Aiptasia Eating Filefish
The Aiptasia Eating Filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus), also known as the Bristletail Filefish, Matted Leatherjacket, Tomentosus Filefish, or Matted Filefish, is a popular marine fish species often sought after for its ability to eat Aiptasia, a type of pest anemone that can overrun reef aquariums. While they can be helpful in controlling Aiptasia, it's important to provide proper care to ensure their well-being. Here's a care guide for the Aiptasia Eating Filefish:
Tank Size: Aiptasia Eating Filefish can be kept in a tank as small as 30 gallons, but a larger tank (55 gallons or more) is recommended. The larger tank will provide more swimming space and help dilute aggressive behaviors.
Water Parameters: Maintain stable and optimal water conditions. Parameters should ideally be as follows: Temperature: 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C) / pH: 8.1 to 8.4 / Salinity: 1.022 to 1.026 - Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels should be undetectable or very low.
Tank Environment: Provide plenty of hiding spots and live rock structures. A well-established reef tank with corals, rocks, and crevices will make them feel secure. They might pick at corals occasionally, so choose hardy species if you have a reef tank.
Feeding: While Aiptasia Eating Filefish are primarily known for eating Aiptasia, they are omnivores and require a varied diet. Feed them a mixture of marine-based meaty foods, such as frozen mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, high-quality flakes, and pellets. It's essential to provide a balanced diet to maintain their health.
Aiptasia Control: As the name suggests, these filefish are proficient at eating Aiptasia. If there's a significant Aiptasia infestation in your tank, they will likely target it as a food source. However, keep in mind that they might not eat all Aiptasia immediately or might prefer other food sources at times.
Tankmates: Aiptasia Eating Filefish are generally peaceful but can be territorial towards their own species or similar-looking fish. Avoid keeping multiple individuals unless you have a very large tank. They can usually coexist with other peaceful community fish and invertebrates.
Acclimation: When introducing the fish to the tank, follow proper acclimation procedures to help them adjust to the new environment successfully.
Water Quality: Regularly test water parameters and perform water changes as needed to maintain good water quality.
Compatibility: Take care when introducing new fish or invertebrates to the tank, as Aiptasia Eating Filefish might be tempted to eat some smaller species or invertebrates.
Disease Prevention: Quarantine new arrivals before adding them to the main tank to prevent the introduction of diseases.
Observation: Keep a close eye on your Aiptasia Eating Filefish to ensure they are eating well, behaving normally, and not showing signs of distress or illness.
Remember that every fish is an individual, and their behavior and preferences can vary. Some Aiptasia Eating Filefish may be more eager to eat Aiptasia than others. While they can be beneficial in controlling Aiptasia, it's essential to provide a suitable environment and diet to promote their overall health and well-being.