Copperband Butterflyfish Reef Safe? Let’s find out!

To maintain a thriving marine or reef aquarium, you need to be sure that the species you include will rub along together. Reef safety simply groups species that are likely to be able to dwell together peaceably so you can select your tank mates with the reassurance that no-one is going to be skewered or eaten.

If you would like to add a Copperbanded Butterflyfish to your aquarium you will be relieved to know that though it is carnivorous, it is reef safe with some cautions.

These are typically peaceful fish that are happy to go about their own business and should not be aggressors in your tank.

Reef safe tank mates for your Copperbanded Butterflyfish

Your Copperband should feel right at home with a range of non-aggressive fishes and invertebrates Exemplary tank mates include:

  • Damselfish
  • Cardinalfish
  • Dwarf Angelfish
  • Gobies
  • Tilefish
  • Fairy Basslets
  • Wrasses
  • Clownfish
  • Dartfish

Copperbranded Butterflyfish is known to nip invertebrates such as shrimps, snails sponges, and some corals, though it is usually fine for them to be introduced among these.

Welcomed aiptasia Control

This colorful butterflyfish is welcomed to many reef tanks because of its ability to eat Aiptasia species. This aggressively growing stinging anemone can literally take over a tank, but Copperbands will efficiently predate this unwanted resident.

Read more about the Copperband Butterflyfish Diet here!

Similar species can clash

Copperbanded Butterflyfish can become fractious when placed with another Copperband or other butterflyfish species. This proximity will bring out its territorial side.

As it often roams solitarily in its natural habitat, it is best being the only fish of its kind in a reef tank. Copperband butterflyfish reef safe or not has always been in question but in their natural environment it’s the only place you will find them,

Avoid the bullies

Classic reef aggressors like Tangs or large angelfish are not ideal companions for a Copperband and will send one running for cover. A stressed or threatened Copperband will want to hide, so you should carefully observe how it is interacting with larger fish species and be ready to intervene if necessary.

copperband butterflyfish reef safe?

Top tips for keeping the peace

  1. Food. Ensuring that your Copperband has plenty of live food that will keep it from nibbling on invertebrate tank mates like cleaner shrimp.
  2. Space. These butterflyfish love to swim and will need open space where they can swim freely. Your tank should be of a generous size to fulfill this. One Copper Band needs at least an 120 gallon aquarium.
  3. Cover Your Copperbanded Butterflyfish will appreciate the provision of rocky crevices where it can hide or dig for food away from other fish.
  4. Quarantine all new entrants to your tank to ensure that diseases are kept well away.

Conclusion: Are Copperband Butterflyfish Reef Safe?

Copper Banded Butterflyfish needs to be a considered addition to any tank as it is a mainly carnivorous fish. However, with the right combination of tank mates and good monitoring and care, this reef safe fish can thrive in your aquarium.

We hope we have answered your question if Copperband Butterflyfish reef safe? Or not

Carl Broadbent
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