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The African Butterfly Fish (Pantodon buchholzi)

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The African butterfly fish is a strange looking creature that almost appears to have wings when viewed from above. This fish comes from Africa where it lives in slow-moving rivers and, therefore, does best in the tank that does not have fast water movement. This fish has been sold for aquarium pets for 90 years and can be found in nature in the African rainforest waters such as Lake Chad and the Congo Basin.

If you are putting your butterfly fish in a tank with other fish be forewarned that they are predatory and may eat some of your smaller surface type fish.

This fish can be a little bit sensitive so make sure you acclimate him to tank properly and be sure that you have a good hood with no holes in it is these guys do tend to jump out of the tank.

The African butterfly fish can grow up to 10 cm or 4 inches in length and can live for around five years. Optional tank conditions include a PH of 6 to 7.5 and a temperature between 75 and 82°F. A minimum of 20 gallons is recommended for this fish.

Although the butterfly fish may eat your smaller surface dwelling fish he can get along pretty good with medium-sized or larger sized fish in the same tank. The butterfly fish is a surface dweller himself, and therefore may eat smaller surface dwellers but who pretty much ignore anything that hangs around in the middle or bottom of the tank. This is an egg laying fish that has been bred in aquariums however since the eggs float to the top there is a very good chance that they will get eaten by the parents or other fish before they have a chance to hatch.

The African butterfly fish does best when fed a variety of foods. You should try to feed him flake or pellet food supplemented with some frozen foods as well. This fish is actually a carnivore so we'll do best when his diet is mainly live, frozen and freeze dried foods. Some of his favorite foods include live small fish, crickets, daddy longlegs, blood worms, brine shrimp and tibufex worms. You must be sure, however that these foods float as your butterfly fish will probably not swim down past the surface for feeding.

To make your butterfly fish feel right at home, you might think of including some real floating plants and the tank which will help provide some cover for him since he hangs out at the top.



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