Quetodóntidos, Butterfly fish

  • Scientific name: Quetodóntidos
  • Common name: Butterfly fish
  • Size of the aquarium: 1.000 liters
  • Temperament: Quiet
  • Temperature: 24ºC a 26ºC
  • pH: eight,2 a eight,4
  • Diet: Algae and microorganisms
  • Length: Until 20 centimeters


The calls butterflyfish, son Marine fish They are belonging to the family of the Quetodóntidos, where we can find other genres which are also known as butterfly fish: Chaetodon, Chelmon, Forcipiger y Heniochian. We are therefore faced with a fairly large group of fish covering a 127 different species, sharing common morphologies. They also share a common feature that interests us, if we have them in our aquarium: They are very difficult to acclimatize. They are very delicate fish to feed, so there is a first phase of adaptation that is essential. If you are able to get used to the new aquarium supply, It will be much easier maintenance.


All butterflyfish They are flattened laterally and are oval shaped. They are adapted to the medium which belong, coral reefs. The size that can reach inside the aquarium varies from family to family, but we could set a size ranging from 10 cms long for the smaller species, until some 20 centimeters for larger fish. In nature can measure up 30 centimeters, but it is very rare in the aquarium grow both. The Chaetodon have a very sharp mouth, what Chelmon in the family becomes a very long snout, specially designed to feed on algae and microorganisms that may live among the corals. They have very appealing and attractive colors, what makes them a highly desired part in a marine aquarium: yellow, negro, White, Red, blue and orange. Some spots have to remind eyespots of butterflies, and is where the nickname comes they Butterfly Fish.

Distribution and habitat

They are widespread in tropical seas, with a great presence in the atolls of à ?? ndico and Pacific Oceans. Its natural habitat is coral reefs, where they find their food and also their refuge, to their natural predators. Younger specimens may frequent coastal areas, but adults rarely leave the coral substrates.

Aquarium conditions

To have adequate aquarium butterfly fish, will have a minimum size of about 500 liters, although depending on the species we can go to the 1.000 liters. It is desirable that the tank possesses corals and hollow hiding. Water should have the following characteristics:

Checks should be made and regular renewals water. They are very demanding with water quality.


most contentious point and why it is so difficult to adapt to Quetodóntidos aquariums, is its high specialization in their feeding. In nature They feed almost exclusively of algae and microorganisms they find corals, why they are so linked with them. If you manage to pass the adaptation period (which is quite complicated), most Chaetodon aceptan tubifex, Artemia and freeze-dried shrimp. Some species also consume tentacles of anemones or Cerianthus.

Behavior and compatibility

In a relationship rather complicated with other specimens of its kind, Nevertheless, They can share aquarium with other fish, provided they have no liveries and colorful like their kind. If so, They would see as a rival and attack. They are quite solitary fish. In a community aquarium must raise alone or in pairs, It should not put several copies so I have commented, They would face each other. They have diurnal habits, feeding during the day and seeking refuge coral overnight.


Reproduction in an aquarium is not easy and there are many success stories. In nature release eggs into the water, becoming part of the plankton until they hatch. As a curiosity, the offspring of Quetodóntidos born when his body is covered with sheets to protect them from predators. This stage is called tolichtis.

Photos butterflyfish