Thalassoma sel., captive fish mortality
Thanks bob, i will shy away from that wrasse.
I did pick up a wrasse people don't encounter often in aquaria, but I've
seen you talk about while diving in Hawaii, a Coris venusta. Subtly
beautiful, and ate everything the lfs had to throw at it.
<Hardy, like most Coris spp.>
I wanted your opinion in fish mortality. I've been told a trip to a
wholesaler during receiving can be an absolute living nightmare. Garbage
cans full of dead fish.
Without any real, honest empirical data out there, what percentage do
you put on the number of fish living a week after they leave the ocean
(capture, transport, acclimation at first facility), versus one year
post capture (the hobbyist home aquarium)
<Losses likely exceed 10% for some shipments; perhaps more>
And lastly, how would you rank in order of most common first,
reasons fish perish:
<Largest source of mortality: trauma/stress in collecting, handling,
1. Not suitable for captivity (ribbon eels, Moorish idols, mandarins)
<On a scale of 1-10, this is a 5>
2. Improper set up (seahorse in fish only set up, Achilles tang on too
small of quarters, coral eating species kept in tanks absent of coral,
Garibaldi damsels kept on tropical set ups)
<Again, about a five>
3. Disease (flukes, ich, velvet etc)
<Maybe a two>
4. Environmental ( bacterial, harsh water conditions)
5. Incompatible tank mates (too many tangs, triggers with lion fish)
<A four or so>
And lastly 6, the mysterious fish just die whether it be stress, some
type of genetic defect (heart issue, liver etc)
Any others I didn't think of. (I'm sure chemical interaction, stray
and others play a part too)
A curious case, but lots of mistakes. Please advise. SW hlth;
env. likely 1/13/17
Hello, hoping you can advise me on the correct order to fix an
Setup: 45 gallon saltwater reef tank. Probably about 8 months old. Same
fish since the start.
What changed? I purchased 3 Emerald Crabs
<Three? See my and others opinions re these... archived on WWM. Search
by the genus; likely Mithraculus will be most productive. Like other
crabs they become predaceous... and three?>
& 1 Sand Shifting Starfish from the local LFS. I didn't quarantine them,
because I searched and couldn't find anything that said these
invertebrates harbor fish diseases & such.
<Mmm; anything wet can serve as a vector for pathogenic,
I also purchased 2 new pieces of coral. I took the items from the bags &
put them in my tank. LFS water was, as always, discarded down the sink
-ALSO- Tampa, Florida had it's annual 2 day winter. The weather
dropped into the 30's and the house, along with the tank dipped
dramatically in temperature. I put a heater into the sump tank to try
and warm the water, but it was pretty useless.
2 days later after it had warmed up: My smaller clown fish was
lying on it's side and showing difficulty to swim. It had a red streak
above it's nose like a varicose vein under the skin. It's sides were a
hazy white like it was losing it's color. It had a few tiny white spots
on it's fins. I also happened to need to add some top off water, so I
opened the door to the sump, and noticed another clown fish lying on the
bio-balls. Yes, I had a clown fish in my sump from like 4 months earlier
that I thought had died and the crabs ate. It was hiding in the sump
under the bio-balls this whole time. Don't ask me how it got in the sump
or survived, and yes, it is embarrassing and bizarre at the same time.
This escapee was showing the same exact same symptoms as the small clown
in the tank. I also have another slightly larger clown (it's body is
nearly all black though, so prob a different species) and it was
babysitting the small clown but completely fine.
Attempted treatment: I have a 1 gallon small cube and put some pre-mixed
saltwater in it with a small water recirculating filter. I put both sick
clowns in it quickly.
<Mmm; the issue here is not likely "biological" so much as
environmental. I would NOT treat>
I didn't have copper for formalin, but I did have some of that "reef
safe" stuff. I have since read on your site that it is essentially snake
oil & useless.
<Ah yes; most are>
I also had some ich remedy stuff on hand. Yes, I know now it was all
useless - and both fish died in under an hour anyway.
<Too likely the handling pushed them over the edge>
Both of them would no doubt feel themselves slipping away and would
wrestle the strength to try and move in a frenzy, only to end up
floating upside down and then settle on the bottom. Horrible to watch
and I couldn't help them. :-( I watched the smaller clown fish take it's
last breath like a final sigh. It was really sad.
For the past 3 days, I have been watching my tank closely. The Yellow
Tang seems fine, The Snowflake Blenny seems fine, The Flame Angel seems
fine, the (2) Blue Chromis are fine, but the 5 line wrasse is darting
around the tank like he is losing his mind and can't sit still. His
belly looks distended and a bit white. I read that clown fish disease
Wrasses. That would mean that everyone is at risk if that is what made
it into my tank.
So, what should I do?
<Maintain optimized water quality and good nutrition and be patient is
what I'd do>
I don't want to kill my coral or my invertebrates. I have a large
cooler, the small 1 gallon cube and the 45 gallon tank to work with. As
I have read on your site, the main tank is the problem and infected with
something. I need to isolate my coral and my invertebrates and treat the
1) move the coral & macro-algae floss ball to the cooler, add a power
head, air stone & stick the LED strip on top
2) put the snails, crabs, cleaner shrimp, narcissus snail & sand
shifting star into the 1 gallon cube
3) leave the live rock and fish in the main tank and treat it with
something. What? I don't know.
<I would NOT move the animals NOR treat>
Does this seem like the best course of action to you? What would you
recommend to me other than to isolate EVERYTHING next time?
<All gone over and over on WWM... some animals, items are best
expedited, MOST should be isolated for observation for a few weeks,
GIVEN the means of adequately maintaining them>
Also, based on the obviously related symptoms of both clown fish, what
chemical should I treat the tank with?
How do I treat the Invertebrates since this may have been where the
infection came from... or could it have come on the coral? I'm not sure
if the cold snap had something to do with it too, but I don't want to
stray from the point.
Thanks for your help. I'll wait for your answer before I start doing
anything else dumb.
<What would Doug Adams likely write? "Don't Panic!". When, where in
doubt, read, take deep breaths, walk the dog/s... All should resolve
itself here in a few weeks. Bob Fenner>
Re: Advice please... READING, re system health really
I was about to remove the tangs as planned but they have stopped
Now they all shoal together and the PT mostly ignores them. However 6
tangs came down with bad ich but they have been very active and eating.
<The former; very common; good that they're eating>
I would like to know if it possible that they can recover from the
disease or it is just a wishful thinking?
<They can.... I would have you read, understand a few core ideas. Please
You will find that Cryptocaryon is almost always present... that keeping
"the balance" tipped in your (host) fishes favor is critical; that there
are several ways/categories involved in this balance. READ now>
In other words, they will die if nothing is done. I have a 265 gallon
and water chemistry is excellent (nitrate=5). Second issue is that my
refugium is full of cyanobacteria, hair algae and the chatoe has
<? Please do learn to use the search tool (on every page) and/or
indices. Good and PLENTY is supplied on WWM Re BGA>
I have a clip on 6500K LED light and in the past, the Chaeto was growing
<... then something is "missing", deficient; favouring the Cyano...
There is none of the hair, Cyano in the DT and the coralline algae spots
are appearing everywhere. Should I do anything to the refugium or let it
be. My sincere thanks for you reply. Dai
<You should do something... Bob Fenner>