Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: No
General Description: The White Face Butterflyfish is a true gem of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden between the continents of Africa and Asia. One of the most striking of the Chaetodon butterflyfish, the White face butterfly has a blueish-white face with the rest of the body appearing grey-brown in color with many vertical black stripes. A relatively unfussy and adaptable species if acclimated to the proper environment, the White face butterflyfish is extremely rare in the aquarium trade – you will not want to pass this beauty up! Like many butterflyfish, the White face butterfly is not a good reef inhabitant because its wild diet includes various stony corals. The White face butterfly may help to eradicate nuisance Aiptasia anemones. An adult White face butterfly can reach a size of approximately 6″.
Diet Requirements: White face 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, blackworms 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. The White face 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 White face 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 White face butterflyfish should be kept to avoid aggression. A White face 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 3-3/4″; Large: 3-3/4″ to 4-3/4″; XLarge: 4-3/4″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase size is approximate.