acquiring/keeping Butterfly's in a Fish Only ??

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by cracker, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. cracker

    cracker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Hello, I have a 180 gl tank that I intend to be a fish only. Maybe a softy or 2. I'm not sure which direction I want to go fish wise. So far I have a pair of clowns who have moved into their rock pile & a Copper Band. So my question is rather wide in scope I guess. Do Butterfly's ship well? Are they prone to any specific diseases ? Do They require any special acclimation? Can I keep several differing types without in fighting? Would they be Ok with say a tang or other semi aggressive fish? Any questions I don't know I want to ask yet? I'm not looking for high dollar sponge specific feeders or such. Just some idea of butterfly's in general. Iv'e lost my last two butterfly's in short order so I want to be ready this time. They will go into a Q/T for observation & treatment if necessary.
     
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  2. Maritimer

    Maritimer Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Butterflies do seem to be somewhat disease prone, with velvet, Lymphocystis and internal bacterial infections having surfaced among those I've tried. Probably not as fragile as Acanthurus tangs can be, but they're not as forgiving as clownfish, either.

    Butterflies should get along with tangs well enough _if_added_first_, but an established tang may reject a fish with a similar body shape (billboard) fairly aggressively. Let the butterflies get established before adding tangs.

    Whether several species can get along in a home aquarium of that size, I don't know - which is one of the reasons I'm subscribing to this thread!

    ~Bruce
     
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  3. Ocelaris

    Ocelaris Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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  4. Gareth elliott

    Gareth elliott Well-Known Member NJRC Member

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    Anecdotal story, I was 12 lol.

    After my parents divorce. The weekends i spent with my father during the summer we used to go seining off the coast of new jersey.

    My father and his girl friend had set up a fowlr 120g. The fish that were in this tank were all butterfly fish we collected from our seine nets. The fish had traveled up the gulf stream from the reefs further south. That summer the current was particularly close to the Manasquan Inlet.

    The species kept together were:
    -Chaetodon striatus(banded butterfly fish)
    -Chaetodon capistratus(four-eyed butterfly fish)
    -Chaetodon ocellatus(spotfin butterflyfish)
    -one other i cant remember the name

    I dont have a lot of details, this being 20 years ago. As well as being given my own setup of sea horses we had collected. I watched they did maintenance.

    But the tank and its inhabitants had lived peacefully for at least 2 years. They broke up, no idea what happened to the fish after that.
     
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  5. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Expert Contributor Partner Member 2018 Partner Member

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    Most butterflies can be kept with other butterfly species.

    Some species are more delicate shippers than others, raccoons, lemons, punctatus, auriga, and falcula are among the hardiest.

    Some may need to be enticed with clams on the half shell or live black worms.
     
  6. Zack K

    Zack K The LPS Guy R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    This is what I have found most challenging keeping Butterflies. Live foods are almost always going to get them to eat at first. But it may take up to a few days.
     
  7. cracker

    cracker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Sorry for the late reply. I finally have an observation tank setup & cycled. Still looking for healthy looking fish. I don't have worms on hand. I do have a simple brine hatchery & eggs. I have clam, oyster, mysis etc on hand. After loosing 2 butterfly's in a row I'm a bit apprehensive. Thanks for the insight & I shall return !
     
  8. cracker

    cracker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Purchased a healthy looking Raccoon today. He's in a 20 long Q/T & pecking at some food. Will know more tomorrow .
     
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  9. cracker

    cracker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Lights out, however the fish is still pacing back & forth. This makes me nervous ! LOL I was able to match salinity & temp from the LFS bag & the Q/T setup. Nice shop but don't like the low salinity they keep , 1.20 . I didn't check PH. Will do a big W/T tomorrow. I'm acting like a over protective father right now ! LOL
     
  10. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Well-Known Member

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    Of course he is pacing back and forth. A 20 long for even a young butterfly is very cramped, the good news is it only has to endure it for a few weeks and then it can get into a tank better suited to it's level of activity.
     
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  11. cracker

    cracker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    That was a great BRS lecture Thanks Ocelaris. so the fish is eating ok I guess wish it was more did a big W/T . Next will offer clam on a rock then shrimp head served in the same manner. The lecture gave me a lot to think about . Already screwed up a bit. I have to get the salinity up to match the tank. A freshwater dip terrify s me ! But Bob advocated one.
    what to do ? LOL
    The fish has calmed down . Now steady pecking at the live rock I added & bits off the floor of the tank. doesn't seem to want free floating stuff. However he did eat from the water column at the shop. Just did the clam thing seems interested.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  12. cracker

    cracker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Ok This fish is chowing on the clam ! Took him a while to figure it out I guess . So at least that worked well !
     
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  13. cracker

    cracker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    this finned beast likes oyster also . So I learned 1st hand that some meaty food on a rock is a good thing ! seemed to get hungry at lights out. Another thing that Mr Fenner talked about in his lecture.

    Tomorrow I start raising the salinity to match the display. Also will look real close for any signs of bad critters
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  14. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Well-Known Member

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    Given the fact that you are going with a FOWLR it really opens up your options for butterflyfish. Copperbands are considered one of the worst butterflyfish for durability in the captive environment. These varieties are generally considered the hardiest of the bunch:

    https://www.liveaquaria.com/category/25/butterflyfish?c=15+25&r=22&s=ts&start=1&page_num=1&count=24

    Given the size of your tank you should be able to get a couple of different varieties and have them work although you might want to pick
     
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