Providing the Proper Habitat:
Some Butterflyfishes are rather shy, others moderately aggressive, while many others can be quite bold and aggressive. No matter what temperament a particular species may have, for the most part these are fish that like to move about. Therefore, they should be provided with more than adequate room to swim around.
Shelter plays a role in their behavior as well, especially if you are planning to keep multiple Butterflies together. By providing ample housing the fish are better able keep away from other fishes in their confined aquarium community, which can reduce disputes with other tankmates greatly.
When it comes to selecting Butterflyfishes, here are some that are considered to be good starters. These are ones that are fairly easy to care for and adjust rather well to aquarium life. Unless otherwise noted, they commune well with members of the same or similar species as well as other less-aggressive non-related fishes, if they are introduced in the aquarium all at the same time.
- Chaetodon milliaris, multicinctus, unimaculatus, fremblii, kleinii, vagabundus, melannotus (best kept singly or as a mated pair), ulietensis (small specimens are preferred), and mertensii and xanthurus (each of which are good with their own species, but act aggressively towards each other because of similar appearance). Hemitaurichthys polylepis or zoster (only in 100 plus gallon aquariums). Heniochus diphreutes, acuminatus, intermedius and monoceros (also only in 100 plus gallons).
Most all other Butterflyfish species, with the exception of obligate corallivores
that should be avoided altogether, are best kept by a well experienced or advanced aquarist. Many particularly as adults do not adapt well to aquarium life, and even though the juvenile specimens may more readily learn to accept tank fed foods, their feeding behaviors can still be unpredictable.
Before You Buy Butterflyfish Tips:
Before you buy a Butterflyfish, or ANY fish for that matter, be sure you learn all about the particular fish you are thinking
of keeping. They may be similar in character, but many have very specific care requirements to be aware of.
What are its specific dietary preferences? What are its particular characteristic traits, environmental requirements, and compatibility with other fishes or marine life? Is it a species that will do well in captivity? How big does it get? Do you know what to look for when buying a fish?
Knowing the answers to these and other questions are of the utmost importance to their survival! To learn about particular traits and characteristics an individual species may have, refer to the our Butterflyfish Species Profiles
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