So the Copperbanded butterflyfish I bought a month or so ago now is still proving troublesome and while it is eating Garlic Brineshrimp, that's all it's eating. Also, as they're shy feeders, he does pick at the odd brineshrimp, but most get stolen from in front of it's eyes by the other fish, and I'm finding myself overfeeding massively to get enough food into the copperband.
There's lots of tricks to get notoriously tricky feeders to feed, and I've explored lots of them with my Mandarinfish, although that's not a feeding worry at all, it's doing fine picking off copepods all day, not thin or emaciated whatsoever.
So, tricks to get copperbanded butterflyfish to eat, I've seen lots, here's the ones I've heard of;
The main one is prevention is better than cure, and buying one that you've seen eating in the LFS is best, which it is, but the problem is, most will eat in the LFS, as they're in tanks by themselves or other slow eaters. As soon as you get it home it'll be outdone for food by the rest of your fish...
Feeding an opened mussel, tied, with an elastic band to a rock to hold it still. The copperband should nip at the tissue. My copperband doesn't touch the mussel. I tried putting garlic onto the mussel first, but it still didn't show any interest, a sniff at most. Lastly, I tried putting a cube of frozen garlic brineshrimp inside a shrimp, and cable tieing it closed, only open wide enough for the copperband's beak. It worked a little, in that as the brine shrimp escaped, the copperband ate some, but that's no different than feeding the brineshrimp normally, the fish won't get enough of them to sustain it.
Feeding Garlic Brineshrimp. This works for me, but brineshrimp isn't that nutritious, and I can't get enough into it to sustain it.
I tried target feeding the copperband with my turkey baster, using the garlic brineshrimp it loves. That worked a bit, in that it'd stick it's beak up the tube to get the shrimp, but then it'd spit them out to get them at a different angle, and they're gone, either in the current or by otherfish.
Right now, I'm at my last resort, I've bought a large breeding net. You know, the white mesh on a frame that goes inside the tank? The fish is now living in that for the forseeable future. The idea is that I can feed the Butterfly back up again before it dies, or gets too thin, too far gone to save. By feeding in the net, the fish can slowly browse and eat the brine shrimp at it's leasure, getting a bellyfull of them. I can then train it onto other foods, so hopefully it'll be big and strong again, and willing to accept other, better foods for when it's returned to the rest of the tank.. I've already tried feeding it in the net, and it's working great, it's picking off the brineshrimp slowly and casually, but the shrimp can't escape, and the flow keeps them bobbing around, so eventually they all end up in the fish.
I'm really hoping this works, I knew Copperbanded Butterflyfish are fussy eaters, but I've also seen some kept successfully for many years, and eat just as aggressively as the other fish.
So I think I just need to build it up again and build it's confidence.
Does anyone else know of any other tricks to get copperbanded butterflyfish to eat?