Filefish

Filefish Oxymonacanthus longirostris

Filefish closely resemble their cousins the Triggerfish, but thankfully they do not share the same belligerent characteristics.
These unusual looking fish have a long snout and eyes that are positioned far back and near the top of the head. Some types can be quite colorful and most have thick rough skin and an elongated first dorsal fin that can be used as a defense mechanism.

Filefish can be found among coral reefs and rocky outcroppings in temperate waters around the world. They dine on a wide range of foods including algae, sponges, tunicates, coral polyps, crustaceans and other invertebrates. In general, most types of Filefish will only grow to a length of 6 inches or so but some giants in the family can grow to over 3 feet long!

Filefish are quite hardy and adapt well to life in the aquarium. They require a lot of rocks and caves for hiding but definitely should not be kept with live corals and other invertebrates.

Filefish will gladly accept all types of foods and they should be fed meaty as well as vegetarian fare (mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, krill, dried seaweed sheets, etc.). Species that require a specialized diet (such as coral polyps) should be avoided. It is best to keep just one Filefish per tank to prevent fighting and their tankmates should not include smaller or slow moving fishes.

Hawaiian Filefish Data:

Hawaiian Filefish

Family: Monacanthidae
Species: Pervagor spilosoma
Size: 5 1/2 in (14 cm)
Diet: Omnivorous
Temperament: Peaceful

It is rarely aggressive toward other fish except those of its own genus, and is best suited for a 50 gallon or larger aquarium that does not have invertebrates. The diet should include a variety of shaved shrimp, squid, scallop, mysid shrimp, freeze-dried krill soaked in a vitamin supplement, and frozen marine algae.

It should be fed no fewer than three times per day.

TankConditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12

Compatibility: Foxface and rabbitfish, gobies, grunts and sweetlips,
jawfish, hawkfish, hogfish, parrotfish, puffers, squirrelfish, tangs and surgeons, live rock, sand.

Filefish are difficult to breed in captivity and so far all efforts have been unsuccessful.

Redtail filefish Data

Redtail Filefish

Family: Monacanthidae
Species: Pervagor melanocephalus
Size: 4 1/4 in (11 cm)
Diet: Omnivorous
Temperament: Peaceful

Filefish from Hawaii tend to have more vivid colors than those from the Indian Ocean. It is a shy fish, and rarely aggressive towards other fish except for those of its own genus.

It is best suited for aquariums 30 gallons or larger that do not contain invertebrates. The Redtail Filefish may be difficult to feed initially; it may be beneficial to imbed shrimp into coral, and allow the fish to feed off of the coral.

The diet should include shaved shrimp, squid, scallop, mysid shrimp, freeze-dried krill soaked in a vitamin supplement, and frozen marine algae. The Redtail Filefish should be fed no fewer than three times a day.

Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12

Compatibility: Foxface and rabbitfish, gobies, grunts and sweetlips,
jawfish, hawkfish, hogfish, parrotfish, puffers, squirrelfish, tangs and
surgeons, live rock, sand.

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