View Full Version : 10-12 Firefish

03/01/2011, 09:58 PM
Any one see any issues with keeping 10 to 12 regular firefish? Anyone else try a large school? I have seen how a pair stays together (I have a pair of purple firefish currently) and thought that having a school may be pretty awesome to keep. At least six and maybe even more? I have a 150g mixed reef.

Thanks for any insight/advise.

03/02/2011, 05:34 AM
They don't school. They will almost certainly reduce to 2 in the long run.

03/02/2011, 03:23 PM
You could take your plan and apply it to royal grammas though! I'm thinking about doing so myself. ;)

03/02/2011, 03:29 PM
You could take your plan and apply it to royal grammas though! I'm thinking about doing so myself. ;)

Really? Wow!

jimmy frag
03/02/2011, 04:09 PM
i have never been able to keep more than one royal in a 100 gallon, even adding them in at one time. they always fight till the strongest remains

03/02/2011, 05:13 PM
i have never been able to keep more than one royal in a 100 gallon, even adding them in at one time. they always fight till the strongest remains

Which is why I said "wow"! :)

03/02/2011, 09:16 PM
I have 7 red firefish in a 230G, its only been five months but so far no aggression and they stick together in one area. Not long term by any means but they seem ok for now.

03/02/2011, 10:42 PM
Really? Wow!

i have never been able to keep more than one royal in a 100 gallon, even adding them in at one time. they always fight till the strongest remains

Which is why I said "wow"! :)

Huh, after some reading just now I guess I'll have to retract my original post in this thread. I COULD HAVE SWORN that I had a thread awhile back where I was looking for a cool group of fish for my tank and a big group of royal grammas was suggested to me. I took a mental note of it and was still mulling over the idea for my new build. I guess that is out the window. :crazy1: Now if I could just find the thread I was thinking of so I know I'm not going insane...

Sorry about the misinformation!!! I should have done my own :reading: instead of taking a post or 2 as gospel.

03/02/2011, 10:57 PM
Ok, I knew I wasn't nuts. It took me over an hour of searching, but I found the thread.


The long spine or blue stripe cardinals are great...they dont get too big at all and usually stay together. If you want a group of fish that will interact with each other try yellow assessors or Royal Grammas. both add a spash of color!

Can't Grammas get kind of rough with one another? Males, anyway..


In the wild they live in Large groups. They are territorial but in that large of a tank you could easily have 5-6 as long as they are all added at the same time

With this size of a tank, you really have some interesting options. If it were me, I would go for a group of tangs. 3 or 4 yellow or convict tangs together would be really cool and should work well in your volume. They should schoal together and get along well.

Another option would be to keep a bunch of royal grammas. Very colorful and fun to watch fish. I have read that they are real interesting when kept in a group in terms of their behavior.

In your volume, you could do both options which would work well because the tangs are active swimmers whereas the grammas tend to stay near or about the rocks. Therefore, each group would occupy a different niche in the tank.

I think large tank is a pre-requisite here.
Though I've seen others suggest tanks of about 50 gallon for a group. Personally, I wouldn't try it. Besides I don't think they stay in the open as much as he would want.
I love Grammas but I suffer a curse! No Gramma can survive in my tank for longer than 2-3 weeks! <Sigh> Long story.
First fish I added after the crash in January. I think my Yellowtail damsel ( Which had been a pacifist before) murdered him. Well, someone took the Yellowtail out. reef Justice!


While I love anthias and cardinals, I have to recommend the Grammas.

I have a client with a small group (5) of royal grammas in her 90 gallon. These fish stay within 3 inches of each other at all times and never do any harm to each other. It is very interesting to watch the hierarchy structure and how they determine it. I think that for your size tank a group of 15 or 20 would allow for smaller groups to part off, and create mini harems throughout the tank.


Thanks for all of the ideas. Yes I want a 'school' or 'shoal' or whatever you want to call it. I call it a group, lol. I WILL have a few tangs and after that I may very well do a few grammas, some anthias, a few wrasses AND a large number of chromis. I'm just unsure of the chromis to be honest. They get quite large and the fact that the kill each other off makes me not want them. Who knows.


How would 5-6 r.g.'s handle a 30 QT together?

A group of Grammas won't work in a 30 gallon tank. A 55 MAYBE..


I recently tried the harem of Royal Grammas. I got 7 initially but 2 died in QT (disease). Five made it through 3 weeks of cupramine but one didn't look so hot. After a week I had 4 left so I assume the dodgy looking one punched out his ticket. So I have 4 now. 3 seem to hang out together, 1 is a loner.

If I could do it again I would do more (15 would be cool), and plan on a 30% loss and be left with a group of 10. I QT'd in a 50g but 15 RGs in a 50g is asking a bit much. A few years ago I tried 10 and they all died due to the water quality problems. Thing with new fish is you tend to feed a lot as you want them to eat but that fouls the water quickly with 15 fish - even if they are small.

03/03/2011, 07:17 PM
I have had three royal grammas in my 200 for around nine months or so. I added them at the same time, and I made sure that the largest was (and is) nearly twice the size of the two smaller ones. They hang out together in roughly the same area of the tank most of the time. I've never seen any aggression among the three of them. I do occasionally see a little bit of territoriality between the largest of the three grammas and my trio of bicolor blennies (which, of course, have a somewhat similar - to the grammas - color scheme going on), but nothing serious.

03/03/2011, 07:45 PM
Here is a good read on gramma harems.


03/03/2011, 09:12 PM
Interesting read. Although I have seen groups in the wild, I did not know that they could be done in our sized aquaria. I have to think about that possibility as it sounds interesting.

03/03/2011, 09:33 PM
I had a blackcap pair -- but trying to keep a large group just sounds like a good way to kill a lot of fish. Just like that link, most of them were lost. That's a pretty common story when people are putting in groups of fish and also the same experience I had with my Apogons.

I guess it could be it's just hard to find a large healthy group, or QT in the large groups turns out to be really stressful or both. Anyway, I don't want to buy 8 fish and wind up with 2.

S Michael brushes on it in his book Basslets, Dottybacks and Hawkfishes. He says they shouldn't be in with "belligerant" tankmates, but if you must, at least add the grammas first. Just the opposite of what was done in that thread.

03/22/2011, 08:58 PM
Thanks to all for an interesting read for sure. I have decided to just keep the pair of red firefish & the pair of purples. They are doing great. I have had the purples for 11months and the reds have been in the tank for about a month now.

03/22/2011, 09:04 PM
Very cool! I'd love to see pics! Have they take up residence at opposite ends of the tank Can they see each other all the time or is there any visual blocking of their view of each other. Do they interact?