Chaetodermis penicilligerus
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Chaetodermis penicilligerus
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Chaetodermis penicilligerus
Source: JJPhoto.dk

Facts

Latin name Chaetodermis penicilligerus - (Cuvier, 1816)
Common name Prickly leatherjacket
Family Monacanthidae - Chaetodermis
Origin East Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand, Central/West Pacific
Max length 31.0 cm (12.2")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 1000 l (264 gal)
Hardiness Hardy
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Reef safe with luck
Aggressiveness Mostly peaceful but might be aggressive towards similar species

Food

Maybee
  • Other invertebrates
  • Soft coral
  • Large polyp stone coral (LPS)
Recommended
  • Microalgea (Eg. spirulina)
  • Macroalgea (Eg. seaweed / nori)
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)

Eats tubeworms

This species likes to eat tubeworms.

Can be a threat towards small crustaceans

This species can be a threat towards small crustaceans, e.g. small shrimp.

Frequent feeding

This fish requires feeding several times a day, especially when newly added.

When the fish can find its natural food in the aquarium it requires less frequent feeding. 

Well established aquarium with algae

These fish should be kept in a well run aquarium where they can "graze" algae from rocks and stones.

If there are insufficient algae on the rocks, it is important to feed more frequently and supplement with algae rich food e.g. Spirulina. 

Initially shy

This species can be very shy when first introduced into a new aquarium.

More aggressive fish can be introduced after this species has acclimatized.

Hiding places

This species needs good hiding places, for example, between live rocks.

Family description (Monacanthidae)

Filefish (Monacanthidae) have a very characteristic appearance, but whether one likes them or not is a matter of taste. 

Some species are suitable for aquaria, although they will occasionally eat a coral or invertebrate. They are therefore not so well suited to coral tanks.
They are often used to fight glass anemones (Aiptasia) and Majano anemones. Pervagor nigrolineatus is especially good at this.

They need peace and quiet from both the aquarist and other fish, when adjusting to the tank life.

Be careful when catching them, as they easily becomes caught in the net.

FishBase

Aquarium trade Unknown
Distribution Indo-West Pacific: Indo-Malayan region to Australia, north to Japan.
English common names Tasselled leatherjacket, Leafy filefish, Prickly leatherjacket
Danish common names Frynsefilfisk

References and further reading

About references

Dave Wolfenden. 2013. Filefish: A bit of rough! - Practical Fishkeeping - (English)
Scott W. Michael. Can You Add Filefish to a Reef Tank? - Fish Channel - (English)
Bob Fenner. Filefishes, Family Monacanthidae, Part I, Part II, Part III - Wet Web Media - (English)
Scott W. Michael. Those Fabulous Filefish - Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).

Tags

herbivore, algae eater, docile shy, eats feather duster worm, eats shrimp
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