Firefish Goby

Nemateleotris magnifica

(14 Reviews)

Firefish Goby

Firefish Goby

Nemateleotris magnifica

(14 Reviews)

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Firefish Goby Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Carnivore
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Max Size: 3 inches

Firefish Goby

​​The Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica) is a captivating and popular addition to saltwater marine aquariums, known for its vibrant colors and engaging behavior. Originating from the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea and the western Pacific Ocean, these gobies inhabit coral reefs and seek shelter in crevices or burrows. Reef safe and reaching sizes of 3 to 3.5 inches, they thrive in well-established aquariums with stable water conditions and moderate to high water flow.


The Firefish is native to the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea and the western Pacific Ocean. They inhabit coral reefs in the wild, seeking shelter in crevices or burrows.

Reef Safe

The Firefish is reef safe, making it a suitable addition to coral-rich environments. While they do not harm corals or other invertebrates, providing ample hiding spots is crucial to protect them from larger predatory fish.

Size and Lifespan

Firefish typically grow to be 3 to 3.5 inches (7.5 to 9 cm) in length. With proper care in a well-maintained aquarium, they can live for several years.


Firefish are omnivores, feeding on small crustaceans, zooplankton, and tiny marine worms in the wild. In captivity, they readily accept a variety of prepared marine foods, such as frozen or live brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and high-quality pellet or flake foods.


The Firefish is readily available in the aquarium trade, and the availability of captive-bred specimens is increasing. Successful aquaculture efforts have contributed to making this species more sustainable and accessible to hobbyists.


Firefish are generally peaceful and can coexist harmoniously with various tank mates, as long as they are not aggressive or predatory.

Ideal Tank Mates

  • Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto): Peaceful royal grammas can complement Firefish , adding color and diversity to the tank.
  • Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni): These visually striking and peaceful fish are compatible tank mates, creating an eye-catching display.
  • Dartfish (e.g., Ptereleotris spp.): Peaceful dartfish can share the tank with Firefish, showcasing their unique swimming patterns.
  • Fairy Wrasses (Cirrhilabrus spp.): Peaceful and colorful fairy wrasses can contribute visual appeal and a sense of movement to the aquarium.
  • Anthias (e.g., Pseudanthias spp.): Peaceful anthias species can thrive alongside Firefish, especially in larger aquariums with ample swimming space.

Tank Requirements

To provide a suitable habitat for Firefish, set up a well-established aquarium with plenty of live rock for hiding spots. A sandy substrate is ideal for them to create burrows and feel secure. They thrive in aquariums with stable water conditions and moderate to high water flow.

Other Common Names

Apart from being called "Firefish Goby" or "Nemateleotris magnifica," this species is also known as the "Magnificent Firefish" or "Fire Dartfish."

These guys are hardy, out there, and okay with larger but not aggressive fish like Rabbitfish, Blue Tangs, and Monos. Sometimes my Pyjama Cardinal went after their dorsal fin. Other fish seem to leave it alone. A very timid fish.

Reviewed by: John Atella on Dec. 6, 2023

Received a beautiful specimen from Saltwaterfish. Very health and active. Will look here again for future additions to my tank.

Reviewed by: George Rinehart on July 10, 2020

What can I say it's a pretty fish. It Likes to hide but I get a kick out of seeing it pop up and move around. A must have I would say.

Reviewed by: Goldenclaw on July 31, 2017

Beautiful firefish! was in hiding the first few days home but has been out ever since. great eater! all the fish I get from saltwater eat RIGHT AWAY!

Reviewed by: Marissa L on June 11, 2017

Was very shy at first and would hide in the rocks. In a week he has become much more social and is a beautiful addition to my nano.

Reviewed by: Debi Bush on April 6, 2017

Purchased two of these little cuties. I already had two that I purchased from Saltwaterfish two years ago. They all swim around together happy as can be.

Reviewed by: Lori Close on Nov. 29, 2016

Bought two of these and one of the purplish Firefish, lost one of these after about 2 days. When I say lost I mean vanished, it was the biggest but I can only see about 60% of either overflow. So there maybe hope, I did find a jaw fish in first section of my sump once. All is well otherwise, whole order was healthy on arrival.

Reviewed by: Jd on April 28, 2016

Shipped fast. Acclimated for 30 mins and fish is happy. very healthy and strong. i would suggest buying the biggest one even though it costs more. Totally worth it save time and money.

Reviewed by: Daniel Luu on Feb. 12, 2016

I ordered 2 which was a mistake for a 37gal cube. They started fighting after an hour in the tank. Next morning 1 was missing and the other showed no signs of damage. Both fish were healthy and beautiful.

Reviewed by: Michael Murphy on Feb. 5, 2016

A very pretty and friendly fish. He is much more visible in my tank than I thought he'd be, swimming around with his tank mates!

Reviewed by: Lisa on July 3, 2015

What resilient little fish! hes in my nano and is so happy. he eats well and swims in and out of the rocks. everyone enjoys watching him

Reviewed by: Laura Mabe on June 10, 2015

Firefish were very pretty and healthy looking. Ordered 4 but only have one left. This one is eating well.

Reviewed by: Susan on March 11, 2015

Lost one on arrival, I enjoy watching them Several time a day they venture out from the rock and feed.

Reviewed by: Audree Barrett on Dec. 26, 2014

Reviewed by: The Family Reef on Oct. 22, 2014

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