need help copperband butterfly

need help copperband butterfly

Postby jadeguppy » Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:12 pm

I have wanted one for a long time, but swore only to buy one that was eating frozen foods. My lfs, which has honest guys, had two in that they said were eating frozen. I bought the bigger one, which looked to have a full belly. That was Thursday evening. there was some initial aggresion in my 125g, but lights out and covering the tank solved it. I have not noticed any aggression in the past two days. My big sailfin swims by, but the cbb is huddled in a corner where my sailfin usually hangs out during the day. As of today I have not seen it eat or move more than about 2-3 inches. Add to this that its fins now look tattered and there is a blood spot on the dorsal. (My powder brown did bite it once the first night.) I have tried my diy, which is similar to Witt's recipe and some live brine shrimp of various sizes, but nothing. I have a 10g that is now housing 3 new peppermints, scooter blenny, lawnmower, and two rocks that I can move it to. I don't know if prazipro will help or if the move would do any good. I really don't want to lose the fish. I know that it was housed in low salinity copper tanks, but I drip acclimated for over two hours until it was within 5ppm before putting it in the tank. Any suggestions? I don't want to lose the fish! Thanks!
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby David M » Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:23 pm

Wait a minute, let me find my soapbox. Oh, here it is. :twisted:

Quarantine and acclimation is not simply about controlling dieseae. It is about acclimating a new fish to new foods, new water conditions, new lighting schedules, etc. A ten gallon tank is $9.99 at petco. A heater and an airstone is all you need. Isolate the fish while you still can.

Okay, lecture over :wink:
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby jadeguppy » Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:34 pm

I have the 10g set up, so I can easily move him. as mentioned, the inhabitants there are all much smaller than the cbb. I started him in the 125g due to the abundance of pods for him to eat. I read that they like to eat them and thought it would have a better chance if placed directly into the 125g. At this point, how do you suggest I handle the frayed fins? I don't knwo if I can, but would sectioning off part of the 125g be better at this point than moving him to another tank?
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby NicoleCastle » Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:39 pm

What David said. While at the local pet store, also pick up a bottle of Amquel Plus+ -- you'll need it if you are going to dump a large CBB into a 10g tank that hasn't had a chance to cycle. I'd also include some place to hide for the fish. Clean sections of PVC pipe work, or in a pinch, a well-rinsed coffee mug (to get any traces of dish detergent off it.)

A "full" belly often = worms. Any wild-caught fish needs internal parasite treatment before being let out of QT, IMO. But let the fish calmed down and eating first.
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby jadeguppy » Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:58 pm

I just got his section of the 125g sectioned off. The 10g has two very seasoned, porous rocks in it so it won't be a new cycle. I'll let him calm down for now. Do you suggest treating with anything other than prazipro? If just prazipro, would it be less stressful to keep him sectioned off in the 125g for now? I think I have enough to treat the entire tank. What about the fins? It looks like fw fin rot, but I don't really know much about sw fins since I haven't had issues until now. I still haven't ruled out your suggestions of moving it to the 10g, I'm just concerned about the amount of stress and not sure how a 10g qt compares to being sectioned off where he is. I didn't realize that they are sooooo timid.
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby Midnight Angel » Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:17 pm

I just wanted to say after having four Raccoon butterfly fish ( much sturdier than copperbands fwiw) for about 6 months now I'll never have butterfly fish in a community tank. I know some people have them and they do great. But for all the times I had to do low salinity to get rid of amyloodinium and the fact that they killed my blue spot jawfish..........well I just don't want to risk any body. :roll:

The Raccoons are now doing better than great (more about that in another thread). But it just seems like they are just such disease magnets that really need their own large tank set up just for them. Again maybe I'm wrong because I know some people who have done well with butterflies but very few.



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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby jadeguppy » Sat Dec 26, 2009 6:24 pm

I hope that won't be an issue since they were already in a copper treatment....
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby NicoleCastle » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:26 pm

If you treat a reef tank with praziquantel, you'll get a half dead tank. All of your inverts will die. Never, ever dose a reef tank with medications. There's no such thing as a "reef safe" medication.

When David and I are talking about a 10g, we're talking about a NEW 10g, not moving him into an already occupied system. Although the inhabitants are more peaceful, it will still be very stressful. And if he is carrying a pathogen like worms, you don't want to transmit it to the rest of the tank(s).

Set up a new QT tank, move him into it and keep it under low light with places to hide. Feed him whatever he was eating at the store, offering it twice daily on a regular schedule. His fins will likely recover without medication, but if you see redness or swelling around the wound, treat the water with an antibiotic like nitrofurazone. When he has calmed down, then consider deworming. The worms, if any, can wait.

I don't like praziquantel; I've seen it kill stressed fish. It seems to be hard on their systems. I only use it with reluctance... it's the big guns in the arsenal. For routine deworming, I prefer piperazine, mixed into food and fed to the fish. The fish, of course, has to be eating well and consistently for this to work.

Try not to chase him around the tank when you catch him. He doesn't need the extra stress.
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby jadeguppy » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:36 pm

Where can I get piperazine? The only thing I've ever heard suggested is prazipro.
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby David M » Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:38 pm

jadeguppy wrote:Where can I get piperazine?


I'd like to know too, I haven't seen that stuff since AquaTronics went out of business like 5-6 years ago. Are we keeping up with the times Nicole ? :wink:
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby David M » Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:57 pm

The Raccoons are now doing better...But it just seems like they are just such disease magnets...


I am often amazed at how different individual experiences can be, if you were to ask me I'd tell you there wasn't a more bullet proof fish in the hobby. :roll: Seriously, I have never seen one fail to clear QT with no stress whatsoever, never seen one get sick and have seen several survive otherwise total tank wipeouts. I've always thought the only way to kill one was to take it out and stomp on it. That was a standard when I was doing service tanks simply because they were so hardy and could take any amount of abuse. Too funny.

Now cbb's are very different, it seems it all comes down to the individual; get a "good" one and it's no problem but most fail in the first few weeks. I always q them one per tank for a minimum 2 weeks, more if warranted, before selling or transferring to a reef tank. If feeding is a problem most will take live brine shrimp, then frozen bs, then it's an easy switch to mysis.

Nicole is right, you need a new and separate 10 for Q. No need to worry about filtration, you change 25% of the water daily anyway. My standard protocol is formalin and nitrofurizon green for seven days, remedicating daily after each water change. On day 8 I add a small carbon box filter, by day ten the water is clear and if the fish looks good and eats well I'll move it after 2 weeks.
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby rsman » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:02 pm

petco $6 a bottle!!

though i admit I am so not keeping up on the times. this might not be the drug of choice these days ....
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby Midnight Angel » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:19 am

David I meant butterflies in general NOT the raccoons. :lol: My raccoons have had amyloo but that is it. But I am constantly adding rock from other fish tanks for them to clean aiptasia off of. But fwiw my lfs would not carry raccoons for years until after mine started doing so well. So maybe raccoons have done well for you but not for my lfs in the past. But that said they are a heck of a lot easier than cooperbands for sure. And they are considered a easy butterfly fish to keep. But my point was if the "easy" ones get sick too than I sure don't want any in a community tank. But I hate dealing with sick fish so I would just rather avoid it. :wink: But I'm also not telling people they should not keep them. I'm just saying I wouldn't keep them in a community tank.........but that is me. :wink:



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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby Midnight Angel » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:39 am

Jadeguppy you should pick up the lastest issue of CORAL magazine if you can. It is all about butterfly fish. :wink:


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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby FuEl » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:44 am

I would say the copperband is definitely stressed by the tankmates, which is why it is refusing food. Sailfin tangs have stripes, so do copperbands. I am not sure if this would have amplified the aggression issue. Perhaps a yellow longnose butterfly would be a better choice. I think these would eat aiptasia as well.

Amy, I use a raccoon butterfly for aiptasia control in my broodstock tanks. Every 5 days I relocate it for it to do its work. Seconds of being in the new tank it goes for aiptasia. It's so hardy that it can stand its own against clownfish 3 times its size, by flaring its dorsal spines and pointing them at any aggressors. My clowns have learnt to leave it alone. :lol:
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby jadeguppy » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:14 am

Thanks for all the information. Lights haven't come on today, but it's fins look a little better. I still have it sectioned off in the 125g, but will set up a 10g if it doesn't eat today. The only things that have gotten through the divider are two cleaner shrimp and a mandarin, all of which left after a few minutes. I'm not really concerned about the cbb controling aiptasia. I have peppermint shrimp that I can add for that. I bought it because I really like them.
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby NicoleCastle » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:48 am

Just because it's not sold in little capsules at your fish store anymore doesn't mean the drug isn't around. :) Piperazine citrate is widely available as an animal (and human) dewormer, or you can get it from your vet. From the vet is best because they'll have powder or a more pure form, otherwise you have to muck around with over the counter liquid dog and cat dewormer which usually has sugar and flavors added and may be watered down; or pills with fillers.

25mg to 10grams of dry food is the dose for fish if the fish will take flake food. I'd use 25mg per 30 grams of wet food although I'm not sure of my math there. If you don't have a scale, your vet should be able to mix the medication for you. I feed the food for 5 days, or for 2 days after the last time the fish pooped out worms. Those worms are alive when they are pooped out and they need to be siphoned up.

But of course piperazine and praziquantel kill different parasites. Piperazine kills the more common roundworms (nematodes). If the piperazine didn't work I'd try metronidazole (kills flagelettes & heximida), and then finally praziquantel (kills trematodes and cestodes).

Jungle makes a dewormer food with both metronidazole and praziquantel, but the fish has to be willing to eat pellet food.

That all said... the first thing I do with any new fish is train them to take any kind of food!
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby Midnight Angel » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:09 pm

FuEl,
As soon as the aiptasia hit the water or as I'm putting the rocks in my raccoon's tank they go after them. It is so cute. It is funny to me how well they can take sticking their faces right into them. I love watching it. :) And after your post maybe they are very sturdy fish. :? These are my first butterfly fish ever. I confess that I got them after aiptasia killed my female bluespot jawfish. But I fell in love with them and now I love them more than the jawfish. I have been very uncomfortable with the thought of keeping any butterfly fish til these guys. And again I still don't trust the family as far as disease goes. But I have found that at least with the raccoons if you give them a good life with corals to pick at and plenty of room you will be rewarded with great broodstock. At least I have been. :wink: But that is not what this thread is about........but my point is maybe in the end their troubles are worth it. :wink:

Jadeguppy,
I'm glad to hear your copperband's fins are looking better and I really hope it makes it. :wink: I wish I had some good advice for you but I have never kept them for the reasons I've posted. But they are one of the prettiest fish for sure and I do see their appeal. Good luck.


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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby NicoleCastle » Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:07 pm

Midnight Angel wrote: As soon as the aiptasia hit the water or as I'm putting the rocks in my raccoon's tank they go after them. It is so cute. It is funny to me how well they can take sticking their faces right into them. I love watching it. :)


Ah, if only there were miniature versions of these fish. I'm tired of the never-ending hunt with kalk.

Breeder's Challenge 2019... Miniature butterflies. :)
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby Midnight Angel » Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:14 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Too funny !!!! I know what you mean girl. Even with my raccoons kicking aiptashia ass around here I'm still buying Aiptasia X and Joe's Juice. God the jokes we have come up with about Joe's Juice here in SC.........I'll spare you but I'm sure you can guess what they are about. :lol:


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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby jadeguppy » Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:56 pm

too funny

I second the breeders challenge!
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby jadeguppy » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:44 pm

Update: It is still in thr 125g. I know some ppl will think me crazy or stupid for not having yanked him out of the tank, but I have been concerned over the additional stress that another move would have caused. As of tonight, it is definatly hunting in the area I have him sectioned off in. I have seen it appear to eat, but can't determine what. The cleaner shrimp still sometimes come over, but I started feeding the rest of the tank first and it has helped keep them from rushing into the cbb area. However, my two mandarins have figured out how to come ina nd out of the area, but the cbb doesn't appear to mind them. Hopefully I am correct in taking this as a good sign that it has calmed down and is getting use to the area. It no longer seems too concerned with humans, so I have removed the blinds from the glass. I waited until it was swiming above them. I'm going to wait at least a few more days until starting to let it into the rest of the tank. I'd really like to figure out what it is eating first. It eyeballed some adult live brine shrimp, but I didn't see it eat any. In fact, the only thing I say eat some was my warty anenome. **fingers crossed**
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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby Midnight Angel » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:19 pm

Well I learn something new everyday. So I just got these sexy little candy cane gobies to put in one of my mini reefs. I check for rocks that have aiptasia and no corals on them to give to my raccoons to make sure the little gobies are safe. So I find a rock and it also has lots of medium sized bristle worms (hate them so much :evil: ). And my favorite butterflies started sucking them out of the rock. It looked like they were eating spaghetti. :lol: It never once occured to me to feed them the worms even though I knew some butterflies would eat them. I now know why the butterfly tank has never had a bristle worm problem.

Sorry Jadeguppy but I just had to post that here. I hate those worms and it is nice to see them finally have a good use. :lol: And if everyone else knew this forgive me but I didn't and dang it is cool. 8)


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Re: need help copperband butterfly

Postby jadeguppy » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:38 am

:) sounds like thye had a nice snack. Although I know that the bristleworms are a useful part of the cleanup crew, I too hate to look at them. They are the one thing that I worry about getting stung by.
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