African Butterfly Fish Care Guide

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African butterfly fish
(Pantodon buchholzi)

Common names:
African butterfly fish, Butterfly fish
Size: 10cm
pH: 6.4 – 7.5
Tempº: 24ºC - 28ºC
Tank region: Top layer
Origin: West Africa
Gender: Male has a slightly curved analfin, female has a straight one.
Notes: These fish make an interesting addition to the right tank. When housing a butterfly fish, it is important to remember that these fish will eat anything alive that will fit in it’s mouth! They are good jumpers, and require a tight lid to prevent them escaping. They are strictly carnivorous, and will eat small fish (5, maybe 6cm fish or perhaps bigger fish if the fish has a narrow body; will be taken by a full grown Butterfly - their mouths are like trapdoors!) so they must be kept with fish around their size. Some fish that might be safe with them that are around 6-8cm are Bleeding heart tetras, as their tall body shape makes them difficult for an ambush predator like the Butterfly to swallow. Cory catfish and other small bottom dwellers are also safe, as Butterfly fish are strictly top dwelling fish. Butterflys love planted tanks, and it is a very good idea to floating plants or stem plants that reach the surface like Cabomba or Ambulia for the Butterfly fish to hide in, as they love cover and having a place to hide will reduce stress levels that may cause them to jump out of the aquarium. These fish may not take commercially prepared foods, so it is a good idea to keep live crickets in stock, as they absolutely love live crickets.
Image: The Butterfly fish is a true oddball - and one of the only fish that spends most of it's life on the surface.

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