- Group: Saltwater
- Size: Large
- Temperament: Non-aggressive
- Swimming Region(s): All
- Suitable Tank Mates: Anthias, Basslets, Batfish, Clownfish, Gobies, Hogfish and Tangs
- Difficulty Of Care: Weekly care
Also known as foolfish, leatherjackets and shingles, filefish are a curious species of saltwater fish closely related to the triggerfish. They are characterized by their rhomboid shaped bodies, thick, sandpaper-like skin and relatively small, fleshy fins. Filefish also have a long, retractable spine on the base of their head which is often used to lock themselves in place inside caves and crevices, making it harder for predators to fish them out. They are an extremely peaceful, shy species of fish and are also quite hardy in nature. They are excellent choices for most beginner aquarists.
Also known as foolfish, leatherjackets and shingles, filefish are a curious species of saltwater fish closely related to the triggerfish.
Filefish originate from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Filefish come in an array of vibrant colors ranging from red, green, yellow, orange, grey, black and white.
Maintenance and care
Filefish are a fairly shy species of fish and should be housed in aquariums with plenty of hiding places. Their small fins also make it an extremely slow swimmer and in the wild they are often seen floating head-down amongst seaweed. Filefish are extremely peaceful in nature and make excellent additions to most marine community aquariums. They are also rarely ever aggressive to members of their own species and can be kept in large groups, provided that they are housed in sufficiently large aquariums. Filefish should not be kept with large, overly aggressive tank mates that can harass them and stress them out.
Filefish also feed on live coral and should not be kept in reef tanks and with small species of invertebrates.
Filefish will readily accept a variety of meaty and vegetable based foods. They can be fed on a diet that includes mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, krill and dried seaweed sheets. It is recommended that they be fed at least three times a day.
Filefish are a fairly shy species of fish and should be housed in aquariums with plenty of hiding places.
There are reports of filefish being bred successfully in home aquariums. Although the specific breeding habits of the fish will vary depending on their sub-species, most species are nest-building egg-layers. The male of the species will build a nest on the aquarium bottom and will guard the eggs and fry.
Colored Filefish, Tassle Filefish, Orange Spotted Filefish, Red Tail Filefish, Mimic Filefish, etc.
Photo credit: Richard Ling/Flickr