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

Taking care of Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish can be a rewarding experience, as they are notable for their striking appearance and unique behavior. As a popular addition to many saltwater aquariums, Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish have specific care requirements that must be met in order to thrive in their environment. With the right attention to tank setup, water quality, and diet, you can create a comfortable home for these beautiful fish.

Yellow 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 once faced challenges in keeping my Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish healthy, but with research and dedication, I learned the intricacies of their care. In this article, we’ll provide you with essential information on how to create a suitable environment for Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, maintain their water quality, and keep them healthy with a proper diet.

Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish

Key Takeaways

  • A well-planned tank setup is crucial for keeping Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish healthy and comfortable.
  • Maintaining water quality and performing regular tank maintenance is essential for their well-being.
  • Providing a varied diet and selecting appropriate tank mates contributes to a thriving Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish habitat.

Species Summary

The Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, also known as Forcipiger flavissimus, is a vibrant and unique addition to any aquarium. With a captivating appearance and fascinating behavior, it’s no wonder that enthusiasts like myself adore this fish.

Origin – This species originates in the Indo-Pacific region, spanning from the East coast of Africa to Hawaiian Islands.

Lifespan – Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years in a well-maintained aquarium environment.

Appearance – Exhibiting a striking yellow body and contrasting black eyespot, these fish are easily identifiable. Their elongated snouts allow them to access crevices and cracks to feed on prey.

Size – When it comes to size, these fish reach about 8.8 inches or 22 centimeters in length.

Growth rate – Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish experience moderate growth, reaching their full size within a couple of years.

Behavior & Temperament – In my own experience, these fish are generally peaceful and shy. They can, however, become territorial with other members of the same species or closely related species.

Male vs. Female – There isn’t a significant difference between males and females on appearance, making it challenging to distinguish their gender visually.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish require a minimum tank size of 75 gallons. This provides them with ample swimming space and reduces stress. I once dealt with a Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish in a smaller tank, and it was visibly stressed and less active.


These fish prefer moderate lighting in their tank. It is essential to mimic their natural environment, providing an adequate day-night cycle with full-spectrum aquarium lights.

Filtration & Aeration

Good water quality is crucial, so invest in a high-quality filtration system. A well-maintained filter promotes efficient biological filtration and reduces ammonia levels. For optimal oxygen exchange, an air pump with an air stone is highly recommended.


Maintaining a stable temperature is necessary for the well-being of your Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish. A reliable aquarium heater is essential, with a temperature range of 72-78°F (22-26°C).


A mixture of fine sand and crushed coral works well as a substrate for these fish, as it replicates their natural habitat.


Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish appreciate a tank with various rock formations, caves, and hiding spots. Building a visually appealing and functional aquascape ensures their comfort and safety.


Incorporate live plants, like corals and macroalgae, to create a more natural environment. However, be cautious and select species that are compatible with the fish and can thrive in saltwater conditions.

Water Quality

When it comes to Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, maintaining proper water quality is essential. They thrive in stable water conditions that closely mimic their natural habitat.

The water temperature should be kept between 72-78°F (22-26°C). I personally keep my aquarium at 76°F to ensure a comfortable environment for these fish.

For the water pH, it’s important to maintain a level between 8.1 and 8.4. This range replicates the oceanic conditions that Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish are accustomed to.

Water hardness is another crucial factor. Aim for a dKH (carbonate hardness) of 8-12 to support their health and well-being.

Regular water changes are essential for reducing waste and maintaining a healthy environment for the Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish. I recommend changing about 10-20% of the water weekly, which has proven to be effective in my own aquarium.

Remember, keeping your aquarium’s water quality in check will ultimately result in happier, healthier fish, so it’s worth the effort!

Tank Maintenance

Maintaining a healthy environment for your Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish is crucial for their well-being. Water quality is the key factor in tank maintenance. I remember when I got my first butterflyfish; I quickly learned the importance of monitoring water parameters. Make sure to test your water regularly for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH levels.

Filtration systems are essential for providing a clean habitat. Choose a high-quality filter that can handle the tank’s bioload effectively. Additionally, a protein skimmer will help in removing waste and improving water clarity.

Perform weekly water changes of roughly 10-20% to maintain proper water chemistry. Remember to treat tap water with a dechlorinator before adding it to the tank. I found that using a gravel vacuum during water changes helps in keeping the tank clean.

Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish require a stable water temperature around 72-78°F. A reliable aquarium heater and thermometer should be employed to maintain the ideal temperature range. Don’t forget to monitor the salinity too; it should be between 1.020 and 1.025 specific gravity.

Lastly, algae management is crucial as well. Provide natural algae-grazing spots for your butterflyfish, but also use algae scrapers or magnet cleaners to keep the glass panels free from buildup.

By following these tank maintenance tips, you’ll create a comfortable and thriving home for your Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish.

Tank Mates

When it comes to the Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, selecting compatible tank mates is crucial. Chaetodon falcula, as they are scientifically known, usually gets along well with most of the peaceful, non-aggressive fish species.

However, you should avoid adding larger, aggressive fish species to the tank. This is because the Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish can become stressed and frightened around these aggressive fish, which can negatively impact their overall health.

Here are some compatible fish species that make good tank mates:

  • Tangs, like the Yellow Tang and Blue Tang
  • Clownfish, such as the Ocellaris Clownfish
  • Gobies, like the Firefish Goby
  • Blennies, such as the Lawnmower Blenny

In contrast, here are some incompatible fish species to avoid:

  • Groupers
  • Lionfish
  • Large angelfish
  • Aggressive triggerfish

I once had a Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish in my aquascape setup. I added a peaceful Fairy Wrasse into the ecosystem. To my delight, they coexisted harmoniously, adding some lively personality and color to my tank.

It’s essential to consider the diet and habitat requirements of all tank occupants. Keep their environment clean and stress-free, ensuring long-term health and happiness for your underwater friends.


The Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish has a specific diet that you’ll want to pay close attention to. What to feed these beautiful fish is crucial for their health and overall well-being.

I remember when I first started taking care of my Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, I quickly learned the importance of providing them with a varied and high-quality diet. They mostly feed on small invertebrates, polyps, and algae found in their natural habitat.

When it comes to their captive diet, frozen and live foods are an excellent choice. Offering them mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and various marine algae will help in maintaining their bright colors and health.

Frequency of feeding is another essential aspect of their diet. Ideally, feed your Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish 2-3 times a day. Smaller, more frequent meals are better than larger, infrequent ones.

Here are some tips to enhance their feeding experience and ensure proper nutrition:

  • Create a feeding schedule and stick to it, as consistency is vital for them.
  • Alternate different food types to provide variety and keep them interested.
  • When providing frozen food, thoroughly thaw and rinse it to remove preservatives before feeding.

By following a consistent and varied feeding routine, you’ll ensure that your Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish thrives in your aquarium. Remember, a healthy diet is the foundation for maintaining their vibrant colors and overall well-being.

Common Diseases

  1. Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish are relatively hardy, but like all fish, they can become susceptible to various diseases. I remember my first encounter with a sick fish; it was definitely an eye-opener. Here, I’ll discuss the most common diseases, their symptoms, treatments, and prevention methods.
  2. White Spot Disease (Ich): This disease is caused by a parasite, and is identifiable by white spots on the fish’s body and fins. Symptoms include excessive rubbing and scratching against surfaces. To treat this condition, use an anti-parasitic medication. Prevent Ich by maintaining optimal water conditions and avoiding stressors.
  3. Marine Velvet: Another parasitic infection, Marine Velvet presents as a fine, gold-dust-like coating on the skin. Symptoms include rapid breathing, weight loss, and lethargy. Treatment involves copper-based medications. Preventing Marine Velvet requires proper quarantine and hygiene practices, as well as keeping good water parameters.
  4. Fungal and Bacterial Infections: These can manifest as discolored patches, ulcers, or cottony growths on the fish’s body. Symptoms include loss of appetite and disorientation. Treatments include broad-spectrum antibiotics and antifungal medications. To prevent infections, manage water quality, and ensure a proper diet.
  5. Parasitic Worms: Flatworms and roundworms can infest Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, leading to weight loss and difficulty swimming. For treatment, apply a dewormer formulated for marine fish. Prevention includes regular monitoring and maintaining appropriate water conditions.

By keeping an eye on your Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish’s health and following these practical guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a thriving underwater environment.

Signs of a Healthy Fish

When observing Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, there are specific indicators to look for to ensure they are healthy.

A clear sign is their active swimming behavior. They should be exploring their surroundings and interacting with tank mates in a peaceful manner.

One day, I noticed that my Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish began to swim more actively after a minor adjustment in the water parameters. This demonstrated its sensitivity to the aquarium environment.

Another important aspect is their brightness in coloration. A healthy fish should exhibit vivid and bright colors. If their colors appear faded or dull, it might indicate stress or illness.

The integrity of fins is also crucial. Check for any signs of damage or deformations on the dorsal, anal, and caudal fins. These could be signs of injury or infections.

Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish show their health through their feeding behavior as well. They should eagerly accept a variety of foods, such as mysis shrimp and other marine-based proteins. A healthy appetite can indicate proper health and well-being in the fish.

Lastly, pay attention to their gill movements. Rapid or labored gill movements suggest that the fish might be stressed or unwell. In contrast, steady and smooth gill movements indicate proper health.

Signs Your Fish is Sick

When it comes to Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, it is essential to identify early signs of illness. A fish that is not well may exhibit various symptoms.

One common sign is lethargy. If your fish is less active and stays in one place, it could indicate an issue. When I first began keeping Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, I noticed that one of my fish became noticeably sluggish and less interested in swimming around the tank.

Another symptom to watch for is a loss of appetite. Healthy fish should be eager to eat, but unwell fish may ignore food offerings. Additionally, check for physical signs like clamped fins, faded colors, or visible injuries, as these can also indicate poor health.

Water quality plays a critical role in the health of your fish. Regularly testing and adjusting the water conditions are essential to keeping your fish healthy. It is also a good idea to observe any unusual behavior, such as gasping at the surface or rubbing against objects in the tank, as this may indicate underlying issues.

Remember, prevention is better than cure. By maintaining proper water parameters, offering a balanced diet, and staying vigilant, you can keep your Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish happy and healthy.


Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish 2

Breeding Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish can be quite a challenge. These fish are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. As an enthusiast, I’ve faced many hurdles trying to breed them, but the experience has been rewarding.

To facilitate breeding, it’s important to set up a proper environment. A large, well-established aquarium with plenty of hiding spaces and live rock is critical. It is advised to maintain optimal water parameters and a stable temperature of around 78°F.

When attempting to breed Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, it’s crucial to have a healthy pair. Introducing the pair to the breeding tank simultaneously can help minimize aggression. Maintain a high-quality diet, including vitamin-enriched frozen or live foods like mysis shrimp and brine shrimp.

Keep an eye on their behavior for any signs of courtship. Mating displays start with the male showing off, swimming alongside the female, and gradually changing colors. It’s vital to carefully observe them during this period, as it’s when breeding can occur.

In the wild, Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish are pelagic spawners. This means they release eggs and sperm into the water column, typically around dusk. The fertilized eggs then drift with the current, eventually hatching into larvae.

In captivity, replicating this natural process is a challenge. If you’re fortunate enough to witness spawning, be prepared. Collecting the eggs without disrupting the aquarium’s delicate balance is essential. Once harvested, transfer the eggs to a separate tank specifically designed for rearing larvae.

Caring for the larvae is a delicate and time-consuming task. Frequent water changes and the constant availability of high-quality, live foods like rotifers and brine shrimp nauplii are crucial. Monitor their growth closely and be patient, as it takes several weeks for the larvae to metamorphose into juvenile fish.

In conclusion, breeding Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish is not easy but with determination, proper setup, and patience, it can be a fulfilling endeavor for dedicated aquarists.

Product recommendations for Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish:

  1. Hikari Marine S Pellets: This fish food is specially formulated for marine fish, including Yellow 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 Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish.
  3. Fluval Sea Protein Skimmer: This protein skimmer helps to remove organic waste from your aquarium water, which can be harmful to Yellow 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 Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish.
  5. Instant Ocean Sea Salt: This sea salt mix is perfect for creating a healthy marine environment for Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish and other saltwater fish.
  6. API Aquarium Salt: This product helps to promote healthy gill function and reduce stress in fish, including Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish.
  7. Seachem Prime: This water conditioner helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in aquarium water, which can be harmful to Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish.
  8. Coralife BioCube 16 Gallon LED Aquarium Kit: This aquarium kit is perfect for keeping Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish in a medium-sized space, and comes with a powerful filtration system.
  9. Marina Floating Thermometer: This thermometer helps you to monitor the temperature of your aquarium water, which is important for keeping Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish healthy.


In caring for Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, it’s important to provide a suitable environment and diet. These fish thrive in larger tanks with plenty of live rock and hiding spots.

Remember to maintain stable water conditions and avoid overcrowding to prevent stress. I once observed that one of my Butterflyfish became notably more active and vibrant once I upgraded to a spacious tank.

A diverse diet is key for their health. Offer a mix of meaty foods, spirulina, and aquarium-safe vegetation. Adequate nutrition enhances their bright coloration and resistance to diseases.

With proper care and attention, Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish can be a fascinating addition to your marine aquarium, and watching their elegant swimming patterns never gets old.


1. What do Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish eat?

I remember when I first got my Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish, I found out that they mainly feed on zooplankton, including small crustaceans and the tube feet of echinoderms. They may also consume algae and coral polyps.

2. How big do Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish get?

In my experience, they generally grow up to 8.7 inches (22 cm) in length. Keep in mind that your aquarium should have ample space to accommodate their growth.

3. Are they reef compatible?

Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish can be hit or miss in a reef tank. They may nip at soft corals and stony coral polyps, but if well-fed, they tend to leave coral reefs alone.

4. What size tank is ideal for their survival?

I would recommend at least a 125-gallon tank for these fish. They require open swimming areas as well as plenty of hiding spots for shelter.

5. What water parameters should I maintain?

Ensure your tank has the following parameters:

  • Temperature: 72°F to 78°F (22°C to 26°C)
  • pH: 8.1 to 8.4
  • Salinity: 1.020 to 1.025sg
  • Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate: As close to 0ppm as possible

6. Can I keep them with other fish species?

Yes, Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish are generally peaceful and can be kept with other fish of similar size and temperament. Avoid aggressive or predatory species.

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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