Copperband butterfly

Annadvn

I am getting desperate to get rid of the aiptasia in my reef tank. So I went to the LFS to get some true peppermint shrimps. Whilst there they mentioned that these guys are great for controlling aiptasia (although they will also go for feather dusters).

They had one in stock for just under $30, which seemed a good price, the fish looked healthy, active and I was able to see him feed whilst I was there, Although on his tail fin he had what looked like ick, but the white spots were a bit bigger. The fish showed no signs of flashing and I could not see white spots anywhere else on the fishes body or on other tank mates.

I asked the LFS and they said it was not ick, but some sort of fungusy thing that angelfish and butterfly fish get???? They also mentioned it was going away and was not treating it with anything. This all came from the owners mouth who cares for the fish and will not sell a fish unless he is happy with the tank and living conditions its going to!

I don't have a quarantine tank for salt water so decided against buying the butterfly, even though he would have made a good edition to the tank.

Does anyone know what this white stuff (not ick) is and are butterflies more commonly affected? Should I have bought the fish anyway?

Anna

P.S I ended up buying 2 peppermint shrimps (they guaranteed them to be the true peppermints) to help control the aiptasia - knowing its not a guarantee.
 

cerianthus

good move. w/o pic can't be sure. When in doubt, trust your gut feeling. CBB can go after corals.
 

Annadvn

Thanks Cerianthus,

I don't think the LFS would have let me take a picture!

I was going by this website: about them eating the aiptasia, I didn't think of the corals as well (although I was warned about feather dusters).

GARF headquarters is just down the road from me, and although I haven't been there yet I read their website all the time.

Anna
 

cerianthus

Thanks Cerianthus,

I don't think the LFS would have let me take a picture!

I was going by this website: about them eating the aiptasia, I didn't think of the corals as well (although I was warned about feather dusters).

GARF headquarters is just down the road from me, and although I haven't been there yet I read their website all the time.

Anna

Although I like to give credit where it's due as far as lfs is concerned , I would still like to recommend for you to read book with facts. Cheap Marine Fishes Book by Scott Michael (look for usede one) is decent for most common fishes with good and accurate info on fish compatibility in reef.. I have kept few CBB in reef tanks with mixed results. I even tried angels (emperor, rock beauty, queens, etc) in reef to see what they would do to reef. SOme went better than others just like CBB. Unless willing to take a chance with coral I would avoid such addition to reef.

How bad is you aiptasia problem? If not too bad and they are in reachable areas, one way which worked for me without removing rocks was to sucked the life out of them using hypodermic syringe. One might say how long its gonna take to eradicate but do 10 or 20/ day and you should be able to keep them under control before you know and hope your peppermint does the trick on the aiptasia in unreachable areas.. Personally, even true peppermints were hit and miss just like emrald crab on Valonia (bubble algae) problem.

Good luck!
 

oc reef

I believe getting a Copperband Butterfly fish (Chelmon rostratus) is definitely one of the best routes to take for eradicating Aiptasia in a reef tank. Providing you don't have any other fish in your reef tank that won't get along with it.

Not to necessarily endorse Live Aquaria or anything like that, even though we are a supply retailer, but we got our Copperband Butterfly fish from them almost 6 months ago and (Kaleb) our CBB's name does a great job at keeping the Aiptasia down in our reef tank...

At first he looked at the Aiptasia as if seeing them for the first time ever; granted he was a species supposedly from Singapore and more than likely he may have not ever seen them before in his native waters. I'd have to say it took him about a good month, and then finely to our surprise we actually saw him snap at one with his tweezers-like mouth. As you can imagine we were excited to finally seem him feast on an Aiptasia.

Now he will regularly keep them down; the smaller Aiptasia were the first to go; the larger ones, especially the really large ones took him about 3-5 days to fully get rid of. In any event the process of seeing him seek and destroy Aiptasia is truly amazing to watch.

If you do get one, try to get a small to medium one, these always seem to fare/adjust better; ours did just fine and is growing fairly quickly also...

Regarding any large feather dusters; since we don't have any I can't say would he would have done; regarding the other corals, within his first three days of being introduced to our reef tank, I do remember what appeared to be him possibly trying to nibble on a Xenia, but after that he never touched them again. Our button polyps he doesn't seem to bother at all; and now that he has realized the Aiptasia make tasty treats, we never see him nip at any of our other corals. It took him a while to start eating frozen foods and other types of foods, but now six months later he eats just about anything we give him. He is also the dominate one in the tank now, but doesn't harm anyone, just shows them who's boss; whereas in the past it was are Large Blue Damsel.

In conclusion, definitely a fish worthy of keeping and learning from. I'd have to say Kaleb has made my top ten list for saltwater fish to keep. Tube worms/ Feather Dusters are fun too; but watching our Copperband eat the Aiptasia is killer
 

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