African Butterflyfish
Pantodon buchholzi

Care Level




Reef Compatible


Plant Safe


Max Size

2" - 5"

Minimum Tank Size

20 gallon


Brown, Green



Water Conditions

Slightly acidic (6.0-7.5 pH), intermediate water hardness (3-12 dGH), 72 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit


General: The African Butterflyfish (Pantodon buchholzi) is a West African fish species that has naturally adapted to the slow-flowing waters of Lake Chad. The African Butterflyfish prefers minimal amounts of current, and enough space for them to swim around in the upper water column. This fish will consistently utilize the upper water column as living space, although they may briefly visit the middle of the aquarium.

Fecundity: The African Butterflyfish (Pantodon buchholzi) can produce up to 200 (floating) eggs per clutch.

Preferred Water Chemistry: Slightly acidic (6.0-7.5 pH), intermediate water hardness (3-12 dGH)

Aquarium Diet (omnivore): Brine shrimp, general flakes, floating omnivore pellet, blackworms, insects

Dimorphism: It is difficult to differentiate between male, and female African Butterflyfish (Pantodon bucholzi). The male will typically have a slight curve on the posterior half of his anal fin, while the female will have no curvature to her anal fin. Also, the female African Butterflyfish will take on a more gravid appearance when ready to reproduce.

Compatibility: The African Butterflyfish (Pantodon buchholzi) are typically compatible with fish that do not occupy the upper water column. When competing for a niche near the surface, the African Butterflyfish can become aggressive. Otherwise, fish that are typically compatible with the African Butterflyfish include Danio, larger-bodied Tetra, Corydoras, Plecostomus, Swordtail, and Rainbowfish.

Author: Grant Stevens