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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Did You Know? 17 Incredible Elegant Firefish Facts

Elegant firefish facts about the fish also called by the name, purple firefish, and is found exclusively in the waters of Indo west pacific

The elegant firefish (Nemateleotris decora) is a member of the family Gobiidae and a species of dartfish. The name comes from their ability to dart into holes when in an alarming situation. Firefishes are also known for their prominent first dorsal fin. The purple firefish is known by many common names including the decorated dartfish, flame firefish, fire goby, and decorated firefish. There are many other names given to the decorated dartfish which we will read about later.

This fish, purple firefish, is one of the best fish for a reef tank setup. Reef tanks are aquariums that display live coral and many invertebrates. They are quite territorial with members of the same species, but mostly remain docile. Purple firefishes are also prolific jumpers and there have been many cases of the fish jumping from the tank and dying. So proper care needs to be taken while breeding the purple firefish in a confined space. This fish also needs a lot of rocks for hiding.  

For more relatable content, check out these common snook facts and Cory catfish facts.

Elegant Firefish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an elegant firefish?

The purple firefish, also called the decorated dartfish, is a dartfish found in the waters of Indo west Pacific.

What class of animal does an elegant firefish belong to?

Purple firefish (Nemateleotris decora) fall under the class of Actinopterygii in the kingdom of Animalia. They are a species of the family Gobiidae.

How many elegant firefish are there in the world?

The population of the purple firefish is not known. This fish, however, is found abundantly in the waters of the ocean. The hardy fish with a very peaceful behavior is also seen living in captivity all over the world. They are considered one of the best reef tank fish.

Where does an elegant firefish live?

Elegant firefish (Nemateleotris decora) are found in the wild waters of the Indo-west Pacific. The fish is found from Mauritius to Samoa, then to the Ryukyu Islands, and south to New Caledonia.

What is an elegant firefish's habitat?

Elegant firefish (Nemateleotris decora) are mostly found in the deep waters of the ocean. They are found up to a depth of 984-2760 in (25 to 70 m) in the ocean. This fish usually prefers climates where the water is warm and alkaline. They spend most of the time near the substrate of sand or coral rubble. The reef provides a proper hiding place for the fish if threatened by other aggressive fish. The elegant firefish is considered to have pretty dormant behavior except in the company of the same breed, when their behavior can become aggressive. So other than the breeding season, the fish should be kept solitary. In their life in the ocean, the elegant firefish is known to forage for foods alone. They either come to the surface to feed or are seen feeding on the foods dropped in the substrate. The purple firefish is known to spend most of the time in the lower regions of the tank. They can be kept in 10-gallon tanks.

Who do elegant firefish live with?

In the wild, they are seen feeding on the deep ocean floor. The elegant firefish (Nemateleotris decora) live a solitary life and are mostly dormant and very hardy. They are monogamous and found in pairs. If the pair is not mated, the purple firefish is usually found fighting and are not found compatible with other fishes of the same species in the aquarium tank. That is why only one purple firefish is kept per tank. Fire gobies can be kept with other popular marine fishes in the aquarium tanks and also corals, shrimps, and snails. Corals are the best additions to the tanks. However, they should not be kept with large marine fish species like Triggers and lionfish.

How long does an elegant firefish live?

The usual lifespan of a fire goby is around three years.

How do they reproduce?

It is difficult to breed the elegant firefish at homes. But there have been cases of the fish being bred in captivity. It might take some time to get the perfect partner for the fish and also to get them to mate. When mating is done, each spawning produces 400-500 eggs. Eggs hatch in 4-5 days and hundreds of fry hatches. Parents care for the eggs and the fry until they reach juvenile age, which is around a month. The breeding in the ocean is not recorded.

What is their conservation status?

A member of the family Gobiidae, the purple firefish, is categorized as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. They are not threatened currently and found worldwide.

Elegant Firefish Fun Facts

What do elegant firefish look like?

Purple firefish (Nemateleotris decora) have plenty of colors in the body. The fish is long and slender. It is usually white or yellow and the color comes from their head and fins. The dorsal fin is short along with the anal fins. They can be colored blue, purple, red, or orange. The colors are striped horizontally along the fin. The caudal fin at the back is also colored the same. The dorsal fin has 7 spines and 27-32 soft rays. Some coloration of purple and yellow is found on the head. These hues surround the eyes. The eyes on the sides of the head are solid black. There are no differences physically for males and females.

The elegant firefish is a sleek and slender fish. The head is usually purple in a whitish or yellowish body and the fins have longitudinal colored patterns

How cute are they?

The colors in the body of the purple firefish are vibrant and the aquarium looks beautiful as the fish darts around in the bottom, spreading colors.

How do they communicate?

Elegant firefish (Nemateleotris decora) use their elongated dorsal fin to communicate with other firefish.

How big is an elegant firefish?

The elegant firefish size has a range up to 4 in (10.16 cm) in length.

How fast can an elegant firefish swim?

The name of the fish, dartfish, comes from the speed of the elegant firefish. Their dart like speed is however not recorded yet.

How much does an elegant firefish weigh?

The elegant firefish weight is not known. Going by the small size of the fire gobies, the weight should be even lighter.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of the elegant firefish are not given different names.

What would you call a baby elegant firefish?

After hatching, a baby elegant firefish is called a fry. They grow up to be juveniles.

What do they eat?

They are usually zooplankton eaters. They feed on tiny crustaceans and their larvae in the oceanic waters. They are carnivores and feed on anything they can find. The purple firefish is seen feeding on foods suspended in the water column. They diet on any meaty food ranging from brine shrimp, mysids, finely chopped crustacean, or mollusk meat. They also accept various frozen fish foods and sometimes flakes or pellets too. The fry needs to be fed infusoria until they age a bit.

Are they dangerous?

The purple firefish is not dangerous to us. They fight with other dartfish of the same species and often like living alone. Reefs help them in hiding from other bigger fish when threatened. The dartfish even dart around when threatened. When threatened, they are seen jumping around in the aquarium tank. They can easily jump out of the tank, and that is why a tight-fitting lid should be used to cover the tank to stop this kind of mishap from happening.

Would they make a good pet?

They are quite easy to be caring for and are very hardy. Caring for an elegant Firefish does not take much effort and is quite easy for a fresher. They are quite compatible with other popular tank fish of different species. They, however, should not be kept with other fire goby members or even other dartfish species. They are seen fighting and being aggressive in these conditions. The purple firefish is prone to disease. The water condition, tank condition, temperature, substrate, everything needs to be taken care of to prevent this disease from getting to the fish.

Did you know...

The firefish, purple firefish (Nemateleotris decora), has a plethora of common names like decorated dartfish, dart goby, dartfish, decorated firefish, elegant firefish, elegant firegoby, flame firefish, fudgeon, hover goby, purple dartfish, purple decora goby, fire goby, and purple firefish.

They are quite active, darting around in the tanks. If threatened, they are known to hide under rocks and corals.

Can two firefish live together?

Firefishes are quite territorial when it comes to members of the same family. They prefer living solitary rather than with other firefish. Only while mating, they are seen in pairs. At other times, they are quite aggressive and fight. They however live peacefully with other aquarium fish.

Are firefish aggressive?

The tankmates of this marine fish called purple firefish need to be peaceful and often of the same size. The purple firefish is quite aggressive in behavior with members of the same species and sometimes other species of dark fishes. Other than that, they are considered peaceful species and live a solitary life. Only one purple firefish per tank should be considered. Pairs of the same species are also usually considered. They will fight with other firefish unless the pair is mated.

Some good tankmates for the fire goby are butterflyfish, green chromis, pajama cardinalfish, and clownfish. Even some invertebrates, snails, and shrimps make good partners for the dartfishes in the aquarium. Coral is also a necessary addition to the aquarium tank.

The peaceful and solitary nature of decorated dartfishes and their colorful bodies makes them great choices for a community aquarium tank. These fish also get well with other popular marine fish species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fishes from our pumpkinseed sunfish facts or olive rockfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Elegant Firefish coloring pages.

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