Butterfly fish

CrayolaViolence

New member
I've never owned butterfly fish, but I know not all are as "easy" as the stores on online vendors would have you believe. I'm curious as to what peoples experiences are with different kinds and which ones are on the absolute "leave it on the reef" list to "great tank fish". Thanks for your input.
 

Bolivian Ram

New member
I only have experience with the Pyramid Butterflyfish. They are as reef safe a butterfly fish can get, not aggressive and vary active. Mine were healthy from the get go but they can come in with flukes and other random diseases so treatment will be needed. They eat a lot and everything I offer them. They eat as much and vigorously as my triggers. If you have a big enough tank like a 6 footer you can create a nice display of a "school" of them.

I would say a great tank fish.
 

AlSimmons

New member
They can be very finicky when it comes down to food too. I'm not sure whether you'll be buying these fish online or at your LFS, but seeing them eat two or three different items before they're bagged up is definitely a plus.
 

CrayolaViolence

New member
They can be very finicky when it comes down to food too. I'm not sure whether you'll be buying these fish online or at your LFS, but seeing them eat two or three different items before they're bagged up is definitely a plus.

If I buy them online it will probably be from LA so they have some sort of health guarantee. My "local" store is 2 hours one way and I never know what they're gonna have till I get there.
 

GimpyFin

Active member
I have a Mitratus butterfly in my (Mostly sps) reef tank. I have some green button polyps he nips at off and on (Which doesn't bother me), but is otherwise an excellent, hardy fish. Extremely personable too, and has eaten like a horse since I first put him in QT. He was a little on the spendy side, but has been well worth it, IMO.
 

AboutAcans

New member
They're not that hard. Assuming you can get them eating, it builds up their immune system given the right diet. There's a product you can check out called Masstick by Easy Reefs and another one called OLiO Coral Food - just Google em. With both of them I have massive luck getting butterflies to eat and keeping them healthy.

Edit: Just make sure you have an established aquarium and no fish that will harass them.
 

nereefpat

New member
I kept a pearscale butterfly for a couple years. It was in a 90 gallon with soft corals (gsp, leathers, mushrooms, xenia). Didn't touch any of these mostly toxic corals. It was a great fish. It ate all frozen and even nori from a clip. It was killed by a yellow tang that went postal.

There are many species that should be left on the reef, especially ones that are obligate coral eaters. Chaetodon austriacus, would be an example.

It may not be as convenient, but I would get your next butterfly from a store. They don't always ship well, and they don't always eat well. Watch it eat, and look it over for erythema.
 

scooter31707

New member
I have dealt with a Pearlscale, Klein, and a Raccoon. IMO, the Klein is probably the easiest of any Butterfly. It was eating as soon as it went into QT. The Raccoon took about 3-4 days to get eating. IMO, the pearlscale can be hit or miss, but once they start eating the become be very hardy.
 

scooter31707

New member
IMO, I would say no for long term. You might be able to get a small one and keep it for about 2 years. IME, I have had bad experiences with small Butterflies. Try to pick the them around 2.5 to 4 inches.
 

nereefpat

New member
IME, I have had bad experiences with small Butterflies. Try to pick the them around 2.5 to 4 inches.

Good advice there.

Smallest species would be pearscale, mertans, chevron, punctato, and similar. They all get to about 5". A 60gallon would be borderline,imo, depending on dimensions.
 

jar41

Member
it's oceanic tank.i believe dimensions are 36/18/21. i have seen info somwhere about soome kinds being ok in that big tank...
thx
 
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