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Copperband Butterfly - Chelmon rostratus - Large

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Item: 240302

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The Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) is very popular as an Aiptasia Anemone predator. It has yellow-orange vertical bands with blue-black edging on the white body. They also have a blue-edged black "eye-spot" and a thin, vertical black band at the base of the caudal fin. Copperband Butterflies are very sensitive to water quality and can be difficult to wean onto a prepared diet. Usually only one should be kept in a tank because of their tendency to be aggressive towards other Copperbands.

Some aquarists debate the reef compatibility of this fish. Although some aquarists have had success keeping these butterflies in a reef system, their natural diet does include coral polyps and small anemones and they are generally not considered "Reef Safe".

Butterflyfish consist of a large number of fish found in the aquarium trade from the Chaetodon, Chelmon, Forcipiger, and Heniochus genuses, among others from the family Chaetodontidae. The family ranges in length from 3 inches up to close to 12 inches in length. Butterflies are usually roughly oval in body shape but longer fins make some appear elliptical or diamond-shaped. They resemble and are sometimes confused with angelfish (family Pomacentridae) but angelfish have a cheekspine that is not found in butterflies.

Butterflies are generally community fish in nature. Though some more pugnatious species may terrorize smaller or more docile fish, most can be kept with a wide range of community tankmates. Most butterfly species are not "reef safe" and will eat corals and polyps. In fact, some more delicate butterflies require corals as part of their natural diet. Butterflies may also harm smaller crustaceans (crabs and shrimp) and may pick at inverts like clams, feather dusters, anemones and similar tankmates. Use caution when introducing a butterfly into a tank with inverts; though some are considered "reef safe" by some aquarists, any butterfly may pose a risk to corals and inverts.

The diet of butterflies can vary, as mentioned, based on what they normally eat in the wild. Some very picky species only pick at coral flesh and can be difficult to wean onto an aquarium-based diet. A very varied diet of algae and meaty items like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, scallops, clam, corals, sponges and other items is best. Vitamin supplements can also help get the butterflies all the nutrition they require. While some butterflies are very hardy and suitable for aquarists of all levels, more sensitive species should be attempted by experienced aquarists only.

That Fish Place
Common NameCopperband Butterfly - Med/Lg
Scientific NameChelmon rostratus
Reef SafeYes, with caution
Invert SafeYes, with caution
Community SafeYes
Max Size (in inches)8
Min Tank Size (in gallons)75
Originwestern Pacific
Specific Gravity Range1.020-1.024
pH Range8.0-8.4
Temperature Range75-82
Internal Id

State Restrictions
Armed Forces Americas
Armed Forces Europe
Armed Forces Pacific
Puerto Rico

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