I’ve had many species of filefish over the years. Their behavior, ability to camouflage, and many different colors and patterns make them an interesting addition to any aquarium. They’ve also been known to breed in captivity. Probably the most well known filefish in the hobby is the Bristletail (Aptasia eating) Filefish (Acreichthys tomentosus).
The Bristletail Filefish are kept in reef aquariums because they help manage aptasia populations. However, they are 50/50 in a reef system. They may pick on polyps especially zoa’s or acans. This particular species can also change color and patterns to better blend into their environment.
My favorite fielfish by far is the Fantail Filefish (Pervagor spilosoma). The coloration on this fish is spectacular. Unfortunately they are rarely seen available most years.
A close relative to filefish that is unusual looking is the Tripod Fish. There are a few species with the most commonly available being the Long-spined Tripodfish (Pseudotriacanthus strigilifer).
If you are not familiar with the range of filefish species I recommend conducting research online. There is plenty of information available online for most filefish species. Below are photo’s of some of the species I’ve had over the years.