Experience with Golden/Semilarvatus Butterfly?


New member
When my tank was less than 4 months old, I was struck by how pretty these fish -


were and bought one. It cost me over $100, and lasted about 3 weeks. Lesson learned. Since then, I've had my 93 gallon running nicely for more than 2 years, and am tempted to try another one. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who's successfully kept one of these for any length of time. Is it really necessary, as some sites suggest, to feed multiple times per day? Other tips? Or better to avoid this fish altogether? Thanks.


New member
Thanks. Judging from the low # of responses, I suspect there are not a whole lot of keepers of this fish...


Fish heads unite!
Premium Member
A hardy butterfly. Once acclimated, a total pig, IME. No comment on reef safeness, though.


New member
I'd a pair in Nov 2007 that started out great swim and hunt corals together. Within 6 months after I started feeding live clams one of them started getting aggressive toward the other one during feeding time and I think the stress was too much for the weaker butterfly. The surviving one is swimming and eating well but hasn't grown as much when the other one was around. I feed twice a day with a variety of frozen and pellets for snack but the Semi doesn't touch pellet and loves live clams that I feed twice a week.




New member
Have found them very hit & miss, had an autopsy done on one of ours that died, had a large and varied parasite load, whether that makes them more susceptible to succumb in aquaria i don't know.

Big E

Premium Member
I had six for 5-6 years. Once past the acclimating stage they are very hardy & will eat anything. You need to keep good water quality for long term success.

There's no reason they can't live for ten years. I fed mine once a day, but twice a day would be better if you can do this. Just split the same amount of food in two portions.

Keep them away from aggressive crowded setups. I've seen plenty of systems where they have been with large angels & tangs, but they will do better if they are the dominant fish in the tank.

QT of new arrivals is a must.

A pair would work okay in your system...........they are very slow growers. Just make a commitment now not to add any aggressive fish & they'll live for years.