Raccoon Butterfly Fish

Updated August 5, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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The Raccoon Butterfly fish is one of the hardier of the butterfly species. In the wild this fish is primarily nocturnal, meaning that it is most active at night. Provide plenty of hiding places to help make your butterfly fish feel secure.

Chaetodon lunula Chaetodon lunula

The Raccoon Butterfly can reach up to 8 inches (20 cm) so you will need a fairly large (55 gallon, 208 liters) tank to keep one. Unless you have a really large tank, you should avoid keeping them with other butterflys because they can become territorial. However, they should get along well with most other species in the home aquarium.

Disease can be a problem with this fish. They seem to be especially prone to saltwater ich (cryptocaryon) and for this reason you should definitely quarantine this fish before introducing it to your main tank. They also need highly oxygenated water. Add some power heads for water movement to your tank.

They are not as picky as some of the other butterfly fishes when it comes to food, at least once they have adapted to your reef tank. Try giving them thawed saltwater fish cubes that are available at nearly all of the big box stores or online. Mix in a good saltwater pellet food like New Life Spectrum pellets or similar. Over a period of time they will begin to associate the pellets as food and will eat them with gusto.

They are primarily carnivores so try to give them live and the frozen foods mentioned previously as much as possible. They may also go after some of your saltwater invertebrates, might nip at corals and are not considered reef tank safe.

Raccoon Butterfly Chaetodon lunula


Raccoon Butterfly Fish Care

Scientific Name : Chaetodon lunula

Common Names : Moon, Half Moon, Red Striped Butterfly Fish

Care Level : Easy to moderate

Life span : 5 - 7 years, maybe longer

Size : 8 inches (20 cm) or larger.

pH : 8.2 - 8.4

Temperature : 74°F - 80°F (22°C - 27°C)

Specific Gravity : 1.020 - 1.025

Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°

Origin / Habitat : Fiji, Hawaii

Temperament / Behavior : Generally peaceful except with other butterfly fish. They may undergo color changes while among conspecifics to establish dominance.

Breeding : Not common in the home aquarium.

Aquarium Size : 55 gallon (208 liters) minimum and preferably larger.

Tank Mates : Generally peaceful but avoid keeping them with other Butterfly fish unless you have a really large tank (100 gallons or more). Triggerfish and Lionfish may pose some compatibility problems. Use caution when stocking them with saltwater invertebrates.

Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease Important to quarantine new arrivals for a week or two and watch for marine ich.

Diet / Foods : Primarily a carnivore and prefers live foods. Try to get them on frozen or fresh foods quickly. I had one raccoon butterfly that would not eat anything but zoanthids for the first week in the tank but once the zoas were pretty much decimated, started eating Hikari angelfish frozen cubes (defrosted first of course, haha). From then on it was easily the most aggressive eater in the tank and started leaving the zoanthids alone.

Tank Region : Middle to bottom

Gender : Difficult to determine

Forum : Saltwater Butterfly Fish Forum

Photo Credit : Photos copyright JJPhoto.dk

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