Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Anyone have experience with African Butterfly fish ( Pantodon buchholzi)? (

OscarLoverJim 08-19-2010 08:56 AM

Anyone have experience with African Butterfly fish ( Pantodon buchholzi)?
My wife has become enamored with an african butterfly fish (Pantodon buchholzi) she saw at a lfs and I was wondering if anyone has had experience with these? The only tank I have left is my oscar tank so I couldn't put one in there.

I am wondering about getting one of those cube systems which have an enclosed top since apparently they're escape artists.

Byron 08-19-2010 10:40 AM

I had a pair for several years. I like this fish very much, thinking it is time I get another pair. The species is in our profiles with good accurate information [and no, I didn't write this one:lol:].

As it says there, they remain at the surface; they will jump, one of mine jumped out once and I was amazed that after several minutes it survived when put back in the tank. They will eat any fish that approaches the surface, and their mouths are very large--the entire front part of the fish opens up. They need soft acidic water, and floating plants. Anubias, Java Fern would make suitable lower plants as the floating plants should be fairly thick but provide open space between for maneuvering. They will lie motionless for hours, but drop in an insect (house flies, beetles) and wow! They do best in a pair, or a group. Male and female are easily discernible by the quite large anal fin; on the male it is distinctly notched with extended centre rays--you can see this in the third photo in our profile, which is a male. The female's fin is basically rounded.

They have a nice social interaction when kept in a pair or a group, and I highly recommend this because otherwise they will be very dull. They really are motionless on their own. They don't need much room; I had my pair in a 15g which provides surface area but is shallower and except when threatened, they will not go below the surface. Bottom fish, also well suited to shallower but longer tanks like a 15g or 20g long, could be any that are non-aggressive--pleco, whiptails, etc. Corys that regularly breach the surface might be risky, the Pantodon would likely respond to the quick motion and possibly grab the cory and cause damage even if it couldn't actually swallow it.

Minimal filtration, an undergravel or sponge filter works well, there is no need for currents or surface disturbance as this fish occurs in swampy pools. I fed mine from my fingers, they became quite used to me. Mealworms (both the worm and bettle, I was raising these at the time for my amphibians), chunks of frozen foods like beefheart, squid (excellent nourishing food, squid), freeze dried shrimp. If the food floats they will usually grab it, especially if it moves a bit, sometimes I used to use a piece of broom topush the chunk and wham! gone in a flash.


OscarLoverJim 08-29-2010 09:29 AM

i got my butterfly fish last week. they just had one but i want to get another one. hopefully a male and female. anyway i just love this fish. so much fun and he is so unique. debbie

OscarLoverJim 09-02-2010 11:13 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Our 20 gallon tank the butterfly fish inhabits has cycled swiftly due to my cannibalizing a prefilter sponge from my oscar tank to use inside the Duetto 100 submersible filter I'm using.
We still just have the one butterfly fish due to the lfs apparently having trouble getting them ordered but we've been told there may be more delivered tomorrow.

Byron 09-02-2010 11:36 AM

That looks good; plants breaking the surface, the fish can "sit" among them, very natural. A mate will be nice, as I think I mentioned. The anal fin is how to determine gender.


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