bannerfish or Heniochus
acuminatus is a part of the
Chaetodonidae. This family
contains over 120 different species in
10 genera. Longfins are endemic to the Indo-Pacfic region and the Red
fish bear a strikingly similarity to the Moorish idol. They are narrow
and triangular in shape with two thick black, vertical stripes
contrasting against their white bodies. The first tripe is just behind
the head. The second is located just prior to the base of their caudal
fin. Their caudal, anal and pectoral fins are bright yellow in color.
They have a long sickle shaped crest the top of their dorsal fins that
extends well past their tail just like their look-alikes.
is their resemblance to a Moorish idol of any significance? The exotic
elegance of the idol makes it a very desirable choice among aquarists.
Unfortunately idols are one of the hardest marine species to maintain
in captivity. Many expert aquarists can't manage to keep Moorish idols
alive and healthy. Whereas the longfin bannerfish is one of the easiest
fish to raise in a saltwater aquarium. You get the exotic look you are
after without investing in a recipe for disaster.
Longfins are in fact
commonly referred to as "the poor man's Moorish idol,"
aquarium trade. Longfins are not considerable less expensive than
Moorish Idols. But they are much more likely to still be alive a year
from now. This makes them a much more economical species. Longfin
Bannerfish are also marketed under the names black and white
butterflyfish, black and white Heniochus, and pennant coralfish.
coralfish are relatively large fish. They grow to a maximum adult
length of 10 inches although 7 inches in length is more typical. This
is a very active and robust fish. A minimum tank size of 55 gallons is
recommended. If you intend on keeping them as community fish you will
require at least a 100 gallon aquarium. These are peaceful animals and
should not be housed with more aggressive species. They are a schooling
fish by nature and will mix well with other members of their species in
the confines of an aquarium. There is a distinct possibility that they
will establish a dominance hierarchy when first introduced into an
aquarium. There may be a little bit head butting until the pecking
order is established. These fish may demonstrate territorial behavior
toward other butterflyfish species. Pennants do not make particularly
good marine reef fish. They have a tendency to nip at soft corals and
smaller invertebrates. Pennants are mid-level to upper level swimmers
in an aquarium. They may live in excess of 5 years in captivity.
are omnivorous. They are primarily zooplankton feeders in their natural
habitat. They generally acclimate quickly to aquarium foods. They will
readily accept both flake food and pellets. As with all marines species
a varied diet will help avoid nutritional deficiencies and maintain
overall fit and vigor. Frozen or freeze died preparations for marine
omnivores is a good start. A good supply of well established living
rocks and dried algae sheets will help to round out their diets.
There are no
distinguishing traits between the males and females of this species.
These fish rarely breed in captivity.