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
Poko - 2004-09-13
I just got an Afircan Butterfly fish a week ago. He is so beautiful. I have a tank lid that is suppose to be for a reptile(it is like a screen-like thing that covers the whole top) so there is no way my butterfly can attempt to fly.

Now, about dead fish. If they have not been out of the water too long, but still seem dead, there is a way to try and bring them back. If you can, try and keep the gills open by placing your fingers behind them. Then, with the fishs mouth open, put them under the water and move them forward through the water very fast. Keep trying this, and if lucky, your fish will be fine. This pushes water through the gills again, giving the fish oxygen and possibly regain conciousness.

Click For Replies (1)
  • matt - 2014-01-06
    Or as I like to do, face them under the output flow of the filter.
Laina - 2012-06-03
I luv this site.

Click For Replies (1)
  • john - 2012-12-02
    So do I
john - 2011-12-14
Hi, I want to set up my 20 gallon fish tank with 3 senegal bichirs and 2 of these guys. What would be a good price for one and just to let you all know a 20 gallon is the biggest tank I can have. The bichirs aren't an option thanks to my brother.

Click For Replies (2)
  • ashley - 2012-03-23
    20 gallons might be fine for two butterflies, but the bichirs are going to need something A LOT bigger than the tank you have once they reach their full size. The senegal bichir can grow to at least 16 inches in length if cared for properly. I only have one, but I'm transferring him to a 40 gallon breeder tank soon.
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-03-23
    Butterfly fish aren't always the easiest fish to keep. Should have a well cycled tank and good water exchange.
ber - 2010-09-24
I have only a 10 gal tank for now cause all my fish are still really little, and I plan to get a big tank soon so they all have their own areas... but I have an african butterflyfish, 2 red tailed sharks, 2 mini sucker fish, one reg sucker, my cute lil guppy, and my fave, my jack dempsey.. it's funny to watch them because, my lil jack hangs out with the bigger of the two red tailed shark, the guppy hangs out and follows the smaller red tailed shark, and the rest just kinda do their own thing..but the weirdest thing cause my red tail and my jack never leave each others side..they swim side by side, and act like the big bosses together? Weird right? It's funny cause they are so little! Is that normal for the two species?

Click For Replies (5)
  • sub - 2011-08-13
    Check your red tail for lost scales, jacks are very territorial it my look like it's following each other but they're nipping off scales from each other I have a jack and he does the same and I almost lost my sunshine peacock.
  • Scott Emberly - 2012-02-13
    your jack will probly kill everything in your tank when he gets a bit olderhe will probly just swallow them whole if he dont tear them apart first
  • Alex Burleson - 2012-02-13
    I regret to inform you, that as this aquarium, and its inhabitants mature, and grow, you will experience quite a few problems.

    1. You will need an aquarium the size of 55+ gallons to accommodate all of the fish's growing needs.
    2. Your Guppy, as the other fish grow, will be attacked, or perhaps eaten by one of the fish in the aquarium.
    3. The 'sucker fish' could also be attacked by either the Butterfly Fish, or the Jack Dempsey.

    As for fish 'hanging out' beside each other, this is normal behavior.

    Good luck with your aquarium, and fish!
  • Pattie - 2012-03-31
    I had a Jack Dempsey for years. He was my Favorite. You should move him into a very aggressive tank because he is or will become very aggressive. He will eat everything he can catch. He will get very large also. If you want to keep the butterfly, and the sharks move him. All so the if the suckers are Chinese Algae eaters. They are cool to but when they get big they to get aggressive and will suck the sides of the other fish and kill them. Do lots of reading on the fish you want to put together before you do. You could loose some nice fish. The sharks and guppies are in danger of becoming a meal of the others.
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-03-31
    Odder matches have happened. The first time the Jack gets hungry you may see the 'cute lil guppy' end up as food. Jack's do get very aggressive as they age. That is good that you are planning on upgrading your tank! Go with a 55 gallon tank or larger.
rick - 2011-10-28
Can african butterfly fish stand salt in their water 0.03 salinity?

thor - 2012-05-23
Awsome fish, i purchased one of these about six months ago from a local petco. They didn't know anything about the fish, they told me it wasn't aggressive and an excellent community fish...WRONG. although it is a top water fish it will eat smaller fish. I have a 55gal. community tank, I was raising lots of different fancy tail guppies, I had over 200 babies 48 different males and about 60 females. Not any more. In about 3 months I had 7 males and 14 females. It took me a while to figure out he was eating them all the first couple weeks I noticed my numbers dropping. Then I saw him. Man they are FAST. He can't fit the females in his mouth as easy. I fed him alot of crickets but it didn't help. again excellent fish, real beautiful and real aggressive.

Nick - 2011-12-28
Can one butterfly fish live in a thirty gallon also what are suitable tank mates are pictus okay? Also plz tell me the setup like: 1 abf 3 pictus

Click For Replies (1)
  • Tommy - 2012-01-28
    Minumum is ten gal
Anonymous - 2011-06-01
I have a butterfly fish that I recently got. And I was wondering why it wasn't eating much of the flake food. Now I know why, thanks.

Click For Replies (1)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-01
    I am glad. I take it you found out what they like to eat from the article in Animal World. Welcome and stay in touch.
Ryan - 2008-10-20
Thanks for all the info. Just wondering if it is bad to have two in a 55gal,... or would they be ok.

Click For Replies (2)
  • Anonymous - 2010-03-08
    yes it is okay
  • Anonymous - 2010-12-30
    I have 2 in my 55 gal they're great together now I'm wondering can I have 3.
S Noor - 2010-05-11
Hello, I have a 48" long community tank for the Butterflyfish. It shares the tank with 13 black neons, 2 black marbled angelfish (breeding pair), 3 dwarf otto's, 1 dwarf german ram, 1 golden algae eater, 1 siamese shark ( pangasius or something like that), 1 dwarf indian puffer, 1 black ghost knife fish and loads of shrimps including 3 large rock shrimps. And they are all a big happy family.

Click For Replies (1)
  • Tim - 2010-12-06
    Your butterflys can"fly"your tank is a fair length, given the fact the butterfly fish can launch out of water to catch bugs, a longer would be a bunch better, keep the top covered, once they take off the height could reach about two feet, with a good run and maybe a eight foot glide, that is a long tank, i had mine in a fifty two inch long, two ft wide, over 150 gal, lost a couple before i got smart.