Aiptasia - file fish


Premium Member
I am having a bloom of aiptaisa in my tank which is becoming out of control it looks like, in this part of the world I was never able to find berghia nudibranch or copperband butterfly.

I have seen filefish in some LFS's here, I want to know if filefish is reef safe and it will not nib at my goniopora and bubble anemones or frogspawn corals.


New member
The matted filefish will nip/eat lps and sometimes aiptasia. A kleins butterfly would be a better bet than the filefish as they're more prone to jusnipping as opposed to eating the coral, and I've had better luck with then eating aips.

small alien

The fungus is among us.
My matted file did great on aptasia. And it's a really cool looking fish. I pretty much only have softies and have no problems with the fish. I have one Favia spp. Colony and one Montipora spp colony and those get left alone. If I was really finicky about my corals, I wouldn't have one most likely.


Premium Member
This is a video of my tank, in which you can see the types of coral I have, I have traveled to so many countries to collect only this much corals we dont have any LFS in Saudi Arabia who sell corals.

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That's not a salmon
Team RC
Adnan, your tank is beautiful!

Keep in mind that not all filefish will control aiptasia, I think it is just the one species.

True peppermint shrimp will also eat aiptasia, if you can get those. I was able to get the population down quickly by setting up a 29 gallon tank with shrimp, and putting a couple pieces of aiptasia covered rock in at a time. I didn't offer any other food, and the shrimp went to town. Once the majority of the aiptasia was under control, I put the shrimp in the DT with the newly cleaned rock. Keeping nutrients low, and peps in the tank solved the problem.


Fish heads unite!
Premium Member
Just to clarify, Acreichthys tomentosus is the species that people use for eating aptasia/majano anemones. I have one... did a great job. Doesn't touch any of my corals, and I have many different kinds.

I am not sure you will be able to find Acreichthys tomentosus, based on where it comes from?


Reef "Hobbyist"...right!?
I had a matted File fish in my 120 and it worked great for my Aiptasia problem. It took about 4 months before I started noticing any dent in the Aiptasia numbers then 100's seemed to disappear within no time.

For me, my SPS and LPS were completely safe with the File fish. Zoa's were not. After the Aiptasia were gone the Filefish cleaned out most of my Zoa's.



Premium Member
Thanks everyone, the problem is if i a lose a coral its something very big for me too, a friend has that Atapsia zapper, i will borrow it and try it today, lets see. Otherwise matted file fish will be the bet :)


New member
True peppermint shrimp work great. I put a few in my display tank while my filefish was in QT. Now there is no more aiptasia so I do not know if I can justify putting him in the DT. Really like the filefish but that would change instantly if my corals became his food source.


New member
Matted file fish destroyed my aptaisia and majanos been a great addition and is a cool looking fish too. I have never seen it picking on my corals but I could just be lucky too.


New member
My matted filefish is not reef safe now. He was reef safe for ~1 year and then he started sampling corals.

What he has sampled:
- He tore my bubble coral multiple times, I finally had to remove the coral from the system to save it.
- He may have been the reason for the complete demise of my xenia
- He may have also been the reason that I have no more zooanthids
- I am having trouble keeping snails alive in his system, they keep disappearing (no hermit crabs in system)

What he has left alone:
- frogspawn, goneastrea, caulastrea, montiporas, and favia
- starfish
- fish

They are a risk.... If you love your corals, it is not a risk I would personally take. I have had fantasies of removing mine....


New member
I have a matted one in my other tank, in that tank i had kenya tree, open brain that he nipped on, i moved those corals to my other tank. Mine did not eat aptaisia at all, but my old copperband did. He also nips at my astrea snails when they come out of the sand.

However it is a awesome fish, i really enjoy him and i will not be selling him. He eats well and changes from green to brown and almost white.


New member
hi, i had an outbreak of aiptasia in my tank a while ago. after looking up solutions i got a matted filefish to take care of the problem. not only did he did his job as well, he is also super cool looking and cheap (compared to other marine fishes)...He didn't nip at my corals (softies) but did nip all the tiny worms from the liverocks. just have to make sure you feel him often =)