Keeping Copperband Butterfly Fish
Copperband butterfly fish, also known as beaked coral fish or chelmon rostratus, is a salt water fish that is often kept in aquariums by experienced hobbyists. The copperband butterfly fish gets its name from the copper bands than run along the sides of its white body. The fish has a mark near its dorsal fin which is commonly called a false eye.
Copperband butterfly fish are very difficult to keep in a tank and it is not a fish that should be purchased by someone who is just starting out in the hobby. The fish needs to be introduced into a tank that has been established and healthy for a while. Six months is the bare minimum, but a bit longer would be even better.
Only non-aggressive fish should be kept with the copperband butterfly fish. It is not recommended that other butterfly fish be present in the tank. If you do have other fish, you should keep the copperband butterfly fish in a separate tank for a couple of weeks before placing him in the tank with the other fish.
The reason for this is that copperband butterfly fish are very susceptible to diseases. By leaving them in a tank alone for a couple of weeks after purchase, you will be able to determine if they may have a disease, such as ich, that could be passed on to the other tank mates.
After the quarantine period, you will be ready to introduce the copperband butterfly to the tank. As mentioned already, this is a difficult fish to keep. If the conditions in the tank are not absolutely perfect, the copperband butterfly fish will not survive.
In addition to water quality, feeding is another challenge of owning a copperband butterfly fish. If there is a not enough live food found among the reef structure of the tank, then you will need to provide additional food. The problem is that many of these fish will not accept additional food. In fact, some will not feed at all.
When you are in the process of purchasing one of these fish, you must see it feeding. Ask exactly what the fish is feeding on so that you can try to provide that in your tank. Keep in mind that you may always have to provide that food, because there is a good chance that the copperband butterfly will never accept any other food. Keeping live rock, in addition to coral, is a good way to provide an additional food source.
While keeping a copperhead butterfly fish is not for beginners, those who can keep one alive will have the treat of watching this beautiful fish for up to seven years, which is the expected lifespan.
If you are interested in keeping one of these fish, begin reading all that you can now. If you’re a beginner, see if there is a club in your area. Join and then find a more experience aquarist who may be able to act as a mentor of sorts.
The copperband butterfly is one of the most beautiful and eye catching fish of many salt water tanks. While they are a bit of trouble to care for, many would say that they are well worth the effort.