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Old 03-22-2012, 11:00 AM   #1
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3 fish, 3 situations, 3 different times....same result

Over the past 3-4 weeks ive attempted to introduce 3 different butterfly fish into my main tank and after 3-4 days EVERY single fish seems to die.

4 weeks ago i introduced a racoon btfly. A day or two after introduction starts go into a mini convultion, then dies. Then 3 weeks ago i got a coperband. The same result. BTWN 2-3 days after introduction it goes into mini convultions/spazzing out while swiming and then dies out around day #4.

2 weeks ago I ended up getting a 18w UV sterilizer hoping that it would kill the ich (which i was hoping it was). Now i ended up getting a Kleins btfly and it seems like its going through the same process. Its started to spazz out while swimming every couple of minutes.

This whole time ive had a yellow tail damsel in there as my first fish and the tank has been up for 3 months.

IF this btfly dies too, im going to take the damsel out. Would an empty tank (except for a starfish, emerald and cleaner shrimp), kill out any bacteria in the tank??

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Old 03-22-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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You would have a decline in the bacteria population, but I doubt you'd wipe out the bacteria bed entirely.

6 weeks should wipe out any Ich parasites.

Butterflies are touchy species. When you have purchased them, how long had they been at your dealer? Did you see them eat? Did you drip acclimate?
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #3
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i just lost a kleins butterfly in my 90g tank, he was eating like a horse and showed no signs of anything being wrong. Just woke up and found him on the sand.

Butterfly fish can be a HUGE challenge and it's not always worth it in the end. Due to the nature of the fish I won't be getting one to replace the one that died. I also have a copperband in my 125g reef tank and so far so good. BUT I literally have to police him when I feed to make sure he gets food. They are the hardest of all butterflys, I would really not get another one.

Good luck! Not sure what you're dealing with in your tank but unless you saw some ich I think it's just the nature of the fish you are getting.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:30 PM   #4
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You would have a decline in the bacteria population, but I doubt you'd wipe out the bacteria bed entirely.

6 weeks should wipe out any Ich parasites.

Butterflies are touchy species. When you have purchased them, how long had they been at your dealer? Did you see them eat? Did you drip acclimate?
The first 2 fish i didnt check if they were eating before i got them BUT i did however make sure to watch the klein eat before i purchased him. He seems to nibble at some of the food i put in today. Hopefully he will survive the next week
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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i just lost a kleins butterfly in my 90g tank, he was eating like a horse and showed no signs of anything being wrong. Just woke up and found him on the sand.

Butterfly fish can be a HUGE challenge and it's not always worth it in the end. Due to the nature of the fish I won't be getting one to replace the one that died. I also have a copperband in my 125g reef tank and so far so good. BUT I literally have to police him when I feed to make sure he gets food. They are the hardest of all butterflys, I would really not get another one.

Good luck! Not sure what you're dealing with in your tank but unless you saw some ich I think it's just the nature of the fish you are getting.
Sorry to hear about your sitiuation too carey. Im starting to think this too. Hopefully my guy will survive. If not im going to try to introduce something else to check if they will suffer the same fate. This way i know if its my tank or if its the btfly fish species
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:51 PM   #6
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Based on my research the Kleins is supposed to be one of the easiest butterflys to keep, the main reason I got one. But still an unexplained death. :-(

Good luck though! Fingers crosses for your Kleins!
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:45 PM   #7
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If they are dying in a day or two I'd think somethings wrong with the water. Damsels are super hardy and may be living through the problem but when you put a fish like a butterfly it they get sick right away. I'd take a jar of yoru water to the fish store and have them test it for you. Sounds liek something is off...
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:12 PM   #8
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Based on my research the Kleins is supposed to be one of the easiest butterflys to keep, the main reason I got one. But still an unexplained death. :-(

Good luck though! Fingers crosses for your Kleins!
Thats the same reason I ended up getting it (as my 3rd btfly). So far he is not spazzing out as much as the other 2. Hopefully over time the UV sterillizer will kill most of the bacteria in there
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:14 PM   #9
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If they are dying in a day or two I'd think somethings wrong with the water. Damsels are super hardy and may be living through the problem but when you put a fish like a butterfly it they get sick right away. I'd take a jar of yoru water to the fish store and have them test it for you. Sounds liek something is off...
Initially thats what i thought but ALL my parameters are in check. Ive tested them every couple of days and i have 0/0/10 (am/rite/rate). Ive even checked it today
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:37 PM   #10
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Have you seen visible signs of ich on these fish? From your description of the fishes behavior, it almost sounds like electric shock. I would check my heater, circ. pumps, or anything else electric that is submerged. As far as the damsel, idk those things are almost indestructible, he might be used to it! Or he's mental and the shock therapy really works for him!
Just a thought. It's either that, your water, or your acclimation process. I know Butterflies are difficult, I have a 4" Copperband, but 3 in about a month seems fishy to me.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:10 PM   #11
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So far i havnt seen any signs of ich BUT i have seen the first two btfly rubbing their gill/body areas on rocks, as if soemthing is iching them. I didnt even think of the shock idea but shouldnt it effect the inbrates too?? Plus most of the time i dont turn off the electrical switchers when i dip my hand into the tank and so far i havnt felt anything (knock on wood)

As far as my acclimation process, I float the bag for 15min then drip them for another 15min before put them in. Does that sound ok?? advice?? tips??
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:19 PM   #12
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:13 PM   #13
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I temp acclimate by floating for about 15 minutes then move the fish to a separate small bucket. I slowly add water over at least an hours time, sometimes longer for shrimp and other inverts.

Part of your problem could be how quickly you are acclimating, work on that and see if it works.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:45 PM   #14
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Maybe try drip acclimating them longer like Carey said, and check for electrical leakage. Did the fish look good at the store? No abrasions, active, good color? Any damage at all on a fly, will really hurt your chances too. Could also be that these fish were cyanide caught, if that's the case there's really nothing you could do, they were doomed. I would check and recheck everything about the tank, for fish to act like that with just a Damsel in their company is odd. If everything on the tank checks out, and you really want a Butterfly, maybe try different, non-local vendor, or on-line. They may get their fish from a different source.
Hope you figure it out, good luck
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:48 PM   #15
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Maybe check for some stray voltage. Butterflies are notoriously sensitive.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #16
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Part of your problem could be how quickly you are acclimating, work on that and see if it works.
Thanks for the tip carey. I will try dripping them for longer. The reason i dripped them not too long because i was wondering if the temp difference will be great since the drip wont transfer much heatered water during a longer period of time

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and check for electrical leakage.
Any idea how to?? Im very interested in checking this out. As far as the store, the klein look very healthy and was swiming around while picking at a peice of shrimp or some food that was dropped to the bottom of the tank

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Maybe check for some stray voltage. Butterflies are notoriously sensitive.
I will do some searching. Any idea how to check for voltage in water??
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:16 PM   #17
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The only way I would know to check the various equip, would be to pull them out , clean them and look for cracks or breaks on the cords, heater check he glass for breaks if it's glass. Salt , coralline algea, and light really takes its toll on plastic cords, they get brittle and crack. I believe even without cracks, as they age and get harder, they lose some of their ability to insulate.
Excessive salt creep on the bases of lights, situated on top of the tank, can also allow voltage a path to the tank. Just tryin to brainstorm. If all your equip is relatively new, and you have no creep, the odds are less that this is your problem. Hope this helps and good luck!
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:34 PM   #18
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I will do some searching. Any idea how to check for voltage in water??
take a multimeter stick the black lead into the ground on a wall plug. Put the red lead into the water. If there is a reading for volts then you have something that's cracked or broken and putting electricity in the water.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:18 PM   #19
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Thanks every1. My kleins bttfly is on its 7th day now and is doing well. He is eating healthy and comes upto the top when i start feeding. He looks to be in good shape.

I got a firefish goby over the weekend and dripped him/her in for 1hr instead of the normal 15-20min. now it is doing very well 1 day later. So it looks like my acclimation process is what killed my previous 2 bttflys. Wish i knew this before. Could have saved myself the $70...lol

Thanks for all your help guys/girls. Thanks for the tip on my acclimation carey
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:42 PM   #20
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Glad it seems to be working out. Just keep an eye on that butterfly. very sensitive fish so just keep your water as pristine as you can and the fish keeps eating. Mine loved mysis and bloodworms. lol Actually, mine liked anything I put in the tank. even flakes and pellets.

Good luck!!!
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