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FAQs on Chelmon Butterflyfishes Health/Disease 1

FAQs on Chelmon Disease: Chelmon Disease 1, Chelmon Disease 2, Chelmon Disease 3, Chelmon Disease 4,
FAQs on Chelmon Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Trauma, Infectious, Parasitic, Social, Treatments
FAQs on Butterflyfish Disease:
Butterflyfish Disease 1,
Butterflyfish Disease 2, Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt,
FAQs on Butterflyfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious, Parasitic, Treatments

Related Articles: Chelmon ButterflyfishesFoods/Feeding/Nutrition

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

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

Copperband Ich or Lymph...? Using WWM   10/22/08 This is my third time sending a question over to you guys, and I want to start by thanking you for the great advice. I have been searching for a Copperband for 2-months trying to find a good specimen that is eating and is not too big. I finally found an average sized specimen that was eating at the LFS, however, it has some issues on in its pectoral and caudal fins. <I see these> I have been wasting so much gas driving around looking for a good specimen I decided to buy it anyway and treat it in my QT. Please take a look at the pictures I attached. It looks like white "stuff" and "spots" in the fins. I think it is Ich but I have also read that Copperbands are prone to something else called lymphocytes sp?? <Lymphocystis... gone over on WWM> I have used hyposalinity in the past to cure tangs of Ich with good success. However, I don't know if that would be good for the Copperband because that is a lot of time in QT (at least 6-weeks) Is there a better way of treating Copperbands that you recommend? <Also posted> I have also read that copper is tough on them, what about Cupramine copper or maybe formalin? I am open to any suggestions. Please let me know what brand you recommend as well. Thank you, Sorry the pictures are not that great, it was the best I could get. <Please learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM... start reading here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm This to me does not look viral... perhaps not Protozoan either... could be "just" environmental... I would read re Lymph, Crypt, Chelmon Health... Bob Fenner>

Re: Copperband Ich or Lymph...? Likely Crypt  10/22/08 Mr. Fenner, I read pages of great info on WWM and I think formalin was the recommended treatment of choice for Ich on a Chelmon. <Mmm... I would skip ahead to later, greater technology here... and quickly read, try to acquire Chloroquine Phosphate... Perhaps a dip/bath now in diluted formalin, aerated pH-adjusted freshwater and thence to quarantine/treatment further...> In one word please, on a Chelmon would you personally use formalin/bath, formalin/dips, Cupramine or hypo. I just want to be sure because my Copperband does now look like its fins were sprinkled with salt. Just looking for a little reassurance, thanks so much for your time. <Sorry to not be able to direct you to a complete set of ideas, methods re Chelmon, Crypt, Quinine cpd. use... But do read re the search tools on your computer, WWM. BobF>

re: Copperband Ich or Lymph...? 10/23/08 Thank you. I did the dip last night and it did get some of the white spots off, and he seemed to feel a little better. However, the Copperband is still covered with Ich. I found the Quinine you mentioned online, but I don't think it is going to get here in time. This morning the fish is laying on its side breathing hard. He gets up and swims around for a little then goes back down. Not good. <Agreed. Very bad> Question, although I had a strong cycle in my QT I must have lost some of the beneficial bacteria while I was shopping for a Chelmon that eats, because I was getting a little ammonia spike despite the fact I was "feeding the empty tank." <Happens> So, if my Chelmon does die, Can I put a piece of cocktail shrimp in the tank and leave it be for a month (testing water of course) to get another hard cycle and also kill of the Ich that is in my QT? <Better to just add a "pinch" of dried food every few days...> Or is there some small chance the Ich can host the cocktail shrimp <No> and live longer than 4-6 weeks? <Yes> Thanks again! <Welcome. B>

Copperband With A Squashed Snout? 09/09/08 Evening crew :D <<Hi there Carolyn!...morning now>> After about 18 months of waiting and researching, I have finally brought home a Copperband Butterflyfish. <<Beautiful fish (have one myself!), but can be quite the finicky feeder>> The animal in question has been merrily eating in the LFS <<Ah, great!>> and on getting him home was tempted out of hiding with a bit of brine shrimp and garlic (purely to confirm he would eat in my QT). As of tomorrow I aim to start feeding him Mysis and other meaty treats <<Excellent>> - would he appreciate lobster eggs (I've used them with great success with mandarin fish previously to wean them onto prepared food)? <<Mmm, maybe but I doubt it. My experience with these fish is they tend to prefer small worm and shrimp-like organisms (Mysids, amphipods, bristle worms, feather duster worms most ANY worm) and tend to ignore things like prepared foods (e.g. flakes, pellets). But do give the lobster eggs a try I've also found glass worms (white mosquito larvae) to be readily accepted by these fishes well as by other finicky feeders>> I've also noticed that on getting the little fella home, his snout appears to be slightly misshapen - the lower half seems to be bent forward, as if he's pouting. I didn't notice this in the LFS; could he have bumped his nose in transit?! <<Yes>> He ate the shrimp merrily, so it doesn't appear to be causing him any problems feeding (he's in QT with 4 Nemanthias carberryi (1 male, 3 females)). <<Ah good, then hopefully the Butterfly will be fine and the condition will heal or at the least, not become any worse>> Many thanks in advance and for all the time you take answering the inane ramblings of folk like me!! Carolyn <<No worries is a pleasure to share. EricR>>
Re: Copperband With A Squashed Snout? 09/10/08
Hi Eric, <<Hey Carolyn!>> Thanks for the reply that's a relief! <<Ahh, quite welcome>> The Copperband is giving me some cause for concern today as he spends a lot of time swimming at the surface (not gasping at the surface although his dorsal fin comes out of the water), and swims at an angle. <<Hmm, I've not observed such behavior from this species (though I have seen them come to the surface to pluck floating morsels of food). This may be an environmental stress indicator (do you have pieces of PVC pipe or other such inert structure large enough for the fishes to take refuge in the QT?), or an indication of more serious problems that were present/manifesting before you bought the fish>> The Anthias he's in QT with seem fine, so am hoping this is a stress issue due to being transported? <<This is a possibility, yes or an indication of less than gentle handling during capture>> He was moved from a 10g tank to a 20g tank with a small skimmer and powerhead, specific gravity is 1.025, temperature is 77 Fahrenheit. <<Much better/a good move to the larger tank (it is cycled yes?)do be sure to provide a place to hide as well>> Have however got hold of some white mosquito larvae (frozen) so am trying him on those. <<Very good>> He does have a few spots where it looks like he's bashed into the rock in the display at the LFS, so am hoping he'll settle in soon, it has only been 2 days so not going to panic just yet... Carolyn <<Mmm I expect this fish has been mishandled/suffered injury during capture and/or transport to the LFS. I am hopeful that your continued good care will provide a speedy recovery (the fact it is [still?] eating is a good sign). Do let me know how things progress. Regards, Eric Russell>>
R2: Copperband With A Squashed Snout? 09/11/08
Hi Eric, <<Hello Carolyn>> Bad news I'm afraid, looks like we might lose him tonight - got home from work to find him looking in a bad way, rapid breathing/lying on the bottom, no interest in food at all. <<Mmm, I was afraid of this didn't want to voice earlier and cause extra worry not much you could have/can do>> Did an emergency water change (again) after matching temp/SG/pH to try and help in case its a water issue (ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrate 5-10ppm, but so many other factors we can't test for), <<I doubt its your water quality>> but on close inspection he's got red/blood marks on his flanks and his dorsal fin is closed up. <<Sounds like a bacterial infection and likely secondary to what I suspect is physical trauma as the original complaint causing this fishs demise>> I doubt he'll survive till the morning, I moved the four Anthias into a separate QT this evening (they're all fine thank goodness, feeding like a right load of pigs!), so I've turned the lights off so he won't be bothered by them. <<Very good>> Thanks for all your help - I'd like to get a better idea of whats affected this poor fish so if it can be avoided in the future. <<Short of a necropsy of the fish I don't think there's any way to really tell and even then, not for sure in this case I think. I do believe whatever ails this fish came about before you acquired it (I still think some sort of physical trauma during capture). The stress of bringing it to your home may have expedited things but on that same note, more than likely it would already be dead if left at the LFS>> Copperbands are a great love of mine and would like to try again with one, but only if I know I can care for it properly. Carolyn <<These fish are one of my favorites as well I think your care of the fish up to this point was fine (maybe a bigger QT). Like some others, obtaining a healthy and undamaged specimen is more than half the battle with these fish and once acclimated and feeding well I have found them to be surprisingly hardy. You don't mention whether your LFS quarantines their fish (many don't)even so, depending on your relationship with the store perhaps you can arrange for the store to hold a specimen for a few weeks just to see that it is going to live. Placing a deposit on the fish may help with this In the interim, keep reading up on/researching this fish and design/redesign your system around the Copperband as the centerpiece making the needs and requirements of this fish the first priority re. Do keep me posted if you wish and feel free to come back to discuss and conspire on your Copperband system. Cheers my friend, Eric Russell>>

Copperband Butterfly Broken Beak?  7/18/08 Hi Guys: <Blaine> Love your site and have gotten a lot of really great advise <advice> from it. I just added a Copperband butterfly to my display aquarium. WE got his a few weeks ago and he's been doing very well. Today I noticed that the bottom of his beak is turned down, so I'm wondering if I have a big problem. I don't know if he's bashed himself on the glass or something, <Very likely so> and I'm wondering if this damage is something that will heal on it's own, or if there is something I can do for it. Blaine LeRoy <Really only the former, and hope. Have seen much worse-damaged Chelmons leading normal lives. Bob Fenner>

Spot on Copperband ID Help?  4/7/08 Hello I have searched the WWM site and still cannot find what I am looking for. I have a Copperband Butterfly that has something attached to it's fins. I included a picture to see if you could tell me what it might be and how to treat it. Thanks. Brian <Mmm, I strongly err on the side of caution here... and say these are not likely pathogenic, but some sort of residual tissue from some type of damage. If anything I might try adding a purposeful cleaner here (Likely a genus Lysmata shrimp)... and leave these to it. Bob Fenner>

Saltwater disease??? Chelmon...    2/13/08 I know you guys hate opening pictures, so I included a video on my MySpace page so you can see the tank in question, and the other tanks I have created. www.myspace.com/boctampa  <Mmm, okay... a nice, large tank (why is it situated so low to ground level?), nice stands, Cheryl is a babe... but...?> OK...Here is my setup and tank test results: 550 gallon main tank 180 gallon sump 10 Gallon Refugium a GX3 Skimmer a 2HP Chiller a 55 gallon RO/DI system @ 100 Gallons per day 650-700lbs or Gulf Live rock 2-3 inches of crushed coral My test results are : Nitrates : less than 10 Nitrites : 0 Ammonia : 0 12 dKH 480 ca 80.1-80.8 temp <Okay> My current fish roster is: 2 yellow tail damsels 3 three stripe damsels 2 blue Chromis 4 domino damsels 1 porcupine puffer I starts and stripe puffer 1 sweet lips clown 1 sail fin tang 1 yellow tang 1 powder blue tang (Dory) 1 lemon butterfly 1 copper banded butterfly 1 long nose butterfly 1 raccoon butterfly 1 emperor snapper <I saw two> 1 fox face 1 powder brown tang 1 Koran angel I feed them: IQF Krill IQF Silversides Marine Cuisine Bloodworms Emerald Entree Mysis Shrimp Formula one Marine pellets Formula two Marine Pellets Prime reef flakes My issue: My Copper banded butterfly "LOOKS" like it ate to much and blew up its stomach, and is bleeding on the inside. This is the second one that has done that. I have other fish that are facing or have faced the same fate. No one here at the LFS seems to know the cause. <Mmm, likely something it ate here... hydroids, other toxic life, that "came in with" the rock... not much to do re... other than hope> There is no outer damage to the fish. There is no fighting, as I have watched this tank for hours and hours, since I started it. I had a clown fish, a pearl scale butterfly and one of my Emperor Snappers that have died in the same way. I'm not sure whats going on...HELP!!! Jim Wilhelm <Looking at your video, set-up... all looks very nice... I would just try to be patient here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Saltwater disease??? Chelmon et al.  2/13/08
Messiah of all fish knowledge a.k.a. Bob, <Heeee! All bow down> Any idea what would cause the stomach area to look like it exploded on the inside cause the fish to bleed internally, with out any damage to the outside of the fish? <As stated... summat it et> Also, what is your opinion on the 100% organic Ich-attack by Kordon? <As much as I am a friend, know the owner, Bob Rofen and respect him, "like" most of their products... I am skeptical... though have read a few credible reports of success with this product... RMF>

Copperband fdg./beh. and dither fish 02/03/2008 Hello crew! <<Hello, Andrew today>> I have a quick question that is a slight spin on something that you have addressed very thoroughly in several other FAQ's. I purchased a Copperband butterfly four days ago. I had the LFS hold the fish for a week after receipt. It was eating frozen Mysis quite energetically after the third day or so despite being in a crowded tank with several tangs and Rabbitfish. Because of this display, I felt assured that I was purchasing a more viable specimen. My planned habitat was a 125 gallon frag tank with 125 lbs of live rock. The tank has been up and running for about a year with stable parameters: Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate undetectable; Ca 430 kH 11.2, pH 8.1, ORP 375. <<Sounds like a nice home>> I planned to have the Copperband as the sole inhabitant to control Aiptasia. Because I planned for this to be the only fish in the system and because I was worried about keeping this species (definitely more touchy than the fish I've kept before) I decided to forego my usual 4 week quarantine and just do the fresh water dip. <<Not a wise step forward with any newly purchased inhabitant. All new fish should be quarantined for your good, as well as the fish. Even delicate fish will be fine in quarantine for the usual 4 week period>> I expected that this would be less traumatic and would give the fish a more soothing environment than my QT tank. Anyway it's been four days and the CBB just hides in one of a couple of caves in the LR not venturing for food or much else. He was actually exploring more actively the first day or two and has since become more secretive. I have tried feeding Selcon enriched foods with garlic extreme such as Mysis and Cyclop-Eeze to no avail. I will try the clam/oyster trick today. My main question though is, could the CBB, who was quite energetic in a crowded display at the LFS, be distraught at being the only fish and might the addition of a few Chromis or some other fish be helpful in coaxing him from his hiding spots? I'm afraid that adding a few dither fish just might exacerbate the problem so I thought I'd check with you first. <<Did you acclimatize the fish at all? Sounds like its just suffering from stress. Give the fish time to settle in to the new home, keep tempting it to feed with the foods you have mentioned, it should be fine>> Your advice is always appreciated. Thanks, Jeff <<Thanks for the questions. A Nixon>>

Lymphocystis - Chelmon rostratus 1/6/2008 Dear Crew, <Andy> Good morning. I'm sending you two separate messages, because they deal with separate issues and I know they might get sorted among different Crew members. <Ok> Here's the first! I purchased a Chelmon rostratus, not only because it has always been one of my favorite fishes but also because I have about 10 or 15 Aiptasia growing in my display that I'm hoping it will eat. The butterfly has been in my 30g QT for 7 days now. <I would move it to the main display> When I purchased it, I made sure it was eating at the LFS. For the first 2 days after I brought it home, it ate well--frozen Mysis and blood worms. After day 2, however, it stopped eating. I had done my research on the fish beforehand, so I knew these fish can be finicky eaters. So, I got on WWM to research what others have done in similar circumstances, and I discovered that what I am experiencing is not uncommon and that the advice has been to get some live rock in the QT to get the fish to graze the worms, etc. on the rock. It just so happened that I have a few pieces of LR that were not supporting other pieces of LR and that host some Aiptasia, so I decided to throw 2 pieces in the QT. I placed the first piece in (which had about 8 Aiptasia) and went back for the second. By the time I got back to the QT, all the Aiptasia were gone. I thought, "this could not be." Sure enough, though, this morning they are still gone (along with a very pretty orange feather duster that hiked in on the rock--oh well). The Chelmon has pretty much denuded my LR of any worms, etc. So . . . Thanks for the advice! <Welcome> ANYWAY, my question really relates to 2 masses on the tail and pectoral fin of my Chelmon, shown in the attached photos. Based on my research, I believe that the fish simply has Lymphocystis, but would like your concurrence. <I do agree> If so, I won't hesitate to put him in the display after the 3-4 week QT if all else goes well. If it's something else, then I'll proceed accordingly. <I would place this fish now... this is much more an "environmental" or stress condition than a type of pathogenic disease... Won't be "catching"...> Thanks as always for your time/help. Andy (Although I realize (think) that 15 Aiptasia is not an infestation by any stretch, I am trying to figure out why they are appearing. <Some cellular material must have been introduced at some point... likely on/with LR, but could be algae...> I have cut down feeding to once per day--usually frozen Mysis or blood works, or Formula 1 flake. I employ a 30g fuge with Chaeto, DSB and LR. I run Phosguard in the sump. I have tested my display water, my RO/DI water, and my storage water for phosphates and silicates--I have two test kits--a Seachem (color never matches test strip) and a Salifert (really hard to read!). No silicates are present. The Seachem kit shows 0.1 phosphates (or 0.01, can't remember the scale) in all three sources; the Salifert shows 0, so I'm befuddled). <No need or use... Bob Fenner>

Re: Lymphocystis - Chelmon rostratus 1/6/2008 Thanks, Bob. I presumed that everything needs a long QT period, but it seems that with the Copperband 8 days is enough as long as it isn't showing other signs of disease/reason to keep in QT? <... please re-read... "I would..."> I don't understand your last response, "no need or use" re my phosphate kits/readings. Would you mind explaining? Thanks again. <These readings for soluble PO4 are in agreement within the limitations of the test gear. B>

Lymph on Copperband butterfly   12/2/07 Hello, Thanks for all of the help in the past and the great site. I will try and keep this short. I have read through the Lymph FAQ's and couldn't find what I need. I received a Copperband from LiveAquaria.com about 2 weeks ago, I put him in my 20 long quarantine and after a couple of days I noticed the white clumps developing on his fins. They have spread to his tail and even some on his body. He eats extremely well, only Mysis though (I have noticed in the past that I only have luck getting Copperbands to eat "white" food, anything to this?) <Don't know... but interesting speculation> which I soak in Selcon. I have read that there is no direct cure for this and that good water quality and food are the best medicine, there is also a cleaner goby with him but I don't see him clean him though. My question is, would you keep him in quarantine until it goes away or would you put him in the display? <I would do the latter... This viral complaint is "not that infectious" and yet, won't begin to self-cure unless the Chelmon is "in a better place"> The only fish in the display are a tomato clown, lawnmower blenny, and very expensive juvenile chevron tang. <Oh! Just wrote a piece for this Ctenochaetus sp.... one of a few while am out in HI... "in spare time"...> Thanks for all of the help. Merry Christmas, Jeremy <I do hope the frenatus clown doesn't go after your Butterfly. Only experience will tell... do remove/float the clown in a plastic colander for a few days if apparently so. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Lymph on Copperband butterfly  12/18/07
Just wanted to let you know that the Copperband is looking great now. He is still eating and seems to be happy. I removed the tomato clown just in case, as I had seen it chasing the chevron and noticed the fins on the chevron looked "nipped". He is still eating great so I assume they will grow back. Any reason to think it was caused by anything else? <Mmm...> Only a few small crabs, lawnmower blenny, and butterfly with him in the tank. Looking forward to reading your article on the Chevy tang on the website. Have a great Christmas. Jeremy <Will download after it runs in print... have attached here for your perusal. Cheers, BobF>

Unknown Fish Disease? Chelmon spots   11/12/07 Hello there, Love the site it saved my sick sand sifting star fish (he's now in a MUCH MUCH bigger home) not to mention research here prevented me from buying a horse shoe crab my LFS was trying to push on me. Hopefully you can help me with my most recent problem for starters I'll run my tank info at ya. 50 Gallon Tank about 4 months running Remora C Protein hang on Skimmer 2 Hydor Koralia Pumps #3 850gph each 1.5" Dolomite bottom <Mmm, do replace this in time> 2" live sand bed on top of the dolomite would this be considered a plenum of sorts? <Of a sorts... but do you have the defined "gap" water space alone underneath?> probably 40 or 50 lbs of live rock good coralline coverage on pumps and back wall Water parameters: last tested 10/26 at LFS <I'd get your own kits... water chemistry changes with movement, time...> Ph 8.1 Ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 10 (was told this might be due to a 350 magnum canister filter that I have removed from the system) KH 9 Calcium 450 Salinity 1.023 Live Stock: 10 Blue leg hermit Crabs 6 Red Leg hermit crabs 3 zebra striped Astrea snails 1 turbo snail 1 gold ring cowry 1 queen fighting conch 1 Pencil Urchin 1 Cleaner Shrimp 1 long tentacle Anemone 1 anemone crab 2 emerald crabs 1 brittle starfish brown How's the cleaning crew look? light heavy? <A mix... I'd keep your eye on the Mithraculus> 1" colony of star polyps 1" colony of Zoanthids 1" Florida Ricordea Fish: 1 green mandarin (he eats live brine, frozen Mysis, and chilled Arctipods along with the live pods on my LR) My current worry is my only other fish a Copper band butterfly <Hard to keep in small tanks like this> he has 3 black spots on the very edge of his pectoral fin and one black spot on the farthest back edge of his dorsal fin I've searched your site for black spots but all I can find is black Ich these spots are about the size of #2 pencil lead seemingly MUCH larger than the pictures of black Ich I've found they haven't spread or moved but just hold on. He hasn't shown any signs of rubbing against anything or discomfort he's still eating an lot of Mysis shrimp he never ignores it so I just feed him a few minutes worth and leave it at that. <I would... do nothing overt here... The spots could be "just coloring"... melanism from?...> He won't stay still long enough for my cleaner to go near him I don't think it's a lazy cleaner because it loves to pick at my fingers. I'm nervous that these black spots have the potential to spread to my mandarin I haven't set up a QT tank yet Any ideas what these might be? Please help <Not likely at all to be a spreading problem> I'm also considering in the future a black false percula clown and a flame angel I don't want to overload the system though does it sound ok to you? Thanks, Very nervous <Don't be... Do start planning re where you're going to put the new, larger system... You've got the bug, not the Chelmon. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Unknown Fish Disease? Chelmon spots    11/14/07 Hello again! I didn't properly proof read my E-mail and there was a miscommunication here on the Copper band spots. I'm terribly sorry... They aren't really spots but have the size of small black ants attached to the fins. <I see them...> 3 on the pectoral and one on the tip of the dorsal I've enclosed two pictures hopefully they're high enough quality and yet small enough to meet your standards. <Yes... good images... Don't appear to be "organismal"...> here are some interesting bits of info that might or might not help. The fish seems to have a very minor case of Ich on the fins that do not have these black things on them but no sign of white spots on the pectoral that has them. I can't seem to get a closer shot then the one I'm sending you and they have shown no signs of movement it might be my imagination but it seems like one has actually "fragged itself" with 3 tiny spots next to it that I did not notice before but I might be more paranoid now than before. Please help, Sincerely Confused <Again... I do think these are random bits of melanization... perhaps this specimen was physically whacked, as with a net... even dropped to the ground at some time. They could be from an accidental run-in with the Zoanthids. I would leave it as is... not subject the specimen to medication, moving... the marks will likely fade over a long period of time... though a purposeful cleaner might well remove them post haste... Maybe a Lysmata species. Oh! I see you list a cleaner shrimp below. Hopefully these will partner. Bob Fenner>

Need Help with Diagnosis: Copperband Butterfly 09/17/07 I purchased a Copperband Butterfly fish on Friday (9/14) from an online vendor. I noticed some redness on the bottom right and left sides of this fish today (Sunday, 9/16). The eyes and fins are clear. I have pics of this fish located here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7329275@N05 <Bad scrape... likely a thrashing with being roughly netted in the wild...> The fish is not eating yet, prolly still recovering from his trip. Is this a viral or bacterial issue? Is this something that can be treated? If so, with what? <May become bacterial... No "treatment" suggested other than good care...> The other fish in the tank <... this fish was not quarantined? Mistake> are a pair of cinnamon clownfish and a gold spotted Rabbitfish. The clownfish have been in the tank for 2.5 months and the Rabbitfish for one month. they are healthy and are eating vigorously. Salinity- 1.024 Nitrates-0 Ammonia-0 Nitrites-0 Calcium-420 Alk-3.43 Temp 80.6 Any advice and suggestions are appreciated. Thanks Kirk
<Read... on WWM re Chelmon care... Bob Fenner>

Ich, Copperband Butterfly 6/27/07 Hi crew! <Hello> Quick question.. I searched and maybe there is no answer to this but I'm asking anyway. I have a Copperband butterfly fish in QT (6 days now). It has Ich and I have been treating with Rid Ich+(4 days now). <Toxic stuff, not one of my choices for treatment.> She (assuming) eats like a pig, swims great, but her gills seem to be pumping harder than they should. <Probably a combination of the Ich's effects on the gills and lower O2 levels caused by the medications.> I know this is due to the parasite. I did a freshwater dip with Methylene blue last night for 9 minutes for external parasites...she was fine. <Good> Is there anything I can do to make her more comfortable or to make her gills not have to work so hard?. or do I have to wait for this parasite to get out of her gills? <Increasing circulation will help.> I know this may sound like a stupid question. <Is not> But I've read on WWM on Copperband Butterflyfish being fragile and she is a fighter. I don't want to lose her...she already eats from my hand. Thanks! Jen <Good luck> <Chris>
Re: Ich, Copperband Butterfly 6/27/07
Thanks Chris for the quick response! <Sure> Rid Ich was not my first choice either but from everything I read on WWM they are extremely sensitive to copper and I have never had any luck with hypo. <True, I probably would have gone with straight Formalin, instead of the Formalin/malachite green in Rid Ich+, a little less toxic.> I had sent quite a few emails to WWM concerning the best course of treatment but couldn't get a definitive answer. I know there are not a lot of absolutes in this hobby, especially when it comes to this nasty parasite. <Lots of different ideas out there, best bet is to stick with the basics.> I do have a filter rated for a 40 gal on the QT so the water is circulated quite well, should I add an air pump to this as well for aeration? <Could, but probably unnecessary.> When would it be safe to do another dip? <Have to go on your judgment there, if it seems strong enough go for it.> Thanks! <Welcome> <Chris>

Copperband issue?   12/21/06 Hi crew, <Good evening!  Mich with you tonight.>      I bought a Copperband (for Aiptasia) a month ago.  He went straight into quarantine, of course.   <Good to hear.> He's been eating very well, almost entirely bloodworms.  Very healthy. Last Thursday (six days ago) we lost power during the storm that hit the Northwest.  We got power back about 18 hours later but the temperature did drop in the tank.  I've been monitoring him closely.   <Wise.> He's full of energy and still eating but he has a single, dull whitish spot on his tail fin.  It doesn't look like Ich.  It has not grown in the past five days and I can't see any other spots however today, he did start scratching against some live rock I've got in QT with him. <Watch and wait.>      Since the spot hasn't grown, I was planning to move him into the display this weekend but the scratching has me scared. <Listen to your gut.  I would extend the time in QT.  If there is a problem, it will be much easier to address and less stressful on the fish if he remains in the QT tank.  I think moving the fish to your main system would be a mistake.  The end goal of QT is to move a healthy fish into a healthy system.  If you move to this fish now, you put the your display in jeopardy.>       Any advice would be great! <Hope that helps.  Mich>

Copperband/Disease Treatment  7/11/06 I read on your website that Copperbands can be prone to copper medication. <<Prone? RMF>> <Yes.> I have a Copperband in a QT tank with several other fish. Should I use the same does as indicated on the bottle or should I reduce the dose? I am using SeaChem activated copper, if this helps. <No such thing as activated copper.  You are referring to Cupramine, a buffered, active copper. I would isolate the Copperband in another tank.  Copperbands are very sensitive to copper treatment.  Freshwater dips and formalin (Rid-Ich+ by Kordon, formalin and malachite green) would be my choice. > Thank you. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> A

BF spot, Dottyback color loss, Centropyge feeding in QT   7/12/06 Thanks for your prompt reply, <Please include prev. corr...> I have done as you said and given my Copperband with a freshwater dip mixed with M/Green. He has a parasite attached to his front left fin, I hope it will come off after a few more dips. But he is looking much better after the first dip, the itch has receded significantly. And he's eating well as usual. <Mmm, a parasite? Might just be a "spot" from bumping into something... I'd try a purposeful cleaner organism... perhaps a Lysmata sp. shrimp... Gobiosoma goby...> Now onto my Dottyback. He has lost a lot of colour, when I got him he was a bright magenta and yellow, now he's faded to a dull purple and yellow. I have been told this is due to him not being the dominant fish in the aquarium, as the Anthias don't seem to like him too much and chase him sometimes. <Possibly a/the factor here> I feed him Mysid shrimp, brine, algae flakes, angel fish mix, ocean plankton, pretty much whatever I can get my hands on, and he is still showing no signs of his original colour. Any suggestions? <Spectrum pelleted food/s> My final question is about my eibli angel, which is refusing to eat Mysid shrimp, marine algae, brine shrimp and flakes. He is in my QT tank atm, and I'm worried that he hasn't eaten for 2 days. I am not treating the tank with any medication so I am thinking of buying a small piece of live rock for him to nibble on. Would you suggest Nori too? <Do add a good deal of ready-cured live rock with obvious algal growth> I'll just like to add that you guys provide a valuable service and your advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks. Albany <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Copperband Butterfly acting lethargic  - 2/11/2006 Hello WWM Crew!  First, let me thank you for your site and great information.  I have been reading for the last 2 hours or so (not for the first time!) but haven't been able to spot the answer I'm looking for.  So if I've overlooked it somewhere please do not think ill of me. <Mmm, no. And if you have ideas on how to arrange the content here, to make it more readily accessible, assimilable, please do speak up> I have a 75g tank w/a 30g sump that has been up for about 2.5 months with LR, and fish and inverts for about 6 weeks.  I let the LR cure for two months prior to putting it into the tank, and it seemed to cycle during that period.  Since setting up the tank, I had my original cycle and my NH3, NO2 and NO3 have all been staying pretty much at 0.  Ca was low at about 320 ppm but I managed to increase it to 450 over the last 10 days.  I add a small amount of Iodine (<5 ml) once a week.  Same with Kent essential elements.  I change out about 10 gallons per week with fresh saltwater.  My SG=1.025, Ph=8.2, KH=11.  I have about 75-80 # LR in the main tank, maybe another 15# in the sump, and am running UV and a protein skimmer.  I run a 1200 gph pump from the tank through the sump and have a 2nd closed loop system w/a Squid and an 850 Eheim pump. total flow in the tank seems pretty good.  I have one pearly Jawfish, one Sailfin blenny, 2 clowns, 1 blue tang, 1 Copperband butterfly, 2 Turbos, several Astreas, several Trochus, and about a dozen total hermits (blue, red and scarlet).  I overfed a bit when starting out and have some algae growth and a little Cyano started in the areas out of the main current.  I am getting these under control now but still am working on cleaning it up a little.  Last week 2 emeralds died within a day of each other, and two Turbos mysteriously bit the dust.  All the inverts and fish seem healthy with the exception of the butterfly.  So I guess I have two questions.  Any idea why the emeralds and snails would have died? <Mmm, possibly from some sort of "imbalance" from the addition of the supplements... though these should be discounted due to your water changes... or a biological agent/poisoning in situ> And now for the big question!  My Copperband, who I love dearly, went from being perfectly normal and eating well one day, to laying on the bottom, gasping and not eating the next. <... am gravitating more to the latter stated cause> He was eating Mysis and then decided one day he would only eat live brine shrimp.  (I guess even fish love McDonalds, eh?) <Don't supersize!> Anyway, I tried a variety of things to get him back on Mysis but he just wouldn't eat.  Eventually he showed what I was told by my LFS is a Lymphocystis growth on his lower lip. <Environmental/stress related/direct> I was told to not worry about it as it would go away on its own in a month or so, <Yes, good advice> and it never seemed to bother him eating.  So in an effort to keep him well fed while getting rid of his wart, I kept giving him brine shrimp though I added Zoe and Zoecon vitamins and a garlic elixir to the shrimp as well as feeding them to gut load then before feeding.  Unfortunately he seems to now be in bad shape - drifting around the tank, wont eat, and even looks somewhat emaciated even though he ate as recently as last night.  I haven't noticed any cysts on him and his color is good.  He looks normal with the exception of his laying on the bottom on his side and slight pumping of his gills.  Is it possible for him to starve to death eating brine shrimp? <Yes... not uncommon> Could he have some sort of parasite? <Yes> Would a freshwater dip help him? <Not likely> Also, it seems that I noticed the tang scratch the LR a couple of times when I first added him to the tank about 3 weeks ago but he is fine now, and he was fine at the LFS for the week they had him. <They do this...> Did I introduce a parasite to my tank with the tang? <Possibly... am sure you're aware of the benefits of quarantine> I know - I should have isolated him first but it seemed sort of foolish since I had just bought all the other fish from the same LFS the in the previous couple of weeks before.  Sorry for the long note but I wanted to make sure you had as much info as I could remember to type! Thanks in advance - Rob <Mmm, I would add a unit/pad of Polyfilter in your filter flow path here... allow the calcium concentration to drift down into the upper 300 ppms... and suspend the addition of supplements for a while. Bob Fenner>

My Copperband, a new addition, has developed two white patches   2/1/06 on its left side. Please see attachment. Please advise if you can identify what this may be and how to treat. Thanks, Tom <Is trouble... could be Protozoal and/or bacterial/pathogenic in nature. This fish is (too) skinny, and this is likely a factor here as well... There are a few "things" you might do to bolster its immune system, indirectly curing the apparent complaint... Soaking foods in vitamin et al. prep.s... offering foods with more caloric content, adding purposeful cleaner/s... Without these changes this animal will perish (sooner). Bob Fenner>
Follow-on from sick Chelmon   2/3/06 Contagious and or a risk to fellow tank inhabitants? <Potentially... yes. Depends on what the root cause/s are, what "it" actually is... Copperbands "break down" much easier... on a sliding scale than other fish groups... the hyperinfectivity this inspires can be trouble, contagious... Bob Fenner>

Copperband Quarantine ? Hi Bob, One of my favorite fish is the Copperband Butterfly. Unfortunately, I lost (killed???) two already.  <A beauty, but often beat, touchy... easily lost> The first one was in bad shape when I got him (mercy purchase) and based on your advice I nursed him to health and he was fine and hand-feeding. ....until I added a purple tang who bullied him and eventually the poor thing died...I loved that fish because he managed to fight back from his ill condition and became a healthy friendly pet in my reef tank. <Ahh...> The second one was a small baby about 3" long. He suffered from Ich since I did not quarantine him. After other such losses, I will always quarantine and perform a Methylene blue/fresh water dip before and after the 2-3 week quarantine period. <A good commitment> Anyway, I want to get another Copperband but this time I want to do it right and quarantine the fish. However, since Copperbands eat copepods, and since my quarantine tank does not contain any live rock, will the Copperband starve ? I will try to feed it but I just wanted to check with you before purchasing so that I can avoid another loss. Also, is there anything that Copperbands find irresistible other than copepods that I could feed during quarantine ? <The food will not immediately die... try temporarily offering such foods with the equally temporary placement of a bit of live rock.> Thanks again friend, Chuck Spyropulos <You are certainly welcome. Kia orana. Bob Fenner>

My Copperband Butterfly Hi again Bob; Rick your reefing friend here. I acquired a Copperband about 10 days ago. He is currently residing in my 20 gallon quarantine tank. He is doing extremely well. He is eating and looks healthy except he has white cotton like growths on his fins.  <Likely the viral bits termed Lymphocystis... brought on by "stress"... and likely not infectious... would place this fish, use a biological cleaner... the white gunk will "disappear" in time> I have been treating the tank with CopperSafe to eliminate an ick outbreak on a flame angel acquired at the same time. The ick seems to be gone but I am worried about the white growths on the Copperband. I read on your site that these growths may be due to excessive copper treatment so I have completed two 5 gallon water changes in two days. I will complete another water change tomorrow. Can you tell from my layman's description what this butterfly may have? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm> Please help as I have never had much success with this species and actually this is the first Copperband I have ever seen eating. Please help me to save this poor fellow. <We will do what we can. As stated, I would "just" place this fish. Bob Fenner> Thank you Rick Johnston

URGENT URGENT URGENT Bob, please help! I emailed you about my Copperband last week. He seems to be doing fine until tonight. He has been gasping and sticking his mouth out of the water. I just moved him into my reef from quarantine yesterday. He has been floating on his side and breathing heavily for a few minutes now. He has been pushed around by the current so I moved him back to quarantine. Please help. Its a 55 reef with 2 clowns 90 pounds of rock, cleaner shrimp, conchs, Nass. snails. The only reading I can test is that nitrate is at about 6 ppm. I have a large refugium, Turboflotor skimmer and 2 large powerheads for circulation? How can he not be getting enough air?  <I take it the clowns are acting fine... likely not an anoxia problem... perhaps a loss of external integrity... but from what? A stinging incident, envenomation? You did what I would do by moving the specimen... If it recovers, perhaps we will be better able to assess what the cause of this dying behavior is/was... an internal parasite? Collateral damage from collection, shipping, handling? This can/does show up days to weeks later...> Please help, I am almost positive that he will be floating when I wake up tomorrow.... The tank has had cured rock for 2 1/2 to 3 months and has had sand for 5 months... Please help Andrew <Yes... a "mysterious" occasion, likely loss... unfortunately not uncommon with marine Butterflyfishes in general... and some of the more "sensitive" genera like Chelmon in particular... even from "good" collection areas, collectors (like yours from Fiji)> Here are my previous mails <Thanks for supplying these. Bob Fenner>
Thanks Bob, clowns are acting fine. I am feeling really bad about the fish, could he have been stung by an Aiptasia?  <Yes, unfortunately> that's the only sting organism in my tank, I do have a few large ones( 3" plus) Also, could it be that the dark spots on my sandbed could have caused this?  <Not much likelihood> The fish is doing full somersaults in my quarantine tank now. The manager of LFS knows exactly who collects his fish and assures me they are very professional divers. What do you recommend to beat this thing? Lowering specific gravity? <Just a bit... maybe a couple of thousandths... more would be more stress than it's worth> At 9 tomorrow my LFS opens and I will call the manager first thing as he is a friend and he had this fish for 3 weeks prior to myself buying it. I have also asked Dr. Ron Shimek as he has a few in his reef tank. <Once established Chelmon rostrata can do well for years... most die within hours to days of capture though> thanks again, please tell me there is something I could do, i.e. add a fresh clam:? Andrew <No to the clam or any food. Think positively, knowing that you have done your best to help this animal. Bob Fenner>
thank you so much for helping me and responding so quickly. The only thing I have noticed differently is that now there seems to be a brownish tint to the butterfly's skin.....????? <Not good my friend.> thank you again for helping a hobbyist in a time of need Andrew <I am a compassionate person... from the Latin meaning "to bear pain with"... from John/Jack Donne, "If a clod be washed from England's shore..." My thoughts are with you. Bob Fenner>
thanks, the fish died last night. I woke up to find him not breathing and had lost all color in his eyes. He had little white spots on him like Ich but I did not see these before, could it just be decomposition? <Yes> thanks again Andrew <Bob Fenner>

White spot or ick on my Copperbanded butterfly Hello, <<And hello to you. JasonC here...>> I was needing to get information on treating what seems to be marine ick on my Copperbanded butterfly. It is on one side fin and the tail. <<Are these fins well salted or just a few spots? If not more than I few spots I probably wouldn't be concerned, I would just keep up the observation.>> No other fish is infected. I have coral and invertebrate in my tank. <<Do you have a cleaner shrimp or neon goby?>> Is there something that I can use that won't hurt my coral and inverts? What do you suggest! Daniel <<Well, in all but the most extreme cases, I try to leave the medications in the bottle and instead either let nature take its course or add more nature, meaning biological cleaners. Problem parasites like Ich and the like are present in tank water almost 100% of the time, and usually a healthy fish can deal with a parasite or two... it's when parasite numbers grow to epidemic proportions that things get weird. Cleaner shrimp and neon gobies can help keep these parasites in check. Here's some reading for you: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/cleaner.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/neongobies.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Cheers, J -- >>
Re: white spot or ick on my Copperbanded butterfly
Hello Jason, <<And hello to you, Sir.>> The Butterfly has only about 2-3 spots on fin and 2-3 spots on tail. I have 2 cleaner shrimp, but no goby.  Thanks, Daniel <<Sounds good to me, I wouldn't worry much about those spots. Do keep the fish under observation, look for scratching behaviors, to make sure things aren't growing out of proportion. No worries yet. Cheers, J -- >>

Abrasion? Dear WWM Crew: I had the irresistible opportunity to purchase an ostensibly healthy 5" Chelmon rostratus that had been returned to my LFS after well over a year in another customer's tank (he moved). It is a beautiful specimen that eats just about any frozen food.   I've never handled a fish this big before and had some trouble getting him into my 10G QT. Now I see what appears to be a slightly bloody abrasion on it's left side. (see attached photos). <I see> I have been adding Kent Marine Pro-Tech Coat daily since I notice this. Should I treat with an antibiotic? If so, what? Am I mistaking something more ominous for a "simple" abrasion? It continues to behave normally and eat well. <I would place this fish in your main/display system without much worry. It is very likely pathogen free... and will only suffer from being quarantined much longer. Bob Fenner> Your input will be highly valued. Thanks, Steve Allen

QT Emergency I have had a Chelmon rostratus  in QT for 36 hours. Tank is 20G with Whisper 3000 power filter, 200gph power head, heater. Initially, it did stay close to the pvc tee I have in the tank, but would come out and 'cruise' the tank until I came into the room and it saw me. Ammonia, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate <10ppm, SG 1.0243. (honestly the ammonia is a best guess, as I CANNOT read these @#$%!#$ color charts very well. The chart says clear for no ammonia, but the water 'fogs' and it is very hard to see color. I have checked the fresh RO/DI water and it is clear) But the pH this morning is 7.88! (Lights on about 3 hours) The fish is obviously stressed, mouth open, hiding, occasional head spasms (side to side shake). <Sounds like some kind of osmotic shock or other form of shock. Don't rule out disease or collection traumas as well. Continue to observe him carefully.> Can I bring the pH back up with water changes, and if so, how fast? <I'd do some medium sized water changes here-no more than say, 20% at a time. Did the pH drop suddenly, or was this a gradual downward trend? The solution could simply be to change water more often or to make sure that when you feed, nothing goes uneaten. Unfortunately, in a bare aquarium, buffering can sometimes be a challenge. Yes, there are products to assist in buffering, but you need to test for anything that you add, ok?> Or, do I need more drastic measures, i.e. baking soda? BTW it did eat fairly well the am (The mix from CMA, shrimp clams, Nori, Zoe) Thanks. <Keep a close eye on the fish and the water chemistry. If any of your readings are amiss, or if the pH fluctuate wildly, you will need to take more drastic measures, such as more massive water changes, etc. Keep on top of things, and your fish should be okay. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Copper Band Butterfly Problem
Thanks Scott! <My pleasure> (Did the pH drop suddenly, or was this a gradual downward trend?) On Friday pm the pH was 8.11 On Saturday am the pH was 8.03 (I wrote this off to overnight swing) The next time I check was right before I wrote you on Sunday am. I have the pH back up to 8.02 before lights out last night. (did about 30% water change) Will follow with more today. The fish appears much more relaxed, cruising, hovering, picking at the substrate. Eating well. <Good to hear that!> But, I am still seeing a spasm of some sort on occasion. Sometimes it is the belly fins, sometimes  it is the head shake, sometimes it ripples through the entire body. I assume this is an abnormal behavior? I see no evidence of parasites, and there seems to be no damage that I can view. <Definitely abnormal...Hard to say- could be anything from an internal parasite to possible poisoning from the collection process...Tough call here> And I have seen it very well when it comes out. I am planning to offer small amounts of food several times a day, as long as it eats. <Good idea!> Since I am off work the next 3 weeks so I will be able to keep a tight eye on it. Don <That's what I'd do at this point, Don- just keep an eye on him and be ready for intervention if it becomes necessary. Good luck! Scott F.>

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.

Aiptasia, Copperband, No Quarantine? Hi all, my two month old 55 gal tank (only with LR and now some snails) is being overrun by Aiptasia. Was going to go the peppermint shrimp route until they died in transit via FedEx. My LFS (AWESOME) has offered a Copperband for a couple weeks to clean them out and then I can return him. I know we are not supposed to be adding non-quarantined fish to the display tank, and past experience proves that theory as valid for me. Should I use the fish without QT?  Do we bend the rules in this case? Do I put the Butterfly right in the tank to go to work on the Aiptasia without a quarantine first? My understanding is that this Butterfly has a pretty specialized diet and is pretty hard to keep to begin with. Quarantining him in a bare tank would seem dangerous for the animal to begin with.  I know your opinion on QT so maybe I am wasting my breath. <You are correct, nothing goes into the main tank without a 4-5 week QT.> He also says the Peppermint Shrimp route is a 50/50 toss since there are two species of Peps and you might get the one that doesn't eat the Aiptasia.  Says the Copperband is the best route. <Not sure about the two species, but the camel back shrimp is oft confused with the peppermint.> This LFS is one of the most highly reputable and respected in my area, so chances are the fish would be in good condition and clean, but one never knows. <Exactly. You might check here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aipfaqs.htm and the links at the top of the page for more on Aiptasia. Don> Any advice? Thanks.

New Copperband BF with Ich 3/29/04  I woke up this morning and see that my Copperband is starting to get s few spots of ICK. As mentioned before, it's in a 10g QT by itself w/LR/LS. Should I give it a fresh water dip?  <I do believe this will be very helpful. 3 minutes bare minimum to be effective... towards 5 minutes at least ideally. Do be sure to adjust the temperature and pH of the FW dip water very accurately to match the tank water. Aerate this bath several hours in advance too>  Should I medicate the dip?  <Formalin would be fine, but any of the organic dyes (Meth blue, Mal green, etc) or Copper/metals may take their toll on this sensitive fish>  Should I just treat the entire tank?  <if it is bare bottomed (glass) QT, then this may be an option.>  If you recommend medication, what should I use?  <Formalin and FW dips gets my vote. Daily or nearly so for the next week>  I'm giving this fish my all - I don't know who's stressed more - me or the fish (fish I'm sure). Thanks again, Dennis Nolan  <best of luck. Anthony>

Copperband not doing Well My Copperband seems to be on the way out. He's sitting on the sand, seems to be unable to keep his balance, tips over then rights himself. I don't know what else to do. I've partitioned the tank so with glass so the butterfly won't be bugged by my tang. I've had the butterfly for over a month now, it seemed to be doing good, eating lots of clam and very responsive. Don't know if it was collected from the Philippines, could this be an after effect of cyanide? I didn't think fish collected would live this long. <Tristan, I'm sorry to hear about your Copperband, a truly beautiful fish. Regardless of what some books or articles may tell you, the Copperband is not easily kept without a good diet and excellent water conditions. You didn't mention any white spots on the fish so I'm assuming disease isn't the culprit, so that leaves diet and water quality remaining. Copperbands need lots of live rock to graze on. Other food supplements should be soaked in a vitamin solution such as Selcon or VitaChem etc. I don't believe clam alone is going to do it for this guy. Ten % weekly water changes are also a must. Before making any other butterfly purchases, make sure you can furnish what these fish need to survive in a closed system. Good luck and again, sorry about your Copperband. James (Salty Dog)> 

Marine Roulette Anyone? We all know how awesome the WWM crew is - and so do they - that's why we all come back here! <They told me there was free beer! You mean there isn't? I'm outta here!> Enough said. What's odd is that so many of us have learned what we know of the marine hobby right here and by reading the works of WWM authors - yet so many of us insist on learning the hard way.... <Heeeeee! Human nature... my fave species> For example, I have an overstocked 75 gal mixed reef and have never quarantined so much as one thing... The system has been up and running for over a year and I've watched the dreaded white spot signs of Ich teeter-totter between the fish's favor and the parasites favor. Had never had a serious enough outbreak to warrant pulling all of the fish out for treatment or letting the tank go fallow.... 'til now.... <Doh!> Hadn't seen any signs of Ich for close to six-months, so in my infinite wisdom what do I do? Add a "King-O-Ich" Hippo Tang. Well the pendulum quickly favored the Ich and I end up with a major breakout. Fortunately I had a 55 gal. sitting around looking thirsty so I tear the rockwork apart and catch the fish.... Yellow Tang, Hippo Tang, Royal Gramma, Two Ocellaris Clowns, Copperband Butterfly, and a Flame Hawkfish. They're being treated with Cupramine and for all those who've had trouble measuring this, the Seachem kit seems to keep a good handle on the copper levels.  <They do have good products>  Did I keep a sponge in the 75gal display to use in case of an treatment emergency such as this? Of course not.... <Doh times two~!> So I'm changing significant amounts of water every other day to keep ammonia as low as possible. Livestock seem to be progressively doing better - but I'm concerned about the Copperband. He hasn't hardly eaten any provided foods since we got him. He seemed to pick off the rocks rather than touch anything we fed... Problem is - their obviously aren't any rocks in the hospital tank - and I've yet to see him eat a thing. <Try a small "bivalve"... clam, cockle... opened up... these are almost irresistible to Chelmons... even stressed out ones in tiny volumes and copper> It's been 8 days since he was admitted to the hospital. Before this Ich outbreak began, we had already been planning on a move into a 180, which is about another month out. We had purchased 40 lbs of additional live rock, which is curing in Rubbermaids. My question is this. ( I know - Finally) The new live rock in quarantine will be cured about the time that the copper treatment comes to an end, and hopefully the hospital tank has completely cycled. Yet I will still be weeks from moving into the 180 - so the fish will remain in the hospital tank until the move. The only thing in the hospital is PVC material (nothing Calcareous). <Natch... as it would absorb the copper...> For the betterment of the environment, can I add cycled live rock to the cycled hospital once the copper is removed with water changes, PolyFilter, and carbon? <Yes> Or should I not add anything copper sensitive since the tank has been exposed to copper. <A small amount of precipitated copper is not a big deal> I had read somewhere (don't know the validity) that the tank seals will act like a sponge and leach copper even after it is testing zero and believed removed.  <Very, very little... in most cases/scenarios> Obviously, the best thing would be to not get into this situation, but.... In light of the fact I am, what would be the best way to proceed? And yes, lesson learned... From now on apply the generous sharings of knowledge from those in the know.... Thanks, Brad. <Better to move the Copperband elsewhere after two weeks treatment... with larger, more stable setting... try Mysids (live if you can get them)... soaked in Selcon or equivalent... Do pH adjusted freshwater dip the fishes enroute... Bob Fenner> 
Marine Roulette Anyone? avec James' Response
We all know how awesome the WWM crew is - and so do they - that's why we all come back here! Enough said. What's odd is that so many of us have learned what we know of the marine hobby right here and by reading the works of WWM authors - yet so many of us insist on learning the hard way.... For example, I have an overstocked 75 gal mixed reef and have never quarantined so much as one thing.  The system has been up and running for over a year and I've watched the dreaded white spot signs of Ich teeter-totter between the fish's favor and the parasites favor. Had never had a serious enough outbreak to warrant pulling all of the fish out for treatment or letting the tank go fallow 'til now.  Hadn't seen any signs of Ich for close to six-months, so in my infinite wisdom what do I do? Add a "King-O-Ich" Hippo Tang. Well the pendulum quickly favored the Ich and I end up with a major breakout. Fortunately I had a 55gal sitting around looking thirsty so I tear the rockwork apart and catch the fish.... Yellow Tang, Hippo Tang, Royal Gramma, Two Ocellaris Clowns, Copperband Butterfly, and a Flame Hawkfish.  They're being treated with Cupramine and for all those who've had trouble measuring this, the Seachem kit seems to keep a good handle on the copper levels. Did I keep a sponge in the 75gal display to use in case of an treatment emergency such as this? Of course not. So I'm changing significant amounts of water every other day to keep ammonia as low as possible.  Livestock seem to be progressively doing better - but I'm concerned about the Copperband. He hasn't hardly eaten any provided foods since we got him. He seemed to pick off the rocks rather than touch anything we fed. Problem is - there obviously aren't any rocks in the hospital tank - and I've yet to see him eat a thing. It's been 8 days since he was admitted to the hospital.  Before this Ich outbreak began, we had already been planning on a move into a 180, which is about another month out. We had purchased 40 lbs of additional live rock, which is curing in Rubbermaids. My question is this. ( I know - Finally) The new live rock in quarantine will be cured about the time that the copper treatment comes to an end, and hopefully the hospital tank has completely cycled. Yet I will still be weeks from moving into the 180 - so the fish will remain in the hospital tank until the move. The only thing in the hospital is PVC material (nothing Calcareous).  For the betterment of the environment, can I add cycled live rock to the cycled hospital once the copper is removed with water changes, PolyFilter, and carbon? Or should I not add anything copper sensitive since the tank has been exposed to copper.  I had read somewhere (don't know the validity) that the tank seals will act like a sponge and leach copper even after it is testing zero and believed removed. Obviously, the best thing would be to not get into this situation, but.... In light of the fact I am, what would be the best way to proceed? And yes, lesson learned... From now on apply the generous sharings of knowledge from those in the know.... <I don't think you would have a problem putting the live rock in the QT once you filter out the copper. I would try one thing for your Copperband. Get some Cyclop-eeze in the pump bottle. I'm thinking that will trigger him into eating. It's great stuff. Good for corals....my Percs love it and really colored up nice. James (Salty Dog)>

Butterflies that won't eat.. Marina offers a Tip to Induce Feeding Hi Bob, <Mar> You and James answered the same query re: Copperband not eating in qt (Marine Roulette?). When working at the LBAOP (coral lab, acclimation and tropical quarantine for said lab) there were several "special" q/t setups. One was for the butterflies. On their regular q/t menu was bloodworms. I saw many, many difficult species being induced to feed *while* being treated with copper (though, they have an actual LAB there) on these things. When they hit the saltwater they *really* start wriggling, and I swear, if you had a hook and line attached to them you'd be fishing out butterflies. They would eventually be weaned onto krill, minced clam, and a few other meaty foods before going into display.  Marina - missing the smell of the skimmers.. <Thank you for this... Please do post. BobF>

- Another Copperband Butterfly Question, More Follow-up - My Copperband is eating frozen Mysis shrimp, Spirulina and vitamin enriched brine shrimp and freeze dried brine shrimp. Can it survive on this diet?  <I'd like to see you ditch the brine shrimp... doesn't matter what's it's enriched with, it still is the dietary equivalent of a diet potato chip with olestra. If you could, try to get some meaty seafoods in there... some krill, mussel, shrimp, squid... would all do well by this fish.> Thanks again, Larry <Cheers, J -- >

Cyanided Copperband? - 03/31/2005 Hello, <Ahoy, thar, Rob! Sabrina here, this fine evening.> A couple of months ago I emailed you about my success with a Copperband butterfly in my 90 gallon reef tank. In fact you guys posted on your website, very cool.  <We do try to post everything! Thank you for sharing your experience with us before; I hope we can be of service now....> I have a question though. How do I determine if a fish has been caught by cyanide? <This can be extremely difficult to determine with any certainty.... Location of collection may shed some insight; I believe a fish can be necropsied after death to discover if cyanide poisoning did it in or not....> <<Editor's note: In general, not always, Indo-Pacific fishes may be suspect.  If not collected with cyanide, may have been exposed via run-off, downstream of mining operations.>> For the last two months this same Copperband has been eating everything in sight, Mysis, bloodworms, squid, clam - pretty much whatever I put in the tank but for the last 2 weeks he seems to be getting thinner by the day.  <So, he's eating heartily, but he's losing weight? A few possibilities here, including cyanide poisoning.> I feed my fish 2-3 times a day and I vary their diet. I have quite a variety of fish in there. My water parameters are pretty much where they need to be, ammonia - 0, nitrites - 0, nitrates - 0, ph - 8.3.  <Salinity? Alkalinity? Tank size? Other fish? Most recent addition? Were all additions quarantined?> I have been observing the tank for several days and nights to see if other fish are harassing the Copperband causing it stress but none seem to be. There are no signs of parasites, fungus or bacterial infection.  <Mm, actually, the fact that the fish is losing weight despite an obviously hearty appetite is a strong sign of internal parasites. Can't see 'em when they're on the inside, after all. It might also be an indication of mycobacteriosis, an essentially incurable internal bacterial complaint. Other signs of mycobacteriosis are deformations of the spine, possibly clouded/frayed fins, small lumps/granulomas, or bloating. Let's hope, for now, that it's not mycobacteriosis, and not cyanide poisoning, as there's not a whole heck of a lot you can do about those. Let's turn to the possibility of internal parasites, and explore that a bit.> I have many years experience with saltwater fish and inverts but I have not seen this before. This Copperband seems to be wasting away no matter how much he eats and he eats a lot. What should I be looking for?  <At this point, let's hope for the best. If you have access to a high-powered microscope, collect a fecal sample from the fish and take a look. You will probably need help from a university biology professor, or a veterinarian, with this, unless you have a lot of confidence in making a diagnosis. If you don't seek the help of someone of that nature, then try to get a hold of "Handbook of Fish Diseases" by Untergasser, "Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment" by Noga, or other book with good, accurate microscopic photographs of what to look for in the way of internal nasties. Mostly, you'll want to determine first if there IS anything in those guts, and secondly whether it's protozoan or a nematode, trematode, or cestode taking residence in the fish. If it seems that you're dealing with a protozoan, I would suggest treating with Metronidazole in food, as the fish is still eating. If you find signs of nematodes, Trematodes, or Cestodes, I would try treating with Piperazine or Levamisole in food. Now, if you DON'T have access to a good microscope, or vet, or good book, or you simply don't feel confidant with your findings, you could treat with Praziquantel in food, which should handle any of the above nasties - but you'll probably need a vet's help in obtaining this. Metronidazole, Piperazine and Levamisole are easily available in the aquarium trade, and can even be purchased already in foods. You might take a look at http://www.flguppiesplus.com ; I know they have some medicated foods available.> I have to admit I am getting ticked off at the thought that he may have been caught with cyanide.  <I would be, as well. I'd be infuriated.> The fish store that got him in for me guaranteed he was not but you never really know do you?  <Unless you feel you can trust the fish store, and they the wholesaler, and they the transshipper, in collection location, and you know that location does not permit collection via cyanide, then no, you really can't know. And even when the stars ARE in alignment, and you DO know the entire history of the fish, well, I'm sure it's just not possible to be absolutely 100% certain. Sadly, it is entirely possible that this IS the problem with your fish. I've still got my fingers crossed that it's a perfectly fixable situation, though.> I would appreciate any thoughts on the matter.  <And there you've got 'em. If you need further treatment information, the two books that I mentioned have great suggestions for treatment and dosages. Do try to look the books up, if you have the opportunity.> Thanks, Rob Mancabelli Syracuse, NY <Wishing you and your Copperband well, -Sabrina>
Re: cyanided Copperband? 4/5/05 - Response 4/14/05
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately my Copperband did not survive. I dissected him (I am a biology teacher) and found his liver was pitted and mushy. Cyanide?  <<Hello, Marina today. I received an email from Sabrina a couple of weeks ago regarding this issue, and I "sent" her to speak with one Peter Rubec. He can be found under the username "PeterIMA" on http://www.reefs.org/ - here you can find more information regarding the use, presence, and effects of cyanide (in the Industry Forum).  Know that it is not necessary for an animal to have been *collected* with cyanide. In many countries there are also mining operations, and cyanide seems to be associated with gold extraction. All that needs happen is for an animal to be in the area of such run-off.  I can tell you that fishes exposed to cyanide do seem to experience problems with their livers (do Google this, I sent out links re) as well as the gut linings. What seems to happen is that a fish may/can eat, but is unable to absorb nutrients, thus gaining no nutrition from what is consumed. The fish can (and do) essentially starve, like King Midas, eating all the while starving to death. This process can (and often does) take months to occur. This is much more commonly seen in fishes found/collected in the Indo-Pacific regions, though it is NOT a rule.>> I feel bad that this fish has died, I truly have not lost a fish in over 3 years. I may try another Copperband but I hate the thought of having the same thing happen again. I usually only buy fish I believe I can maintain for long-term so maybe a Copperband is not for me. Again thanks for your help. <<I have not found this particular butterfly to be a difficult fish to keep ASSUMING it has been collected AND held/shipped properly. Easily as many fish are lost during the holding process as are through cyanide fishing practices. I understand your reluctance, but I will wager a guess that you keep other Indo-Pacific specimens. What is more important is to ensure that whomever you purchase the specimens from is purchasing from a reliable wholesaler. In the meantime, I will let Sabrina know that I've responded directly to you, will be keeping this correspondence in case she has anything more she'd like to add.

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