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FAQs on Wrasse Disease Diagnosis 

Related Articles: Wrasses, Wrasses of the Cooks

FAQs on Wrasse Disease by Category: Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Infectious, Parasitic (See also: Wrasses & Crypt), Trauma, Treatments,

Related FAQs: Wrasse Disease 1, Wrasse Disease 2, Wrasses, Wrasses 2Wrasse Identification, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Systems, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Reproduction


Re: Sick Heniochus... looking for an in-gravel wrasse   3/1/09  Hi again Bob Ok, I'm sort of on a roll with the whole treatment situation for ich. I'm essentially following the protocol from the Scott F article I referenced previously (fish in isolation, treatment with copper, fallow tank for a month). Here's the problem--I cannot find my yellow wrasse. I know that they bury themselves in the sand when threatened, but I've been hesitant to do much more than surface poking at the sand since I don't want to disrupt large amounts of chemicals that might be hiding down there. So, the question is there a way to hunt him down or do I just let him be. If I let him be, is the one fish going to mess up the whole idea of the fallow month? I'm guessing it is. Oh, and I'm not planning on asking that fish store for any more advice--he probably wants my whole tank to die so he can sell more fish. Thanks again for your help and knowledge. Michael <I'd scoop about the entire bottom (with the rock out likely) with a  large-sieve net. BobF>

Wrasse Problem… Internal Parasites? - 04/01/08 Hi, <<Hello>> I have a 190 litre tank and my wrasse I think is ill, so could you please help before I go to my reputable aquatic shop. <<I shall try>> The water quality is fine except a nitrate problem which has been here for ages and we're slowly getting to the bottom of it. <<Mmm, depending on how much of a "nitrate problem" you have…this may well be what is malaffecting the wrasse>> Right my wrasse is fully grown, sorry I forgot what type it is!, <<From the photos I can tell this is an exquisite supermale-phase of Macropharyngodon meleagris (Leopard Wrasse)>> and he usually comes out of the sand in the morning and goes back to the sand at about 6pm, however for the past week I haven't noticed him as he only feeds in the morning. A day ago I noticed he was just sitting on top of the sand as usually he is swimming about. <<Indeed…a very active species>> He stays there for about 10 minutes and then will swim slowly about on top of the sand to a new place to sit. And he has only swam about an inch off the sand at the most. But as he sits he kind of flops onto his side. <<A very bad sign>> He looks normal to me, and if food floats by him he just moves away. Please can you give me some help as I know that this could be the start of a major problem with him. Alex <<It's more than a start of a major problem, Alex. I've seen this kind of behavior before and it usually does not end well. The fact the fish has stopped feeding bodes very badly, in my opinion. I suspect internal parasites as the problem…very difficult to treat, considering the fish is not eating…and even then is "iffy." You can try segregating this fish and providing dips/baths with a product like Seachem's ParaGuard or the like…but sadly, I hold little hope for this fish at this stage. Regards, EricR>>

Re: Wrasse Problem…Internal Parasites? - 04/04/08 Hi, sorry again EricR! <<No worries>> I have been to my local fish shop (who is very good) and says that there isn't much to lead on in the way of a diagnosis and he said it could be his swim bladder if he goes onto his side, I will ask him about parasites. Yet I thought internal parasites could cause the swim bladder to go? <<Hmm, I suppose so…would think they could/would cause many issues with internal organs>> + how could the parasites get there? <<Likely "came with." Do read here and among the links at the top of the page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm >> None of the other fish are showing any signs of problems hovercraft boxfish, flame angel, 2x black ocellaris clown fish and a solandri puffer, all fully grown except the hovercraft as he is young and I know he will out grow the tank in a few years but we have plans 2 move him. And they are all eating. <<This is not uncommon/is often the case. Internal parasitic issues are often isolated cases…in "my" experience>> If it is parasites can it spread? <<Internal parasites seem less likely to do this than external types…due to a lack of intermediaries or due to being species specific>> Will I be able to see the parasites? <<Not without a necropsy of the fish>> If it is parasites? Would the purchasing of a UV sterilizer remove them? <<No>> Sorry for kind of wasting your time however I want the problem to be fixed. <<As stated in my previous reply…if my diagnosis is correct, I do not think this is "fixable" at this stage of the progression>> Alex <<EricR>>

Sixline wrasse 1/1/07 Hey, I purchased a sixline wrasse about 3 days ago. My water parameters are all fine.  <Numbers next time, fine is relative.> But anyway, my wrasse is active and eating and seems do be doing well. My problem is that on the wrasse's left side, past the gill,  there is discoloration. I don't know how to describe this, it just seems like a patch of discoloration on the skin. Please get back to me with any ideas of what this could be, thanks a lot, Mael <Could be lots of things, physical damage, beginnings of a nutritional deficiency, disease, or just normal genetic variation.  Hard to be specific without more information and a picture.> <Chris>

Green Wrasse and Ich? Labrid ID, Disease   7/18/06 Hi Crew, <Lynne> I just bought a Green Wrasse <Gomphosus varius?> from my LFS on yesterday (Sunday). He's a solid size at about 2 and a half inches long. <... male coloration at this size? Maybe this is a Halichoeres species...?> I acclimated him to my QT where he is now. He is eating heartily and is starting to swim around and explore the tank after an initial 24 hour period hiding behind a rock. I looked him over very closely at the store and he appeared to be very healthy and a very active swimmer. I did not see any blemishes or spots and there were no other dead or unhealthy looking fish in the tank he came out of. I purchased him because everything I've read about Wrasses is that they are very hearty and disease resistant. <Umm, no... the family Labridae has a huge span/range of suitability for aquarium use. Some species, genera rarely live...> The store clerk said Wrasses rarely get sick because they have a very heavy slime coat. <Incorrect> When I was feeding him tonight (Monday) I noticed what appears to be 2 tiny white spots on his back fin. He has been hanging out in the sand but the spots do not look like sand stuck to his fin, although I suppose they could be. I'm really starting to get concerned as I paid $60 for him and I am sooooo paranoid of Ich, that is why I quarantine all my new arrivals for a solid 30 days before moving them to the display tank. Do you think I should be concerned about Ich with this Wrasse and how long do I wait before treating him? <... Till it appears that this is really parasitic> I do not want to treat him unless it is absolutely necessary. Any advice would be very much appreciated! Thank you very much. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/index.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>  

Disease ID (photo attached)   6/28/06 Dear WWM crew: <Jeff> It seems I need your generous assistance again.  My yellow "Coris"/Golden/Canary wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus) has a pale light pink "spot" near its tail fin and anal fin (but only on the body, not the fins).   In the attached photo, you can barely make out a light pink (almost white) area near the said fins the spans about half the height of the fish.  I hope the attached photo is good enough (the glass is not clear and has some algae growth; and the camera is not suited for this kind of shot).  The yellow Coris also scratches itself against the rocks on that light pink area.  This is the only abnormal behavior I've observed.  He is otherwise eating, foraging for 'pods, coming out to swim during the day and burying itself in the sand at night.  Can you identify what disease this might be?  And if so what's the treatment?  Thank you for all your help. J.N.F. <Does appear to be some sort of mild petecchia... surface bloodiness... due to what however? I would do your best to continue to provide good care here (low nitrates, decent nutrition) and not specifically "medicate" per se. Bob Fenner>

Male bird wrasse scratching  - 2/21/2006 Greeting from down under to the crew at wet web media. I have a question about a male bird wrasse i purchased 2 months ago. He is 7 inches long, eats well, very active swimmer and looks really health. NO external signs of disease. But he has a habit of rubbing or scratching himself on the aquarium glass at the back of the tank. Now i have noticed he does this a lot when i am near the tank and sometimes it is a constant thing just swimming around in a circle and rubbing itself when he passes the glass. but when i walk away from the tank and stand at a distance so that he cannot see me the rubbing or scratching seems to ease. He is the only fish that does this and has done it since i put him in. <Not atypical for the species...> I have a 150 gallon glass aquarium, 8ft long 2ft high and 1.5ft wide. I have two external canister filters, an overflow into a 30 gallon sump, an aqua medic multi sl TurboFlotor skimmer about 140 pounds of live rock and my tank turns over about 23 times an hour. My stock includes 1.Male bird wrasse 7inches 2.sohal tang 3inches 3.powder brown tang 3inches 4.magnificent Rabbitfish 3inches 5.pinktail triggerfish 4inches 6.emperor angel 5inches 7.bannana wrasse 2inches ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 15ppm, ph 8.3 I have no idea what this is so if you could please try to help me that would be greatly appreciated. THANKS.. <I wouldn't over-react here... but just watch and wait... Likely to be some troubles as time goes by with dominance by the Sohal BTW. Bob Fenner>

Is it common for Wrasses to go blind? Not too uncommon 11/3/05 I have a 55 gallon tank with 4 fish. (Purple Tang, Flame Angel, Clown Fish, Green Bird Wrasse) <Mmm, will be too crowded... psychologically> I have had this tank for 3 years now. There have been no problems and the only fish that has died on me was my harlequin tusk. He went blind. <Happens> I tried to hand feed him, but after months of suffering, he finally died. A few months later, I replaced him with a green bird wrasse, who has done just fine except this past week, it seems like he too is becoming blind!! I do water checks every week, and 20% changes every month. I feel like the tank is in good condition. My question is, are you aware blindness being common in this species?  Thank you <Seems like Labrids do "go blind" as a family/group much more than most other marine fishes... perhaps w/ the exception of Pteroines/Lionfishes... Is it simply stress per se? Or a lack of nutrition; Thiaminase/lack of B1... bright captive lighting... even a parasitic cause? Bob Fenner> 

Sick Lunare Wrasse 07/01/05 Hi Guys <And the divine goddesses here...> As you have helped me out in the past thought I might try again. I have a very sick Lunare wrasse. Have had him for some time now around 8 months and he has always had a bit of a belly Recently it started getting larger and he had a few white patches develop around the swelling. He is in a five foot x2x4 tank all by himself and the water quality is good. I thought it was possibly a bacterial infection So have treated him with the relevant LFS treatments, he has not responded and has become worse. I have been to the vets who also think it is bacterial and have given me some stronger antibiotics which I am now treating him with in a separate hospital tank. They have said if this does not work then they can inject however the mortality rate is high so am trying to avoid this. As he does not appear to be responding to the antibiotics is there anything else this could possibly be? <My first and best guess... as you state the fish has always had a belly... is an internal parasite... I would try (in succession) an anthelminthic (like Praziquantel) and Metronidazole (in foods)...> I have also notice a small hole developing behind his gills however it looks only skin deep at this stage? As the water is okay wondered if I am not feeding him the correct diet, have been feeding a mix of cockles and small mussels (rarely) is there anything better I could be feeding him? <A wider mix of meaty, marine-originating foods. Fresh or frozen/defrosted, home-made or store bought> Thanks any advice would be appreciated. Kind Regards Leigh <Please read re the use of the stated medicines on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Mouth tumor (?) on wrasse Good morning: Couldn't find the answer in the archives, so I'll burden you w/ the question: <Okay> I have a mature Christmas Wrasse <There are three such commonly named Labrids... this one is probably Halichoeres ornatissimus> who has been healthy since purchase and placement in my 125 (reef w/ deep sand bed) 8 months ago. 4 weeks ago he began "pecking" at the back of the tank. I noticed a deformation w/ his mouth. I put him in my QT. He also had rot on his caudal fin. MelaFix did a fine job at that, but nothing for his mouth. It appears to be a tumor (no visible fungus or discoloration); his upper lip has turned up, the right side of his mouth and jaw are badly distorted, he can't close his mouth. He doesn't appear to take any food, whether brine, Mysis, flake, whatever. I've treated for parasites with both chelated copper sulfate and Praziquantel, and for fungus with Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone. No improvement. He still has his coloration and is swimming despite apparent lack of food an my rather harsh treatments for 3 weeks. Is there any hope, or should I end his suffering? <If the fish appears to be wasting away I would euthanize it> FYI, water quality in the 125 was excellent (zero ammonia, zero nitrite, very low nitrate, no phosphate., corals and the stupid, vandal anemone all healthy) except for low calcium. Jon in da Nort'woods <Some specimens do seem prone to such growths... perhaps to some degree environmentally linked. Bob Fenner>

What's That Spot On His Wrasse? Hello, <Hi! Scott F. here today!> I have a small sixline wrasse, maybe 1.5 inches in length. When I got him he seemed fine, then I noticed a small white, raised dot above the false eye on his tail fin. A day or two after, he and the clowns with him got ich. <Grr...Frustrating. Did you quarantine him upon purchase? Be sure to do this in the future if you aren't engaging in this practice now, okay?> Well, I treated hyposalinity for 6-7 weeks, the clowns and wrasse cleaned up nicely, except for that one spot which seems to disappear sometimes, but always returns to the exact same spot . I have raised the salinity in the hospital tank from the hyposaline 1.007 to 1.015, and will be moving it up further to transfer my clowns back to the tank. However the spot on my wrasse remains, although he is eating well and looks very healthy otherwise. So my question is, is this spot actually ich or just a raised coloring of some kind? I've noticed the same spot on other pictures of sixline wrasse. <Funny you should mention this. I had a Sixline for years that always had a similar bump on this spot. It never went away, and never got worse. Does that mean it was nothing? Probably not. On the other hand, it was not contagious, nor did it annoy the fish in any way. I'd keep a close eye on the fish anyways, just to make sure that things don't decline> Anyway, my plan is to maintain the hospital tank at full salinity for another week or two with just him in it, and see if he develops ich, if he doesn't then I will transfer him back to the main tank. <I won't argue with that strategy. Better to be safe than sorry, and certainly better to make sure that the fish is, indeed ill before "treating" him> Do you have any ideas or suggestions regarding this spot? <As you are doing: Observe carefully, and treat only if it becomes a problem. Take care! Regards, Scott F.>

- Tuskfish with Lockjaw? - We have had our Tuskfish for several months in 125gal tank along with a pink tail trigger and a Cuban hogfish.  The Tuskfish is about 8'' long.  About a week ago he stopped eating and started hiding, the fish comes out at feeding time and looks like he can't open his mouth. Having had a puffer that finally died from a locked jaw I am wondering if Tuskfish are prone to this as well, or is something else going on? <Doubt this is the problem. Puffer "lockjaw" as you call it, is really due to the fact that their teeth grow constantly, and need a source of roughage that will keep their teeth worn down. In absence of shelled mollusks and crustaceans, the puffer's teeth grow together until they are no longer able to open their mouths. Tuskfish do not have the same type of dentition so will not have this problem, but are prone to hunger strikes... often based on mood, social pressure [over-crowding or harassment], water quality, or all of the above. Just stick with the fish, they can go at the very least a couple of weeks without food. I would also check that this fish is actually able to see... there is a known condition with these fish losing their eyesight from copper overdoses, so do make sure this fish still responds to visual stimuli.> We have checked the water and it is as it should be. <Do keep in mind that there can be other issues with water quality that will not show up on any hobbyist test kit.> I am fond of this fish and hate the thought of losing him.  I even offered up live ghost shrimp, the other fish loved it but the harlequin ate nothing. Please help and thank you for whatever you can suggest. <Stick with it.> Myke <Cheers, J -- >

6 line wrasse I have recently purchased a six line wrasse. On the second day he was in the tank, he started to swim head down. He still has lots of energy, eats, and has spats with the other tankmates periodically. Is this normal behavior? I was trying to wade through the FAQs on wrasses, but was unable to find specifically. Thanks <It may be that this fish is "adjusting" from the effects of capture, specifically that it has suffered internal damage from too-rapid ascent or being "poked" by its collector in the wild. Could be symptomatic of a "gut" blockage possibly... At any length, not "natural" or desirable. All one can do is hope and watch at any length. I'm rootin' for your wrasses recovery! Bob Fenner>

- Harlequin Tuskfish with Problems - I just purchased a Harlequin Tuskfish 2 days ago.  When I first got him home much to my surprise I noticed a tiny white spot on his anal fin.  I called the pet store and they said that it was probably from moving stress and it would go away so I have just been keeping an eye on it.  Then this morning (two days after) I go to check on him and his left eye has become puffy and clouded and he is laying behind a piece of coral breathing heavily, but his right eye looks normal.  I freaked out and immediately called the pet store and they asked me what the salinity was.  I have it at between 1.024-1.025 and he said it was WAY too high so I removed some water and am doing a drip of freshwater into the system. <I disagree... 1.024 - 1.025 is actually ideal - is what the salinity of the ocean is.> The Tuskfish is the only fish in a 55 gallon with crushed coral substrate and some live rock. Stats on the tank are: salinity 1.024-1.025 (but I am lowering it now to get it to 1.022) pH - 8.0 ammonia - 0 nitrite - 0 nitrate - 40 ppm (I have had the tank up 2.5 months with 15-20 gallon water changes 1X per week and am now doing them every two days to lower the nitrates) phosphate - 0 alkalinity ~ 2.2 Is there anything else I can do? <I'd give it some time, and work on your patience. I know it's stressful to see these issues with your fish, but I can give you reasonable assurances that it will work out all right. First the spot on the tail is not really abnormal - these fish often have the odd spot or two on their tail or pectoral fins - in fact, I bet if I go look at my Tuskfish right now, it will have a spot or two. Nothing really to be worried about. As for the swollen eye, this is a condition called pop-eye and is typically the result of bumping into something... the result is swelling of the eye. You can add a little Epsom salts to the tank which will help the fish deal with the swelling, but it will take many days to a week or so for that to remedy itself. As long as the fish is on its own in that tank, I'm sure it will be fine.> I am panicking and don't want to lose this beautiful fish. <Don't panic.> Please tell me if there is anything else I can do. <Breathe deeply... relax.> Thank you Vivian <Cheers, J -- >
- Harlequin Tuskfish with Problems, Follow-up -
Jason, <Hi.> Sorry to bother you again but I have just one more question.  What about the fact that he doesn't really want to move and is laying on the bottom against a piece of live rock breathing heavily.  Because of this heavy breathing I thought it was something more than Popeye. <Oh... well, you didn't mention that before ;-) > I lowered temp to 78 and salinity to 1.022 to get more oxygen in the water and there is a Skilter and 2 BioWheels on the tank and there are two pumps pumping air into the under gravel filter which add a little more oxygen hopefully. <Oh, for certain.> He is still eating some though if I put some good food right in front of his face like some squid.  And about Epsom salts, how much should I add and is it safe with live rock in the tank? <One teaspoon per five gallons.> Anything else I can do to help with his breathing? <Give it some time - these fish are typically caught with a barbless hook and line so when they show up at the wholesaler and eventually your house, they are WILD! with perhaps more exclamation points than that - they are quite freaked out, and take several weeks to come down from all the excitement. I think your fish will come around too, but will take some time. I'd leave the lights off on the tank and just make sure it is eating - squid is a great choice along with some clams or other meaty seafood.> Thank you SOOO much for your help, I really want to save my little guy <Me too.> Vivian
<Cheers, J -- >

Wrasse growth spurt??? Hi there!  When we bought "Ziggy" - our wrasse - we were told he is a Melanurus wrasse.  Looking at some online photos though, I'm not quite sure he is.  I took the best picture of him that I could for you.  Hopefully it will not only help you to help me diagnose his possible problem/illness but maybe you can also verify that he is in fact a Melanurus wrasse.  If not - that's okay too.  He's Ziggy to us. Ok so the REAL problem here is that Ziggy has been swimming around for about a week and a half now with his mouth open constantly.  He never closes it anymore - ever.  And it's beginning to worry us.  First though, I must tell you that about 6 months ago he went through what we assume was a growth spurt.  He was swimming with his head always to one side a bit (which he's doing again) and seemed to have trouble burying himself to sleep.<hmm... what kind of trouble?>  One morning we thought he was dead (6 months ago) when we found him buried head and tail but not his midsection.<yes, many species of wrasse bury themselves in the substrate at night>  I gently scooped at the gravel near him and he swam out.<yup>  Anyway, he eventually - after probably 2 or 3 weeks - was totally fine and he looked like he had grown a ton over night.<yes, wrasses tend to grow rapidly>  His head was straight, he seemed to be sleeping better, etc.  And I must tell you that we have a clownfish that likes to move the gravel to the front of the tank with his tail so we're constantly trying to make sure there's enough gravel back there for!<LOL> Ziggy to go to bed.  I think we're doing a pretty good job of that but maybe we're not if you think that that may be the cause of his strange actions.<your doing a fine job>  So now Ziggy is eating well and doesn't seem to be getting picked on by anyone else.<good>  He doesn't have spots, isn't scratching, his fins look good, he doesn't seem to be breathing any heavier than normal, etc. but his mouth is open and his head is turned a little to the side all the time again.<A lot of fast moving wrasses swim with there mouths open.. I would not be too concerned with this. If he starts showing symptoms of disease... then worry>  We're worried also that since he can't seem to close his mouth (and it is wide open) that he might be having trouble burying himself.<doubtful... he most likely can close his mouth>  He seems so uncomfortable.  The only other possible "symptom" is that he seems a little more lethargic lately. <Do check your water quality-always check water parameters when fish seem to be acting weird> Last night, we almost thought he laid on the bottom sideways like he was dying but by the time we got close enough to see he was swimming again.<he pulled a Houdini> It was very close to his bed time and he always swims slowly near the bottom and live rock (not so much out in the open water like he does during the day) around bed time.  He's always been a very active swimmer.. <yes, waiting for his last meal> I'm almost positive he did that last time too though - the lethargy thing not the laying on the bottom thing.  During the day, he appears to be almost normal except his head, his mouth, and I'd say he's a bit less active than he was before this. <again check water quality> Are "growth spurts" typical of a wrasse?<yes>  That's what the last time seemed like to me but this time his mouth is open and it's really got me concerned.  Any thoughts? <don't think there is a problem... as long as this fish continues to eat... and your water checks out fine, I would not be concerned.> I really appreciate your guidance.  Thank you!
April <good luck, IanB>

Blind Bird Wrasse? FOWLR has 6" Volitans Lion, 5"Red Sea Male Bird Wrasse, and about 30" Snowflake EEL was just added today (Sea World leftover, long story) <Long- I should say! An interesting story, I'll bet!> For awhile now the Bird Wrasse has had a hard time feeding. He knows that food has hit the water and he searches for it but can't seem to find it. We've tried live ghost shrimp, flakes, frozen clams, and frozen silversides. We started back up with the SELCON thinking it maybe it was a vitamin deficiency. <Not a bad thought on your part...You could also try a preparation like Vita Chem> He doesn't seem to have any other problems and is a beautiful animal. Our lights are not that bright, a single 40W tube. Any thoughts on this one? <Well, it could be lot's of things...Nutritional problems can lead to a form of blindness in some fishes, and I wouldn't rule out this as a possibility. You may also consider the environment of the aquarium: Recheck all water parameters to make sure that there are no measurable ammonia, nitrite, or other toxins in the water. Check overall water quality: Nitrates and phosphates...Review maintenance procedures, such as water changes, protein skimming, use of chemical filtration media, etc. Keep trying to get this fish to eat, using a variety of foods like you already have. Observe carefully for signs of any disease, etc. In the absence of other symptoms, I'd keep observing and stay the course with this fish. Be patient. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>  

Wrasse problems Attached are some pictures. Things have seemed to turn for the worst, he stopped eating as of recently (last day or so), and is becoming more and more lethargic.<doesn't sound good> To answer your questions in the email - our water quality is perfect.... every parameter is within spec (tested by us, as well as the LFS). <Maybe he is getting picked on or he is severely stressed. How are the other fish? Do they seem to be acting lethargic as well?> Any other last suggestions - we are soooo worried we are going to lose our favorite wrasse :((((((<Honestly. if he isn't showing any signs of disease, the water quality is perfect, the other fish are fine, then I don't know what to tell you, I would just watch him very closely. looking for signs of disease and check the water often, Good Luck, IanB> ~April & Bill
No, not good at all.  He isn't getting picked on at all. I've even stayed home and watched during the day to ensure it. <wow what dedication :)> My wife said that he didn't bury himself last night to sleep.<Hmm.. honestly I don't know what's wrong with your wrasse...this is not normal behavior. Wrasses love to eat, so when he/she doesn't eat-its normally a sign that something is wrong. If your water quality is good, he isn't getting picked on and disease isn't present. then I don't know what to tell you other than to just wait and see what happens>  I can't see what other stressors there would be in the tank, temp's stable, food, etc everything has been the same. Is it normal for wrasses to be "odd" during growth?<These fish are always growing so I don't really know what you are referring to when you say during growth (they don't just grow for a little while and stop) and yes they behave oddly. like swimming back and forth in the aquarium. moving rocks etc.. they rarely just stop eating though> How long can something like this last?<Don't know> All other fish in system are great.<that's good, again I would just continue to keep a close eye on everything. diseases.. etc (like what you are doing now), Good Luck my friend, IanB>

Wrasses? have 2 wrasse-related questions..... picked up a cleaner wrasse about a month ago; after purchasing, have since learned about the choice being a poor one and will not support their sale in the future....in any case, mine has been well, busy, darting about, picking away at everyone, eating brine shrimp, etc.. <resist the brine shrimp.. a very nutritively poor food. Fish can starve to death eating a lot of it (mostly water). Try Pacifica plankton, Mysid shrimp, etc> I noticed, however, that it retreats to a hole in a honeycomb rock every night and doesn't emerge for 10-12 hours at a time. I read that wrasses create some sort of sleeping cocoon and haven't been too worried about it until recently; the past 3 days the little dude hasn't emerged from his hole (though I can see his tail sticking out) and when I tried to shake the rock a bit yesterday to see if he was ok, he slid out, swam around for about 30 seconds, then flopped over a rock and looked drunk, <hmmm... sounds bad> draped over the rock, until about a minute later returning to his sleeping hole. wondering if I should leave him alone in there, (it has been 3 days) or take some action. <if there are no signs of disease... do leave it in peace. Unlikely an acclimating period (more likely it is on its way to becoming a statistic)... but we should not educate or treat without knowing what to treat for> 2nd question in regards to a 6-line wrasse that joined the aquarium about a week ago; has been great, beautiful, busy....however, I notice it swims with it's tail up, almost vertically much of the time...not swimming laboriously, however, just looks weird. (is that even a word..."laboriously?")....anyway, he seems healthy, strong, eating regularly, not sure if it's just the way he is or if it's an indication of upcoming trouble...  <strange yes.. but a quirky fish by nature. Keep observing and relax after continued good feeding and behavior otherwise> thanks for all of the Yoda-like fish wisdom. <quite welcome... but I don't have as much hair growing from my ears as Yoda...yet. Anthony>

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