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Helfrichi Firefish

(Nemateleotris helfrichi)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 3"
• Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Microdesmidae   • Species: Dartfish   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Helfrichi Firefish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Helfrichi Firefish is considered to be one of the most sought after reef fish within the marine hobby. They are found within the tropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific and can be observed weaving in and out of various caves and crevices or cruising close to the reef while looking for planktonic food within the water column. Helfrichi Firefish are a hardy and tranquil species that will coexist peacefully with many other community and reef fish of a similar nature.

Helfrichi Firefish are pleasing to watch due to their beautiful, pastel-like coloration of cream, yellow, to purple as well as the mesmerizing "twitching" of their dorsal fin as they swim about. Helfrichi Firefish are extremely popular, but are considered to be slightly rare in the hobby and they have a high price tag ($100 each on average); ordering them via online vendors or special orders through a local retailer is the best method of acquisition.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Helfrichi Firefish in the home aquarium.

The Helfrichi Firefish prefers plenty of live rock as well as open space in the water column where it can feed on zooplankton and other small, meaty treats. It should be housed in an aquarium of at least 20 gallons and appreciates live sand to help fortify the population of amphipods, copepods, and other planktonic snacks. Helfrichi Firefish generally swim around at mid-level of the aquarium, rarely straying too far from their favorite caves or other favorite spots.

A hood or tight fitting lid is recommended as this species is known to be easily startled and may jump from the aquarium. They should be kept in groups or at least as a pair as they prefer the company of conspecifics; they also do well with other peaceful community fish and should not be housed with aggressive species.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Helfrichi Firefish.

Helfrichi Firefish are carnivorous and in their natural environment they patrol the water column for planktonic life such as amphipods, copepods, tiny crustaceans, various larvae, and other zooplankton. In the aquarium they should be supplied with a variety of live, frozen, or freeze-dried, vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, finely chopped krill, and other prepared marine food items.

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