Copperband Butterfly may be dying

Discussion in 'Fish Disease' started by etsaxman, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. etsaxman


    Feb 13, 2009
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    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.
    etsaxman, Feb 13, 2009
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  2. etsaxman

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

    Oct 23, 2006
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    Copperbands dont handle being bullied well.Thats usually the quickest way to kill them.Their also slow eaters.So being in a tank with decent sized fish that are aggressive feeders,he's probably not going to get much to eat.
    My advice,take the copperband back to the store and get some pepperment shrimp.
    OH,And welcome to the site.
    yote, Feb 13, 2009
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  3. etsaxman

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    May 13, 2006
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    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    Hi and welcome. Yote is right, copperbands are incompatible with most other types of fish, mostly because of their shyness and slow eating. If you were able to keep one for years, you were lucky. Most only live a matter of weeks in captivity. They do not fare well in our tanks, but sometimes people are able to successfully keep them. It's a long shot, but it happens. I'd say that what's happening to your copperband now is more of the norm than your other experience, unfortunately. It tends to happen all the time with this type of fish.
    Bifferwine, Feb 14, 2009
  4. etsaxman


    Jun 6, 2007
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    Boise ID
    Sorry to hear about your situation. I would say yote is right. you would be better off taking back the fish and going with some peppermint shrimp. however if you were to try something there is some food that sallys makes that is an angel and butterfly preperation that has sponge and all kinds of other things. you could see if you could get it to eat any of that.

    Another thing i do with my Vlamingi tang to make eating fair, since he is such a pig is to put a bunch of nori on a clip and let the tang fill up on nori and then feed the tank so he will not be so interested, thus giving the copperband a better chance. Try soaking the food in a little bit of garlic extract too.
    Alexander, Feb 14, 2009
  5. etsaxman


    Feb 9, 2009
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    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes, sounds like the copperband is getting harassed by the sailfin. Tough call. Will the store take him back?

    If you cant, you can try isolating him in either your sump if possible or a QT. For feeding, there are several butterfly formula foods out there. Main difference is that they have sponge in the mixes. You can try those. There are also feeding stimulator additives for food, Garlic supplements tend to work best imo for finiky eaters. You can also try ghost shrimp if available.
    reefplayground, Feb 14, 2009
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