African Butterflyfish

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Pantodon buchholzi - Peters, 1876
African Butterflyfish

An interesting African native, related to the arowanas.

[edit] Overview

This rather prehistoric looking surface dweller is a curiosity and makes for an interesting aquarium denizen if properly housed and fed.

In the wild it eats insects and other meaty foods on or near the surface, and it must be fed similar fare that does not sink in the aquarium.

Freshwater Butterflyfishes offered for sale are sometimes not in the best of condition, and they have a poor survival rate in captivity. Be sure the specimens you buy are eating and show no signs of physical damage or disease.

Note that they are related to the arowanas and will eat small fishes if the opportunity arises.

Family: Pantodontidae

Other common name(s):

  • Butterflyfish
  • African Butterflyfish

Native range:

Habitat: Quiet streams, bays, protected shorelines away from strong currents. In captivity, does best in a covered tank with generous "airspace" between the water surface and the cover or lights. This fish is known as a "ballistic" jumper.

Maximum length: 15 cm (6 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 208 L (55 gal)

Water: Freshwater 23 °C (296 K, 73 °F) -

{{Species |feeding=Feeds heavily on insects in the wild. Offer meaty foods, live and dried insects, crustaceans. Will starve if sinking foods are the only rations used. |aquarium_behavior=Not a good community fish for the small aquarium. Will do best in larger aquariums with no other surface dwellers. Be sure that there are no fin nippers that might be attracted to its long pectoral

Facts about African ButterflyfishRDF feed
Common name African Butterflyfish  +, and Butterflyfish  +
Family Pantodontidae  +
Genus Pantodon  +
Maximum length 6 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 55 gal  +
Native range Nigeria  +, Lake Chad  +, Cameroon  +, Congo River Basin  +, Upper Zambezi River  +, Benin  +, and Sierra Leone  +
Specific name buchholzi  +
Water min temp 296 K (23 °C, 73 °F)  +
Water type Freshwater  +