Copperband Butterfly (Asia Pacific)

Chelmon rostratus
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CPLF-2320
A more popular species that some people add to reef aquariums with mixed results.

Distinctive orange stripes across a milky white background combined with a long snout mark the unmistakable Copperband butterfly. A single dark eyespot on its dorsal fin adds extra appeal. It grows up to 8 inches and needs an aquarium of at least 125 gallons. It is regularly imported from Bali and the Philippines.

This species is normally quite peaceful and shy, and should not be kept with aggressive tank mates. It can be quite aggressive towards its own species; If several are to be kept together they must be added at the same time to a large aquarium. Butterflyfish do not show differences between males and females. They are related to angelfish, but lack the angel's distinctive cheek spines.

A butterflyfish's favorite food is an anemone, so they should not be kept in the same aquarium with one unless it is guarded by aggressive clownfish. The butterflyfish knows to attack the anemone on its mouth, which does not sting, and will make a quick meal of it. Because of this behavior this species is often employed to rid an aquarium of pest anemones such as Aiptasia.

This species does not typically nip on corals, however it may bother LPS, soft corals and zoanthids, clam mantles, sponges, and feather dusters. They do not usually bother other types of invertebrates such as crustaceans. They feel most secure when there is plenty of live rock to hide in, as well as open space for swimming. This species is difficult to feed and should be offered variety of meaty and herbivore preparations such as frozen Mysis shrimp, half shell clams, marine algae and Spirulina; it should be fed 2-3 times a day. Bloodworms or small live anemones may be used initially to entice it to feed. Soft food may also be pressed into the rock to provide grazing opportunities. Supplements such as Brightwell's Angelixer and Garlic Power may elicit a feeding response.

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Latin Name Chelmon rostratus
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