Planted Aquarium Expert

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Caring For Your Freshwater, African Butterflyfish, 8 FAQ’s

Pantodon buchholzi Freshwater Butterflyfish

Image of this freshwater butterfly fish is provided by Wikipedia

As a native of Africa, the Freshwater Butterflyfish have mottled coloration and a fine plume of branched fins.

One of the first thing you need to know, is do you actually own a butterflyfish or did your local pet store sell you something else?


african butterflyfish

Not a Butterflyfish:


1.  What is something I should know about butterflyfish?

A.  Butterflyfish are surface feeders. Because of this, they are always looking up. (You could say they are overly optimistic.) They can jump out of the water to catch flying prey. A tank cover is a must.

B.  Other fish like to nip at their fins.

C.  Tight-fitting lids are necessary as these fish are good jumpers. You’ll know they’ve been jumping and hitting the tank lid when you see a bandage wrapped around their head.

2.  What should I feed my butterflyfish?

If you get one, you will probably need to add insect-breeding to your hobbies because a Freshwater Butterflyfish only eats live bugs and feeder fish. Your spouse is gonna love that. Don’t want to grow your own insects? Here’s a company that has many different insect types to feed your butterflyfish.

3.  How hard is it to keep butterflyfish?  

Medium to difficult.

4.  What should the water be like for my butterflyfish? 

A.  Butterflyfish need soft water with a pH of 7 on average.

B.  The temperature should be 78 degrees F.

C.  Water movement on the surface of their tank should be very slow to non-existent.

D.  They prefer a tank with lots of plants in the tank especially floating plants. 

5.  What is their behavior like in a community aquarium?

A. They will eat any tank mate that will fit in their large mouths, even smaller butterflyfish.

B. They are aggressive with other butterflyfish, so keep only one to a tank.

6.  How big do freshwater butterflyfish get?

They grow to 5 inches in length.

7.  What is the minimum size aquarium for freshwater butterflyfish?

55+ gallons or more. One to a tank only, please. 

8.  How much does a freshwater butterflyfish cost?  

They are challenging to breed in captivity, so the freshwater butterflyfish that are for sale are wild-caught. Because of this, supply can be spotty. Butterflyfish are about $15 if available. Looking on eBay, I didn’t see any for sale. 


butterflyfish food

Information About Chinese Algae Eaters

chinese algae eater

On-site article link.

The Fish Market:

Angel Aquarium Statue for Fish Oxygen

Angel peeing

Tired of plain ol' boring air bubblers? This angel bubbler should pep things up.