Animal Stories - African Butterflyfish

Animal-World Information about: African Butterflyfish

The Freshwater Butterflyfish has pectoral fins that are prettily patterned and look just like butterfly wings!
Latest Animal Stories
Kristin Becker - 2019-08-11
I have had problems with sudden (within 24-48 hours) sickness (laying sideways one the bottom, not eating) after apparent healthy behavior (jumping for food, attacking food briskly) for 2-3 weeks after I brought them home. All other fish are healthy in the tank and the tank is well 55 gallon established community tank. No chloramines, chlorine, nitrates or ammonia is present, although the water is slightly hard (180 ppm) and pH 7.6. I am working on decreasing the pH and adding General Cure for parasites. Would like to add salt, but not sure what dose they can tolerate. Any other ideas?

famous kerry - 2013-01-03
Hello I have african butterfly to sell and anyother fish from west africa...long nose and others please contact

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  • gabriel garcia - 2013-07-06
    Hi, saw your comment, do you still have butterfly fish available to sell? I had one years ago in Odessa, TX, but moved several times. I would really like one today, got a tank ready, my email is at
  • Ouida Barry - 2018-12-06
    How much are you asking for you African Butterfly?
Mal - 2018-08-28
WARNING ABOUT THIS FISH!!!! Make sure to have a tight fitting lid, they will and can crawl out! Just had one this morning dry out on me because it crawled through 1 foot of netting over the side in my pond! These fish do not make good pond fish unless you have a locked down cover over the pond.

julie - 2017-09-30
yes hello, i went to the local petsmart and bought a hatchet fish for my sons 3rd birthday party. He loved the fish so much he named it Barkley the sock. Sadly Barkley died 4 days later. Best pet experience of my life

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  • James - 2017-12-06
    Seems like you didn't do your research before buying the fish.
Karen Kile - 2015-11-07
On the evening of 11/6/2015 in the Gulf of Mexico, Venice Florida Inlet I saw a fish that looked very similar to the pictures of the African Butterfly fish. It was at the shoreline of Snake Island which is located close to the Inlet, just hovering. At first I thought it was a large bug then it started to move with fins that resembled butterfly wings when a wave carried it on the shore it flipped and flopped extremely fast to get back to the water. At first I thought it was a type of shrimp because it looked kind of like them when its wings were folded in while it was on shore. Another wave pushed it further up and it was flopping for its life, so I took a clam shell and flipped it out into the water. I would like to know what type of fish it could have been, I have never seen anything like this little 3' fish.

Anonymous - 2015-09-03
I have a 150 gallon tank with African cichlids mainly, one green terror, talking catfish, and more big community fish. would a butterfly fish be fine.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2015-09-06
    I wouldn't put an African Butterfly in with those types of cichlids, due to their aggressiveness. Read about their social behaviors above, I'd be afraid that your tankmate selection would cause them great stress.
  • ROD - 2015-11-05
    Clarice I don't think this fish would do well in your tank. African Butterfly fish are top feeders and are very finicky eaters, their eyes are on top of their head and they only eat what they see. The water level in your tank should be about 10' only with lots of floating vegetation with very little waves. The best food for them are small crickets. Good luck, Rod
  • Clarice Brough - 2015-11-05
    I absolutely agree Rod, and good info too, thanks.
Christian - 2015-10-14
Hi everyone, I'm actually looking for this following list of fish: Sunshine/Golden Pleco L014
Gold Nuggedt/barryancistrus L018
Pseudocathricus L273
Geophagus Altifrans (6-8).

Please contact me at

Joel - 2015-08-19
Hi, I'm looking at purchasing one of these at around 6-7 cm. would one this size be compatible with: Keyhole cichlids around 3-5 cm initially Synodontis nigriventris ( upside down cats ) around 4-5 cm initially dwarf neon rainbow fish around 3-5 cm initially Bristlenose Thanks for any help you can give

nick - 2010-03-05
How can u tell the difference between a male and a female african butterfly? Please be specific, thank you.

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  • Miss Cellany - 2014-11-19
    The male has a concave trailing edge on his anal fin, the female's is straight. The male also has an extended filament on his anal fin which the female lacks.
andy harvey - 2014-06-12
I recently bought a butterfly fish for my tank but when i go near the tank to feed him he goes to the bottom and hides which makes it hard to feed him anyone got any soloutions to this

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-06-27
    They can be shy, but it can help if you have some more adventurous fish like clownfish or damsels. The butterflyfish will see them going to the top of the tank at feeding time, and learn to come out with them to eat. Overtime, as it becomes comfortable with its home, it should come out more readily.
  • Arf - 2014-08-09
    Butterfly Fish are freshwater... So clowns and damsels are obviously out of the question.
  • Knife Fish Lover - 2014-10-30
    Get a Senegal Bichir.