Butterfly fish are some of the most popular in the hobby and common fish found in saltwater aquariums. Butterflyfish have stunning coloration and are very active swimmers, all while staying relatively small. Butterflyfish are mostly found on the coral reefs of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, in tropical and subtropical waters.
Butterflyfish can be a challenging but rewarding species for the experienced aquarist. They are normally rather hardy fish once they get established and have a good food source, but getting some Butterfly fish to eat can be hard, making them a bad choice for beginners.
Butterflyfish reach an adult size of six inches in captivity. So, depending on species, a minimum of 50 gallons, with ample hiding places is needed to successfully maintain some species.
Butterflyfish are part of the Chaetodontidae family which also includes the families of both Banner fish and Coral fish. Some Butterflyfish are considered reef safe, while others tend to pick up coral. We provide detailed information for each Butterfly species as to whether they a good fit of a reef tank or not. Some Butterflyfish even help control pests like aiptasia.