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Matted Filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus)

Matted Filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus) is a small saltwater fish that is found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The bodies of this fish are normally brown, or tan in color with the classic Filefish horn coming out of the tops of their heads. Males of this species are almost always larger than females. They have a rather strange way of swimming as you can see in the video below...

Also known as the Matted Leatherjacket, Tomentosus Filefish, Aiptasia Eating Filefish and the Bristletail Filefish, they are often kept in an aquarium setting. They only grow to about 3-1/2" in length, so a tank of about 30 gallons or more should do just fine. The following water conditions are recommended, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4 and sg 1.020-1.025. Once established, this fish is considered to be easy to care for and quite hardy. They are also excellent aiptasia eaters, which makes them a favorite among people with coral aquariums. A great way to get rid of these pests without having to use harsh chemicals in your tank!


Matted Filefish are rather shy fish that should be given plenty of hiding spots to keep them happy. They should be fed an omnivore's diet consisting of mysis shrimp, scallops, squid and marine algae a couple times a day in small quantities. Once established, a pair will breed in captivity under the right conditions.

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