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FAQs about Filefish Systems

Related Articles: Filefishes

Related FAQs: Filefishes, Filefish Identification, Filefish Behavior, Filefish Compatibility, Filefish Selection, Filefish Feeding, Filefish Disease, Filefish Reproduction, Filefishes eating Aiptasia

Sooo cute when small, young... but so were you and I!

Tasseled File Fish Tank Requirements -- 10/08/09
Hello Bob, Shea here.
<<Hiya Shea'¦Eric here this morning>>
I have a question for you this evening regarding a Tasseled File Fish.
<<Ahh'¦have kept in the past'¦a very, very, neat animal>>
I just recently bought a small one at my LFS measuring about 2" in length. He is currently residing in my 75 gallon FOWLR with a Blue Spot Jawfish, Mystery Wrasse, and a Royal Gramma. I have read that they require a 75 gallon minimum. Some online fish dealers even say the minimum requirement is a 50 gallon aquarium.
What is your take on this?
<<This fish does get large'¦ If memory serves, it can grow to about 16' or so in the wild. Though it wouldn't be expected to get quite that large in captivity, and even though it isn't considered a 'fast mover' (except at feeding time!), this deep-bodied fish will do best for the long-term in a system of a couple hundred gallons or more. You will also find this fish to be intelligent'¦and it will also learn to eat just about anything. Ghost shrimp make for a good 'occasional' treat, but a regular diet of New Life Spectrum pellets along with some quality frozen fare (Mysis Shrimp, Krill, etc.) will keep it healthy and active
I would appreciate any advice you could give me on this.
<<I hope I've been helpful>>
Thanks, Shea
<<Good luck with your new acquisition'¦ Eric Russell>>

Orange spotted filefish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris), sys., fdg.  -- 07/10/08 Hi crew, <Mohamed> I seen 1 of these in a LFS and bought him because I know that it will not survive without sps. <Generally not> I kept it in a nano and placed some small pieces of sps to feed on. After a week its still alive but the small pieces of sps was not enough so I pleased him in my reef with a number of small sps frags and he started feeding immediately on the polyps. <Yes> The question is will the orange spotted live happily with the sps without causing any harm like killing my sps or stopping the growth, etc in other words by eating the polyps from the sps what damage can the orange spotted cause and can I keep him in the reef or place him back in the nano? thanks Mohamed <A matter of balance... "so many foxes, so many hens"... if there's sufficient coral... Bob Fenner>

Prickly Leatherjacket Hi Bob. I did take your advice and Jason Kim's on the Remora Pro skimmer. I ordered it and I think it will live up to expectations. Thanks. <Ah, you're welcome> Many years ago when I first go into the salt hobby I saw a Prickly Leatherjacket- Chaetodermis pencilligera. I fell in love with this fish because of its "oddity" if you will. I can find little on it. Even your site only mentions it in passing. What say you? <Don't know much about this occasionally imported Filefish... but as far as the monacanthids go it's quite hardy... generally will accept all foods, and does okay in a peaceful setting...> Is it a good 55ga. F.O. tank member? Does it grow to its full 10-12inch size in captivity?  <Not likely... maybe 3/4's this...> Is the 55 too small? Feeding? <Yes... ultimately. And see above> My other love is the Sailfin Tang. Zebrasoma desjardinii. (Either a Prickly or Sailfin. Not both at once) Is a 55 too small?  <Yes, also for the same reasons> I have always kept small to medium sized fish in my previous salt tanks. I have never gone into the 6-inch and up range and I do not want to keep either one of these two if it is not to their benefit (relatively speaking). any and all info is as always, most appreciated. Zimmy <In this case, I would seek out smaller average maximum captive size species... and save up for a larger system... Maybe apply for a job at a Public Aquarium... go diving... Bob Fenner>

Minimum tank size for Valentini mimic filefish Hi! I am planning to buy a valentini mimic filefish (Paraluteres prionurus) , and after browsing around your website's FAQ on filefish, I noticed that most people keep filefish in large aquariums around 50-60 gallons in volume. Unfortunately I only have a 29 gallon aquarium that has been running for 6 months already. Would it be fine if this is the only fish to be kept in a 29 gallon aquarium? I read that they grow up to 10cm, which is relatively small. <Unfortunately this fish is a "picker" and "cruiser"... that needs more space to move and lots of sedentary invertebrates for food. Not suitable for anything smaller than a fifty, sixty gallon system. Bob Fenner>

Delicate File Fish, Orange Spotted Filefish Question <HI, MikeD here> Hello, From the first day I began my salt water hobby I always wanted to keep the orange spotted filefish.<Neat fish, very common here> <<Umm, there is an identification difference going on here. MikeD is referring to a species in the tropical West Atlantic, and the querier is speaking of a Pacific... Cantherhines macrocerus and Oxymonacanthus longirostris respectively. See http://www.wetwebmedia.com/filefish.htm. RMF>> But after researching I found that this was a very difficult animal to care for.<Not really, just not often offered for sale>  One year into my hobby my want for it has risen and I have decided to make a commitment to getting at least one.<OK. They are another personality fish> For the tank that it would  live in this what I plan to have. Tank. 10 gallon<Problem #1...too small for all but a tiny juvenile. These are active, like little "mini-triggers" Lighting. Fluorescent compacts. at least 200 watts)<not a problem> Rock and Sand. 5- 10 pounds of Vanuatu rock.  10- 15 pounds of live sand.<That part's good> Water Circulation. A couple of small pumps<OK> Heating. Brand which I have forgotten the name of.<As long as it works> Filtration. I plan to get a skimmer so that will be in the next month or so.  Also here is where I will need your help.  What kind of filter would you recommend for such a  small tank.<One that holds less water than the tank!**grin**> Corals. A mixture of Acropora corals.  I plan to grow the Acropora in my refugium on my 75 gallon tank along with the coral in the ten gallon.<AND here's problem #2. Many filefish just love SPS almost as much as they do anemones!> SO how does this sound and am I leaving out anything?  Please tell me if I am because I would like this to be a challenging yet not a killing change of path.<My suggestion is at least a 55 gal. tank w/o corals unless they are planned as live food. Sorry, but those are the facts. Just the facts. Badge #714>

Re: Delicate File Fish <Hi, MikeD here again> I only plan to keep on filefish would that be okay in the small space.   And yes the corals are for live food.<Sorry about the previous mix up, but I'd JUST seen the Atlantic OS Filefish offered for sale for the first time just before reading your earlier questions. In regards to O. longirostris, sadly these are another little beauty that is best left on the reef, and can be difficult even for public aquariums willing to spend thousands to house them.  Even though small I doubt that you could supply enough live SPS to last very long as their hummingbird movements belie a similar metabolism to the little bird counterparts as well. I can truly understand their appeal, but it's usually one that always has the same outcome in a home tank, with another living gem snuffed out in the process.>

Valentini mimic filefish 4/5/04  Connie here again.  <cheers my friend>  I see that Mary M. has a Valentini mimic filefish on hand and I am wondering if I could put him in with my current residents in my 60 gal. tank.  <hmmm... they stay small enough (unlike many filefishes which get way too large for even big aquaria)... but they are/can be nippy to both inverts and fishes>  I have two b/w clowns (1-1/2 and 2 inches) an arrowhead wrasse, about 1 inch, a boulardi wrasse 4 inches and 2 flasher wrasses, each about 1-1/2". I just have mushrooms, no corals, LR an DSB. I have always wanted one but somehow with all the various wrasses it seems like a strange combo.  <agreed>  All of my fish are peaceful, non-aggressive guys and DSB finally in good condition.  <very good to hear the DSB is back on track! Back to the file, though, do resist... they are just too nippy for most community fish or reef aquaria. Under the best of circumstances, they will still be too slow to compete with faster swimming community fishes like your wrasses for food>  Best regards to you. Saw Cheri again today which reminded me of your visit. Connie  <keep well my friend... Anthony>

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