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goby or Nemateleotris
belong to the
There are more than 800 cataloged species of gobies. The fire gobies
habitat encompasses the Indian Ocean and vast stretches of the Pacific
Ocean. Populations in the Pacific Ocean extend from South African to
New Caledonia and northward to the Hawaiian Islands. These shallow to
mid-water dwellers can be found in depths ranging from 20-200 feet.
Fire gobies have a thin profile as opposed to the rounder bodies
typical of most other gobies. This species has a white anterior with
yellow and or purple markings on its head. Posterior coloration varies
from yellow, orange, red or pink to a deep violet. Their most prominent
features are their thin, elongated anal and secondary dorsal fins. When
extended these fins have the characteristics of a feather or the tail
end of a dart. This resemblance earned them the nickname,
The fire goby
is marketed by the aquarium trade under various names
including firefish, firefish goby, fire dartfish and the magnificent
dartfish a derivative of its scientific classification.
This is one of the more timid species among marine life. They are
known for their use of bolt-holes. A bolt-hole is exactly what it
sounds like. This is a hiding place that a fish most generally remains
within close proximity to. When they feel frightened or threatened they
bolt into theses holes for sanctuary. Fire gobies are burrowing fish.
They will be more inclined to create rather than adopt a bolt-hole. But
they should still be provided them with plenty of hiding places they
can use when they venture outside of their burrows.
This species is considered reef-safe and will make a wonderful
addition to your marine reef aquarium.
This is a smaller species. It
only reaches a total adult length of around 3.5 inches. You will want
their tank-mates to be of similar size and temperament. This species is
so timid it will regularly starve itself to death rather than brave the
elements of a hostile environment. They will, however, exhibit
territorial behavior toward members of their own species. Unless you
have a large aquarium you will only want to add a single goby or a
couple to your tank to prevent territorial disputes.
A word of caution when it comes to keeping fire gobies; these fish
are incredible jumpers. They will often jump out of the water when they
are excited or to avoid being eaten. You will want to house them in a
lidded aquarium. If you succeed in keeping them in their aquarium you
can expect them to live in excess of ten years.
the characteristics common to many gobies is the perception
of hovering. In nature, this species will often feed by remaining
stationary in a water column rather that swimming through it while
This is a carnivorous species. Getting fire gobies to feed when
they are first introduced to an aquarium can be problematic. They are
accustomed to eating live food. If you are attempting to feed them dead
food turn your water filter capacity up to the point where the food
appears to be moving rather than stationary. Offering them live brine
shrimp will most likely induce them to start feeding. Once they
acclimate to aquarium life fire gobies will often eat meat-based marine
flake food. Their diet should be supplemented with live food or chopped
fresh sea food to help keep them healthy and to maintain their
coloring. Prepared zooplankton is commercially available and should
also be a part of their diet. Providing them with plenty of living rock
to graze on is highly recommended.