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The African Butterfly Fish, scientifically known as Pantodon buchholzi, is a captivating species native to the acidic waters of West Africa. These fish are commonly found in various water bodies across the region, including Lake Chad, Congo Basin, Lower Niger, Cameroon, Ogooue, and Upper Zambezi. They prefer habitats with slow to no current, abundant surface floating vegetation, and primarily inhabit the upper layers of the water column.

Distinctive Features: The African Butterfly Fish derives its name from its distinctive appearance when viewed from the surface. It features large pectoral fins that resemble the wings of a butterfly, giving it a unique and striking look. The body is flat with a light brown or greenish coloration, often with a silver sheen, and dark markings on the fins and underside.

Size: These fish typically reach lengths of up to 13cm in the wild, although they usually grow slightly smaller in aquariums, reaching about 10cm.

Behavior and Feeding: African Butterfly Fish are surface hunters and primarily feed on terrestrial insects, aquatic larvae, nymphs of insects, crustaceans, and small fish. They have a wide, lizard-like mouth adapted for surface feeding. They also have a unique ability to breathe surface air, and their swim bladder aids in gas exchange while breathing surface air.

Diet: In captivity, they readily accept various protein-rich foods, including live insects, flies, mosquito larvae, small spiders, worms, brine shrimp, small prawns, and large flake food. They are surface eaters and prefer food items that are presented at the water's surface.

Compatibility and Tankmates: African Butterfly Fish can generally be kept in community tanks, but caution should be exercised with small fish that may be viewed as prey. They tend to swim in the upper levels of the aquarium and may display aggression towards tankmates that occupy the same space. Compatible tankmates include Congo tetras, elephant nose fish, catfish, knife fish, and medium-sized West African cichlids. Avoid fin-nipping species and aggressive tankmates that may stress the African Butterfly Fish.



  • Species: Pantodon buchholzi
  • Common Name: African Butterfly Fish or Pantadon
  • Origin: West Africa
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • pH Range: Acidic 6.5 – 7
  • Temperature: Tropical 25°C – 28°C
  • Current Size: Approximately 8cm (Grows to approximately 10-13cm)
  • Sex: Un-sexed

African Butterfly Fish

AU$60.00 Regular Price
AU$54.00Sale Price

Tropical Fish Sale

Only 1 left in stock
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