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FAQs on Wrasse Disease Treatments

Related Articles: Wrasses, Wrasses of the Cooks

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

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


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>

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>

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>

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>

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>

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> 

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>

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>

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>

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

Reader Input Re: Patchy Wrasse >Long time listener, first time caller. In regards to "Daniel" who asked about his sick sixline wrasse, I too had the same issue. His pics, while blurry, look just like my new sixline. I was told by my LFS that they had already guaranteed the animal for 4 weeks and I had nothing to worry about. Live and learn on that issue. My param.s were all in the normal range and nitrites, nitrates, and phosphates were all undetectable. I thought he was a goner but I performed a couple of small water changes, fed various Selcon soaked frozen foods and in 3 weeks time, all of the patches were gone. Scott >>Great, thanks for the input, Scott!  Marina

Sick Coris Wrasse Hi Guys, I have been successfully keeping a Lime Green Coris Wrasse for around 8 months. He was around 1 inch long when I got him and he has steadily grown to over 4 inches. He has never had problems eating and has never been harassed by other fish or had any other problems until yesterday morning when I found him belly up on the bottom of my display tank. I thought he was dead but noticed his gills still moving...and not moving fast either but breathing normally. <Yikes>   I nudged him lightly with my tongs and he tried to swim away but could only wriggled around on his back.  I did notice that his belly seems to be enlarged, but he has always had somewhat of a "big belly". All of my other fish are doing great and eating well and there has really not been any changes made in my system to cause such a sudden effect. <Frightening> Is there anyway to determine what caused this poor fish to get sick ? <Not as far as I'm aware> Also, is this fish doomed or is there anything I can do to save him ? <Really only able to wait at this point. Hopefully your wrasse will "cure" spontaneously as it has taken ill. Bob Fenner> Regards, Chuck Spyropulos

Infected Sore  Hi Bob,  I recently acquired a 4-line Red Sea Wrasse (Larabicus.) He had a  small sore where his tailfin connects to his body, on the bottom. This  sore seems to be getting slowly bigger. I've read through your site and  changed all the Chemipure and 10% of the water but I'm worried I should do more. Should I treat with formalin? Anything else? Will Novaqua do  anything? Not formalin... not Novaqua... maybe Selcon soaked food if this animal is still feeding... and perhaps another Cleaner will assist it... I'd try a species of Lysmata Shrimp, Pacific> He is in a reef tank, do I need to put him back in the hospital.  <No, more stressful than useful> Water tests: Nitrate 0, SPG 1.022, temp 78, alk 4.3 meq/L, dKH 12, cal 450 ppm.  Thank you, Brian Battles  <Hmm, saw a nice one of these (a female) at a friends LFS just last night... unfortunately, this is a species that can/does keep going "down hill" if impugned... try the above soon, as in NOW. Bob Fenner>

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