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The Saddleback Butterfly, Chaetodon ephippium, is also commonly
referred to as the Saddleback butterflyfish, Blackblotch Butterflyfish,
Saddled Coralfish, and Saddle Butterflyfish. It's body is yellowish gray
adorned with a large black area on its back, edged by a broad white
band. There are several wavy blue lines on the sides and strong orange -
red markings that accent the rear fins and the base of the tail. As an
adult, they have a long pennant that streams from the dorsal fin. The
Saddleback Butterfly can grow to be 11.5 inches, and requires a tank no
less than 100 gallons if kept individually, and no less than 130 if kept
in a pair. They can also be kept in groups, in a much larger system. In
keeping more than one, it is best to add them to the tank at the same
time to avoid aggression. The Saddleback Butterfly loves to hide in
various cracks, crevices and holes during night time, therefore the
tank should be well established with plenty of live rock creating hiding
spots. It is mainly active during the day time and lethargic at night
time. Though not a very quick swimmer, it swims freely and usually
spends a good deal of its time in the open water. They are one of the
more peaceful species, and should be housed with other species of
similar temperament. But cam become territorial towards other
Butterflyfish. They are not considered reef safe, as It is often found
nipping over the soft and hard Coral Polyps, Sponges, and Tunicates, but
will also snack on a variety of Benthic Invertebrates including
Polychaete Worms, Fan Worms, and other Invertebrates. The Saddleback
Butterflyfish is a durable fish and can live up to 15 years in a
properly maintained saltwater aquarium. And once acclimated, the
Butterflyfish is quite hardy. The Saddleback Butterfly should be fed an
omnivorous diet, consisting of Brine and Mysis shrimp, finely chopped
Clam, Shrimp, and Crab, as well as Spirulina and Japanese Nori.
Commercially prepared foods containing Sponge and Algae can also be
provided, along with filamentous Algae and Sessile Invertebrates in the
tank. Initially the Saddleback Butterflyfish might be resistant to
accepting a captive diet but will eventually learn to adjust to its new
diet by following the example of its tank mates. They will thrive well
in a temperature range of 72-80°F and a pH of 8.1-8.4.
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