African Butterfly Fish Care

NC122606
Member
African Butterfly Fish


Common Name: African Butterfly Fish

Scientific Name: Pantodon Buchholzi

Family: Pantodontidae

Phylum: Chordata

Originate From: Africa

Care Level: Moderate

Tank Size: 29 Gallons Minimum or 110 Litres

Max Size: 5.1 Inches (12.95 CM) or about 4 Inches (10.16 CM) in the aquarium

Temperament: Semi-Aggressive

Tank Parameters: 74 - 82 F or 23.3 - 27.8 C (Ideally being: 77 - 80 F or 25 - 26.7 C ) / 6.0 - 8.0 PH / 8 - 12 dGH

Diet: Carnivorous

Aquarium Substrate: Any

Tank Conditions: Floating Plants and a Tight Fitting Lid

Lighting: Low

Water Flow: Very Low

Brackish: No

Reproduction: Egg Layer

Lifespan: 5 Years

Acclimation Time: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes (Float: 15 Minutes | PH Acclimation: 60+ Minutes Depending On Bag Size)


The African Butterfly Fish comes from Africa and is now in our tanks, the thing is most people do not know a lot about these creatures. They can be homed in a 29 Gallon aquarium and make very cool oddball fish for your aquarium.


Appearance:

African Butterfly Fish come from the Phylum of Chordata which is the same as the Arowana, they are almost like a minI Arowana for your tank and they both have a very large trap door like mouth. Just like Arowana, they both spend most of their time on the very top of the tank, waiting to strike on food like bugs in the wild. These African Butterfly Fish are gifted with wings which they can use to glide with, so a lid must be kept on at all times with these species or else you will find it on your floor. These fish have long finnage so fin nippers should be avoided with these but we will get into this later, they are mostly brown, black and a bit of silver and red sometimes. Keep in mind these do get about 5.1 Inches (12.95 CM) or about 4 Inches (10.16 CM) in the aquarium, so smaller species should be avoided.


Stocking / Tankmates:

When stocking around this fish you must keep in mind their very large trap door like mouths. Fish that will go with them are Congo Tetra, Elephant Nosed Fish, Deep Bodied Tetras, Peaceful South American Cichlids, Small To Medium African Cichlids, Synodontis Catfish, Ctenopoma, African Knife Fish, Peaceful Gouramis, Mollies, Swordtail, Plecostomus and I have mine with Corydoras (With Caution). Some fish you should avoid are SlI'm Bodied Tetras, Danios, Angelfish, Fin Nippers, Some Aggressive Species, Hatchets (Could work), Guppies, Platies (Sometimes), Killifish and do not keep Fry. Fin nippers could cause the African Butterfly Fish to be stressed and most likely die, most fish you should stay away from are small fish and fin nippers. Also, be careful when keeping together as they can be aggressive towards others during spawning and when making territories. These also can be kept in schools within larger tanks hanging out together at the top, schooling will make them less aggressive.


Diet:

These fish should be supplied with a balanced meal with flakes, live foods, pellets, frozen food, and small insects. Even though you should have varied diet African Butterfly Fish they are insectivores and should be feed crickets and insects from time to time, not just the other foods I mentioned. With these getting them to eat other than live food can be tricky depending on the Specimen, some will only accept live food and some will eat anything in the tank. For feeding them insects here are some I suggest Crickets, Mealworms, Fruit Flys, Roaches, and Earthworms. I repeat do not feed them insects in your house because they could have chemicals and kill your fish. One thing with these insects is to please buy them at a local fish store or somewhere you can guarantee they are safe for you fish. Also, do not overfeed this fish, these fish are really cool to watch eating but should not be overfed, which can bloat them and kill them. Finally, please do not feed them feeder fish all the time it should almost like a treat as they do not have proper nutrition and could have diseases.


Tank Requirements:

African Butterfly Fish can be housed in a 29 Gallon or 110 Litre aquarium, though if you plan on having more I would say about 30 Gallon or 114 Litres (Due to having more length) should be good enough for a pair. These fish prefer little to no water agitation and floating plants would help these fish feel comfortable. Substrate does not really matter here as they always stay at the top unless stressed they will go down. The Temperature should be between 74 - 82 F or 23.3 - 27.8 C but ideally being 77 - 80 F or 25 - 26.7 C, PH should be about 6.0 - 8.0 and Hardness should be fine at 8 - 12 dGH. Floating plants is a must-have as they do prefer low lighting other than that you should be on your way to owning one of these. Also, please keep a lid on as they are great jumpers as mentioned.


Breeding:

These are not the easiest to breed but there are ways to encourage them to spawn. Some ways to help are feeding live or high-quality foods, water changes and lowering the water level. These are Egg-Layers so when they spawn the eggs will float to the surface, you could either remove the parents or the eggs to another aquarium as the eggs will be eaten. Also, take into account that they produce about 100+ eggs per day over several days, so you must act fast as 100+ eggs are produced daily. After doing that the eggs should take about 4 - 7 days to hatch, once hatched they should only be fed live food and Brine Shrimp should work. Making sure they eat is the hardest part of taking care of them because they will only accept food if it is right in front of them like the ambush predators they are. Also, I suggest keeping the water very clean as these can be sensitive to poor water quality.


Sexing:

You can tell what sex they are by looking at the anal-fin, Males should have almost 2 different parts and Males have an extended anal-fin while the Females should have one full piece with no extensions. As you can see here this is my Female African Butterfly Fish you can see the anal-fin is not extended as it would be on a Male African Butterfly Fish. You can also see how they only have one part to it but Males have the extended piece used for breeding. Females will also be larger and plumper than the males.

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Made by: NC122606
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Thank you:
Feohw
CMB
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Hopefully, this helps you with this amazing fish...
 
nikm128
Member
Thinking this is worthy of a sticky? Coradee ?
 
  • Moderator
Coradee
Moderator
Member
Nice write up, stickied
 
Coptapia
Member
Since this has been stickied it seems fairly important to mention that Pantodon comes from soft acid water, and even tannin stained blackwater. It will adapt to some hardness and alkalinity but does best in a pH below 7. It is not an alkaline fish as the piece states.

Also why is there an “Acclimation time” ? This is totally dependant on the difference between tank and bag, so it’s impossible to predict how long it will need to take. Every case is different.

And this...?
“African Butterfly Fish come from the Phylum of Chordata which is the same as the Arowana,”

 
  • Thread Starter
NC122606
Member
Coptapia said:
Since this has been stickied it seems fairly important to mention that Pantodon comes from soft acid water, and even tannin stained blackwater. It will adapt to some hardness and alkalinity but does best in a pH below 7. It is not an alkaline fish as the piece states.

Also why is there an “Acclimation time” ? This is totally dependant on the difference between tank and bag, so it’s impossible to predict how long it will need to take. Every case is different.

And this...?
“African Butterfly Fish come from the Phylum of Chordata which is the same as the Arowana,”
Definitely comes from soft acid water but it doesn’t mean it hasn’t adapted over time to other ph. Most fish will be fine acclimating to any ph but there is some that will not, considering they do come from that I would take a bit longer to acclimate in higher ph.

They are a bit sensitive to ph and temperature changes so I advise to take a bit longer. But of course there is the bag difference.

There I was making another point on why they are so closely related to the Arowana.

 
CaptainAquatics
Member
I was just about to make a write up on this fish's care but it seems that you have already done it, so I will just say that I agree with this thread. Also yesterday I got a african butterfly fish (not my first but my others did not do well (first because he was an impulse and second one died mysteriously after doing really well in QT). I can already tell this new guy is going to do well and is already eating today despite only getting him yesterday. I am very happy!
 

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