Saltcorner
By Bob Goemans
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Chaetodon

Chaetodon citrinellus

Cuvier, 1831

Speckled Butterflyfish, Citron Butterflyfish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West to Central Pacific Ocean: East Africa, Southern Japan, south to Hawaii and Lord Howe Island.

Size: 5 inches (13 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits inner and outer coral reefs, yet usually found in shallow waters from 3 – 35 feet (1 – 10 m) and feeds on filamentous algae, soft and stony coral polyps, worms, anemones, crustaceans, sponges, urchin feet, and other invertebrates.

General Husbandry: Quite attractive, as it has a pale yellow body with numerous small black spots and a black band extending above and below the eyes, and a black edged anal fin.

Should be housed in larger peaceful fish-only aquariums, especially those with lots of open swimming space, live rock hiding places, and having micro and macroalgae growths. As to diet, this species is an excellent browser of filamentous algae, therefore flake foods, especially those containing Spirulina and/or Nori should be offered, as should a meaty diet of live fortified brine shrimp, black worms (Lumbriculus variegatus), and/or various frozen meaty foods such as mysis, and overall 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. Over time, frozen foods like mysis and brine shrimp may be more readily accepted.

Taxonomy:

    Order: Perciformes

    Suborder: Percoidei

    Family: Chaetodontidae

    Genus: Chaetodon

FYI: Juveniles acclimate more easily to aquarium life than do adults.

Preferably maintained without others in the same genus or having similar coloration.

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: Intermediate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

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: 72 - 82°F (22 – 28°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 -1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Chaetodon citrinellus (Speckled Butterflyfish, Citron Butterflyfish)
Photo © Bob Fenner
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Dr Gs Marine Aquaculture