By Bob Goemans
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Ocean Nutrition 


Chaetodon multicinctus

Garrett, 1863

Multiband Butterflyfish, Pebbled Butterflyfish, Hawaiian Striped Butterflyfish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Central Pacific Ocean: Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll.

Size: 5 inches (12 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits seaward reefs and protected lagoons rich in stony coral growth, usually in less than 60 feet (20 m) of water, and feeds mainly on SPS stony coral polyps, yet also very minor amounts of worms, hydroids, and algae.

General Husbandry: Somewhat attractive with a whitish body having several brownish yellowish vertical lines, black eye band, and sometimes pale blue in the trailing areas of the dorsal and anal fins. Nevertheless, only occasionally seen in the trade because its mainly a coral feeder and has proven to be difficult to maintain in captivity unless fed SPS corals!

Best maintained in larger peaceful fish-only aquariums, especially those with lots of open swimming space, and live rock hiding places. As to diet, a meaty diet of live fortified brine shrimp and/or black worms (Lumbriculus variegatus) is a good beginning. Once feeding regularly, various frozen meaty foods such as mysis can be offered several times daily.

Should there be a feeding problem, 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.


    Order: Perciformes

    Suborder: Percoidei

    Family: Chaetodontidae

    Genus: Chaetodon

FYI: Best left in the wild!

Experience Level: Professional

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Corallivore

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 - 81°F (22 – 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 -1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Chaetodon multicinctus (Multiband Butterflyfish, Pebbled Butterflyfish, Hawaiian Striped Butterflyfish)
Photo © Bob Goemans
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San Francisco Bay Brand