Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica) Facts and Information

Facts About the Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica)

Firefish Goby
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The Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica) is a terrific little fish that makes a great addition to any (especially mini or nano) reef tank. This fish's bright colors ( a yellow head, white anterior, and pinkish to orange-red posterior. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are highlighted in black) make it stand out in any reef tank.

The Firefish Goby is a near-perfect reef tank fish as it doesn't bother other fish, corals or invertebrates commonly found in a reef tank.

Owners of this fish say that it has personality plus. It spends its days flitting around the tank, then diving into cover when it feels threatened. When the Firefish Goby is first introduced into a tank it may hide for days on end, making the owner think it has totally disappeared from the tank or is lying dead somewhere in the liverock. But, once it feels comfortable with its new surroundings, it will come out to chase down small scraps of food with all of the rest of the fish in the tank. Not an aggressive feeder, care should be taken to make sure that it is getting enough food.

This fish should be kept singly or in a mated in a tank as they will quarrel with other fish of the same species. In the wild, this fish can be found in groups hovering above the reef, but close to their numerous hiding places, feeding on the planktonic food that drifts by in the current.


Scientific Name:

Nemateleotris magnifica

Other Common Names:

Also known as the Firefish Goby, Fire Goby, and Magnificent or Fire Dartfish.


The Firefish Goby can be found in the waters of Africa, Coral Sea, Indonesia, Maldives and the Indo-Pacific. Some sources say that it can be found in the Hawaiian water, but in 10 years experience of collecting tropical fish in HI, we never saw any of them.


This fish has a yellow head, white anterior, and pinkish to orange-red posterior. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are highlighted in black.

Maximum Size:

This fish can attain a length of 3.0".

Minimum Tank Size Suggested:

The Firefish Goby can be kept in a reef tank as small as10 gallons with a glass cover and sufficient hiding places in the live rock.

Diet & Feeding:

A carnivore, the Firefish Goby's diet should include meaty foods, including Mysis Shrimp, Brine Shrimp, finely chopped fresh or frozen seafoods.

Characteristics & Compatibility:

This fish should be kept singly, unless the tank is very large, or in mated pairs. This fish is very timid and will not come out of hiding unless it feels secure. The Firefish is also known to leap from a tank when startled, so a covered tank is best.