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Spotfin Butterfly Medium-Chaetodon ocellatus

Spotfin Butterfly Medium-Chaetodon ocellatus

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Bold, bright, and easy to care for, the Spotfin Reef Butterfly is named for the small, black spot located on the end of the dorsal fin. Adults are white, with bright yellow pelvic and caudal fins, and a narrow yellow bar from the gill to the base of the pectoral fins. A vivid black, vertical bar on the head passes through the eye. 

Category Fish
Care Level Moderate
Diet Carnivore
Size 3 - 8 Inches
Origin Florida
Minimum Tank Size 125 Gallons
Water Condition 72-78F, dkh 8-12, PH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
Water Flow Medium
Light Medium
Reef Compatible No
Compatibility See Chart


What really sets the Spotfin Reef Butterfly apart is at night, this fish undergoes remarkable changes. The large, dusky smudge on the dorsal fin becomes black and broad, and dark bands appear on the body. It is also known to sometimes swim upside down, and occasionally squirt water like fountain above the waterline.

The Spotfin Reef Butterfly is most active during the day, they change color and seek shelter for sleep in the evening.  Fellow tankmates should be peaceful in nature. Spotfin Butterflies are not recommended in the reef aquarium.

A finicky carnivore, the Spotfin Reef Butterfly can be somewhat difficult to entice at first. To encourage eating, offer live, brine shrimp, clam, and mashed squid or shrimp. Once eating regularly, offer mysis shrimp and frozen carnivore preparations at least three times a day.