Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish

Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish
Latin name:
(Chaetodon paucifasciatus)

Care Level





Black, Red, White



Preferred Conditions

sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size


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The Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish, also known as the Red Sea Butterflyfish, is a vibrant and captivating species of marine fish native to the Red Sea. This fish is a popular choice among aquarists due to its striking appearance and relatively easy care requirements. In this guide, we will delve into the fascinating world of the Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish, providing insights into its behavior, habitat, diet, and essential care tips for aquarists.

Habitat and Distribution

The Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish is found in the tropical waters of the Red Sea, particularly along the coastlines of Eritrea, Sudan, and Egypt. It typically inhabits coral reefs and rocky areas, where it finds shelter and ample food sources. This fish is known to form small groups or pairs, swimming gracefully among the vibrant coral formations.

Behavior and Temperament

The Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish is generally a peaceful and docile species, making it a suitable tankmate for other peaceful fish in a community aquarium. However, it can be territorial towards its own species, so it is best to keep only one pair or a small group in a tank. This fish is an active swimmer and enjoys exploring its surroundings, often displaying playful and curious behavior.

Diet and Feeding

The Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish is an omnivore, with a diet consisting of various small invertebrates, such as copepods, amphipods, and mysids. It also feeds on algae and zooplankton, grazing on the surfaces of rocks and corals. In an aquarium setting, it is essential to provide a varied diet that includes live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and daphnia. Additionally, offering a variety of algae-based foods, such as nori sheets or spirulina flakes, can help ensure a balanced diet.

Tank Requirements and Care

The Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish requires a well-established and stable marine aquarium with a capacity of at least 50 gallons. The tank should have plenty of live rock for grazing and hiding, as well as open swimming space. Maintaining excellent water quality is crucial, with stable pH levels between 8.1 and 8.4, a temperature range of 72-78°F, and specific gravity between 1.020 and 1.025. Regular water changes and a robust filtration system are essential to ensure the fish’s health and well-being.

Breeding and Reproduction

Breeding the Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish in captivity is challenging and requires a specialized setup. However, it is possible for experienced aquarists with the necessary knowledge and resources. The fish typically spawn in pairs, and the eggs are fertilized externally. The eggs hatch into planktonic larvae, which require specialized care and feeding until they develop into juvenile fish.

Common Diseases and Health Issues

The Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish is generally a hardy and resilient species, but it can be susceptible to certain diseases and health issues, such as ich, marine velvet, and bacterial infections. Maintaining excellent water quality, providing a balanced diet, and avoiding overcrowding in the tank can help prevent these issues. Regular monitoring of the fish’s behavior and appearance can also help detect any signs of illness early on, allowing for prompt treatment.


The Red Sea Eritrean Butterflyfish is a captivating and rewarding species for experienced aquarists. Its vibrant colors, playful behavior, and relatively easy care requirements make it a popular choice for marine aquariums. By understanding its habitat, diet, and care needs, aquarists can provide a suitable environment for this beautiful fish to thrive and showcase its natural beauty.

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