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Old 01-10-2014, 10:33 PM   #1
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Raccoon butterfly flashing

Hey everyone. I'm writing this early as a precaution incase this turns into something bad. I just bought a beautiful small raccoon butterfly. I got him from my lfs before he even went into their tanks because they special ordered in for me and I got him while they were floating the bag in their tanks for me to pick him up.

He looks very healthy and I acclimated him in my 20 gal long QT tank last night and left the lights off for the night. Tried feeding him some frozen mysis today and when he didn't take it I figured no big deal because its only day one in QT. but now to my point... Today when I was trying to feed him and observe him in QT I noticed he was flashing! There are no physical injuries or infections (white spots) that are noticeable. My question is, is flashing alone a concern for ich? I didn't See any physical infections or injuries on her that would be another sign but I'm worried that this flashing is the start of something bad like ich? Is flashing alone a sign of ich?

Thank goodness I learned my lesson from the past and put him in QT but I don't want to lose this fish. Please advise. Should I start treating as a precaution? I don't want to stress her anymore though! She is in QT by herself and I used water from my display tank to fill my QT and also let my sponge filter sit In my display for two weeks to build up beneficial bacteria. Only thing in my display are two healthy clowns that have been in my established display for two months.

I don't know What to do! Start treatment as a precaution because I'm noticing flashing (but no other signs)? Or will that cause more stress ? If you don't think it's ich or anything please let me know. And if so... Where is it coming from?
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:44 PM   #2
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In a QT, I always treat with copper @ .3mg/l and PraziPro (as directed), regardless if the fish are showing signs of any issues. The choice is yours. You can wait another day and see if the fish shows and signs of further flashing.

Also, have you tried to feed other food? Or soaked the mysis in garlic? Butterflys tend to be finicky eaters.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. I always just believed that treating a fish when you first get them when they show no signs of anything would only stress them more.

But if you believe that this flashing is the start of possibly ich , than that is a sign!

I guess I will start treatment tomorrow ! A few questions, do you do the treatment right in the QT tank or pull them into a separate bucket during each treatment! And should I do a fresh water dip before treatment with copper?
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:09 PM   #4
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Copper and Prazipro can be used in the QT together. Provide enough aeration from an air-stone, or a PH aimed at the surface.

The freshwater dip isn't going to do anything the copper won't do a better job of, so you can skip it if you want.

I would still recommend trying other foods and soaking in garlic to get the fish to eat first. If you can get the butterfly to eat, its odds of survival are much higher in the QT.

Please also note that a high concentration of copper will also do more harm than good. Cupramine is a good example. The manufacture suggests a concentration of .5mg/l which I find too high. I prefer dosing at a lower concentration of .3mg/l which works just as well to combat ich IME. See here for further documentation:

FA165/FA165: Use of Copper in Marine Aquaculture and Aquarium Systems
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:00 AM   #5
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So you think if I can get her to start eating in QT I won't need to do treatment? Or is that not what your saying? You are just saying that it will help boost her immune system while I'm doing treatment. And you said .3 ml /l for the dosage , however what would that be per gallon?

Can you also please give me the step by step procedure of how you would do a copper treatment ? I've done it before and read up on it and put the time in to research proper treatment but have still failed in the past !

Thanks for all your help. I do not want to lose this beautiful fish
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:32 AM   #6
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I would get her to eat tomorrow if you can, using different fresh foods (squid, white meat fish, etc) dipped in garlic supplement if you have any. If you can get her to eat before you begin treatment, the odds are that much better the fish will survive.

As for copper, I use Cupramine. The directions on the bottle are pretty easy to follow. The only thing I would change would be to lower the dosage to .3 mg/l.

The basic formula is:
(.381) * (dosage level) * (gallons of water being treated) = mL of Cupramine to dose

Example: (.381) * (.3mg/L) * (20 gallons) = 2.3mL of Cupramine to dose

In this example, now that you know you need 2.3ml of cupramine for the 20g QT tank, I would dose cupramine over 2 or 3 days to get the total dosage needed. In this case I might dose 1.15ml on the 1st day, and 1.15 ml on the second day.

As you perform partial water changes, you would need to add the correct dosage to the QT again since the new salt water you're adding to the QT would dilute the copper. To determine the PWC change needed, check your nitrates and other levels as needed.

Example: after checking your nitrates, you determine a 25% water change is necessary. You would remove 5 gallons from the QT and add 5 gallons of fresh salt water. Currently, the QT is duluted, so to get back to a dosage of .3mg/l:

(.381) * (.3mg/L) * (5 gallons) = .6ml of cupramine to add to the tank.

This is how I handle dosing copper. Also, if you don't already, make sure you get a copper test kit and check the copper levels and adjust as necessary.

Let me know if you have any further questions.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:02 AM   #7
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Thank you for all of your help. What do you think the best thing to try and get her to eat is?

I've read getting a fresh raw clam or mussel and cutting it open and leaving in the shell and letting it sit on the bottom of the tank would help?

Any other advice?

I tried soaking the mysis in garlic last night. She just swam around it.

For copper treatment the directions say perform a 25-50% BEFORE each treatment. And to perform a treatment twice a day. Should I only do one a day?
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:31 AM   #8
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I tried live brine and it worked so so. It did get them eating though.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:56 PM   #9
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Tried love brine today. Saw her pick at/ eat about 3 of the 15 in there. That is a start I guess right? Better than nothing? Or should she have gone to town on them? I bought two fresh little neck clams and mussels from the seafood store today too and will try one of those tomorrow!

After trying a clam/mussel tomorrow I will start treatment with either rid ich + or copper safe as the flashing continued today (still no visible signs however so hopefully it's still early enough to get rid of).

Which one should I use? And if so, do I use the full recommended dosage on the bottle or bring it down a little (such as aquarick previously suggested)?

Thanks again everyone for your help!
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:21 PM   #10
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Did a 25% water change today and afterwards put a fresh clam and mussel in the tank. Finally she ate! Went to town on the mussel and clam swimming back and forth eating both (put one on each side of the tank)

I still don't see any physical signs of ich (white spots etc) however she is still flashing. Not as much as she was , but every once in a while she flashes.

My question is, should I still go ahead with the treatment of rid ich plus because I still see her flash every so often? Or should I hold off on the treatment to see if the flashing stops because she is eating now and maybe her immune system will be able to fight it off naturally?

Any advice / previous experiences helps
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