The Aiptasia Eating Filefish, also know as the Bristletail or Matted Leatherjacket Filefish, is found among shallow sea grass beds in the wild. However, the specimens sold here are captive-bred by ORA. The fish has a camouflage behavior that causes its coloration to change from brown, green, tan, and colors in between depending on its environment and mood. The fish has lighter and darker area of its coloration with a splotchy sort of pattern. Despite lacking vibrancy and color, the unique patterns are still commendable. It has an angular oval shaped body with a horn shaped dorsal fin that is used to secure it in between rocks. It is sort of similar to a trigger fish in that way. Unlike a trigger fish, the Aiptasia Eating filefish is peaceful and will not bother tank mates. This fish can be great for getting rid of nuisance Aiptasia anemones. Although, it may take a few days or weeks for it to start eating aiptasia. Some may never take to eating them, but this is rare and unlikely. While this fish often finds its way into reef aquariums, it is not entirely reef safe. It is known to nip at corals sometimes. Some hobbyists keep an Aiptasia Eating Filefish in their refugium and then have the fish clean a rock of aiptasia one at a time. Although this is an option, it is recommended that you only do this if your refugium is large enough.
Purchase Size: 1.25 – 1.5″
Feeding: Omnivore. Although this fish eats Aiptasia, it will also eat most other aquarium foods. Feed several times per day. When you can, feed live foods for a healthier fish.
Water Parameters: ~78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Reef safe: With caution
Color: Splotchy pattern with color varying from green, tan, and brown.
Because this fish is captive-bred by ORA, it is hardier, more resilient to disease, better able to handle the stress of shipping, and better adapted for aquarium life than its wild-caught counterparts. By purchasing captive-bred fish such as this one, you are helping the ocean by discouraging the harmful wild-caught trade and supporting the captive-bred industry. This makes our beautiful hobby more sustainable.