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Old 03-03-2014, 01:50 PM   #1
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African Butterfly will not eat

I recently purchased my African Butterfly a few days ago and he will not eat. I have tried crickets, blood worms (frozen then thawed), and flakes (just to see if he would eat) and he will not move out from the filter. At night he seems to be more active, but all videos I have seen people feed theirs during the day. Any advice?
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:58 PM   #2
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Make sure there are lots of plants at the top. They are very shy and will get stressed if there's no plants floating at the top. Also make sure the water parameters are all good. And fish will be stressed from being transferred from the store to your tank for a few days, especially a shy fish like the butterfly.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:28 PM   #3
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Thank you in the note of the plants. I will have to try that. Everything else was spot on. I guess that's also why he likes to come out at night. I'll give that a shot and keep you posted

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Old 03-03-2014, 04:28 PM   #4
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Thank you in the note of the plants. I will have to try that. Everything else was spot on. I guess that's also why he likes to come out at night. I'll give that a shot and keep you posted

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Ok sounds good!
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:30 PM   #5
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I feed these fish on bloodworm, as you have tried, and have also had them eating dried river shrimp and cichlid pellets.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:38 AM   #6
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Make sure the filter output isn't too strong. They rely on surface disturbance to find food. African butterfly fish are wild caught and usually won't take to flake immediately. I would start off on small crickets and work on up to pellets. You might have to poke the pellets with tweezers a bit to cause some surface disturbance until he learns to recognize the food.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:16 AM   #7
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Thanks you!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jeffmik_2008 View Post
I recently purchased my African Butterfly a few days ago and he will not eat. I have tried crickets, blood worms (frozen then thawed), and flakes (just to see if he would eat) and he will not move out from the filter. At night he seems to be more active, but all videos I have seen people feed theirs during the day. Any advice?



I had one and would only eat live food. I would wait until dark , turn on porch light and catch moths. There has to be a disturbance on surface. If it sinks, they will not go after it. Crickets are fine only once in a while. They have zero nutritional value. You have to raise crickets yourself and feed them GOOD things. You can dust them in Vit powder like they have for Turtles.
Cool fish but hard to take care of
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:49 PM   #9
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Good news! I finally got him to eat something. He was shrimp brine, and I think the only reason why he ate it was because it was right in his face. I put more plants in to give him a better place to hide. Bad news is I had to get rid of my Angelfish. He was bullying everyone and I think that was affecting the ABF. Thanks for the pointers all!
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:22 AM   #10
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Good news! I finally got him to eat something. He was shrimp brine, and I think the only reason why he ate it was because it was right in his face. I put more plants in to give him a better place to hide. Bad news is I had to get rid of my Angelfish. He was bullying everyone and I think that was affecting the ABF. Thanks for the pointers all!
The Internet has the same info over an over on this fish, so talking with other people that have this oddball is really the only way to figure them out. They seem to have limited vision, which would make sense for an animal that relies so heavily on movement. They're basically bats with some rudimentary eyes.

Mine would only eat crickets the first week, and once he got used to the tweezers giving out food, he started taking bloodworms. Now I just drop them in (pellets are taking some time).
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:56 AM   #11
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Got him to eat flake food too. It does seem like he has a hard time seeing. Thanks again
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:46 AM   #12
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How's he doing ???
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:49 AM   #13
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Thank you for asking. He is doing great. He is eating shrimp brine, flakes, some blood worms, and crickets (which he goes nuts for). He is very active and comes out when he seems me around the tank. I actually just acquired a 75 gallon and getting that ready, so he will be very happy soon. Thank you again!
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