Firefish Goby

Nemateleotris magnifica

(13 Reviews)

Firefish Goby

Firefish Goby

Nemateleotris magnifica

(13 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Carnivore
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Max Size: 3 inches
The Firefish Goby, Nemateleotris magnifica, features a yellow head and a body that radiates from white to red and a characteristic elongated first ray on the forward dorsal fin. They are very peaceful and can be housed with other peaceful fish in a reef tank setting, but may become territorial towards gobies in smaller tanks.

Gobies tend to stay mainly towards the bottom of the tank, burrowing and sifting through the sand. However, this goby is also a known jumper, so a tight fitting lid is suggested. Diet should include a variety of frozen or live mysis shrimp and vitamin enriched brine shrimp 1-2 times daily.

The Dazzling Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica) in Saltwater Marine Aquariums

The Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica) is a dazzling and popular addition to saltwater marine aquariums. With its vibrant colors and captivating behavior, this goby species can add beauty and activity to any reef environment. Let's explore the Firefish Goby's habitat, reef-safe nature, size, lifespan, diet, aquaculture potential, compatibility, suitable tank mates, tank requirements, other common names, and compatible tank mates.


The Firefish Goby 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 Goby 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 Gobies 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 Gobies 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 Goby 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 Gobies 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 Gobies, 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 Gobies, 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 Gobies, especially in larger aquariums with ample swimming space.

Tank Requirements

To provide a suitable habitat for Firefish Gobies, 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."

Enhance Your Aquarium with Firefish Gobies

The Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica) is a captivating and dynamic addition to saltwater marine aquariums. Its vibrant colors and engaging behavior make it a popular choice among marine enthusiasts. By providing them with an appropriate environment and compatible tank mates, aquarists can enjoy the charm and beauty of these remarkable gobies. With proper care and attention, the Firefish Goby can thrive and become a focal point of admiration in any saltwater marine aquarium.

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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