Category: Salt Water
Facts about the Phantom Bannerfish, it is a sea fish that belongs to the genus Heniochus of the family Chaetodontidae. The scientific name of the fish is Heniochus pleurotaenia and it is indigenous to the central Indo-Pacific region. This Phantom Bannerfish species is widespread all through the tropical waters and subtropical waters of the central parts of Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, ranging from the Maldives to the western shoreline of Thailand and from the southern tip of India to Java in Indonesia. In some geographic regions, the Phantom Bannerfish is intermittently caught for the aquarium trade, but the species does not appear threatened at this time, so it is recorded as Least Concern.
The Phantom Bannerfish has a small body size that can attain a maximum body length of 6.8 inches (17 cm). The body of the Phantom Bannerfish is compressed sideways, with the primary rays of its dorsal fin extended in petite white feather-like strands. The background body color of the Phantom Bannerfish is white with light brown to dark spots and a chocolate face mask covering its eyes, mouth, and reaches to the bottom of the primary rays of the dorsal fin.
The Phantom Bannerfish has an elongated nose with a small lethal protractile mouth. A small horn decorates the axis between its eyes and a rounded anterior outgrowth offers the impression that the silhouette of its face is curved in. A second spot forms an upturned "v", beginning at its ventral fins and ending on its anal fin. A third brown area sprints from the final rays of its dorsal fin to the bottom of the fish's caudal peduncle.
The Phantom Bannerfish has a total of 10 dorsal spines and a total of 23 to 25 dorsal soft rays. It has 3 anal spines and 17 to 18 anal soft rays. The fish can be mystified with the extremely analogous horned bannerfish, though it does not contain the upturned "v" outline on its sides. The Juveniles of the Phantom Bannerfish who are short of the white insert can be differentiated by the shorter annex of the primary rays of their dorsal fin.
The Phantom Bannerfish usually lives in coral-rich parts of ponds and seaward reefs where they are largely found in aggregations and in pairs. In Indonesia, these Phantom Bannerfish species are usually found in pairs in coastal waters. In offshore, the Phantom Bannerfish may form groups and in the Maldives they can be seen in great numbers. These fish species can be found at different depths, habitually on low reef crest with some flow. Usually, they are found in mixed algae and coral homes at a depth that ranges from 3.3 feet to 49.5 feet (1 meter to 15 meters), but they may also go offshore.
The Phantom Bannerfish can be maintained in a bigger aquarium with the minimum capacity of 125 gallons. It can be defensive on occasion when kept with other Bannerfish species, so it is better to bring in all Bannerfish species to the tank together. Usually, these fish species are shy ones when initially introduced, preferring a plethora of hiding spots in which they look for shelter. They will be more at ease with the environment in no time, and they will stay out in the open area if not being stressed by other tank companions. In a bigger aquarium, the Phantom Bannerfish can be kept in small groups or in pairs. They are an outstanding fish when used to control glass anemones or aiptasia, in the reef aquarium.
The Phantom Bannerfish is an omnivorous fish and in the wild, it mostly feeds on planktons. In the aquarium, the Phantom Bannerfish are fed with freezing, chill-dried, flake or fresh food. They are also nourished with vegetable food resource and vitamin-rich supplements regularly.
The maximum lifespan of the Phantom Bannerfish is 15 years.