Redtail Filefish

Pervagor melanocephalus

(0 Reviews)

Redtail Filefish

Redtail Filefish

Pervagor melanocephalus

(0 Reviews)

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Redtail Filefish Care Facts

Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Reef Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Max Size: 6 inches

With its orange to red colored body and gray to black shaded head, the Redtail Filefish makes a captivating addition to a tank. It features 1-2 dorsal spines, 30-33 dorsal soft rays but no anal spines, instead there are 27-30 anal soft rays that makes it unique and beautiful. The Redtail Filefish is a shy fish and hardly turns aggressive towards other fishes except for those of its own genus. It is best to keep it in a tank of 30 gallon along with plenty of swimming space. The Redtail Filefish also needs lot of hiding place in the aquarium, so that it can hide when frightened. It thrives well in a temperature range of 73-84 degrees Fahrenheit and pH of 8.2-8.4. The Redtail Filefish might turn aggressive towards other filefish and should be kept singly or in truly mated pair. Its diet should include shaved shrimp, squid, scallop, mysis shrimp, and especially vitamin enriched foods that help in maintaining the color of the body. The Redtail Filefish is commonly referred to as the blackheaded filefish and is generally not reef safe and will pick at corals, polyps, crabs and other invertebrates. It is best to keep it in a peaceful, fish-only community aquarium.

Redtail Filefish (Pervagor melanocephalus): A Fact-Based Description for Saltwater Marine Aquariums


Originating from the Indo-Pacific region, the Redtail Filefish is commonly found in coastal waters, lagoons, and coral reefs. It often seeks refuge among branching corals and crevices.

Is the Redtail Filefish Considered Reef Safe?

The Redtail Filefish is reef-safe as it avoids coral polyps and other invertebrates. However, caution is advised with delicate corals, as their curious nature might lead them to nip at certain species.

Size of the Redtail Filefish

With a size ranging from 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm), the Redtail Filefish is a moderately sized species suitable for medium to larger aquariums.

How Long Does the Redtail Filefish Live?

Under proper care, Redtail Filefish can live for approximately 3 to 5 years, providing enthusiasts with a captivating and relatively long-lasting marine inhabitant.

What To Feed the Redtail Filefish in Captivity

Redtail filefish are primarily herbivorous and require a diet rich in algae and plant matter. Offer a variety of marine algae, spirulina-based foods, and supplemental vegetable matter to meet their nutritional needs.

Aquaculture Availability of the Redtail Filefish

Aquacultured Redtail Filefish are not available in the hobbyist market. This species is more commonly captured from the wild. Choose a responsible supplier like

Compatibility of the Redtail Filefish

Redtail Filefish are generally peaceful and can coexist with various tank mates, especially those that share their non-aggressive nature.

Temperament of the Redtail Filefish

Known for their calm demeanor, Redtail Filefish are often observed calmly swimming through the water column and exploring their surroundings.

Suitable Tank Mates for the Redtail Filefish

  • Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica): A non-aggressive species that adds movement and visual interest.
  • Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni): A peaceful species occupying a different aquarium level.
  • Blue Green Chromis (Chromis viridis): Schooling fish that add a lively dynamic to the tank.
  • Yellow Clown Goby (Gobiodon okinawae): A peaceful and colorful goby that complements the Redtail Filefish's temperament.
  • Banded Coral Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus): A compatible shrimp species contributing to the aquarium's biodiversity.

It's important to note that the compatibility of tankmates can vary based on individual fish personalities, tank size, and the specific setup. Before introducing any new fish to your aquarium, thorough research and careful observation are essential to ensure the well-being of all inhabitants. Additionally, providing plenty of hiding spots, creating a diverse environment, and closely monitoring interactions can help reduce potential conflicts among tankmates.

Tank Requirements for the Redtail Filefish

Minimum Aquarium Size: A tank with a capacity of 50 gallons or more is suitable for housing a Redtail Filefish.

Aquascaping: Provide ample live rock with hiding spots and crevices to mimic their natural habitat and offer exploration opportunities.

Ideal Water Conditions for the Redtail Filefish

  • pH: Maintain the pH level between 8.1 and 8.4.
  • Salinity: Keep the salinity within the range of 1.023 to 1.025.
  • Water Temperature: The recommended temperature range is 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C).
  • Water Flow: A gentle to moderate water flow is preferable, simulating their natural environment.

Other Common Names for the Redtail Filefish

The Redtail Filefish might also be known as the Black-headed or Blackcap Filefish.

Why Choose Redtail Filefish from

Opting for Redtail Filefish from offers marine enthusiasts the chance to observe an engaging and unique species in their saltwater marine aquarium. Our commitment to sourcing healthy and responsibly collected specimens ensures you receive vibrant and well-adapted fish for your aquatic environment. With our extensive experience and dedication to marine life, is a reliable source for enthusiasts seeking quality marine species.

The Redtail Filefish's distinct attributes and compatibility make it an appealing choice for your saltwater marine aquarium. By adhering to their specific care requirements and creating an environment that caters to their dietary needs, you can enjoy the beauty and activity this captivating marine inhabitant brings to your tank.

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