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    Chaetodon daedalma | The Wrought Iron Butterflyfish

    The Wrought Iron Butterflyfish is one of the hardiest Chaetodons, but also one of the least owned.  If the price tag does not turn an aquarist away, usually their cool water needs will. Found only off the southern and west coasts of Japan, C. daedalma must be provided a temperature of 60-75F.  I have heard […]

    The Wrought Iron Butterflyfish is one of the hardiest Chaetodons, but also one of the least owned.  If the price tag does not turn an aquarist away, usually their cool water needs will. Found only off the southern and west coasts of Japan, C. daedalma must be provided a temperature of 60-75F. 

    I have heard of some claims of success at warmer reef temperatures, but nothing long term. I would not suggest keeping this fish at above 75F. For what it is worth, I have yet to see a Japanese system keeping C. daedalma that does not incorporate a chiller. In fact many Asian aquarists even keep their reef displays at sub 75F temperatures to accommodate deepwater species.

    The Wrought Iron Butterflyfish adapts readily to captive conditions and accepts a wide variety of prepared foods. They can do well alone or in small groups, as they shoal in the wild. The photo above shows a large group at a popular store in Japan. These fish are very active swimmers, and need ample space. After watching videos of this species in the wild and captivity I would not feel comfortable putting an adult in anything less than 180g.

    Typically larger 5″+ specimens are all we ever see in the United States. Juveniles are collected but are extremely rare. In regards to their place in the hobby, via FishBase: “Occasionally kept in captivity by Japanese aquarists but is rarely exported.” The video below is by YT user SeaOuwm, enjoy:

     

     

     

    4 Comments

    1. December 31, 2008 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

      Very cool video. Thanks for sharing, you know this species is one of my favorite fish.

    2. January 6, 2009 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

      Do the Japanese fishkeepers who run tanks with chillers tend to keep inverts too, or are they fish-only tanks? I’d be interested in hearing more on colder water semi-reef ecosystems…

    3. January 6, 2009 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

      Many of them love their inverts just as much as fish, and keep them in these 70 degree aquariums.

      Most of the beautiful crabs and shrimp we never see in the US. Here are some photos of popular hermits in Japan: http://glassbox-design.com/2008/diversity-of-form-beautiful-hermit-crabs/

    4. Fred
      November 5, 2011 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

      my favourite kind of fish 🙂

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