Thursday, August 12, 2010

Acreichthys tomentosus

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Scientific Name: Acreichthys tomentosus
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1758
Family: Monacanthidae
Common Name: Matted Filefish, Bristletail Filefish, Seagrass Filefish, Matted Leatherjacket, Aiptasia Eating Filefish, Tomentosus Filefish, Tangfeilenfisch (DE)
Distribution: Indo-West Pacific: East Africa to Fiji, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to New South Wales (Australia). Recently recorded from Tonga.
Environment: Reef-associated; non-migratory; marine; depth range 2 to 15 meters. Adults inhabit reef, weed, and rubble areas on shallow coral reefs, commonly found in seagrasses, seaweeds on coral rubble, and sandy bottoms.
Reef Safe: With caution
Minimum Tank Size: 400 liters
Tank Set-up: Marine aquarium with plenty of live rocks / rocks, macroalgae or seagrass. They should have an environment with lots of seagrass or at least macroalgae. Plenty of swimming room is recommended for the Filefish with plenty of places to hide and swim. The Filefishes are intelligent, interesting animals best suited to fish-only or FOWLR aquariums. Most Filefishes are unsuitable for reef tanks and pose a threat to various ornamental invertebrates, including sponges, corals, crustaceans, and echinoderms.
Water Region: Bottom, Middle, Top
Lighting: Moderate lighting is sufficient - no special requirements.
Water Flow: Moderate. They are slow movers, do not do well in aquariums with swift water movement, and have extremely abrasive skin.
Size: Up to 12 cm
Lifespan: No reliable information available.
Diet: Omnivore. The Matted Filefish is known to eat Aiptasia anemone in the home aquarium, but normally nips at soft and stony corals as well. The diet should include algae and other vegetable materials, shaved shrimp, squid, scallop, mysis shrimp, freeze-dried krill soaked in a vitamin supplement, and frozen marine algae. The Matted Filefish should be fed small quantities of food several times per day.

In the wild, its major food items include algae, amphipods, polychaetes and molluscs. Occasionally placing a piece of coralline algae-encrusted coral rubble in the tank will help the Filefish wear down their ever-growing teeth.
Temperament: Peaceful. It is a shy fish, and rarely aggressive towards other fish except those of its own genus. Matted Filefish should be kept as a single specimen or as a male-female pair.

This whole Order is best characterized as very individualistic. In general, Filefishes are docile toward members of the same species and their family members when small or necessarily temporarily crowded (at the Dealer's); but watch out! They can become overtly intolerant without any apparent provocation.

In the wild, to discourage predators they can raise their first dorsal fin and/or grind their front teeth, i.e., incisors, producing a low-pitched growling sound.
Care Level: Moderate
Resilience: High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months.
Reproduction: Egg Layer - Oviparous. These fish have been known to spawn in captivity. Eggs are noted as green in color, about a millimeter in diameter, demersal (on the bottom), adhesive, hatching in a couple of days after sunset, becoming pelagic, planktonic larvae.

The males of some species have hooklike scales in front of the caudal peduncle that may be employed during intrasexual combat. The Filefishes lay demersal eggs, which are often deposited on toxic algae. In at least one species, the eggs are deposited into the lumen of a sponge. The female of one Filefish species takes her parental duties very seriously—she will push the egg mass into the algal mat with her snout and circulate water over it with her mouth and fins. A solitary parent (the female, in most cases) may drive off egg predators until the eggs hatch, while others simply ignore the spawn. At least one Filefish species is known to form long-term monogamous pairs, while others practice a promiscuous mating system.
Gender: Males are normally large than the females, having fine bristle-like hairs on each side of their body down the caudal peduncle or base of the tail.
Special Requirement/s: A caution concerning netting Filefish; their skin and fins get stuck in the nets. It's much better for all to do away with nets and "hand-lift" the fish or to try and trap them into a container underwater if they have to be moved.

Be careful when handling or working in a tank that contains a large specimen as it may inflict a painful (and potentially serious) bite.

In a large aquarium, it is possible to keep different Filefish species together, but note that some species will nip the fins of their tankmates.
Red List Status: Not Evaluated
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Specific Gravity: 1.020 to 1.025
Temperature: 24°C to 27°C
pH: 8.1 to 8.4
Angelfish (Dwarf)Groupers
Angelfish (Large)Grunts / Sweetlips
BlennyLionfish / Scorpionfish
CardinalsPuffers / Porcupines
ChromisSeahorse / Pipefish
ClownfishSharks / Rays
DartfishTangs / Surgeons
EelsWrasse (Reef Safe)
Filefish Wrasse (FO/FOWLR)
Foxface / RabbitfishCorals
With Caution
Not Compatible
Encyclopedia of Life (
Live Aquaria (
Meerwasser-Lexikon (
Microcosm Aquarium Explorer ( (
Wet Web Media (
Wikipedia (
Baensch Marine Atlas
The New Marine Aquarium (Michael S. Paletta)
World Atlas of Marine Fishes (Helmut Debelius & Rudie H. Kuiter)