the fish "Mylady" since it looks like it's wearing a purple lipstick. So far, Mylady has territorial problems with my ever-curious amphiprion clownfish. They have engaged in fights and I have once stopped the fight by intervening with my big finger from the glass, which startled them, but I don't think it will end soon.

Contributed by Franky Everwin

I recently bought two purple firefish at the same time and they are doing wonderful in my 340 liter tank. I haven't seen them fight each other yet and they are living in the same pile of live rock. I haven't seen them bothering any of my other fish, including my clown fish. Maybe I'm just lucky and got a couple laid back ones. They are so cool to watch. I am very glad I bought them.

Contributed by Mary Griffen

I just found two of these guys for my 280 L at one of my fish stores about a week ago. I bought them the second I saw them because they were in good condition, they were swimming together, and also for the fact that they're hard to find here in Canada, especially in pairs. They are doing very well. They swim around together, they eat whatever I give them, they aren't aggressive to other fish or each other, and they are just beautiful. I did originally have an Orange Firefish which was also a delight to have, but I've noticed that these Purple Firefish come out and swim a lot more than the other Firefish did. Also, although I can't tell which is male and which is the female, I've noticed that there is a light color difference in the two fish. One of them has slightly brighter colors and the other. I'm assuming that sexes them but again, I'm not sure.

Contributed by Mike

Four months ago I introduced 2 fire fish to my marine tank too. Theyr fellow tank mates being 4 clownfish and 1 blenny. One month after the intro I noticed my firefish had mated and layed eggs. The disappointing thing was my blenny had eaten most of the eggs before I was able to save them. Since showing that they have bonded, I have now put them into a tank of their own. Already one firefish is showing a much larger belly than the other. The marine shop where I purchased these firefish from are excited to hear this pair has mated in captivity. There is not much information regarding firefish breeding in captivity so I will try my best.

Contributed by Mya

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