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The Raccoon Butterfly, Chaetodon lunula, is also commonly known as the Crescent-Masked Butterflyfish, Lunule Butterflyfish, Halfmoon Butterflyfish, Moon Butterflyfish, Raccoon Coralfish, and Redstriped Butterflyfish. This butterflyfish is quick to catch the eye with its high contrast "bandit" type color patterning. It has a rich golden to warm brown body, accented with bold black bars. The black eye bar, backed by a strong white band, creates its mask. It is mainly nocturnal and usually stay hidden during the daylight hours and spend its nights foraging for food. Most will readily learn to accept food during the daytime and though initially shy, once they adapt they will spend much of their time out swimming about. They are a peaceful species, and can be kept in pairs or small groups, in a larger system. They should also be kept with other peaceful species. The Raccoon Butterfly can grow to be 8 inches, and should be kept in tank no less than 70 gallons if kept individually, and no less than 120 gallons if kept in a pair. They also require a lot of hiding spots as well as plenty of space to swim, therefore the tank should be cleverly decorated. The Raccoon Butterfly might turn territorial to other similar looking species, therefore we suggest you keep the tank decorated with each niche for each butterfly fish, if you wish to keep them all together in your tank. Also, you can reduce the risk of aggression by keeping dissimilar sizes of butterflyfish and by introducing the smallest one at first. The Raccoon Butterfly is not considered reef safe, as it tends to nip over the soft Coral Polyps and sometimes hard Coral Polyps, Polychaete Worm tentacles (tubeworms), Nudibranchs, and the feet of Sea Urchins, Hydroids, Sea Anemones and Tunicates. They are also known to be a beneficial predator of Aiptasia and Majano Sea Anemones. The Raccoon Butterfly is sensitive to organic waste in the tank and therefore strong filtration method is required. This very attractive species is one of the hardier butterflyfish so can be recommended for the beginner. They should be fed an omnivore diet with a combination of dry foods with live, fresh, or frozen meaty foods as Brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, finely chopped Crab, Clam, Squid, as well as Spirulina, and Japanese Nori. They are also known for eating Copepods, and should be fed 2 times daily for its continued health. The Raccoon Butterfly will thrive well in a temperature range of 72-81°F and a pH of 8.1-8.4.
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