Monacanthus ciliatus
Source: Brandi Noble, NOAA/NMFS/SEFSC / CC BY 2.0

Facts

Latin name Monacanthus ciliatus
Common name Fringed filefish
Family Monacanthidae - Monacanthus
Origin The Mexican Golf, West Atlantic
Max length 20 cm (7.9")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 800 l (211 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Reef safe with luck
Aggressiveness 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. 

Docile

This species is very shy and docile, so one should be careful when keeping it with more aggressive fish.

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.

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

docile shy, eats feather duster worm, eats shrimp
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