Mimic Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus)

Mimic Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus)

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Mimic Filefish Care Sheet – Comprehensive Guide for Optimal Care

Introduction to Mimic Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus)

The Mimic Filefish, also known as the Saddled Filefish, is a unique and fascinating addition to any marine aquarium. Known for its ability to mimic the appearance of toxic pufferfish, this species offers both aesthetic appeal and intriguing behavior. This care sheet provides all the essential information to ensure your Mimic Filefish thrives in your aquarium.

Natural Habitat

  • Region: Mimic Filefish are found in the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Environment: They inhabit coral reefs and lagoons, where they can blend in with their surroundings and evade predators.

Aquarium Setup

  • Tank Size: A minimum of 30 gallons is recommended for a single Mimic Filefish. Larger tanks are necessary for multiple fish or a community setup.
  • Water Parameters:
    • Temperature: 72-78°F (22-26°C)
    • pH: 8.1-8.4
    • Salinity: 1.020-1.025
    • Ammonia/Nitrite: 0 ppm
    • Nitrate: <20 ppm
  • Aquascaping: Provide plenty of live rock for hiding spots and grazing. Mimic Filefish enjoy a well-structured environment with caves and overhangs.

Diet and Feeding

  • Diet: Mimic Filefish are omnivores. In the wild, they feed on algae, small invertebrates, and coral polyps.
  • Feeding Schedule: Feed 2-3 times daily.
  • Food Options:
    • High-quality marine algae and spirulina
    • Frozen mysis and brine shrimp
    • Finely chopped seafood
    • Algae-based pellets and flakes

Behavior and Compatibility

  • Temperament: Generally peaceful but can become territorial. They are best kept with other peaceful or semi-aggressive fish.
  • Tank Mates: Suitable companions include clownfish, tangs, and other non-aggressive species. Avoid housing with small invertebrates, as they may be seen as food.
  • Social Behavior: Mimic Filefish can be kept singly or in pairs. They may exhibit mimicry behavior, resembling pufferfish for protection.

Health and Disease Prevention

  • Common Diseases: Mimic Filefish are susceptible to marine ich, velvet, and bacterial infections.
  • Prevention:
    • Quarantine new arrivals
    • Maintain high water quality
    • Provide a varied and nutritious diet
    • Regularly monitor and maintain stable water parameters


  • Breeding in Captivity: Breeding Mimic Filefish in captivity is challenging and rare. They require specific conditions and have complex mating behaviors.
  • Reproductive Behavior: In the wild, they are egg layers, depositing eggs on flat surfaces or within crevices.

Tips for Successful Mimic Filefish Care

  • Regular Water Changes: Perform weekly water changes of 10-20% to maintain water quality.
  • Observation: Regularly observe your fish for signs of stress or disease. Promptly address any issues that arise.
  • Enrichment: Provide a dynamic environment with live rock and algae growth to encourage natural foraging behavior.


Mimic Filefish are an excellent choice for aquarists seeking a unique and visually striking fish. With proper care, a well-maintained environment, and a balanced diet, these fascinating fish can thrive and bring a unique charm to your marine aquarium.