how much to feed an African Butterfly Fish

jimwg

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Hi. We have an African Butterfly Fish which we feed crickets to. Anyone have any idea how many crickets these fish should be offered a day. He will just keep eating but we read not to overfeed them.
 

Colin_T

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They should be fed a variety of food including floating pellets, flake, bits of raw or cooked prawn, fish or squid, and any small insects that have been caught without chemicals/ sprays.

If you feed crickets, freeze the crickets first to kill them, then defrost them and offer 1 or 2 each day. try to use crickets that have just shed their skin so they aren't as tough and spikey.

Other insects like flies and mosquitoes can be fed live or dead. You can culture mealworms, earthworms, fruit flies and different types of beetles/ roaches for them. If the insects are spikey like crickets, kill the insect before feeding and try to use insects that have shed their skin recently so they are softer.

You can feed them as much as they can eat but make sure the water quality is kept good by doing regular water changes. I would feed dry food first, then frozen but defrosted prawn and fish, then maybe some insects after that. Do that once or twice a day for 6 days a week, then don't feed them on the 7th day.
 
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jimwg

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They should be fed a variety of food including floating pellets, flake, bits of raw or cooked prawn, fish or squid, and any small insects that have been caught without chemicals/ sprays.

If you feed crickets, freeze the crickets first to kill them, then defrost them and offer 1 or 2 each day. try to use crickets that have just shed their skin so they aren't as tough and spikey.

Other insects like flies and mosquitoes can be fed live or dead. You can culture mealworms, earthworms, fruit flies and different types of beetles/ roaches for them. If the insects are spikey like crickets, kill the insect before feeding and try to use insects that have shed their skin recently so they are softer.

You can feed them as much as they can eat but make sure the water quality is kept good by doing regular water changes. I would feed dry food first, then frozen but defrosted prawn and fish, then maybe some insects after that. Do that once or twice a day for 6 days a week, then don't feed them on the 7th day.
This is the 4th ABF we've had over the decades, the 2nd & 3rd lived 3 & 4 years respectively. We've never had one which would eat anything not alive, even just dead crickets are ignored. The one we have now eats 3 to 5 a day. The 2nd & 3rd ate 2 or 3 (sometimes only 1). The very first one we had ate as many crickets as we put in the tank and my wife enthusiastically tossed many many in. After about a month the ABF suddenly stopped eating and never ate again until it died. Our LIFS owner suggested the fish was overfed but we have never been able to get an answer as to how many crickets a day should be offered but if we offered 1 or 2 dead crickets a day at the end of the week we'd have 7 or 14 dead crickets at the bottom of the tank (well not really as I'd get them out :).
 

Colin_T

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Every African Butterfly fish I have kept has taken any and all sorts of floating foods within a few days of being put in a tank. They even take frozen (but defrosted) foods within a few days of getting them.
 
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jimwg

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Every African Butterfly fish I have kept has taken any and all sorts of floating foods within a few days of being put in a tank. They even take frozen (but defrosted) foods within a few days of getting them.
I've seen videos of ABF eating flakes, frozen bloodworms, etc. so I know it happens. Just never experienced it myself. I supposed I could starve the fish for a few days and see if it eats other things but we don't mind the crickets since he likes them so much. I guess we spoiled them.
 

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I had a pair for several years back in the 1980's. I fed them chunks of squid (thawed from frozen), frozen plankton, mealworms (only one a week), mealworm beetles (I raised the mealworms for my amphibians). The latter two were live but for the others I thawed the food and stuck it on a piece of broom (broken off from one of those old type brooms). I could then "wave" it around the fish, and they would spring into action. For floating food, use a similar piece of broom to move it around and attract the fish's attention.

Squid is an extremely healthy and nutritious food for larger fish and amphibians and turtles.

I would not feed more than one item once a day. These fish are especially sedentary; my pair remained motionless among floating plants, except when they were interacting but that was seldom, and fish like this do not need fattening up.
 
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