Common name: Longfin Bannerfish, Black and White Heniochus, Poor mans' Moorish Idol, Black and White Bannerfish
Scientific name: Heniochus acuminatus
Max size: 10 in / 30 cm
Temperature: 72-78ºF (22-26°C)
The Longfin bannerfish is a popular fish that is very similar to the "Moorish Idol". The Longfin bannerfish is however considerably cheaper, hardier and easier to care for. This is why the fish sometimes is referred to as "Poor Man's Moorish Idol". It is commonly available in the aquarium trade and if your local fish store don't have the species they should be able to order it for you, or you can order it yourself online.
The Longfin bannerfish has a white and black striped body. The stripes or bands are wide and vertical. The dorsal fin is extremely elongated extending upwards and then backwards. It ends far behind the tail fin. The tailfin is yellow.
The "Poor Man's Moorish Idol" or Longfin bannerfish is suitable for community tanks with other peaceful species. They should not be kept with aggressive species. You can keep several Longfin bannerfish in the same aquarium and if you choose to do that you should introduce all Longfin bannerfish at the same time.
This species is not reef safe and will eat invertebrates and nibbles on corals.
The Longfin bannerfish is a relatively hardy species that can be recommended for intermediate to advanced marine fish keepers.
The Longfin bannerfish originates from Indo Pacific Ocean. It can be found from the coast of east Africa in the Indian Ocean to the Society Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The northern distribution limit is located in southern Japan and the southern distribution limit is situated at Lord Howe Island.
Longfin Bannerfish care and aquarium setup
The Longfin bannerfish can grow quite large and will therefore need a large aquarium. I don't recommend keeping them in aquariums smaller than 55 gallon / 210 L. A bigger aquarium is to be preferred if you want to keep more than one Longfin bannerfish.
The Longfin bannerfish don't have too many requirements regarding the decoration of the tank and you can decorate the aquarium to accommodate other species you plan to keep in the aquarium. They do however prefer if there is a large cave or overhang in the tank and plenty of room to swim in. Don't keep Longfin bannerfish in aquariums without plenty of free space to swim. Do not use corals in the decoration of the tank unless you are okay with the fish eating them.
This species is not suitable for reef tanks and should only be kept in "fish only" and "fish only with live rock" aquariums.
The Longfin bannerfish prefers a well lit and well circulated aquarium
Ideal conditions for the Longfin bannerfish is pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025, and temperature 72-78ºF (22-26°C).
Feeding Longfin Bannerfish
The Longfin bannerfish feeds on zooplankton in the wild. They are easy to feed in aquariums as they usually accept most food sources including flake food. It is important to give them a varied diet with both meaty and vegetable components. A good diet can be based around high quality flake food that is complemented with chopped up sea food and herbivore preparations. Feed your Longfin bannerfish 2-3 times a day.
Breeding Longfin Bannerfish
There are no external dimorphisms that can be used for sexing Longfin bannerfish. The Longfin bannerfish have not been bred in aquariums. The Longfin bannerfish is believed to spawn in pairs. They are pelagic egg scatters and eggs, larvae and fry drift with the current for a period before the fry moves down to the bottom. Most bannerfish are seasonal spawners and it is therefore likely that they need a change in water conditions, e.g. a temperature change, to trigger spawning.
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Golden Butterflyfish – Chaetodon semilarvatus
Klien's Butterflyfish – Chaetodon kleinii
Lined Butterflyfish – Chaetodon lineolatus
Raccoon Butterflyfish – Chaetodon lunula
Saddleback Butterflyfish – Chaetodon falcula
Schooling Bannerfish – Heniochus diphreutes
Threadfin Butterflyfish – Chaetodon auriga
Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish – Forcipiger flavissimus