The Flame Filefish (Pervagor melanocephalus) is also known as the Redtail Filefish or the Blackheaded Filefish and is a beautiful marine fish species known for its striking coloration and unique behavior. Proper care is essential to ensure their health and well-being. Here's a care guide for the Flame Filefish:
Tank Size: Flame Filefish can be kept in a tank as small as 20 gallons, but a larger tank (30 gallons or more) is recommended for more swimming space and better water quality.
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. Flame Filefish prefer a well-established reef tank with corals, rocks, and crevices to feel secure.
Feeding: Flame Filefish are primarily carnivores and need a diet rich in meaty foods. Offer a variety of live, frozen, and high-quality pellet foods, such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, chopped squid, and marine-based flake foods. They may also eat small Aiptasia anemones, which can be beneficial if you have an Aiptasia infestation in your tank.
Compatibility: Flame Filefish can be kept in a community reef tank, but they should not be kept with aggressive or larger fish that may intimidate or outcompete them for food. They can be kept with other peaceful fish and invertebrates.
Acclimation: When introducing the Flame Filefish 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. Flame Filefish can be sensitive to poor water conditions, so keeping the tank clean is essential.
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 Flame Filefish to ensure they are eating well, behaving normally, and not showing signs of distress or illness.
Avoid Handling: Flame Filefish can be delicate and may be prone to skin damage if handled, so avoid unnecessary handling.
Color Change: It's important to note that Flame Filefish have the ability to change their coloration and markings to some extent, depending on their mood and environment. It's a natural behavior and doesn't necessarily indicate stress or illness.
Remember that Flame Filefish can be shy and may take some time to acclimate to their new surroundings. Provide a peaceful and stable environment, and they will reward you with their fascinating behavior and vibrant colors. As with any marine species, always do your research and ensure you have the appropriate equipment and knowledge to provide the best care possible for your Flame Filefish.