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Old 11-12-2009, 12:47 PM   #1
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How to get 2 butterflies to stop fighting

Hello, I have a bit of a predicament and I'm not sure how to proceed.

I got 2 butterfly fish to try to help clean up my aiptasia problem. So I quarantined them for a few weeks, no problem in the smaller 18gal tank.

Now that they're in the bigger 70gal tank one won't stop picking on the other one. I Introduced them last night, and this morning noticed the bullying. I managed to catch the one being picked on (he seems ok) and put him in a glass vase (still in the larger aquarium). I'd prefer to have both, or actually prefer to have the one that I captured in the tank if I have to remove one of them. Any ideas? Getting the other one out has proved elusive since as soon as he sees me he hides in the rock. I'd rather not have to disrupt my entire tank just to get him out.

I was told that as long as I introduced them at the same time there shouldn't be any problems, but apparently not...

Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:28 PM   #2
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What type of butterflyfish, same species? Most conspecifics will not tolerate each other unless paired or in a large grouping, 5+, so you might be better off returning or selling one.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:29 PM   #3
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One is a Kleins the other is a vagabond. Guy at the LFS said that they should be fine together, but apparently not.

I managed to capture both of them so they're both isolated now. I would prefer to keep them both, but if no ideas then I suppose I will have to get rid of one of them.

Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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Which one is being picked on? They are similar in shape and coloration which is probably a factor along with the fact that they need to determine a pecking order. If I had to remove one it would be the vagabond due to eventual size, even if it is the prettier of the two species imo.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:52 PM   #5
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The vagabond is getting picked on and yeah they are identical in size and shape right now even with the band over the eye, but the rest of the colour is different. Considering that the vagabond is supposed to be the semi-aggressive one that's odd but I suppose the klein's just claimed the tank as his own.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:54 PM   #6
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LiveAquaria says
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The Vagabond Butterflyfish should be kept in a 70 gallon or larger aquarium and may be kept with most other butterflyfish, holding its own against more aggressive tank mates.
So is it possible that if I let the Vagabond settle in the tank while keeping Kleins separated then reintroduce Kleins they may be fine?
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:19 PM   #7
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A 70g is the minimum size requirement because it can/will achieve about 9". Reading inbetween the lines, it means that it should be housed singly with no other butterflyfish; however, there is always a possibility they will "tolerate" each other. If there is serious scale loss, nipped/eroded fins, or opened lesions they need to be separated and the aggressor removed. Once the butterfly heals you can try a reintroduction or if the wounds are serious enough it'll need to be treated in qt first.
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:30 PM   #8
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If it was me I would return one. Too much of a chance of them fighting because of similar shape and coloration as James mentioned earlier. JMO
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