Timid Firefish

Itchy Trigger

New member
I just added the second fish to my tank (one spot foxface). The first fish was a purple firefish. The firefish had been very outgoing, and was always out in the open, eating like a pig. However, a few days after introducing the foxface, the firefish disappeared. Didn't see him and he didn't come out to eat for the past two days. I was beginning to think he had died and been consumed by my CUC. However, just now, I saw him hiding way back in the rock work. I threw some mysis shrimp in, but again, he didn't come out and the foxface ate everything.

Is it possible that he's just feeling intimidated by the larger foxface, and will come out of hiding when he feels more comfortable and realizes the foxface isn't a threat? Or is it possible the foxface was bullying him? I certainly didn't see anything like that happen, but I guess it's possible.
 

Bent

I got nothin'
The purple firefish I've always delt with were very skittish. Dunno if that's normal or if they were supposed to be extroverted like yours.
 

CoralReeForrest

New member
I have two purples, I've now added a royal gramma and a little quite feisty blenny, one (I'm assuming the more dominant firefish) is always out, the other after taking some bullying after a couple months from the other fire fish (they were great for like 2 months then started going at it then seemed to get over it) seems to be far more shy he hangs out behind the rock work so I have to assume they can be intimidated easily. Will see how all the small fish do once my kole gets out of QT in a month. 75gal btw
 

Sugar Magnolia

Mother of Dachshunds
Staff member
RC Mod
They are generally very timid fish. It may very well be intimidated by the foxface. Is the foxface showing any signs of aggressive behavior? I had a foxface kill a yellow watchman goby years ago.
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
They are generally very timid fish. It may very well be intimidated by the foxface. Is the foxface showing any signs of aggressive behavior? I had a foxface kill a yellow watchman goby years ago.

Really? Wow, I thought they were supposed to be quite peaceful. In the couple of days that both of them were out and about together I didn't see any aggressive behavior from the fox.
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
The next fish I was planning to add was an exquisite fairy wrasse... Then a royal gramma... I guess if the foxface exhibits aggression towards the wrasse, I'll pull him out and save him to add once all the other fish are in and more established.
 

CoralReeForrest

New member
The next fish I was planning to add was an exquisite fairy wrasse... Then a royal gramma... I guess if the foxface exhibits aggression towards the wrasse, I'll pull him out and save him to add once all the other fish are in and more established.

You always want to add in the order of least aggro to most aggro
 

CoralReeForrest

New member
Yes, I know... According to all I read, foxface aren't supposed to be aggressive.

While I agree with that I feel size of the fish also plays a part as smaller fish may be more intimidated by the new large tank mate. Unless you're dealing with damsels they are demon spawn hahaha
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
While I agree with that I feel size of the fish also plays a part as smaller fish may be more intimidated by the new large tank mate. Unless you're dealing with damsels they are demon spawn hahaha

True. The firefish was added first. The larger foxface came second... I knew the firefish was the most mild mannered of all the fish being added... I guess I'll just have to wait and see how things go down once I add the wrasse. Getting him next week, so after he goes through quarantine, in he goes... Would you recommend just pulling the foxface out now? Or wait and see if the firefish eventually comes out?
 

CoralReeForrest

New member
True. The firefish was added first. The larger foxface came second... I knew the firefish was the most mild mannered of all the fish being added... I guess I'll just have to wait and see how things go down once I add the wrasse. Getting him next week, so after he goes through quarantine, in he goes... Would you recommend just pulling the foxface out now? Or wait and see if the firefish eventually comes out?

As long as they aren't fighting or when you see the fire fish he isn't covered in wounds and he is eating you should be fine. I always make sure the one that is more Timid gets a big burst of food in his spot he seems to stay in. Personally in a 75 gal I would leave him as that's alot of room for the firefish to find a spot he likes.
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
As long as they aren't fighting or when you see the fire fish he isn't covered in wounds and he is eating you should be fine. I always make sure the one that is more Timid gets a big burst of food in his spot he seems to stay in. Personally in a 75 gal I would leave him as that's alot of room for the firefish to find a spot he likes.

OK, sounds good. Yeah, from what I could see of the firefish, he looked perfectly fine. He's certainly got plenty of caves, so he can easily stay safe. Hopefully he's getting some food that drifts back behind the rocks, but he hasn't come out to eat the last few days... Perhaps the addition of more smaller fish (wrasse, gramma) will make him feel more at ease. He's gonna have to wait a few weeks though... :uhoh2:
 

CoralReeForrest

New member
How I run my tank is that unless there is a huge issue, the fish will work out their own hierarchy. The first few days that the blenny was in the gramma and him were constantly in each others faces showing territorial showings with their mouths wide open and the such. Pretty comical to watch actually lol. Then the blenny found his little hole he liked and the gramma got over it
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
How I run my tank is that unless there is a huge issue, the fish will work out their own hierarchy. The first few days that the blenny was in the gramma and him were constantly in each others faces showing territorial showings with their mouths wide open and the such. Pretty comical to watch actually lol. Then the blenny found his little hole he liked and the gramma got over it

Sounds like a good way to go about things. I've kept FW fish for years, including CA cichlids, Malawi Haps, etc., so I know all about managing aggression, etc., but somehow I feel like things are a little different with marine fish. I appreciate the feedback!
 

Triggerfish

Active member
Is it possible that he's just feeling intimidated by the larger foxface, and will come out of hiding when he feels more comfortable and realizes the foxface isn't a threat? Or is it possible the foxface was bullying him?

i've kept multiple red ff over the years and for the most part htey remain out an about unless harrassed.
i tried a purple few months back thought they were more bold but nope, damn fish stayed in its burrow all day came out to feed only until a fish came near it then darted back in. biggest waste of money on that fish.
so it may never come out like mine.
 

Itchy Trigger

New member
i've kept multiple red ff over the years and for the most part htey remain out an about unless harrassed.
i tried a purple few months back thought they were more bold but nope, damn fish stayed in its burrow all day came out to feed only until a fish came near it then darted back in. biggest waste of money on that fish.
so it may never come out like mine.

That's too bad about yours. I guess it's possible mine will be like that too. A shame as they're really cool looking fish.
 
Top