African butterfly fish tank setup recommendations

Braddc90
  • #1
I have an ABF that is currently in my 90 gallon community tank. It seems to be doing fine overall, but I would like to move him to another tank where I think he would be happier. Also I've been keeping the tank water level a little lower with him being in there, and would like to have that not be the case anymore. Anybody that knows about these fish, please give suggestions as to how I should set up his new home. Any at all will be appreciated and taken under my consideration. I have a bowfront 26 that is not in use, but I don't think that tank would be suitable for him really. I have no problem buying a new tank him. I would like some live plants.
 
Feohw
  • #2
You can read about them on this thread to know what tank requirements and such they need. I would definitely do floating plants for them. And make sure the tank has a good lid without any gaps in it to avoid jumping. Is there anything in particular you were wondering or need to know?
 
Braddc90
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Well I should have specified more then I did. I was more so looking for ideas people may have over what a good tank would be as in how they would set it up. I was wanting a more slow moving set up then what he is in currently, at the same time I would like his current home to be a bit stronger. I've had to make sure there wasn't too much of a current at the top for him which I don't feel is beneficial to the tank besides just him. I'd like to get a 20Long set up, though that may be bare minimum size tank for him so maybe I should do larger. And I'd like the tank to be more of a biotope suited for him and with tank mates more towards what he may actually be around in the wild.

You can read about them on this thread to

Thay was a good read thanks for posting. It says 29 gal minimum although I believe it's more about surface area for them then how much the tank holds, either way maybe I should go for more then a 20 long. I do have a 55 that just housed a pair of breeding Angel's I may change...Maybe I should just come back later when I have a tank preparing for him to move to with more ideas for stocking and such. I appreciate you linking that.
 
MacZ
  • #4
I have something in mind. Maybe recreacte a slow flowing riverbank? Driftwood or branches hanging in the water and some bigger growing floating plants. In general, when it comes to fish that unique I'd always look how their natural habitat looks like and try to recreate it. Optically, not down to every detail in plant choice or sth.
 
Braddc90
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I have something in mind. Maybe recreacte a slow flowing riverbank? Driftwood or branches hanging in the water and some bigger growing floating plants. In general, when it comes to fish that unique I'd always look how their natural habitat looks like and try to recreate it. Optically, not down to every detail in plant choice or sth.
I'd love to create an aqua terrarium making it into sort of a riverbank like where an ABF would be found naturally. I wish I could find some video of them in the wild.
 
MacZ
  • #6
From Wikipedia: Freshwater butterflyfish are found in the slightly acidic, standing bodies of water in West Africa. They require a year-round temperature of 73–86 °F (23–30 °C). They are found in slow- to no-current areas with high amounts of surface foliage for cover. They are commonly seen in Lake Chad, the Congo Basin, throughout lower Niger, Cameroon, Ogooue, and upper Zambezi. They have also been seen in the Niger Delta, lower Ogooue, and in the lower Cross River.

I looked some of these locales up for you:

https://www.researchgate.net/figure...Mayoko-Creek-2-D-Mandoro-River_fig3_288304300

This comes closest. You get the idea I hope.

Also imagine this tank with floating plants.


025_biotope-aquarium_a-12-1.jpg
 
jmaldo
  • #7
Calling tfreemahas been successful keeping them,

Good Luck!
 
Braddc90
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
I looked some of these locales up for you:

Thanks a lot you've been a big help with this MacZ. I looked through it a bit I'll be looking more in depth when I have my laptop in front of me to view it all.
 
Braddc90
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
tfreema

I'm tagging you since another member tagged you saying you had experience with this fish, but anybody that know about this fish please chime in. I haven't seen much information on breeding but I know somebody out there does. I do not plan to but I found this article in looking more into there habitats and thought it to be interesting.

Surprising genetics of the African butterfly fish

its from 2010 but suggests the congo and niger river ABF are so genetically different, they may be unable to breed. So now I wonder, is it completely random where my ABF came from? Perhaps it came from a breeder since I saw him at petsmart or Petco and I had to get him, though I mostly get any fish from my local privately owned fish store. So it probably doesn't matter, but I was looking deep into getting his tank just like his natural habitat when I saw this.
 
MacZ
  • #10
Surprising genetics of the African butterfly fish

its from 2010 but suggests the congo and niger river ABF are so genetically different, they may be unable to breed. So now I wonder, is it completely random where my ABF came from? Perhaps it came from a breeder since I saw him at petsmart or Petco and I had to get him, though I mostly get any fish from my local privately owned fish store. So it probably doesn't matter, but I was looking deep into getting his tank just like his natural habitat when I saw this.

Oh my... if they are wild caught you will surely get some from the same region at once if you buy more than one. If they are captive bred it's hard to say what population their ancestors are from. Concerning habitat requirements that should make no difference. Only in case you want to breed them that could be of importance.

You already got one from petco? Likely captive bred. Wouldn't have gotten it there but ordered at the LFS but... yeah.
 
Braddc90
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Oh my... if they are wild caught you will surely get some from the same region at once if you buy more than one. If they are captive bred it's hard to say what population their ancestors are from. Concerning habitat requirements that should make no difference. Only in case you want to breed them that could be of importance.

You already got one from petco? Likely captive bred. Wouldn't have gotten it there but ordered at the LFS but... yeah.

If I plan on breeding ever then it would be more of a concern but very interesting, maybe why there's not a lot of breeding. Well that and the fry are very demanding, only feeding from the surface just like adults among other things.

But yeah, they've become more interesting to me looking into there habitat. And yes petco, I seen it there and it's a fish I've wanted for years, though I see now there more available then when I first came across them. They are regulars at the petco in my town now! Its def another breed that will stay with me, as are bettas. I just like them idk. Clown loaches have been a big interest of me as well, but I'm waiting until I can finally get a big enough tank to enjoy them there whole life.
 
tfreema
  • #12
Sorry that I just saw the tags. I haven't looked at alerts and they don't pop up on the app.

I have 3 ABF in my 120 gallon (footprint 18" x 60"). It has some powerful filtration with an fx6 and an fx4 as well as 2 powerheads with sponges on the intakes on the floor of the tank to keep flow moving. I compensate by pointing the nozzles in a way that provides some calm surface areas at each end and the middle back wall of the tank. The best floating plant I have found so far is pennywort. It is great to tie down to a filter pipe or piece of wood and let it grow up to and across the surface. I actually wind it and make a little hot mess of it and they love hanging out in it. I also have a couple turtle docks to block flow for them and give the ropefish something to climb on at the surface of the water.

I would go with a 40b if you have to do a smaller tank. It has better surface area. If you can go larger and do a 4' tank, I would recommend a 75 gallon over a 55 gallon to get the extra width. The ideal size is 125g and have a group of them, lol.

My 120 gallon is set up as an african region tank (mostly) with the 3 abf's, 5 ropefish, 2 ctenopoma, 1 african brown knife, and then the non-african 2 albino bn plecos and 2 bengal loaches (until they age out). I was actually raising up congo tetras to add just waiting for them to be big enough to be safe from being snacks for the ctenopomas, but glad I was able to observe them. They are food swarmers so I think they would upset the balance of feeding the ABF's and knife fish in this tank. The ABFs mostly just eat crickets that I gut load.

I will second having a good tight-fitting lid with no gaps. I have had one jump out while in quarantine going after food. Fortunately, that tank was on the bottom of a double-stack low to the floor. They have jumped up enough to cause a big splash in the 120g, but fortunately not ever jumped out. That is good 5' drop to a hardwood floor so I push their crickets back some when I drop them in.

I am not sure if any of this has helped. Let me know if you have any other questions. These are really cool fish, but not ones that stay up front and center. Mine like to hang out in the plants and before I had them, behind the filter pipes or turtle docks. I enjoy them immensely, but guests don't even know they are there unless I point them out or while feeding.
 
tfreema
  • #13
FYI, here is the tank with the hot mess of pennywort, lol.

IMG_7940.JPG

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