Nemateleotris decora

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See Talk:Nemateleotris decora for individual experiences with this species, Nemateleotris decora. Feel free to add your own personal experiences.

Common Name
Purple Firefish
Binomial Name
Nemateleotris decora
Nemateleotris decora.jpg
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Ptereleotridae
Genus: Nemateleotris
Species: decora

Common Names

  • Purple Firefish
  • Purple Fire Goby



Long slender fish which have light purple around their lips, a light yellow/cream coloured body with purple markings on their face and towards their tailfin, along with dark red and purple coloured fins. Also has an elongated first dorsal spine that "jumps" up and down.

Similar Species

Other firefish include the N. magnifica, Fire Goby and N. helfrichi, Helfrich's Firefish,

Maximum Size

Reports of growth up to 10cm in the wild, however species in the aquarium are more commonly 6-7cm long.

Associated Organisms

Anything that lives in symbiosis, parasitic or opportunistically with it.


A timid fish which can be scared quite easily if there is no cover for them to hide in. They are gregarious, and normally do best when kept severally or in pairs, however like with all fish, there may be some initial aggression to determine the hierarchy. These fish are also jumpers, so precautions should be taken to secure openings at the top of the aquarium.

Captive Care

Tank Size

It is recommended that the tank should be a minimum of 38L in size due the fish needing plenty of places to hide and swim. Unsiutable tankmates are a bigger problem in smaller tanks.

Water Flow

Most also like some sort of current, though one that is moderate in strength, flowing through their aquariums.




The purple firefish goby feeds on zooplankton, but will readily accept dry and frozen foods.

Growth Rate

How quickly it will grow under various conditions.


Things that adversely effect it, such as bacterial infections, parasites etc.


Addition things / items that are important for care in captivity.




A timid fish which is regarded as a suitable community fish


Safe with corals.


Safe with invertebrates.


Egg-layer that will lay a whitish egg mass approx 2 mm in diameter. Spawning frequency ranges from 8 - 28 days. Incubation period is 7 - 10 days at water temperatures of 24.5-27 C. Specific gravity 1.021 - 1.022. pH 8.2 - 8.4.

Local Ecology


Indo-Pacific Ocean ranging from Philippines to Australia, Fiji to Ryoku islands and in Maldives and Sri Lanka.


Where it is found on the natural reefs, the reef zone.

Additional Information

Some additional notes on it that don't fit in the above sections.