Threebanded Butterflyfish

Chaetodon humeralis

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Threebanded Butterflyfish
With elegant white bands on a vivid orange body, the Threeband Butterflyfish is a visual delight. Easy to care for, its graceful swimming and peaceful nature make it a perfect addition to any saltwater aquarium.

Threebanded Butterflyfish

Chaetodon humeralis

(0 Reviews)

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Threebanded Butterflyfish Care Facts

Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Eastern Pacific Ocean
Acclimation Time: 3+ hours
Reef Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 120 gallons
Max Size: 7 inches

The Threebanded Butterflyfish (Chaetodon humeralis) can be found traveling in groups in the shallow waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Their disk-shaped bodies have a primary silver color, with black stripes and hints of yellow or gold around their face. They are a peaceful fish that should be kept with other timid fish. They should have ample room to swim and require small meaty foods. As is true for many butterflyfish, they may nip at soft corals and are not recommended for reef tanks.   


About the Three-Banded Butterflyfish (Chaetodon humeralis)


The Three-Banded Butterflyfish, scientifically known as Chaetodon humeralis, is native to the Indo-Pacific region, inhabiting the tropical waters from the Red Sea to the Western Pacific Ocean. These strikingly beautiful fish are commonly found in coral-rich areas, particularly in shallow lagoons, reef flats, and outer reef slopes. In the wild, they prefer to dwell near branching and plate-like corals, where they find shelter and nourishment.


Reef Compatibility of the Three-Banded Butterflyfish


Chaetodon humeralis is not generally considered reef-safe. Their preferred diet primarily consists of small inverts and certain coral polyps, but they are less likely to harm stony or soft corals than other butterflyfish species. However, it's crucial to note that while they typically avoid causing extensive damage to corals, individual behavior may vary. Ensure that your aquarium has ample suitable food to discourage them from nipping at coral polyps.


Size and Lifespan of the Three-Banded Butterflyfish


Three-Banded Butterflyfish grow to a modest size, reaching an average length of 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) when fully mature. They have a relatively long lifespan, with individuals in well-maintained aquariums living for 5 to 10 years or even longer.


Diet in Captivity for the Three-Banded Butterflyfish


Providing a varied diet that mimics their natural feeding habits is vital in a home aquarium. These fish are primarily herbivores, with a diet predominantly composed of coral polyps and small invertebrates. To maintain their health, feed them high-quality flake or pellet food supplemented with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and finely chopped seafood.


Aquaculture and Availability of the Three-Banded Butterflyfish


The Threebanded Butterflyfish is not widely aquacultured, making specimens sourced from the wild more common in the aquarium trade. However, this availability may vary, and it's advisable to inquire with reputable suppliers like for current availability.


Compatibility with Other Fish and Invertebrates


These butterflyfish can be kept with various peaceful tankmates, such as other non-aggressive species. Their peaceful demeanor makes them suitable for a community tank. However, they may exhibit territorial behavior toward conspecifics, so it's typically best to house them individually or as a mated pair. When introducing new tankmates, ensure they are not aggressive, as the Threebanded Butterflyfish may be intimidated or harassed by more aggressive fish.


Sexual Dimorphism of the Three-Banded Butterflyfish


Sexual dimorphism in the three-banded butterflyfish is minimal, with both males and females sharing similar physical characteristics and coloration.


Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes


Juvenile Three-Banded Butterflyfish exhibit vibrant, contrasting bands of white, black, and yellow, creating their distinctive three-banded appearance. Their coloration may evolve slightly as they mature, but the essential pattern remains intact.


Temperament of the Three-Banded Butterflyfish


These butterflyfish are generally known for their peaceful temperament, making them an excellent addition to community aquariums. However, they may become territorial when kept with conspecifics or similar-looking species. Providing them ample swimming space and hiding spots is essential to reduce stress and maintain their well-being.


Tank Requirements for the Three-Banded Butterflyfish


To keep the Three-Banded Butterflyfish healthy and happy, providing them with a well-maintained aquarium is essential. A minimum tank size of 120 gallons is recommended to accommodate their swimming space and to ensure stable water conditions.


Water Conditions for the Three-Banded Butterflyfish


Maintain stable water parameters to ensure the health and happiness of your fish. Ideal conditions include a pH of 8.1-8.4, salinity at 1.022-1.025, water temperature between 74-82°F (23-28°C), and moderate water flow.


Other Common Names for the Three-Banded Butterflyfish


The Three-Banded Butterflyfish may also be known as the Three-Band Butterflyfish or the Three Stripe Butterflyfish in common parlance.


Compatible Tank Mates for Three-Banded Butterflyfish

  • Flame Angelfish (Centropyge loriculus): Known for their striking colors and peaceful nature, they make great tank mates.
  • Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto): These small, vibrantly colored fish are peaceful and coexist well with the three-banded butterflyfish.
  • Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis): Adding invertebrates like cleaner shrimp can benefit your tank's overall health and provide an interesting dynamic.
  • Yellowtail Damsel (Chrysiptera parasema): This small, attractive damselfish can be a good companion for the Threebanded Butterflyfish.
  • Clownfish (Amphiprioninae): The symbiotic relationship between clownfish and anemones can create a fascinating and harmonious display in your aquarium.

Why Choose the Threebanded Butterflyfish from is your trusted source for acquiring the Threebanded Butterflyfish due to its commitment to quality, health, and ethical sourcing. With a strong emphasis on sustainable practices, you can be assured that the fish you receive are sourced responsibly. Additionally, provides valuable resources, such as expert advice, care guides, and a selection of compatible tank mates and equipment to make your experience of keeping the Threebanded Butterflyfish enjoyable and successful.


In conclusion


The Threebanded Butterflyfish, with its captivating appearance and peaceful disposition, can be an excellent addition to your saltwater marine aquarium. To ensure its well-being, provide suitable tank mates, maintain ideal water conditions, and feed them a balanced diet. With the support of reputable suppliers like, you can embark on a rewarding journey of caring for these stunning marine fish in your home aquarium.

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