Copperband Butterfly

(6 customer reviews)


Copperband Butterfly, Chelmon rostratus

  • Common Name: Copperband Butterfly
  • Latin name: Chelmon rostratus
  • Distribution: The Copperband Butterfly is native to the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, East Africa, and throughout the Pacific islands. However, they are also commonly found in the aquarium trade.
  • Max size: Copperband Butterflyfish can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) in length.
  • Temperature range: They prefer a temperature range of 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C).
  • pH Range: They can tolerate a pH range of 8.1 to 8.4.
  • KH Range: The KH (carbonate hardness) range should be maintained between 8 to 12 dKH.
  • Care level: Copperband Butterflyfish are considered moderately difficult to care for. They require specific conditions and may not be suitable for beginners. It’s important to note that they are a bit delicate and can be challenging to acclimate and feed properly.
  • Lighting Preference: They don’t have any specific lighting preferences and can adapt to a variety of lighting conditions.
  • Preferred food: Copperband Butterflyfish are primarily carnivorous and have a specialized diet. They primarily feed on small invertebrates such as worms, copepods, amphipods, and bristleworms. They may also accept some frozen or prepared foods like mysis shrimp, krill, or high-quality pellets.
  • Behaviour: Copperband Butterflyfish are generally peaceful but can be territorial towards their own species or similar-looking fish. They are active swimmers and will explore the tank, often perching on rocks or corals. They may nip at corals or invertebrates with long polyps, so caution should be taken when keeping them in reef tanks.
  • Suitable for reef tanks: Copperband Butterflyfish can be challenging to keep in reef tanks as they may nip at corals or invertebrates. If you have a well-established and mature reef tank with plenty of hiding places and suitable tank mates, it might be possible to keep them successfully. However, it’s important to monitor their behaviour closely.
  • Discoverer: The Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) was not specifically named after anyone.
  • Interesting Facts:
  • They are also commonly referred to as Beaked Coralfish due to their distinctive mouth shape.
  • Copperband Butterflyfish have been observed using their long snouts to pick off small invertebrates from crevices and coral branches.
  • These fish are popular in the aquarium trade but are considered delicate and require proper care and attention to thrive.
  • Copperband Butterflyfish are best kept in a well-established aquarium with excellent water quality, abundant live rock for hiding and grazing, and a suitable diet.

Earn up to 79 Points.


Aquarium plants can be shipped under the same shipping rules as dry goods.

Free shipping on orders over £50 (may exclude some aquariums)  Geographical restrictions may apply

LIVESTOCK = Fish, Critters and Corals

Minimum order value £30Delivery charge £19.99. Delivery days Are Varied At The Moment.  We will contact you to confirm your delivery day. Some geographical restrictions apply See shipping

Aquarium Plants: Are shipped the same as and can be mixed with Dry goods *Free shipping on orders over £50 or £6.99 for orders under £50. Some geographical restrictions may apply.

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The Copperband Butterfly, Chelmon rostratus, is a captivating fish known for its distinctive appearance. It features a slender, elongated body with prominent vertical copper-coloured bands. The maximum size of the Copperband Butterfly can reach up to 8 inches (20 cm) in length, making it a medium-sized fish that adds elegance to any aquarium.

Natural Habitat:

In the wild, the Copperband Butterfly inhabits the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, East Africa, and various Pacific islands. These fish are often found in shallow coastal reefs, lagoons, and protected outer reef areas. They prefer areas with abundant corals, rocky substrates, and ample hiding spots. The vibrant colours of the coral reefs provide a beautiful backdrop for the Copperband Butterflyfish’s copper bands.

Keeping Copperband Butterfly Healthy:

The care level of the Copperband Butterfly is considered moderately difficult, as they have specific requirements that need to be met for their well-being. They can be delicate and challenging to acclimate properly, so experienced aquarists are recommended for their care. Maintaining pristine water conditions, stable temperature, and proper nutrition is crucial. Regular monitoring and timely intervention are needed to address any potential health issues.

Special Requirements and Feeding:

Copperband Butterfly have a specialized diet consisting primarily of small invertebrates. Their diet should include live or frozen foods such as worms, copepods, amphipods, and bristleworms. It may be necessary to offer alternative food options, like high-quality pellets or frozen mysis shrimp, to ensure a well-rounded diet. Providing ample hiding places, such as live rock structures, is important to make the fish feel secure.

How Many Should I Keep?

It is recommended to keep only one Copperband Butterfly per tank. They can be territorial toward their own species or similar-looking fish. Providing ample swimming space and hiding spots for individual fish is essential for their well-being.

Lighting Preference:

Copperband Butterfly do not have specific lighting preferences. They can adapt well to a variety of lighting conditions, ranging from moderate to high intensity.

Suitable Tank Mates:

When considering tank mates for the Copperband Butterfly, it is important to choose peaceful species that are not overly aggressive or territorial. Avoid keeping them with other butterflyfish, as they may exhibit aggression towards each other. Suitable tank mates can include other peaceful community fish, such as small tangs, wrasses, gobies, or cardinalfish. However, always monitor their behaviour closely to ensure compatibility.


In the wild, Copperband Butterfly form pairs during the breeding season. They engage in courtship rituals, which involve swimming together, displaying vibrant colours, and performing various movements to attract mates. Once a pair is formed, they search for a suitable location to spawn.

Spawning typically occurs around dawn. The female releases a large number of eggs into the water column while the male simultaneously releases sperm to fertilize them. The eggs are buoyant and rise towards the surface, where they drift with the currents. This dispersal strategy increases the chances of the eggs encountering suitable conditions for development.

The hatched larvae, known as fry, go through a pelagic phase where they float in the water column. During this period, they rely on their yolk sac for nourishment. The fry undergo several developmental stages, gradually transforming their body shape and developing fin structures.

Breeding Chelmon rostratus:

Breeding the Copperband Butterfly, Chelmon rostratus, in captivity is quite challenging and rare. Their complex reproductive behaviours, specific environmental conditions, and dietary requirements make successful breeding difficult to achieve in a home aquarium setting.

In captivity, reproducing Copperband Butterfly is even more challenging. The specific environmental conditions required for successful breeding are difficult to replicate in a home aquarium. However, a few successful breeding attempts have been reported in large, well-maintained aquariums with dedicated breeding setups.

To encourage breeding, replicating natural conditions as closely as possible is crucial. This includes providing a suitable environment with ample hiding places, live rock structures, and carefully controlled water parameters. A separate breeding tank can be set up with stable temperature and appropriate lighting conditions.

In some cases, hormone injections or specialized diets may be used to induce spawning. However, these methods are not commonly practiced and are typically limited to professional breeding facilities or research institutions.

Breeding Copperband Butterfly remains a rare occurrence in captivity, and most individuals available in the aquarium trade are collected from the wild. It’s important to support sustainable collection practices and prioritize the well-being of these delicate fish when considering their presence in an aquarium.

Please note that successful breeding of Copperband Butterfly requires extensive knowledge, experience, and specialized equipment. It is not recommended for inexperienced aquarists and should be undertaken with a strong commitment to ethical and responsible practices.

Sexual Dimorphism:

There are no prominent external differences between male and female Copperband Butterfly. Sexual dimorphism in this species is not visually apparent, making it challenging to determine their gender solely based on physical characteristics.


The Copperband Butterfly, Chelmon rostratus, is found in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, East Africa, and various Pacific islands. While they are often collected from the wild, there are also captive-bred and line-bred strains available in the aquarium trade. The original wild fish primarily comes from their natural habitats in the Indo-Pacific region.


The Copperband Butterfly, Chelmon rostratus, is a captivating fish known for its striking appearance and graceful movements. With their elongated body adorned by vertical copper-coloured bands, they bring a touch of elegance to any aquarium.

6 reviews for Copperband Butterfly

  1. Paul (verified owner)

    Great service for buying fish online – video of the fish feeding, delivered overnight and with acclimation sheet. Really healthy fish & doing great.

  2. Anne Potter (verified owner)

    Stunning fish lovely and healthy feeding well wouldn’t buy fish from anywhere else now 😀

  3. Dan Daley (verified owner)

    Received my copperband today.

    Incredibly healthy and happy, appears really social and was grazing and eating quickly.

    Best place to buy fish ever, thank you

  4. Damo

    Best Copperband I’ve ever seen, and considering it came on courier aswell, i’m so impressed with Abyss-yet again.

  5. oliver timspon

    best copperband I’ve ever had eating straight away not even scared

  6. sonymobile1979 (verified owner)

    Great fish. Lovely character and always seems happy buzzing around the tank. Best kept with peaceful tank mates

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Dry Goods Delivery.

The store has provided information regarding their order dispatch and estimated delivery times. Here are the key details:

  1. Dispatch Timeframe: Orders placed before 2pm will be dispatched on the same day. Orders placed after 2pm will be dispatched on the next working day.
  2. Delivery Date and Time Guarantee: While the store aims to dispatch orders promptly, they cannot guarantee a specific delivery date and time. As the delivery process relies on couriers, there may be factors beyond their control that could affect the delivery timeframe.
  3. 1st Class Mail: For orders sent via 1st Class mail, the aim is to have them delivered on the next working day after dispatch.
  4. 2nd Class Mail: Orders sent via 2nd Class mail typically take approximately 2-3 working days for delivery after dispatch.
  5. APC Next Day Delivery: APC Next Day delivery is available for UK mainland postcodes. It is usually delivered on the next working day after dispatch. However, please note that items being delivered to more remote areas may require additional time for delivery.

It’s important to keep in mind that while the store strives to provide efficient delivery services, unforeseen circumstances or external factors could potentially impact delivery times. For further details or specific inquiries about delivery, customers should refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.

Livestock Delivery.

The store maintains specific policies regarding the delivery of livestock. Here are the key points:

  1. Licensed Livestock Courier: The store exclusively uses a licensed livestock courier for shipping fish and coral. This approach is chosen to ensure responsible and ethical transportation of the livestock.
  2. Livestock Shipping Fee: The livestock shipping fee charged to customers of £19.99 does not cover the true cost, and therefore, there is a minimum spend requirement of £30.00 before the option for livestock shipping becomes available.
  3. Pre-Arranged Delivery: The store never ships livestock without first arranging a suitable delivery day. Before dispatching the livestock, the store must confirm the agreed-upon delivery day with the customer.
  4. Saturday Delivery Confirmation: Customers who choose Saturday delivery must have their availability confirmed for the upcoming Saturday before the store sends out the livestock. This confirmation ensures that the livestock can be received promptly.
  5. Failure to wait for livestock: Not waiting for livestock, even if there is a reasonable delay, or cancelling an order after it has been dispatched will lead to you incurring charges for an emergency return to the base. Additionally, any losses of livestock will also be charged to you. Please be aware that the items you are ordering are living creatures – livestock. We kindly ask that you refrain from ordering livestock if you are unable to accommodate the possibility of a delayed delivery.

    These terms and conditions are a fundamental aspect of our policy. Our primary goal is to dissuade individuals who could react negatively to a delayed delivery and subsequently request order cancellations. It is of utmost importance to underscore that your order pertains to living creatures, not mere inanimate objects. In the event of an occasional delay, it is crucial that you respond in a rational and responsible manner, taking into account the welfare of the livestock. We kindly request that you refrain from placing an order for livestock if you tend to react strongly to such situations. By proceeding with the order of livestock, you indicate your acceptance and agreement to abide by these specified terms and conditions.

  6. Signature Requirement: Livestock deliveries require a signature upon receipt and cannot be left in a safe location. This precaution ensures proper handling and the well-being of the livestock.
  7. Geographic Restrictions: The courier has strict geographic restrictions for livestock deliveries. Unfortunately, deliveries to Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly, Channel Islands, and certain Scottish offshore postcodes may not be possible. Customers are encouraged to contact the store via email to confirm if livestock delivery is available in their area.
  8. Minimum Order Value and Order Cancellations: The store has a minimum order value of £30 for livestock shipping. Additionally, the store reserves the right to cancel orders that are deemed high-risk or involve a high number of single tropical freshwater fish species.

It is essential for customers to familiarize themselves with these policies before making a purchase. For more detailed information or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or reach out to the store directly for clarification.

Livestock Geographical Exemptions.

The store has specific geographical exemptions for livestock deliveries. Here is a list of the areas and postcodes where livestock delivery is not available:

  1. Islands: Livestock cannot be delivered to the Shetlands, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man.
  2. Postcodes: Livestock delivery is not available to the following postcodes:
  • AB30 to AB39, AB41 to AB45, AB51 to AB56
  • DD8 to DD10
  • BT all
  • DG3 to DG9, DG12 to DG14
  • KA18 to KA19, KA26, KA29 to KA30
  • HS all
  • IM all
  • JE all
  • ZE all
  • KW15 to KW17
  • TD9
  • FK17 to FK21
  • GY all
  • KA26, to KA28
  • PA20 to PA38, PA41 to PA49, PA60 to PA61, PA76 to PA78
  • TR21, to TR25
  • PH3 to PH26, PH30 to PH44
  • IV all

Customers residing in these areas should be aware that livestock delivery is not available to their location.

We can ship livestock to the Isle of Wight, this area is subject to a surcharge.

For further information or specific inquiries about livestock delivery to a particular area, customers are advised to contact the store directly for clarification.


According to the store’s policy, customers have the right to cancel an order within 14 working days of receiving the goods. To initiate the cancellation, the goods must be returned to the store in new and unused condition, adhering to their Returns Policy.

Important points regarding the return process are as follows:

  1. Return Condition: The goods must be returned in new and unused condition, as originally received. It is important to ensure that the goods are in the same condition as when they were sent out.
  2. Return Timeframe: The goods must be received by the store within 21 days of notifying them about the cancellation. During this time, customers are responsible for any loss or damage that may occur during the return shipping process.
  3. Refund Process: Once the store receives the goods in new and unused condition, they will initiate the refund process. The purchase price will be refunded to the customer.
  4. Return Condition Inspection: If the returned goods arrive in a condition that is less than what they were sent out in, the store reserves the right to return the goods to the customer, and no refund will be processed.

It is essential for customers to carefully review the store’s Returns Policy and follow the specified procedures to ensure a smooth and successful return and refund process. For more detailed information or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.


According to the store’s return policy, the following guidelines should be followed for returning goods:

  1. Use Returns Form: Customers need to use the store’s provided returns form to initiate the return process. This form helps the store acknowledge that the goods are being sent back.
  2. Return for Testing: If the goods are being returned for testing, the customer is responsible for covering the return shipping expenses.
  3. Refund of Postage Fees: The store will only refund postage fees if the order arrives damaged or becomes faulty within the first 4 weeks of purchase. Proof of posting is important, and customers should ensure the goods are well-packed and obtain proof of posting as the goods remain their responsibility until received by the store.
  4. Refund of Postage Costs for Replacement: If goods are being returned within 7 days of purchase under the Replacement Policy, the store can refund postage costs. However, the customer needs to agree on a delivery service with the store in advance, and only standard or tracked shipping fees will be refunded. The store cannot refund the cost of any special delivery service.
  5. Non-Refundable Postage: Postage costs for goods returned for any other reason than those mentioned above are non-refundable. The store reserves the right to deduct the original postage cost from any applicable refund.
  6. Mistaken Purchases: If a customer has made a mistake in their purchase, they need to return the goods to the store. The customer is responsible for the return shipping costs in such cases.

It is important for customers to carefully follow the store’s return procedures and terms and conditions. For further details or specific inquiries, customers should refer to the store’s website or contact the store directly.


If customers receive faulty goods, the following guidelines apply according to the store’s policy:

  1. Notification of Faulty Goods: Customers must notify the store within 7 working days if they receive faulty goods. This notification should be made as soon as possible.
  2. Replacement Parts: If possible, the store will dispatch replacement parts for the faulty goods.
  3. Return of Goods: If replacement parts are not possible, the store may request customers to return the faulty goods in accordance with their Returns Policy. The specific return procedures and conditions should be followed.
  4. Verification of Damage: Once the store receives the returned goods, they will verify the damage. If the damage is confirmed, the store will supply the required replacements.
  5. Return Postage Costs: If the goods returned to the store are found to be in good working order, the store is not able to refund the return postage costs. Additionally, the store reserves the right to deduct their original postage cost from any applicable refund.
  6. Consequential Loss or Damage: The store cannot take responsibility for any consequential loss or damage that arises directly or indirectly from the goods supplied.

Customers should carefully review and adhere to the store’s Returns Policy and procedures for returning faulty goods. For further clarification or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.

Manufacturer’s Guarantees

The store works in collaboration with manufacturers to ensure that their guarantees are honored, and they make their best efforts to resolve issues within the warranty period. The following guidelines apply to refunds and replacements:

  1. Postage Costs under Manufacturer’s Guarantee: Postage costs can only be refunded if the goods are returned to the store within 7 days of the original purchase, as per the manufacturer’s guarantee.
  2. Refund of Postage Costs for Faulty Goods: The store will refund postage costs for guarantee/warranty returns only if the product becomes faulty within the first 4 weeks of receipt.
  3. Replacements with Manufacturer Authorization: Replacements, whether parts or goods, can only be offered when authorized by the manufacturer. Customers should contact the store for further guidance in such cases.
  4. Prior Approval for Returns: Goods should not be returned to the store without prior approval. Customers need to contact the store and obtain approval before returning any items.
  5. Replacement of Glass or Ceramic Items: Glass or ceramic items can only be replaced if the store is notified within 48 hours of receiving the delivery.
  6. Replacement of Glass Bulbs/Tubes: Glass bulbs or tubes can only be replaced if they become faulty within 14 days.

Customers should note and adhere to these guidelines to ensure a smooth and efficient resolution of any issues with their purchased items. For specific inquiries or further information, customers are advised to refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.


According to the store’s policy, customers have the following responsibilities regarding breakages:

  1. Checking Goods on Arrival: It is the customer’s responsibility to thoroughly check the goods upon arrival for any damage. This should be done before signing for the parcel. If the parcel appears damaged, it is advised not to sign for it.
  2. Reporting Breakages: Any breakages or damages must be reported to the store within 48 hours of receiving the goods. It is important to promptly notify the store to initiate the resolution process.

By carefully inspecting the goods upon arrival and reporting any breakages within the specified timeframe, customers can ensure that appropriate actions are taken to address the issue. For specific instructions on reporting breakages or further information, customers should refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.