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FAQs on Chelmon Butterflyfishes Compatibility

Related Articles: Chelmon ButterflyfishesFoods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related FAQs: Chelmon Butterflies 1, Chelmon Butterflies 2, Chelmon Identification, Chelmon Behavior, Chelmon Selection, Chelmon Systems, Chelmon Feeding, Chelmon Disease, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Using Chelmons as Aiptasia Controls, Butterflyfish Identification, Butterflyfish Foods/Feeding/NutritionButterflyfish Compatibility, Butterflyfish Behavior, Butterflyfish Systems, Butterflyfish Selection, Butterflyfish Disease,

Can be harassed even by small damsels

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

Need Help with Copperband Butterfly, fdg., comp...  10/2/13
Hi Crew,
I recently purchased a CBB from Diver's Den and it was reportedly eating enriched Mysis and brine very well before being shipped to me.  It arrived healthy and well adjusted, unphased by the other fish in my tank, but would not readily eat prepared foods.
<Typical behavior for the genus Chelmon, recently moved...>
  I spent a week trying SF Bay Mysis, Marine Cuisine, Rod's food, and PE Mysis. After reading through your site I finally decided to try blood worms (it had been picking at hitchhiking feather dusters but not Aiptasia in my tank), which finally did the trick, and I also added in Spirulina brine shrimp since it was feeding on enriched bring at Live Aquaria.
<Good moves>
 For the last week it has been eating a few blood worms and at least one piece of either Mysis or brine at each feeding. 
I'm currently feeding a mix of foods 3x per day, soaked in Vita-Chem, AngeLixer, and garlic, and its eating a little bit at every feeding.  But its still getting skinnier (I do plan to treat the tank with PraziPro tomorrow just in case parasites are present).  I think part of the problem is that it is such a slow and deliberate feeder compared to my other fish who are all very voracious eaters (fairy wrasses, melanurus wrasse, tilefish, mimic tang, clownfish, lyretail Anthias, Chromis, blenny, watchman goby, tiny Kole tang - 90g + 20g sump and 160+lbs of live rock, established almost 2 years). 
<Ah yes... maybe you can/could move this B/F to a less vigorous setting for a while... a sump, refugium?>
For example, I fed 4 cubes of various frozen food this morning (2 Mysis, 1 Spirulina brine, 1 bloodworm) and it was all gone in less than 3 minutes - the CBB got a few blood worms and a piece of shrimp but that was it.  It will see other pieces of food and start to move towards them but inevitably a wrasse or the tilefish swoops in and grabs it before the CBB can even get close.  I'm now turning off the pumps so that the food doesn't move around so quickly but I still don't think the CBB is getting enough to eat to sustain it, even when its being fed 3x per day.  I've also heard that bloodworms are about as innutritious as brine (is this true?)
<Can be about the same as Artemia... both vary widely in content>
so I'm not sure its getting much of anything nutrient-wise, even though I am soaking in Vita-Chem.  I'm wondering if there is anything else that I can do to increase the CBB's intake without removing it from the tank?
<Put in a divider for a few weeks... screening out the other fishes. You can buy or fashion such... there is a FAQs file on the root/marine web on WWM re "dividers" for input>
 I don't think clams would work out in my tank as I'm pretty sure the melanurus would rip into it before the CBB even had a chance to think about eating it.
<Worth trying though; I would>
 And I'm a little reluctant to feed 4x a day - my other fish are getting really fat and although my water quality seems to be holding its own for even I've increased the amount of waste in the tank substantially by feeding 3x as much as I used to, I don't know how much more my live rock can take before I start getting substantial algae outbreaks (running a reef octopus skimmer rated for 200g and using a GFO reactor, + 15% water changes weekly).  Are these reasonable concerns?
 Any advice or guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated!
<Try (once the fish is separated from the others), introducing foods via a feeding tool (wood, plastic tongs, chop sticks...) a few times daily>
Thank you!
<Welcome. Please do report back your further experiences, observations. Bob Fenner>
Re: Need Help with Copperband Butterfly   10/3/13

Thank you for your quick reply, Bob!  I will look into dividers and see what I can fashion.
<Something chemically inert... again, the ref. on WWM>
 I do have a smaller tank I could move it to,
<Mmm, not too small... >
 but am concerned it will get bullied on returning it to the tank as a single fish (I introduced it with 4 other fish, all from Divers Den, to reduce aggression towards it).  Though I will move it if needed.  In the mean time, are there particular brands of blood worms that you would recommend that are more nutritious than others?
<Am a giant fan of both the TMC Gamma and Hikari lines... have not heard much re other people's>
 And/or is there a better or additional food soak I could use?
<The SeaChem Vitality, Selcon, MicroVit are faves>
I will definitely keep you posted on what happens and will go ahead and try the clams as well!
<Thank you, BobF>

Copperband butterfly stopped eating, comp. issue      7/6/12
Hello all,
   I have had a Copperband for about two or three months that I bought from the pet store. A few days after getting it he tried some Mysis and had eating that ever since.
<Mmm, needs a wider diet... Try smallish Spectrum pellets as a staple for all is my suggestion>
    Yesterday, however, I added two new fish (mystery wrasse and royal gramma).
<Mmm, may be/come territorial; esp. toward each other>
Then the butterfly stopped eating and has been facing the same piece of rock in the tank most of the time I look at him. I couldn't find out if this is part of the butterfly behavior or not.
<A "Beta" signal... subdominant, submissive>

 I hope I didn't ruin all my progress. The first day he picked at a couple pieces but then he stopped looking at them all together. Though he is more active when food is put in the tank.
Old tank mates are clownfish (2) and a mandarin and nothing is picking on the CB that I can see.
Do I take out the new fish? 
<Maybe; or the Chelmon>
Or just let it go and give him some more time to adjust?
<If it doesn't resume feeding w/in a week, I would act>
  It might just be behavioral but I have never seen fish act like that. Any advice, as always, is appreciated.
75 gal

Water nitrates 5ppm 0 ammo 0 nitrite
35 ppt salt
78 degrees temp
7dkh alk (I know it's a bit low but I've been working on it)
Ph 8.3/4 ( maybe due to alk buffer)
Calcium 540ppm
<Too high... I'd keep under 450>

Magnesium 1400
<Bob Fenner>

Acreichthys tomentosus question, comp. w/ Banggais 12/2/10
Dear crew,
Thank you for the service that you provide. My boys and I enjoy your website daily.
<Ahh, welcome!>
I have been able to raise 12 Banggai Cardinalfish babies to 1" size.
I am currently housing them in a 75 gallon tank until I can sort out who may be interested in pairing up. The aquarium has an assortment of macroalgae, live rock, and some mangroves. I was wondering if it would be safe to house a pair of 2.5" and 4" Bristletail Filefish, Acreichthys tomentosus, and a 4" Copperband Butterfly in the same aquarium or if the babies would be in danger.
Thanks for any help you can provide,
<Mmm, well, this File species has fallen out of "darling" status as a pest anemone control... I have seen it chasing other fishes in the wild... I'd go w/ the Chelmon but leave out the Acreichthys myself. Bob Fenner>
Re: Acreichthys tomentosus question 12/2/10
Thanks for the quick response. Would larger peaceful fish such as Dispar Anthias or McCosker's Flasher Wrasse be better tankmates for the Bristletail Filefishes or would they incur some chasing from them also?
<Mmm, for wanting to principally raise and not disturb the Banggais, I'd go w/ something/s more placid.>
Would the Bristletails cause too much stress for the Copperband?
We want to do all we can to provide a low-stress home for the Copperband to aid in it's survival.
Thanks again,
<Welcome. B>

Tang vs. Butterfly 'Aggression Toward Newcomer -- 08/11/10
Evening Crew,
<<Hey Chris>>
I purchased a copper band butterfly fish today to combat the Aiptasia in my tank.
Unfortunately my purple tang has developed a hate on for him and has been chasing him around for the past couple of hours.
<<Not unusual among aggressive species, but often subsides after a bit. I'm guessing the Purple Tang is the alpha-fish in this system (I have a specimen of Acanthurus leucosternon that does the same, to any new additions).
I'm hoping that this is just part of establishing a pecking order.
<<Very often, yes>>
Do you think it will stop or will I have to remove the tang to allow the butterfly to establish himself?
<<This is one possibility, but in my experience Chelmon rostratus is able to fit in with most any Tang species--after a bit of 'laying down the law' from the already established tank inhabitants, of course. As long as there is no physical harm occurring I would give it a day or two for the aggression to calm down (in these instances, things often settle down after only a few hours). If problems persist beyond this (or worsen at any time), then a 'time-out' for the Tang will be in order--though be aware this is no guarantee in itself that these too will then get along>>
Let me know your thoughts.
<<Have done so>>
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Australian CB in hiding, BF comp.  - 8/1/10
Hello...We purchased a healthy Copperband (4-5 inches) about 2 weeks ago for our 75 gallon saltwater tank. Our Raccoon Butterfly immediately was VERY aggressive with the CB and eventually the CB found an isolated hiding place in the corner of our tank.
<Mmm, there may not be enough psychological space for both BFs here>
The Raccoon Butterfly has slowly eased up on the behavior towards the CB.
The CB is eating fine. However, it stays confined to the corner of the tank. The RB is king of the tank and swims over to the CB's corner sometimes, but it is uneventful now. There are no other aggressive fish in the tank. The RB has only shown this behavior towards the CB and no other fish.
<They "occupy" the same ecological niche... are perceived competitors for food, room>
Will the CB ever start to roam the tank?
Or will it be a permanent fixture in the hidden corner. The CB does seems to rise to the top water surface in his corner (out of hiding) when the lights are off. But goes back low in hiding when the lights come on. Should
we just wait this out, realize that this is where the fish will stay hidden, or try something else? Thanks so much.
<If you had another established system I'd move one of these Chaetodontids to it... is there a larger tank in your, their future? Bob Fenner>

Copperband Butterfly death. Compatibility.  6/1/10
Hi everyone.
<Hello Brian>
This is a great website and a wonderful source of information, thank you all!
<T'anks back!>
I purchased a Copperband Butterfly on Apr. 26th which looked healthy when I bought him. I did ask the LFS to feed him and he ate well there.
<Good protocol, but did you quarantine the fish as well?>
I understand the Copperbands poor track record in captivity.
I also understand Brine Shrimp is virtually useless as far as nutrition goes, but that's all he would eat. He did eat Mysis when I offered it about a week ago.
<This is a much better food>
He also would pick on the live rock often.
<Sounds ok so far>
Tank is 75 gallons, about 45 pd.s. of live rock with skimmer. Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are zero. Salinity 1.023 <A bit low> and PH 8.2. He was doing well until last Friday when I introduced a Yellow Belly Regal Tang, about 4 inches,
<75 gallons is far too small for this fish, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracsysfaqs.htm
and again -- no quarantine?>
roughly the same size as the Copperband. The Regal would harass him a bit but not too aggressively.
<Most of this aggression is 'subliminal' -- messages be'twixt the fishes that we cannot see>
The Copperband started breathing rapidly and so did the Tang actually. I assumed it was due to stress. There were no signs of parasites at all.
<Heavy breathing can be a sign of both stress and parasites>

Copperband ate well up until the day before it died, his breathing quickened even more and I had a feeling it wouldn't be long. My question is, what do you think could of caused his death? I'm guessing its either due to stress from the tang,
<This, yes. The tang needed/ needs more space. The Copperband should have been the largest fish in this volume. It is no coincidence that as soon as you added the Tang, the problems with the Butterfly began.>
poor nutrition from eating only brine shrimp
<Unless you saw some thinning of the Butterfly, particularly around the head, this is not likely the cause in such a short space of time. You state he has been picking on the live rocks and eating Mysis also>
and essentially starving even though it was eating a lot of it or maybe it caught something internal from the Tang.
<If he has caught anything it is more likely to be external parasites, crypt et. Al. External parasites will infest the gills first, where you can't see them, making breathing difficult for the fish. Since you make no mention of quarantine anywhere here I am assuming that it has not been done>
The Tang still breathes very rapidly, albeit with no signs of parasites.
<As stated, this is a potential sign>

Could the breathing be due to his activity?
<Either, and/ or both. He is stressed from being in such a small setting. This will not change, only get worse. The delicate Copperband probably could not stand being in the same small 'pen' as this 'horse of a fish'>.
He has boundless energy and eats like a horse. The whole ordeal has been quite discouraging to say the least. Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
<I think you need to get a bigger tank (six foot at least), or return the Tang for credit. And quarantine all your fishes in future. Have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-10/sp/feature/index.php >
Thanks in advance.
<No problem>
Re: Copperband Butterfly death. Compatibility.   6/2/10

<Hello Brian>
Thanks for the advice.
I'll be taking the Tang back to my LFS. I've read and heard so much conflicting information regarding tank size for these creatures.
<Yes, these and many others as well>
I did read over WWM for hours on end and I feel I'm getting a better understanding of the hobby overall. And I will be setting up a quarantine tank soon.
Are there any Tangs that are suitable to a 75 gallon tank or is it just too small?
<At an uncrowded push you might be ok with one of the smaller Ctenochaetus tangs, such as the Kole, but really I do think this is too small a setting for any Tang.>
Thanks again!
<No problem>

Copperband and Mandarin Compatibility -- 03/20/10
Hi WWM Crew,
<<Greetings Steve>>
I looked over your web site and could not find a specific answer to my question, so here goes. First off, my set up (main tank) is a 120g Oceanic with dual over flows down to my 55g refugium. The main tank has about 4" sand bed CaribSea and 140# Vanuatu LR, lighting is 150 W MH/T5 and blue and white LED. The system has been up for 1 yr now with no issues. The fuge has about 6" sand bed crushed coral and about 100# LR, also housed is my UV/skimmer/200w heater/500gph return pump. The tank is along side a common wall to my garage, so I plumbed all PVC through the wall and into the garage where the refugium is located.
<<Ah, nice 'having room to easily access the peripherals sure makes maintenance of these easier (I have to get on my knees and work in the very cramped confines below my in-wall system 'but I digress [grin])>>
Water parameters are perfect, no detection of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/SG 1.024/79F with heat controlled chiller.
Livestock from beginning of setup: 1 blue tang/1 yellow tang/1 mandarin/2 Anthias
<<The Anthiines are haremic'¦generally groups of three or more are suggested>>
/7 green Chromis/1 clown/1 Pseudochromis/1 neon goby/1 Naso tang
<<This many Tangs; and particularly the 'Blue' and Naso, are going to need bigger quarters to avoid health/social issues further down the road>>
/1 cleaner shrimp/1 peppermint shrimp. The tank has various corals doing quite well along the arches I created with the rock.
I have no anemones.
The tank is thriving with many little creatures/stars and many others that have come out of the rock and that I believe the Mandarin eats.
<<Mmm'¦probably not as diverse a palate as you think. If you watch the Mandarin feed you will notice it likes to 'study' its prey before consuming. As such, any 'fast movers' are in little danger. Harpacticoid Copepods are a favorite 'along with other benthic organisms slow and/or small enough to catch>>
I never see him eat,
but all fish including him are very healthy and round not skinny.
I feed frozen mixtures (Mysis/emerald entree/pellet/flake etc.).
<<The only thing here the Mandarin 'might' eat would be the frozen Mysis'¦but you should see it doing so if it is. Even in a system as large as yours, and supported by the plankton-producing refugium, it is not unusual for these fish to slowly starve if they won't accept supplemental feedings. But perhaps 'in this case yours is finding enough natural fare>>
The question: will a Copperband butterfly (if introduced) compete with the food the Mandarin consumes?
<<Not to a large extent directly, in my experience. The Copperband will prefer larger fare like adult Mysis and other similar sized crustaceans (pods) as well as worms too large for the Mandarin (to sometimes include small Bristleworms, and any Feather Dusters you might have). The tiny Harpacticoid Copepods will not be in danger from the Copperband, but its predation on the adults of the other species mentioned may well impact the availability of enough 'juvenile' specimens to supplement the Mandarin's diet. And like the Mandarin, if the Copperband can't find enough natural food stuffs (unlikely to do so in the long term), and doesn't accept supplemental feedings (many don't), it too will slowly starve>>
Do they eat the same food?
<<Generally not direct competitors for the natural are available 'but may impact indirectly as described (as do the Pseudochromis and Goby, already)>>
I'm worried that the Copperband will starve my mandarin.
<<I can't say if the Copperband will 'tip the balance' here re the availability of sufficient food organisms for the Mandarin. But I do think you are at good risk of tipping the balance of the entire system with this addition. As stated, I think you are already 'overstocked' re the Tangs>>
I want him to help with Aiptasia control as well as aesthetics.
<<Newly introduced specimens will often do so at first (but even then only 'small' Aiptasia are usually preferred). But most will eventually stop actively preying upon these pest anemones in captivity. Better to directly attack the problem in my opinion 'and Aiptasia-x from Red Sea does a great job here. The product is effective (but still no panacea) and very easy to use as 'injection' is not required. Even if you do decide to get the Copperband (hopefully only after thinning out those Tangs [e.g. -- Naso]), I very much suggest you treat as many pest anemones as you can with the Aiptasia-x prior to its introduction to help it in its battle (assuming it even shows interest re)'¦don't worry, there will still be plenty you miss/little ones springing up>>
Thank you,
Steve S.
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
Re: Copperband and Mandarin Compatibility, Aiptasia contr. f'  -- 03/26/10

Thank you for the reply, very much appreciated!!
<<Quite welcome Steve>>
I have decided to forgo the butterfly and use Aiptasia-X to control these pesky buggers.
<<Ah'¦wise choice I think. You will find the Aiptasia-X to be extremely easy to apply versus most other similar products. But still, it is no panacea (one does not exist) and will require you to 'keep up' with these pest anemones (i.e. -- don't expect to apply it once and forget about it)'¦but I assure you it is the most effective commercial product of its kind that I have come across in more than 30 years in the hobby and will make these pests at least 'manageable.' Cheers, EricR>>

Copperband and Longnose Butterfly Compatibility -- 07/22/09
Hi there,
<<Hey Aaron>>
You all are the best source out there for this hobby by far.
<<Thanks 'we appreciate the kind words>>
I have been looking all over for an answer but couldn't find anything.
Would a Copperband (about 3" healthy, been in the tank for about 2 months and the latest addition) get along with a new Longnose BF (Smaller, say 2-3").
I have a mildly stocked 125 gallon tank with live sand and live rock. If you need all the specifics I can give you them, but in general do you think this could work or would they pick on each other?
<<There are general rules of thumb, but 'compatibility' among fishes in an aquarium can be a very tricky thing. Many factors come in to play (e.g. -- size of the environment, availability of food, method/order of introduction, etc.), not the least of which is the individual 'personalities' and tolerances of the selected fishes themselves 'both of which often change with time and maturity. The size/length of the tank is to your advantage here, but adding the Longnose would still be a gamble. If you can remove the Copperband to other quarters for a couple days just before adding the Longnose, and then introduce/reintroduce both at the same time, you would increase the odds of a successful cohabitation. But either way, if you are prepared to remove one or the other should things turn too ugly 'I would give the Longnose a try with the Copperband
Thank you so much for all your help.
<<Is a pleasure to assist'¦ EricR>>

Copperband & Tube Nems/Copperband Butterfly/Compatibility 6/17/09
Hello Crew,
<Hi Bernie>
I love your site as it is so helpful to marine enthusiasts.
<Thank you.>
I just have one real quick question as I do <not?> seem to find a direct answer to it. I have a 92 gal reef tank, mainly LPS w <with> some softies & SPS here & there... I want to add a Copperband Butterfly ( I have done some research & am doing some more on this delicate fish) to be my show fish along w <with> a Foxface I already have. However, I have a purple and green tube nem <anemone> that is about 6-7" across that I cherish as I have had it for approx 3 years & it was my first non fish addition to my tank. If I add a CBBF, will it eat my prized tube nem <anemone>?
<Copperband Butterfly Fish are unique individuals, and much like choosing a chocolate out of a box, you won't know what you have until you get it. Some will nip the tips of corals and anemones, some will not. All Copperbands will devour Polychaete worms.
They are also a timid fish and should not be placed in a system with aggressive fish. The risk will be yours to take.>
Thank you in advanced for your answer.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Bernie H.C.

Stocking Advice, reef... Actually Zebrasoma and Chelmon comp. Hey Crew, Stocking question for ya, <Ya?> I have a 150 gallon reef that housed a beautiful Copperbanded Butterfly for about 6 months until I added a Yellow Tang and a Red Sea Sailfin Tang. They all got along great for about 2-3 weeks, when one day the Sailfin started seriously tormenting the Copperbanded. Sadly the Copperbanded died within 2 days before I could get him out. I used to feed the Copperbanded fresh live clams and mussels bought from the grocery store (it was the only things I could get him to eat), needless to say, he was very healthy from this diet. The newly introduced Sailfin also enjoyed the clams and mussels very much. They would actually share/take turns picking at the shellfish (I would split the shells open and place them in the tank whole). <I do know this "trick", but thanks for mentioning> Just before the Copperbanded died, I did notice that he stopped eating. My guess is that the Sailfin decided he was tired of sharing/competing for the clams/mussels and determined that the Copperbanded had to go. Although the Sailfin and the Yellow share Nori on a clip and the Sailfin doesn't bother the Yellow over that (for the most part the Yellow would only nip at the clams/mussels when no one else was around), so I'm a bit baffled. This was a hardy Copperbanded IMO, he had shared shellfish with Angels in the past (Flame, Regal - both have since been removed due to reef compatibility), and was able to hold his own, as I witnessed him frequently flipping on his side and flaring his pectoral fins to fend off the aggressive angel (Flame). He never had to fend off the Sailfin, not once did I witness flared pectorals. I really love the Copperbanded, definitely one of my favorite fish. I would like to try to add another back into the system and am wondering how to go about it. <I wouldn't try here> I figure if I find a Copperbanded eating with vigor something other than live clams/mussels, I would try to introduce it. I also discontinued the feeding of the shellfish on the shell, maybe once in a while I will chop up the shellfish and feed that way. Again, I am feeling like the manor <Like Bruce Wayne's?> in which I was feeding caused the problem, if I stick with dumping food into the tank with more of the faster feeding frenzy, this would help. <Perhaps, but not likely that a Chelmon will/would get along with this particular Zebrasoma> I wouldn't think that a Sailfin would kill a Copperbanded for any other reason as they don't really look/act alike. Can more than one Copperbanded be kept in a 150 gallon? <Have seen this done> I have heard that they may to better in groups. <Mmm, no... the most ever I've seen together above/below water is two> Quick side question, I am considering adding another Tang to the group as well as the Copperbanded (if that works out), you would think that I could add one of the following as they are not congeners with the existing group: Naso lituratus, Purple, Kole, or Tomini. Wondering if I should add one of these at the same time I try another Copperbanded to minimize the potential bothering of a single animal. I appreciate you advice. Thanks. -Chris <Good idea re "dithering" here, but I don't think this will work out. Chelmons are just "too nervous" species, and a bullying individual Sailfin is too much for them. Bob Fenner>
Re: Stocking Advice  -08/27/08
By pectoral fins, I meant dorsal ;-) <By on the sides I took it as on top. B>

Flutterby, Chelmon... comp.  - 05/31/08 Good Afternoon oh Great ones! :) Simple question (I hope). Would a Copperband Butterfly and a Black Back Butterfly co-exist in a 80gal reef? <Mmm, likely so> I'm aware of the dangers to corals, and the sensitivities of the CBB. The only thing I can't seem to find is how these guys may go together? I would consider a Raccoon instead of the Black-back, however I think the Raccoons get a bit larger don't they? <Yes> Cheers! Chris <And you. Bob Fenner>

Mixing Surgeons and Butterflies   3/15/07 Hi Guys (and/or Girls)! <Hi Deb.> I love your site and you guys provide a real service to aquarium enthusiasts and hobbyists! <Thank you.> I am so thankful that I stumbled across your site and I use it to research information all of the time. <Great, thanks again.> I have read a lot about Tangs not getting a long with other Tangs, but I have a slightly different question. <Okay.> I have a Copperband Butterfly in my 80 gallon reef tank along with a Coral Beauty.  The Copperband doesn't much care for flake or frozen food, but it will eat mussels/clams and it will also eat Mr. Fenner's seafood recipe (from his book), but for some reason she prefers to be hand-fed and doesn't like to eat food already floating in the water. <Well I for one am pleased to here it's eating period. As I'm sure you are well aware most have a dismal survival rate, captivity wise.> Perhaps I have created a monster!  LOL! Anyway, I would like to add a Tang to my tank, if possible. <If the butterfly and angel are the only specimens I don't see any space issues short-term, the long-term is a slightly different issue, 80 gallons is pushing it for an adult Copperband and some surgeons/tangs get significantly larger. Psychological crowding is another issue...I would avoid conspecifics (tangs that look alike/similar shaped) such as those in the Zebrasoma genus.  Ctenochaetus tangs may be a possibility (the Kole tang) though due the key with these is securing a healthy specimen.  Many are damaged in the mouth area during shipping.  Again compatibility wise other tangs could work, such as a few in the Naso genus and Acanthurus genus but there are space issue to address...some of these (Acanthurus Sohal & Naso lituratus) will reach over a foot...well over a foot in some cases.> I am concerned about one getting along with my Copperband and the fact that they get ick (I have a 10 gallon quarantine tank).  Can you suggest a docile Tang?  I really like the Atlantic Blue Tang (coloring) and even the Yellow-Eyed Kole Tang. <See above regarding the tang, as for Ich/crypt, yes tangs are more prone to this, quarantine 6-8 weeks.> Thanks for you help! <Of course.> Debbie Terry <Adam J.>

Copperband in a Reef?...Sure! - 07/27/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I was hoping to get a Copperband Butterfly after hearing they eat Aiptasia and because they are so beautiful. <<Indeed...striking fish>> My questions are... well I have a reef tank.. so I have many questions.  I read from a few sources that they will eat feather dusters and possibly anemones and I read from your FAQ's that butterflies in general will eat mushrooms and polyp coral.  Will in your opinion a Copperband butterfly eat clams, star polyps, xenia, Acros, Montipora capricornis, Stylophora, LPS, Ricordea, shrimp or starfish? <<I've kept these fish in varying systems with no problems over the years (have one in my current reef tank) regarding the organisms you've just listed.  They will quickly decimate Featherdusters, spaghetti worms, etc....and they will occasionally pick at a clam (though I think this is mostly a case of mistaken identity where the fish goes after a "worm-like" protuberance, or goes for a food item that has drifted inside the clam), but never persistently/causing permanent damage in my experience.  There's always the chance a certain individual will be problematic...but this fish is worth the gamble in my opinion>> I hate to ask so many detailed and tedious thing so a Y , N or a maybe after each item would suffice as I don't want to waste TOO much of your time. <<No worries mate>> One last thing, I currently have a 4-inch Pacific Sailfin Tang that has been in the tank for a year now. <<I hope this is a big tank>> Will the tang pick on the butterfly or do they look different enough. <<Mmm, is likely the tang won't like the butterfly to start.  But again, in my experience, it's not been a lasting issue with Copperbands and Tangs>> Thanks for the help. Adam   <<Regards, EricR>>

Fish (Copperbands) compatibility  Sorry Bob, just one more question, then I leave you :-) <Okay> I'm having a outbreak of Aiptasia ( blargh ) '¦ I'm thinking adding a Copperband fish'¦ I read that he likes eating oysters and such'¦ will be eating my softies and Tridacnids ? What about my shrimps ? <Almost always Chelmons and Chelmonops leave Soft Corals and Tridacnids alone... Bob Fenner> Thank you Proenca

My new Copperband Hi again, can you comment on Chelmon Rostratus in an SPS tank w/Tridacnid clams?  <Sure> This is what I was planning, but I have recently heard that they will nip at Tridacnid mantles. The Copperband is eating, not from the water column, he prefers to wait it settle on the rock or bottom. thanks again Andrew <In most all cases the bit of nipping is not a real problem... do know of Chelmons kept in public aquariums with very large, voluble Tridacnid specimens. I wouldn't worry. Bob Fenner>

Chelmon rostratus & Christmas Tree Worm Hi Robert! <Steven Pro in today. Bob is in Arizona making a pitch to one of their local clubs.> Always Hervey© the French aquarist owning the flounder ;-) I'd like you to confirm what I'm thinking : I have a Chelmon rostratus in my tank and someone would like to give me his Porites with "Christmas tree worms" but I'm afraid that the worms could become a great meal for my Chelmon! What do you think about that? <Yes, definitely would become food. The Porites and Christmas Tree Worms are popular, but fare rather poorly in captivity. The Porites are generally VERY bright light corals and the worms are difficult to feed. -Steven Pro>

Copperband Butterflyfish Would a Copperband Butterflyfish do okay in a reef like setting? I have 85 LB live rock, 100 LB live sand, 1 Flame Angel, 1 Yellow Tang, and some corals. What will it feed on? Oh the tank is 55 gal and I do have a star, cleaner shrimp and some snails.     Thanks for your help <The Copperband is considered "reef safe", compared to other Butterflyfish.  There is a good chance of the Copperband getting picked on by your other fish.  Check out the links below for some good info. -Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chelmon.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chelmonfaqs.htm  >

Copperband Suitability Hello, all.  Thanks, as always, for a great site. <Mornin.  We're here to help.> I have a question about my all-time favorite fish - the Copperband Butterfly.  I have a 75 gallon reef tank with a small upstream refugium.  I had originally written off the Copperband because I thought it would pose too great a risk to my corals and my clam.  I've poured through your FAQs, and I've noticed that most of them say that Copperband doesn't pose that much of a risk. <As far as Butterflies go the Copperbands are more likely to behave themselves.> I also have a growing Aiptasia problem, so the risk of the Copperband might be better than the risk of the Aiptasia getting out of control. Here's what I have in my tank: 1 Hippo Tang 1 Scott's Velvet Wrasse 2 Ocellaris Clowns 3 Firefish Gobies 1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp 1 Peppermint Shrimp (I've had him for 5 days.  No interest in the Aiptasia so far, but probably too soon to tell.) <probably.> 1 Bubble-tip Anemone 1 Colt Coral 1 Sun Coral 1 Wellsophyllia 1 Anthelia (small cluster) 6 Acropora (mostly small fragments, all growing well) 1 Maxima clam ...plus lots of live rock and a 3" sand bed. My water parameters are all good -- 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, < 10 nitrates, 410 calcium, 9.6 dKH. I have a small amount of experience with the Copperband.  Years ago I had a FOWLR tank in which I had a small Copperband.  I was able to keep it for a while and get it to eat, but then a damsel fish decided to kill it. <ouch!> So my question is, do you think it's safe for me to get a Copperband?  If the answer is no, please let me down easy!  :-) <Well Patrick, we need to talk.... It's not you, its me.  Ha, just kidding.  The tang and the clowns may be a little to feisty for the Copperband, IMO.  Check out the links below before making any final decisions.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/chelmon.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chelmonfaqs.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm  > Thanks!  

Blue throat trigger in reef 3/10/03 thanks for the info. <always welcome my friend> although I love to have a blue throat in my reef, I going to follow your advice and not put one in. Maybe a fish only tank instead. <very well... a beautiful fish better suited for a fish only display> In a related question with urchins: can i put my Copperband in with the urchin?   <yes, indeed> currently, the Copperband is in a smaller reef tank that doesn't have the big urchin.  the Copperband is a model citizen with my clams and everything else. He is also great in eradicating my glass anemones! <excellent! They truly are wonderful fish... they simply are too passive for most tanks with tangs, clowns, damsels, feisty wrasses, etc> He is getting big and i want to move him into the 240G. I don't think he will go after an urchin that is twice his size. do you? <not at all... I am certain it will not. Best regards, Anthony>

Another Copperband Hello Guys ! <Scott F. your guy tonight!> I could not resist the temptation to buy another Copperband although I have lost a few in the past. <You're not alone! Lots of people have problems with them!> The last one was bullied by my 3 tangs (yellow, purple and hippo), even though I have a 300 gallon tank with plenty of hiding places.  He ended up going blind in one eye from Popeye, most likely from an injury while escaping the wrath of the Tangs. <Frustrating...> Albeit too late, I discovered that hanging a piece of acrylic in my tank such that the tank is separated into two halves, virtually eliminated the bullying. Although the acrylic divider didn't completely reach from one side of the tank to the other, it disturbed the Tangs' swimming patterns enough to have a positive effect. After around 2-3 weeks the acrylic was removed and the Tangs only rarely chased the Copperband. But, alas, he died from a bacterial infection that may or may not have been caused by the previous injury to his eye :( <Sorry to hear that. However, your acrylic barrier was a great idea...guess it was just too late> My present CB is living a quiet, peaceful life in my refugium that is full of Gracilaria, pods and the like, so he is getting food meals every day.  He has been in this "semi-quarantine" for around 2 weeks. <Not to pick, 'cause I think you've got some great ideas, but I'd do a "real" quarantine in a separate tank, so that the possibility of him transmitting disease to your other fishes is eliminated.. You've got a good thing going here- keep it that way!> He is still quite timid and scared of movement by any on-lookers including me. Eventually I hope to move him to the main display tank, utilizing a simple acrylic divider to keep the Tangs off of him. <Smart idea...the other. less desirable technique that is used successfully to introduce a new fish into an established social order is to re-arrange the decor...But I know that doing this would, ahem, suck, in a 300 gallon tank!> My question is:  Should I get him eating frozen food in the refugium before I attempt to move him into the main display tank? <By all means, it's very important to get him to eat the "standard" fare that your other fishes will be eating. Unless there is an enormous amount of natural foods for the fishes to forage on, he really needs to develop a "taste" for the prepared foods> It seems that since he has plenty of live food that he may be less likely to eat the frozen.  I am currently thinking that I will move him in 4 more weeks (6 weeks total), regardless of whether or not he accepts frozen food.....Is this an appropriate course of action ? <Well, as mentioned above- I'd get him to eat some prepared stuff first...> Best Regards, Chuck Spyropulos <Any time, Chuck> PS: Regrettably I missed Anthony's talk in Boston a few weeks back...I stupidly got the day wrong and went snowboarding that Saturday and attempted to attend the talk on the following Sunday....it was really quiet at UMass Boston that Sunday morning ! <A bummer...However, I'm sure that Anthony would forgive you, as long as you busted a few radical airs out there! Keep Rockin'! Regards, Scott F>

- Copperband Update & THANKS - Dear Crew: <Hello, JasonC here...> Bob gave me some advice regarding abrasions that I accidentally inflicted on the side of my then newly-acquired Copperband Butterflyfish a few weeks ago. I just wanted to update & thank him <He'll be glad to hear this.> The abrasions are completely healed and the fish is robust, active and eating greedily (a variety of frozen foods). This fish rocks--he's a pride and a joy. This was definitely the way to get a Copperband--already 5" long and thriving in another hobbyist's tank for more than a year. It is his loss and my gain that he had to leave it behind when he moved away. I had failed with a smaller Copperband from my LFS before. <Sounds good.> Thank you so much for your ongoing assistance. I am convinced that I and my little wet friends are better off at this stage for heeding your sage advice these past 3 months. I hope to one day know enough about this hobby to help others as well. Steve Allen PS: I was reading the saltwater boards at about.com the other day--they sure seem to hate DSBs over there. <I wonder why... oh well. Cheers, J -- >

-Several fish questions- Hi, Is the Randall's shrimp goby an expensive fish? <Nope, generally under $30 from your local dealer.> And, will it live happily with a tang, clownfish, dwarf angelfish, and grammas and butterflies? <It should, so long no one picks on it.> Also, Can surgeonfish be kept with butterflies? <In an appropriately stocked and sized tank, yes.> And can the Copperbanded butterfly be  reef safe? <Depends on the degree of reef-safeness you would like. They're not safe with everything, all the time, but there are many aquarists successfully keeping them in fully stocked mixed reefs. I hope this helps! -Kevin> Regards Aaron.

Copperband In a Reef Dear WetWebMedia Crew: I have a Copperband butterfly in quarantine right now and plan on putting him into my 75 gallon reef when he comes out....I know they are "reef safe" as compared to other butterfly fish but have one question I can't find an answer to:  Will he try to eat my tube anemone?  Or, will he, like my other fish instinctively stay away from it?  Thanks in advance for a quick reply:) <He should be just fine, but as with all new additions, please be over-observant in the first 24 hours.  Also make sure you keep the QT set up for an emergency.  Good luck! Ryan> Janey

Copperband questions My 60g FOWLR tank has been running extremely well since it was set up 9 months ago (mostly due to all of the excellent information on WWM!) but I have a few quick questions for you: <K, shoot> 1) I currently have a Maroon Clown, Yellow Tail Damsel, Yellow Tang, Coral Banded Shrimp, and various hermits/LR hitchhikers.  I am moving house in the next few weeks and thought that this would be an ideal time to add a Copperband Butterfly.  My idea was to move the three established fish into the QT tank with the Butterfly for a few days (when it is Ich free - see Q2) and then re-introduce them all into the main tank at the same time when it was up and running in the new house. <Sounds kind of risky, you may crash the QT in the process...> What do you think my chances are that the Tang will get along with the butterfly?  (They are both about 4") <Depends on how large the QT is, if it's small then the tang will fight for sure. Keep in mind both the Copperband and your yellow tang will get large and will have to be relocated to a bigger home.> 2) The butterfly has been in my quarantine tank for the past two weeks but I am struggling to get rid of a few small Ich spots (I think) that keep re-appearing on the fins.  I have lowered the spg and increased the temp but am having no luck so far. <Hyposalinity is only effective at around a SG of 1.009.> I'm not a big fan of copper as the only death that I've had in the last nine months was an angel that was being treated. Are butterfly's just as sensitive to copper? <Not in my experience.> Should I try FW dips or one of the copper-free treatments? <Try some formalin and a freshwater dip or two, check out the dipping FAQ's first> 3) I recently tried to get hold of some Mysis shrimp at my LFS but they didn't have any in stock.  I brought some glass worms instead which my butterfly loves but are these nutritionally hollow? <They're fine for now but do have your LFS order in some Mysis shrimp. It's readily available from several different manufacturers; my favorite is Piscine Energetics brand.> From what I can make out from the limited info. on the pack, they seem to be similar to brine shrimp so maybe not such a good choice. <The idea is to provide a variety of foods, brine shrimp and glassworms can be part of a slurry of other types of foods with great success. I suggest you go out and pick up a few different kinds of seafood based frozen foods.> Thanks very much in advance for your help. <Enjoy! -Kevin> Matt.

Stocking Questions (1/2/04) Hey crew,<Steve Allen today>    I have an established (2 years) reef tank (40 gal breeder tank with 15 gal sump, moving approx. 400+ gal/hr.).  I have somewhere near 40 lbs LR, a 4-5" DSB, some polyps, purple mushrooms, a couple of finger leathers, gobs of little brown feather dusters (clumps of a couple dozen here and there, and a whole herd of what I believe to be  Anemonia majano (REALLY need to find a way to get rid of these guys). <You may find some ideas by searching WWM.>  I also have blue-leg hermits, assorted clean-up crew critters, turbo snails, a scopas tang <needs a bigger tank as it grows--absolute minimum 75G> and an ocellaris clown.     The clown has been in there since the beginning, and the scopas for about 10 months.  I'm thinking about adding a fish, and wanted your opinion of the suitability of  a Copperband butterfly. <Tank too small. This fish grows to 7 inches or so. The fish is not very hardy and a picky eater. Adding this fish to you tank would be a mistake. I speak from experience.> the LFS got one in last night, that looks healthy and acts healthy.  If you believe that this is an unsuitable addition for this tank, then what would you recommend? <Smaller things like a Royal Gramma, a Firefish, or a Shrimp Goby.> Thanks <You're welcome. Hope this helps. Steve Allen. Dow Mathis - Kerrville, TX

Compatible Compadres? II >Marina, I do have great filtration but I have heard tangs don't do well with other tangs and I was told not to get a Copperband butterfly because they were delicate and some require a special diet, Is this true? Thanks >>Tang mixing is indeed tricky, but it can be done.  Copperband butterflies are not delicate in the world of butterflies, and are actually quite often used to control the pest anemone Aiptasia.  I've not known them to be especially picky eaters.  Marina

Copperband Vs. Yellow Tang?  I have a 40G reef tank w/ 25# Live Rock, various corals, and three fish: a small Ocellaris clown, a small Clown Goby, and a juvie Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens). The tank is going very well... corals doing great, fish happy and eating, etc. The occupants will be moved in a few months to a 75 gal tank when I finish setting it up. I owe the success to my 40G to your site--I learned the importance of the major 'players' of a successful reef tank from y'all--skimmer (Remora Pro), DSB (in my case 6"), LR, Light (175 10K MH), and big time water movement (700GPH).  <Cool! Glad to hear that we've been a positive influence to you!>  My issue is that I have been wanting to pick up a Copperbanded Butterfly (Chelmon rostratus) that has been in the LFS for the last five weeks or so. He's about 2 ½ " and looks very good. . . curious, not hanging at the back of the tank, obviously has been eating (they say Tubifex worms). I watched him for the last month at the store in what was essentially a QT because he was the only one in the tank. So anyhow, after reading all I could, I decided to take the risk and see how he behaves in my tank. . . knowing that the Fanworms (and possibly other inverts) would be doomed if he was going to do well. . . From what I've read, Copperbands either do great and are a great fish in a reef tank, or are problematic and can suddenly die, often due to nothing of the keeper's fault, but by what many suspect as cyanide poisoning from the collection process.  <Among other challenges- yes. They tend to be widely variable in terms of how they cope with captivity. Glad that you're getting a larger tank, because the addition of this fish to your relatively full tank puts it on the edge of "overcrowded!">  I decided to take the risk w/ the Copperband--the specimen at the LFS looked really good and has continued to look good for the last month, so I made the decision to not QT him at home since I'd watched him basically QT at the LFS.  <I have to get on my soapbox....PLEASE don't do this again. Yes, the fish may have been in a tank more-or-less by himself for the last few weeks, but many fish stores use centralized filtration systems, which can interact with the water in this "quarantine" tank. Besides, do your really know for sure if NO other fishes or water from other systems came into this tank at some point. Just not worth the risk, IMO...>  After drip-acclimating him, I put him in my tank. He immediately started checking everything out and picking at the LR. In about 10 minutes he was eating the various sundry small Fanworms and other benthics. I was super psyched since from what I've read these fish can be very challenging to feed. So it looked to me that maybe the biggest hurdle to keeping him for the long term was already close to solved--he was eating w/o hesitation. So next will be to see what I can feed him for the long term. . . How do you feel about Tubifex worms?  ,Well, Tubifex and other "terrestrial" foods, such as bloodworms, are fine for the short run to get the fish acclimated to captive fare, but in the long run, they may lack some of the essential nutritional components that marine fishes require. I'd try items of marine origin, such as frozen Mysis, clam meat, etc. I really like Hikari's "Mega Marine Angel" frozen food, which provides some of the food items that butterfly fishes eat, such as tube worms, etc. A good product, IMO.>  What I did not expect was the near immediate aggression by my Yellow Tang. Within about 30 minutes, the tang was getting really aggressive towards the Copperband--unleashing his 'scalpel' and generally chasing and tormenting. This alarmed me because of what I've read about fish deaths after a 'Tang tangle'. . . I understand their scalpels can dole out some serious injury.  <Yep, the "scalpel", or acanthus, is a pretty nasty little weapon when the fish wields it! I've been cut by one, and it doesn't feel to good!>  After a few hours, the tang sort of left the Copperband alone as long as he stayed in one corner. But as soon as he ventured out of it the chase was on. I was really surprised by this behavior because I've read that Yellow Tangs are not known for aggression outside of their own species.  <Well, tangs can take a "this whole tank is mine" attitude, especially in a small aquarium such as this. This constant harassment can lead to lots of problems...>  With my particular tang, this certainly isn't the case! I'm afraid for the Copperbands life!  <Agreed. This is a really big problem in this tank. Personally, I'd make arrangements to get him out. This is a potentially unviable long-term combination in any tank less than 6 feet in length, IMO>  I decided to attempt to calm the situation down by putting the Tang in 'time out'. I got a decent sized clear acrylic box and drilled a bunch of holes in it then basically trapped the Tang in it, leaving the box in the display tank. He's been in there for a day now. Obviously, he's not too happy, but the Copperband is happily exploring the new environment.  <A nice interim move, but there still may be long-term problems as soon as the tang is repatriated...Careful observation is essential here...>  What do you think of this aggression, and is it likely to subside over time? Any hints on how to help the situation?  Thanks in advance for your help. Kevin  <Well, Kevin, there is no 100% certain answer I can provide. Fish, like people, are individuals, and never seem to follow entirely predictable behavior patterns! The situation may improve over time, but at what cost? The Copperband is in a critical acclimation stage, and the extra stress caused by an aggressive tankmate can be potentially fatal. I'd opt to get the Copperband out...Maybe not the answer that you might have hoped for, but I think that you'll agree-a conservative approach is a better way to go here. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F>

- Adding a Copperband - Hi there I want to add a Copperband to my 200 gallon reef. It is 18 months old now and houses a Regal Tang, Yellow Tang, 3 common clowns, 3 zebra torpedoes, 2 mandarins and 4 green Chromis. I also have two large Malu anemones along with a forest of soft corals. All the fish and both the large anemones have been with me since the tank started. I really want to add a Copperband to my current happy crew but I had a few concerns. Will I be putting my Malus at risk? <Hard to predict - I'd say there's a 50/50 chance and of that, you may get lucky and the clown fish may step up and defend their space. But still... chances are better than winning a lottery scratch ticket.> They are 8-10" in size and house the gentle-natured clowns. Will I put the Copperband at risk with the Regal/Yellow tangs? <Maybe for a little while, just to establish the pecking order, but I doubt anything serious will result.> They are now reaching 5-6" in size. I have a 20gal qt tank. I also wanted to get more Chromis. What if I got 4 green (or blue) Chromis and a Copperband, QT'd them all together, then added them to the reef after lights out?  Would the extra numbers confuse/dilute the situation - or would all the Chromis just squabble as well! <Hmm... hard to say. Is possible.> Thanks for any advice you could give me. <Unfortunately... this one fish I would have put in first, but there's always a chance. I think your plan to add after lights out may help a bit, and even keep the lights out for the following day as long as they get some natural light. Time will tell.> Deanne <Cheers, J -- >

- Another Copperband Butterfly Question - Hi, I just found the Copperband I've been looking for. It's big, fat, beautiful and eating all sorts of frozen food aggressively at my LFS.  <Sounds good.>  It was a trade in from another customer who has had this fish quite a while. Unfortunately for the customer and fortunately for me, it developed a taste for his corals and was decimating his reef tank along with a flag fin angel (what was he thinking?) so he traded it in with his 10" angel. I just put a deposit on the fish while I get my quarantine tank ready. What I would like to know is should I give this fish a freshwater dip like I usually do on any new fish knowing that this is a sensitive species?  <I would.>  Of course the fish will be quarantined for 3 weeks. This fish will be going in my 120g FOWLR tank.  Thanks, Larry, Heating up hear in Minnesota to a very summery 54F. <Funny, that was the temperature overnight here in southern Florida... had the natives wearing parkas and burning fires... wimps! Cheers, J -- >
- Another Copperband Butterfly Question, Follow-up -
Thanks for the swift reply.  <My pleasure.>  I picked up the CB today and gave him a 4 min FW bath. He tolerated it great.  <Thought it would.>  He swam around the bowl the whole time like he was pissed off. This fish is a beast of a Copperband. I only hope he will eat in his new home.  <Odds are good... is used to captive feeding.> Thanks again. By the way, today it snowed here and dropped into the twenties, what a contrast to the nice 54F day we had yesterday.  <Well... as Bob often likes to say, it was cold enough here, I had to put on a t-shirt. Cheers, J -- >

Tang/Butterfly Dispute - 01/18/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> I am having a major problem and don't know what to do.  I have a 75 gallon FOWLR.  Last night I added a Copperband Butterfly.  I read everything I could find about the fish first before adding him and asked three of my LFS people before getting him but this still didn't prevent what has been happening. <<Don't ya just hate it when the fish don't read the same books, talk to the same people!>> My Powder Brown Tang has been chasing him all over the tank forcing him to hide in the top corners of the tank.  I turned off the lights and the aggression seemed to drop off a bit.  This morning I saw him chasing him around some more and back to the corner he retreated.  My question is will this subside? <<Hard to say...>> Should I just yank him now and put him back in QT?  Here are all the tankmates: 75 Gallons 80 pounds of LR 1 Tomato Clown 1 Powder Brown Tang 4 Green Chromis 1 Cleaner Shrimp Thanks, Jason <<I would leave the butterfly in the display, pull the tang and put it in the QT tank, rearrange the rockwork in the display, and reintroduce the tang in about a week's time...if all goes well the butterfly will be comfortable/familiar enough and the tang confused enough the aggression will be mitigated.  regards, EricR>>

Copperband what?  - 1/30/2006 Hello Folks,<Hello Tom> Great site and thanks for the input. <Output, and thank you!>  For what it is worth, although you all never ask, I do make small contributions via Amazon Honor System with each question, it is the least I can do. <And is very much appreciated.> Anyway, I have recently introduced a new addition to my tank. Current setup: System one year old but recently (one-month) broken down and moved. 90 Gallon Rectangle Oceanic 100 lbs Live Rock give-or-take 100 lbs Deep Sand Bed (sloped back 6" front 4") give-or-take 460 watts of light VHO and PC (Actinics and White) A variety of Softies, Bubbles, leathers, Devils Hand etc... Some Chaetomorpha for nutrient export An ASM G2 Protein skimmer I also use a few tablespoons a week of Kent Phosphate Sponge (phosphate levels are immeasurable) RO/DI water for top-off <So far so good.> 1- Yellow Tang 4 Inches 1 - Damsel (There were two but one didn't survive the move) 2 - Cleaner Shrimp 1 - Coral Beauty 2 - Ocellaris (sp?) Clown Fish 1 - Blenny After a near three week Quarantine (yeah I know your gonna say should have been another week or two) <Not bad, 28 days much better.> I decided to move my newest addition a Copperband (CB) into the main tank. He was eating and seemed happy, more-or-less but my QT does not have any live rock to pick at and he started to just stay in the corner a lot. <A very difficult fish to acclimate.> Soooooo, I moved him to the main tank. One of the first things (within a couple of minutes) the CB did was go up to one of the cleaner shrimp and got a complete detail, amazing but I digress. His purpose is simple KILL AIPTASIA. After the first 24 hours (which is at the time of this writing) the Copperband is relegated to a corner of the tank by our friend the Yellow Tang who summarily chases the CB off whenever he ventures out into the aquarium. <Not unusual.> Drawing on your experience, what should I expect - Will this lessen over time? <It should.> If so how long before the Tang cuts the CB some slack or in other words socialized themselves? <I'd say things should improve within a week.> Should I be concerned for the CB? <I'd sure keep an eye on things.> How can I help supplement feeding for him as he doesn't come out when I feed the other inhabitants (usually Spirulina + Some Cyclop-eeze or frozen treat like Brine, Mysis, Sea Algae etc...<If he is eating the Cyclop-eeze this may work, if not you may try feeding some live brine.  Stocking order is the problem here.  Sensitive fish like the CB should really be introduced  first.  It's tough enough acclimating them without adding aggression to the problem.  May want to leave the lights off for a couple of days.  This may lower the aggression level of the tang.> As always, thanks a bunch you guys are the best. <And thank you.  James (Salty Dog)> <<I'd remove the Tang for a week or two... to elsewhere. RMF>> Tom

Butterflyfishes for  Marine Aquariums
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