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FAQs on Threadfin Butterflyfishes

Related Articles: Threadfin Butterflyfishes

Related FAQs: Hawaiian ButterflyfishesRaccoon B/F's, Double-SaddlebacksButterflyfish Identification, Butterflyfish Foods/Feeding/NutritionButterflyfish Compatibility, Butterflyfish Behavior, Butterflyfish Systems, Butterflyfish Selection, Butterflyfish Disease,

A Red Sea specimen (notice lack of post dorsal oculus)

Butterflyfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Re: Quarantine question       9/15/16
I have a Threadfin Butterflyfish that looks like it is hemorrhaging and some of the scales seem to be separating.
<Mmm, I see this>
Attached is a picture. It is especially evident near the dorsal fin and down the side of the fish. Any idea what this might be?
<Yes; this fish is classically "breaking down"... can't tell exactly from what from the pic (need more information re the recent past... system, handling... AND sampling and microscopic exam to be sure re ext. parasitic involvement. HAVE seen Uronema, Cryptocaryon... Mycobacteria almost always.... w/ such fishes. I would tell you that w/o immediate action (I'd lower spg drastically; like to 1.010) this fish will soon perish. I WOULD remove it, or all other fishes from the same system. There are blitzkrieg type treatments... that attempt to treat all likely pathogens... A poor avenue to take.... Do you have time to study, NOW? Bob Fenner>

Re: Quarantine question. Auriga BF      9/16/16
Hi Mr. Fenner,
<Hey Stephen!>
Thank you for the input and analysis. Unfortunately, the fish perished yesterday. All of the other fish appear to be healthy - eating very well, behaving normally.
<Ahh; yes to the early demise of the BF. As prev. stated, DO KEEP AN EYE on your other fish livestock. It may well be that they will be similarly stricken.... and COULD perish in likely soon order>

As you can see from the email string, I have had unbelievable challenges trying to get the last two fish in my main tank. I was trying to get a Yellow Long-nosed Butterfly fish and the Threadfin. Per your advise, we had been bypassing the QT and doing a freshwater dip and placing them in the main tank. I have lost two sets of each of these fish with this Threadfin being the last - having survived for 41 days. I purposely chose these two fish because everything I read said they are the easiest Butterfly fish to keep. I am now ready to throw in the towel on trying to add these two fish to my aquarium.
<I'd look to other families of fishes>
I currently have the following in the 220 gallon tank: 3 orange Ocellaris Clownfish, 2 Black Ocellaris Clownfish, Flame Hawkfish, Tailspot Wrasse, Yellow Tang, Hepatus Tang, Blond Naso Tang, and a Coral Beauty. I would like to add two more fish. Do you think this size tank will accommodate two more?
<Yes I do>
All of the fish I have are small except the Blond Naso Tang which is about 7". If you think I have room, I was thinking about adding a Blue Throat Triggerfish and a Royal Gramma. What are your thoughts?
<These are good choices. >
Thank you as always.
<And you; Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine question      9/16/16

Thank you!
Steve DeFilippis
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Auriga with ick
I have a 180 FOWLR with inverts that has been set up for three years. I only have seven fish: a 7 inch Hawaiian Naso, a 4 inch Melanarus Wrasse, a 4 inch Solar Fairy Wrasse, a 4 inch Magnificent Foxface, a 4 inch Auriga Butterfly and two 3 inch Zebra Barred Dartfish.
I have had the Auriga since the beginning. Tonight I noticed it is plastered with ick.
<Yikes. Wonder what triggered this infestation (from latent, in-tank population)>
There have been no changes to the tank for months. None of the other fish are showing signs yet. I have a 30 gallon that I can quickly set up as a quarantine with water from the main tank Can an Auriga be treated with copper?.
<Yes... are "mid" hardy to Cu++ exposure; but this, along w/ reduced spg is the route I would go here for now. IF the entire pop. of fishes show similar effects, I would switch to CP... Chloroquine; as gone over on WWM>
If not what would be best? The fish is still eating but I do not know for how long. thanks for your help.
<Need to move NOW... run through a pH adjusted freshwater bath enroute. Bob Fenner>

Chaetodon auriga reef safe?
Chaetodon auriga Aiptasia control and invert compatibility 6/1/11

I have an Aiptasia problem in my tank and was looking through your articles at the Chaetodon auriga fish. Is this reef safe? I can't tell your opinion from the articles. I have soft corals, LPS and SPS. No clams, a cleaner shrimp, tons of hermits and snails. 3 tangs, two tomato clowns all in a 180g. Let me know what
you think.
<<Hello Jeromy, as with many denizens in reef aquaria it really depends on your definition of 'reef safe,' as in what invertebrates make up your reef, but this species isn't very tolerable of most sessile life. The first thing I should note about Chaetodon auriga is that there is no guarantee it will assist in controlling your Aiptasia by feeding on it. Some will, many won't, and in my own experience and speaking with other aquarists, many anecdotes would point to other Chaetodontids being a much better choice in this area. It will definitely eat and nip at all of your tube worms and feather dusters (if you purposely house these) as well as have a large effect on your Polychaetes and other epifauna populations. This particular species also includes the polyps of many hermatypic corals in it's diet (your SPS), I have also personally seen them feed on Euphylliids (your LPS) in captivity. I have seen them in some mixed-reef set-ups but these were very large aquariums with lots of growth in which some nipping/predation would likely go unnoticed but in typically sized tanks it would be a problem. As for the article by Bob you mentioned, here is a direct quote I pulled from it, 'Reciprocally Chaetodon auriga "live and let live" with the excepting of edible non-vertebrates; they are definitely not for reef set-ups.' - Bob Fenner. Here is the article again for reference; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/auriga.htm .>>
<<Adam Jackson.>>
Re: Chaetodon auriga Aiptasia control and invert compatibility 6/1/11
Would a Copperband be better or the bristletail filefish for Aiptasia? Would you recommend the Auriga?
<<Hi again Jeromy, here is our article on WetWebMedia by Bob F regarding Aiptasia control, including biological control (fish and otherwise) that I think you should read (also the related FAQ's too);
Here are a few others as well;
As far as the purchase of a C. Auriga, I honestly think the percentages of it predating on your sessile invertebrates is likely higher than that of it eating your pest anemones, if not then they are definitely close to being equal. I would read the above and that should help you weigh which type of biological control, if any, best suits you. Also be sure to monitor your nutrient and dissolved organic levels as an abundance of these could/will lead to the proliferation of your pest anemones as well as other problems. Good luck!
-Adam J.>>

Re: stocking reef, Aiptasia contr. BFs    1/21/11
Thanks again for steering us away from Chaetodon trichrous. Bluezoo classified it as "intermediate" in care level, but they also classify the Copperband butterfly fish as "intermediate" and I know how touchy they are!
We are all set to order Chaetodon auriga, but are waiting for the latest wintery storm to pass for safer delivery. I have one last question that is probably ridiculous, but I had to check. Could we put 2 Aurigas in the 250 gallon?
<You could...>
Your article says only if collected together, but several question and answers say it's fine. I have a feeling that it is a big no, but wanted to check with you. We have a LOT of Aiptasia and wonder if one little fish can manage.
<Oh, one could... I'd get another Chaetodontid rather than two Threadfins... Likely a lunula/Raccoon>
The size options for the Auriga from Bluezoo were 1 1/2 to 3 inches or 3 to 5 inches.
<Mmm... three inches... not under two overall length>
We will order the smaller per your suggestion last e-mail.
Thanks again for the advice and hope I didn't push the envelope asking about 2 together!
I think I saw in a recent daily question you were diving in Cozumel.
Hubby and I are jealous...favorite vacation and dive spot.
<Ahh again! Am back, but headed al sur again to this island the end of next mo. w/ some other friends. BobF> 
Re: stocking reef, C. auriga / Aiptasia contr.    2/26/11

We purchased the small Chaetodon auriga at your suggestion for our horrible Aiptasia problem. We have been fighting the Aiptasia for at least two years and all of our live rock, the back wall, and some of the corals were covered with them. Some were as big as an inch plus in diameter. There were probably 3 or 4 Aiptasia on every square inch of live rock.
Three weeks after adding the Butterflyfish, they are gone!
We can not find one single Aiptasia anywhere. We are thrilled! The fish is eating commercial food, so I hope s/he continues to survive with the Aiptasia gone, but I can't tell you how amazed we are that this 3 inch fish cleaned out the tank in less than three weeks!
<Heeee! Oh, if only donuts were made of mostly water. Wait, beers are!!>
Thanks again
for all the help and for the suggestion.
<Thank you for this follow up report. BobF>

Auriga Butterfly Compatibility 5/10/08 I just recently put a 60g tank up. Right now the only thing in there are 5 hermit crabs, 1 emrald crab, a little blue green chormis (mostly to help with cycling the tank), I just put two of my inverts from a previous tank in after the 60g had been cycled for a month, they are a long spin urchin and a chocolate ship star. They both seem to be doing well. My plan is to place one more invert (from yet another established tank) in, and that is a bubble tip anemone, with a maroon clown. Can I place an auriga in if the bubble tip has a maroon to defend it? I know I would have to place the maroon in last due to territorial issues, so I would place the anemone in last as well. Also I would like to add one more fish to the mix at some point and that would be a volitan. Will they butterfly, volitan and auriga play nice? <Just like humans, fish are individuals. However, as a general rule, these should get along. Make sure the Butterfly is eating well before purchasing it.> Could a small volitan fit a medium sized maroon in its mouth? <yes> Also given the nature of the maroons disposition, would the volitan even try to eat it? <not likely if kept well fed> I have about 50 lbs of live rock in the tank with a lot of places to hide. I am running a very powerful canister filter which currently only had light carbon and light chemical filtration due to the lack of bio load currently in the lank, as well as a skimmer. I also have a quarantine tank that all my new animals go into, to minimize new disease to the tank. I just am concerned with those three fish being good, not only to themselves but to the inverts as well. Thanks for your help you all have been very helpful. <You are more than welcome Spencer> <<Thanks Curt -Sara M.>> Chaetodon Auriga compatibility 01/13/2008 To wet web media crew. <<Hello, Andrew here>> I would like to know what fish would get along with a threadfin Butterflyfish and two Ocellaris clowns. what colorful little fish would get along in a medium sized tank. thanks in advance, Eddie. <<These are a peaceful fish, so, any other peaceful fish which are suitable for your aquarium size>> <<Thanks for the question, A Nixon>>

Threadfin Butterfly/Disease 12/21/07 Hi <Hello> I have and 85 gallon salt water tank with protein skimmer and mega filter. Currently have a Scooter Blenny, a Cleaner Wrasse, a Tomato Clown and a little Hawaiian Wrasse. Water levels test out all good and yesterday after having my LFS also test I purchased a Threadfin Butterfly. He was fine for the first 24 hours. This morning he was covered in white spots, doesn't seem lethargic but obviously something is wrong. I turned off the regular lights and left on the purple light. <Ahh, no quarantine, now what? The butterfly should be given a freshwater dip first as they do respond well to this treatment. More than likely the fish has Cryptocaryon or ich. Do read the links below. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/fishdisho.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm James (Salty Dog)> Help Thanks Jim

Dead Auriga, no useful info.   11/6/07 hey guys <Hey guys?> I have a few questions that are dying to get an answer. I had been having trouble to keep my auriga to stay alive for some reason, so far I have 7 that died in the period of less than a year. <Yikes!> I purchase them from my LFS and for the first week, they seem to be fine, however, I would get back from work one day and they would lie on the bottom of my tank. I have a CPR skimmer, UV sterilizer, powerjet, 55 gal tank, 55 lb live rock, 50 live sand. I set up a moonlight so that I the auriga wouldn't stress too much, but I could never able to keep them from dying. sometimes when they die they became white and other time they are dark. Tin Sheen <How large were these specimens? Did you see them eat at the dealers? What re your water quality, what else lives there? Did the Thread-fins have their mouths open when you found them dead? There are a few possibilities here. One, your system is really too small for this species... Bob Fenner>

Re: Dead Aurigas, no useful info., NNS   11/07/07 they were graded as small at the LFS, they ate at the dealer, the swam great at their tank, I got them home, the ate fine for so long till the day they died. nitrate were sitting at around 15, ph 8 temp 77. I have 2 clowns 1 Valentini, some hermit, 1 star fish, 5 snails. the mouth was open on all of them. took it back to the LFS the said that he might have gotten infected since his stomach have a little scratch, but what about the other that died? of course I only have 1 or 2 at most in the tank. Tin <Nothing you've stated "jumps out" as a probable cause of repeated death... and the other life you list is fine I take it... I would try another supplier or species... Not Butterflyfishes as I've stated, this system is too small for Chaetodontids. BobF>

Auriga Butterflyfish, sys., comp.  10/26/07 Hi, <Hello, Scott V. here.> I have a 4x2x2 tank cycling at the moment with a very small amount of diy live rock. Filtration includes a canister filter, large internal filter, and I will soon be purchasing a hang on protein skimmer of sorts. My aim is for the aquarium to be a fish only tank; I'm more interested in the fish than in the corals. <Love that size tank! A good skimmer cannot be overrated for its ability to help maintain your system. The canister/internal filters can be used, but be aware they require frequent maintenance (cleaning). With DIY rock/external filters be sure to "seed" with pieces of true live rock (and even possibly sand from an existing system) and stock at a slow pace to allow your biological filtration to keep up. > The fish I want to base the aquarium around is a Threadfin Butterflyfish. I would love to have a tank full of them, and can't find answers anywhere on keeping them in a group. I'd love to have a group of Threadfins and nothing else in the tank. If this isn't possible, should I keep one or two Threadfins in the tank? <I would not put more than one in a tank. They do well in established tanks with good water quality. Good info about this fish on selection, care, water quality, etc. on the site. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/auriga.htm > I am worried that if they are a social fish in the wild and I go and put them alone in my tank they won't be as happy! Thanks in advance for your response, I'm awaiting it eagerly! Regards, Alex. <No worries Alex. You will have other fish in your tank to keep it company. It's great you have picked out the main fish you're interested in, now you can stock the tank around that fish according to its needs. Best of luck to you, thank you Scott V.>

Auriga Scratching  9/27/07 Hello Bob & Co, I come to you guys more often than I take my kids to the doctor!! My Auriga which is the only fish in my 60gal/60lbs/skimmer/FBD tank is scratching a lot and shaking her face. She tries to scratch around the area behind her eyes. No sign of white spots and she eats very well. I have a cleaner shrimp in the tank as well. I have a 10 gal QT tank. What should I do? 1. Dip/Bath and then to QT? 2. Lower SG of QT and then let him sit there for a while? 3.Copper etc? 4. Other? As always, thank you for all your help. -Gans <4... just observe for now. Bob Fenner>

Re: Auriga Scratching  9/30/07 Hi Bob, He was still scratching as of yesterday. Today he is acting very lethargic. Just hanging out in one place or the other without swimming much. Not his usual self for sure. Still takes food and eats it all. No spots or anything else in the body that I can see. Should I still stay put and observe? Thanks! Ganz <Yes. RMF>

Re: Auriga Scratching 10/1/07 He didn't make it Bob! Found him dead this morning. I am 2 1/2 months into this hobby and am off to a rough start. Killed 2 Henis by having them in a 10 gal qt tank, now the Auriga . Pretty depressing! Not sure if I should continue. If I do, should I wait a month before I add anything to the tank? <A good idea, yes> I just have snails, crabs and a shrimp in there. Thanks for all your help! Cheers Gans <Convert, re-direct the energy, feeling into progressive activity... READ before buying... BobF>

Newly Acquired Auriga Butterfly Won't Eat - 09/22/07 Greetings, <<Hello>> I have a 120 gallon, 100 pound live rock, Fish Only tank that was seeded from LR and sand from my former 55 gallon tank (upgraded). <<Neat>> I added a Euro-Reef RS135 PS and a Turbo Twist UV filter to the new setup. My new tank has been setup for a month now with no mentionable problems with NH4, NO3, and NO2 (PH is 8.3). <<Mentionable? If these readings are not zero…you have problems if you are introducing fish>> I purchased the first fish for the system, an Auriga Butterfly a couple of days ago (4 days ago). <<After only a month the system is still quite new/raw, seeded or not>> I can't seem to figure out what to feed the critter, as he does not have any interest in the flake or frozen food I offer. I have tried Clams, Shrimp, Flake, Squid and clip-on algae. <<I suggest you try some smaller frozen fare like Glass Worms and Mysis Shrimp…and try adding a vitamin enhancement product to this like Selcon as it also seems to stimulate the fish's interest. You can also try "fresh" Mussels or Clams (served in the shell) from the supermarket>> In fact he stays in hiding most of the time in the same spot in the tank. <<Mmm, this may be a result of its "newness to the system"…or a result of the "newness of the system">> When he does venture out, I find him grazing on the LR and once on the glass (could be eating Aiptasia). <<Possibly>> I have heard that this Butterfly is hardy, however, I fear the worst if mine does not eat soon. <<This species is quite appropriate for captive care…though there's the odd chance you have purchased a specimen that has been damaged during collection/transport. It's not all that unusual for newly acquired fishes to take a while to acclimate/begin feeding. If the newness of the system is not malaffecting the fish (do check those water parameters again as things may have changed with the addition of the fish to this young system), then give my feeding suggestions a try, to include adding a few "new" pieces of live rock for the fish to browse upon until it acclimates to the prepared foods>> I also have halted purchasing further fish until I feel comfortable with my current situation. <<Wise>> Any suggestions? <<As stated>> Best Regards, Scott B. <<Good luck with your Butterfly. EricR>>

Re: Newly Acquired Auriga Butterfly Won't Eat - 09/24/07 EricR, <<Scott>> Thank you for your advice. <<My pleasure>> I immediately purchased the Selcon additive and added it to frozen brine shrimp. <<And…?>> He became more interested and today pursued and ate the offering. <<Excellent…but do get the fish switched over to something nutritious soon, like the Mysis Shrimp and Glass Worms mentioned in our previous exchange>> I continue to look into my water parameters and nothing has spiked. NH4 reads 0, NO2 and NO3 read zero. <<Very good>> I will continue to hold off on more fish. <<Is best for now>> However, since I have your attention I have one more question. <<Okay>> Long term with this Butterfly fish which species makes sense to introduce next: Trigger, Angel (love the Regal, but my LFS says absolutely NO), Puffer, Hawkfish, Wrasse, Tang (love the Powder Blue but hear it is hard to keep). Suggestions? <<Hmm, were this me…maybe a Christmas Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus or another Halichoeres species…assuming a suitably deep and fine substrate is available), a Longnose Hawkfish (Oxycirrhites typus), a Gold-Rimmed Tang (Acanthurus japonicus…and not to be confused with the much less aquarium hardy Acanthurus nigricans), and finally, a Picasso Triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus, or one of the other Rhinecanthus species)…introduced in the order listed…and leaving the Angel and the Puffer to a larger system elsewhere>> Thank you again for your continued advice, Scott B. <<Happy to share. Eric Russell>>

Bump on my Auriga 9/6/07 Hello WWM Crew! My tank is 7wks old and water params are all ok. It's a 60gal/skimmer/FBD/LRock system. I have an Auriga for about 9 days in the tank now. She's eating everything and doing great but I see a small bump with some white icing like thing on top of the bump, in the area where her tail joins the body. I have attached a couple of pics but they are not that clear. <I see this> She gets in and out of the live rock a lot. She is showing no signs of illness at all but the bump is  noticeable. Not sure what to make out of it doc? The water temp has been in the 83-85 range for the last week as its been hot in SD. But the temp has finally come down. Cheers Gans <The water is a bit warm... and this volume is marginal... Does look to me like a sore, perhaps bacterially involved... resulting from a trauma... likely during capture, handling... I would look into antibiotic laden foods if this fish will accept them. Perhaps Thera A. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bump on my Auriga  9/7/07 Hi Bob! Thank you for the quick response. I looked around for Thera-A with antibiotics but they all say they are non-medicated. I am unable to find a medicated version of it with anti-biotics. http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_searchItem.aspx?IdCategory=&SearchText=thera%20a <Sorry re... I would add the antibiotic to this Spectrum product...> Do you want me to try just the Anti-Parasitic Formula? <No my friend... I would just add... per this sort of protocol: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/holedispd.htm Cheers Gans <And to you. BobF, who just got off the phone with friend/manufacturer Pablo Tepoot... we're all hauling out tog. for the CIPshow in Nov... and he mentioned that Thera only has garlic...>

Re: Bump on my Auriga - 09/14/07 Bob, You are a fish genius! The spot fell off as you said. Thanks! Gans
<Ah, good. Thank you for the update Gans. BobF>

Re: Bump on my Auriga   9/12/07 Hi Bob& Co, Good evening to you all! <And to you Gans> The bump on my Auriga has healed completely. I did not feed any anti-biotic. However there is a white thing latched to her tail and a smaller white thing on the top of her fin for the past 4 days. Pic attached. The fish itself is acting very normal and eats everything. I am confused if its Ich or something else? Its the only fish in the tank. Do I pull her into QT and start treatment or just wait and see. Thanks Gans <Is very likely simply "residual" material... that can/will fall off... Do you have plans to introduce a purposeful cleaner organism? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Auriga B/F changing stripes/colors at night    5/7/07 Hello All, <Hello Peter, Mich here.> I am fairly new to this hobby, but have certainly gained a quick passion for my saltwater fish.   <Welcome to the briny world!> I have searched your site to exhaustion to answer my following question to no avail. I have an auriga b/f whose stripes seem to thicken at night.   <Yes, many fish change colors at night.  I have been lucky enough to witness this phenomenon first-hand on the reef.  This nocturnal coloring allows the fish to blend in to the reef and helps the fish avoid predation.> More specifically, the rear of her body  seems to darken in the evening and sometimes she seems to be turning black.  Each morning though she seems to have returned to her original stripe thickness and color.   <This sounds like normal behavior to me.> I have been watching her intently for a while and she does flash occasionally and seems to have some small dark scrapes on her right "cheek".  Sorry no picture, but any idea what this may be? <The scrapes, possibly a physical injury of some sort.  Not likely anything to be concerned about.> Thanks in advance for your help. <Happy to help!  Mich> Peter Threadfin BF - Bubble tip Anemone advice 01-10-06 Hi folks!   <Peter> Thanks for all of your time and efforts in this noble cause. <Always glad to help.> I'm writing for some advice.  I currently have a 75gal bowfront mixed reef tank with 30gal sump.  It's been up and running and successful now for almost 2 years.  I recently decided to venture into the mini-reef club so purchased a small 16 gal with 10gal sump.  In my larger tank, I have: 1 10in or so bubble tip anemone with a maroon clown symb., a flame angel, a small clam, some yellow button polyps, and some green star polyps.  After doing some research on stocking this small tank, I have decided I would like to get a threadfin for the larger tank.  Ideally, I would like to move all of the inverts, except the anemone, to the small tank and maybe add a single royal Gramma for color. QUESTION:  What would you say the success rate would be for keeping the bubble tip and a threadfin butterfly in the 75gal tank? <50-50> Is the butterfly likely to feast on the anemone? <It is completely a fish by fish basis.> I've read good things about these fish but am not willing to sacrifice the anemone. Is there a good chance of success? <Your chances would be better if you forgot about the threadfin.> Also, do you think the Gramma choice is a good one for the small tank or would you suggest another species that would be better suited for such small confinement? <The Gramma would be fine or you could go with one of the smaller blennies.> And finally, I'm thinking about using just a 30W Coralife PC 50/50 fixture.  Would the above mentioned inverts (clam) be ok in such a small tank with this amount of light or should I get something a little more powerful - and if so, what do you suggest for a 20" wide tank? <You will definately need more light for the clam. The polyps may be fine, as long as this is a fairly shallow tank.> Thanks again for all of your continued help.  It truly has been priceless. Warm regards, Peter   <Happy reefing, Travis>

Threadfin/disease 10/12/05 Hey guys. Can you tell me what to treat my threadfin b/f with, if after two weeks there is no visual signs (white spots) of a parasite and he's constantly twitching and scratching off rocks?  <Doesn't necessarily mean the fish doesn't have it just cause you can't see it.>  I don't want to use copper because of how strong it is. What meds should I use to treat for just "bugs" I guess you could say? Not sure of what else it could be if there are no spots. Water quality is great and plenty of oxygen along with all other parameters being right on point.  <Copper is by far the most effective treatment. As long as you use a test kit to insure a safe and effective dose (0.015-0.020), you shouldn't have a problem using it. A test should be done on a daily basis during treatment, which should last a minimum of 21 days @ 80 degrees. James (Salty Dog)> <<Please read on WWM re copper and test kit use. What has been stated here is too scant to be of use. RMF>>

Auriga Butterfly compatibility 6/29/05 hey, <Howdy!> I was actually wondering if the auriga butterfly would harm or eat the pencil urchin or skunk shrimp.  Sorry for the mix-up. mike <No worries... the urchin is very safe, the shrimp likely so. Anthony>

Auriga "Threadfin" butterflyfish compatibility? 6/18/05 One quick question...Will an Auriga Butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga) be compatible with cleaner shrimp and a pencil urchin?  I saw on several sites that this fish "can, but with caution" be kept with inverts. Thanks a bunch! mike <This fish is far and away one of the hardiest and most suitable butterflies for aquarium life. They will be safe with urchins and most other inverts. Shrimp may be at risk here... but no more than they already are from other common/popular reef fishes like tangs. A small risk indeed. Anthony> Threadfin butterfly fish Greetings. Thanks for all the help and advice that the crew gives. I have a 55 gallon marine tank with 60 lbs. of live rock and about 2" of crushed coral substrate. The tank is about 7 months old and the only fish that I have added so far are a pair of Percula clown fish which were added about 2 weeks ago. I have lots of invertebrates incl. snails, small blue hermits, brittle and serpent starfish, a few different crabs, cleaner shrimp, and mushroom corals. I also have a fairly large bubble anemone that is home to the clownfish. My first question is I would like to add a threadfin BF to my set-up. A fellow marine tank friend had one and it killed his pink tipped anemone. It started by blowing on the anemone to steal it's food. Eventually it started to bite the tentacles of the pink tip. The pink tip ended up moving for shelter and eventually perished. Does this sound common for this type of BF fish? <Can happen with Chaetodon auriga, other Butterflyfish species> I am a little concerned with this type of BF and my anemone. <Not likely with your clownfish guarding it... but a 55 gallon system is really too small to house a Threadfin for very long> My second question is after the BF addition I would like to finish the stocking of my tank as follows: one hippo tang, and either a flame or coral beauty angel, would this work size wise and community wise? <These are good choices, but... your system is really too small for any of these additions period. In fact, if it were twice the size, I would encourage you to stop at adding just one or two of these fishes> which order would be best? <Either the tang or ONE of the dwarf angels in any order IF the system were larger> Thanks again for any comments you may have. Dean <Thank you for your query, concern. Bob Fenner> - Twitching Fish - Hi. <Hello, JasonC here...> I was in my marine fish store today and they had a beautiful threadfin butterfly fish. <Neat.> I was tempted to buy him (he would be my first butterfly) but upon watching him I noticed that every few seconds his head or ventral fins would twitch.  Physically he looked fine, fins intact, color vivid, no red, blotchy, or otherwise strange looking areas.  What would cause this behavior? <Hard to say for certain, but my guess [as I've seen my fish do this too] is that is like a big stretch... like when you wake up in the morning.> I assume I was prudent in not purchasing him. <I don't think it means anything is wrong with the fish.> Had I not studied carefully I wouldn't have seen the odd motions. Any thoughts/comments would be appreciated. <If you are uncertain, perhaps put a deposit on the fish and let it stay at the store another week or two, but I wouldn't be concerned.> Thanks, Patrick <Cheers, J -- >

Chaetodon auriga & Magazine Abbreviations Hi, I am doing a research paper for one of my classes here in Hawaii, and I saw your web page has some good information on the CHAETODON AURIGA. I am able to use one web page as a source, but the rest need to be books and journals. In your Bibliography, I saw you used a few books and then a bunch of TFH stuff. I was wondering if you could please email me and tell me exactly what those sources are? I am really desperate to find information and I don't have much time. Whatever you can tell me would be great. Thank you very much for your time. Adriana Eskinasy <TFH is an abbreviation for Tropical Fish Hobbyist, which is a monthly magazine. Other abbreviations are FAMA-Fish water And Marine Aquarium magazine and AFM-Aquarium Fish Magazine. -Steven Pro (one of the WWM crew)

Chaetodon auriga II Hi, Thanks for the reply!!! I think I made a mistake in my email, I was wanting to know if you could tell me the exact dates and or issues of the magazines or books that you used for the web page on the "Chaetodon auriga." I need to get the source myself so I can use it for my paper. If you are able to do so that would be great!! <They are all listed in the bibliography at the bottom of the webpage, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/auriga.htm The books have the corresponding page numbers and the magazines have the dates. -Steven Pro> Thanks again, Adriana

Threadfin Butterfly Hi Bob - I was wondering if you could comment on the suitability of a threadfin (auriga) butterfly fish for my tank (my girlfriend has decided she likes it)...?  <I don't know her> I have 48" 55 gallon f/o tank with a Percula clownfish, hepatus tang, six-line wrasse, and a neon goby. The wrasse has been in about 4 months, the others 8-12. I have read various minimum tank size recommendations ranging from 55-80 gallons. <This is so> If the threadfin is ok, does that pretty much reach the stocking limit? I am also considering a flame angel and/or a second clownfish as alternatives. <Please read, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/auriga.htm re this species, and the FAQs beyond. Bob Fenner> Thanks - Keith

Bully Butterflyfish Hi Bob! <Hi Greg, Lorenzo Gonzalez responding for Bob, who's still in Asia.> I am pretty new to the hobby of saltwater fish, but I just love it. My problem is, as I see a common one from reading all the FAQs at your website. Basically it is misleading info given to me at my LFS, or more like one of two that I have in my area to rely on. I have basically two problems; (1) this one I have already solved on my own thanks to your great website!! (if only I had found it 1 week earlier, as I only found it 3 days ago. The problem was what is a good efficient cleaner for the fish in my tank. My mistake was buying three cleaner wrasses, only to read your article on them , along with talking to someone at the other LFS I have access to( who by the way , takes your point of view on them exactly), the problem now is my tank is a fish-only tank, 120 gal., with lots of coral, (none living, just decorative, fake, and real that was acquired over 15 years ago knowing 1 day, I would eventually start my tank. I mention this because I am well aware of the environmental concerns that exist now, and agree with it wholeheartedly.) and LR. To get them out of the tank would take an enormous amount of destroying the setup, and stressing out the other fish at the same time, which I don't really want to do! Do I just let them perish, and hope for the best, or do I Tear down my tank, and hope not to do anymore stressful damage to the rest of the inhabitants, the reason I ask this is because, I can't remember if I read it on your site, or somewhere else, that they may themselves stress out some of the other inhabitants by their constant attempts at cleaning the fish. This in turn could lead to other stress related problems with the other fish.  <Yes, all you say above is potentially a problem. However, your cleaners, if you take them out, will just end up in somebody else's tank, where they might well be worse off. Many folks find that their cleaners will eat the frozen gumbos offered the other fish, and they survive fine that way. 3 cleaner wrasse to a tank is rather outrageous, though, as they aren't exactly 'schoolers', to bit it mildly. If you can catch at least one of two of them, that'd be great. I they get accustomed to a net sitting in the tank for a couple days, you may be able to scoop one or two up at feeding time?> (2) My other question is, I think, a bit unusual. I have in my community tank, an Auriga Butterfly, about mid-sized, the kind that has the black spot on it's top fin. ( I know 2 types exist depending on where they came from). The problem is he is a real bully, and rough with a lot of my cleaner crew. So far he has attacked, and chewed off the antennas on my mid-sized coral banded shrimp, about 1 day after he molted. The shrimp had plenty of hiding space, but somehow the butterfly still got at him. Then he attacked, and finished off 2 of 3 small snails I purchased together. Then attacked, and killed a cleaner shrimp that I purchased within 1 day, and now I have big turbo snails, and I mean on the big side for a turbo snail, and he is going after those guys, and actually pulling these guys right off of the glass, when he nips at their shell, or tries to get underneath the shell at the actual shell. Now everyone seems surprised because while they are supposed to eat soft corals, and such, the fact that he is attacking, to the point of killing all my cleaner crew, has got me to not like him very much anymore, because I know of the big importance of all my little cleaner guys. Is he doing this because he is maybe not getting enough food, or is he just an Auriga Butterfly with a very big attitude that will just keep being trouble!!! Please help, especially with my second question. I thank you greatly in advance, and hope to hear from you soon! Keep up the great work with your very informative website that I know regard as the best one out there!!! <That IS certainly unusual, as others have already opined. But fish, and especially the big smart ones, definitely develop 'personalities'. If you don't get along with that Auriga, sell if back! Regards, Lorenzo> Greg.

Help - auriga butterfly scratching  Your book encouraged me to try a auriga butterflyfish for the first time.  I've got this Threadfin Butterflyfish for about 3 weeks. She is in a 55g  tank by herself now, the tank has been up for 9 months. She was in the  store for 3 weeks before I brought her home. In the first 2 weeks there were no  signs of scratching, but she started scratching 2 days ago. The scratching is not too bad, I've 've seen only a few times every evening. There is no  physical evidence of ich or anything that I can see.  I know the LFS keeps a low dosage of copper in all their tanks to keep  parasites in check. But the fish didn't't show any sign in the first 2 weeks I got her. Should I be alarmed and do anything right now? <What? No mention of even a freshwater dip/bath? Do not trust anyone to quarantine, treat new livestock... For all the time the fish was at the dealer's it was likely continuously exposed to pathogens... and they can be/are transferred just in the water livestock is moved in...> I just hope this  time I don't wait till I've too late. Do Butterflyfishes get ich, or is it always Marine Velvet? <Definitely both... Read over the butterflyfishes, disease, quarantine, dip sections posted on the www.wetwebmedia.com site>  For the first 2 weeks the fish only ate live blackworms. She just started  eating raw shrimp 3 days ago. With a more varied diet, could I hope (is it likely) that her immune system gets stronger and kick whatever parasite by herself? Or is that just wishful thinking? <Both>  Please help me decide the right course of action. It's been so hard to get  any specimen that would eat so well, it'd be a real shame if I loose her by my fault. <Others are ancillary... collectors, middle-people, the dealer... all have to do their part in a chain of supply... But/and these are tough fish... should rally if specimen isn't too impugned, system is optimized... I'd read over sections on biological cleaners and environmental manipulation as well on the WWM site>  Thanks. <And thank you for caring, writing. Bob Fenner> 

Butterflyfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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