Blackburns Butterfly - Red Sea

Chaetodon blackburnii

(0 Reviews)

Blackburns Butterfly - Red Sea

Blackburns Butterfly - Red Sea

Chaetodon blackburnii

(0 Reviews)

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Care Facts

Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Acclimation Time: 2+ hours
Reef Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons
Max Size: 6 inches

Looking for a stunning addition to your aquarium? Look no further than Blackburn's Butterflyfish (Chaetodon blackburni) With its vibrant colors and graceful appearance, this species is a popular choice for marine enthusiasts. Growing up to 6 inches in size, Blackburn's Butterflyfish requires a minimum tank size of 100 US gallons (208 L) and a peaceful community tank setup. Feeding on crustaceans, worms, and soft coral polyps, this species may require live foods like black worms and brine shrimp to induce feeding in captivity. However, its specialized diet makes it unsuitable for reef tanks, as it may consume soft coral polyps. Captive care for Blackburn's Butterflyfish includes providing a variety of foods and well-established live rock infested with crustaceans, along with ample hiding places. Only one Blackburn's Butterflyfish should be kept per tank, unless a proven pair can be obtained, and careful attention should be given to its diet to ensure optimal health.

Blackburn's Butterfly (Chaetodon blackburnii) Care Guide

The Blackburns Butterfly (Chaetodon blackburnii) is a fascinating species commonly sought by marine aquarium enthusiasts due to its stunning appearance and unique characteristics. This comprehensive product description will cover various aspects of keeping Blackburns Butterfly in a saltwater marine aquarium.

Habitat and Natural Range of Blackburn's Butterfly

The Blackburn's Butterfly is native to the Indo-Pacific region, with its distribution extending from the eastern coast of Africa to the waters of the Pacific Ocean. This species is commonly found in areas with rich coral growth, often inhabiting lagoons and reef flats. Their natural habitat is vibrant coral reefs and clear, tropical waters.

Reef Compatibility of Blackburn's Butterfly

The Blackburn's Butterfly is not considered reef-safe, as it tends to feed on soft corals, polyps, and algae without causing significant damage to the reef structure. However, it is essential to note that individual behaviors may vary, and some individuals might develop a preference for specific coral species. Regular monitoring is recommended to ensure the well-being of your corals in the presence of Blackburn's Butterflies.

Size and Lifespan of Blackburn's Butterfly

In captivity, Blackburn's Butterflies typically reach a size of 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) when fully grown. Their lifespan can range from 5 to 7 years, provided they are kept in optimal conditions.

Diet in Captivity

Feeding Blackburn's Butterflies in captivity is relatively straightforward. Their diet should consist of various foods, including high-quality flake foods, frozen or live brine shrimp, and marine algae. A mix of these foods will help ensure their nutritional needs are met.

Aquaculture Availability

Blackburn's Butterflies were not commonly aquacultured, and most specimens available in the aquarium trade were wild-caught. However, the availability of aquacultured specimens may have increased since then. To find out the most current information, it is advisable to check with reputable suppliers or consult online forums and communities dedicated to marine aquarium keeping.

Compatibility with Other Fish and Invertebrates

Blackburn's Butterflies are generally peaceful fish that coexist with other marine species. Some suitable tank mates include:

  • Clownfish (e.g., Amphiprion ocellaris): These small, colorful fish are known for their symbiotic relationship with anemones and can cohabitate harmoniously with Blackburn's Butterflies.
  • Firefish (Nemateleotris spp.): These slender, vibrant fish add elegance to your aquarium and are compatible with Blackburn's Butterflies.
  • Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto): Known for their striking purple and yellow coloration, Royal Grammas are peaceful and make great tank companions for Blackburn's Butterflies.
  • Cleaner Shrimp (e.g., Lysmata amboinensis): These invertebrates help maintain a clean and healthy aquarium by removing parasites from other fish.
  • Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus): These attractive shrimp are beneficial and visually appealing in marine aquariums.

Sexual Dimorphism of Blackburn's Butterfly

Blackburn's Butterflies do not exhibit significant sexual dimorphism, making it challenging to visually distinguish between males and females. A mated pair is required to breed them in captivity, but breeding this species can be complex and is typically left to experienced aquarists.

Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes

Juvenile Blackburn's Butterflies typically display a striking black-and-white coloration with vibrant yellow accents. Their colors may intensify as they mature, and the yellow areas may become more prominent. Their adult coloration is a captivating blend of black and yellow, which adds to their visual appeal.

Temperament of Blackburn's Butterfly

Blackburn's Butterflies are known for their peaceful and non-aggressive temperament, making them suitable for community aquariums. However, they may become territorial towards other butterflyfish species, so providing ample space and hiding spots to reduce potential conflicts is essential.

Tank Requirements for Blackburn's Butterfly

To ensure the well-being of Blackburn's Butterflies, providing an appropriate aquarium environment is crucial. Here are the key factors to consider:

  • Minimum Aquarium Size: A tank with a minimum size of 100 gallons is recommended for a single Blackburn's Butterfly. Larger tanks will provide a more stable and comfortable environment for the fish.
  • Water Conditions:     
    • pH: Maintain a stable pH level between 8.1 and 8.4.
    • Salinity: Keep the salinity level within the range of 1.023 to 1.025.
    • Water Temperature: Maintain a temperature of 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C).
    • Water Flow: Provide moderate water flow in the tank, mimicking the natural conditions of their habitat.

Other Common Names of Blackburn's Butterfly

The Blackburn's Butterfly may also be known as the Blackburn Coralfish or Blackburn's Coralfish in the aquarium trade.

Why Buy Blackburn's Butterfly from is a reputable online source for marine aquarium livestock and supplies, and there are several compelling reasons to consider purchasing Blackburn's Butterfly from them:

  • Quality Assurance: is known for providing high-quality, well-cared-for, and healthy marine specimens. They take pride in their commitment to the well-being of the fish they offer.
  • Expertise: The staff at are knowledgeable about marine aquarium keeping and can provide valuable guidance and advice to customers, ensuring that your aquarium is set up for success.
  • Variety: They offer a wide selection of marine species, including Blackburn's Butterfly, allowing you to find compatible tank mates and create a diverse and beautiful aquarium.
  • Online Convenience: Purchasing from allows you to access a wide range of marine fish and supplies from the comfort of your home, with the convenience of home delivery.

In conclusion, the Blackburn's Butterfly (Chaetodon blackburnii) is an attractive and peaceful addition to saltwater marine aquariums. Its compatibility with various tank mates, striking coloration, and manageable care requirements make it an appealing choice for novice and experienced aquarists. When considering purchasing Blackburn's Butterfly, consult reputable suppliers like to ensure the health and well-being of your new aquarium addition. Remember to stay updated on the latest developments in the aquaculture industry and current best practices for marine aquarium keeping.

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