Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: No
General Description: The Red Sea Raccoon Butterflyfish, also referred to as the Diagonal Butterflyfish, is endemic to the Red Sea between the continents of Africa and Asia. Not to be mistaken for the less expensive and widely distributed Raccoon Butterflyfish (Chaetodon lunula), the Red Sea raccoon butterfly is a separate species with a number of dark, diagonal lines across most of its yellow-orange body in addition to a red edge along its dorsal, caudal and anal fins. Furthermore, the Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish is more uncommon and rare in the aquarium trade – you will not want to pass this beauty up! Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish bring a unique presence into the home aquarium with its charming behavior, body shape and patterning. Like many butterflyfish, the Red Sea raccoon butterfly is not a good reef inhabitant because its wild diet includes various stony corals and anemones. The Red Sea raccoon butterfly may help to eradicate nuisance Aiptasia anemones. An adult Red Sea raccoon butterfly can reach a size of approximately 8″.
Diet Requirements: Red Sea raccoon 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 125 gallon aquarium is ideal for small to medium sized specimens; larger individuals will need more space. The Red Sea raccoon butterfly will appreciate some live rock and crevices to swim through and take refuge, but some unobstructed swimming space should also be provided. 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, including algae. Given their more timid nature, a Red Sea raccoon butterfly should not be kept with overly aggressive species, especially those that can outcompete it in food resources. Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish are typically compatible with other butterflyfish species. A Red Sea raccoon 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 2-3/4″; Medium: 2-3/4″ to 4-1/2″; Large: 4-1/2″ to 5-3/4″; XLarge: 5-3/4″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase size is approximate.