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Old 01-20-2005, 07:03 PM   #1
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Copperband Butterfly Advice

Hello,

I'm upgrading to a 75g now, and was thinking of the fish I'd like to have in it. One of my favorites that I've come across in my research is the Copperband Butterfly fish. I plan to do a reef setup, and these guys seem to be reef safe, so I like the sound of that. I was telling my LFS how I'd like to get one of these, but one guy told me that they're somewhat hard to keep. He said they're gorgeous and all, but even if you keep excellent water and all, it's like there's something missing that no one can figure out - and they die after a while. I was just wondering what other people have heard and experienced if they've had one.

TIA,

Matt
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:47 PM   #2
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The copperband is my favorite fish. I have been lucky enough to have had mine for over a year and it is doing great. This is considered a difficult species to keep and one that does not readily accept prepared foods. Most simply starve to death in captivity. When sourcing out a fish it is very important to follow its progress at the LFS for a few weeks and make sure you see it eat before you take it home. Some LFS will require a small deposite to hold a fish for you, but it is money well spent. Also, try to get a fish from Australia, rather then from the Philippines. Collection methods are thought to have a major impact on the aquarium survivalbility fo this fish. There is a chance the fish from the Philippines was collected using cyanide. This chemical effects the digestive system of the fish starvation is the end result. Fish from Australia tend to cost more, but again, money well spent. Try to find a young fish as they accept prepared foods better. Mysis and krill soaked in garlicguard did the trick for me. They have very small mouths and many people make the mistake of feeding food that is tool large. Feed VERY small pieces. I also believe a lot of LR is very important. I often see mine picking at the rock, either eating algea or pods. this fish is not easy to keep but I find the challenge part of the attraction. Good luck...Lando
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:05 AM   #3
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Any butterfly should go into a tank that has been well established for at least 6 months. They are very difficult and not recommended for beginners. The Copperband is one of the few that do better than most other butterflys in the captive tank. They benefit the reef by eating pesty aptasias without munching on a bunch of other coral/anemone type inverts.

If you really want to give the Copperband a try, make sure it is eating at the LFS before you decide to buy it. Ask one of the clerks to offer food while you are there. If the fish ignores the food, then ignore the fish. This should be a routine practice for any fish of interest before purchase.

If you are lucky and find a nice, healthy Copperband, provide Angel/Butterfly diet prepared foods. They contain sponge which give these fish some kind of coral protein that they are otherwise deprived of in captivity. It helps with long term health in the captive environment.
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Old 01-22-2005, 12:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice guys, I'll make sure to use all of it and keep you posted on the tank!

-matt
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:30 PM   #5
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Not Hard at all

I have two in a 300 gallon tank that I have had for over five years. The secret - they are in an established reef tank with a lot of live rock. The local LFS told me they needed live rock, and given their longevity it seems to work.
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