colspan=2 style="text-align: centerTemplate:; background-colorTemplate:COLON Template:Taxobox colour" | Freshwater butterflyfish
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colspan=2 style="text-align: centerTemplate:; background-colorTemplate:COLON Template:Taxobox colour" | Scientific classification
colspan=2 style="text-align: centerTemplate:; background-colorTemplate:COLON Template:Taxobox colour" | Binomial name
Pantodon buchholzi
Peters, 1877

The freshwater butterflyfish or African butterflyfish, Pantodon buchholzi, is the only species in the family Pantodontidae within the Order Osteoglossiformes. It is not closely related to saltwater butterflyfishes.

Habits[edit | edit source]

The freshwater butterflyfish is a specialized surface hunter. It is able to breathe air due to its well-vascularized swim bladder. Its eyes are constantly trained to the surface and its upturned mouth is specifically adapted to capture small prey along the water's surface. If enough speed is built up in the water, a butterflyfish can jump and glide a small distance above the surface to avoid predation. It also wiggles its pectoral fins as it glides, with the help of specialized, enlarged pectoral muscles, the ability which earned the fish its common name. [1] The fish feeds primarily on small insects and smaller fishes.

Location[edit | edit source]

Freshwater butterflyfish are found in the slightly acidic standing bodies of water in West Africa. They require a year round temperature of 73-86°F. Butterflyfish are found in slow to no current areas with high amounts of surface foliage for cover. They are commonly seen in Lake Chad, the Congo Basin, throughout Lower Niger, Cameroon, Ogooue, and Upper Zambezi. They have also been seen in the Niger Delta, Lower Ogun, and in the Lower Cross River.

In the aquarium[edit | edit source]

Freshwater butterflyfish can be kept as pets in an aquarium of at least 30 gallons. A tightly closed top on the tank is required because of their jumping habits. During feeding times special care should be taken as then they are most likely to jump and injure themselves outside the water. This holds true not only for moving foods but for flakes and any other types of food disturbing the water surface. They also prefer a tank with live plants, especially ones that float near the surface, providing hiding places to reduce stress. Other required conditions are a temperature of 75° to 85°F, a pH of 6.9-7.1, and a KH of 1-10. They are more likely to spawn under such conditions, producing a mass of large floating eggs at the surface. Eggs hatch in approximately seven days. Because they are carnivorous, the freshwater butterflyfish must be fed a diet of moths, insects, small fish, brine shrimp, bloodworms, or other types of meaty foods. Freeze dried tubiflex squares can be stuck on the side of a tank at water level, which they will find and eat. Occasionally they will eat flake food, but cannot subsist on it. In aquaria, freshwater butterflyfish can grow to 4 inches. The butterflyfish should not be kept with fin-eating or aggressive fishes.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Berra, Tim M. (2001). Freshwater Fish Distribution. San Diego: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-093156-7

Feeding[edit | edit source]

Feeding this fish can be hard with other fish in the aquarium.Other fish like goldfish will steal the butterfly fishs cricket and run away.The best solution would try to handfeed them but because of there shyness this can be a long time before this little trick can work.

See also[edit | edit source]

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