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Chelmon rostratus sleeping behaviour; and fdg. insights
Need Help with Copperband Butterfly, fdg., comp...
Re: Need Help with Copperband Butterfly 10/3/13
Thank you for your quick reply, Bob! I will look into dividers and see what I can fashion.
<Something chemically inert... again, the ref. on WWM>
I do have a smaller tank I could move it to,
<Mmm, not too small... >
but am concerned it will get bullied on returning it to the tank as a single fish (I introduced it with 4 other fish, all from Divers Den, to reduce aggression towards it). Though I will move it if needed. In the mean time, are there particular brands of blood worms that you would recommend that are more nutritious than others?
<Am a giant fan of both the TMC Gamma and Hikari lines... have not heard much re other people's>
And/or is there a better or additional food soak I could use?
<The SeaChem Vitality, Selcon, MicroVit are faves>
I will definitely keep you posted on what happens and will go ahead and try the clams as well!
<Thank you, BobF>
How to wean CBB to regular foods? 7/3/13
Copperband butterfly stopped eating, comp. issue
Copperband Butterfly Fish Feeding - 2/23/2011
Enriched Aiptasia for Chelmon Rostratus?
Copperband Butterfly Change In Eating Habits --
Sufficient Variety/Copperband Butterfly/Feeding
Scopas Tang with Copperband Butterfly
Re: Scopas Tang with Copperband Butterfly --
Live bloodworms for a CBB? Coral Banded Butterfly? Chelmon sp.? fdg. 5/30/08 I bought him in the LFS and he was eating frozen Mysid. I have him qt'd in a 55 with live rock at 1.022 salinity. <... too low> I've had him a week and he's not eating any frozen food. I've tried the mussel and put a clam in yesterday that hasn't opened yet. He's not interested in any of those. He looks healthy but skinny and no unusual swimming or hiding. He's in the qt alone. I was reading to try live bloodworms but where can I buy them? Anywhere online? Kay <... I'd try the usual suspects... Marine Depot, Dr.s Foster and Smith, searching the back of fish magazines for individuals who do culture... But I'd read here first: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/part2.htm see the sections on BF feeding, Chelmon... Bob Fenner>
Copperband Feeding - A recipe for Success - 12/13/07 Good evening Bob & Crew, <Miguel from the GWN> My thanks to you all for having built up a wealth of species specific information on your site. Brilliant stuff. I used many of the Crew's suggestions from the FAQ's in the development of my latest plan. I saw the beautiful Copperband in the LFS and actually managed to resist the "impulse purchase" temptation. I left this fish at the LFS while I read for hours about Butterflies / Copperbands on your site - prepared myself with an appropriate QT tank set-up for this particular fish and gathered up my arsenal of feeding tricks that I could use - and then went back and purchased this beautiful fish, but only after I saw him picking for food. I used an established thirty gallon tank with live rock and sand for QT in case he would prove to be tough to feed and have to stay in QT a while (I learned that on your site too). I purchased some cured rock with Aiptasia (yes people, I actually spent money on this) and placed it in the QT tank along with the Copperband. This fish was extremely shy and found a nice spot behind the LR to hide in. It took over two weeks of trying Mysis, Krill, Squid, Mega Marine (for the worms) and the Clam trick, back and forth with Garlic Guard, Zoe and Selcon before he finally started picking at some frozen Cyclops soaked in Selcon (my last prepared food trick prior to turning to live food which I was hoping to avoid). Throughout the two weeks of failed feeding attempts, this fish seemed to survive quite nicely by eating Aiptasia and picking at the live rock in the vitamin dosed tank water. He looked fine the whole time other than nicking the fatter part of his snout by, I suspect, sticking it too far into a hole in the rock. Because of the risk of uneaten food in the tank, I tested the water and did small water changes often during this time. <Good notes> Once he was eating the Cyclops, I tried the Clam trick again and he went for it. Then I started mixing in Mysis with the Cyclops, soaking in Selcon and he started eating this as well. After just a few days on prepared food this fish is eating with some enthusiasm, and both of us are looking good! One last point that I discovered quite by accident. For whatever reason, this shy fish seemed to respond to the presence of food better (noticeably, whether actually eating it or not) if the lights in the tank were ON while the lights in the room were OFF. Not being able to see outside the tank seemed to reduce the fish's stress level considerably. (Oh, and Bob, when I told you I'd even try soft music if I thought it would help, and you said that it might help ME during the QT period... I took your advice - you should post that one too!) <Will do> In all honesty, without the information available on this site I can't even imagine being able to pull something like this off, not to mention knowing enough to leave a Copperband in the LFS until I had a chance to read more, assess my chances of success and develop a feeding strategy. Still, not bad for a rookie, eh? (That's Canadian for "right"?) Hats off to the team and my fish thanks you. Mike from Canada <"What's it all aboot... algae....?" Couldn't help myself. Cheers and thanks for sharing, BobF> Copperband Butterfly and Bloodworms -- 2/27/07 I am attempting to feed a Copperband. <<Can be finicky feeders>> I may have made an error. <<...?>> I thought I was prepared for this picky eater, I have about every kind of frozen food available and am trying them all, including live brine I hatched about 3 weeks ago along with baby brine hatched this week. <<Hmm...>> Then I realized the best luck people were reporting was with "Live Bloodworms", not frozen. <<My Copperband Butterfly doesn't pay much attention to the frozen bloodworms either, but it does go nuts for frozen 'glass' worms (both blood and glass worms are variants of mosquito larvae). I've had good luck with more than one species of finicky feeder using the frozen glass worms>> I did some searching on the internet for live bloodworms and am now confused. It seems there are two types of bloodworms. One being mosquito larvae, the other being some sort of ocean slug. Which is it I should be trying to get and use??? <<The mosquito larvae>> The Butterfly is about 5" long in a tank with 160lbs of live rock which I put 2 bottles of Ocean pods and 2 bottles of Tiger pods in about a month ago. <<The Copperband feeds mainly on worms (even small bristle worms) and small crustaceans like amphipods and mysids, but these are usually quickly reduced in a closed system to the point of not being able to sustain the butterfly on their own, and supplemental feeding is required>> I never see him eat. I drilled some holes in a piece of rock and stuck Mysis in one hole, some 3/4" long krill in another and some frozen bloodworms in another. I have no access to clams here in po-dunk, but I did get some fresh oysters and drilled a couple holes just a little larger than the Copperband's mouth in it. <<This is a strategy worth trying, though I would simply pry the shells apart and place them in the tank>> After a day I took it out and opened it, and it appears some of the oyster is gone, but I couldn't tell you if it is because the fish ate it or not. <<Try just opening the oyster and placing in the tank>> Mostly though, what type of bloodworm, and do you know anywhere on the web I can purchase live ones and have them over-nighted? <<Hmm, a quick search of the net does not produce a ready supplier...your best option may be to have a fish store special order them for you. EricR>> DanH
Butterfly eating issues 1/29/07 I just bought a Copper Band Butterfly 4 days ago, but it's not eating. <Very common with this species...historically speaking it's not a long loved captive animal. However, four days is nothing to panic about yet.> We have tried frozen brine shrimp. <Not a great food...doesn't have enough "substance" to it, do try some other foods of a marine origin, mysis, krill, etc. ...do search WWM re: similar experiences> I have a FOWLR 90 gallon tank. What should I do? <Is this animal already in the display, with other mates?...Adam J.>
Feeding a Copperband Hi, I have a question about the amount of feeding: usually I feed dry food that a fish could consume within 3-5 minutes. I just got this copper band butterfly fish that only accepts live brine shrimp. How much should I feed each time and how often should I feed? It's about 2.5 to 3 inch long. In the store I saw them put in hundreds of live brine. I don't want to overfeed. I need some guideline on how much live brine to feed. <This can be an easy species to lose... especially to the ill-effects of under and non-feeding... So it's best to keep some food in the way of live rock about at all times and to offer foods that the Chelmon will take a few times a day... in practical terms, as long as the Butterfly is feeding, it can't be overfed... though your system may well be...> Also I read in your book that butterfly like clams or oysters. If the fish starts to eat that, for that size of fish, again how much (what size) of an oyster should I put in the tank? <A small one... for human consumption... it can be removed and stored in the refrigerator for later use...> Or how long should I leave the fresh oyster there? I don't want it to pollute the tank. It's so meaty that I am afraid the fish might eat too much. <I share your concern> Some of my fish would stop eating or at least slow down after eating a few minutes. Would butterfly fish have that kind of control? Would they eat too much and hurt themselves? <Not as much as larger, predatory species> Thank you. Jason <You're welcome. Bob Fenner>
Copperband Butterfly Hi Again Bob, Rick your reefing friend here again with a question about a Copperband Butterfly. I purchased one last weekend even though my success rate with this species has been dismal in the past. For instance, I have never seen a Copperband eat before... until this one. He seems extremely healthy and just loves Hikari bloodworms. He is currently residing in a 20 gallon qt tank on his way to my 180 in about 2 weeks if everything is okeedokee. My question is, will bloodworms sustain him during qt until he gets into the 180 with live rock. <Yes, likely so> I plan on soaking the bloodworms in Selcon every couple of days just to make sure he gets his vitamins. I really like this species and want to give him every chance to flourish. I have tried mussels, squid, clam, beef heart, flake & angel formula but he will only eat the bloodworms. Perhaps a live mussel on the half shell? <Too messy for the twenty... stick with what you're doing> what do you think. Thanks again, your advice and guidance has helped me to realize full enjoyment of this extremely satisfying and sometimes frustrating hobby. <It is your actions my friend that have brought you to this state. My efforts are nothing> You should be very proud of the role you play in some many peoples/fishes/inverts lives. <I am happy to share in others joys, revelations. Bob Fenner> Your reefing friend Rick
Copperband BF Hello again Mr. Fenner, It has been months since I wrote you, and things in my Butterfly tank have been going very well, although I did have a very mysterious and sudden loss of a Rafflesi. He was eating heartily for months, then just one morning he was gone, no warning and no visible wounds. <This happens... a bit less so in huge systems with more than one individual...> So the empty space made room for a Copperband, a fish I have admired for years. I had one about 10 years ago, but it lasted only a few weeks. He is very timid, and my bully of a threadfin sometimes chases him, but he is eating and looks very healthy after five weeks. He grazes the live rocks constantly (no more little fan worms!) he eats live brine with gusto and no competition. (funny enough my threadfin and my punctato ignore live brine!) He will nibble on a fresh clam from the grocery store, but I think the aggressive feeding habits of the other two keep him from eating too much. <Yes> I have read on the Web in my research that this species has high nutritional requirements and brine shrimp alone will not be enough in the long haul. <This is so> This week he started taking frozen Mysis. I know that these are nutritionally better than brine, but are they enough? Do you have other suggestion for long term success? He is not taking Formula I/II at this time, but I can hope for the future! I truly love this fish as he has a grace and elegance that surpasses even other butterflies. <Keep offering different foods... perhaps consider adding a refugium/sump to culture your own... cycle in new live rock every few months...> Thank you so much for the great service you do for all aquarists. After 20 years of fish keeping, I can honestly say that no single source has increased my success as much as your Text and your Web site! <Thank you my friend. My utmost desire realized. Bob Fenner> Jim
My new copperband Hi Bob, I saw you at MACNA and really enjoyed your informative lecture I was one of the few teens there). <Ah, yes> Anyway, I am calling upon your advice as a ex collector/exporter/importer for nutritional needs of my new fish. I was planning on waiting a couple of weeks before buying my copperband butterfly so I could establish more detritivores but I stopped by the LFS today and they had the copperband I had my eye on for a while. I talked to my friend the manager and confirmed the fish had been there 3 weeks and that is was collected in Fiji by a professional collector. I watched him eat some brine shrimp, he didn't eat many pieces, just a few. My friend explained that they were not used to eating in the water column and that they are foragers by nature. <Mostly, yes> I have been keeping clowns, damsels, and Chromis for about a year and a half in reefs and wanted to step up to rarer, more needy fish. Anyways, I bought the healthy fish. I believe the main problem with Chelmon rostratus is feeding, correct? <Hmm, more often with rough handling, transport from the wild... but a lack of feeding, nutrition through this journey as well certainly> If so, what would be the best diet for my newest favorite fish? All I have right now is brine that is soaked in some nutrient stuff that I got free at MACNA. I have about 9 species of Macroalgae that I could offer. I was thinking about formula 1 or fresh clams. A mix of these sounds best to me, and you? Also, please mention some other foods that could be fed to offer variety. oh yeah, don't worry I am quarantining this fish in an environment with plenty of live rock. <Chelmons will learn in time to accept most all prepared, fresh and frozen foods... should they survive the first few weeks in captivity. Do try offering what mix you can of all food types... and with enough live rock, other fishes eating about it, your specimen will learn to accept foods even from your hand. Be chatting my new friend. Bob Fenner> thank you Andrew
Copperband Butterfly Fish Just wanted to thank you for the question and answer pages. I read them often. <Ah! Hope they're as much fun for you as myself> My question is about the feeding of my Copperband Butterfly. I have a 120 gallon tank with live rock and other fish. This fish has been in my tank for one week. It ate all my feather dusters the first night, which is fine with me. I have been providing a number of different foods including: flakes, formula 1 & 2, brine shrimp, fresh minced shrimp, blood worms, and even a half opened oyster. The only thing it will eat are the blood worms. I watch this fish forage all day. Will I be able to satisfy it's tummy and end it's search for food? <Yes... this sounds like a "good" specimen... Keep offering it a variety of frozen, fresh foods... it will soon be "eating out of your hand" (in actuality)> I feed the whole tank 2-3 times daily. Are there any types of plants or animals I can purchase for the Copperband to pick at? <"Live Rock" in general, mysids (frozen/defrosted, live...), the formulated foods on the market. You'll soon see. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your time! -Becky
Getting Copperband to eat... Hello Robert (and friends), <Steven Pro this evening.> I just have a quick question regarding my Copperband butterfly. I've read your FAQs about them and I've tried them all, but can't seem to get my copperband to eat. He's one of the only fish I've gotten through mail order, because of the great deal I got. He is about 5-6 inches, in really nice shape. He just won't eat. I have tried several flake foods, frozen (formula I and II, angel formula, bloodworms, tubeworms), live brine shrimp, life Mysis shrimp, fresh mussels, fresh clams, fresh regular shrimp, stuffing algae strips into crevices. I have even tried garlic (Kent marine) drops soaking the food. Some of it he will look at, but he doesn't ever go up to it and at least pick at anything. I know they are real picky eaters, but I figured he would at least try something. All he picks at right now is my live rock, the red star fish, and the giant feather dusters. Specifications: -Size: 55 gallon -Lighting: 4-35 watt PC lights -Temp: 80 -Gravity: 1.023 -PH: 8.2-8.4 -Ammonia: 0-0.25 -Nitrates: ~20 -Filtration: Live rock, overflow to sump (floss filter, bio-balls, sponge filter), 15-watt UV filter. -Live Rock: only about 65 Lbs. (so far) -Corals: none yet (maybe a mushroom or two) Do you have any additional tricks that will maybe get this guy interested in food? He did clean out that Aiptasia. <Try a freshwater mussel. They will die and open up in saltwater. They are a good feeding stimulant for finicky Butterflyfish. After he has finished the mussel you can try stuffing the shell with various formula foods. Also, see if he won't eat bloodworms.> Thanks, Monty :-) <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>
Re: Chelmon rostratus Hi Bob. Thank you for the reply. Through all my searches including books I have on fish there is very little information on the Copperband butterfly fish. <Lots of "general" information on most Butterflyfishes... not much ecology, nutrition, disease... et al. work on individual species> I followed your link for long term care on these fish this is the page that I found in my searches on info which gave me the idea of emailing you. <Mmm> I am interested in the way that this fish pairs up and if males change to females or they start out in life as male and female. <No sexual change as far as I know... determinate. Do occur in pairs seasonally over their range> This info would help in knowing the best way to get a pairing of male and female. <To raise a few individuals in a very large (hundreds plus) gallons system, starting at three or so inches standard length.> So far no luck in getting this information. Thanks again. Martyn Hulyer. <Perhaps you will be the person to compose a monograph on the biology of this species. Bob Fenner>
Copperband Butterfly isn't Eating what it's Supposed to (Aiptasia) Bob, <<Actually, JasonC doing the do while Bob is away diving.>> I've just purchased a Copperband for my reef tank. He's less than 2.5" and constantly searches for food and picks at the rock but he has no interest in the Aiptasia. He's housed in a 36x18x18 tank with LR & LS and has a small Tomato Clown, a Banggai, a Blue Damsel and a Purple Firefish for tank mates. No one is harassing him. There are soft corals and some inverts in the tank. <<ok so far...>> Should he eventually become interested in the Aiptasia or does this disinterest happen occasionally. <<I would think so, sure - how long has it been in there? Probably still adjusting to your system - new surroundings.>> Either way, he's beautiful! <<They are, aren't they.>> What can I feed to supplement the Copperband's diet? <<Try a little of everything you've got - Mysis, brine, etc. Also check the FAQ's on the copper-band: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chelmonfaqs.htm >> Thanks for your time, Tony <<Cheers, J -- >>
Copperband Bob, I purchased a small Copperband about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks back for the purpose of controlling Aiptasia. I also think they are beautiful fish. This Copperband, however, never touched the Aiptasia. He constantly searched for food among the live rock and was very active. The Copperband died a couple of days back (probably starved). Any guesses as to why he wouldn't eat the Aiptasia? <Other than "this just happens" no... It seems some Chelmon are "eager Glass Anemone eaters", others could care less... Most Copperband Butterflies are lost as you describe> I will most likely purchase another and try again but I would appreciate your insight. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chelmon.htm the FAQs, links beyond. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Tony
Chelmon rostratus Hi Bob. I am from England U.K. I have a 1500g connect 16 tank SPS coral propagation system set up in my garage that has been running for 1.5 years now. <Some experiences!> I have been having problem getting rid of Aiptasia's of a few types I have tried many of the things recommended peps Kalk in many methods and a few other things with out to much success. I thought if I got a Chelmon rostratus and put it into one of the tanks that has frags in I could place a few Aiptasia infested rocks into this tank and if eaten remove the rocks back to the other tanks and add a few more rocks etc. <Worth trying> The tank size is 72"x30"x15"H it has a 1" depth Aragamax sand bed with at the moment 200 2" discs with a selection of SPS corals growing on them a few sand area's free of frags with ten pieces of liverock positioned so that the Chelmon rostratus can swim in amongst the rocks. The tank has a lot of water movement and turbulence and the ends have lower water movement and lighting is 3 BLV 400w HQI MH 10k 4" above the water surface. Water parameters or very good temps range depending on summer or winter between 26C to 29C There is a high diversity of critter infauna natural plankton etc. The Chelmon rostratus has been in this tank for 2 weeks it has been eating the naturals critters in the tank plus I have fed it Mysis shrimp brine shrimp it has been eating the tube fan worms and has just started on the Aiptasia and is very bold now and not timid as it was the first week. I feed golden pearls and brineshimp to my frags and stock corals as well but this is when the lights are out I also from time to time grow my own phytoplankton and rotifers and brine shrimp to give extra live food for the corals. There is also good diversity of algae's mainly different turfs on the rocks. I also have Spirulina and mixed flake and pellets that I feed my Centropyge loriculus and Zebrasoma xanthurum which are in my lounge tank which is 52"x24"x30"H. Any comments about any thing you may feel about the above info my cause a problem for this fish would be helpful. Questions. (1) Is this a good environment for this fish. <Yes, sounds fine> (2) Could I add a second Chelmon rostratus to this tank or would they fight can they be paired up how do you get male and female if they did not get along I have 15 other tanks I could put one into one of these. <Your system is large enough where two would likely be fine> (3) Any tips of the best way to care long term for Chelmon rostratus. <Please see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chelmonfaqs.htm and the articles on butterflyfishes about this> (4) Is there any chance I could add a Chelmon rostratus to the lounge SPS coral aquarium which is 52"x24"x30"H and the fish are Centropyge loriculus and Zebrasoma xanthurum been in there for nearly three years. <Yes... if the current fishes "give the Chelmon a chance", don't attack it outright, it should acclimate to this system much as the one in your coral farm> Or would there be too much problems with this due to territory but they never venture to the top half of the tank. Thanks for any advice. I am new too keeping fish except for the two I have had for 3 years and feel I would like too keep a few more than two fish now as I have learned a little about corals I can now learn more about keeping fish and even attempt too breed some (I wish) <Maybe soon, my friend. Bob Fenner> Martyn Hulyer
Copperband revisited Hi Bob! Hope you enjoyed your trip! <Yes, but the return has been exasperating!> You may remember me as the guy with the urgent situation with the copperband, fish died of some mysterious illness and soon after a clownfish in another tank got the same disease and perished. I was (stupidly) sharing live rock from tank to tank and he probably caught it that way. Anyway, I am going to try a copperband again as my big tank looks like an Aiptasia corn field, <Good/bad visual...> although I am tempted by the Berghia nudibranchs for control. I have talked with Morgan Lidster of Inland Aquatics (great guy) and it seems they have excellent Copperbands. He gets them eating, trained to eat Aiptasia, from Fiji, and they are held for 6 weeks at his facilities. <A very good company, fine fellow, great practices> Pretty much everything I could want in a copperband or any fish. They are pricey ($59.99) but I think its worth it to have it quarantined and eating. <Of a certainty, yes> However, he likes to use trained raccoon butterflies instead. Will the raccoon outgrow my 55? <In time, yes> Will he eat my clams and SPS when the Aiptasia are gone? <Possibly... the smaller the tank, the greater likelihood.> I also want to know what to do with the fish once I decide which one, after 6 weeks at IA, does it really need any additional time in my q tank? <Would at least do a prophylactic dip/bath: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm> Also, what should I be doing to keep it from succumbing to the same mysterious illness of my last one? <Please read through the WetWebMedia.com site re "Livestock Selection", "Quarantine"... and the many sections on individual species, groups listed under "selection, general to specific", Tank Troubleshooting, The Three Sets of Factors that Determine Livestock Health...> Here are some tank specs: 55 gallon Perfecto: 2 x Hagen 802 2x MaxiJet 1200 on natural wave strip 4" DSB with detritivores from IPSF, teeming with life- 90 pounds Premium Aquatics Live rock 2 x 55 watt PC lights AGA overflow estimate 300-400 gph 30 gallon sump: Turboflotor skimmer w/ Rio 2100, 600 and tetra air pump 2 Tronic heaters large refugium with 5-7 types of Macroalgae, Stomatella snails, copepods etc Live stock: 2 tank raised percula clownfish 30 Nassarius snails 6 Strombus snails 8 turbo snails 6 Trochus snails 6 Nerite snails 1 2" fighting conch 1 4" queen conch many amphipods/ copepods/ isopods many polychaete worms many Stomatella varia snails many Aiptasia, ARGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! salinity: 1.026 ph: 8.0 ammonia: 0 nitrite: 0 nitrate: under 10 It has been about a month since the copperband died and the clowns have all been happy and fine, except at night when they are very weird. Only the clown in my nano reef has died, which could of just been stress from a new DSB. What do you think of a Chelmon rostratus or marginalis in this setup? <S/b fine> When I upgrade to 2 x 250 HQI then I will have many clams and SPS corals, hopefully the fish will let these alone? <Would go with lower wattage MH, maybe 175s... and only experience will tell, Bob Fenner> thank you for your time, Andrew
Copperband Butterflyfish, Chelmon Feeding Stimulation, Success Hi, <Hello> Really great website and very helpful. I have read you are very weary of introducing Chelmon rostratus because of its poor survival rate. I thought I might add a positive note by saying that I have purchased a specimen 6 months ago to put in my reef tank. At first I was worried sick that he wasn't eating anything, but it appeared healthy, if a little thin. That's why I got tempted to buy it... you know how it is. Well, I read somewhere that it might be tempted by whole mussels. <Yes. Among other places: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm> I went to the local market and got some fresh ones and I put them in. He was eating like a pig as well as my Chaetodon rafflesi that I purchased a week earlier and that only rarely took a bite at live brine shrimps. I couldn't believe my eyes. Now I only pop a couple of mussels in in the morning and evening enriched with vitamins for about 20 min.s and they have a feast. They are completely healthy, and nicely plump. The rafflesi is slightly less sociable and he hides a little when I go near the tank with food (only for about 10 seconds), but the Chelmon looks at me and gets to the usual place where I drop the food. I couldn't believe how simple it would be! Hope this information helps other 'compulsive' buyers like myself. <Me too> Nothing could be more simple. Massimo Redaelli, Brighton, England UK <Thank you for relating your success. It will save innumerable losses and heartache. Bob Fenner>
Copperbanded Butterfly Fish (Chelmon rostratus) Hi, I have currently purchased a healthy clean 3inch Copperband butterfly, and introduced him with 1 regal tang, 1 ocellaris clown, 1 potters angelfish, 2 crabs and 2 cleaner shrimps. My tank has excellent water quality, and some live rock.<sounds good> I attempted to feed him using some of the Kent marine garlic treatment on the brine shrimp, but he didn't take a nimble. Can you give me any information about this species, and any tips when it comes around to feeding? <well I would try different methods...don't feed brine shrimp, instead try feeding with Mysis shrimp, krill, maybe even silversides (my semilarvatus used to love them) and flake food. Also you can try Life Line green or red (herbivore and carnivore food). I would just try every food type possible in order to get this some what difficult species of fish to begin eating. This is what it took for my golden moray to start eating.. persistence is the key my friend. Good luck and if you have any other questions/problems just email me back. IanB> Thanks a lot, regards Darrell
Copperbanded Butterfly Fish 11/3/03 I have a 3inch Copperbanded butterfly fish, and curious of the amount of muscle chops I feed him, which are about 5mm/5mm. Could you recommend a certain daily amount of which I can feed him, <hmm... hard to say. But 2-3 small feedings (1/8th teaspoon?) daily are needed for most such passive species Much more than just muscle meat too... it will die of a deficiency if you limit yourself so. Add Mysid shrimp, minced krill and Pacifica plankton for example> as I don't want to loose him though underfeeding, but please bear in mind my other fish do eat these as well as flakes and brine shrimp. Thanks Regards Aaron. <some experimentation is indeed in order here. Do review Bob's feeding protocol and excellent homemade fish food recipes in the classic title, "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Fenner. Anthony>
Copperbanded Butterfly Fish (Chelmon rostratus) Hi, I would just like to say that my Copperbanded butterfly is eating.<good> I thought, because he loves to nip and tear at the feather duster I'll put the muscle strands from the whole muscles in the tube. At first he didn't seem interested, but after a while he came up and sniffed it, and once the dwarf angelfish began to nip at it a pull it out, he shot for it a eat the whole thing which is about 2 inches long!<nice> And the butterfly fish is only 3inch. And now when I feed him the muscles, he's straight for them. I am very pleased with this, and I hope it helps other owners of this fish <thanks for the information and good luck with this fish, IanB> Regards Aaron.
Getting Copperband butterfly to feed - clam trick 3/28/04 I have a Copperband Butterflyfish in a 10g QT tank w/LRLS. I've had him for two days. I cannot get him to eat food that I offer, however he is eating off the LR - many critters on the LR. I have offered Mysis & Brine shrimp, Formula 1 and Blood Worms. <please resist using brine shrimp for most any purpose... a barren/hollow food. The Mysis are very good though... Pacifica plankton too. Most any other meaty food of marine origin if minced small enough> Not interested. Is the LR sustaining him? <helpful but not fully (too little)> What else can I try to offer? It still has a few weeks to go before going into the main tank. Thanks, Dennis Nolan <one of the best tricks for getting these fishes to feed is to get a live freshwater clam from the pet store (or food/grocery store). Rinse it well and drop it into your marine aquarium (you may want to notch the back hinge to get it to open faster). It will begin to die and open within 1-3 days. As the clam purses open, the butterfly is irresistibly tempted to stick its nose in there. After it has eaten all of the clam out... stuff the clam in future days with the frozen meaty foods of your choice. The association/habit will have been made with the clam shell. It will wean off of/ignore the clam shell in time. Anthony>
Imagine This: A Picky Copperband Butterfly! I have a Copperband BF in a 20g QT tank. It is clear bottom w/1 ornament for cover. It's been in QT for almost 4 weeks. I have been treating w/CopperSafe from day one. The slight case of Ick has cleared up and has shown no signs of reinfestation for the past four days. The fish seems to be in very good health and looks very clean. <Glad to hear that!> The only thing that this fish will eat are live black worms. I have tried live clams, Mysis shrimp, formula 1, flakes & red worms. It does not want anything to do with any of it. The funny thing is, I had it in a 10g QT for the first two weeks and was able to get it to eat the Mysis and red worms after one day. After putting it the 20g,(I wanted this fish to have more room for QT), I have not been able to get it to eat anything but live worms for the past two weeks. Your suggestions for getting this fish to eat something else would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, Dennis <As you are discovering, these guys can be a bit finicky, in regard to their dietary preferences and eating habits. In my experience, one of foods that seems to work as an "interim" menu item to wean the fish off of live stuff is frozen blood worms. Although not of marine origin, they seem to have a flavor that attracts many butterfly fishes. Another fine frozen food that I have used for this purpose is Hikari "Mega Marine Angel", which, although targeted for angelfish, has ingredients such as tubeworms, etc., and is extruded into little "worm like" pieces. Still another idea is to add a small piece of fresh live rock into his tank, to see if he will start "grazing" a bit. Other people have thrown in an Aiptasia-infested rock in the hope of "training" the fish to acquire a taste for these nasties...and it does work! Whatever you do, don't stop trying...keep utilizing different foods until you provoke this fish into eating something different! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
AIPTASIA CONTROL Dear WWM Crew, I recently purchased a Copperband Butterfly in order to control an exploding population of Aiptasia in my 437 gal. tank. The fish has taken care of the problem but has, to my surprise, killed all my Nassarius Snails. Apparently the Copperband assumes that the trunks of the snails protruding through the substrate are worms. << I've seen many butterflies go right up and eat snails that were on the glass and rocks. He may be confused, or maybe he isn't (just taking advantage of the situation). >> I had about 100 of these snails before adding the Copperband. What can I add to the tank that will keep my sand bed aerated but will not be eaten by the Copperband. << Bristle worms? Sand sifting gobies? Hmm, not sure what I would recommend. Certainly micro fauna of copepods are the best. >> How many Peppermint Shrimp would I need to keep the Aiptasia under control in such a large tank? << I'll just throw out a number... 10? That is what I would try. >> Thanks, Ron Allard << Adam B. >>
Serving A Butterfly Buffet (A WWM Reader Shares His Technique) Hi gang: <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I'm a big fan of copper banded butterflies. . . but lost one several years ago when first setting up my system due to its 'shy' nature at feeding time. <An all to common occurrence, unfortunately> Essentially, it got out-competed for food by pretty much everything in my tank. A few months back I acquired another one. . . determined to find a way to see this one through. While he was in quarantine, I bought one of those plastic 'worm feeder' cones with a suction cup mount commonly used to feed blackworms to discus. Since the as-acquired-from LFS form has tiny slits allowing the tips of the worms to poke through (allowing any fish to feed and giving no particular advantage to a butterfly) I cut/opened a small 'vertical' slot big enough for him to get his 'nose' through just above the bottom of the cone. . . and no more than 1/4" high. By feeding him only in this feeding station, he was trained to it by the time I put him into my community tank. . . and now I can feed him worms, Mysis. . . whatever. . . in a way that doesn't allow the other fish to muscle him away from his dinner plate. Over time, he's even become (constructively) territorial about his feeding rights with respect to this setup. A final do-it-yourself note: If your tank (like my acrylic 60 gal.) has wide internal top-braces that ring the top and preclude suction-cupping the ring to the tank's side walls. . .then cement the top edge of the ring-the-cone-gets-suspended-from to the underside of the acrylic lip/top of the tank (allowing room to insert/extract the feeding cone for cleaning) along the edge of the top brace. With the hood in place, the whole rig is barely visible. Chuck <Well, Chuck, on behalf of WWM readers everywhere, I thank you for sharing your innovative solution! I'm sure that other Butterfly enthusiasts will benefit from this tip! Your unselfish sharing is what this site is all about! Regards, Scott F.>
What do you feed a Copperbanded Butterflyfish? Hey what's up> I am typing to talk to you about a copperbanded butterflyfish. I am getting one tomorrow. I would like to know the things I need to do to acclimatize it. << Okay, well first, don't get set on buying one tomorrow. It is better to ask these questions well before hand. To acclimate the fish, I would recommend floating the bag for 20 minutes, then gently scooping him out of his bag, and putting him in your tank. >> and what is its feeding habits. and one more thing what is it sensitive to. << That was the question I was waiting for. They are finicky eaters, and the key to their success is live rock. So I only recommend buying one if you have a thriving reef tank, and I would also feed them mixed seafoods. >> thanks so much. << You're welcome, and be careful, Blundell >>
Copperband & Aiptasia Hi all. <Hi George, MacL here with you today.> Would like to add a Copperband to my 1-year old 160. <Lovely fish.> My tank has 150+ pounds of live rock that is not stacked against the wall so there is access to all surfaces. <Sounds great.> I can see many amphipods and small brittle stars, Aiptasia too, which is why the desire for a Copperband. Would you expect there to be enough natural prey to sustain a 2-3 inch Copperband or would I have to supplement its diet? <Some Copperbands won't eat Aiptasia and sometimes they will eat any type of anemone just to caution you.> If supplementation is necessary, should that begin from the start or will it need to be a bit hungry to develop an appetite for Aiptasia? <George you don't mention whether you have other fish in your tank that you are feeding anyway. If you do, I think you'll find the butterfly will eat some of that as well. If not, keep a close eye on him to make sure he's eating Aiptasia and if not then definite supplementation. Just as a caution you should know that they might possibly eat or nibble on other corals. MacL>Thanks, George - WWM Kudos - Hi Bob, <JasonC here in his stead.> Just wanted to drop a line to you to say thanks for all the great information on keeping saltwater fish. Because of your website I finally decided to give a Copperband butterfly a try in my reef tank. I have been keeping saltwater fish for over 15 years with moderate to great success. I read the FAQs about Copperbands and gave one a try. A good friend owns a large pet shop here and he got me a real nice fish. That was a month and a half ago. The Copperband has been in my reef tank for about 2 weeks ( after quarantining him ) and he has become buddies with my purple tang, of all fish, and comes the front of the tank whenever I come near. Never thought I would have this much success with a Copperband. Let's hope that I can maintain this fish long term. <Indeed.> I used Mysis shrimp to get him feeding but now he eats anything I put in the tank. I think people need a reliable source of information to be successful. Experience has shown me that pet shop owners tend to have conflicting ideas about the needs of saltwater fish, which is why this type of site is so important to fishkeepers. So thanks again for such a great website. I highly recommend this site to fishkeepers of all types. Rob M. - Syracuse, NY <Thank you for the kind words. Cheers, J -- >
Copperband not doing Well My Copperband seems to be on the way out. He's sitting on the sand, seems to be unable to keep his balance, tips over then rights himself. I don't know what else to do. I've partitioned the tank so with glass so the butterfly won't be bugged by my tang. I've had the butterfly for over a month now, it seemed to be doing good, eating lots of clam and very responsive. Don't know if it was collected from the Philippines, could this be an after effect of cyanide? I didn't think fish collected would live this long. <Tristan, I'm sorry to hear about your Copperband, a truly beautiful fish. Regardless of what some books or articles may tell you, the Copperband is not easily kept without a good diet and excellent water conditions. You didn't mention any white spots on the fish so I'm assuming disease isn't the culprit, so that leaves diet and water quality remaining. Copperbands need lots of live rock to graze on. Other food supplements should be soaked in a vitamin solution such as Selcon or VitaChem etc. I don't believe clam alone is going to do it for this guy. Ten % weekly water changes are also a must. Before making any other butterfly purchases, make sure you can furnish what these fish need to survive in a closed system. Good luck and again, sorry about your Copperband. James (Salty Dog)>
Marine Roulette Anyone? We all know how awesome the WWM crew is - and so do they - that's why we all come back here! <They told me there was free beer! You mean there isn't? I'm outta here!> Enough said. What's odd is that so many of us have learned what we know of the marine hobby right here and by reading the works of WWM authors - yet so many of us insist on learning the hard way.... <Heeeeee! Human nature... my fave species> For example, I have an overstocked 75 gal mixed reef and have never quarantined so much as one thing... The system has been up and running for over a year and I've watched the dreaded white spot signs of Ich teeter-totter between the fish's favor and the parasites favor. Had never had a serious enough outbreak to warrant pulling all of the fish out for treatment or letting the tank go fallow.... 'til now.... <Doh!> Hadn't seen any signs of Ich for close to six-months, so in my infinite wisdom what do I do? Add a "King-O-Ich" Hippo Tang. Well the pendulum quickly favored the Ich and I end up with a major breakout. Fortunately I had a 55 gal. sitting around looking thirsty so I tear the rockwork apart and catch the fish.... Yellow Tang, Hippo Tang, Royal Gramma, Two Ocellaris Clowns, Copperband Butterfly, and a Flame Hawkfish. They're being treated with Cupramine and for all those who've had trouble measuring this, the Seachem kit seems to keep a good handle on the copper levels. <They do have good products> Did I keep a sponge in the 75gal display to use in case of an treatment emergency such as this? Of course not.... <Doh times two~!> So I'm changing significant amounts of water every other day to keep ammonia as low as possible. Livestock seem to be progressively doing better - but I'm concerned about the Copperband. He hasn't hardly eaten any provided foods since we got him. He seemed to pick off the rocks rather than touch anything we fed... Problem is - their obviously aren't any rocks in the hospital tank - and I've yet to see him eat a thing. <Try a small "bivalve"... clam, cockle... opened up... these are almost irresistible to Chelmons... even stressed out ones in tiny volumes and copper> It's been 8 days since he was admitted to the hospital. Before this Ich outbreak began, we had already been planning on a move into a 180, which is about another month out. We had purchased 40 lbs of additional live rock, which is curing in Rubbermaids. My question is this. ( I know - Finally) The new live rock in quarantine will be cured about the time that the copper treatment comes to an end, and hopefully the hospital tank has completely cycled. Yet I will still be weeks from moving into the 180 - so the fish will remain in the hospital tank until the move. The only thing in the hospital is PVC material (nothing Calcareous). <Natch... as it would absorb the copper...> For the betterment of the environment, can I add cycled live rock to the cycled hospital once the copper is removed with water changes, PolyFilter, and carbon? <Yes> Or should I not add anything copper sensitive since the tank has been exposed to copper. <A small amount of precipitated copper is not a big deal> I had read somewhere (don't know the validity) that the tank seals will act like a sponge and leach copper even after it is testing zero and believed removed. <Very, very little... in most cases/scenarios> Obviously, the best thing would be to not get into this situation, but.... In light of the fact I am, what would be the best way to proceed? And yes, lesson learned... From now on apply the generous sharings of knowledge from those in the know.... Thanks, Brad. <Better to move the Copperband elsewhere after two weeks treatment... with larger, more stable setting... try Mysids (live if you can get them)... soaked in Selcon or equivalent... Do pH adjusted freshwater dip the fishes enroute... Bob Fenner>
Marine Roulette Anyone? avec James' Response We all know how awesome the WWM crew is - and so do they - that's why we all come back here! Enough said. What's odd is that so many of us have learned what we know of the marine hobby right here and by reading the works of WWM authors - yet so many of us insist on learning the hard way.... For example, I have an overstocked 75 gal mixed reef and have never quarantined so much as one thing. The system has been up and running for over a year and I've watched the dreaded white spot signs of Ich teeter-totter between the fish's favor and the parasites favor. Had never had a serious enough outbreak to warrant pulling all of the fish out for treatment or letting the tank go fallow 'til now. Hadn't seen any signs of Ich for close to six-months, so in my infinite wisdom what do I do? Add a "King-O-Ich" Hippo Tang. Well the pendulum quickly favored the Ich and I end up with a major breakout. Fortunately I had a 55gal sitting around looking thirsty so I tear the rockwork apart and catch the fish.... Yellow Tang, Hippo Tang, Royal Gramma, Two Ocellaris Clowns, Copperband Butterfly, and a Flame Hawkfish. They're being treated with Cupramine and for all those who've had trouble measuring this, the Seachem kit seems to keep a good handle on the copper levels. Did I keep a sponge in the 75gal display to use in case of an treatment emergency such as this? Of course not. So I'm changing significant amounts of water every other day to keep ammonia as low as possible. Livestock seem to be progressively doing better - but I'm concerned about the Copperband. He hasn't hardly eaten any provided foods since we got him. He seemed to pick off the rocks rather than touch anything we fed. Problem is - there obviously aren't any rocks in the hospital tank - and I've yet to see him eat a thing. It's been 8 days since he was admitted to the hospital. Before this Ich outbreak began, we had already been planning on a move into a 180, which is about another month out. We had purchased 40 lbs of additional live rock, which is curing in Rubbermaids. My question is this. ( I know - Finally) The new live rock in quarantine will be cured about the time that the copper treatment comes to an end, and hopefully the hospital tank has completely cycled. Yet I will still be weeks from moving into the 180 - so the fish will remain in the hospital tank until the move. The only thing in the hospital is PVC material (nothing Calcareous). For the betterment of the environment, can I add cycled live rock to the cycled hospital once the copper is removed with water changes, PolyFilter, and carbon? Or should I not add anything copper sensitive since the tank has been exposed to copper. I had read somewhere (don't know the validity) that the tank seals will act like a sponge and leach copper even after it is testing zero and believed removed. Obviously, the best thing would be to not get into this situation, but.... In light of the fact I am, what would be the best way to proceed? And yes, lesson learned... From now on apply the generous sharings of knowledge from those in the know.... <I don't think you would have a problem putting the live rock in the QT once you filter out the copper. I would try one thing for your Copperband. Get some Cyclop-eeze in the pump bottle. I'm thinking that will trigger him into eating. It's great stuff. Good for corals....my Percs love it and really colored up nice. James (Salty Dog)>
Butterflies that won't eat.. Marina offers a Tip to Induce
Feeding Hi Bob, <Mar> You and James answered the same query
re: Copperband not eating in qt (Marine Roulette?). When working at the
lab, acclimation and tropical quarantine for said lab) there were
several "special" q/t setups. One was for the butterflies. On
their regular q/t menu was bloodworms. I saw many, many difficult
species being induced to feed *while* being treated with copper
(though, they have an actual LAB there) on these things. When they hit
the saltwater they *really* start wriggling, and I swear, if you had a
hook and line attached to them you'd be fishing out butterflies.
They would eventually be weaned onto krill, minced clam, and a few
other meaty foods before going into display. Marina - missing the
smell of the skimmers.. <Thank you for this... Please do post.
BobF> - Another Copperband Butterfly Question, More Follow-up
- My Copperband is eating frozen Mysis shrimp, Spirulina and
vitamin enriched brine shrimp and freeze dried brine shrimp. Can it
survive on this diet? <I'd like to see you ditch the brine
shrimp... doesn't matter what's it's enriched with, it
still is the dietary equivalent of a diet potato chip with olestra. If
you could, try to get some meaty seafoods in there... some krill,
mussel, shrimp, squid... would all do well by this fish.> Thanks