Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site

Heniochus diphreutes & H. acuminatus
Longfin Bannerfish, Black and White Butterflyfishes

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish

Photos & Comments

heniochus1.jpg (23kb)
Photo Credit: Keith & Lisa

Name: Heniochus diphreutes & H. acuminatus
Origin: Indo-Pacific

Size Behavior Reef
17 cm Peaceful Yes/No


Very difficult to distinguish H. diphreutes (which is reef safe) from the closely related Heniochus acuminatus which has a more prominent snout and longer anal fin (and is not reef safe), H. diphreutes also is a schooling fish, whereas H. acuminatus is solitary or found in pairs at most in the wild.

Contributed by Fred Melindy

Also known as the Wimplefish, Pennantfish, or Coachman (Heniochus acuminatus). It gets up to 23 cm long and originates from the Indo-Pacific, or Red Sea. They are moderately difficult to keep, and have no visible sexing difference. They enjoy live and chopped green foods.

Contributed by (no name given)

Very enjoyable fish. Will swim in schools provided with enough tank space. Be sure to feed healthy frozen foods such as blood worms and marine sponges. Keep watch too, as more aggressive fish tend to nip at the long fin. Not reef safe.

Contributed by (no name given)

Heniochus diphreutes is absolutely reef safe. Its close cousin Heniochus acuminatus is the fish being confused here which is not reef safe.

Contributed by Zach T

I just thought it was interesting that the Longfin Bannerfish is sometimes referred to as "The Poor Man's Idol" because it looks similar to the Moorish Idol, but is much easier to keep and less expensive.

Contributed by Laura

I've had my Longfin Bannerfish for over a year and it's easy to keep and full of personality, especially when I clean the tank...always looking for an 'easy' snack from the stuff stirred up from the gravel or even nipping at my fingers. My specific one eats everything! Frozen mysis, pellets, Nori, and is always browsing for a nibble. The only negative thing I can say about it is that for some reason, he picks on my Stars and Stripes Puffer. My puffer is twice the size of my Bannerfish, but he nips at the puffer's dorsal fin. This drives the puffer 'nuts' and the puffer actually has an avoidance action when the Bannerfish swims by. The Bannerfish is a great fish, though, and if my tank were bigger than the 470 liter it is, I'd have a small group of them!

Contributed by Tony

Just to comment on this Heni. I was lucky enough to have one for a couple of years. It was very easy to care for and a good tempered fish. I consider it very reef-safe as it did not bother my corals at all, including my Trachyphyllia (if there is a coral that will be munched by 'reef-safe' fish, it is the brain). Sadly, I lost this fish when a pump seal failed and drained 80% of my tank. Hopefully I'll be able to find another.

Contributed by John

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