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Old 03-18-2014, 10:49 AM   #1
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Butterflies

The underwater ones, not the airborne ones...how reef safe are they? I'm planning my larger tank, and my wife loves butterfly fish. I've seen varying reports that some are OK in a reef tank, others aren't, the type of coral matter, etc..

FWIW, the tank will either be a 75 or a 125, depending on the available footprint.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:07 AM   #2
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They are very hard to get eating prepared foods. All of the butterflies I have tried have slowly starved to death. As for Reef safe, I would say hit or miss. I never saw a copper banded eat coral, but all it would eat were pods.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for the insight. I've done some more research that sorta leans that same way, making me think that to try to house them would be stressful on me, and unfair to the fish.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:57 AM   #4
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Most butterflies are not reef safe however, those with the longer mouths ( Chelmons, Yellow Longnose, etc) are better suited as they are more of a worm food eater than a coral feeder. So if you are planning on feather duster worms or trying to build a colony of pods for ,say, mandarins, these would not be a good choice.
I have kept Copperbands and Longnoses by adding freshly opened Clams, Mussels, Scallops and Oysters to their diets. Plus, I made a special mixture of more finely ground foods for them which was mixed in with the "regular" food so when the other fish were aggressively feeding on the bigger chunks and getting the flies all excited to eat, they would then find the smaller pieces and would be feeding too. ( It's a little more work but the reward of a fat Copperband was worth it )

Hope this helps
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Old 03-19-2014, 12:24 AM   #5
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If you decide to do it build a feeder designed for Mandarines. I think that helps get these slow hunters a chance to start feeding faster.
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