Care Level: Cycled Tank
Main Diet: Omnivore
Reef Safe: No
Adult Size: 7"
Suggested Tank Size: 120+
The Melon Butterflyfish (Chaetodon Trifaciatus) is a common fish on the Tanzanian reefs, being the one of the most commonly seen butterflyfish. They are invariably seen in pairs, forming monogamous partnerships.
Juveniles as pictured below can occasionally be seen hiding deep in branching coral formations. They seldom venture out of the reaches of the coral until they have gained a reasonable size. The specimen in the image below is approximately 1.5 cm in length.
The melon butterflyfish is found from 1 meter to 20 meters on reefs. Their range extends from East Africa to Western Java. They grow to approximately 15 Centimeters in size.
It is extremely difficult to keep these fish in an aquarium. In the wild their natural diet consists of coral polyps and they resist switching to other foods. Reportedly some aquarists have had some success persuading juveniles to switch to other foods. However given that they will pick on coral, they will not be everyone’s cup of tea.
To initiate feeding, offer a variety of small frozen foods such as mysis shrimp, enriched brine shrimp and cyclopeeze.