Copper Banded Butterfly Help

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Sep 20, 2004
Madison, Wisconsin
I have read and have heard that keeping butterflyfish is difficult. I want to hear from your own experiences on this as I plan to get a threadfin butterfly and/or a heniochus (poor man's moorish idol) and put it in a 125G tank with other relatively tame fish (clowns, gramma, banggai, blue tang, sixline, chalk bass, flame angel, comet).

How long have your butterfyfishes survived? Any significant challenges? Risks? Advice?

hopefully quarryshark can answer you, but if he dosent answer the question might pm him. he has great success with a small school of heni's
It depends on the type of butterfly fish you get. There are some like the copperbanded that don't do well and there are others like the pearlscale and heni's that are hardier. Some are specialized feeders. Just research what you want. I think you'll be ok with the heni, I don't think I've ever seen a threadfin. Personal experience? I had a copperbanded that lived two months (refused to eat), I've had a long nosed butterfly that lasted about six months (just up and stopped eating) and a pearlscale that lived for a year. (this one I blame myself. I moved him to a different tank when I added corals and he didn't do well) Good luck
If you have not been at this for some time I would pass. Every attempt I have made to keep a butterfly have not worked out. Some people do have luck with them though depending on type.

With a 125g you probably have a better success than I.

Good luck,
It really depends on the species. If you have the room, go for a small school of Heni's. They usually do best in groups. Two or three will be fine. They are pretty hardy. I have had a copperband in my tank for about a year and a half. I did make sure I ordered one from Aussie, they have a better survival record. It is my favorite fish. The key, as with any fish, is buying one that has been doing well at the LFS. Visit the fish every few days to see how it is doing. IF you are interested in it, give the store a deosite so they will hold it for you. Make sure it looks good and is eating before you take it home. good luck...Lando
Actually I had a hard time in the beginning, went through a couple of Heni's before I found a batch of healthy ones. Once acclimated, they are a very tough fish. Extremely friendly too, both of mine hand feed daily. :)
Like Lando said, watch them at the LFS for a few days, make sure they are eating well (healthy heni's will eat you out of house and home) . Also make sure they are active and alert. Healthy heni's spend their life swimming, I swear mine don't sleep. :lol:
If you try the heni's, consider a pair. They do much better in a pair. You can see many pics of mine in my gallery.....great fish... I love em!! :D
liveaquaria says heni's ok to keep in a 50 gal tank?Ive seen a couple of henis at my LFS that were pretty big..has anyone ever kept them in a 50 gal tank?
IMO, they need a 100 gallon or more system. Not only do they get big, they are very active swimmers and would not be happy for long in a smaller system.
I agree in the tank size. I saw two hennis at the LFS yesterday and both were the size of a desert plate. Perfect condition, beautiful.
Based on my flame angel, they are anything but relatively tame. Mine would chase the sailfin even, and the sailfin just 6 times the size of the flame.
In my experience, the gramma and the blue tang are right behind the flame for aggressiveness.
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