Native to the Indian Ocean, this fish can be a hard one to find. Also known as a Saddleback Butterflyfish, it flutters among the sea grass, thus the name "butterfly" fish. A beautiful fish whose front half and most of its lower portion is a light blue. Its "cousin" the False Falcula, is white in this area. The True has a bright yellow-orange back half and two well defined black saddles on its back. Across the eyes will be a black band and the caudal fin is yellow with a black band where the fin meets the body. This fish is good at ridding an aquarium of pesky glass anemones. In the wild, it is seen in either pairs or groups.
Size: sm. 1"-2"; med. 2"-3"; lg. 3"-4"; can get up to 8" long.
No. in Tank: Best kept in mated pairs or groups of 3 or more.
Tank: min. 100 gallon
Food: (Carnivore) In the wild they mainly eat invertebrates and may not easily adapt to aquarium feeds. If this should occur, try feeding it an expensive anemone to pick at. Needs a varied meaty diet. This should include crustacean flesh, mysid shrimp, marine fish and frozen carnivore preparations, with an occasional anemone as a treat.
Adaptation: If this fish perceives a threat it may not eat or acclimate well. It needs tank-mates that are not aggressive or bold, who will not compete for its food. Plenty of hiding spots and room to swim is needed. May take 3+ hours to acclimate.
Compatibility: A fish only aquarium is best for this fish unless the reef system is a very large size. It will eat anemones, hard corals and mushroom anemones, causing problems in a small reef tank. It will get along with most fish, but not with other chaetodontidae, who will quarrel if put together. (On the bright side, quarrelling would be a sign that the fish is not a "wimp," as most butterflyfish tend to be.) Other butterflyfish of different species are fine. This fish will eat unwanted glass anemones, but if put into a tank for just that reason, need to be removed once the job is done else the fish will start eating the wanted anemones and hard corals.
**DIFFICULT FISH TO FIND