Falcula Butterflyfish Aquarium Care, Feeding and Native Habitat Information
The Falcula Butterflyfish (Chaetodon falcula) is an outstanding species that is commonly confused with and sold as the Double-Saddleback Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ulietensis). Falcula Butterflyfish are a hardy and generally peaceful nocturnal species endemic to the general vicinity of the Indian Ocean. As with most of their relatives the Falcula Butterflyfish may refrain from eating for a time during their acclimation, but can be enticed with live food. Falcula Butterflyfish coexist peacefully with heterospecific tank mates that aren't overly aggressive bullies (triggerfish may not be a good choice in tank mates) and do their best as a solitary individual or as part of a pair in a larger system. They should be housed in an established aquarium that is well oxygenated with plenty of moderate to high water movement. The Falcula Butterflyfish is a truly beautiful species that will add vivid color to any community FOWLR aquarium setup.
Falcula Butterflyfish require an aquarium of at least 110 gallons and a pair should be kept in a 150 gallon or larger system. They prefer open swimming space and plenty of well structured live rock caves and crevices for territory, security and shade. Excellent biological and mechanical filtration is required as well as protein skimming to ensure excellent water quality, which they demand. In addition to highly oxygenated water they also need a moderate to high level of current in their environment. Lighting intensity should initially be subdued during their introduction (the first few days) to a new system as they are naturally a nocturnal species that can sometimes be difficult to acclimate. Falcula Butterflyfish are peaceful and get along well with many other marine species, although they can be territorial towards conspecifics; tank mates should not consist of overly aggressive or territorial fish that may bully others. They should ideally be kept in a FOWLR setup as they are not reef safe and are known to eat anemones, various corals, and invertebrates.
Falcula Butterflyfish are carnivores that mainly feed on anemones, coral polyps, nudibranchs, and a variety of benthic invertebrates within their natural environment. In the aquarium they should be fed a wide variety of meaty foods such as live, frozen, and vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, chopped clams, mussels, crabmeat, and other meaty marine foods. They can eventually be conditioned to accept freeze-dried and other prepared foods once they start eating regularly. Feeding should be 1 to 2 times per day and only what will be consumed within a few minutes.