By Bob Goemans
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Chaetodon reticulatus

Cuvier, 1831

Reticulated Butterflyfish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-Pacific Ocean: Philippines and Taiwan to Hawaiian, Marquesas, and Ducie Islands, north to Southern Japan and Bonin Islands, and south to New Caledonia and Austral Islands.

Size: 6 inches (15 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits shallow reef flats and fore-reef slopes rich in stony SPS coral growth at depths between 3 – 100 feet (1 - 30 m) and feeds mainly on SPS coral polyps and minor amounts of algae.

General Husbandry: This rarely collected and somewhat drab species, has a black body with its scales appearing white, a wide black eye band edged in yellow followed with a wide vertical white band on the frontal body, white dorsal, black anal fin, with the tail black at the peduncle, then whitish blue, then edged in a yellow band that is itself edged in black. Juveniles have a clear tail.

Even though it somewhat feeds on algae, it needs a steady diet of SPS coral polyps to survive!


    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: 75 gallons

Temperature Range: 74 - 81°F (23 – 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 -1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Chaetodon reticulatus (Reticulated Butterflyfish)
Photo © Bob Fenner
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