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African Butterfly Fish

African Butterfly Fish

Regular price $59.95
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African Butterfly Fish live in the acidic waters of West Africa and are common in Lake Chad, Congo Basin, Lower Niger, Cameroon, Ogooue, and Upper Zambezi. They can be found in smaller numbers in the Niger Delta, Lower Ogun and Lower Cross Rivers. They inhabit areas with slow to no current, but with a dense amount of surface floating vegetation. In nature these fish are surface hunters. They primarily feed on terrestrial insects, aquatic larvae and nymphs of insects, but will also feed on crustaceans and fish.

The Butterfly Fish got their name from their appearance when viewed from the surface. Their large pectoral fins give them a butterfly like appearance. They normally grow no larger then 13cm in length, though usually smaller in the aquarium reaching about 10cm. A Butterfly fish has a flat head and back that is a light brown or greenish colour with a silver sheen and has dark markings on the fins and underside.

The large pectoral fins of the Butterfly Fish are widespread and it uses them to glide over short distances. The wide lizard-like mouth is upturned at the top of the body, and true to form it eats all manner of surface insects. This fish will normally be found at the surface looking for prey. It has a unique ability to breath surface air and its swim bladder not only regulates buoyancy but also helps with gas exchange while breathing surface air.

Since they are carnivores, the African Butterfly Fish will eat all types of protein foods. They especially like live insects. Feed flies, mosquito larvae, small spiders, worms, small fish, brine shrimp, small prawns, and large flake food. You may also have some success feeding them small crickets. They are surface eaters, so anything that falls to the bottom will not be consumed by the Butterfly Fish.

They are generally a good community fish although they may eat small fish. These fish will swim in the top of the aquarium. It is best to keep it with other fish that swim in the middle or bottom of the aquarium. They can be intolerant of other fish that use the top of the tank and can become very aggressive.

In a large enough tank they can do ok with other Butterfly Fish. Take caution with tank mates that are fin nippers as these with will stress the Butterfly Fish as they have long tentacle type fins that dangle below them. The Butterfly Fish fish does well with Congo tetras, elephant nose fish, catfish, Knife fish, and medium sized West African Cichlids.

  • Species – Pantodon buchholzi
  • Common Name – African Butterfly Fish or Pantadon
  • Origin – West Africa
  • Diet – Carnivore
  • PH Range – Acidic 6.5 – 7
  • Temperature – Tropical 25°c – 28°c
  • Current Size – approximately 8cm (Grows to approximately 10-13cm)
  • Sex – Un-sexed
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