Copperband Butterfly experience

ASIN28

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
182
Reaction score
89
Location
Long Island
Hey all,
I really want to add a copperband into my tank but I am planning on going on a mixed reef in the near future. I’ve been hearing mixed things about them that they will pick at anemones and stuff. What is your experience with them? Are they reef safe in your aquariums?
Thanks
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

OLDREEFER44

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
892
Reaction score
1,178
Location
Machias Washington
IME the vast majority of them die within the first 6 weeks. Many of them start out eating and act normally but soon start declining and end up dead. There are exceptions as with all difficult to keep fish but my guess is that about one in 8 actually survive long term.
 

cshouston

Hoopy Frood
View Badges
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
1,306
Reaction score
2,363
Location
Gainesville, FL
Totally reef safe in my experience. However, they are finicky feeders and somewhat fragile. This is definitely a fish that you want to source from a reliable place, and either have it pre-quarantined or quarantine it yourself. You don’t want to just throw it in your display and hope it survives.
 

SDK

Reef Diver
View Badges
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,374
Reaction score
2,950
Location
Shrewsbury
CBB’s are fairly reef safe and not that hard to keep if you are willing to take care of their special needs. I have had two and neither touched any corals in my tanks. There are other threads out there with info, but for me the cliff notes are:

1- Don’t add CBB until your tank is around a year old and has a visible pod population. This is not 100% necessary but will make it easier. Mine pecked at the pods for a few days until he started settling in and eating what I added. A mature tank will also be better able to absorb the multiple daily feedings this species requires.

2- If at all possible, try to find a healthy one locally and see it eat first.

3- Regarding the above, I did not quarantine the last two CBB’s I’ve kept and had good success this way. Your mileage may vary, but this is not a species I personally would try to QT.

3- Make sure you don’t have an overly aggressive stock list.

4- They love clams and good quality frozen food, but they “really” love worms. I buy blackworms in bulk and culture white worms. I would not keep a CBB without having one of these two options available. Mine knows what the both the black and white worm tubs look like and will literally fly across the tank to me when he sees me holding one of them. My current CBB is probably the most aggressive eater in my tank.

If you put them in a proper environment and feed them well, they are not that difficult. Just be aware of the extra commitment these fish require.
 
Last edited:
Corals.com

Fudsey

Jack of all trades, Master of none ;-)
View Badges
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
9,576
Reaction score
46,750
Location
So. New Hampshire
I would also add that they will eat Masstick as well but stick with the powdered one you mix and not the premix. I have had mine for over a year now and it loves Masstick.
 

Beau_B

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Messages
392
Reaction score
301
First one I bought ate like a horse for the first couple weeks, then something snapped and it stopped cold turkey. Died a week later.

Second one, which was from the same batch at LFS had, is still going strong months later. Eats frozen of all sorts. Has been moved around a couple times for QT needs, and didn’t miss a beat.

Both found acans to be irresistible and I had to remove those.
 
OP
ASIN28

ASIN28

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
182
Reaction score
89
Location
Long Island
CBB’s are fairly reef safe and not that hard to keep if you are willing to take care of their special needs. I have had two and neither touched any corals in my tanks. There are other threads out there with info, but for me the cliff notes are:

1- Don’t add CBB until your tank is around a year old and has a visible pod population. This is not 100% necessary but will make it easier. Mine pecked at the pods for a few days until he started settling in and eating what I added.

2- If at all possible, try to find a healthy one locally and see it eat first.

3- Regarding the above, I did not quarantine the last two CBB’s I’ve kept and had good success this way. Your mileage may vary, but this is not a species I personally would try and QT.

3- Make sure you don’t have an overly aggressive stock list.

4- They love clams and good quality frozen food, but they “really” love worms. I buy blackworms in bulk and culture white worms. I would not keep a CBB without having one of these two options available. Mine knows what the both the black and white worm tubs look like and will literally fly across the tank to me when he sees me holding one of them. My current CBB is probably the most aggressive eater in my tank.

If you put them in a proper environment and feed them well, they are not that difficult. Just be aware of the extra commitment these fish require.
Thank you for the reply. I always wanted this fish. My tank is a 120G currently stocked with:
1 Yellow Tang
1 PBrT
1 Hippo Tang
1 Diamond Watchman Goby
1 Flasher Wrasse
1 Leopard Wrasse
2 Occellaris Clowns
1 Spot Foxface

What do you think about the aggression aspect against the CBB?
I will supplement the diet of the fish as much as I need to based off of there needs. Do you feed like freeze dried worms?
Thanks
 

Beau_B

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Messages
392
Reaction score
301
I would be worried about the tangs for sure. My CBB is a lover not a fighter and may have struggled to eat at first with bullies competing.
 
OP
ASIN28

ASIN28

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
182
Reaction score
89
Location
Long Island
I would be worried about the tangs for sure. My CBB is a lover not a fighter and may have struggled to eat at first with bullies competing.
Yea I’ve read many horror stories about how difficult it is to get these CBB to eat to begin with, never mind with some bully fish added to the situation
 

Tamberav

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
2,175
Reaction score
3,260
Location
Wauwatosa, WI
Live worms!! not freeze dried anything..

The yellow Tang might beat the snot out of it. They don't often like Copperbands.

My butterflies eat Acans and Duncan's. I feed them Masstick, LRS, live clams, and live worms mostly but they eat most anything offered...even Nori.
 

SDK

Reef Diver
View Badges
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,374
Reaction score
2,950
Location
Shrewsbury
Thank you for the reply. I always wanted this fish. My tank is a 120G currently stocked with:
1 Yellow Tang
1 PBrT
1 Hippo Tang
1 Diamond Watchman Goby
1 Flasher Wrasse
1 Leopard Wrasse
2 Occellaris Clowns
1 Spot Foxface

What do you think about the aggression aspect against the CBB?
I will supplement the diet of the fish as much as I need to based off of there needs. Do you feed like freeze dried worms?
Thanks

That’s a fair sized tang load for a 120. If it was my tank I would lose the PBT and Hippo before I tried a CBB. My current one is in with a similarly sized Kole tang, and they get along after getting past some initial bickering.
 

vetteguy53081

Well known Member and monster tank lover
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
38,126
Reaction score
87,778
Location
Sheboygan
I have a great big boy ( about 5.5") and it bothers nothing and a pig when it comes to feeding, in fact competes with my 15" Vlamingi tang

1605490302290.png
 
OP
ASIN28

ASIN28

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
182
Reaction score
89
Location
Long Island
That’s a fair sized tang load for a 120. If it was my tank I would lose the PBT and Hippo before I tried a CBB. My current one is in with a similarly sized Kole tang, and they get along after getting past some initial bickering.
Gotcha. Now do you say that because of the aggression aspect or to avoid overstocking?
 

SDK

Reef Diver
View Badges
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,374
Reaction score
2,950
Location
Shrewsbury
Gotcha. Now do you say that because of the aggression aspect or to avoid overstocking?

Both. The PBrT and Hippo are both going to outgrow that tank eventually. If all three tangs are still small you may be able to add a CBB and plan on upgrading to a least a 6’ tank down the line. I would have an acclimation box and a plan B though...
 
AS
OP
ASIN28

ASIN28

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
182
Reaction score
89
Location
Long Island
Both. The PBrT and Hippo are both going to outgrow that tank eventually. If all three tangs are still small you may be able to add a CBB and plan on upgrading to a least a 6’ tank down the line. I would have an acclimation box and a plan B though...
Gotcha I understand. I’m iffy now because I forgot to mention my tank is only 4 months old so I think for the best care of the fish and the stock I currently have in my tank, I think it’s best to wait till later down the road for the CBB unfortunately as much as I wanna pull the trigger on him cause it’s such a beautiful fish
 

SDK

Reef Diver
View Badges
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,374
Reaction score
2,950
Location
Shrewsbury
You’ll be better off waiting until you are ready then. They are such beautiful fish and seeing them waste away and die is heartbreaking. I tried several times in the late 70’s/early 80’s and then swore off them for a long time. Now we have much more in the way of resources and information at our disposal.
 
OP
ASIN28

ASIN28

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
182
Reaction score
89
Location
Long Island
You’ll be better off waiting until you are ready then. They are such beautiful fish and seeing them waste away and die is heartbreaking. I tried several times in the late 70’s/early 80’s and then swore off them for a long time. Now we have much more in the way of resources and information at our disposal.
Thanks for the info, advice and help! It’s gonna be difficult hanging back tomorrow when I go to the LFS cause they just got a big shipment in today lol
 

mattzang

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
2,481
Reaction score
4,151
Location
redlands CA
i don't keep anenomes so idk if they'd eat them. maybe tiny ones, but i can't imagine it'd slurp up a big one but can't say for sure

people do say they like acans (all reef safe with caution fish love acans), but again i don't keep those

they're not the most aggressive eater in the world so i'd agree with the others saying avoid if you have a bunch of aggressive tangs. my yellow wrasse bullies the cbb :( i can't imagine it'd fare well with a group of tangs cruising around

i also go out of my way to make sure the cbb is getting enough food. when just dumping food in the tank i feel like mine doesn't compete super well and doesn't get a ton to eat, so i make sure to specifically feed it either by hand with some LRS or i've been using the two little fishies nori clip and i just stick the lrs in there. the other fish don't seem to go after it just the butterflies. feeding clams a day or two a week seems good too.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Do you utilize the weekends for tank tasks?

  • Yes (please tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 214 63.1%
  • NO

    Votes: 26 7.7%
  • Sometimes

    Votes: 93 27.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 6 1.8%

Online statistics

Members online
2,709
Guests online
8,030
Total visitors
10,739
SA
Top