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Post  Admin on 14th April 2011, 10:39 am


*. Temp---Tropical-23 to 29-Southern 18 to 24.

*. Conditions---Basic reef or Reef environment. Medium to high quality water. Hard and high PH water preferably. Good oxygen levels.

*. Negatives---These eat coral flesh. Small gill plates. Fight with each other.

*. Positives---Non-Except for the colour and if kept in a non-coral environment.

*. Food----A mix of algae creatures’ flesh, like cunji, oysters, and husked garden peas is good for them as with Moorish idles. A marinara mix blended as well.

*. Comments---It is a shame these fish are a problem for corals, clams, tube worms and so on as they have extensive colour variations with the different types.


The Copperband Butterfly Fish is said to be one of the more difficult fish to keep. For this reason I purchased my first one (actually Chelmon marginalis) more out of desperation, than anything else, because I had heard they were effective at controlling Aptasia which had spread from a small piece of rock to cover every possible surface in my tank; rocks, substrate, glass and even on the skeleton of some Duncanopsammia.

The Copperband quickly settled into a routine, constantly picking morsels from rock surfaces and substrate and never seemed to stop. For the most part it seemed to ignore the Aptasia, preferring to investigate nooks and crevices in the rock itself, but the Aptasia slowly started to disappear. After about six to eight weeks I found it hard to find any Aptasia at all and now I defy anyone to find a single specimen. Other anemones (Button and Sand) as well as all corals are totally ignored by this fish. When the Aptasia became hard to find the Copperband started to eat frozen brine shrimp and small pieces of prawn. This is now his only food supply.

I recently acquired three more small Copperbands. This time; Chelmon rostratus. These were all of a similar size and from the same location. They were introduced to different tanks although the tanks are all connected and use the same water. Two of the fish refused to eat at all and over a period of weeks, unfortunately, died. The third one started eating frozen brine from day one, but won’t touch prawn yet, and is doing just great. The tank this little guy is in also has some decent sized Aptasia but he definitely won’t touch it, and it is getting bigger by the day.

To sum up – from my limited experience, the marginalis seems to be a hardier specimen than the rostratus. This is just a personal opinion. It seems some specimens, no matter which type, are hardier than others. Some will survive, some won’t. Some will eat Aptasia, some won’t. One thing is for sure, if you do take the risk and acquire one of these little guys, and he does survive, he will give you countless hours of pleasure observing his non-stop investigation and antics over your entire tank.


*. Temp---22 to 28.

*. Conditions---A very basic fish to keep. Medium to high quality water for theses guys and a reef environment, as they like to fossick for tiny shrimp and crabs.

*. Negatives—Non realy. They are a relatively harmless fish, with the exception of bothering small crustaceans and the occasional nibble of your anemones. Anything with a long beak as this fish has can be prone to damaging it. This is a fish with small gill plates and this should be remembered.

*. Positives---Like to show themselves. Add colour to your tank. Eat copods. Don’t fight with other species much. They are not a butterfly, they may pick between coral, but they do not eat it.

*. Food---These are meat eaters mainly, so a marinara mix and so on, blended and then stored for use, Give them an open crab or opened fresh frozen prawn. Any marine invert meat will do nicely. Just vary it.

*. Comments- over all a good fish to have in a reef environment. You would be better off if the one you get is a small to medium size for settling in reasons.As always make sure it has a hiding place to have it’s time out as all tank creatures should be able to have.

A few of the clubbies at any given time are admin.

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Join date : 2008-02-18
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