We never thought we’d see that day that our YouTube channel would feature a how-to about adding a gold crown butterflyfish to a display tank that is already home to a large mature adult Tinker’s butterflyfish but here we are. The adventure of obtaining our very own Chaetodon flavocoronatus started about two months ago when we spotted a couple very unexpected specimens at Sea Dwelling Creatures and managed to secure one to start the quarantining and conditioning process.
However in all honesty the saga of our love affair with the gold crown butterflyfish stretches back at least to 2009 when some of the first internet pictures of aquarium specimens started trickling out from Japan. Over the ensuing decades we showcased the few scant specimens of authentic examples from Guam and hybrids that the Roaps subgenus of butterflyfish are very keen to produce through their range in the central Pacific Ocean.
After keeping the sub four inch gold crown butterflyfish in a 10 gallon tank for six weeks to quarantine and thoroughly train it to eat prepared foods such as flakes and pellets it was finally time to start the process of introducing it to its forever home in the fish display tank. But we didn’t just throw the fish to the wolves as there’s a big burly Tinker’s butterflyfish who would probably have some feelings about a very similar fish being added to its territory.
Instead we created a large divided section using two pieces of eggcrate wedged between the front and back glass, providing the new gold crown butterflyfish a sheltered volume where it could settle into the new environment with around 30 gallons of swimming room. As we expected the Tinker’s butterflyfish was very alarmed at seeing such a similar fish as the gold crown on the other side of the dividing eggcrate but it was the purple tang that we were most concerned about since he has been at the bottom of the pecking order for the last couple of years, and probably eager to change its place in the hierarchy.
After three weeks of orientation it seemed like things had calmed down quite a bit and that we might finally have an uneventful introduction but the established fish had other ideas. When the divider came down you would have thought that the Tinker’s butterflyfish had never seen this fish and he went into full rage mode, rudely removing at least three scales from the gold crown butterflyfish for his insolence.
Not to be a tease but you’ll have to watch the video for the full breakdown of events of how we dealt with the outburst of aggression, and where the matchmaking stands now. However it’s safe to say that we’re tentatively managing the situation and are optimistic about the future of the gold crown butterflyfish in the fish display but still keeping a watchful eye over the jostling of the dynamic pecking order.