Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: With Caution
General Description: The Ocellated Butterflyfish, also referred to as the Eyespot Butterflyfish, is native to the reefs of the Indo-Pacific including Sri Lanka, Fiji, Ryukyu Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef. The Ocellated butterfly has an oval body that’s pearly white with bronze-yellow vertical stripes, a very short mouth, and a large eye spot near its dorsal fin for which it gets the name ‘ocellated.’ While there is not a lot known about this species in the home aquarium, our experience with Ocellated butterflyfish is that they acclimate quite well when in the proper environment and are not overly difficult to keep. Butterflyfish in general bring a unique presence into the home aquarium and unlike so many of the butterflyfish, the Ocellated butterfly can be added “with caution” into a reef environment as their diet does not normally include corals, however they could pick at some small decorative crustaceans. An adult Ocellated butterfly can reach a size of approximately 7″. Note: This species is not frequently available.
Diet Requirements: Ocellated butterflies are omnivores, but a good portion of the diet should include foods with algae. Encouraging a butterfly to accept prepared foods can be a challenge at first. We have found that offering live brine shrimp or live blackworms at the beginning can gain the interest of particularily fussy or stubborn individuals. Note: All of our butterflies for sale are eating a combination of live brine shrimp and frozen foods. A diet consisting of various frozen meaty and algae-infused preparations such as brine shrimp, spirulina brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and other mixed foods that include coral or sponge will maintain optimal health, immune function and coloration. Offer sheet algae to graze on, though not all individuals may show interest. We highly encourage soaking frozen foods in vitamin and fatty acid supplements, as butterflyfish have high metabolisms. It is not uncommon for butterflyfish to revert back to ignoring food altogether, or only accepting live foods, for a period of time due to the stress of a new environment.
Care Requirements: An established, minimum 125 gallon aquarium is ideal for an Ocellated butterfly. An Ocellated butterfly will appreciate some live rock and crevices to swim through, take refuge, and graze algae off of. Butterflyfish are sensitive to nitrite and ammonia spikes, and an established tank will also offer more abundant microfauna to forage on. Given their more timid nature, an Ocellated butterfly should not be kept with overly aggressive species, especially those that can outcompete it in food resources. Compatability with other butterfly species is variable. An Ocellated butterfly would make a great addition to a peaceful fish only with live rock aquarium, or added with caution into a reef tank. We cannot guarantee that an Ocellated butterfly would ignore corals entirely. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Medium: 3” to 3-1/2”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase size is approximate.