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Threadfin Butterflyfish

Threadfin Butterflyfish over a reefThreadfin Butterflyfish (chaetodon auriga); generally a hardy species of marine aquarium fish that is highly recommended for the first time saltwater aquarist.

The Threadfin Butterflyfish is generally a non-migratory species usually associated with reefs and will inhabit the ocean at a depth anywhere from 1-35 meters along the tropical environments at 30°N – 20°S, when in larger groups however, these will travel great distances in search of food.

An Indo-Pacific fish, the Threadfin Butterflyfish can be found along the pacific islands, off the coast of Eastern Africa and the Red Sea (where the name chaetodon seems to have come from).

The eye-sized black spot at the top soft portion of the dorsal fin was engineered by Mother Nature to avoid predators, but in the Red Sea, this characteristic seems to have disappeared.

This member of the chaetodontidae family is a timid, peaceful, yellow, black and white fish no bigger than eight or nine inches; found more commonly in Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Indo-Pacific, Hawaii and Fiji.

Enjoying a tank with at least 50 gallons, the Threadfin Butterflyfish prefers a highly acidic pH balance between 8.2-4, a range of 8 to 12 degrees of carbon hardness (dKH), while salt levels should maintain a specific gravity (sg) of between 1.021 and 1.023 and temperatures should remain between 72-8 degrees F.

Threadfin Butterflyfish are extremely shy, and need a lot of hiding places such as coral reefs, weedy places and rubble-covered areas.

Threadfin Butterflyfish like to tear the pieces from polychaetes, algae, coral polyps and sea anemones for food in the wild. They are oviparous and form pairs during breeding, able to double their population in just fifteen months within the proper tank conditions.

A beautiful, peace-loving marine fish, the Threadfin Butterflyfish adds a yellow, black and white contrast to any saltwater aquarium and with the hardiness to withstand beginners mistakes it is highly recommended to the first time marine aquarist.




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Posted in Articles, Fish on January 22, 2009.

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