Auriga Butterflyfish: Diet | Size | Breeding | Lifespan | Care Guide

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Written By Fun Fish Tanks

I Love my Fishes 

Chaetodon Auriga or the Auriga Butterflyfish is an ideal addition to your tank. Out of all the butterfly fish, this species is the most common and easy to care for. They are not high maintenance and don’t require too much attention. For this reason, the Auriga Butterflyfish can be seen in almost every saltwater aquarium. In addition to the easy care, it gives an excellent look to your aquarium

The body of the fish looks magnificent. The front of the body is a dazzling pearly white, while the back and dorsal, anal, and tail fins are bright yellows. It has a chevron-like design of several diagonal black lines that go perpendicular to one another.

It has a conspicuous black eye bar running vertically across its face, and a black eye spot on the rear half of the dorsal fin may or may not be present. It is also known as Threadfin Butterfly as there develops an extension from the dorsal fin as it ages. It is a very hardy fish and can adapt to an aquarium easily. Feeding this fish is not difficult as well.

Size and Lifespan of Auriga Butterflyfish

Auriga Butterflyfish are known to grow to about 9 inches in the wild. Keeping them in the aquarium they can grow to the size of about 8 inches. In terms of lifespan, they can live anywhere between 7 to 10 years. In an aquarium, their lifespan depends on the food you give them and the maintenance of the ecosystem of the tank.

They can live beyond their average lifespan in an aquarium if maintained correctly. As in an aquarium, they will be taken care of properly, they will get a proper diet and protection from predators.

Diet of Auriga Butterflyfish 

These species of fish are omnivores and not picky at all. Feeding them is easy, and they are constantly in search of food. Most likely they spend their life looking for and nibbling on food. They eat algae, corals, anemones, and invertebrates in the wild. 

It’s critical to feed a mix of living and frozen foods. Live brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, and several other frozen foods can be fed to them. They also enjoy having seaweed, flakes, and pellets. You should give them thrice a day and give them small proportions each time.

Also, while buying, ask the store owner what they have been feeding the butterflyfish. Then you can get the same food, and the fish have no trouble fitting in the new ecosystem.

Care of Auriga Butterflyfish 

Tank size of Auriga Butterflyfish 

If you are planning to keep an Auriga Butterflyfish, you must keep it in a large tank. The best size to buy an Auriga Butterflyfish is when it is Bout 3 to 4 inches in size, this size must be kept in an aquarium of 100 gallons. As it becomes an adult, it can grow up to 8 inches, so you must keep it in a tank of 150 to 200 gallons. 

Tank Mates for Auriga Butterflyfish 

Auriga Butterflyfish comes along as a peaceful fish and don’t show aggression towards other species of fish. They are perfectly capable of coexisting with other species of fish. The best tankmates of this species of fish are Gobies, Clownfish, Sailfin Tangs, Cardinalfish, some species of Angelfish, Wrasse, Dwarf Lionfish, Foxfish, Fairy Basslets, and Tilefish. 

Is it possible to keep several butterflyfish in the same aquarium?

It is not recommended to keep two of these species in a similar tank. If it’s a pair of male and female, it’s alright. Keeping it also requires a large aquarium, so only get more than one if you have a large tank. Also, try to introduce them all together as it will help them get along. 

Is the Auriga Butterflyfish Reef Safe? 

As is already mentioned that their diet in natural habitats consists of corals. They nibble on hard or soft corals in the sea, so keeping them in a reef aquarium is not a good idea. The reef will get damaged easily because of the constant nibbling of this species of fish.

Temperature and Water parameters 

The Auriga Butterflyfish requires a water temperature ranging between 72℉ to 80℉. Among the water parameters, pH levels must be of 8.1 to 8.4, salinity levels of 1.021 to 1.023 and dKH of 8 to 12. 

Tank Setup of Auriga Butterflyfish 

This species of fish require a large tank of about 100 gallons if it is young. Although as it grows older it will grow up to 8 inches and need plenty of swimming space so a 150-gallon minimum tank is needed. Add the pieces of equipment to maintain the water parameters.

The substrate can be sand. Although a reef aquarium is not recommended for these species as it nibbles and eats the corals. Water movement is not required and lighting conditions should be moderate. 

Breeding of Auriga Butterflyfish 

The Auriga Butterflyfish pair with their mates and hold on to them for life. Although if one of them dies, they will look for another one. The females will generate eggs onto the water column for the male to fertilize while spawning.

The moon cycle and tidal motions appear to be the catalysts for spawning. The larvae of the Threadfin Butterflyfish will go through a stage during which they will create a protective coating. After drifting around in the water as free-floating plankton, they hatch in 28-30 hours. 

Although sexing these species is near impossible. There are about no differences between male and female Auriga Butterflyfish. So they are not known to breed in an aquarium or in captivity. Getting a pair of these species is a one in a million chance. 

Cost of Auriga Butterflyfish 

The Auriga Butterflyfish will cost you from $40 to $180. 

An Auriga Butterflyfish makes the perfect low-maintenance addition to your saltwater tank. taking care of it is as easy as pie. As they are hardy fishes, they adapt to the aquarium very well and you have to worry much about sickness. Their diet is easy as well. They are constantly in the food search and will eat almost anything you give them. They are common and are easily available if you are thinking of getting one.

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