- African Butterfly fish, Butterfly fish, Freshwater Butterfly fish, Poorman's Arowana , etc.
Scientific Name- Pantodon buchholzi
Native geographical area-
Found thrughout areas of Africa.
Minimum Aquarium Size-
30 gallons. Length and width are the most important when choosing a tank for this type of fish.
Natural & captive Diet-
Strictly carnivorous. Diet in the wild, and in an aquarium setting, mainly consists of insect or insect larvae. Will eat bloodworms, small fish slivers, crickets (loves), moths, beetles, mealworms, waxworms (snack), flake foods, tablets, etc. Very easy to get to eat- very competitive when it comes to eating. Usually attacks anything that hits the surface (including your fingers).
Large swim bladder leads it to stay at the very top of the water all day. One specimen I had would momentarily "dive" down and wedge itself into plants, but for the most part it swims at the surface.
Temperament & compatibility-
Aggressive fish. Do well with those of the same species, but are quick to eat fish such as hatchetfish, neon tetras, etc. While they are really only predatory of top dwelling fish; they have been know to dive through the water column to grab small fish. Sometimes suggested for discus tanks, as they love soft water, but are easily picked upon. Will do good with similar sized fish that aren't predatory- fin nipping fish are out of the question.
__ Optimal hardness-
6.0-7.5 Optimal ph-
65-82 Optimal temperature-
1.000-1.004 Optimal salinity-
Seasonal changes critical?
Open covers, aggressive tankmates, small tanks, poor water quality, high currents, fin rot, etc.
Hardiness & Lifespan-
A somewhat hardy fish, but cannot handle poor water for long periods of time. In "spoiled water", fins quickly deteriorate and usually catch fin rot. As for lifespan, they can live anywhere from 1-7 years (no real reports of lifespan have been noted).
Diurnal, will still swim around during the night but is not aware of movements.
Extremely hard to breed, and almost impossible to sex individuals. Eggs can be anywhere from 50-200 in count, and once lain float to the surface of the water. Hatching 1-4 days later, fry are hard to raise and require live foods- daphnia, mosquito larvae, etc.