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Old 02-13-2009, 10:19 AM   #1
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Exclamation Copperband Butterfly may be dying


I have an aiptasia problem that I cannot solve with Joes Juice alone as some of them are growing behind my live rock where I cannot reach them.

I just got a Copperband butterfly from the LFS. I have had one before in this tank that did fine for years. The owner told me that the fish has been there for a month and has been eating. It was also pretty big. (3-1/2) inches. I placed the fish into a 75 gallon reef tank along with a yellow tang, a small mandarin dragon and a huge pacific sailfin tang. (4 1/2) inches long and when the sail is extended, looks like it is about 7 inches tall.

The butterfly is not eating and is on the top of the tank in the corner wagging his tail fin extremely fast. He's using up a lot of energy.

I've tried frozen Mysis, frozen brine, and live brine shrimp by the way. He won't go near it.

Also, the sailfin tang is the big bully of the tank. I call him "Big Greedy" He has gotten the biggest because he is the most aggressive in the tank. I have witnessed him going over and worrying the copperband. The new fish is so scared it is almost jumping out of the tank when he comes near. The rest of the fish just slowly move out of his way.

So what should I be doing to keep this fish alive long enough to get used to the big sailfin and start eating? I don't think he will last but a few more days if I don't solve this.


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Old 02-13-2009, 01:21 PM   #2
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I would recommend that you remove the Copperband ..........unless you want the Aiptasia removing take out your Sailfin........sympathise with you a hard choice.

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Old 02-13-2009, 01:40 PM   #3
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i agree. I would take out the copperband and put him in QT untill you can get him eating and healthy again. Try some garlic extract on his food as well. If you get him healthy and want to keep both fish i would take the sailfin out and put him in QT when you put the copperband back in. You may also try rearranging some of your rocks around a bit to take away established territories. Let the copperband have a couple weeks in the tank and get used to things. Once he is nice and established then you can try putting the sailfin back in. The sailfin will be the new kid on the block and hopefully be less aggressive.

Most aggressive fish will leave the exsisting tankmates alone and bully the newcommers. This is especially troublesome because new fish are already very stressed from being bagged or shipped and the tramma of being moved. Then you put them in an unfarmiliar tank and add a bully and it can stress the fish to the point of death.

Copperbands are known to be a bit more sensative and hard to get to eat. They don't tollerate being bullied well. Good luck with him. Hope he pulls through for you.
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:53 PM   #4
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What I have done so far is to put a divider in the tank separating the copperband from the rest of the fish. He settled down immediately and is starting to look better. Still has not eaten yet, but it looks promising.

The sailfin was pretty scared of the divider for a while but is now floating around some but is not trying to attack the copperband through the divider.

So after he starts looking even better after some time I may remove the divider. I wonder what will happen then? If the same thing happens, I will go ahead and take him back to the store and get some peppermint shrimp. I only found out today after posting this on a few forums that they also eat aptasia.

I really think my sailfin is a beautiful fish and is probably worth something. I have had problems removing fish before, basically tearing up my reef trying to get a fish that is now hiding under a rock. So I don't want to damage the health of the sailfin to get him out the tank. If anyone has any tips on removing fish safely, let me know.

But in the meantime, I am going with it will be easier to remove the copperband and trade him in for shrimp if it comes to that.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-14-2009, 07:37 AM   #5
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