The home range of butterflyfish depends on the species, varying from a few square meters to very large territories, which is mainly dependent on food availability. Have a look at the snout: the more rounded and less pointed it is, the higher is the probability that it is a coral-eater. Maintaining the proper water parameters is one of the most important aspects of African Butterfly Fish care. I just purchased a yellow long-nose butterfly fish. Their mouth is positioned at an upward angle too. Fig 4: An exemplum of a butterflyfish to be avoided. You’ll want to make sure you have a tank with a lot of surface area and some floating plants in the mix as well. They’re beginner friendly thanks to their being small, peaceful and easy to care for. Although they are among the more demanding and expensive species of saltwater aquarium … Their disc shaped body, highly compressed, allows them to move easily through the cracks and crevices of the reef, and even if they are not particularly fast swimmers, are difficult prey for reef hunters. The majority of species is about 20 cm long, with a pronounced jaw, which in some species like Forcipiger flavissimus can be about the 25% of the total body length. You can find this fish in a number of tanks all over the world, and their popularity seems to be on the rise in recent years. Since they don’t visit the bottom very often you can be a lot less picky when it comes to their substrate. Don’t overfeed them though! … … We’d love to hear from you. This is the area where most owners struggle (if they’re not prepared), so make sure you’re comfortable with the idea of operating within smaller windows than other freshwater fish. If the fish preys only on coral polyps, normally the snout is reduced, while for invertebrate feeders, due to the need to insert the mouth in very small holes or narrow crevices, becomes long and thin. Author Note: We know a few aquarists who’ve had their Freshwater Butterfly Fish exceed the average length by about an inch. They’ll scarf down their target and dart away to eat. Fig 6: The Longfin Bannerfish (Heniochus acuminatus) is a peaceful butterflyfish and is easily kept in aquarium. Green Chromis (Chromis viridis) Popular Saltwater … In this episode, we discuss the most noticed fish in our tank, the Yellow Pyramid Butterflyfish. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Butterflyfish are a large family of saltwater fish made up of over 100 distinct species. Clownfish are no different. The Merten's Butterflyfish Chaetodon mertensii is a handsome fish that's often available to the aquarist. If you get a specimen with great genetics and you take good care of them, it’s entirely possible to exceed this lifespan. Everything about this fish is geared toward their ability to hunt and thrive at the surface. Their name comes from the look of their pectoral fins when viewing them from the surface. Keep reading to learn more about the dos and don’ts of keeping butterflyfish in a reef tank… If you’re consistent and dedicated to providing them with the best care possible, the chance of them getting sick goes way down! Tang Tank Mates Tangs are a normally nonterritorial species.Tangs of different species but of same size canoften thrive in the same tank if introduced at the same time. They feed normally on invertebrates or algae, and can tolerate captivity, depending on the species and type of feeding. Let’s have a quick look on some of the most common species present in the aquarium trade. 2.5 inches or 6.3 cm. They resemble angelfish in appearance and have compressed, disk shaped bodies. One of the most interesting things about the African Butterfly Fish is their ability to jump through the air. This isn’t a fish where you can check in whenever you feel like it. Freshwater Butterfly Fish need a well-designed environment to feel comfortable. The Punctato Butterfly, Chaetodon punctatofasciatus, has a mustard yellow color with a combination of black stripes and black spots and a bright orange band near … The captive care of this group of fish varies a great deal due to the special feeding requirements (live coral polyp) of some species. Their dorsal and anal fins are average in size, but their caudal fin is rather large. There’s basically a 100% chance of them attempting this at some point, so protect them from themselves! Wire management? Subgenus Chaetodontops (includes the Raccoon Butterflyfish, Chaetodon lunula, the Pakistan Butterflyfish, Chaetodon collare, and 7 more species: C. auripes, C. fasciatus, C. flavirostris, C. nigropunctatus, C. reticulatus, C. semilarvatus, C. wiebeli). Marine biologists use some obligate corallivores like butterflyfish as indicators of the health of a coral reef. Get a reliable testing kit that will give you accurate readings and use it regularly (we like doing this every two days). These pelagic larvae remain planktonic for two or more months, and after that period the armor is absorbed and the larva can settle at night, quickly transforming into juveniles. Butterflyfish Tank Mates As long as your fish tank is large and has plenty of hiding spots, you shouldn’t have to worry about them feeling threatened by other fish in your saltwater tank. Use the chart below as a guideline when selecting fish and please read our article Introducing New Fish Into Your Aquarium … You may have issues if you plan on keeping them with other butterfly fish and they should be kept out of saltwater reef tanks. In the wild, some juveniles act as cleaners, so sometimes in the aquarium they might bite the other fish’s fins. My 50 tall mixed reef … Amphiprion bicinctus – a great photography subject. After some research, recommended size ranges anywhere from 50-125 gallons so I know my tank is small for him. Tank mate compatibility is crucial to a successful and healthy marine aquarium. In all instances, the fish were purchased from a great breeder and the level of care was top-notch. The presence of a drop of oil in their yolk sac guarantees that the newly hatched larvae will remain floating on the surface. Ocellaris Clownfish. If the reef is healthy and in good conditions, it can support the coexistence of many different species of butterflyfish, so their presence is evidence of the good overall status of the ecosystem. These fish are predators (as we’ve mentioned throughout this care guide). When it comes to additional items like rocks, caves, and driftwood there’s really not much to consider as well. The aquarium needs plenty of hiding spaces created with corals or rocks, preferably live rock, but also open space for swimming. There is not an evident sexual dimorphism: males and females generally look alike, even if sometimes the male is slightly bigger. Royal Gramma basslets are another highly popular breed of colorful saltwater fish that are sure to fit in easily to your aquarium. While this is obviously good news, there are a ton of common diseases they can get. Butterflyfish are commonly kept in aquaria even if some species are quite hard to maintain. The long pointed snout is used in the wild to catch small invertebrates from their tiny holes or crevices. Genus Forcipiger. These fish are picky when it comes to their habitat and have a significantly higher chance of getting sick when living in suboptimal conditions. Various infections, skin flukes, and parasites are all things to look out for. Some floating aquarium plants are a good choice for this. Subgenus Rhadophorus. There are many different types of aquarium catfish out there. Incompatible species will increase stress in the tank which could result in disease and considerable loss. Crickets seem to be their favorite (many experienced owners swear by this) but you can also give them other insects and even feeder fish. Also, introducing them at the same time as other new … A real attraction … Fish that occupy the surface of the tank aren’t a good idea at all really. There aren’t any particular diseases that impact this species specifically. Fig 2. A lot of the time you’ll see these fish floating near the surface not doing much of anything (they’re basically ornaments). It’s very important to get a long tank instead of a tall one. The ventral fins on this fish are quite interesting. The Brown Butterflyfish (Chaetodon kleinii) is a good tank mate for aquarium beginners, thanks to the easy adaptation and feeding habits. When the larva arrives at around 5 mm of length (in a stage called ‘tholichthys stage’, unique among reef fishes) a bony armor covers the head, extending to form spines dorsally and ventrally. This fish comes from various large bodies of water in West Africa. For this reason, a deep knowledge of the particular species you are willing to host is necessary both for it health and for the safety of the whole aquarium. Members of this group can be kept in aquarium but only with the right tank size and conditions, and many of them can be kept in fish-only tanks. For some reason, a lot of people are surprised to hear this if they’ve only seen pictures of them online. Planktivorous species normally have protruding jaws to catch small, free-swimming prey. Adults normally swim in pairs and are planktivorous. While it’s not a walk in the park, if you have their normal water conditions and habitat set up properly you can definitely find success. Very few groups of tropical marine fishes can boast such a multicolored body pattern like the butterflyfish. Despite the fact that they’re not as beginner-friendly as some other freshwater species, we think that just adds to the fun. The African Butterfly Fish has a series of large fanlike fins that typically point away from the surface so they don’t scare away prey. The knowledge especially of the feeding habits of each species is vital to avoid bad surprises. This marine family – scientific name Chaetodontidae, from the ancient Greek, it means “brush-teeth” – includes 114 different species belonging to 10 genera, of which the genus Chaetodon is the most abundant in terms of number of species. Butterflyfish lifespan is about 3 or more years, with bigger species living longer. You can’t rely on flakes and pellets like you can with other species. Fortunately, this means you have a lot of control over their likelihood of getting a freshwater disease. It makes you a better aquarist and will improve your skills for any future species you own in the future. Because their build allows them to be efficient hunters and avoid being eaten, they have remained largely unchanged for millions of years. If you’re familiar with the angelfish, then this is more or less how the butterflyfish looks like. Coral feeders are strictly territorial, normally living in pairs that last for their life time, in a prolonged monogamy not so common in the animal world. While there are no hard-set rules on what you can put together in a tank, having an idea of which fish will compete with each other for food and even position in the tank can go a long way in ensuring a peaceful fish tank. They can become aggressive if the tank is too small. Like we said earlier, the design of this fish has mostly been unchanged for millions of years. It has a light head with a bright orange body with dark geometric markings on the tail and medium fins, making the fish appear broader. The common name makes reference to the brightly colored body (mainly yellow, white and black but with many variations in terms of patterns) of many species. Juvenile butterflyfish can live in different habitats than adults, normally shallower areas inside branched corals, or mangrove roots. Once the fry are ready to be fed you’ll need to start feeding them in order to facilitate proper growth. These unique fish are a joy to observe and will stand out in any home aquarium. When they’re in the air they’ll fan these out to get as much surface area as possible so they can stay airborne longer. As far as tank-mates are concerned, I have kept African Butterfly Fish with a number of other African river fish, including: Ctenopoma and Microctenopoma species (the ‘Bush Fish’), various … It’s possible to keep in it aquarium but it requires very good water conditions and a large aquarium (it’s a good swimmer and needs space to move). Deferring to other fish and plants in your tank is fine. These fish are predators (as we’ve mentioned throughout this care guide). The majority is found in the Tropical Indo-Pacific, while only four species occur in the eastern Pacific, and 13 species in the Atlantic. The primary coloration can change a bit depending on the specimen. Temperament: Peaceful. These fish will spend almost all of their time near the surface of the water, so any space below them won’t get much use. They view the top area of the tank as theirs (anything else could be competing with them for food) and will fight to make sure it stays that way. Aquarium Source is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. African Butterfly Fish like their water to be calm! Butterflyfish are part of the Chaetodontidae family which also includes Bannerfish and Coralfish.They are one of the most colorful and intricately patterned families of saltwater fish, and aesthetic beauty is one of the top reasons people keep fish.This small sized marine fish is mostly found on the coral reefs of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, in tropical and subtropical waters. They can become aggressive if the tank is too small. If you want them to be as healthy as possible you’ll need to mimic this diet. The Ornate Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ornatissimus) be cause it is an obligate coral-feeder. But for some reason, there seems to be a bit of misinformation floating around online when it comes to these fish. The African Butterfly Fish (aka Freshwater Butterfly Fish) is a very interesting looking species that many aquarists love. For example, if you put a mated pair of Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Boxfish, or just about any other type of mated species in a tank, and then add another male or female of the same species later, typically the same sexed fish will go after the same sexed fish that was newly introduced. They require a healthy reef tank, steady pH of … We prefer to aim for the higher end of that range because it provides them with extra stimulation and mimics their natural eating pattern. That’s where this guide comes in. The Firefish Goby is an omnivore about 3 inches in length and has a peaceful temperament. This group includes very few species (just 2, but a new species has recently been discovered in the Indonesian Papua, but it’s not yet officially described). Fecundated eggs will be released in the current, where they will remain until hatching. This means if you place them with small tank mates who visit the surface there’s a good chance they’ll get eaten. Too much equipment? The long dangling fins of a Freshwater Butterfly Fish make very tempting targets! Introducing them last normally makes the most sense. When it comes to picking the best African Butterfly Fish tank mates there are a few things you need to be aware of first. Decreasing the water level a little bit seems to be more of an impactful change that is easy to implement. Butterflyfish in Your Reef?! As far as their temperament is concerned, this species definitely has the potential to be aggressive. The Big Longnose Butterflyfish (Forcipiger flavissimus) is one of the most common species available in the aquarium trade. African Butterfly Fish care is rewarding on so many levels. Tangs also do well … The appearance of the Freshwater Butterfly Fish is a big part of what makes it so unique. Heniochus are easily kept in aquariums. While many fish can break the surface of the water if they want to, this species can actually glide! These fish have very particular needs when it comes to water and tank conditions, so it’s important to be mindful of them before getting one for yourself. Anything that grows mostly at the bottom of their tank won’t be used very much since these fish spend most of their time near the surface. The eyespot can even reduce the probability of being bitten on the fins by small predators like fang-tooth blennies). You must understand, however, that not all butterflyfish are considered reef-safe. The African Butterfly Fish (Pantodon buchholzi) is a freshwater species that has been around for quite some time. 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Anal fins are average in size, but it becomes especially important during the breeding process has occurred floating! ( as we ’ ve mentioned throughout this care guide ) steady pH of … Pajama Cardinalfish boast! To dip coral and invertebrates, so protect them from themselves parameters in their,. Means if you plan on keeping them with extra stimulation and mimics their natural eating pattern least...