By Bob Goemans
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Prognathodes brasiliensis

Burgess, 2001

Brazilian Butterflyfish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Western Atlantic Ocean: Cabo Frio region, Brazil

Size: 4 inches (10 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits cool water deep fore-reef walls and drop offs at depths over 70 feet (20 m) and is thought to feed on sponges, worms, and crustaceans, worms, and other forms of benthic invertebrates.

General Husbandry: This rarely ever seen in the trade species has a silvery body with a vague narrow black band over the head to and through both eyes, and yellow dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins.

When available, is best maintained in a cool water environment. When provided suitable living conditions, is said to adapt quite easily to aquarium life in larger peaceful fish-only community aquariums, especially those with lots of open swimming space. Cannot be housed with others in the same genus, nor is safe with LPS corals, tubeworms, and quite posibly many other forms of benthic invertebrates.

A meaty diet of live fortified brine shrimp, black worms (Lumbriculus variegatus), and/or various frozen meaty foods such as mysis should be offered several times daily.

Should there be a problem getting this species to feed in the aquarium, small human consumption clams/black mussels purchased in local grocery stores and placed on the half-shell in the aquarium may help entice it to begin feeding.


    Order: Perciformes

    Suborder: Percoidei

    Family: Chaetodontidae

    Genus: Prognathodes

FYI: Per Julian Sprung (pers com), who has kept a few of these, they are hardy, but very sensitive to a temperature above 76 degrees (24°C) and are prone to getting Marine Ich and Amloodinium (and then likely to die of secondary infections).

Those in this genus are usually referred to as ‘Longnose Butterflyfish.’

Pressing some soft foods into openings/crevices on a piece of old dead coral skeleton can sometimes encourage finicky eaters to begin feeding.

Experience Level: Professional

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Carnivore

Coral Safe: No

Invertebrate Safe: No

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Peaceful or non-aggressive

Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons

Temperature Range: 63 - 66°F (17 – 19°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 -1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Prognathodes brasiliensis (Brazilian Butterflyfish)
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