Purple Firefish Care Guide: Appearance, Size, Breeding, Tankmates & All | 2023

By: Martin McAdam
Updated: November 30, 2022

One of the luxuries of the deep sea is its diversity of life. In the dark, cold depths lurk creatures that would seem more at home in a science fiction novel than in reality. The Purple Firefish is among these strange beings, also known as "the dragon of the deep."

Purple Firefish are small, eel-like fish found in the ocean's mesopelagic and bathypelagic zones. They are among the most common fish in the deep sea and are found in all oceans worldwide.

Despite their name, Purple Firefish are not related to eels. They are members of the loosejaw family (Malacosteidae), which contains about 30 species of fish.

As a hardy species, they can withstand the extreme pressure and cold temperatures of the deep sea. They have been found at depths of up to 6,000 meters (about 19,685 feet).

This article will take a closer look at the Purple Firefish's physical characteristics, habitat, and diet. We will also discuss their unique ability to produce light and why they are sometimes called "the dragon of the deep."

So, let's dive in and learn all about Purple Firefish!

Species Summary

Scientific name:Nemateleotris decora
Common name:Elegant Firefish, Purple Dartfish, or Decorated Dartfish
Family:Gobiidae
Origin: Mesopelagic and bathypelagic zones of the ocean
Habitat: All oceans of the world
Size: Up to 4 inches
Life expectancy:Up to 5 years
Temperament:Only aggressive toward the same species
Tank size: 10 gallons
Water temperature:72°F to 80° F
Water type:Saltwater
pH level:8.1 to 8.4
Specific gravity: 1.020-1.025
Water hardness: 8 to 12 dKH
Activity level:Moderately active
Care level:Easy
Tankmates:Other peaceful saltwater fish78
Compatibility:Peaceful community
Breeding:Egg-laying
Diet:Carnivorous (feeds on smaller fish, squid, and crustaceans)

They are a type of fish known as dartfish, a small, elongated fish characterized by their quick swimming movements. The Purple Firefish gets its name from its vibrant purple coloration.

Purple Firefish Species Summary

These fish are found in all oceans of the world and are among the most common fish in the deep sea.

By searching online, you will be able to find them for sale. They are popular among saltwater aquarium enthusiasts because of their vibrant color and relatively low-maintenance care requirements.

The cost of a Purple Firefish will vary depending on the fish's size, age, and location. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $50 for one of these fishes.

Purple Firefish Appearance

They get their name from their ability to produce bright purple light from two organs near their eyes. These organs, called photophores, attract prey and communicate with other Purple Firefish.

Purple Firefish Appearance

The body of a Purple Firefish is elongated and slender, with a long tail fin. They have large eyes, adapted to see in the low-light conditions of the deep sea. The eyes are usually green or yellow.

Their body is covered in small scales, which are arranged in rows along the length of the body. The scales are usually silver or gray, with some species having a pinkish or orange hue.

Their fins are typically transparent, although some species may have a yellow or orange tint. The caudal fin (tail fin) is forked in shape, and the pectoral fins (side fins) are long and slender.

In front of the pectoral fins, Purple Firefish have a pair of long barbels (sensory organs) that they use to taste and smell their surroundings.

The males and females of this species are very similar in appearance, except for their reproductive organs. The males have a pair of testes behind their pelvic fins, while the females have ovaries near their anal fins.

Purple Firefish Size & Growth Rate

The size will depend on the age and species of the fish. Most Purple Firefish are between 2 and 4 inches long.

Purple Firefish Size & Growth Rate

These fish have a moderate growth rate and will reach their full size within a few months to a year.

Purple Firefish Behavior & Temperament

This dartfish spends most of its time in the water column but will perch on rocks and coral when resting. It is a very active swimmer and is constantly on the move.

Purple Firefish Behavior & Temperament

The Purple Firefish is a peaceful fish that can be kept with various other peaceful fish. They are not known to bother other tank mates and will generally get along with everyone.

They are a great addition to any peaceful community tank. Some people have had success keeping them with shrimp, but this is not recommended as they may eat it.

They are happy living in pairs or small groups. They are not known to be aggressive towards each other and will generally get along well.

In the wild, they are found in the reefs of the Indo-Pacific.

Purple Firefish Lifespan

The life expectancy is up to 3 years, although some individual fish have been known to live for up to 5 years.

However, their average lifespan in captivity is 2 to 3 years.

Purple Firefish Breeding

The Purple Firefish is a spawning aggregate fish, meaning that a group will form a breeding pair.

Purple Firefish Breeding

To breed them in captivity, you will need to provide them with a large tank with plenty of hiding places. It is also important to have a good filtration system in place as they are very sensitive to water quality.

To induce spawning, you can lower the water level and raise the temperature by a few degrees. This will usually trigger them to start spawning.

Once they start spawning, you can remove the parents from the tank, as they may eat the eggs.

The eggs will hatch in about 24-48 hours, and the fry will be free-swimming a few days later.

You can feed them baby brine shrimp or other small foods until they are large enough to eat pellets or flakes.

By following these steps, you can successfully breed Purple Firefish in captivity.

Purple Firefish Care

These are relatively low-maintenance fish and can be cared for by beginner aquarists. They are a hardy species that can withstand a wide range of water parameters, making them ideal for beginners.

When keeping Purple Firefish in an aquarium, it is essential to provide them with plenty of hiding places. This can be achieved by using live rock, coral, or other decorations. Providing them with plenty of open space to swim is also essential.

After the aquarium is set up, you will need to add saltwater fish. The water should be good quality and free of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. It is also essential to offer them a variety of food to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

Here we will go over everything you need to know about caring for Purple Firefish, including their diet, tank setup, and social behavior.

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for Purple Firefish is 10 gallons, although a larger tank is always better. As these fish grow, they will need more space to swim and hide.

When setting up your tank, use live rock and coral to provide hiding places for your fish. You should also include a protein skimmer in your filtration system.

Water Parameters

They are tolerant of different water parameters, making them ideal for beginners. The water temperature should be between 72° to 80°F, with a pH of 8.1 to 8.4. The specific gravity should be between 1.020 and 1.025.

The water hardness should be between 8 to 12 dKH.

It is also essential to maintain a high level of dissolved oxygen in the water, as these fish are accustomed to living in the oxygen-rich waters of the open ocean.

You can achieve this by using an air stone or powerhead to create a strong water current in the tank.

Filtration

When choosing a filter for your tank, you should look for one designed for saltwater aquariums. A good filter will help remove harmful toxins from the water and maintain a high level of water quality.

You should also consider adding a protein skimmer to your filtration system. A protein skimmer will help remove organic waste from the water, which is essential for maintaining water quality.

The filter should have a flow rate of at least 10 times the volume of your tank. For example, if you have a 30-gallon tank, your filter should have 300 gallons flow rate per hour.

Some recommended filters for their tanks include:

  • AquaClear 70 power filter: This filter has a flow rate of 700 gallons per hour and features a built-in protein skimmer.
AquaClear 70 power filter
  • Fluval 406 canister filter: This filter has a flow rate of 525 gallons per hour and includes a protein skimmer.
Fluval 406 canister filter
  • Eheim Classic 2213 canister filter: This filter has a flow rate of 264 gallons per hour and includes a protein skimmer.
Eheim Classic 2213 canister filter

Heating

The water temperature for them should be between 72° to 80°Fahrenheit. If the water temperature drops below 72 degrees, the fish may become stressed and susceptible to disease.

To maintain a consistent water temperature, you need to use an aquarium heater. A good quality heater will allow you to set and maintain the desired water temperature.

Some recommended aquarium heaters for Purple Firefish tanks include:

  • Eheim Jager Aquarium Heater: This heater is fully submersible and features a digital temperature display.
Eheim Jager Aquarium Heater
  • Fluval E Series Heater: This heater is also fully submersible and features adjustable temperature control.
Fluval E Series Heater
  • Tetra AquaSafe Heater: This heater is fully submersible and has a shatterproof design.
Tetra AquaSafe Heater

Plants

While Purple Firefish will not eat plants, they may nibble on them from time to time. As a result, it is best to choose plants that are resistant to herbivores.

Some good plant options for their tanks include:

  • Java fern (Microsorum Pteropus): This plant is tough and can withstand heavy grazing.
java fern
  • Anubias barteri: This plant is tough and can withstand heavy grazing.
Anubias barteri
  • Bolbitis heudelotii: This plant is less tolerant of herbivores, but its beautiful foliage makes it worth including in your tank.
Bolbitis heudelotii

Lighting

They do not require special lighting, but you should provide some form of lighting to help show off the colors of your fish.

Also, if you are keeping live plants in your tank, they will need light to photosynthesize. An incandescent bulb or fluorescent tube will provide your Purple Firefish tank with the necessary lighting.

If you are keeping live plants in your tank, you should look for a plant-specific lightbulb or tube.

Some recommended bulbs and tubes for their tanks include:

  • The Zoo Med AquaSun aquarium hood: This hood uses fluorescent tubes and provides the necessary lighting for fish and plants.
  • The Coralife Marine & Reef Full Spectrum Fluorescent Light Bulb: This bulb is designed for marine aquariums and provides the necessary lighting for both fish and plants.
  • The Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 UVB Fluorescent Tube: This tube is designed for reptile tanks, but it can also be used in aquariums. It provides the necessary lighting for both fish and plants.

Co2 Systems

If you are keeping live plants in your tank, they will need co2 to grow. A co2 system can be very helpful in ensuring that your plants have the necessary co2 to grow.

Some recommended co2 systems for Purple Firefish tanks include:

  • The Fluval Edge 6 Gallon Aquarium with CO2 Kit: This kit includes everything you need to get started with co2 in your aquarium.
  • The API Freshwater Master Test Kit: This kit includes a test tube and reagent drops for testing the co2 levels in your aquarium.
  • The AquaVantage AQ-5200+ Aquarium Air Pump: This air pump can provide the necessary co2 for your aquarium.

Substrate

The substrate is the material you put at your tank's bottom. It can be anything from sand to gravel to rocks.

For Purple Firefish tanks, a dark-colored substrate is recommended. This will help to show off the colors of your fish.

Some recommended substrates for Purple Firefish tanks include:

  • Black Diamond Blasting Sand: This sand is fine and will help show off your fish's colors.
Black Diamond Blasting Sand
  • Fluval Stratum: This substrate is made of clay and is very dark in color. It will help to show off the colors of your fish.
Fluval Stratum
  • Seachem Fluorite Black: This substrate is made of fluorite and is very dark in color. It will help to show off the colors of your fish.
Seachem Fluorite Black

Decorations

They are not picky when it comes to decorations. They will do well in a tank with a variety of different decorations.

Some recommended decorations for Purple Firefish tanks include:

  • Caves: Caves provide places for your fish to hide and feel secure.
  • Rocks: Rocks can provide places for your fish to hide and feel secure. They can also help to create a more natural-looking environment for your fish.

Driftwood

Driftwood can provide places for your fish to hide and feel secure. It can also help to create a more natural-looking environment for your fish.

  • Artificial plants: Artificial plants can provide places for your fish to hide and feel secure. They can also help to create a more natural-looking environment for your fish.
  • Water Conditioners: Water conditioners are not required for them, but they can be helpful in keeping the water in your tank clean and clear.

Some recommended water conditioners for Purple Firefish tanks include:

  • API Freshwater Master Test Kit: This kit includes a test tube and reagent drops to test your aquarium's water quality.
  • Seachem Prime: This water conditioner is designed to remove chlorine and chloramine from your water.
  • API Stress Coat+: This water conditioner is designed to remove stress from your fish.

Other Tank Accessories

There are a few other things that you will need for your Purple Firefish tank.

Some of these include:

  • Air Pump: An air pump is necessary to provide the oxygen your fish need to breathe.
  • pH Meter: A ph meter is necessary to test your water's pH.

Aquarium Thermometer

An aquarium thermometer is necessary to keep track of the temperature of the water in your tank.

By following these guidelines, you will be sure to create a happy and healthy environment for your Purple Firefish.

Water Changes

Water changes are essential for keeping your Purple Firefish tank clean and clear.

It is recommended that you do a water change of 25% once a week.

To do a water change, follow these steps:

  • Remove all decorations from the tank.
  • Turn off all filters and pumps.
  • Drain the water from the tank.
  • Refill the tank with freshwater.
  • Replace all decorations and turn on all filters and pumps.

Through these steps, you will ensure that your Purple Firefish have a clean and safe environment to live in.

Cleaning The Tank

Cleaning the tank is essential for keeping your Purple Firefish tank clean and clear.

It is recommended that you clean the tank every two weeks.

To clean the tank, follow these steps:

  • Remove all decorations from the tank.
  • Turn off all filters and pumps.
  • Drain the water from the tank.
  • Clean the tank with a sponge or cloth.
  • Rinse the decorations in clean water.
  • Refill the tank with freshwater.
  • Replace all decorations and turn on all filters and pumps.

Cleaning The Filter

Cleaning the filter is essential for keeping your Purple Firefish tank clean and clear.

It is recommended that you clean the filter every two weeks.

To clean the filter, follow these steps:

  • Remove the filter from the tank.
  • Rinse the filter media in clean water.
  • Replace the filter media.
  • Put the filter back in the tank.
  • Turn on the filter.

Testing The Water

Testing the water is essential for keeping your Purple Firefish tank clean and clear.

It is recommended that you test the water every week.

To test the water, follow these steps:

  • Fill a test tube with water from the tank.
  • Add reagent drops to the water in the test tube.
  • Compare the color of the water in the test tube to the color chart included in the kit.
  • Test the pH of the water.
  • Test the water's ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.

By following these guidelines, you will be sure to create a happy and healthy environment for your Purple Firefish.

Common Possible Diseases

There are a few diseases that your Purple Firefish may be susceptible to.

Some of these diseases include:

  • Ich: Ich is a disease that is caused by a parasite. Symptoms of ich include white spots on the body, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

If you think that your fish has ich, it is important to treat the disease immediately. The best way to treat ich is to raise the temperature of the water and add a salt treatment.

  • Columnaris: Columnaris is a disease that is caused by bacteria. Symptoms of columnaris include white spots on the body, fins, and tail.

If you think that your fish have columnaris, it is important to treat the disease immediately. The best way to treat columnaris is to raise the temperature of the water and add a salt treatment.

  • Fin Rot: Fin rot is a disease that is caused by bacteria. Symptoms of fin rot include fins that are frayed or ripped.

If you think that your fish has fin rot, it is important to treat the disease immediately. The best way to treat fin rot is to raise the temperature of the water and add a salt treatment.

Preventing Diseases

There are a few things that you can do to prevent diseases in your Purple Firefish.

Some of these things include:

  • Quarantining new fish: When you add new fish to your tank, it is important to quarantine them for at least two weeks. This will help to ensure that they are not sick and will not make your other fish sick.
  • Cleaning the tank regularly: As mentioned before, it is important to clean the tank every two weeks. This will help to remove any waste or parasites that could make your fish sick.
  • Testing the water regularly: As mentioned before, testing the water every week is important. This will help you keep an eye on the water parameters and make sure that they are within the ideal range.
  • Adding a salt treatment: Adding a salt treatment to your tank can help to prevent diseases. It is essential to only add a salt treatment if your fish are showing symptoms of the disease.

By following these guidelines, you can help to prevent diseases in your Purple Firefish.

Treatment And Medications Of Diseases

There are a few medications that you can use to treat diseases in your Purple Firefish.

Some of these medications include:

  • Aquarium salt: Aquarium salt can be used to treat a variety of diseases. It is important to only add aquarium salt if your fish are showing symptoms of the disease.
  • Malachite green: Malachite green can be used to treat a variety of diseases. It is important to only add malachite green if your fish are showing symptoms of the disease.
  • Copper sulfate: Copper sulfate can be used to treat a variety of diseases. It is important to only add copper sulfate if your fish are showing symptoms of the disease.

If you are not sure which medication to use, it is important to consult a veterinarian.

Purple Firefish Food & Diet

Purple Firefish are carnivores and will consume a variety of meaty foods. Their diet consists of small crabs, shrimp, and other invertebrates in the wild.

In the aquarium, they can be fed a diet of frozen or live foods, such as

  • Brine shrimp
  • Bloodworms
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Krill

You can also offer them pellets or flakes designed for carnivorous fish. It is important to offer them a variety of foods to ensure that they get all the nutrients they need.

You can ensure that your Purple Firefish remain healthy and happy by providing a varied diet.

Diet Foods To Avoid

There are a few foods that you should avoid feeding your Purple Firefish.

Some of these foods include:

  • Algae
  • Plants
  • Insects

By avoiding these foods, you can help to keep your Purple Firefish healthy and happy.

Feeding Schedule

You should feed your Purple Firefish two or three times a day.

It is important to only offer them as much food as they can consume in a few minutes. Also, it is important to remove any uneaten food from the tank to prevent it from decaying and polluting the water.

Just like humans, they need to eat a balanced diet. A good way to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need is to offer them a variety of foods.

Purple Firefish Tank Mates

They are peaceful fish and can be kept with a variety of other peaceful fish. They are not known to bother other tank mates and will generally get along with everyone.

Aggression is only shown when they are defending their territory. They may become aggressive towards other fish that invade their space.

Some suitable tank mates for the Purple Firefish include:

Invertebrates are good for tank mates as the Purple Firefish are not known to bother them.

Some suitable invertebrates include:

Fish To Avoid

Purple Firefish are peaceful fish and should not be kept with aggressive or territorial fish.

Some fish to avoid include:

Advantages Of Having Purple Firefish In Your Tank

The first advantage is that they are very peaceful fish and will not bother other tank mates.

They are also very active fish and will add a lot of movement to your tank.

Another advantage is that they are very easy to care for and do not require any special diet or care.

Finally, they are very beautiful fish and will add a lot of color to your tank.

Disadvantages Of Having Purple Firefish In Your Tank

The only disadvantage of having Purple Firefish is that they are very sensitive to water quality. If the water quality in your tank is not good, they will quickly become sick and may even die.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the Purple Firefish is a great addition to any peaceful community tank. They are very easy to care for and do not require any special diet or care.

If you are looking for a beautiful fish that will add a lot of color to your tank, then the Purple Firefish is good.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer

AquaMarinePower.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. We go to great lengths to help users better understand their aquatic friends. However, the content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

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