Raccoon Butterfly fish is one beautiful fish which is now considered as threatened fish by IUCN.They’re found in Indo-Pacific and Southeast Atlantic ocean. They’re also known as Chaetodon lunula, Half Moon, Red Striped Butterfly Fish. Adult Raccoon Butterfly fish are usually found near shallow reef flat region while juvenile are found near live rock or coral within depth of 0-100 meters.
While keeping them in home aquarium there is not much you need to care for them. You just need to select the tank-mates carefully else it could cause conflict in the tank. Also keep aquarium water clean as they’re quite sensitive towards the water quality.
Size & Color: They grow upto size of 8 inches(20cms). It has black band similar to Raccoon and that’s why it is called as Raccoon fish. Rest of the body is in yellow color with black bands or dots spread across rest of the body.
Ph & Temperature: They require tank of at least 55 gallons. Bigger tank the better while keeping these fishes. You need to maintain temperature of about 22°C – 27°C and ph 8.2 – 8.4 with carbonate hardness of about 8 – 12°dKH. It is sensitive to the waste in the tank so make sure you have proper filters for your home aquarium.
Breeding: It’s not easy to determine the gender of Raccoon butterfly fish. This species lays eggs and usually eggs are scattered across tank. Female releases her eggs and male fertilize it. Very rarely breed in home aquarium but there are some success cases of breeding.
Food: If they’re in the wild they prefer to eat meaty foods like invertebrate, small fishes, tubeworms etc. They’ll also eat algae and coral polyps. You can feed them live food, frozen food if you want. Juvenile can be easily trained to eat live and frozen food. The more you introduced frozen and love food is it easy for you to get them to eat it otherwise they might not eat it later. It takes time for mature fish to realize that frozen and packed food is also a food and once it gets used to it will begin to eat almost everything.
Behavior : They’re quite peaceful and don’t cause any conflict in the tank. But you need t keep them away from other butterfly fish or their own species. So you can either place single Raccoon butterfly fish or pair of it for your small tank. Larger tank can accommodate 3-4 Raccoon butterfly fishes in it. If they’re in wild they can be seen in group but in home or public aquarium they don’t go well with group. Keep them out of the tank where lionfish, triggerfish,crabs are placed. They are not compatible with these fishes. Also some invertebrate will have issues with Raccoon butterfly fish so avoid placing them in reef tank as they often eat coral and some invertebrate. They dwell middle to bottom of the tank.
They require little or no care for peaceful saltwater tank. And if they’re maintained well they can live 5-7 years or even longer than that. They cost 25$-35$ in aquarium shops worldwide and if you can’t find them in your city you can order them online as well. Raccoon is one hardy nocturnal butterfly fish that can fit in almost any type of saltwater tank if tank-mates and tank condition are maintained.