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FAQs on Wrasse Infectious Disease

Related Articles: Wrasses, Wrasses of the Cooks

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

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


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

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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