View Full Version : Copperband Butterflyfish

11/20/2012, 01:43 PM
So I got a Copperband Butterflyfish this Sunday, my tank is a 110 gallon running for the past 2 years with a sump/refugim. I know he is a difficult fish to feed.
Fellow reefers that have one or had one, I will like to know for how long you have or had this fish & what are you feeding?

Curious George
11/20/2012, 02:55 PM
I have had min for one year. He was eating NLS at the store when I bought him. He was 3 inches when I got him and is now close to 5. The first week, he picked a little at feeding time. It wasn't until I tried frozen PE mysis did he start to EAT. He only ate mysis for the first month, than tried frozen brine.....then flakes, and then pellets. Now he eats anything and is fat. With an established tank and a decent amount of live rock, he will pick to get by until he is comfortable and ready to eat what you offer.

I might be lucky, but I don't think they are as difficult as their reputation proceeds them. I also think better collection practices and availability help out with more inicidents of success.

11/20/2012, 03:45 PM
we have gotten several at the store i work at, and out of the 4 i can think of, we only had 1 that didnt eat after a day or two. i generally make a blend of frozen: mysis, brine, squid, plankton/krill, emerald entree, reef plankton, marine cuisine, add in garlic juice, some flake food, some carnivore pellets, and some reef snow. i have had pretty good luck getting all new arrivals to eat using this

11/20/2012, 05:17 PM
I highly recommend live blackworms and a raw seafood blend with things like scallop, clam & shrimp. Mine won't touch mysis.

11/20/2012, 05:37 PM
with this fish ,IME, it is more luck than skill...the problem is not getting them to eat it is getting them to eat enough. most lfs keep them in small isolated tanks and dump large amounts of food it with them. then the inexperenced reefkeeper buys the fish and it starves because it can not compete with other more aggressive fish for food....

11/20/2012, 05:38 PM
+1 on the live black worms

Dr Colliebreath
11/20/2012, 06:31 PM
I highly recommend live blackworms and a raw seafood blend with things like scallop, clam & shrimp.

This is what I feed mine, plus mysis. Mine also eats the ON gel food (marine blend).

Feed your tank some other food first so the fish start to fill up, and then introduce the food that the cbb will eat. I also feed the live blackworms in waves (say 2-3 different forkfuls) so that the cbb gets enough even if it only gets a few of each forkful that goes into the tank. Mine has learned to eat live blackworms and the chopped seafood aggressively, but it only eats other foods slowly.

11/20/2012, 07:43 PM
Small Clams on the Half Shell from my local reef store.

11/20/2012, 09:15 PM
I have tried twice with this fish, feeding mysis and bloodworm mix. The longest I had one was 2 months before it stopped eating and died :sad2: They are beautiful fish, but like said above, very difficult fish to home. Peaceful tank mates is a must (I had a yellow tang and I think that was my problem)

Alex T.
11/20/2012, 10:07 PM
Peaceful tankmates are definitely a must. I'm by no means an expert, but a couple things I've learned with mine may help someone else.

Since I feed with a turkey baster, it's easy to broadcast feed all the other fish and then the copperband has been slowly trained to follow the baster by himself. Since they have a long beak, he's the only fish that can reach into the turkey baster to pluck food out. I purposely keep the food sucked up into the baster a bit so that others have realized it's futile to compete for it. I believe in live blackworms like so many others. I think they relish them for a reason, possibly because evolution has equipped them with the beak to pluck in between small spaces and into sand beds, so the blackworms seem like a natural diet. He eats them until his belly is visibly larger, which is welcomed. I'm guilty of sometimes feeding him until he won't eat any more, but I prefer to see a belly on this fish to know that I'm doing all I can to keep him healthy. He also eats mysis and enriched brine, but won't even look at NLS pellets.

11/21/2012, 05:26 AM
Where do you guys find live blackworms?

11/21/2012, 06:00 AM
Live black worms can be found at your LFS. Just ask, more than likely they'll have some. Just about everyone local here carries black worms.

Alex T.
11/21/2012, 02:53 PM
Where do you guys find live blackworms?

My local LFS doesn't carry them. There's another fish store approximately 35 miles away that does, so every couple of weeks I have an excuse to go there and check out new livestock. They'll really only keep (in the refrigerator) for a couple weeks without developing a putrid smell, so it's recommended to change the water they're in every couple of day or so. Every fish in my tank loves them. When I run out, my Copperband will eat bloodworms the same way, but blackworms is what got him interested in what I feed, and without them I don't believe I would still have this beautiful fish.

11/21/2012, 04:15 PM
I put my black worms in a 10G tank with 2" of water in the basement with an air stone. It's right next to my RO/DI barrel and the p-trap, so naturally I do almost 100% water changes daily on them and feed leftover powdered spirulina flakes. I don't feed many and the population seems to be pretty self sustaining. Just an alternative to keeping them in the fridge (my reason was the fiance wouldn't tolerate them in there).