Longnose Butterflyfish Care Guide: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

Caring for a Longnose Butterflyfish can be a rewarding experience for experienced aquarists who appreciate these unique and fascinating creatures. In this article, we’ll discuss the important aspects of their care, and you will learn how to create the ideal environment for your new Longnose Butterflyfish to thrive in your home aquarium.

Longnose Butterflyfish care involves providing a suitable aquarium environment, proper diet, and regular maintenance. These saltwater fish require a tank with plenty of hiding places and open swimming space. They need a varied diet of meaty and vegetable-based foods, including frozen shrimp, squid, and algae.

I recall when I first introduced a Longnose Butterflyfish into my aquarium, and it was an amazing experience to witness it interact with other tank inhabitants and gracefully glide through the water. With the proper care and attention, your Longnose Butterflyfish can also enjoy a healthy and happy life in your tank.

Longnose Butterflyfish

Key Takeaways

  • Proper care and attention are essential for Longnose Butterflyfish health
  • Creating an ideal environment ensures your fish will thrive
  • Learning about aquarium maintenance and potential tank mates is necessary

Species Summary

The Longnose Butterflyfish, scientifically known as Forcipiger longirostris, is a captivating and unique marine species. Originating from the Indo-Pacific region, these stunning fish are a popular choice among aquarists for their fascinating appearance.

These fish generally have a lifespan of about 5 to 7 years in captivity. Their striking appearance consists of a vibrant yellow body adorned with a black patch around the eyes, and of course, their long, pointed snout. Longnose Butterflyfish typically grow to a size of about 9 inches in length, with a moderate growth rate.

When it comes to behavior and temperament, Longnose Butterflyfish are relatively peaceful. They tend to be shy at first; however, they become more confident and active as they become familiar with their environment. It’s essential to take care when introducing them to your aquarium, as they can be territorial.

There aren’t significant visual differences between male and female Longnose Butterflyfish. It is challenging to determine their sex, so it’s best not to focus on attempting to distinguish them.

I remember when I first added a Longnose Butterflyfish to my aquarium, it took some time for it to explore and settle in. But once it did, the fish added a beautiful and striking presence to the aquatic environment. The captivating appearance of this fish, combined with its graceful swimming, is a sight to behold.

Remember, caring for Longnose Butterflyfish requires commitment to maintaining a suitable and stable environment. By meeting their specific needs and ensuring they have the appropriate surroundings, you can enjoy the captivating beauty of these unique and enchanting fish in your home aquarium.

Tank Setup

Longnose Butterflyfish are beautiful and unique fish that require special attention when it comes to their tank setup. Tank size is crucial for these fish, as they need plenty of swimming space. A minimum of 125 gallons is recommended for a single Longnose Butterflyfish.

Lighting should be moderate to bright, as these fish are naturally found in well-lit coral reefs. I’ve had success with full-spectrum LED lights that mimic natural sunlight.

Proper filtration and aeration are essential to maintain water quality. Due to their sensitivity to poor water conditions, it’s important to invest in a high-quality filtration system, and consider adding an air pump for extra oxygenation.

A stable temperature is vital for Longnose Butterflyfish. An adjustable heater should be used to maintain the temperature between 72-78°F.

For the substrate, a mix of crushed coral and sand works well. This mimics their natural environment and helps maintain a stable pH level, which should be between 8.1 and 8.4.

When it comes to decoration and plants, Longnose Butterflyfish need hiding spots and territories. Using rocks and corals to create caves and crevices will give them a sense of security. Including some live plants can help oxygenate the water and provide additional hiding spaces. However, keep an eye on them, as these fish tend to nibble at certain plants.

Water Quality

When it comes to Longnose Butterflyfish, maintaining proper water quality is essential for their health and well-being.

Water Temperature: Longnose Butterflyfish thrive in water temperatures between 72-78°F (22-25°C). I once had a heater malfunction which led to my tank’s temperature dropping below the ideal range, and I noticed my Butterflyfish became sluggish and less active. Quickly correcting the issue helped them bounce back to their usual selves.

Water pH: It’s important to keep the water pH level between 8.1-8.4. Longnose Butterflyfish are sensitive to pH fluctuations, and I’ve found that maintaining a stable pH keeps them happy and stress-free.

Water Hardness: Ideal water hardness levels for Longnose Butterflyfish are between 8-12 dKH. Monitor hardness levels regularly to ensure they remain within this range.

Water changes: Regular water changes are vital for keeping the aquatic environment healthy. I recommend performing a 10-20% water change every 2-3 weeks. It has worked wonders in keeping my Longnose Butterflyfish vibrant and active.

By consistently monitoring and maintaining water quality, you create a stable and suitable environment for your Longnose Butterflyfish to thrive.

Tank Maintenance

Longnose Butterflyfish require a well-maintained tank to thrive. Regular water changes are essential to keep the water chemistry balanced. I’ve found that changing about 20-25% of the water every two weeks works well.

Water parameters should be monitored closely. Ideal parameters include a pH of 8.1-8.4, salinity of 1.023-1.025, and a temperature of 72-78°F. Use quality testing kits to monitor levels and ensure they remain consistent.

Strong filtration and water movement are necessary for Longnose Butterflyfish. They enjoy swimming in currents, so investing in a quality powerhead will create a more suitable environment.

When it comes to choosing tank mates, Longnose Butterflyfish are generally peaceful and can be kept with other non-aggressive fish. Similarly sized or smaller fish are recommended. However, it’s essential to avoid housing them with aggressive species, as they might become target victims.

Hiding spots are crucial for these fish, as they can become stressed without them. Arrange live rock or cave structures for them to take shelter. Proper tank maintenance also involves cleaning algae and debris promptly to maintain optimal water quality.

Remember to exercise caution when introducing new fish or corals in the tank, as Longnose Butterflyfish are known to nip at certain coral species. By maintaining a healthy and stress-free environment, you will give your Longnose Butterflyfish the best chance at a long, happy life.

Tank Mates

When choosing tank mates for your Longnose Butterflyfish, it’s important to select compatible fish species. This helps ensure a peaceful and stress-free environment for your aquatic pets.

I remember when I first introduced a Longnose Butterflyfish to my aquarium. It was important to research which fish would be suitable tank mates. Compatible fish include most peaceful species like Clownfish, Tangs, and other Butterflyfish. These fish coexist well with the Longnose Butterflyfish due to their non-aggressive nature.

Incompatible Fish Species should be avoided, as they can cause problems within the tank environment. These fish include aggressive species like Triggerfish and large Angelfish. They can become territorial and may harass the Longnose Butterflyfish, causing it stress and potential harm.

It is essential to consider fish size when adding new tank mates. Smaller fish may become prey for larger ones in the tank, which can lead to further complications. As a general rule, choose tank mates that are similar in size to the Longnose Butterflyfish.

Keep in mind that a spacious and well-decorated tank can reduce territorial disputes and make cohabitation more successful. Providing plenty of hiding spots and ample swimming space will help create a comfortable home for your Longnose Butterflyfish and its tank mates.


Longnose Butterflyfish are mostly carnivorous fish with a specific taste for small invertebrates. What To Feed: When I first started caring for Longnose Butterflyfish, I discovered that a varied diet is essential for maintaining their health. Offer them a mix of high-quality marine flakes, frozen or live foods, such as mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and small crustaceans.

Frequency: It’s essential to provide them with multiple small meals throughout the day. Feeding them 3 to 4 times a day will ensure they are receiving adequate nutrition and helps mimic their natural grazing habits. Make sure each portion is small enough to be consumed within a few minutes.

Tips: One tip I’ve found particularly useful is to soak their food in a vitamin supplement to help maintain their vibrant colors and boost their immune system. Another important aspect of their diet is that it’s suitable for their long snout, allow them to pick food from small crevices.

Remember to monitor your Longnose Butterflyfish’s eating habits closely, as they can be fussy eaters especially when first introduced into a new environment. Ensure a clean and stable water environment to promote a healthy appetite. In my experience, it takes time and patience to establish a consistent feeding routine for these unique and fascinating marine fish.

Signs of a Healthy Fish

A healthy Longnose Butterflyfish will show several key indicators that it is doing well in your aquarium. Firstly, they should have bright, vibrant colors and an alert appearance. When I first started keeping Longnose Butterflyfish, I was amazed by the dazzling yellow and black colors they exhibited.

Next, you should observe their eating habits. A robust Longnose Butterflyfish will eagerly consume its food and display a regular appetite. I once had a fish that seemed hesitant to eat, but I soon discovered it was merely adjusting to its new environment and diet.

Additionally, these fish should swim actively throughout the tank, exploring their surroundings. A lethargic fish might be an indication of stress or illness.

In contrast, it’s essential to be on the lookout for signs that your fish may be sick. A few warning signs include clamped fins, erratic swimming patterns, white spots on the body, or loss of appetite. Keep an eye out for any troubling behavior, and be prepared to act promptly to address any health concerns.

By paying close attention to these key indicators, you can ensure your Longnose Butterflyfish thrives and remains a healthy, vibrant addition to your aquarium.

Common Diseases

Longnose Butterflyfish are relatively hardy, but like all fish, they can be susceptible to diseases. One common illness you might encounter is ichthyophthirius multifiliis, commonly known as ich. I once had a Longnose Butterflyfish that showed the telltale white spots caused by ich. It’s crucial to start treatment immediately, as untreated ich can be fatal.

To treat ich, you can use copper-based medications or formalin baths. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. With proper treatment, symptoms usually disappear within a week or two.

Another disease to watch for is marine velvet. Symptoms of marine velvet include a fine, dust-like coating on the fish’s body, rapid breathing, and rubbing against objects. A freshwater dip or copper treatment can help eradicate the parasite that causes marine velvet.

Longnose Butterflyfish can also be prone to bacterial infections. Since they are grazers, open wounds from constantly rubbing against rocks can easily get infected. Signs include swollen eyes, red streaks on the skin, or ulcers. Treatments for bacterial infections include antibacterial medications and improved water quality.

Prevention is key when it comes to the health of your Longnose Butterflyfish. Regular water changes, maintaining optimal water parameters, and providing a balanced diet will go a long way in keeping your fish in good health. Additionally, proper quarantine procedures for new fish and invertebrates can minimize the risk of introducing diseases into your aquarium.


Longnose Butterflyfish 2

Breeding Longnose Butterflyfish can be quite challenging, as they are more difficult to breed in captivity than other saltwater fish species. However, with proper care and dedication, it’s achievable.

In my experience, it’s crucial to set up a separate breeding tank to create the ideal environment for these fish. The breeding setup should have plenty of hiding spots and ample swimming space.

To encourage breeding, you should maintain pristine water conditions, with a temperature of 77-79°F and a specific gravity of 1.022-1.023. Adding live, healthy corals can also stimulate their natural breeding instincts.

The key to successful breeding is mimicking the natural mating behavior of Longnose Butterflyfish. One way to achieve this is by mimicking their natural diet, which includes live and frozen mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and other meaty foods. Feeding them multiple times a day ensures they receive adequate nutrition.

During courtship, the males will exhibit a unique dance to attract the female’s attention. Monitoring their behavior and providing them with a comfortable, stress-free environment is essential to support the breeding process.

Once the eggs are laid, they will usually hatch within 24-36 hours. The larvae will be small and difficult to care for, and it’s important to provide them with appropriate live foods, such as rotifers, copepods, and newly hatched brine shrimp. Consistent water quality and temperature are crucial during their initial development.

Meticulous care is necessary when raising the fry, as they can be susceptible to diseases and nutrient deficiencies. Frequent water changes and careful monitoring of water parameters are imperative to ensure their health and growth.

Breeding Longnose Butterflyfish is not an easy task, but with persistence and proper care, you can successfully propagate these beautiful creatures in your home aquarium.

Product recommendations for Longnose Butterflyfish:

  1. Hikari Marine S Pellets: This fish food is specially formulated for marine fish, including Longnose Butterflyfish, and provides a balanced diet for optimal health.
  2. Seachem Stability: This product helps to establish a healthy biological filter in your aquarium, which is important for maintaining good water quality for Longnose Butterflyfish.
  3. Fluval Sea Protein Skimmer: This protein skimmer helps to remove organic waste from your aquarium water, which can be harmful to Longnose Butterflyfish.
  4. Hydor Koralia Nano Aquarium Circulation Pump: This circulation pump helps to create a natural water flow in your aquarium, which is important for the well-being of Longnose Butterflyfish.
  5. Instant Ocean Sea Salt: This sea salt mix is perfect for creating a healthy marine environment for Longnose Butterflyfish and other saltwater fish.
  6. API Aquarium Salt: This product helps to promote healthy gill function and reduce stress in fish, including Longnose Butterflyfish.
  7. Seachem Prime: This water conditioner helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in aquarium water, which can be harmful to Longnose Butterflyfish.
  8. Coralife BioCube 16 Gallon LED Aquarium Kit: This aquarium kit is perfect for keeping Longnose Butterflyfish in a medium-sized space, and comes with a powerful filtration system.
  9. Koller Products AquaView 6-Gallon Aquarium Kit: This aquarium kit is perfect for beginners and includes a built-in LED light and filtration system.
  10. Marina Floating Thermometer: This thermometer helps you to monitor the temperature of your aquarium water, which is important for keeping Longnose Butterflyfish healthy.


What do Longnose Butterflyfish eat?
Longnose Butterflyfish mainly feed on coral polyps and small invertebrates. It’s essential to provide a varied diet of mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and other marine meaty foods. I’ve personally found that they enjoy eating live or frozen foods more than dry or pellet foods.

Can they be kept in a reef tank?
Many aquarists find success in keeping them in a reef tank. However, be cautious that they might nip at corals and other invertebrates.

What is the ideal tank size for them?
A minimum tank size of 70 gallons is recommended for these fish. They need plenty of space to swim and maneuver around rocks and corals.

What are the ideal water conditions?
Longnose Butterflyfish thrive in water conditions similar to their natural habitat. Aim for a temperature of 72-78°F, a pH of 8.1-8.4, and a specific gravity of 1.020-1.025.

Do they require a specific lighting setup?
No special lighting is needed for them. However, moderate lighting is preferred to help replicate their natural environment.

How do I know if my Longnose Butterflyfish is healthy?
A healthy Longnose Butterflyfish is active, inquisitive, and has a good appetite. Watch for any signs of distress or disease, such as loss of appetite, sluggish behavior, or visible parasites.

What tank mates are compatible with Longnose Butterflyfish?
Longnose Butterflyfish usually get along well with a variety of other peaceful fish species. Consider introducing tank mates like clownfish, tangs, or blennies for a harmonious community aquarium.

How long do they live?
With proper care and a suitable environment, Longnose Butterflyfish can live up to 8-10 years in captivity.

Remember, each Longnose Butterflyfish will have its own personality and preferences. Take the time to observe your fish and adjust their environment for their comfort and well-being.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

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