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FAQs on Wrasse Parasitic Disease  (See also: Wrasses & Crypt)

Related Articles: Wrasses, Wrasses of the Cooks

FAQs on Wrasse Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Infectious, 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


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>

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>  

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>

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