Species group: Dartfsh and Firefish
Other common names: Blacktail Goby, Blacktail Dartfish
Scientific name: Ptereleoptris heteroptera
The Blue Grudgeon Dartfish does indeed appear to be a colorful dart shooting about the aquarium. Small, peaceful and active, it makes a perfect Nano or reef tank inhabitant.
The Blue Grudgeon Dartfish ranges throughout the Indo-Pacific Region, where it lives along coral and rocky reefs in pairs or schools.
Appearance / health:
The 12.7 cm (5 in) body is elongated and beautifully-colored in green or blue, with a black spot on the tail.
Blue Grudgeon Dartfish prove quite hardy in well-maintained aquariums. They are fast and alert, but may be injured or consumed by large fish and aggressive invertebrates.
Behavior / temperament:
Blue Grudgeon Dartfish are always on the go, poking (or darting!) about the rocks and coral in the tank’s lower and middle levels. They are peaceful, and get along well with many non-aggressive reef fishes and invertebrates.
The Blue Grudgeon Dartfish requires a well-filtered 113 liter (30 gal) or larger aquarium that is provisioned with numerous rock/coral caves to serve as hunting and shelter sites. Live sand and live rock, which will provide some of the micro-organisms they relish, should be utilized if possible. Although they will not excavate burrows in the sand, any that you can set-up will be preferred over all other shelters (they occupy abandoned invertebrate burrows in the wild). Dartfish are accomplished jumpers, so all openings in the hood must be secured. They do best in pairs or small groups.
The following water quality parameters should be maintained in order to assure long-term health: Temperature: 22-25.5 C (72-78 F); Specific Gravity (Salinity): 1.020-1.025; pH: 8.1-8.4.
The diet should include finely-chopped clam, squid, and other meaty foods, live and frozen rotifers, cyclops, Mysis and brine shrimp, and flakes/pellets formulated for carnivorous marine fishes.
Despite the Dartfishes’ popularity, thus far only the Zebra Dartfish has been induced to spawn in captivity. Sadly, the minute fry have not yet been reared successfully.
Written by Frank Indiviglio