By Bob Goemans
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Chaetodon octofasciatus

Bloch, 1787

Eightbanded Butterflyfish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Maldives east to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, north to Southern Japan.

Size: 5 inches (12 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits shallow sheltered lagoons and coastal reefs rich in stony coral growth at depths between 10 – 60 feet (3 - 20 m) and feeds mainly on stony coral polyps.

Natural Environment: Quite attractive with a yellow body having numerous vertical narrow black bands, with one through the eyes, and yellow on all the fins. There’s also a black spot on the caudal peduncle. Nevertheless, very rarely seen in the trade because its mainly a coral feeder and has proven to be difficult to maintain in captivity unless fed live coral polyps!

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: With caution

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Peaceful or non-aggressive

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons

Temperature Range: 72 - 81°F (22 – 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 -1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Chaetodon octofasciatus (Eightbanded Butterflyfish)
Photo © Bob Fenner
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