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Pakistan Butterflyfish
(Chaetodon collare) Moderate Peaceful 8" 55 gallons 72-82° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4 sg 1.020-1.025 Carnivore Indo-Pacific, Sri Lanka Chaetodontidae Butterflyfish Fish Only The Pakistan Butterflyfish is found ranging throughout the Indonesian Pacific Ocean from Pakistan and Sri Lanka down to Indonesia and the Philippines. Pakistan Butterflyfish adults typically live in pairs, where they are found living in and amongst shallow coral reefs throughout the region. They feed mostly on coral polyps in the wild, thus are not considered suitable for reef aquariums. Their somewhat specialized natural diet also makes them somewhat difficult to acclimate to aquarium life, since they need to both change their diet and adjust to living in an aquarium environment. Pakistan Butterflyfish can be kept singularly, in pairs or in groups of 6 or more; however, they tend to do best within the aquarium environment when kept in a pair where both fish are introduced to the tank together. Pakistan Butterflyfish are a somewhat difficult species to care for in the aquarium as they have a specialized diet of coral polyps in the wild and attain sizes of approximately 8 inches in length. They also require excellent water quality with plenty of water movement and open swimming areas, along with areas of live rock in which to swim in and around. It is highly recommended that only intermediate to advanced hobbyists with established aquariums attempt to keep this species, as they are not very tolerant of the types of mistakes beginning hobbyists are prone to make. As their natural diet consists of large amounts of coral polyps and sponge material, Pakistan Butterflyfish are not suitable for reef aquariums or FOWLR housing corals. While they can be kept singularly, they tend to do best when kept as a mated pair or as a group of 6 or more individuals if kept in a very large aquarium with strong filtration. The diet of the Pakistan Butterflyfish in the wild consists mostly coral polyps, sponge material and meaty items with small amounts of algae. In the aquarium environment, they should be fed a variety of commercial foods that are primarily meaty based. They should be started off with mysis shrimp, brine shrimp or cyclop-eeze, then expanded to frozen meaty preparations and high quality commercial flake foods. They should be fed 2 to 3 times per day the amount of food that they will readily consume within a few minutes. Frozen preparations with sponge material and crustacean flesh designed specifically for Butterflyfish and Angelfish are an excellent choice for this species.
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Teardrop Butterflyfish
(Chaetodon unimaculatus) Moderate Peaceful 8" 90 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.022-1.026 Omnivore Indo-Pacific, Hawaii Chaetodontidae Butterflyfish Fish Only Teardrop Butterflyfish are a beautiful and peaceful species that can be found in various reef and lagoon environments from the Indo-Pacific to Hawaii. The Teardrop Butterflyfish makes an excellent choice for experienced hobbyists looking to add some activity and color to a large FOWLR aquarium. Teardrop Butterflyfish can be timid and can refuse food during the acclimation process; although they can usually be enticed to eat by the feeding of live brine shrimp or ghost shrimp. Once they have been eating live food for at least a week, they may also accept frozen and prepared foods. Teardrop Butterflyfish will do very well with many different tank mates as well as their own species; as long as they aren't housed with fish species that commonly bully others. Teardrop Butterflyfish require stable, pristine water conditions as well as open swimming space, sufficient water flow, and places where they can hide and take shelter; a well established aquarium is essential. Teardrop Butterflyfish are quite popular with many experienced hobbyists and can readily be purchased from local and online retailers alike. Teardrop Butterflyfish should be housed in an established aquarium of at least 90 gallons and provided with a sand substrate as well as plenty of live rock built up to form multiple caves and crevices for shelter (they appreciate dark hiding places) as well as some open, unobstructed swimming space. To ensure pristine water conditions, sufficient oxygenation, and efficient water movement, strong biological and mechanical filtration is required as well as the use of a quality protein skimmer. They are a timid species and are very peaceful towards their own kind as well as heterospecific tank mates. If multiple Teardrop Butterflyfish were to be kept in the same environment, they would require a much larger aquarium. They are an excellent choice for FOWLR systems, but are not recommended for reef tanks due to their strong preference for eating a wide variety of corals and other sessile invertebrates as well as polychaetes, small crustaceans, and sponges. Teardrop Butterflyfish are an omnivorous species that naturally prefer to eat LPS coral, SPS coral, soft coral, polychaetes, small crustaceans, marine algae, and sponges. In the aquarium they should be provided with a wide variety of meaty foods such as live, frozen, and vitamin-enriched, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp, chopped krill, chopped crab meat, bloodworms, nori, marine algae, and high quality flake food (preferably Spirulina-based). They will also graze on any filamentous algae that be already be in the aquarium. Feeding frequency should be twice a day.
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Vagabond Butterflyfish
(Chaetodon vagabundus) Moderate Peaceful 8" 90 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.022-1.026 Omnivore Indo-Pacific Chaetodontidae Butterflyfish Fish Only Vagabond Butterflyfish are an elegant butterflyfish species that can be found throughout the reefs of Indo-Pacific. Vagabond Butterflyfish may not eat for a while during acclimation to a new aquarium and live food is recommended for the first few weeks until they learn to accept frozen and prepared meals. Most butterflyfish can be aggressive and territorial with conspecific tank mates and the Vagabond Butterflyfish should be housed as a solitary specimen or as part of a pair. However, they will not bother heterospecific tank mates and they can coexist peacefully if not housed with aggressors that will bully them. All Butterflyfish require pristine water conditions as well as open swimming space, hiding places, and plenty of water movement in addition to an already established aquarium; if their special needs are met they can thrive in the home aquarium. Vagabond Butterflyfish are very popular within the hobby and are generally available through online and local retailers alike. A single Vagabond Butterflyfish should be kept in a system of at least 90 gallons while a pair would need a 125 gallon or larger setup. They appreciate a sandy substrate as well as multiple live rock caves and crevices where they can seek shelter and search for food. Excellent biological and mechanical filtration is a must and protein skimming needs to be utilized to ensure pristine water conditions in order to keep them healthy. They also need to have moderate to high current and well oxygenated water in order to thrive. Lighting should initially be subdued during their introduction and acclimation, but can later be raised to normal levels as long as they have a place to seek shade and shelter when needed. Vagabond Butterflyfish are generally peaceful towards their own kind, but should only be kept singly or in pairs unless housed in an extremely large aquarium. Tank mates of other species can coexist peacefully and safely with them as long as they are not overly aggressive or of a bullying nature. Vagabond Butterflyfish are not recommended for reef systems as they will eat anemones, coral polyps, sponges and benthic invertebrates. Vagabond Butterflyfish are omnivores that generally feed on anemones, coral polyps, benthic invertebrates, sponges and various marine algae within their natural habitat. In an aquarium environment they should be provided with a wide array of meaty foods such as live, frozen, and vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, chopped clams, mussels, crab meat, sponges, and the occasional anemone. They will also graze on filamentous algae and once they are fully acclimated and have been eating live foods, they will learn to accept freeze-dried and other prepared foods such as high quality, Spirulina-based pellets and flakes, prepared marine algae and other vegetable matter. Feeding should be 1 to 2 times per day and only what will be consumed within a few minutes.
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Mertensii Butterflyfish
(Chaetodon mertensii / Chaetodon madagascariensis) Moderate Peaceful 6" 75 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.022-1.026 Omnivore Indo-Pacific, Central Pacific Chaetodontidae Butterflyfish Fish Only Mertensii Butterflyfish, also commonly referred to as Merten's Butterflyfish, Orangetail Butterflyfish, and Atoll Butterflyfish,. They are a striking species that actually has two scientific names relative to its area of origin (Chaetodon mertensii and Chaetodon madagascariensis). Mertensii Butterflyfish can be found among the coral reefs throughout the tropical areas of the Indo-Pacific to Central Pacific waters. As with most of the Chaetodontidae family, the Mertensii Butterflyfish may not eat for a while during acclimation to a new aquarium; live food is suggested to get them started. Mertensii Butterflyfish should kept alone or in a pair as they can become aggressive and territorial towards others of their species as well as other Butterflyfish of a similar appearance; they are not aggressive with heterospecific tank mates and can be very peaceful, but Butterflyfish should never be kept with tank mates that are prone to bully others. Mertensii Butterflyfish demand high water quality and current in order to thrive in the home aquarium and should be kept by moderately experienced to expert hobbyists and only be added to established systems where their needs can be met. Mertensii Butterflyfish require open swimming space and should be housed in aquarium of at least 75 gallons while a pair should be kept in a 90 gallon or larger setup. They prefer a sand substrate and plenty of live rock caves and crevices for territory, security and shade. Strong and efficient 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. Mertensii Butterflyfish are peaceful and get along well with many other marine species, although they are known to be aggressive and territorial towards conspecifics and similar looking species; although not many fish species will bother Butterflyfish, tank mates should not consist of overly aggressive or territorial fish that may bully them. They should ideally be kept in a FOWLR setup as they are not reef safe and are known to eat anemones, stony corals, sponges, and some invertebrates. Mertensii Butterflyfish are considered to be omnivores, but a large part of their natural diet mainly consists of meaty foods such as anemones, coral polyps, benthic invertebrates, and sponges. In the home 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, crab meat, sponges, the occasional anemone, and other meaty marine foods. They can eventually be conditioned to accept freeze-dried and other prepared foods once they start eating regularly and should then be introduced to high quality, Spirulina-based pellets and flakes, marine algae and other food items with vegetable matter. Feeding should be 1 to 2 times per day and only what will be consumed within a few minutes.
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Falcula Butterflyfish
(Chaetodon falcula) Moderate Peaceful 8" 110 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.022-1.026 Carnivore Indian Ocean, Andaman Sea Chaetodontidae Butterflyfish Fish Only 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, crab meat, 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.
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Black Back Butterflyfish
(Chaetodon melannotus) Moderate Peaceful 6" 75 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.024-1.027 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Chaetodontidae Butterflyfish Fish Only With their beautiful black, white and yellow color form and constant activity the Black Back Butterflyfish will make a remarkable addition to any FOWLR aquarium setup. Black Back Butterflyfish are a peaceful, nocturnal species native to a wide range of reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. Although they aren't too picky once they are established to their aquarium, they may refrain from eating for a time during their acclimation (live food can help them get started). Black Back Butterflyfish coexist peacefully with peaceful, heterospecific tank mates, but generally live solitary or in pairs and can be territorial with their own kind. Their environment should be well oxygenated and have plenty of water movement. Black Back Butterflyfish require an aquarium of at least 75 gallons and a pair should be kept in a 110 gallon or larger setup; they should be provided with ample swimming space and plenty of live rock for territory, security and shade. Excellent biological and mechanical filtration is required as well as protein skimming to ensure excellent water quality; they also require a highly oxygenated environment with sufficient water movement. Lighting intensity should initially be subdued during their introduction to a new system as they are naturally a nocturnal species that can sometimes be difficult to acclimate to a new aquarium. Black Back Butterflyfish are peaceful and can coexist 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 will eat many different corals, anemones, and some invertebrates as part of their diet. Black Back Butterflyfish are nocturnal 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, crab meat, and other meaty marine foods. They can eventually be conditioned to accept freeze-dried, 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.
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Raccoon Butterflyfish
(Chaetodon lunula) Moderate Peaceful 8" 75 gallons 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025 Omnivore Western Pacific, Hawaii Chaetodontidae Butterflyfish Fish Only Raccoon Butterflyfish are a beautiful, bright yellow, black, and white colored fish that can be found throughout the Western Pacific, from Indonesia to Hawaii. Raccoon Butterflyfish are a hardy species that aren't as picky as some of their other Butterflyfish relatives, but when first acclimating to a new aquarium, they may refrain from eating; although they can eventually be enticed with live food items and small anemones. Raccoon Butterflyfish are very peaceful with heterospecific tank mates, but can be territorial with their own kind and should be kept in a large aquarium with adequate territory if more than one is desired. Although they are a nocturnal species, the Raccoon Butterflyfish will show increased daylight activity as it matures. Their environment should be well oxygenated with surface agitation and have plenty of water movement. A single Raccoon Butterflyfish requires an aquarium of at least 75 gallons and multiple specimens should be kept in a much larger system (150+ gallons and up); they should be provided with ample swimming space and plenty of live rock for territory and security. Quality filtration consisting of biological, mechanical and protein skimming should be utilized to keep excellent water quality as well as a highly oxygenated environment with sufficient water movement. Lighting intensity is not an issue, but they should be provided with places of shade or darkness where they may go to relax as they are naturally a nocturnal species. Raccoon Butterflyfish are peaceful and get along extremely well with other marine species, but can be territorial towards conspecifics and very similar fish; A wide range of tank mates would be acceptable, but they should be species that are not overly aggressive and do not bully other species. They should be kept in a FOWLR system as they will eat LPS coral, SPS coral, anemones, and some invertebrates as part of their natural diet. Raccoon Butterflyfish are nocturnal omnivores 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, freeze-dried, and vitamin enriched brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, chopped clams, mussels, and other crustacean flesh. They will also readily accept a variety of nutritious flake foods (carnivore, omnivore, and herbivore). Feeding should be 1 to 2 times per day and only what will be consumed within a few minutes.
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Copperband Butterflyfish
(Chelmon rostratus) Difficult Peaceful 8" 55 gallons 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, sg 1.020-1.025, pH 8.1-8.4 Carnivore Indo-Pacific Chaetodontidae Butterflyfish Reef Compatible The Copperband Butterflyfish, is also commonly referred to as the Beaked Butterflyfish, Beaked Coralfish, or Orange Stripe Butterfly. It has a long, narrow nose and mouth used for hunting into crevices and holes for food along the reef. The Copperband Butterflyfish has yellow-orange vertical bands with a black edging, with a false eyespot on the rear of the dorsal fin. While it is a very attractive fish, it is difficult fish to keep in the home aquarium due to its delicate nature and somewhat specialized feeding habits. Even though it is not a large fish, the Copperband needs a large aquarium with plenty of live rock so it can forage for food. This species should only be kept by advanced hobbyists with either suitable reef aquariums or a peaceful community aquarium. The Copperbanded Butterflyfish is easily recognizeable by its copper colored vertical bands over a silver/white body. They have a black eye spot near its dorsal fin and a long pointed snout. Copperband Butterflyfish blend copper, orange, yellow, silver, white and black coloration with a unique striped pattern to form a very visually appealing fish. The Copperband Butterflyfish is best housed in very large reefs, or in peaceful community tanks, where it should be kept singly and not with similar butterflyfish or any boisterous stress-inducing fish. While this species it suitable for some reef aquariums, caution should be exercised as they may pick on some invertebrates, especially anemones and feather dusters. They are an excellent fish when used to control aiptasia, or glass anemones, in the reef aquarium. While Butterflyfish in general tend to be viewed as potential coral eaters, Copperband butterflyfish are generally reef safe. However, this can be hit or miss in that some specimens will clear the aquarium of small fan worms where other ones will leave them alone. The Copperband Butterflyfish is a very non-aggressive fish that can be bullied by more aggressive fish, so be on the lookout for this when introducing a new fish. Only one should be kept per tank to prevent fighting. Large amounts of live rock are necessary to keep this species as they will provide a major food source, places to retreat when the fish feels threatened and place for the Copperband to take cover at night. The Copperband Butterflyfish is a specialized feeder and can be difficult to feed in the aquarium environment. It is a shy and deliberate feeder that may need a variety of foods offered to it in order to get it started feeding. A large established reef aquarium or peaceful community aquarium with an abundance of live rock will help this species find suitable food items. A good part of its nutrition will come from feeding on the small life forms found on live rock; such as, copepods and small fan worms. They will also usually take smallish meaty foods such as frozen brine shrimp, blood worms and sometimes mysid shrimp. Keep in mind that they have very small mouths that are designed for getting to food in rock crevices and will usually not attempt to eat larger food items. Copperbanded butterflyfish may compete for food with other live rock foragers such as Mandarinfish and some gobies.
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