Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: No
General Description: The Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish, also referred to as the Red Sea Chevron Butterflyfish or Redback Butterflyfish, is endemic to the Red Sea between the continents of Africa and Asia. This butterflyfish is similar in appearance to both the Pearlscale Butterflyfish (Chaetodon xanthurus) and Mertensii Butterflyfish (Chaetodon mertensii), however the Eritrean butterfly’s posterior and caudal fin coloration is vibrant red compared to the orange or yellow-orange of the other two species. There are additional subtle differences between each of the species when compared alongside the Eritrean butterflyfish. Furthermore, Eritrean butterflyfish are very uncommon and rare in the aquarium trade – you will not want to pass this beauty up! Eritrean butterflyfish bring a unique presence into the home aquarium with its charming behavior, body shape and chevron patterning. Like many butterflyfish, the Eritrean butterfly is not a good reef inhabitant because its wild diet includes various stony corals. The Eritrean butterfly may help to eradicate nuisance Aiptasia anemones. An adult Eritrean butterfly can reach a size of approximately 5″.
Diet Requirements: Eritrean butterflies are carnivores. Encouraging a butterfly to accept prepared foods can be a challenge at first. We have found that offering live brine shrimp 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 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 90 gallon aquarium is ideal. The Eritrean butterfly will appreciate some live rock and crevices to swim through and take refuge. Butterflyfish are sensitive to nitrite and ammonia spikes and therefore should not be introduced into a biologically immature aquarium. An established tank will also offer more abundant microfauna to forage on. Given their more timid nature, an Eritrean butterfly should not be kept with overly aggressive species, especially those that can outcompete it in food resources. Compatability with other butterflyfish species is variable, but only one Eritrean butterflyfish should be kept to avoid aggression. An Eritrean butterfly would make a great addition to a peaceful fish only with live rock aquarium. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2″ to 2-1/4″; Medium: 2-1/4″ to 3-1/2″; Large: 3-1/2″ to 4-1/2″; XLarge: 4-1/2″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase size is approximate.