African Butterfly Fish Not Eating

CxN Griffin

Hello, I've had an african butterfly fish for probably about 5 months now and last month decided to get her off crickets and onto a small soft arowana floating stick food which she was doing great with for the last several weeks. But this past week she has stopped eating and is not interested in anything I am offering. I even tried to offer her a cricket again and she wouldn't take it. It's been about 5 days since she has eaten anything that I have offered her and I am starting to get worried.

I did switch up the stocking in the tank a bit as I noticed she was starting to eat some of her smaller tank mates (forktail rainbowfish in particular) and recently got a school of dwarf neon rainbows to replace them. I am wondering if these new tank mates are stressing her out to where she won't eat but I really don't know what's going on. She seems to be actively patrolling the surface more than she used to which is odd considering she doesn't want to eat.

If anyone has any ideas please let me know. Thank you!

Tank Details: 38 Gallon Planted aquarium kept at 77 degrees F
Stocking - 1 African butterfly fish
- 3 Pearl Goruami
- 1 female betta
- 3 otos
- 6 Dwarf neon rainbowfish
- 5 Amano shrimp
- 2 nerite snails
 

SparklingGourami

Try soaking the food in garlic.

After 5 days without eating, your butterfly fish should be hungry.
It will be easier to feed him/her due to extreme hunger and even easier with garlic.
 

CxN Griffin

UPDATE:

I just found her dead at the bottom of the tank... I'm pretty bummed about this tbh, it was one of my favorite fish. If anyone has any suggestions as to what I could do better in the future please let me know so I can turn this into a lesson. Thanks.
 

Viralology

UPDATE:

I just found her dead at the bottom of the tank... I'm pretty bummed about this tbh, it was one of my favorite fish. If anyone has any suggestions as to what I could do better in the future please let me know so I can turn this into a lesson. Thanks.

Sorry to hear about your fish, if possible could you post a picture of the fish. Was the belly sunken in? fin rot? ect.
 

CxN Griffin

Sorry to hear about your fish, if possible could you post a picture of the fish. Was the belly sunken in? fin rot? ect.
Sorry I just got rid of it. But no, I couldn't notice anything visually wrong with it. I did start dosing the tank with cupramine for some Ich I noticed on some of the rainbows I had gotten and wanted to catch it early, but I'm pretty sure that only negatively affects invertebrates which I put in QT before the treatment... But no, its colors were looking fine and seemed healthy, just wouldn't eat. Could it have been some kind of internal parasite?
 

Viralology

Sorry I just got rid of it. But no, I couldn't notice anything visually wrong with it. I did start dosing the tank with cupramine for some Ich I noticed on some of the rainbows I had gotten and wanted to catch it early, but I'm pretty sure that only negatively affects invertebrates which I put in QT before the treatment... But no, its colors were looking fine and seemed healthy, just wouldn't eat. Could it have been some kind of internal parasite?

I was about to suggest a parasite. If you did notice ich how was it introduced to the tank? Any new additions lately?
 

CxN Griffin

I was about to suggest a parasite. If you did notice ich how was it introduced to the tank? Any new additions lately?
Like I said above the rainbows, which I added last saturday, were the newest additions. I noticed the ich on two of them two days after being added and started the treatment that night (Monday).
 

Viralology

Like I said above the rainbows, which I added last saturday, were the newest additions. I noticed the ich on two of them two days after being added and started the treatment that night (Monday).

That might have been the case. Maybe it just got stressed or died from a disease. How are the other tank mates doing? Is the ich spreading or contained?
 

CxN Griffin

That might have been the case. Maybe it just got stressed or died from a disease. How are the other tank mates doing? Is the ich spreading or contained?
I haven't noticed the ich spreading yet. I saw several of the tell-tale "salt granule" spots on one of the tail fins of a rainbow and I haven't seen anything else on any of the other fish, not even the butterfly.
 

Viralology

I haven't noticed the ich spreading yet. I saw several of the tell-tale "salt granule" spots on one of the tail fins of a rainbow and I haven't seen anything else on any of the other fish, not even the butterfly.

I would try to quarantine if possible any fish affected by the disease. I know you QT the invertebrates but it might be better to QT the affected fish so you don't risk contaminating the other tank mates. Also I am not forgetting about the butterfly fish. That is definitely a weird situation. Did you notice any aggression what so ever when adding the new tank mates?
 

CxN Griffin

Not against the new dwarf neon rainbows, but it did eat several of the fish I had before the neons (they were forktail rainbows). Also I am already treating the whole main tank with cupramine. I would have liked to qt the other fish but unfortunately don't have the setup or space to do so.
 

Viralology

Not against the new dwarf neon rainbows, but it did eat several of the fish I had before the neons (they were forktail rainbows). Also I am already treating the whole main tank with cupramine. I would have liked to qt the other fish but unfortunately don't have the setup or space to do so.

Understandable on the QT situation, just monitor all the fish. Some fish who don't need meds can get sick for medicating too much. Also, without actually being there and monitoring the tank I can't really tell what the cause of death was, again sorry about all that. Just trying to prevent it from happening again. Check water parameters. Ph, Ammonia ect. make sure nothing is crazy out of line.
 

CxN Griffin

Understandable on the QT situation, just monitor all the fish. Some fish who don't need meds can get sick for medicating too much. Also, without actually being there and monitoring the tank I can't really tell what the cause of death was, again sorry about all that. Just trying to prevent it from happening again. Check water parameters. Ph, Ammonia ect. make sure nothing is crazy out of line.
Thanks for your help!
 

Viralology

Thanks for your help!

No problem if you need anything else just post here or dm.
 

BRAV0 31st

Got her a month ago and been in love ever since but she’s just recently went on a hunger strike would eat live foods just about every day and now stays in the middle of the water column and won’t eat and is terrified of everything last week she would rip food out of my hand so I’m not sure what’s going on
IMG_0781.jpg
 

PascalKrypt

What a beauty!
Not an expert on these but I've read up on them quite a bit as I'm planning to own one at some point in the future. From everything I've understood they really won't leave the surface unless they feel forced. So something about the surface must be making her very distressed.

Did you change anything about the tank and in particular the surface (agitation, flow rate, objects nearby, floating things, different lighting, objects just outside the tank, etc.?). Do you have any new fish in the tank? Do any of the other fish behave odd?
 

jpm995

Their hardy fish, i've never seen on go on a hunger strike. Mine always stay at the top of the tank only swim down to chase food. I would check the water params first. Is their any fish possible harassing her? Check for nipped fins. Mine has been eating flake food and some frozen worms.
 

BRAV0 31st

I moved the light closer but that’s about it I just turned the flow back a bit but she’s the only surface feeder I have the rest are bottom feeders
 

BRAV0 31st

Their hardy fish, i've never seen on go on a hunger strike. Mine always stay at the top of the tank only swim down to chase food. I would check the water params first. Is their any fish possible harassing her? Check for nipped fins. Mine has been eating flake food and some frozen worms.

I netted her just now she looks fine and healthy but I never see her eat anymore and I usually feed her live foods once she calmed down she floated at the top a bit but when I came back she was hiding in my plants I don’t know what could be scaring her
 

jpm995

Do you have any driftwood that goes to the top of the tank? They like to be able to get away from the water outlet and feel secure. Floating plants are ideal but plants like cabomba that reach the top may work. Mine usually hangs by the driftwood or a large sword plants leaf.
 

BRAV0 31st

Do you have any driftwood that goes to the top of the tank? They like to be able to get away from the water outlet and feel secure. Floating plants are ideal but plants like cabomba that reach the top may work. Mine usually hangs by the driftwood or a large sword plants leaf.

I was thinking that now that the lights are out she’s on the prowl
 

BRAV0 31st

She’s staying near the bottom to middle of the tank even when the lights are off I don’t have any cover on the top of the water I don’t see anything wrong I’m looking to see if anyone has had this issue before with any top dwelling fish


IMG_0781.jpg
 

NC122606

She’s staying near the bottom to middle of the tank even when the lights are off I don’t have any cover on the top of the water I don’t see anything wrong I’m looking to see if anyone has had this issue before with any top dwelling fish

View attachment 641126
Hey, some questions.
1. When did you get it?
2. What is in the tank with it?
 

BRAV0 31st

Hey, some questions.
1. When did you get it?
2. What is in the tank with it?

About a month or almost two and it’s in a 25 with nothing else in it but loaches and corys
 

NC122606

About a month or almost two and it’s in a 25 with nothing else in it but loaches and corys
What is the water flow like?
 

BRAV0 31st

What is the water flow like?

Pretty slow moving out take blows on 1/4 of the tank so plenty of slow moving water and places to rest
 

NC122606

Pretty slow moving out take blows on 1/4 of the tank so plenty of slow moving water and places to rest
Huh, never seen something like this...
A few more.
1. How bright is your lighting?
2. Is she eating? Have you given her insects yet?
3. Does she appear damaged anywhere or maybe sick?
4. I know, I know. I don't want to be that guy but how are your parameters looking?
5. Do you have any floating plants for cover? I know they like to hide in those.
 

BRAV0 31st

Huh, never seen something like this...
A few more.
1. How bright is your lighting?
2. Is she eating? Have you given her insects yet?
3. Does she appear damaged anywhere or maybe sick?
4. I know, I know. I don't want to be that guy but how are your parameters looking?
5. Do you have any floating plants for cover? I know they like to hide in those.

The amazon review says the light is 11w 640lm she ate last Friday I netted her last night and checked real close and no open wounds or sores fins are not nicked and parameters are good nitrates where 5ppm everything else was pretty close to 0 ph is at 7.2 I just put in a plastic plant and raised the light she’s swimming a little more here is a pic of the light I did just tint the led blues because I’m having a lot of algae right now so it’s a warmer white
IMG_0790.JPG
 

BRAV0 31st

Huh, never seen something like this...
A few more.
1. How bright is your lighting?
2. Is she eating? Have you given her insects yet?
3. Does she appear damaged anywhere or maybe sick?
4. I know, I know. I don't want to be that guy but how are your parameters looking?
5. Do you have any floating plants for cover? I know they like to hide in those.

Thanks for the help she seems good today
Image1575674450.598547.jpg
 

BRAV0 31st

What a beauty!
Not an expert on these but I've read up on them quite a bit as I'm planning to own one at some point in the future. From everything I've understood they really won't leave the surface unless they feel forced. So something about the surface must be making her very distressed.

Did you change anything about the tank and in particular the surface (agitation, flow rate, objects nearby, floating things, different lighting, objects just outside the tank, etc.?). Do you have any new fish in the tank? Do any of the other fish behave odd?
 

BRAV0 31st

She is all good now I got another butterfly and a floating log and I think the other fish being out and the constant competition for food is what did it
 

BRAV0 31st

Do you have any driftwood that goes to the top of the tank? They like to be able to get away from the water outlet and feel secure. Floating plants are ideal but plants like cabomba that reach the top may work. Mine usually hangs by the driftwood or a large sword plants leaf.


She is all good now I got another butterfly and a floating log and I think the other fish being out and the constant competition for food is what did it
 

BRAV0 31st

Good to hear!!! Let me know if you need anything else (even though I didn’t do anything)!

I got another smaller butterfly and they both stay at the top all the time I guess they are more of a schooling fish then I had known
 

NC122606

I got another smaller butterfly and they both stay at the top all the time I guess they are more of a schooling fish then I had known
Yes! A lot of people don’t know that in the wild these fish like to hang out in “shafts” (I think it’s called that) but a group of them!
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
9
Views
1K
tfreema
  • Sticky
Replies
5
Views
2K
CaptainAquatics
Replies
18
Views
1K
Ipman37
Replies
7
Views
495
NC122606
Replies
21
Views
4K
WolfaraRose

Did You Know...

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom