Last Updated on July 19, 2023 by David
The body of the Copperband Butterfly is covered with yellow-orange vertical stripes bordered by white stripes. There is a white spot on its tail fin that resembles an eye. It has a long, pointed snout and mouth, which it uses to explore crevices for food.
In an aquarium, the Butterflyfish grows to approximately 10 cm and prefers a water temperature ranging from 24 to 29 degrees Celsius. They can consume various invertebrates, including parasitic forms. Many aquarium enthusiasts introduce this species solely to get rid of pests, without considering their long-term survival needs. The Butterflyfish hunts for benthic worms, mollusks, and crustaceans.
This fish is not recommended for inexperienced aquarists, as it requires excellent conditions in the aquarium to thrive or even survive. It has demanding dietary needs and may require offering various types of food to encourage feeding. It is preferable to keep only one specimen of this species in the aquarium and avoid mixing it with aggressive fish species.
The Copperband Butterfly (Chelmon rostratus) is a species of marine fish belonging to the family Chaetodontidae. It is also known by other common names such as Beaked Coralfish or Orange Stripe Butterflyfish. This species is widely distributed throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, the eastern coast of Africa, and the western Pacific Ocean.
As described earlier, the Copperband Butterfly is easily recognizable by its striking appearance, characterized by vibrant yellow-orange vertical stripes with white borders on a laterally compressed body. Its tail fin features a prominent white eyespot, which may act as a defensive mechanism to confuse predators.
In their natural habitat, these fish are typically found in coral-rich areas, particularly around reef flats, slopes, and lagoons. They are often seen in pairs or small groups, although solitary individuals are not uncommon. Copperband Butterflyfish are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and rest at night.
This species primarily feeds on small invertebrates, such as crustaceans, worms, and various types of coral polyps. Their specialized elongated snout and slender mouth allow them to probe into crevices and gaps in the coral reefs to extract their prey. Due to their diet, they are often considered beneficial in marine aquariums for controlling unwanted pests like Aiptasia (glass anemones) and bristle worms.
Keeping Copperband Butterflyfish in aquariums can be challenging. They are sensitive to water quality and require well-established tanks with excellent filtration and water circulation. Providing a varied diet, including frozen or live foods, is essential to their health and survival in captivity. Moreover, offering plenty of hiding spots and live rock mimics their natural habitat and helps reduce stress.
Despite their captivating beauty, Copperband Butterflyfish can be susceptible to certain diseases, like Marine Ich (Cryptocaryon irritans), which can be challenging to treat. Therefore, acquiring a healthy specimen and practicing quarantine procedures before introducing them to a display tank is highly recommended.
Overall, the Copperband Butterfly is a prized addition to marine aquariums for experienced hobbyists willing to meet its specific care requirements. When provided with the appropriate conditions, they can be long-lived and provide an excellent opportunity to observe the wonders of the marine world in the comfort of one’s own home.
|Temperament||Peaceful but may be territorial|
|Color||Yellow-orange with white vertical stripes and a white eyespot on the tail fin|
|Lifespan||5 to 7 years|
|Size||Up to 8 inches (20 cm)|
|Diet||Carnivore – Feeds on small invertebrates like crustaceans, worms, and coral polyps|
|Minimum Tank Size||75 gallons (284 liters) or larger|
|Compatibility||Usually best kept alone or with peaceful tank mates, avoid aggressive species|