Helfrichi Firefish

Helfrichi Firefish
Latin name:
(Nemateleotris helfrichi)

Care Level





Purple, Yellow



Preferred Conditions

sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size

20 gallons


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Have you ever been captivated by the vibrant colors and fascinating behaviors of marine life? If so, the Helfrichi Firefish might be the perfect addition to your home aquarium. This unique fish, native to the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, is known for its striking appearance and relatively easy care requirements.

Helfrichi Firefish: An Overview

The Helfrichi Firefish, scientifically known as Nemateleotris helfrichi, belongs to the family Apogonidae. These fish are characterized by their elongated, slender bodies, which can reach a maximum length of around 3 inches. Their most distinctive feature is their vibrant coloration, which typically includes a bright red or orange body with yellow or white stripes. The Helfrichi Firefish also has a pair of large, black eyes and a forked tail.

Natural Habitat and Distribution

The Helfrichi Firefish is native to the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the western Pacific Ocean. They typically inhabit coral reefs and rocky areas, where they can find shelter and food. These fish are found at depths ranging from 10 to 100 feet.

Diet and Feeding Habits

The Helfrichi Firefish is a carnivorous fish that feeds primarily on small crustaceans, such as copepods, amphipods, and mysids. They also consume small worms, brine shrimp, and mysis shrimp. In captivity, these fish can be fed a variety of live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods. It’s important to provide a varied diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

Tank Requirements and Care

The Helfrichi Firefish is a relatively easy fish to care for in an aquarium setting. However, it’s important to provide them with the right environment and conditions to thrive. Here are some key considerations for keeping Helfrichi Firefish in an aquarium:

Tank Size and Setup

The Helfrichi Firefish requires a tank size of at least 10 gallons, but a larger tank is always better. The tank should have a tight-fitting lid, as these fish are known to be jumpers. The substrate should be a fine sand or crushed coral, and the tank should be decorated with live rock and other hiding places.

Water Parameters

The Helfrichi Firefish prefers water temperatures between 72°F and 78°F, with a pH of 8.1 to 8.4 and a specific gravity of 1.025 to 1.026. Regular water changes are essential to maintain good water quality and prevent the buildup of harmful toxins.

Feeding and Nutrition

The Helfrichi Firefish should be fed a varied diet of live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods. Live foods, such as copepods and amphipods, are a great source of nutrition for these fish. Frozen foods, such as brine shrimp and mysis shrimp, are also a good option. Freeze-dried foods can be offered as a supplement, but they should not be the main part of the diet.

Common Diseases and Health Issues

The Helfrichi Firefish is generally a hardy fish, but it can be susceptible to certain diseases and health issues. Here are some common problems to watch out for:


Ich is a common parasitic infection that can affect the Helfrichi Firefish. Symptoms of ich include white spots on the body and fins, as well as flashing and scratching against objects in the tank. Treatment involves raising the water temperature and using a copper-based medication.


Velvet is another parasitic infection that can affect the Helfrichi Firefish. Symptoms of velvet include a gold or brown velvety coating on the body and fins, as well as lethargy and loss of appetite. Treatment involves using a copper-based medication.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections can also affect the Helfrichi Firefish. Symptoms of bacterial infections can vary depending on the type of bacteria involved, but may include lethargy, loss of appetite, and swelling or redness of the body or fins. Treatment involves using antibiotics.

FAQs About the Helfrichi Firefish

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Helfrichi Firefish:

Q: Are Helfrichi Firefish aggressive?

A: No, Helfrichi Firefish are generally not aggressive towards other fish. However, they may be territorial towards other firefish species.

Q: Can Helfrichi Firefish be kept in a community tank?

A: Yes, Helfrichi Firefish can be kept in a community tank with other peaceful fish. However, it’s important to choose tankmates that are compatible with the firefish’s size and temperament.

Q: How long do Helfrichi Firefish live?

A: The average lifespan of a Helfrichi Firefish in captivity is around 5 years. However, with proper care and maintenance, they can live for up to 10 years.


The Helfrichi Firefish is a captivating and relatively easy-to-care-for fish that can add a touch of color and excitement to any home aquarium. With its vibrant coloration and fascinating behaviors, the Helfrichi Firefish is sure to be a favorite among marine fish enthusiasts.