Colored Filefish

Colored Filefish
Latin name:
(Pervagor melanocephalus)

Care Level





Black, Orange, Red



Preferred Conditions

sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size


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Are you looking to add a splash of color and personality to your aquarium? Look no further than the Colored Filefish, a captivating species that will bring life and vibrancy to your underwater world. With their striking patterns and playful demeanor, these fish are sure to become the stars of your tank.

What is a Colored Filefish?

The Colored Filefish, also known as the Orbiculate Filefish or Scrawled Filefish, is a small, tropical fish belonging to the Monacanthidae family. Native to the Indo-Pacific region, these fish are found in shallow waters, coral reefs, and seagrass beds. They are characterized by their elongated, oval-shaped bodies, which are covered in intricate patterns of lines, dots, and blotches. Their coloration can vary from bright yellow and orange to deep blue and green, making them a visually stunning addition to any aquarium.

Characteristics of Colored Filefish

  • Size: Colored Filefish typically grow to a maximum length of around 6 inches (15 cm).
  • Lifespan: With proper care, Colored Filefish can live for up to 10 years in captivity.
  • Temperament: These fish are generally peaceful and can coexist with other non-aggressive species in a community aquarium.
  • Diet: Colored Filefish are omnivorous and enjoy a varied diet consisting of live and frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and chopped seafood. They also appreciate algae and seaweed.

Choosing the Right Aquarium for Colored Filefish

To ensure the well-being of your Colored Filefish, it is essential to provide them with a suitable aquarium environment. Here are some key considerations:

Tank Size

Colored Filefish require a minimum tank size of 30 gallons (114 liters). However, a larger tank is always better, as it will provide more swimming space and reduce the risk of aggression.

Water Parameters

Colored Filefish prefer warm, tropical waters with a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C). The pH level should be between 8.1 and 8.4, and the salinity should be around 1.025 to 1.026.

Filtration and Water Quality

Colored Filefish are sensitive to poor water quality, so it is crucial to maintain a clean and stable environment. Invest in a high-quality filtration system and perform regular water changes to keep the water parameters within the ideal range.

Feeding Your Colored Filefish

Colored Filefish are omnivorous and require a varied diet to thrive. Here are some feeding tips:

Variety is Key

Offer your Colored Filefish a variety of live, frozen, and prepared foods to ensure they are getting a balanced diet. Some popular options include brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, chopped seafood, algae, and seaweed.

Feeding Schedule

Feed your Colored Filefish small amounts of food several times a day. This will help prevent overfeeding and keep the water quality high.

Common Diseases and Health Issues

Like all fish, Colored Filefish are susceptible to certain diseases and health issues. Here are some common problems to watch out for:


Ich is a common parasitic infection that can affect Colored Filefish. Symptoms include white spots on the body and fins. Treatment typically involves using medication or raising the water temperature.

Fin Rot

Fin rot is a bacterial infection that can cause the fins to become ragged and frayed. Treatment involves using antibiotics and improving water quality.


Dropsy is a serious condition that can cause the body to swell and the scales to protrude. Treatment is often unsuccessful, so prevention is key.

FAQs About Colored Filefish

  1. Can Colored Filefish be kept in a community aquarium?

    Yes, Colored Filefish can be kept in a community aquarium with other non-aggressive species. However, it is important to choose tankmates carefully, as some fish may be too aggressive or territorial.

  2. What is the lifespan of a Colored Filefish?

    With proper care, Colored Filefish can live for up to 10 years in captivity.

  3. What is the best way to prevent diseases in Colored Filefish?

    The best way to prevent diseases in Colored Filefish is to maintain a clean and stable aquarium environment, provide a varied diet, and avoid overcrowding the tank.


Colored Filefish are captivating and colorful additions to any aquarium. With their playful demeanor and striking patterns, these fish are sure to bring life and vibrancy to your underwater world. By providing them with the proper care and environment, you can ensure that your Colored Filefish thrive and bring you years of enjoyment.