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Orangespotted Filefish

(Oxymonacanthus longirostris)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Expert   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Monacanthidae   • Species: Filefish   • Aquarium Type: Fish Only

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Orangespotted Filefish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Orangespotted Filefish, commonly called the Harlequin Filefish by hobbyists, is possibly the most beautiful filefish species within the hobby. Orangespotted Filefish are commonly found in pairs and small groups among lagoons and tropical coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. Orangespotted Filefish have a blue-green base coloration with a multitude of yellow-orange spots and blotches over the entire body that solidly colors the forward dorsal "trigger" in a line to the upper snout.

Orangespotted Filefish commonly have green eyes rimmed in yellow-orange with light, blue-green radial striping; they also have a dark ventral "trigger" area with a smattering of tiny, white to light blue-green spots and a black blotch on the caudal fin.

Orangespotted Filefish are magnificent species that is becoming extremely popular as hobbyists continue to learn more about the species; their availability is sparse, but their numbers are gradually increasing within the trade; they can mainly be found through online retailers and some local vendors may have a source where special orders can be placed.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Orangespotted Filefish in the home aquarium.

Orangespotted Filefish require an aquarium of at least 30 gallons and should be provided with a sand to crushed-coral substrate in addition to plenty of live rock for refuge. They appreciate an established aquarium with stable water conditions as well as high quality, biological and mechanical filtration (including a protein skimmer).

They will coexist peacefully with many other tank mates, but should not be housed with aggressive fish that may harass them (especially while acclimating to their new environment and being weaned off an exclusive diet of SPS coral polyps).

Orangespotted Filefish are known to be obligatory corallivores of SPS corals in the wild and are not recommended for reef systems for this very reason, although they will initially require the presence of SPS corals until they learn to accept other food items; they should not be considered safe around small invertebrates such as tiny ornamental shrimp species. This species is ideal for a "nano" environment as well as a larger system and have been reported to thrive in large SPS reef tanks without noticeable damage.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Orangespotted Filefish.

Orangespotted Filefish were initially believed to be obligatory corallivores (a strict diet of only coral) and was previously known to only consume Acropora and Montipora coral species; although several hobbyists have observed them consuming hair algae, frozen brine shrimp and frozen mysis shrimp (both vitamin-enriched).

This species should always be introduced into an established aquarium that already contains Acropora or Montipora coral colonies where they will have their natural food source while the hobbyist attempts to slowly wean them towards live ("gut-load" with a variety of different, quality flake and prepared foods), frozen, and vitamin-enriched meaty foods such as brine shrimp and mysis shrimp. They may also eventually accept other prepared foods for omnivores, such as quality flakes and pellets. Once completely weaned from SPS corals, feed them multiple small meals a day to insure they are getting enough to eat.

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