Aquarium Fish

Butterflyfish

posted: 05/15/12
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Butterflyfish belong to the Chaetodontidae family and are classified into 11 genera which consist of Amphichaetodon, Chaetodon, Chlemon, Clelmonops, Coradion, Forcipiger, Hemitaurichthys, Heniochus, Johnrandallia, Parachaetodon, and Prognathodes. Most of these fish reach an adult size of six inches in an aquarium, and they can grow to almost 12 inches in length in the wild. As adults, they live exclusively on coral reefs around the world.

The majority of Butterflyfish are brightly colored, and some have a dark spot or eye band on the posterior of the body. This spot or eye band is called a false eye and is used to confuse predators so the Butterflyfish can escape from aggression or attack. Most Butterflyfish use their sharp dorsal or top fin to defend themselves, but are relatively peaceful toward other tank inhabitants. A larger tank with ample hiding places is needed in order to successfully maintain some species of Butterflyfish.

Most members of this grouping of fish are found in pairs, while others may form small schools. Very few species of butterflies are solitary and territorial in nature.

In the wild, the diet of these fish varies greatly among the different genera, and include live coral polyps, sessile invertebrates, and zooplankton. The captive care of this group of fish varies a great deal due to the special feeding requirements (live coral polyp) of some species.

As with most species of marine fish, sexual differences are not distinguishable. The breeding of these fish is extremely difficult in an aquarium.

Butterflyfish in general have a very elegant look. They are the Discus of the marine aquarium: sensitive, yet with remarkable patterns; high in price and demand, but very enjoyable for the right owner. Such an owner has a good maintenance record and keeps excellent water conditions; he or she is probably not a beginning or intermediate hobbyist.

They are generally compatible with: Dwarf Angelfish, Large Angelfish, Anglers & Frogfish, Anthias, Basslets, Batfish, Blennies, Boxfish, Cardinalfish, Clownfish, Filefish, Goatfish, Gobies, Grunts & Sweetlips, Hawkfish, Hogfish, Parrotfish, Pseudochromis and Puffers.

Caution is required with: Butterflyfish, Damselfish, Eels, Lionfish & Scorpionfish, Squirrelfish, Tangs & Surgeons, Triggerfish and Wrasse.

They are not compatible with: Groupers, Seahorses & Pipefish and Sharks & Rays.

- Auriga Butterflyfish

- Blackback Butterflyfish

- Copperband Butterflyfish

- Crowned Pearlyscale Butterflyfish

- Doublesaddle Butterflyfish

- Falcula Butterflyfish

- Golden Butterflyfish

- Highfin Butterflyfish

- Humphead Bannerfish

- Indian Butterflyfish

- Klein's Butterflyfish

- Latticed Butterflyfish

- Lemon Butterflyfish

- Longfin Bannerfish

- Pakistan Butterflyfish

- Raccoon Butterflyfish

- Rainford's Butterflyfish

- Red Sea Raccoon Butterflyfish

- Saddleback Butterflyfish

- Spotbanded Butterflyfish

- Tahitian Butterflyfish

- Teardrop Butterflyfish

- Threeband Pennant Butterflyfish

- Tinker's Butterflyfish

- Vagabond Butterflyfish

- Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish

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