The African Butterflyfish is common to many lakes across Africa and is an interesting fish. It spends most of its time hanging at the surface of the water, waiting for prey. The body is dark brown to black and is speckled with lighter colorations. The fins resemble the wings of a bird, giving this fish a look like no other. It does remain relatively small, but caution needs to be exercised, as this fish will swallow anything it can fit into its mouth.
The ideal set-up for the African Butterfly is an aquarium of at least 30 gallons with plenty of plants that reach near the surface that this fish can use for cover. They can handle a wide range of temperatures up into the mid 80’s. These fish can jump out of the water, and can even glide short distances. It is therefore very important to have a tight fitting top on the aquarium to stop the fish from jumping out.
In order to breed the African Butterfly, lower the water in the aquarium to just a few inches for a few weeks. When refilling the aquarium, use soft acidic water. The male will then climb on top of the female at the water’s surface. After about a day, the eggs will turn dark and will float to the surface. Remove these eggs to a separate aquarium with similar water conditions. The eggs will hatch in approximately two days and the fry demand the smallest live foods, such as baby brine shrimp and daphnia.
Feed the African Butterfly a steady diet of small fish, brine shrimp, insects and suitable freeze-dried foods.