First Time Marine Keeper

The journey of a first time salt water aquarium keeper

Firefish Goby

Common names for the Firefish Goby include; Firefish, Magnificent, Fire Goby, Dartfish & Fire Dartfish.

Firefish Goby
Firefish Goby

This attractive & active fish is a welcome addition to most aquariums. With their unusual shape and interesting colours they are sure to catch the eye of anyone looking at your tank.

They are known as dartfish because they have a habit of darting into their hiding spot very quickly when they are spooked.

Tank Requirements & Facts

Firefish under blue lighting
Firefish under blue lighting
  • Minimum tank size: 20 Gallon (91 Litres)
  • Prone to disease: No
  • Beginner Compatible: Yes
  • Adult Size: 3 inches (7.6cm)
  • Reef Compatible: Yes
  • Predator Tank Compatible: No
  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 8.1 to 8.4
  • Temperature: 22°C to 27°C
  • Preferred Tank Level: All
  • Lots of hiding places required for these skittish fish
  • Tight fitting lid, these fish are notorious jumpers
  • Number to a tank: One to be kept per tank, you can keep a mated pair, but it is pot luck if you get a male and a female. Two males together will almost certainly kill each other


  • These are omnivores
  • They catch their food in the water column as it passes them
  • They are not overly aggressive eaters
  • They don’t tend to graze on Nori
  • They don’t show much interest in pellets
  • Flaked food, frozen food & live foods are readily accepted


When acclimating your firefish it is best to do so in a deep bucket that the fish is unable to jump out of.

Place your fish in the bucket and then drip acclimate for about 45 minutes at a rate of 3 drips per second. This should bring the fishes water parameters in line with your tanks parameters.

Once your fish has been drip acclimated, catch the fish with a net and place it gently into your tank. Do not put any of the water the fish originally came in, into your tank.

Care should be taken after adding the fish to ensure there is a tightly fitting lid on the aquarium at all times. These fish are known to be jumpers and they are more likely to jump when first introduced to an aquarium.

Can I Keep a Red & Purple Firefish In The Same Tank?

Purple Firefish
Purple Firefish

As pretty and peaceful as these fish are, they do not do particularly well together. Two males will almost certainly kill each other, and this particular marine species is nearly impossible to sex. A male and a female will generally be ok together, but it is pot luck as to what sex fish you get (unless you are lucky enough to find an already established pair).

Dartfish Goby
Red Firefish

Even mixing the two colours up has no guarantee that they will not fight, especially in smaller aquariums. In larger aquariums, you may be lucky enough for each of the fish to claim and end of the tank and keep to their own ends, but this again is a bit of luck rather than judgment, as it depends on where your firefish decide to call home!

If you do decide to take a chance on it (as many reefers have), ensure you have a large tank, 4 foot long as a minimum and make sure you add the fish at the same time and that they are of a similar size.

 Personal Review

These fish are fast! Super fast! When they are spooked they dart into their chosen cave and will take a while to come out from hiding. They seem to take a while to be comfortable in the aquarium and will dart away whenever spooked. Things like turning on the vacuum cleaner sends mine into a spin.

When they do eventually settle, they are interesting to watch. They bobble around the water column, snatching at anything that happens to float past them.

The unusual shape and colouration of this fish adds an interesting dynamic to the tank, and the fact that they are beginner friendly and peaceful makes these fish an ideal addition to any aquarium.

It is a shame that they don’t do well in pairs as I would love to have had a couple of the bobbling around my tank.

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