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Oxymonacanthus longirostris - Orangespotted Filefish
Blue Zoo Aquatics Supports Dedicated Advanced Aquarists Interested in this Fish

In his recent article "A New Future for the Harlequin Filefish" in CORAL Magazine, Matt Pedersen discusses keeping and breeding the harlequin or orangespotted filefish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris) in his nano reef. Obtaining good wild-caught specimens is often the most difficult step in getting started with these magnificent fish, and Matt provides the following advice in this regard: “One strategy sometimes used is to purchase your filefish from a reputable online vendor when a new shipment arrives.” 

You will probably not be surprised to learn that we here at Blue Zoo Aquatics were thrilled to hear that the four filefish pictured acclimating on page 66 of the magazine (and above) came from Blue Zoo! 

Keeping Harlaquin Filefish 

The four wild-caught filefish sent to Matt from Blue Zoo were successfully raised in 24-gallon nano tanks after being weaned onto a captive diet in 10-gallon aquaria. Matt's unprecedented success has a lot of people (including us!) excited, and we are keen to support dedicated advanced aquarists committed to building upon Matt's success. 

Harlaquin Filefish Diet 

After obtaining a healthy specimen, one of the biggest challenges associated with keeping this filefish is the fact that it is generally believed to be an obligatory corallivores? While this may be true in nature, Matt writes in his article that it is not the case in captivity. "To reassess the harlequin filefish, we must address the core belief that they will die without live coral flesh in their diet, specifically the polyps of small-polyp stony (SPS) corals.... This is simply not true." 

Feeding Live Acropora 

While a harlequin filefish can be weaned onto a captive diet as Matt describes in his article in CORAL, chances are a wild-caught specimen will initially only recognize certain offerings as suitable food. What are these offerings? Live SPS coral (especially Acropora and Montipora). "You shouldn't have to feed your harlequin filefish live SPS corals forever," writes Matt, "but you should be prepared to offer them as a first food."

Blue Zoo Aquatics Filefish Starter Pack 

This is why we now offer an Orangespotted Filefish Starter Pack, which includes a harlequin filefish and a live, browned-out Acropora frag. Of course just because we are offering this starter pack doesn't mean that we are suggesting this is anything but an expert-only species. We simply are interested in supporting dedicated, advanced hobbyists who are committed to keeping and even breeding this fish in the aquarium using the husbandry protocols published by Matt in CORAL.

Any aquarist who purchases this starter pack from us should expect a screening call from our staff to make sure the aquarist is prepared to maximize the chances of successfully keeping this amazing marine aquarium fish. 

Published 17 April 2009. © Blue Zoo Aquatics


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