This very popular fish, found in the Western Pacific around the Hawaiian Islands and in the Indian Ocean, is also known by the name Forceps Butterflyfish. A brilliant yellow with long, stout, dorsal fins that it can erect to defend itself or when looking for a mate. It has a black eye-spot, or false-eye, on the posterior dorsal fin. This keeps would-be predators confused as to which way the fish is swimming. From just behind the head, through the eye and the stout nose, the upper portion is black while the lower half is a light blue. Its elongated snout helps it find food in rock holes and crevices. This magnificently colored fish does exceptionally well in home aquariums and would be a great butterflyfish for the beginner aquarist.
Size: med. 2"-3"; lg. 3"-4"; xl. 4"-5"; the average size is 3" long and can get as long as 9"
No. in Tank: ONE! It gets aggressive to its own kind.
Tank: min. 80 gallon
Temperament: Peaceful. To other fish.
Food: (Carnivore) Will eat a wide variety of feed, except corals. A varied diet of marine fish, mysid shrimp, crustacean flesh, clams, live brine and frozen preparation can be offered. This fish adapts to aquarium feed must quicker than most butterflyfish. Feed 2 to 3 times a day.
Adaptation: Needs lots of hiding places and room in which to swim. If it feels harrassed, it will erect its long, stout, dorsal fins and direct them toward its aggressor to defend itself. Live rock will help its introduction. Will take 3+ hours to fully acclimate.
Compatibility: Best in a community tank with peaceful tank-mates. Once acclimated, this fish can co-exist with somewhat bolder fish. Most do OK in a very large reef aquarium, as they do not bother the small soft corals or the small polyped stony corald, but may nip at the large polyped and large soft corals.