By Rhett Butler

The Pantodontidae or Butterfly fish family consists of a single species which is distributedin tropical West Africa. The Pantodontidae family is part of the order Osteoglossiforms (and thus is related tothe Osetoglossidae family).

Butterfly fish
Pantodon buchholzi
SYN : None
PD : The butterfly fish is bird-shaped with a flat dorsal surface. The wing-like pectoral fins are verylarge when compared with overall body size. The large mouth points toward the surface. The base body color is brownwith an irregular pattern of white and black spots and stripes.
SIZE : 4" (10 cm)
SS : None
HAB : Slow and still moving water with dense shore vegetation in West Africa; Nigeria , Cameroon ,and Zaire.
S : top
TANK : A 30" (76 cm) or 20-25 gallon (95 L) tank is sufficient. Use a cover of floating plants and dimlighting. The tank should be arranged in dark colors and heavily planted. There should be 4-6" (10-15 cm) of spaceleft between the surface and the tank lid. A tight-fitting cover is required for this species which prefers ashallow tank with a large surface area.
WATER : pH 6-7.5 (6.5); 2-10 dH (3); 75-86°F (24-30°C)
SB : This species should only be kept with larger, peaceful fish of the lower swimming levels. Thisspecies may be aggressive towards others of itsown species, and is perhaps best kept singly.
SC : Medium sized Mormyrids, African Knifefish, large Congo Tetras, Synodontis, African tetras, West Africancichlids
FOOD : Small fish; insects; flies, spiders, crickets, meal worms; mosquito larvae; brineshrimp; acclimated specimen may accept flakes
SEX : The male has an anal fin with a curved, even cleft, edge; while the female has straight-edgedanal fin.
B : The tank should have a pH of 6.5, a water hardness from 8-10 dH, and a temperature from79-84°F (26-29°C). Adding peat to the filter and feeding the pair a variety of food will help initiate spawning. Threeto seven eggs are deposited at each pairing. The eggs float to the surface where they turn black after 10 hours. Thefish will spawn a total of 100-250 eggs. Transfer the eggs to a breeding tank. The fry hatch after 36-42 hours andare very difficult to raise. The fry will not chase food, but only eat what passes directly in front of them.
BP : 8. This species is difficult to breed, and the young are even harder to raise.
REMARK S : A crepuscular species that is active mostly at dusk. The Butterfly fish is well-known forits ability to glide for short distances through the air. When startled this species may leap against theaquarium cover.
DC : 6. This species requires frequent partial water changes and a diet including live foods. TheButterfly fish will eat smaller companions and is intolerant of other surface fish. Due to its leaping ability, this speciesmust be kept intank having a tight-fitting cover.