African Butterfly Fish – Pantodon buchholzi
African Butterfly Fish – Pantodon buchholzi is a fascinating, unique top dwelling fish. They have beautiful pectoral fins which resemble the wings of a butterfly. It uses these pectoral fins to glide swiftly and effortlessly in the aquarium. A secure fitting aquarium canopy is recommended to prevent this fish from using their fins to glide and jump out of the water/aquarium. A type of fish that stays relatively small, therefore is a great choice for a smaller style aquarium set up.
Common Name: African Butterfly Fish
Scientific Name: Pantodon buchholzi
Typical Adult Fish Size: 4 inches / 10 cm
Natural Habitat: African Rift Valley Lakes
Ideal Tank Ecosystem: The African Butterfly Fish – Pantodon buchholzi requires an aquarium of a minimum of 30 gallons with an arrangement of plants that grow near the surface that this specific fish can use for cover. They are resilient to disease and can handle a vast range of temperatures up to the mid 80’s. These fish is capable of jumping out of the water, and can even glide short distances. It is therefore very important to have a canopy that fits properly in order to save the fish from jumping out of your aquarium set up.
Recommended Aquarium Capacity: 30 gallon / 120 litre
Species Compatibility: Quite peaceful when they kept with similar sized species and larger tank mates. Avoid housing them with top dwelling fish and focus on fish that are bottom and mid dwelling.
Care Level: Intermediate+
Aquarium Water Temperature: 75 – 86°F / 24 – 30°C
Aquarium Water pH: Range 6.9 – 7.1
Feeding: The African Butterfly fish is carnivorous. It requires a variety of flake and pellets with live foods offered as further supplementation of diet. Feed the African Butterfly a steady diet of small fish, insects, brine shrimp and freeze-dried foods formulated for this fish.
Sexing: To determine the sex of the African Butterfly Fish you have to look at the anal fin. The females anal fin is straight. But on the male one of the ray’s on the anal fin is much longer than the rest.
Breeding: In order to breed the African Butterfly Fish – Pantodon buchholzi, lower the water in the aquarium to just a few inches for a few weeks. When refilling the aquarium, add soft acidic water. The male will climb on top of the female at the surface of the water. After about a day, the eggs will turn dark, and float to the surface. Remove the eggs to a separate aquarium with like water conditions. The eggs will hatch in approximately two days. Fry will require the smallest live foods, like baby brine shrimp and daphnia.
Other Considerations: The African Butterfly Fish is common to lakes across Africa and is an interesting, unique fish. It spends most of its time lingering at the surface of the water, waiting for their prey. It has a dark brown to black body and is speckled with lighter colors. The fins resemble the wings of a bird, giving this fish a distinctive one of a kind appearance. It does remain fairly small, but caution needs to be exercised, as this fish will swallow anything it can fit into its mouth.
The African Butterfly fish is a really odd looking fish and can make an interesting addition to the right tank. When viewed from above the African Butterfly fish’s pectoral fins resemble butterfly wings. They come from slow flowing rivers in Africa so it would be good to put them in a tank with slower water movement. They are predatory and will eat smaller surface dwelling fish. Butterfly fish are not as active as other types of fish.
Compliments and credit goes to copperchan with their YouTube video featuring a butterfly fish with a betta fish in a freshwater aquarium.
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