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Old 01-10-2014, 09:33 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, 09:44 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, 09:53 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, 10:09 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 01-10-2014, 11:00 PM   #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 01-10-2014, 11:32 PM   #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, 10:02 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, 10:31 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, 10:56 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, 09:21 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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Old 01-12-2014, 09:30 PM   #11
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Sometimes fish will flash for no reason. Its not all the time that means parasites and disease. I would still QT and observe. Just realize it might be nothing.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:59 PM   #12
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She is in my 20 gal long for QT and observation. Today was day 3. She did finally eat today the clam and mussel after I did the 25% water change. She looked so happy.

She hasn't lost any color or have any physical signs of infection. She just flashes maybe every half hour for a few seconds. Then she stops
And continues swimming peacefully. She doesn't swim around all frantic or stressed looking. She is very peaceful.

So I don't know whether to
Start treatment or not? Could giving it
Another day now that she is eating to hold off and observe before deciding whether to treat or not hurt anything ? Do you guys think I should start treatment?

Also when I do the fresh clam and mussel in the tank how long can I leave them in there for? I had them in there tonight for close to 3 hours because we was loving it and going to town!
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:05 PM   #13
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Im not discounting anyone elses experiences. If others have treated that's fine for them. But I never treat anything unless I know they have something and I know what to treat with. I just observe and see if anything happens. I would still continue to QT and see what happens.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:09 PM   #14
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Thank you for your advice. I like gathering and learning from as many people's experiences as I can. I am leaning towards agreeing with you , however the only reason I would start treatment would be to catch ich ( if that is what this could be) early before I notice any white spots develop because often times once you get to that point it's too late.

But right now the only possible sign of her maybe having ich is when she flashes along the bottom
Of the glass or PVC pipe every so often.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:06 PM   #15
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Like I said Im not discounting Ricks suggestions. He obviously has good results so his way might be an option. Many ways to accomplish things in this hobby.
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:19 AM   #16
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^ +1.
You can give it a few days and see how it goes. Also, 3 hours shouldn't be enough time for the protein to break down into ammonia. You can test and check though.

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Old 01-13-2014, 09:12 AM   #17
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Thank you guys for all your help. I will give it another day or two now that she is eating to see if any other signs develop or if the flashing stops or worsens. Ill make my decision then.

In the meantime ill just keep up with 25% water changes every other day.

If you guys have any other advice / tips id love to know. You can never have enough knowledge/ opinions in this hobby
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:41 PM   #18
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Still did not start treatment yet. The reason being is that she is eating very well now and I don't want to cause any unneeded stress that would actually be more harmful. I placed another fresh clam and mussels ( put two drops of garlic on the mussel) on opposite sides of the tank again today. And again she went to town on both. So this is two days in a row she is eating very well.

However, the flashing has not stopped. It hasn't gotten any worse or better.

Do you guys think I should obviously keep up with the 25% water changes in the 20gal long QT tank to keep the water pristine but also start treating with rid ich plus?
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:51 AM   #19
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Did my first treatment using rid ich plus yesterday. I have a question as I am confused by the instructions on the bottle.

I performed the treatment in my 20 gal long QT tank.

The instructions for a treatment were ;

1. Perform a 25% water change before treating
2. Add 1 tsp of rid ich per 10 gal of water in the QT tank.
3. Repeat every 24 hours

I did as instructed and added 2 tsp of rid ich after the water change because I have 20 gal of water.

My question is, the instructions aren't clear about how much rid ich to add after he first dose. When I repeat every 24 hours, am I just adding a dose of rid ich enough to replace what was lost in my 25 % water change? Or am I adding the full 2 tsp again? I am confused because doesn't most of it stay in the water? So am I only replacing what was lost through the water change?
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:04 AM   #20
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Unfortunately I can't comment as I have not used the product. But if you're having to redose the full amount every 24 hours, it can't just be to redose for the PWC you need to perform everyday.

Is RidIch a copper treatment?
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