Quarantine Experience with Copperband Butterfly Fish

Have you tried your hand at a Copperband Butterfly Fish?


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EakTheFreak

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Good Evening,

I’ve documented my experience with BLUE STAR LEOPARDS which is considered a difficult expert level fish and they are now going on 3 months in my DT and doing wonderful.

Figured I would document my CopperBand Butterfly experience even though I’m late to the game slightly since they are viewed as expert level and difficult.

How and where to purchase?
• I looked everywhere but had to see the animal before purchasing.
• My Copperband was only at the LFS for 1 day & 1 night when I purchased it but it appeared healthy and was picking at rocks and visually stunning. He was considered small medium at around 3”’ maybe 3-1/2”
• LFS was open and honest and said it had not ate anything they had provided but I decided to roll the dice anyway!!

When did I purchase him?
I bought him September 26th and brought him home to a 29 gallon QT system and matched my salinity to the local fish stores of 1.022 to ensure I didn’t have to drip acclimate him.

What did I setup in the QT tank?
• 1 Extremely Large Live rock pulled from my sump loaded in Aptasia & pods
• Giant ball of chaeto & caulerpa
• 2 Large PVC pipes for hiding
• Hang on back filter & air stone

What do I feed him?
• This is the hardest part in my opinion
• He wouldn’t touch frozen anything which included frozen brine, Hikari Mysis, LRS Reef frenzy...the list goes on and on.

How did I succeed feeding him?
• Live Brine got the ball rolling on day 2 in QT
• Next he ate some frozen and live brine but still wasn’t going nuts on the frozen
• THE GAME CHANGER = Live Clams & Live Muscles!!!

I now currently feed him 3-4 times per day, I’ve purchased live clams & live muscles and frozen them. Purchase a cheap meat grinder on amazon and then created small feeding containers.

Water Quality issues?
• I have noticed he is a messy eater and misses a lot of the food but if I use a syringe I can control it much better plus it trains him to eat how I feed to my DT.
• I still would say I’m changing 5-10 gallons of water in the 30 gallon every 3-4 days to be safe

Medication provided?
• I’ve done two doses of Prazipro spaced 7 days apart so far
• I’ve also food soaked the chopped clams/muscles with general cure for 10 days of feeding

I’m at day #25 in QT right now so I will continue to update as I go!!
 

Reefer40b

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I think it's great you went the extra mile trying to feed him, I think most of the deaths related to these guys is starvation as people don't find a food it will consume. I will be honest I have tried 4 of these guys and have only one that has been going for about 3 years now, while the others would eat but it would never be enough and eventually starve as other fish would out compete them. I will say the one that did make it eats everything and is not shy, just as aggressive as tangs eating.
 

ReefHog

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I fed mine clam slices with tweezers in QT. No mess. He also ate live black worms readily. Eventually he started eating frozen mysis, brine and evening picks at LRS reef frenzy. He been in my 220 DT for about six months and keeps up with the rest of the fish at feeding times (three) I still feed him clam slices twice a week with tweezers
 
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EakTheFreak

EakTheFreak

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I think it's great you went the extra mile trying to feed him, I think most of the deaths related to these guys is starvation as people don't find a food it will consume. I will be honest I have tried 4 of these guys and have only one that has been going for about 3 years now, while the others would eat but it would never be enough and eventually starve as other fish would out compete them. I will say the one that did make it eats everything and is not shy, just as aggressive as tangs eating.


That’s awesome! I’m hoping adding some freshwater converting to saltwater aggressive mollies that are pigs in his QT tank will encourage him to compete for food and also show if he has any other diseases.
 
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EakTheFreak

EakTheFreak

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I fed mine clam slices with tweezers in QT. No mess. He also ate live black worms readily. Eventually he started eating frozen mysis, brine and evening picks at LRS reef frenzy. He been in my 220 DT for about six months and keeps up with the rest of the fish at feeding times (three) I still feed him clam slices twice a week with tweezers
That’s great! Have you ever thought about making him is own feeder? I’ve seen a few post on here about like 1-1/2” PVC with holes drilled in it.

What are your thoughts?
 

ReefHog

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That’s great! Have you ever thought about making him is own feeder? I’ve seen a few post on here about like 1-1/2” PVC with holes drilled in it.

What are your thoughts?
Honestly it’s not needed. My CBB has no problem getting his share of food. I just hand feed the clam slices twice a week cause they are very nutritious and since they are bigger pieces, the tangs and moorish idol would get to them quicker.
 
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EakTheFreak

EakTheFreak

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Honestly it’s not needed. My CBB has no problem getting his share of food. I just hand feed the clam slices twice a week cause they are very nutritious and since they are bigger pieces, the tangs and moorish idol would get to them quicker.
Makes sense. In my DT I have the following fish:
• 3 Blue Star Leopard Wrasses
• 3 purple file fish
• 2 Bimaculatus Anthias
• 2 Designer Clowns
• 1 Coral Beauty
• 1 Yellow Eye Kole Tang
• 1 Magnificent Foxface
• 1 Mandarin Goby

I think he should be able to compete. The Tang & Anthias are the most aggressive eaters.
 

ReefHog

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220 Mixed Reef
  • Sailfin Tang
  • Convict Tang
  • Moorish Idol
  • Mis bar Clown
  • Long nose Hawk
  • Flame Angel
  • Diamond Goby
  • Barred Goby
  • Fire Fish Goby
  • 3 Fiji Damsels
  • Copperband
My Sailfin and Convict tang and an Idol that are very fast swimmers and think all the food is theirs. The CBB is faster than the rest while feeding. I feed two cubes three times a day. A few days a week I substitute a feeding with live black worms or clam. I also put an algae sheet in there every other day for the tangs but the CBB doesn't eat that.
 
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EakTheFreak

EakTheFreak

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220 Mixed Reef
  • Sailfin Tang
  • Convict Tang
  • Moorish Idol
  • Mis bar Clown
  • Long nose Hawk
  • Flame Angel
  • Diamond Goby
  • Barred Goby
  • Fire Fish Goby
  • 3 Fiji Damsels
  • Copperband
My Sailfin and Convict tang and an Idol that are very fast swimmers and think all the food is theirs. The CBB is faster than the rest while feeding. I feed two cubes three times a day. A few days a week I substitute a feeding with live black worms or clam. I also put an algae sheet in there every other day for the tangs but the CBB doesn't eat that.
That’s an awesome fish list! I feed frozen twice per day now plus pellets every now and again. I may need to increase feeding depending on how my CBB does when he gets into DT.

Out of curiosity how do you control your nutrients with all that food and fish!?
 

jtf74

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Got a copperband mid-August. Put alone into established 55 gallon with live rock for QT. No dosing. Showed signs of lympho second day. Three days later completely gone. Started eating frozen mysis immediately. Got some blackworms a week later and it went right for them very enthusiastically. Won't touch mussels or clams in pieces or in shell. After about 3 weeks in QT, one morning I skipped feeding and came home to find it finally discovered the aiptasia in the tank and wiped it out in days. Moved into DT after about a month and a half. Has become a beggar coming to the surface when I come close to beg for worms. Feed it a cube of mysis daily plus several blackworms. Very feisty fish and swims around more than my tang.
 

ReefHog

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That’s an awesome fish list! I feed frozen twice per day now plus pellets every now and again. I may need to increase feeding depending on how my CBB does when he gets into DT.

Out of curiosity how do you control your nutrients with all that food and fish!?
First section of sump is pinky filter pad which I replace every three or four days. Second section is Tunze 9430DC skimmer. Third section is two large marine pure blocks on top of three inch sand bed. Then return back to DT through a Pro Max 90 watt UV. I also carbon dose using Tropic Marin Reef Actif Along with NP Bacto Balance. I use DIY All For Reef to maintain cal and alk. That incorporates a small amount of carbon dosing as well. My main three prerameters stay very consistent at N03 5, P04 .05 and alk 7.5 I like this method because The Reef Actif is a powder that’s added once a week. And the Bacto Balance and All For Reef can be added automatically on a daily basis using a Neptune Dos.
 
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EakTheFreak

EakTheFreak

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Got a copperband mid-August. Put alone into established 55 gallon with live rock for QT. No dosing. Showed signs of lympho second day. Three days later completely gone. Started eating frozen mysis immediately. Got some blackworms a week later and it went right for them very enthusiastically. Won't touch mussels or clams in pieces or in shell. After about 3 weeks in QT, one morning I skipped feeding and came home to find it finally discovered the aiptasia in the tank and wiped it out in days. Moved into DT after about a month and a half. Has become a beggar coming to the surface when I come close to beg for worms. Feed it a cube of mysis daily plus several blackworms. Very feisty fish and swims around more than my tang.
That’s awesome to hear!! Out of curiosity l, what size was your CBB when you purchased him?
 
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EakTheFreak

EakTheFreak

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First section of sump is pinky filter pad which I replace every three or four days. Second section is Tunze 9430DC skimmer. Third section is two large marine pure blocks on top of three inch sand bed. Then return back to DT through a Pro Max 90 watt UV. I also carbon dose using Tropic Marin Reef Actif Along with NP Bacto Balance. I use DIY All For Reef to maintain cal and alk. That incorporates a small amount of carbon dosing as well. My main three prerameters stay very consistent at N03 5, P04 .05 and alk 7.5 I like this method because The Reef Actif is a powder that’s added once a week. And the Bacto Balance and All For Reef can be added automatically on a daily basis using a Neptune Dos.
Impressive numbers! I do dose NoPOX to keep Nitrate @ 10 & have GFO to keep phosphate at .03 - .07.
 

HockeyRooster

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I want a copperband so bad! Thanks for the great info everyone. Biggest problem I’ll have is convinceing the wife. She’s made a “captive bred” only policy.
I think I’m going to get a quarantine tank going. I’ve got grindall worms culturing ( for the baby newts) and brine shrimp culturing too.
have I mentioned I want a copperband really bad???
 
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EakTheFreak

EakTheFreak

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I want a copperband so bad! Thanks for the great info everyone. Biggest problem I’ll have is convinceing the wife. She’s made a “captive bred” only policy.
I think I’m going to get a quarantine tank going. I’ve got grindall worms culturing ( for the baby newts) and brine shrimp culturing too.
have I mentioned I want a copperband really bad???
You have everything you need! Just need the QT tank now. I have a white worm culture I started about 3 weeks ago. Finally starting to take off. Been doing probiotic yogurt and nutritional yeast on wheat bread.

All the saltwater fish love those dang things lol
 

Biff0rz

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I got mine about a week ago from the LFS, he ate mysis in front of me so I couldn't resist.

PXL_20201018_204412748_2.jpg PXL_20201018_204403406.jpg
 
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EakTheFreak

EakTheFreak

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Update:

Sitting at Day #33 with the CBB in QT tank. I’ve also converted 3 freshwater mollies to saltwater mollies and they are showing no signs of diseases over the past 5 days! The Copperband is going into the DT on Halloween!!! spooky stuff!!

@Jay Hemdal Curious to get your thoughts on the black Molly approach and showing diseases.

Here is a photo from tonight
83E9739F-BCBF-4A3F-9800-1DEF604BF990.jpeg
 

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