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FAQs on Wrasse Disease/Health 2

Related Articles: Wrasses, Wrasses of the Cooks

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

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

It's a shame more wrasse species aren't offered for use in the hobby. Many are hardy and beautiful.

Sudden wrasse death times two       7/16/16
Dear Wet Web Crew,
In the past two days I have lost two seemingly healthy wrasses suddenly.
Yesterday I found my Halichoeres Claudia wrasse dead in the corner of my tank. Today I found my Labouts Fairy Wrasse dead in the same area. They were in a 200 gallon sps dominated tank that has been running for two years. The other tank inhabitants (Kole tang, yellow tang, mimic tang, palette tang, coral beauty angelfish, yellow Halichoeres, copperband butterfly, ocellaris clownfish pair and magnificent foxface) all appear healthy.
<Mmm... could be coincidence... one might have been poked by the Siganid, but two?>
Besides coral my invertebrates include a variety of snails, a tuxedo urchin, a few Pocillopora crabs and a bubble tip anemone. I don't think the fish were diseased as they looked perfectly healthy prior to their demise.
My question is, who is the most likely criminal in the above species list.
The mimic tang and palette tang seem to have the nastiest personalities so they are at the top of my list. The foxface is perhaps the most poisonous but he only flares his fins when frightened by the tangs. Neither fish looked as if preyed upon and I could not find definitive puncture wounds. I would assume if there was a rogue crab or mantis shrimp hiding in the rocks they would have been partially eaten.
The bubble tip is not that big (3 inches across) and I don't think it is responsible. So this brings me back to my armed tangs and foxface.
<I'd bet on the last for one of the Labrids, but for two in such a short period of time? Not reasonable>
Any incite or similar experience would be appreciated as I don't want to add new fish that will suffer the same fate. Regards, Doug C.
<Going over your list of livestock... the size of the system; again, I think/consider that these losses are anomalous (internal issues, some endogenous biota ingested...) and not related. Sometimes fishes do die w/o obvious reason/s. I'd boldly replace them and not worry. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sudden wrasse death times two       7/16/16

Thanks for your help as always, I'll write back if the yellow Halichoeres goes kaput next! Regards, DC
<Thank you. BobF>
Re: Sudden wrasse death times two    9/6/16

Greetings Bob,
<Hey Doug>
A follow up on the prior question, an observation, and one more question:
<Ah, good>
I have had two more sudden deaths...another wrasse and then the Kole tang.
I interpreted your prior response as the most likely culprit if indeed these were inflicted injuries would be the foxface. I have since removed him and have had no further mortalities
<Mmm; could be>

Next item: I just finished your article in Coral magazine on butterflies and wondered why you excluded Tahitian butterflies.
<THE Tahitian Butterflyfish (Chaetodon trichrous) ? Will have to look; didn't list all 129 or so spp. and some that I did likely got edited out (for space). They ARE listed on the family coverage on WWM: As an unknown in terms of survivability.
Most references, resources I have grade it as "intermediate" in terms of aquarium hardiness>
I have one which is quite hardy, holds his own with all fish and is an Aiptasia destroyer. He did nibble on my sps, but seems fine in my soft coral tank. Overall, I think this a great butterfly fish
<Ahh, great>
Now for the question: I had an ich outbreak in my QT tank and am now letting it run fallow without fish. What is the minimum absolute safe interval before placing fish back in...I have read as short as four weeks to more than 2 months
<This IS about the given range... can speed up by raising/having a higher temperature....>
Thanks as always, Doug
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Wrasse Problems; anomalous loss, blindness     RMF's go       10/19/15
I have an 80 gallon reef tank which is home to several corals and juvenile fish. It has been set up for 10 months and has had good stable water parameters for quite awhile. Our LFS comes once per month to do a deep clean and spot check all three saltwater tanks we have in the house. I do a 10% water change in this tank every week. Water param.s this weekend were
0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 8.2 pH, between 0-5 nitrate, salinity 1.024 and temp 77 degrees F. Prior to doing the water change, I use a turkey baster to get detritus off rocks and noticed something larger than detritus blown off the live rock onto the sand bed. It was my beautiful mystery wrasse - dead.
He had been exhibiting no strange behavior and ate heartily the day before (we feed a mixture of various frozen foods including mysis, bloodworms,
<I'd skip these last... not so much in marine, but freshwater systems have had troubles w/ feeding these sewer fly larvae>
Spirulina brine, rotifers and krill). I pulled him out and did not see any signs of damage to his body.
<Do you still have this fish? I would cut it open, look at the stomach contents. I suspect this fish ate something that didn't agree with it. Happens>
He looked like he had just died as there was no color loss yet. I did put him into a container with some of the tank water in case he popped up while I was cleaning. He had been with us for about three months. Today my melanarus wrasse seems to be behaving oddly. He looks fine, but I would swear that he can't see. He is bumping into other fish, rocks and corals.
We have had this wrasse for roughly 6 months and he has never had a problem. He looked hungry when I put food in the tank. Looked like he was trying to eat but was 'missing' the food.
<Blindness.... from what? A deficiency syndrome? I would soak foods at least once a week in a vitamin, HUFA, probiotic solution>

He has no clouding in his eyes, they look perfectly clear. I do have a 29 gallon quarantine tank that we keep permanently set up with a couple of Banggai Cardinalfish in it. I tried to catch him today but he hid behind the live rock. I thought I would try to get him tonight if he buries himself in the front of the tank where I can dig him out easily.
Obviously, I wonder if you have heard of this before.
<Thus far... have "heard" of such behavior in small Labrids; but these affects, loss are anomalous thus far>
I also wonder what could cause eyesight issues and how to treat.
<As stated>
Finally...will a wrasse be okay in a QT with no substrate. We have none at all in the QT although we do have three rocks that create a little cave area where fish can get cover.
<I would not move the wrasse>

Any advice is much appreciated!
Tiffany Cannon
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Wrasse Problems Earl's take       10/19/15

I have an 80 gallon reef tank which is home to several corals and juvenile fish. It has been set up for 10 months and has had good stable water parameters for quite awhile. Our LFS comes once per month to do a deep clean and spot check all three saltwater tanks we have in the house. I do a 10% water change in this tank every week. Water param.s this weekend were
0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 8.2 pH, between 0-5 nitrate, salinity 1.024 and temp 77 degrees F. Prior to doing the water change, I use a turkey baster to get detritus off rocks and noticed something larger than detritus blown off the live rock onto the sand bed. It was my beautiful mystery wrasse - dead.
<Sorry to hear. :( >
He had been exhibiting no strange behavior and ate heartily the day before (we feed a mixture of various frozen foods including mysis, bloodworms, Spirulina brine, rotifers and krill).
<This behavior is not unusual...a fish will often eat right up until death with no warning from appetite loss. As a side note, you can just leave out the bloodworms and stick to food of marine origin.>
I pulled him out and did not see any signs of damage to his body. He looked like he had just died as there was no color loss yet. I did put him into a container with some of the tank water in case he popped up while I was cleaning. He had been with us for about three months. Today my melanarus wrasse seems to be behaving oddly. He looks fine, but I would swear that he can't see. He is bumping into other fish, rocks and corals.
We have had this wrasse for roughly 6 months and he has never had a problem. He looked hungry when I put food in the tank. Looked like he was trying to eat but was 'missing' the food. He has no clouding in his eyes, they look perfectly clear. I do have a 29 gallon quarantine tank that we keep permanently set up with a couple of Banggai Cardinalfish in it. I tried to catch him today but he hid behind the live rock.
<Check WWM for designs on traps for hard-to-net species like this...can be made from plastic Coke bottle and such with bait inside.>
I thought I would try to get him tonight if he buries himself in the front of the tank where I can dig him out easily. Obviously, I wonder if you have heard of this before. I also wonder what could cause eyesight issues and how to treat. Finally...will a wrasse be okay in a QT with no substrate.
<On one hand the point of quarantine is that it is completely sterile. On the other hand I am 100% convinced that pure stress is a direct killer or huge contributor to the death of many fish. Because of this, I would absolutely always have some sort of cover for any fish, and none more than a wrasse that uses sand for cover...they do this for a reason and living in a shiny glass box, exposed, is probably a cure worse than a disease.
Bleach/nuke and *thoroughly* flush with fresh water some kind of decor for cover. Be it plastic aquarium plants in a pile, plastic shipwrecks or caves, or just PVC tubing (I get this in black from hardware stores, Home Depot, Lowes and cut it into appropriate sized pieces, heap it up tp give some safe cover to hide and recover in, then toss or sterilize it as above.
QT needs to be a "clean room" not an empty exposed box. You can medicate, observe, feed, and catch a fish just fine in this setup but some kind of circulation (simple airstone is fine). Obviously keep it heated, with clean water prepared separately from the main system, etc.. Sand is a hard call...would the extra stress from lack of a sleeping sandbed be worse than
possible contamination? I would err on the side of the sand but just use brand new sand in a Tupperware pan-shaped dish or what have you. No lights near the tank, a dark background, even a dark towel draped over it partially to obscure most of the light. There is a reason better dealers ship fish in black plastic bags now instead of clear.>
We have none at all in the QT although we do have three rocks that create a little cave area
where fish can get cover. Any advice is much appreciated!
<Excellent. This is what I mean as far as cover. Be sure to sterilize rock between each use of the QT tank or you may be tainting the process...live reef rock is definitely out. As for the root of the problem, what are the other inhabitants of the tank? Hard to make a call without knowing this...coral defense methods are not out of the question (stinging, chemical). May be internal damage from attackers, or parasites. Inspect it closely as you can for any outside marks. >
Tiffany Cannon
Re: Wrasse Problems      10/19/15

We have a very small chevron tang in tank, four small pajama Cardinalfish and a red scooter blenny. I think the corals we have are all fairly benign (hammer, frogspawn, slipper tongue, bubble and a couple of Paly frags) and we have no anemones (although we have two rather healthy looking Aiptasia that seemed to have come with the live rock). There is one trouble-maker in the tank. I have arranged for it to go back to the LFS on trade this upcoming weekend. We have a tube anemone that has really flourished in the tank. It is tucked in a corner and we attempted to 'wall' it off a bit with live rock. It has stung and killed a couple of corals. I had no idea how far out its tentacles were extending until I put a flashlight on the
tank last week in the middle of the night. During the day it's reach is half what it is at night! The fish seem to know instinctively to stay away from it. I knew it was possible that it might catch and eat a small fish, but didn't think the outer tentacles were dangerous to fish? I thought they were primarily for catching and pulling food down toward the center.
Any chance it can be the culprit?
<It's shocking (and fascinating) how much goes on in a reef at night as far as tentacles from "softies". Hammers and frogspawn can send out sweepers with much more reach than you might imagine...a foot sometimes. Anemones most certainly sting and stun fish, it's their entire modus operandi. I would not expect a wrasse to get nailed by them or sweeper tentacles, but it could happen. At any rate the clear but faulty eyes seem inconsistent with that to me...sounds almost like nervous system damage? Unless there are external wounds I would rule out the other fish. This is intended for retailers but serves as a concise checklist you should read through to try to diagnose this wrasse:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqbizsubwebindex/fishdisho.htm  Hope this is helpful. >
Tiffany Cannon
Re: Wrasse Problems      10/19/15
Thanks for the quick response. Good to know about the bloodworms. Most of the fish don't seem to like them much anyway.
<Good for freshwater, not so much for marine critters. Much better choices abound.>
I will pick up some vitamins tomorrow and start giving soaked food every week.
<Good nutrition is a must of course. I recommend soaking the food in Selcon if you can get it to him. Maybe via soaked mysis squirted via turkey baster or pipette as close to his face as you can manage. Wrasses are big eaters as you have no doubt witnessed and suffer from lack of food more than calmer, less energetic and greedy species in my experience, though a hunger strike of a few days is not something to stress out over unless it starts to show. A extremely helpful bit of info I learned years ago is to observe the "temples" of a fish...signs of starvation are shown there early and clearly by sunken temples. Hopefully this will not be an issue anyway.>
Hopefully our melanarus will pull through. I appreciate your advice not to move him. It is rather complicated navigating a reef tank full of corals with a fish net without doing some damage. And I'm noticing the sickest of fish can move really fast when they are being pursued! I do still have the dead mystery wrasse. I put him in the fridge in tank water to keep him from decaying. I'll let my husband or the LFS perform the autopsy. Ewww...necessary and interesting...but....Ewww.
<Good to have this available though. Keep us posted.>
Tiffany Cannon
Re: Wrasse Problems       11/3/15

Great news...after a week or so of acting completely blind but showing no outward appearance changes to the eyes, our melanarus wrasse started to look like his eyesight was returning.

He stopped bumping into things and seemed to have a better ability to navigate the aquascape and other fish, showing improvement each day. He started eating again after a week. He was picky at first and only went after bigger pieces (presumably because he could see them better). He seems now to have made a full recovery. As for the dead mystery wrasse, we didn't find anything out of the ordinary with him. It's too bad...he was very well-behaved toward his tank-mates and had much deeper coloration than many paler versions we see at the store. Thanks for your advice. We have
eliminated blood worms from the menu and have begun soaking food with Selcon. - Tiffany Cannon
<Ahh! I am reminded by reading Richard Ross's work on freshwater rays, that Thiaminase poisoning can be reversed by addition of B1 vitamin... Is part of Selcon.
Cheers and thank you for your report. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine      11/2/14
Hello Mr. F,
How are you ? Here in Romania the winter is coming and is getting colder..
<No thanks! Colder here too>
My question for you today is the following: I have in a 10 g qt cube tank a small 5 cm A. Lineatus and 2 wrasses ( leopard and another Halichoeres).
<Need more room>
They have been there for 3 days but the tank is too small
<It is>
and the water quality is deteriorating rapidly. There is a small sponge filter with an air intake. When you open the air valve is spreading a lot of small bubbles in the water column and if you close it there is no
aeration. I changed 70% of the water daily but the fishes don't look good.
The Lineatus is breading rapidly, but I think is because is scared and he has no space, he is eating though. From the feedings the water in the tank gets blurry and it smells, and the frequent water changes scare the fishes even more.
What should I do?
<Move them>
There is no sign of disease except for the rapid breathing. Should I give them a fw/Methylene bath and introduce them in the dt with all the sensitive tangs/angels / Zanclus etc that live there and are thriving (
although they are living with Crypt in there but for months now I haven't seen any sign ) ?
<If this is all you have>
Or after the bath place them in the sump? Or the refugium?
<Or here>
Or try to set up a bigger qt wessel?
<This would be best, better>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Disease identification, Labrid losses     7/25/12
Dear Bob and Crew
I was hoping I could get some help or at least pointed in the right direction with an issue I have been dealing with relating the loss of wrasses.  Just to give you some particulars, I have four individual tanks that I use for receiving, acclimating and QTing various species of fish that either will eventually wind up in my main reef tank or placed in one of my two 75-gallon fowrl tanks.  I use two twenty gallon and two 40-gallon breeder tanks, each tank is set up with its own Emperor 280 HOB filter as well as an internal power head driven sponge filter.   One twenty gallon is bare bottom the other has enteric coated silica based fine black sand (for Leopards and other burying wrasse)  The 40-gallon tanks, one has the same fine sand and the other has a medium sized enteric, coated gravel.  I use the coated; silica based gravel and sand just in the event I have to treat any of the tanks with meds to eliminate the possibility of absorption.

Under normal circumstances, each tank will get a 20% water change weekly unless I am medicating and depending on what I am using, would dictate the water change schedule.
Over the last several weeks, I have had various species of wrasse, purchased from 3 separate vendors; all arrive within two days of one another and depending on the type, went into one of the twenty gallon tanks.
Immediately upon arrival, I give them an extended SW Formalin bath with aeration for approximately 30 - 45 minutes
<Mmm, this is too long... I would use pH adjusted freshwater and limit the dips (short baths) to a couple minutes>

 using 1ML of 37% formalin per gallon (my standard OP) and then placement into one of the two tanks.  I keep the salinity at 1.019
<Mmm, I would match the shipping water spg... Have you read my SOProtocol
here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm
the second/business one>
 and let them get accustom to the tank for a week before starting any type of meds which usually begins with a quinine based med, either QS or CP as a preventative and then PraziPro.
Two weeks ago, my Australian Scotts started to become lethargic after being extremely active and eating, his breathing became labored and it started to lie on its side in one particular spot and refused to eat (no meds were being used) Ammonia and Nitrate were 0 and PH was 8.2 also in the same tank was an exquisite wrasse and two small female square patch Anthias and a small Australian Copperband.  The next day, its color started to fade and it started to show the stress related mottled appearance and was keeping its fins ridged. When it did try to swim, it would swim in upside down circles
then eventually resettle back into its original spot.  I found it dead the next day.  A few days later in the other twenty gallon tank, a Red Sea 8-line wrasse started showing the same lethargic early signs as the Scotts.
In this 2nd tank I had the RS 8-line flasher wrasse, a small potters wrasse, a blue star leopard wrasse, a medium sized Male square patch Anthias and an Orange diamond goby.  At this point, just as in the first tank, no other fish exhibited signs of parasite or disease.  The 8-line stopped eating, started breathing heavy, laying on its side and eventually started the same erratic swimming behavior as the Scotts and died two days later.
Next was the exquisite wrasse in tank #1 which started two days later, this time I tried a ph adjusted freshwater/formalin dip for 5 minutes
<With aeration I hope/trust>
 and placed him in one of the empty 40-gallons to keep it separated and hopefully prevent any further possible spread I then started a Chloroquine Phosphate treatment but three days later, the erratic swimming started and it died a day later.  Last week, in tank #2, both the potters and blue star leopards became lethargic and actually stopped burying themselves; they stayed on top of the sand bed and stopped eating.  Their swimming wasn't as erratic as the fairy wrasses, they just appeared to crawl along the sand instead of swimming and they too started the labored breathing. I found the Potters wrasse dead the following morning and the blue star dead that evening when I came home from work.  I now have no more wrasses in any of the QT tanks but the interesting thing is that all three Anthias, the Copperband as well as the goby are all doing well, eating like pigs and show absolutely no signs of any ailments, their colors are bright, their eyes are clear and they are very active and alert.
<A good clue>

 The water in both tanks still read 0 for ammonia on both the alert badge and an actual test kit, nitrate was also 0 and PH is 8.2.  With all the deaths going on I had increased my water changes to keep the water quality as pristine as possible and had poly pads in the filter boxes except in the 40 gallon that I tried to medicated with CP. 
I'm at a loss, what could possibly wipe out wrasses only while all fish of different species remain unaffected,
<Their need for higher DO>
 I don't feel this was Brook as the death rate was too far apart nor did they have the heavy mucus or dusted appearance of velvet and there were no visible white spots to indicate Ich.
The only thing I could think of that would cause these symptoms would possibly be gill flukes but I can't explain how flukes would cause the erratic swimming behavior.  So I turn to you and the WWM crew to possibly help shed some light on what you think or know that might have caused this wrasse only mortality issue
<My best guess is that the Labrids had higher stress, lower hematocrits... from shipping, handling... and that the too-prolonged exposure to formalin resulted in their being poisoned. I'd read, cut back on the duration and maybe eschew the use/exposure to CP as prophylaxis. Bob Fenner>

Wrasses losing balance, dying - Ichthyophonus?    4/2/12
First of all, thank you for the awesome site you have been running, the information available on WWM recently helped me a lot in setting up a QT and treating successfully for Crypt.  We (my brother and I) have been keeping marines for around five years, and we learnt numerous lessons in those years (most importantly I suppose the use of a QT).  We have a bit of a problem at the moment with new fish we bought over the weekend.  We use the metric system and measure temperature in Celsius, so apologies upfront for the cm's, liters and C's I am going to use.
<No worries>
The fish are going into two separate tanks, one a 80cm cube and the other a 45cm nano (hence the duplication in fish bought).  We stay in Johannesburg, South Africa, and there are only a handful of reputable fish stores around.
 We went to one this weekend and bought the following:  2x Yellow tail Tamarin wrasses (Anampses meleagrides, around 3cm),
<Wow, small>

2x Midas Blennies (Ecsenius Midas, around 6cm) and a Leopard Wrasse (Macropharyngodon bipartitus bipartitus, around 4cm).
<This too>

 We do realize that the wrasses are not the easiest to keep/feed, but all 3 of them ate frozen food in the shop tanks and  have kept a Leopard wrasse successfully in the past on frozen Mysis until he decided to jump out of the tank a few months down the line.
We set up a 45 liter (12 Gallon) quarantine tank at home the night before we went to buy the fish with freshly made up (with Seachem Reefsalt) seawater with salinity at 1.023 (measured with refractometer) and temperature at 24C.  Once the salt was fully dissolved and salinity/temperature correct, we added a HOB filter with bioballs and sponge.  This HOB filter has been running continuously for the last 3 months as is (bar addition/removal of Cuprisorb) in a different 3ft tank that we used (successfully without any losses) as a quarantine for all my fish from the DT that developed Crypt due to a careless new addition (it was treated with Cupramine). The decorations are 3 coffee cups and 2 pieces of 1 inch PVC pipe (all of which was used before in a different QT).  It is also bare bottom.  I added a Seio M820 for extra flow.  I also added (and I am still adding) Seachem Stability.
Now that the background has been given, back to the problem.  We acclimatized the fish for an hour on Saturday morning before putting them into the QT (no water from the LFS was transferred to QT).  We did this by throwing a quarter cup of aquarium water or so into the bags with the fish every 5 minutes or so until the hour was up (we moved house a week or two ago, and couldn't find the airline tubing to drip the fish in).  We stay about 20 minutes from the LFS where we purchased the fish.  Saturday early evening I added a small amount of flakes and a quarter block of frozen Mysis (as the filter has been cycled and ran with about 12 biggish fish for the last 3 months, I didn't think it would give any water quality issues).
The Tamarin's both went for the flakes as well as the Mysis, and the Leopard wrasse ate a few frozen Mysis bits.  A good sign I would think.
Sunday morning I got up to find the one Tamarin (bigger one of the two) hiding in the PVC pipe, all the other fish seeming fine and swimming around (Midas blennies' heads poking out of the other PVC pipes, normal behaviour).  The Tamarin eventually came out, but he seemed to have a problem with his balance, and kept on falling over and staying on the bottom of the tank.  His breathing was also accelerated.  Sunday afternoon I got to the tank at around 17h00, and the one Tamarin was dead. I fed the fish later that evening, the other fish all ate at least frozen Mysis (the Midas Blennies at pellets quite feverishly).  This morning I got to the tank at around 7h00, and found the leopard wrasse also not able to stay upright and also breathing heavily.  The other Tamarin and Midas Blennies still seemed ok.   When I look closely, I can see white/frayed patches on the pectoral fins of the Leopard Wrasse.  Not Crypt spots, more uneven patches.
Now I have searched on the internet for the problem, and the only thing I can find that matches the symptoms is Ichthyophonus internal fungus.
 When I think of it I remember all the wrasses having open mouths that does not seem to close (another early sign for Ichthyophonus from what I have read).  Apparently no known cure from what I can read.  Any idea how common this disease is in marine fish?
<Not very common...>
  Or is there something else that I am missing?
<Likely "just" capture, handling damage/stress w/ these small, touchy wrasses>

 Any cure that I might not have found on the internet?  Also, if it is this disease, and let's say the Midas Blennies show now <? no?> symptoms after a month in the qt, how can I prevent this from going into the main tank when I eventually transfer them? 
<I would not be concerned>
The lfs in question apparently treats all their fish with Metronidazole and a low-ish dose of Cupramine (0.25 ppm).  I have a number of wrasses in the main tank (2 locally caught Indian Ocean bird wrasses, locally caught Cut Ribbon wrasse and a Cleaner Wrasse (I've had him for over a year and eats anything before someone asks)), so don't want the disease spreading to the main tank.
<Again, I would not worry re... the likelihood of transference, given the stated circumstances, is very low>
Thank you for the help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Wrasses losing balance, dying - Ichthyophonus?    4/3/12

Hi Bob,
Thank you very much!  Unfortunately the Leopard wrasse didn't survive the night.  The Tamarin and Midas Blennies still seem healthy and all 3 of them ate this morning.
Thanks for the quick response!
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Cirrhilabrus, Paracheilinus, Halichoeres and Macropharyngodon disease prevention, & Dips f'   1/22/12
Dear Bob,
We have chatted several times before about compatibility between many species of fairy and flasher wrasses as well as worker and leopard wrasse.  I have a 180 gallon wrasse dominated reef tank and a 75 gallon frag tank, also with many various species of wrasse.  I have read many of the sections in WWM regarding these amazing fish and now have some mixed feelings on quarantine. You have stated often times that it is usually best to just prepare a PH adjusted FW dip and place into the display and I can certainly understand your rational behind that for some very sensitive species and or some of the more costly fish in these categories but I have a serious concern after what I just went through with the battle against Crypt.
<No fun for sure>
I had to drain my tanks completely to catch all the fish then refill them quickly so as not to lose coral.  I wasn't able to officially start the fallow count down until I caught the last holdout, leopard wrasse that hid in the sand bed which I  eventually had to catch with a baited #26 barb-less trout hook.  I lost so many fish during the QT process since I was unprepared for such a large biological filtration demand that a 150-gallon QT tub required to house about 25 fish.  It was heart breaking to find pairs of Lineatus and Rhomboids pass as well as two trios of Hawaiian flames, my African exquisite wrasse, a Red Velvet, a rosy scale, a Cebu Pylei as well as several flasher and Halichoeres.
I have just recently started adding fish back into my system after it remained fallow for 12-weeks, slowly but surely replacing many of my lost species over time and now using Quinine Sulfate in the QT instead of copper but even with this less caustic chemical by comparison to Copper, Formalin, Cupramine and even Malachite Green, some of the fish were still lost in the QT process but I believe those losses were attributed to bad shipping and or hidden physical injury.  I currently have two pair of Lineatus and Rhomboids ready to go into the QT tanks but I have also just received two pair of Red Sea 8-line flashers, a potters leopard wrasse, a female African Blue Star leopard and two Melanurus wrasse and am giving some serious thought to your 1 - 2 minute
<I'd make this five, even ten minute... w/ aeration, AND you present for constant assessment, and making sure no one is "jumping" out>
FW / Meth Blue dip and direct place instead of the 10-day Quinine Sulfate.  I trust and value your opinion and recommendation but I am slightly hesitant on doing this after these past 3 1/2 months
<Always risks involved... I stand by my previous statements re likely trade-offs, value of baths instead of extended quarantine.
Thank you for your telling. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cirrhilabrus, Paracheilinus, Halichoeres and Macropharyngodon disease prevention

Thank you for your reply and on your recommendation for 5 - 10 minute aerated baths.  Do those baths consist of just PH matched Fresh Water or do you suggest adding Meth Blue or Formalin and if so, at what ratio?
<Mmm, commercially I have almost always utilized formalin in such dips and baths... But am hesitant to make a short, blank statement re protocol here.
Please instead read: http://wetwebmedia.com/formalinfaqs.htm
 I have both but my formalin is 37% and I was under the impression that formalin dips were completed in aerated salt water not fresh.
<They can be in fresh or marine settings, but ALWAYS w/ aeration (and the pre-mentioned constant attendance)>
 Lastly,  would you suggest dipping each fish individually and then placing but changing the dip water between each fish bath? or can they all be dipped together in a 5-gallon bucket. 
<These wrasses can go altogether, in groups or singly. Other groups of fishes... surgeons, Lions for instance, I'd run one at a time>
The fish that are of concern here are all very fat, healthy, active and eating but also show no visual signs of disease so hopefully by tonight after them lights go out, I can get them all in the display.
Thank you again for you help and advise
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Cirrhilabrus, Paracheilinus, Halichoeres and Macropharyngodon disease prevention  1/22/12

Thank you very much
<Ah, welcome. B>

Ouch! Bob and Crew, Please HELP! Handling-damaged wrasse     9/30/11
Hello! Bob and all you wonderful people at WWM!
From what I've gathered from reading reading and reading, here is what the situation is and what I am thinking of doing...Just want you thoughts!!!
I have a Halichoeres chrysotaenia, beautiful male, in his 20 gallon quarantine tank. It does have pieces of live rock, and an area with sand, and lots of Chaeto on one end to help with de-nitrification and also
loaded with copepods if he didn't like my prepared foods. This quarantine tank has been set up for MONTHS sans fish but with all the other stuff.
I acquired him through a very reputable online site, and he arrived Tuesday.
I first floated the bag in tank water for 20 minutes, then drip acclimated him over 40 minutes (filled water to the top, poured out the water once, filled to the top and then release fish only to tank). He was "sleeping" at first but woke up before I placed him in the quarantine. He took a look, saw sand and dove in. I was able to get a good look at him once he decided to come out later that night and I noticed a torn area on his right pectoral fin.
<Usually self repairs; not to worry>
Yesterday, I noticed that he is not using it very well. This morning, he is not using it much at all. It does not have any red steaks, it is in fact sort of opaque looking.
<Likely caught on a net, netting... quite common>
It doesn't follow the description of a bacterial infection, more like a collection/shipment injury.
Otherwise, he is swimming around and looking for food, eating Ocean Nutrition Frozen Formula One and frozen Mysis soaked in Selcon, garlic, and multi vitamins with passion.
Plan is do nothing. I did that for the last couple of days and I think it is looking worse. I'm thinking of treating with an antibiotic BUT I am worried that he will stop eating which may be worse in the long run.
What do you think?
<Doing nothing is what I would do as well>
Thanks so very much, as usual!!!
<Welcome in kind. BobF>
Re: Ouch! Bob and Crew, Please HELP!    9/30/11
Greetings, Bob!
<Salud Jamie>
Thank you for your reply!
He is not doing as well this morning, still swimming, not using his right fin...eats a little.
I will keep watch and unless looking like it is going towards a systemic infection with cloudy eyes and red streaked fins, I will not treat.
Maybe do a 20% water change today to keep the water quality up!
On a side note...I'm so glad to learn that I am thinking along the right path! I'm learning! Thanks to YOU and your wonderful web site!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
<As many welcomes. BobF>

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>>

Mystery Wrasse Disease 12/15/2007 Hello WWM crew. Your website has given me years of valuable info. I have used the experiences of others on your site for years to learn about this great hobby. Now I have a problem of my own that I would greatly appreciate your help. I came home today and realized that my prize fish, a 4 inch mystery wrasse, has some sort of "disease" covering his mouth. This disease looks like fluffy white whiskers coming out of his mouth. These whiskers appear to be coming from inside the mouth and do not allow him to close his mouth. <Not good... likely resultant from a physical trauma ("jumping")...> I am at a loss because I have not seen anything similar to this before. I have had some run ins with marine velvet in the past, but this looks nothing like a parasite. <Is simple decomposers...> In my (clueless) opinion it seems like some sort of fungus growing out of his mouth. <Likely bacterial...> The tank is a 120 gallon that has been up for about a year. I have finally gotten around to quarantining all new specimens, and have done so throughout the entire life of this tank. Below I have attached a picture of the wrasse. <Didn't come through.>  It is not very helpful because the white "whiskers" around his mouth blend with the color of the mouth, but you can kind of see them along the bottom of his mouth. Hopefully this will help you in your assessment. Thanks in advance for your help with this problem, and thank you for all the help you have provided others. This is a valuable resource for all marine aquarists. <Not much to do here... Perhaps adding more iodine-ide-ate in whatever format you currently use would be of help... Otherwise, waiting, hoping... maintaining optimized, stable conditions is about it. Bob Fenner><Or.... Polychaete/Bristleworm spines? RMF>

New black dots on a 8 line wrasse question  3/16/2007 Hi Guys, <Matt> Greetings from sunny Adelaide, Australia. First off love the site and all the great work that has been put into it. I searched the wrasse FAQ but couldn't find a answer so here goes a email <Good> 280L tank, all the levels are right (bar it being a little warmer than most tanks but that's a different story) and none of the other tank mates seem to have any issues. He's still eating as per normal (he's doubled in size since I got him 6-7 months ago) and swimming around like the speed demon he is. The black marks (it looks like ink marks) on both sides appeared in the last couple of days and therefore I'm very interested to know what they are ? <Mmm, if this were unilateral (one-sided) I would jump (?) to the ascertain that this was likely a mechanical injury, nervous reaction... But both sides?> Since they are on both sides I don't believe they are a scratch, I'm more leaning towards a infection of some type. from my reading maybe even a UTI ? <Mmmmm> Attached are a left & right photo and a circle has been placed around the area of interest. Cheers Matt <Any other livestock showing signs of distress? Anything showing up in water quality tests? Something different done the last few days? I still suspect this is some sort of injury reaction... Bob Fenner, who would "wait and see" here>

Wrasse with swollen lips  3/10/07 Hello, I have a sixline wrasse with what I believe is a bacterial infection. <Mmmm> I am in college so my parents take care of my fish while I am away. While I love my parents they never seem to alert me to these problems while I am away, so I have no idea how long this has been going on. Now that I am home for spring break, I have transferred the sixline to an established quarantine (31 ppt salinity, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite, 8.3 pH) after trapping him in a plastic container to observe and possibly treat the wrasse with a pH adjusted freshwater Methylene blue dip. I am hesitant because I had trouble making a diagnosis from the mostly-vague disease descriptions that I found in my available books and web resources. I have attached photos of the wrasse's mouth. <I see these> The wrasse also has some raised patches of light white on its body and is twitching slightly. Although he is eating Mysis shrimp and flake food well I have not seen any feces as of yet. If you have any ideas as to what the affliction is and possible courses of treatment please let me know. Thank you, Caitlyn <Is not really a disease as in an infectious or parasitic affliction... not pathogenic... But, skipping ahead, this is not an uncommon "developmental" condition from this specimen being damaged in capture, shipping, handling, perhaps a trauma in your system... The long and short of it, is that this is not "treatable"... but the specimen looks healthy otherwise. I would not "treat" it. Bob Fenner>

Re: Wrasse with swollen lips  3/10/07 Hi Again, Thank you for your quick reply. I do not know what to say as the wrasse's condition has deteriorated greatly overnight, upon observation this morning its face was completely swollen with some rough growths. <Yikes... I obviously "spoke"/keyed too "soon"... perhaps there is something else at play here... Though I stand semi-firmly by my guess as to primary cause here. Mechanical injury> I performed a 50 percent water change although water quality had revealed nothing. The fish is breathing heavily and lying on the bottom of the QT. The fish's condition has worsened extremely since I have been home. Still nothing I can do?? Please help, I do not think this is only stress. <I don't think there is anything efficacious you can actually do at this point. Such "developments" almost always quickly progress at this stage to death... sorry to state. BobF>

Wrasse Injury and Behavior - Help!  2/12/07 Hi WWM Crew - <Beth> Long time reader, first time writer.  I did some searching and didn't really see anything that fit the bill.  Tried using the links to the public chat forum and I get a "500 Servlet Exception" error. <Will cc Zo... the "maker" here re> Reef tank Basics: 225 gallon tank (been up and running since 08/11/2005) ~200 pounds live rock and ~70 pounds live sand Protein skimmer, chiller, RO/DI water, use Tropic Marin PRO salt Lighting: 4 96W 10000k power compact,  4 96W actinic power compact, 2 metal halides (250W each) Water param.s: pH 8.0, Nitrates 20 (reading prior to 45 gallon water change today - so that should go down), Nitrites trace (not 0, but not on scale to measure with test kit), Ammonia 0, iodine 0.4, phosphate 0 - 0.1, alkalinity 2.5, calcium 390 Livestock: Tangs: Clown Tang, Yellow Tang, Blue Tang 2 tank raised Ocellaris Clowns Diamond Watchman Goby 2 Blue/Green Chromis Mandarin Goby Wrasses: Redtail Wrasse, male/female pair Hawaiian Flasher Wrasses, <How nice! Jordan's> 6 Line Wrasse, Christmas Wrasse, New Guinea Wrasse, and Clown Wrasse <... this last may get VERY large> 2 Fire Shrimp 7 peppermint shrimp (although I can only account for 3 at time of writing) 1 Sally Lightfoot Crab <Am quite surprised your wrasses haven't eaten the crustaceans> 1 Orange Linckia Starfish 1 Sand-Sifting Starfish 1 Brittle Starfish Various corals (Brain, Galaxea, Frogspawn, Ricordea mushroom, unknown mushroom species, 3 kinds of Zoanthid, candy cane coral, torch coral, Blasto, 2 different cup corals, 2 leather corals, xenia, colt) Writing today with two issues/questions about two of our established wrasses. Redtail wrasse (in display tank since 10/23/2005) Flame wrasse pair (in display tank since 01/21/2006) We have noticed some coloration changes in the Redtail wrasse.  It's head has started to fade a bit in its coloration. <Mmm... may be natural... Males do change in this way with age, growth> Her tail also does not seem as vibrant a red as it once was.  We also noticed today that it was chasing the Christmas Wrasse, picking at the front of the acrylic tank (making a snapping noise) and acting a bit "funkier" than usual.  It is eating well.  While I know that diet can affect a fishes coloration, I don't think that is what it is as the other fish don't seem to be affected.  We change up what is fed to the corals every couple of days.  The fish get frozen cube food: herbivore (green) every day and then Mysis or a mix of brine and krill.  On occasion will add garlic extreme to the food mixture.  Also add a seaweed variety (sheets of either red, brown, or green seaweed) for the tangs.  Notice that sometimes the wrasses pick at this as well. <No worries... are pretty omnivorous>   Recently ordered some of the additives I've read about in some of the postings on the site, so will be trying those in the next couple of days. <Are of benefit, use> Since the Redtail does not appear to be sick or injured, is it possible it is changing into a male? <Yes>   How long does a typical transformation take (days, weeks)?   <Weeks to months> Any other ideas aside from diet on the change in it's head color? <All sorts... see fishbase.org for more pix> Now onto the next question.  We have a pair of Hawaiian Flame Wrasses.  Yesterday I noticed the male's snout seemed a bit off kilter (pushed in on the top).  My husband thought that he ate during the first feeding, but is now not 100% positive about that.  During the second feeding last night I saw him momentarily and thought he looked different.  He did not eat and hid until lights out.  This morning I found him in his normal hangout and his nose does look off.  He sees fine as he will dart away when an object is placed in the tank near him.  He has come out and swam around.  No other tank inhabitants seem to be bothering him.  He did not come out and eat during the first feeding.  He did pop out afterward when there was still some food in the tank, but can't say that he ate very much if at all.  We thought about trying to quarantine, however he does not seem to want to be caught and I don't want to stress him more (or his mate) by removing him (if it's even possible to catch him). <I would leave this fish where it is>   My guess is that he either hit the tank wall or was injured by another fish. <I'd go with the first guess... from "jumping">   Unless it was the Redtail, not even sure who the culprit would be?  The newest tank mate is the clown wrasse <What species is this?> (in residence about 2 weeks in the display tank) and is 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the male flame wrasse.  I know it's trouble if he won't eat, but how long do we let him go?  Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks! Beth <Really just to keep trying... different foods... and add the supplements to the foods and water> P.S.  I don't have any pics to send at this time, but we do have a fish cam set up.  If you want to take a look I have included the address, but am hoping that you won't post that piece as I don't think our home computer network could take the traffic. <I will delete here> You can pan the cam left and right and zoom in.  Redtail wrasse is out and about.  Female flame is out and you can probably see her, but the male is hiding since the water change started.  His hangout is left of center tank on a rock shelf under the xenia, left of the candy cane and above and behind the Galaxea. <Bob Fenner>

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>

Klunzinger's Wrasse Acting Strange/Proper Preparation of Natural Seawater - 08/13/06 Hi Mr. Fenner, <<EricR here this morning>> Hope everything is fine there… <<Yes, thank you>> Here is a problem which I don't know yet whether it's a big problem or a small problem. <<Hmm, let's see then...>> It's about the behavior of my Klunzinger's Wrasse (Thalassoma klunzingeri). <<A very neat/attractive fish>> He has been acting totally weird lately.  He was the type to cruise around the tank searching for food (ate very well) and even when I clean the tank he never hides. <<Typical, yes>> But 2-days ago he never came up to the surface from his hiding place inside the sand bed.  So I thought he was tired or something but the next day also he never showed up so I was obviously scared as I thought he was dead. <<Not necessarily...have observed this behavior in other/similar species>> Then I put my hands inside and tried to search for him inside the sand then suddenly he just came out moved around like lightning and vanished under the sand again. <<Yikes!...I wouldn't do this, quite stressful to the wrasse>> I repeated my actions again once but got the same results & since then he is hiding. <<Best to leave the wrasse be>> My water quality: Ammonia 0.02 & Nitrite 0.05. <<Mmm, should be "zero"...and may be what is affecting/mal-affecting the wrasse>> I use normal seawater for monthly 20% water changes which I collect from the shallow sea so I don't think I can maintain my Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate at '0' levels. <<This is distressing to read.  Unless you are properly "processing" this water (please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seawater.htm) you are likely introducing pollutants and pathogens to your system>> Am I right??? <<Indeed my friend...this is "false economy"...and may likely mean the ultimate demise of your fish/system>> I didn't check for Nitrate as my test kit is over. Salinity: 1.020. <<Salinity should be 1.025/.026>> My tank is 80G and has only another Blue tang and a Bannerfish which are normal at this moment. <<Mmm, must mention...this tank is too small for the tang in the long-term...and marginal for the Bannerfish...in my opinion>> My green algae growth is fine <<I'll bet...>> & I have a lot of live rock.  What do you think about this situation? <<I have seen these "burrowing" wrasse hide before for as long as seven days when pestered.  In this case I think the problem is environmental (water chemistry issues/pathogens)>> What's up with him? <<Something in your system/water is bothering the wrasse>> Will he be normal again or should I expect the worst? <<Properly quarantine/treat/buffer the NSW, or better yet, convert to synthetic, and you will likely see an improvement>> Thanks, best regards, Rachel   <<Cheers my friend.  EricR>>

Hawaiian Fourline Wrasse w/ white spots  7/23/06 I have a question about my Hawaiian Fourline Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus tetrataenia)... He's been in my reef tank for a little over a year, and over the last few weeks, when the fish wakes up in the morning, he has small white spots on his body and fins, 30 or 40 spots total. These spots resemble grains of salt, and within 3 or 4 hours of the lights coming on, they are all gone. <Is Cryptocaryon>   I am wondering if these are just pieces of sand & debris that the fish picks up when he hides or buries himself at night? <Mmm, no> If so, I don't know why they would suddenly appear after a year's time? <A latent, space-infested problem...> If they are a skin parasite or some sort of infection, then why would they disappear every day? <Improvement in the diurnal resistance, immune system of the host... the spots are not the parasite... the parasite not the spots... but the resultant irritation marks...> The Hawaiian Fourline Wrasse it acting normal, and has a healthy appetite.  He is not being harassed by any other fish or invertebrates. All of the other occupants of the tank appear completely healthy. Water parameters: pH - 8.3 Nitrite, Ammonia - 0 Nitrate - undetectable Calcium - 410ppm dKH - 11 SG - 1.026 Temperature ranges from 81.7F-83.1F daily Thank you in advance for any advice, Steve in Denver <Could be that you might get by with this "ping-ponging" situation for years hence... Much more likely "something/s" will change to shift the balance in the parasites favor... see WWM re Crypt... what you might do/consider for actual eradication. Bob Fenner>

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>

- Please help, sick wrasse! 6/15/06 - I have a 4 year-old Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse that I fear is ill. It's left eye is bulging out and distorted. It still eats well, but is more shy and spends most of the day hiding among the live rock, but otherwise seems relatively ok. It's color is good and doesn't seem to be breathing abnormally. Is there some kind of disease that would cause this? <Sounds to me like Popeye, although I'd look carefully at this eye to make certain it doesn't look like it has an air bubble in there. If it is just swollen then it can heal and return to normal.> Is there some kind of treatment I can give it? <Not directly. You could add some Epsom salts - about one tablespoon per five gallons (which will effect your salinity) to help with the swelling. Not much else you could do beyond catching the fish and letting it recover in a quiet tank by itself.> It is housed in a 120 gal. with a percula clown, a pajama cardinal, and a 21 year-old pair maroon clown and large carpet anemone. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated as I have grown quite attached to the beautiful wrasse. <Mostly I can wish you luck and we can both hope for the best.> Sincerely, Josh C. Atlanta, GA <Cheers, J -- >

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>

My 6 line wrasse needs help   2/1/06 I am trying to save a 6 line wrasse I bought about 4 weeks ago.  It had a large abdomen at the time but seemed otherwise healthy.  Over the last few weeks its abdomen has swelled greatly.  Its now has severe buoyancy problems, it tries to wedge its self to stay upright and flips upside down if not moving. Its vent is inflamed, and at times a thick ivory colored mass seems to protrude then retract.  I am treating with MelaFix <Worse than worthless> in a hospital tank, and suspecting an intestinal worm or other parasite. <Maybe> The fish is still eating well.   Is there any thing I can do to help this fish or is euthanasia the best option? Thank you for your help, Kim     <Only if in your opinion the animal is "overly" suffering. I would add a level teaspoon of Epsom Salt per ten gallons of system water here... and see if "this too passes". Bob Fenner>
Re: my 6 line wrasse needs help   2/2/06
Hi Bob, Thanks for the response! I will try your suggestion, I hadn't considered Epsom salt.   <A very useful, inexpensive, readily available, safe cathartic> I did use PraziPro last night, which is fish Droncit and ordered Discomed on line last night when no one in town had it.  I gave a brief, 2-3 minute dip, which it didn't seem to enjoy much as it thrashed about, I removed it when its breathing became labored.   But right away worms began being expelled. <Interesting>   They were almost ? inch long, very thin on one end with the thicker part the last to come out. <Likely either nematodes or acanthocephalans> One was still alive but died right away. I looked at it under a microscope and didn't see any obvious segments. <Cutting a coronal section near the distal (head) end and looking end-on may reveal a roundworm definitive triradiate esophagus> The fish abdomen was much smaller this morning and it seems a bit better able to maintain its balance. Two more questions if I may: If it survives, I am wondering how I will know when it is "cured" and safe to go into a tank?   <A few weeks...> This is my first experience with this problem, so I am also wondering how infectious this type of problem can be?     <Mmm, as in spreading to other fish species? Not very in general... and all fishes (and humans for that matter) have gut and parasite fauna> I had hoped the MelaFix would help with the vent inflammation, I take it your not a fan. I will stop using it today.   <I would (stop)> Looking forward to seeing you again at the WMC, Morgan tells me he may be coming as well.   It should be a great time. Thanks again for your help. Kim <Will indeed... and twill be a hoot. See you then/there. Bob Fenner>
Re: Much improved but still has balance problems...   2/7/06
The 6 line wrasse I wrote you about is doing much better, the swelling is about gone.  Tomorrow will be 1 week on the dewormer so I plan to stop that treatment. <Good> I have been using the 1 tsp per gallon Epsom salt treatment as well. The only remaining symptom is the balance problem.  This  hasn't gone away.   <May, with time, or no> Other than a few more days on the Epsom is there anything else you would suggest to correct this problem? Thanks, Kim <Only good nutrition and water quality... and precious time going by. Bob Fenner>

Hypersalinity and Wrasse Death - 12/21/2005 We had our first fish loss and was wondering why. <Ok> On Saturday, we picked up a Cirrhilabrus solorensis for our 40 gallon aquarium. The LFS has salinity of 1.021 and we are at 1.024 to 1.025. (I'm trying to bring it down slightly with water changes). The wrasse was at the LFS for 2 weeks. We acclimated for 65 minutes, <Not long enough. Should have been adjusted over a couple of days at least.> then a put in a drop of a blue solution that the LFS gave me in the past fish purchases (a mix of 3 solutions, no copper) for a minute. The wrasse was not bothered. <Even though, it would be better to learn the name of this "solution" for a better understanding of its use/ applications.> In the tank he went. (Yes, no QT). <A little QT time would have been a perfect place for a slow acclimation.> He then ate a meal of flake food and a meal of mysis shrimp that day. The wrasse was a half inch bigger than any other fish, but seemed to be a bit of a wimp. The Gramma loreto chased it out of the Gramma's favorite cave; no contact, but the typical big opening of the Gramma's mouth. The "alpha" Chromis viridis took a couple of runs at the wrasse. The Amphiprion ocellaris, the other Chromis viridis, and the 2 cleaner shrimp ignored it. The wrasse found a cave that nobody ever liked, so I figured it was fine. I didn't see it for a day, and tonight during my water change I noticed it dead in the thick group of macro algae. There were no signs of disease or wounds. On Sunday night, my readings were: nitrate / nitrate/ ammonia 0, phosphate 0.08, calcium 500, alkalinity 13.4 (it had been low in the past and I brought it up in the past week), <A bit too much huh?> temp is always 77-78.      Was my acclimation too fast for the specific gravity difference? <Yes.> Was the intimidation by other fish a factor? <Not likely, it takes much longer for that. Many signs (degrading health, not eating, Etc.> Could it have gotten tangled in the macro algae? <Not the cause for sure, perhaps the result of corps meets current.> Was this a delayed shipping effect? <Possibly. Maybe the fish was already weak.> Any hunches would be appreciated. <I do believe it was the sudden increase in salinity, perhaps pH (I don't see that one). Be careful with you calcium and salinity levels. Your in the "storm conditions" zone. May have carbonate precipitation soon. - Josh>

Strange growth under gill plate  11/15/05 Hi, <Howdy> I have a lunar wrasse in a 90 gal tank along with a queen angel, <Will get too large... psychologically first, then if it survives, physiologically, for this system> a Condy anemone and some hermit crabs. The problem is with the wrasse. He has a strange growth protruding from under his gill plate, toward the rear. It sticks out just past and along the edge of the back part of the gill plate. It is bubble-like in appearance and sort of translucent, not a solid looking mass of tissue. Kind of like little water filled balloons (it looks as strange as it sounds). It labors his breathing and he is more lethargic now.  He has been lethargic with a decrease in appetite for several months and I suspected something was wrong. Well, this problem is visible now with this growth or whatever coming out from under his gill plate. It has been visible for several weeks now. He's been doing ok for a while now with it, other than the aforementioned symptoms and just not being his normal energetic and curious self. <Likely the actual gill, branchiostegal (supporting member) itself... from a physical trauma... a bump, or jump...> The system parameters are in healthy ranges - salinity 1.023-1.025 pH 8.1 temp. 76-78* Amm. 0 Nitrates 40 Nitrites 0 Everything else in the tank is fine and show no signs of illness. Do you have any idea what this could be? Any help is appreciated. Thanks! Tim <This genus, species of wrasse/s are very active... the Angel could have "spooked" it... Not much to do re... but hope for a self-cure. Bob Fenner> 
Re: strange growth under gill plate  11/16/05
Thanks for the response. I've been watching it over time and it seems to be slowly growing/getting bigger. Would that be typical if it were caused by trauma? <Mmm, yes... if not directly fatal, often this critically important tissue will enlarge, over-grow such traumas> What concerns me most is the length of time that this has been a problem; it doesn't seem to getting any better; if anything, worse.  Also, were you referring to the angel or the wrasse about getting too big? Thanks again for your help. <The Queen. Bob Fenner>
Re: strange growth under gill plate  11/16/05
Hey Bob, Sorry to keep bothering you with this same problem. <No worries> I looked up in FishBase the gill area, i.e. branchiostegal and membrane. That all looks normal on this fish. The growth is underneath that and coming from inside, out towards the back of the gill opening. <Mmmm, could be a goiter... a tumorous growth related to Chromaffin tissue... akin to Thyroids in tetrapods> It is getting bigger/swelling more.  Is there anything else inside there that could swell like this or is it maybe a growth of some other tissue?  <Yes... I would immediately try adding iodine/iodide (Lugol's solution) to the fish's foods, and to the tank water once a week> I'm afraid I'm going to lose this fish eventually and just would like to get this identified to see if anything can be done, so I appreciate you patience and help. <Sorry for not mentioning this possibility earlier. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 
Re: strange growth under gill plate  11/17/05
Bob, <Tim> I got the Lugol's solution from Kent Marine. It gives directions for adding it to the water, but no info on how to use it in food. Should I use part of the recommended dosage in the food and the other part in the water?  <A drop or two per food session is about right... ten, fifteen minutes before offering> Do I only dose the food once a week - along with the water as you mentioned? Or does it need to be in the food daily/more frequently for now? It seems you really need to be careful with this stuff from what it says and I don't want to over do it (or under either). Thanks again for all your help! Tim <Correct... In general one only wants to provide iodine/ide with testing. Not a real problem at this juncture, in your circumstances. Bob Fenner>
Re: strange growth under gill plate - Almost Instant Success!  11/18/05
Great, I'll stick to that regimen until this clears up. I gave him a drop last night in his food and, I tell ya Bob, this fish already looks a whole lot better! He is swimming around a lot and eating much better. The swelling has gone down too. I think you nailed this one. I can't thank you enough for your help and patience with this. It's much appreciated! Blessings, Tim <Ah, glad to hear of the fish's improvement, your success. 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> 

Constipation... ASAP fish help?!  9/21/05 Hello, <Hi there> I have a Red Sea Lunar  Wrasse whom is severely constipated, i just recently noticed that his rectum is swollen and red.. I called the local pet store and they said to feed him Spirulina to loosen his bowels.  This is a rare fish in which we paid quite a bit of money for and are very fond of....my question is can he die from this? <Yes> thanks for any information you can provide me with <I would quickly move this fish to separate quarters and administer (add) about a level teaspoon per five actual gallons of system water of Epsom Salt (Magnesium sulfate) to the water... monitor behavior, aspects of cycling. The Spirulina takes too long, may not work... be eaten. Bob Fenner>

Lineatus Fairy Wrasse With Injured Jaw - 07/02/05 Hi, I have a beautiful lineatus fairy wrasse, appears to have a injured  jaw, I had a Austr Scott's wrasse in the tank with him, he was the boss, he never attacked him but he startled him flaring up to him showing he is king and I suspected that he banged his jaw against the glass.  It doesn't look broken but it is gapped a little and he can't close his mouth.  Will he recover from this   injury? He shows interest in food and takes some of the smaller pieces in his mouth, kind of shakes his head after taking a few pieces in. Is there anything I can do for him.  I really don't want to lose him.  He swims just find by the way, flaring his fins and swimming proud.  Thanks, Scott. <<Well Scott, difficult to say what might be the problem here.  Aside from immediate danger from internal injury (if present), the real problems are going to be whether this fish can still eat properly and in enough quantity to survive, and/or secondary infection from an open wound.  My recommendation would be to remove the fish to a quarantine/hospital tank where you can watch it more closely, medicate IF it becomes necessary, and feed and recover (hopefully!) free from the stresses of the display tank.  Regards, Eric R.>>

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>

Mysterious 6-line wrasse death Hi Crew, <Greg> I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season! <Yep, lots of projects, visitings...>   During my vacation, I took the opportunity to purchase a 6-line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) and two Firefish for my 180g reef.  These fish have been in my 20g QT for 2 weeks and all appeared to be doing well (all eating flake food well) - that was until this morning when I discovered the wrasse was dead. <Mmm, well, one thing... flake food on any sort is not "that" nutritious...> Yesterday I did notice the wrasse was very still (but still very alive), under a piece of PVC tubing. I do not understand what would have caused this fish to die. <Stress is easily a component here as well>   It had no visible spots, fungus, worms, etc. and it had a good appetite.  It had no nipped or cloudy fins (or eyes) and it did not appear at all emaciated.  Do "special" considerations need to be made for 6-line wrasses in QT? <Best to supply with a bit of live rock, some live and/or meaty food> This is a bare-bottom tank with only a few 1" PVC pipe fittings and some red Gracilaria for cover.  Although the Firefish did occasionally swim at the wrasses with its mouth open, I never noticed actual contact and they would typically even share a flake of food. I would really like to add a 6-line wrasse to my reef tank to control flatworms and because I really enjoyed watching this fish in my QT but I am concerned about the cause of this death after two weeks in QT.  A secondary concern is the effect this fish could have on the 'pod population, since I already have a mandarin in my main tank. I do have a 50g refugium (5" DSB + LR. + Caulerpa & Gracilaria) attached to the 180g tank to help with 'pod stocking. <This size system and refugium can easily support both/all these fishes> My main tank also contains about 200 pounds of LR. and 2" of aragonite.  Considering this, do you think it would be a problem to add a 6-line wrasse to my main tank (assuming I can get it through the 4 week QT period)? <I am inclined to suggest an extended bath/dipping procedure in lieu of actual quarantine. There are other folks here that are staunch four weeks or heck re quarantining, but I am of the opinion and experience that many smaller, shyer species of fishes are worse off for the experience... gobies, blennies, small wrasses included> Lastly, I would also like to add a H. chrysus or a H. iridis.  Would either of these fish live peacefully with a P. hexataenia in my reef tank?   <Yes, both these Halichoeres species are fine here> Would two wrasses begin to cause the 'pod supply to dwindle for the mandarin? <Would put a dent in it, but I say go ahead> As always, thank you (in advance) for the terrific advice! --Greg <Happy to proffer it. Bob Fenner>

Sick bird wrasse Your web site is so helpful and for people like me who need answers it's the best place to go.<Thanks, Maybe I can help you.> My problem is with my green bird wrasse (male). For the past six weeks now he's buried under my rocks and has shown no interest in eating at all. I have been able to squirt some brine shrimp by him with a turkey baster and it appears he is getting a little to eat.  He used to be a very active swimmer and would be the first one out  anytime the lid to my 75 gallon tank opened for feeding time. I'm amazed with how little he's eaten that he's still alive. He shows no external signs of parasites or gapping gills, no marks or scratches or any discoloration. His eyes are fine and his fins are fine, he doesn't look any different, it just looks like he went shy on me.  I've tested my water almost every other day and everything appears to be fine except for a steady nitrate reading of 80 in my fish-only tank. It appears my water quality is good. I'm afraid to put him in my quarantine tank, or what I call my "death tank".  I'm know you don't have much to go on, but I just wanted to run it by you for some possible causes of his behavior and what I can do to help him. I've been offering frozen brine shrimp, frozen blood works, Formula II, other flakes with krill and shrimp in them and Spirulina pellets. If this is a nutritional deficiency what else can I provide for him, or use to entice him into eating? Thanks for your help, it's always very appreciative. <I think it might be a PH issue.  What is your PH at.  It should be at 8.2 to 8.3.  If it is off it will burn the wrasse. (They don't have scales.)  Otherwise, Do some water changes and get the nitrate down to less than 40 PPM.  That should make a difference.  Good Luck. MikeB.>
Sick bird wrasse Your web site is so helpful and for people like me who need answers it's the best place to go. << Glad to help. >> My problem is with my green bird wrasse (male). For the past six weeks now he's buried under my rocks and has shown no interest in eating at all. I have been able to squirt some brine shrimp by him with a turkey baster and it appears he is getting a little to eat. He used to be a very active swimmer and would be the first one out anytime the lid to my 75 gallon tank opened for feeding time. I'm amazed with how little he's eaten that he's still alive. He shows no external signs of parasites or gapping gills, no marks or scratches or any discoloration. His eyes are fine and his fins are fine, he doesn't look any different, it just looks like he went shy on me. I've tested my water almost every other day and everything appears to be fine except for a steady nitrate reading of 80 in my fish-only tank. << That is high. >> It appears my water quality is good. I'm afraid to put him in my quarantine tank, or what I call my "death tank". I'm know you don't have much to go on, but I just wanted to run it by you for some possible causes of his behavior and what I can do to help him. I've been offering frozen brine shrimp, frozen blood works, Formula II, other flakes with krill and shrimp in them and Spirulina pellets. If this is a nutritional deficiency what else can I provide for him, or use to entice him into eating? << Well I love wrasse, and study them often.  But this is tough.  Thanks for addressing the nutritional area, as that was my very first concern.  Sounds like you have a healthy balanced diet for him.  So if not that, then maybe a lack of small live foods.  Most wrasses thrive on pods.  They usually do great in a tank, devour all the pods, then slowly waste away.  That is still a concern.  If not that, well I'm still taking shots in the dark.  I don't think I would remove him for fear of increasing stress, but may just wait it out and hope it has a happy ending. >> Thanks for your help, it's always very appreciative. <<  Blundell  >>

Treating A Cleaner Wrasse Dear Crew members, <Scott F. here today!> I have a common cleaner wrasse, which has lived for more than 6 months in my tank. It adapts well in the environment & I must confess that it seldom does any cleaning on other fish. Taking in dried flakes (small pieces ..), minute chopped shrimp meats & some Nori ..etc, it eats anything & is extremely active. <Glad to hear that...We really discourage keeping cleaner wrasses for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that they generally fail to adapt to captive fare...Sounds like yours has beaten the odds in the short run!> The main tank is going through a "fallow" now because of a marine velvet outbreak. All fish are taken out & housed in various quarantine tanks, including the small cleaner wrasse. It stays with my majestic angel. I am also treating Copper on all quarantine tanks which house fish, except this tank which houses the Cleaner & the Majestic. Its because I am not sure if the cleaner wrasse can tolerate CU treatment or not? I intend to use 2/3 dosage anyway as I have to consider the angel too. Please advise me if Cleaner Wrasse can tolerate Copper treatment well? <I'd avoid copper with this fish. If the fish is, indeed sick, a Formalin-based remedy is a safer bet, IMO. Even then, I urge you to be careful...If the fish is not displaying signs of the illness, I would not use medication at this point. Just observe carefully.> By the way: what is IMO, which is frequently quoted by you people? <"In My Opinion"...FYI: "For Your Information", HTH: "Hope This Helps"...There are many others, of course- but these are common ones you see here!> I have to confess, too, that I bought this wrasse before reading your article on the poor survival record of this type of fish. More so that I intend to provide good for this small fellow as it is so valuable & I like to see it live for long. Your help is much appreciated. Best regards. <If this fish has to be in captivity, I'm glad that it has a dedicated owner like yourself! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sight Impairment on a Wrasse I have a blind Paddlefin Wrasse. <Sorry to hear that...Ryan with you today> He was in the QT tank when we had a  couple fish pop up with ICH spots, so he was in there and we added copper, which  I was assured would be fine.  We only left him in there with the other fish  and copper a couple weeks and moved him to the main tank, right after being put   in the main tank he got pop-eye on one side. <Likely from poor water quality in QT, sorry to say.> I put him in a different QT   tank I'd borrowed from a friend and gave him Erythromycin (sp) and it cleared   up the pop-eye within a week. <Good.> But after we put him in the main tank this  time it was apparent that he couldn't see.  He gets really excited about  food being placed in the tank, gets really agitated and swims all over, but he  can never seem to find it, he pecks at the sand and then spits it out. <How sad!>  We've tried a variety of foods and a feeding stick but he wants nothing to do  with that.  So it's like he can smell the food but can't make it to the  table, poor guy.  Any advice on how to feed a blind fish? <Possibly a clip of sorts...In a place that he can find everyday.  A feeding tube (oral syringe with 1/4 inch airline tubing) could shoot food right in front of his mouth.>  I have  tried to enter "feeding blind fish" in your search but I get a whole page of  questions and never can find the right one?  Sorry to hassle you! <No worries!> I  am getting concerned for the little guy.  I think he's happy but he doesn't  swim constantly like he did, he swims a lot then lays against the glass as if  resting then takes off.  <Doesn't sound good...Give him time, try and feed him as much as possible.>      While I have you here I'd like to pester you with  another question.  A year ago while snorkeling off Kauai we saw a gorgeous  wrasse, the Thalassoma trilobatum, it was orange with blue, green, and yellow  ladder lines down the side.  I have been searching for a year for one. I  have called all over Hawaii even.  Marine Center got my hopes up with a  Christmas Wrasse they had, but they say that they are green and purple, that  they just look orange in the ocean.  From their description they gave me  sounded like a Klunzinger's Wrasse I had, they told me they were the same  colors.  Can you tell me what the name of the fish we saw down in Hawaii  was and if you've ever seen them in the aquarium trade?  <You may have seen a supermale variant of the Klunzinger's Wrasse.  Supermale colors are astounding- But harder to keep vibrant in captivity.  The marine center would likely be your best bet for finding one, at least this time of year.  See ya! Ryan>       Thanks again so very much for all your  help!

Wrasse looking bad. Dear WetWeb crew, << Blundell here. >> Was hoping you could help me with a bit of a mystery.  Many months back, I ordered a large Coris gaimard from Jeff's Exotic Fish (great e-supplier, btw).  Well, it arrived and it was beautiful.  A little over 6" female! << Seen lots of those fish recently, they are great. >> Did very, very well for several months.  Then in June, I had to go away for a few days and left my fish in the care of a very concerned and capable neighbor. << But is still worried you didn't it?  Don't worry it is a concern to all of us. >> When I returned, my Coris was on the bottom of the tank, curled up into a C shape.  When she did swim at all, it was in tight, looping spirals, usually upside down. << Bad nutrition or bad water quality. >> Seemed to me to be an internal infection of some sort, so I removed her to my hospital tank and treated her with Maracyn (and Melafix, just for the scraping). << Can't hurt, sounds like a good idea. >> For almost two weeks she continued this behavior, and each morning I would check on her expecting her to be dead.  Then, after being away for a day or so, I returned to find her upright and healthy, though very thin and sluggish.  She greedily took food, and after several days of recoup time I returned her to the display (which is 150 gallons--the hospital tank she was in was only a 20 gallon).  She is still alive and doing reasonably well, but rather than fattening up the way I would expect, she simply grows thinner. << Not sure what you are using for food, but I would recommend some variety and possibly live foods. >> I know there is competition for food in the tank, but I feed both ends of the tank several times a day, and I watch her eat what I would think to be an adequate amount of food.  I feed enriched brine, Mysis, bloodworms, diced tiger shrimp << Really??? >>, angel formula (mainly for my angels!), leafy greens, and two good quality flakes--one vegetable and one meaty. << Well that is great. >> Specs: 150 gallon with good water quality: 0 Ammonia and Nitrites, Nitrates run high (70-90) because of the large, sloppy eaters.  I keep them in hyposalinity (1.011) to cut down on crypts, which have always plagued my angels. Occupants: Large Volitans Lion (8") Large Maculosus Angel (7", was 1" when I got it!) Med Queen Angel (5") Small Chain Link Moray (10") Large Foxface (7") Med Sailfin Tang (3") Med Arothron manilensis (4") Med Canthigaster janthinoptera (2") Those nine fish have been the stable population of the tank for months (most for many years). Any suggestions?  Is the Coris simply overwhelmed by his tankmates? << I don't think so. >> Possible internal parasite?  Is the low salinity an issue? << Well that is way low.  I would look into that. >> Any help fattening up this beautiful fish would be appreciated. << Yeah the salinity seems super low.  Also, I wonder if having those aggressive fish is causing short term, quick to happen, ammonia spikes. >> Thanks again for all your great work. Jim Jensen <<  Blundell  >>

Sick Wrasse <Hi, MikeD here> I have a 4" Christmas wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus) that has one pectoral fin tattered and the gill on that side is slightly swollen.<ouch> Looking this up, I found the most likely problem was a bacterial infection and to use a broad-spectrum antibiotic, such as Erythromycin or Neomycin. Does this sound right?<With the former, using Maracyn II for gram negative bacteria in conjunction with the Erythromycin is often wise and has worked well for me. The bad part is that these are expensive meds, to the point I've been rethinking the wisdom myself, having seen a couple of other highly touted broad spectrum antibiotics mentioned on a regular basis.> I placed the wrasse in my 10G QT (filled with main tank water, several PVC tubes to hide in, a cycled AQ mini, heater, and an airstone) this morning. My main tank had the following parameters this morning: ammonia: 0 nitrIte: 0 nitrAte: <10ppm ph: 8.0 temp: 80F copper: 0 The "main" tank is a 60Gal with CPR backpack and magnum 350 canister and a couple of powerheads. This tank is about 6 months old and was cycled using damsels (this is the last time I use fish to cycle... ever! I use crustaceans as a personal preference, and were I to go with fish, would ALWAYS suggest Mollies over Damsels!>) and I change about 10%-20% of the water every day (or at least every other day). When her right pectoral fin first started to deteriorate (two weeks ago), I looked into the aragonite gravel being too course since this wrasse burrows at night.<Probably correct> (I still think this might have been the initial cause of some of the damage.) I changed out the sharp aragonite gravel for some nice, round coral sand on Monday. (That was a pain to do without stressing my fish. I rinsed the sand with dechlorinated water and tank water, then moved the wrasse and my gobies into a large breeding net while the change occurred. The fish all acted normally after I was done.) Her fin has not gotten better, but seemed to not get worse until this morning when her gill looked swollen and the fin was "clamped" and more tattered.<This may have been because of the upset to the entire biofilter in the substrate portion itself, since this fish spends 1/2 of each day directly in it> Her roommates are three small blue-green Chromis, a small maroon clownfish, and two neon gobies. The neon gobies have been spending a lot of time "cleaning" the wrasse, but this morning her gill started to look swollen so I set up my spare QT tank. I've never seen any real aggression between fish although the Chromis like to chase one another. (A note on the neon gobies, they made it out of QT and into the main tank a week ago, which is after this all started.) My questions are: I bought some Maracyn, which is a Erythromycin medication. Does an antibiotic sound like the right course of treatment? Should I also set up a small Tupperware bucket of sand from the main tank for her to sleep in or should I leave the tank with a bare bottom? I worry that without sand to sleep in, she'll stress out.<Tough call. sometimes the stress can be severe enough to outweigh other benefits> However, the sand might slow the healing process by rubbing on the damaged fin. Advice would be most welcome!<I'd probably go with the antibiotics myself and give the fish a sand bottom, likely inert silica sand in the treatment tank.> Thanks! Puffergeek in San Diego

Wrasse Unhinged! (Damaged Mouth On Wrasse) 7/29/04 Dear WetWeb people, <Scott F. your WetWeb Person today!> I have a question concerning a 2 1/2 inch Yellow Coris Wrasse I have had for a little over two weeks in a 10 gal.QT tank. <Good work on the quarantine procedure!> The water quality is good ( ph 8.3 nit. 0) and the tank was treated with chelated copper sulfate before the little guy was introduced. He looked quite healthy for a week and then started showing signs of swelling and discoloration just under his eyes and he also started hiding and acting sluggish. I treated the tank with an antibiotic called Maracyn Plus because it looked to me like a bacterial infection. <A good product, as long as directions are followed, and as long as it is applicable to the illness that you're treating!> I also put a container of sand from my main tank in the qt because I read that these wrasses like to sleep in the sand. <They do, and that's a nice touch> After several days, the wrasse looked more active etc., but his mouth has been continually open since then and he doesn't seem to be able to shut it. <Hmm...> He just sort of sucks up the Mysis shrimp that I have been feeding him. <Well, thank goodness that he's eating...always a good sign> I read on your website a question similar to mine and you answered that it was normal for a wrasse to swim with it's mouth open. Is it also normal for them not shut it when feeding? <No-it's not normal for the fish to have it's mouth open continuously> His mouth wasn't always open when I first brought him home. After the wrasses qt time is up, if he is active but his mouth is still open is it ok to introduce him to the 55 gal. main tank with the three green Chromis damsel fish that inhabit it? Thank you for your time, Christy <Well, Christy, I'd hold of on introducing the fish into the display until you've gotten a handle as to what this might be. Perhaps it's an injury that may heal itself. On the other hand, if the inability of the fish to close its mouth is because of some kind of internal infection in the mouth-well, that's another thing altogether. Keep making sure that the fish eats, and give him an extra week or two in quarantine, just to make sure that he's otherwise okay. If this proves to be a "physical challenge" for the fish that it seems to be able to deal with, then feel free to introduce this guy into the tank. Let's hope for the best! Regards, Scott F.>  

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