Updated August 6, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
The Lined Butterflyfish can get up to 12 inches (32 cm) in size and is one of the larger of the butterfly fish species. They are found near areas of heavy coral growth on reef slopes and sometimes travel in groups, pairs and in singles.
If you can even find them in your local shop (rarely caught for the hobby), you may want to pass on this butterfly fish. Their potential adult size and their eating habits would keep them out of most aquarium setups. The lined butterflyfish is a coral eater, feasting on soft and stony coral polyps and mushroom anemones.
Acquiring a good specimen is usually hit or miss and some recommend getting smaller sized specimens because they should acclimate more easily. Frequent small feedings several times a day may be required and once they are acclimated they should do well in the proper setup.
Obviously, feeding a Lined Butterflyfish coral polyps could get rather expensive. Try to offer a varied diet of meaty foods such as mysis, brine shrimp, carnivorous frozen marine foods, etc. A large tank (at least 150 gallons) is needed given their potential adult size.
If you have the right setup, this could be a nice addition to your live rock only tank with maybe faux corals used as decorations.
Lined Butterflyfish Care
Scientific Name : Chaetodon lineolatus
Common Names : New Moon Coralfish
Care Level : Moderate, take your time acclimating them to the tank.
Size : Up to 12 inches (32 cm)
Life span : 10 years is the longest reported.
pH : 8.2 - 8.4
Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C)
Specific Gravity : 1.021 - 1.025
Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°
Origin / Habitat : Reef face, reef slopes in heavy coral growth areas in the Indo-Pacific, throughout the Red Sea to Hawaii and south to the Great Barrier Reef.
Temperament / Behavior : Even though they are sometimes found in groups in the ocean, only keep one to a tank. They may scrap with similar colored/marked fish.
Breeding : To our knowledge this species has not bred in captivity.
Aquarium Size : 150 gallon (570 liters) minimum given their adult size of 12 inches, one of the biggest butterfly fish.
Tank Mates : Lined Butterflyfish can be fairly hardy and may do well with similarly sized non-butterfly species. Keep them out of saltwater reef tanks. May nip at corals and smaller invertebrates. This is known as one of the more aggressive butterflies.
Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment.
Diet / Foods : Besides the acclimation period, feeding them may present one of the most challenging aspects of keeping them. Frequent small feedings per day of marine origin meaty type foods should be given.
Tank Region : All over, can be a very active swimmer.
Gender : No externally distinguishing characteristics to determine the differences between males and females.
Forum : Saltwater Butterfly Fish Forum
Photo Credit : Photos copyright JJPhoto.dk
Michael, S. W. (2001). Marine Fishes, 500+ Essential to Know Aquarium Species. T.F.H. Publications.
Michael, Scott (2004), TFH Publications. Reef Fish Series - Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes, Plus Ten More Aquarium Fish Families with Expert Captive Care Advice for the Marine Aquarist