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Old 05-22-2006, 10:46 PM   #1
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Mysterious Auriga Butterflyfish Death

Hello everyone. I have had a death in my tank community today. I have had a Percula Clown and Blue Tang for around 2-3 years now. I recently added an Auriga Butterfly after she was QT'd for 4 weeks. She had been in my main tank for about 2 weeks or so. My constant concern with her was not eating. I know that Butterflies are picky, and some never start eating in the aquarium - could this have ultimately been her downfall? I tried all types of frozen food soaked in garlic, mysis shrimp, even live brine shrimp. She was never interestd in anything. I only ever saw her picking off the LR. Before she died today she was lying on her side on the sand, breathing heavily. She then began to just float around the tank, letting the current take her - moving her fins only slightly. She eventually sank to the bottom and stopped breathing. Has anyone had this problem with their Butterfly? The Clown and Tang are still as happy as can be. I tested the parameters after I removed the Butterfly - everything was fine except Nitrates, which were extremely high (between 80-160!!!!). I had been feeding extra since the Butterfly was put in because I was hoping she would eat some of the remaining food. I'm preparing some fresh saltwater to do a 15 gallon water change tomorrow morning (my tank is 60 gallons). I guess my question is: does this behavior sound like the Butterfly starved herself?

Any comments/ideas would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-22-2006, 10:50 PM   #2
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Here is what they eat:
The Auriga Butterflyfish diet primarily consists of coral polyps, crustaceans, and algae in the wild. In an aquarium, frozen and freeze-dried diets containing algae are good substitutes and can be supplemented with asparagus, broccoli, and some dried algae.

I've never had one but, it looks like she may have starved....Hopefully some one will come along and shear their experience...
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Old 05-22-2006, 10:56 PM   #3
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Yes, I had even tried asparagus and several types of seaweed. She totally ignored each of my attempts.
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:44 AM   #4
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To me it sounds like she never got acclimated to the tank and starved.

Did she eat while in QT?

Many times once they start downhill, they will not recover. Sometimes if stressed to a point they will refuse to eat, even to the point of death.

Angels and Tangs IMO are the worst.

Sorry for your loss.
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:33 AM   #5
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There were only two or three occasions when I actually saw her take food while she was in the QT. It was odd because she never seemed stressed. She always swam around the tank very calmly - even when I had to put my hand in to clean, or transferred her to the main tank - she never seem disturbed by anything.
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:34 AM   #6
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Did you acclimate her to your main tank?
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:53 AM   #7
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Of course, of course!!! I always drip all my new creatures! And, like I said, she never seem stressed out with anything I did. She was a very calm little Butterfly.
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