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FAQs on Flasher Wrasses, Genus Paracheilinus Disease/Health

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Related FAQs: Flasher Wrasses, & FAQs on: Flasher Wrasse Identification, Flasher Wrasse Behavior, Flasher Wrasse Compatibility, Flasher Wrasse Selection, Flasher Wrasse Systems, Flasher Wrasse Feeding, Flasher Wrasse Reproduction, & Wrasses, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,  

exquisite wrasse ailment/behavior   2/22/17
Dear WWM crew,
I am a very inexperienced aquarist, having just begun a tank this past September. Wrasses are the most delicate fish I've attempted and the first didn't live through quarantine (flukes, I think).
<May be>
I have a had a juvenile female (I think) exquisite wrasse in quarantine for 10 days. I was told by the owner of my LFS (an awesome guy) that she had been treated with copper, PraziPro and Chloroquinine phosphate while in the store. Days 1-10 she seemed very healthy. She is in a 10 gal tank aerated with 2 airstones and going through TTM, so the tank is uncycled. She has tolerated the moves very nicely, hiding for maybe 20 minutes after each move with some color change but recovering quickly. I treat the water with Seachem Prime in addition to monitoring ammonia and scrupulously removing waste.
<Mmm; expect me to state something/s regarding the trade off of preventative steps versus induced stress/disease>
Yesterday her fins seemed clamped, breathing a little fast and swimming a little listless. Her tail also seems ragged. All of these changes were very subtle but after losing the first wrasse I have been on high alert for trouble. I added 1/2 dose PraziPro to the tank, watched a bit. She seemed ok and I had to go out for a short time. When I returned she'd been in
PraziPro bath roughly 2 hours and was clearly struggling to swim. I was concerned she wasn't tolerating PraziPro (I have read anecdotal reports that some wrasses don't) so I did a 50% water change (salinity 1.022, matched the tank but the temp of the added water was a couple degrees warmer than the tank I'm afraid) and added a hang - on filter with
carbon. During the water change she exhibited drastic color change, laid on the floor a couple minutes, then hid behind a PVC and has been there since breathing fast. She hasn't eaten.
<I'd NOT treat further, and would expedite the moving of this fish to the main display. Any further delay will NOT add to the likelihood of disease avoidance and WILL add to the potential loss of this specimen>
Hindsight being what it is, I think now that I over-reacted by adding the PraziPro. When laying down her fins are clearly NOT clamped. I can't see her tail to tell if it is actually ragged. My instinct is that she's stressed and to leave her be, maybe she'll come out later. Do you suggest I do differently?
<Yes; move this fish as stated>

I don't want to stress her to death, I know she is delicate. I just want to get her into my display tank, I feel she is
safest there.
Thank you so much,
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Sick flasher       2/21/15
I obtained a small flasher wrasse (not sure if this is a carpenter or a yellow fin, maybe you can help identify)
<The more distinct markings on the caudal; though I can't see much darkening on the posterior proximal dorsal, I make this out to be a Carpenter's>
on Feb 13. I housed this in an isolation box with a lineopunctatus flasher (with dividers) beside it.
<Mmm; these fishes REALLY don't like being penned in...>

In the system also have 4 flavo anthiases which (the male is pictured) I think has been slowly losing weight (all 4 Anthias.)
<Common AND REAL trouble... Need to bolster nutrition, AND lace the foods with anti-protozoal AND anthelminthic med.s: Metronidazole and Prazi are my choices>

The anthiases have been eating Reef nutrition ArctiPods and Cyclopeeze 2x a day but I have noticed that they have large bellies and getting really thin.
<As stated; okay, hinted above; likely internal issues>
They sometimes swim slanted like "/" but sometimes normally, Im not sure if it is my high flow.
<Mmm; could be damage in collection... being brought up too quickly>
The system is around 40Galons total with sump/skimmer/chiller and some corals (it is actually a QT system)
<I'd rapid transit these fishes into a larger setting>
Anyway, just today, I noticed this lesion on my small flasher wrasse. Any chance you can help identify it?
<Appears to be physical damage to me... VERY common (am getting to not like these capitalizations) with these genera... JUMPING!>

Should I remove this wrasse to another tank so the sickness does not spread?
<Again... am NOT a fan of much/any isolation of these fishes in small volumes... Would rather dip/bath and put straight away into their main/display system>
I have read about myobacterium marinum, if this is the case, how do I rid my QT tank of it?
<Let's not go there this eve; too involved and not necessary>
Thank you.
<Welcome Michael. Bob Fenner>

Re: re: Sick flasher       2/22/15
Thank you for the fast response! This is another picture of another flasher that I bought. carpenteri or flavianisis?
<The latter... though you've misspelled flavianalis. B>


Big bulge on one side of new McCosker's        1/18/15
Two weeks ago I purchased a McCosker's, Blue Flasher and two Line Spot wrasse from a large online retailer. They are being housed in a 29 cube QT.
<I'd be moving these fishes ASAPractical... will damage themselves in such a size, shape system>
I soaked their food in Met on day two and on day 5 treated the tank with PraziPro. I lost a Line Spot on day 6, it had a lesion (sore) on one side of it's bladder area. I'm feeding Larry's Reef Frenzy 3 times a day allowing them to eat all they can for 2 to 3 minutes. No uneaten food is left in the tank. Water Prams are all in range, salinity is 1.025 and temp 79.
Tonight during feeding I noticed the McCosker's belly had a huge bulge on the left side only.
<I see this in your next email's following pix>
It had already ate several mouths full of food when I spotted it. It's swimming fine and has no marks or sores visible. The other fish are all eating, swimming and look normal.
I treated the QT with a second application of PraziPro tonight. Is there anything else I should or can do if this bulge is still present tomorrow.
Please see attached photos. Thank you in advance for any advise.
Debbie Hollifield
<Looks to be some "shipping damage"; perhaps from needling post-capture (not uncommon, and being discussed by some on Facebook currently)... Not anything I would "do" other than provide good care, expedite the quarantine... As the animal is feeding, behaving normally otherwise, this will likely self-heal. Bob Fenner>

Lineatus fairy wrasse swimming problems; hlth., stkg./sel.    3/11/13
Hello wwm crew,
This is my first time sending an email but I am on the website just about every day for info, very informative!
Keep up the great work
Anyway on with my problem, I purchased a 5" " super male" lineatus fairy wrasse 10 days ago.
<Mmm, better to start with smaller specimens... adapt better to captive conditions>

I bought if from a lfs that I have had good success buying fish from in the past. I received the fish in the bag from my lfs supplier and I placed it into my 56G quarantine tank which has been running since last October. I set up a drip for about an hour then moved him in. The tank has an Eheim 350 canister filter, aqua c remora pro skimmer with 60lbs live rock.
Ammonia-0, nitrite-0, ph-8.1, nitrate-10ppm, temp78 deg, solidity 1.025.
The lighting is a small led set from marineland.
He was eating right away and was looking good the entire time he was in quarantine so I decided to move him into the main tank after a week, I know it was not a good idea
<I would have done the same>
 as I like to quarantine at least two weeks and I have no excuse but impatience, so back to the topic, I moved him with no net as he swam into a container and I poured him into the DT as the perimeters are the same as my quarantine tank( 180g tank, 30g sump with refugium, 3 EcoTech Radion led lights, aqua c ev-240 skimmer, HC gfo and carbon reactor, 230 lbs live rock and assorted lps and soft corals, red bubble anemone, 4 cleaner shrimp, male-female flame wrasse, pair of percula clowns, sail fin and chevron tangs and a female lineatus wrasse. Ammonia, nitrite-0, nitrate-1, phosphate-.03, ph-8.1, temp-77.5, solidity 1.025.)
At first he was in hiding and wouldn't come out for the first day, except to eat. I realized it was the lighting being to intense so I set a new program with an acclimation periods for him to adjust and he was out in no time swimming around all day which explains why he was doing good in the dim lighting of the quarantine tank. The second day went by with no issues and he looked great.
I noticed at night on the second day in the DT he was having a problem releasing his bowels and when he finally did it was large and solid and mostly white so I removed it from the tank to inspect for possible parasites but I couldn't see anything.
On the third day he started off good, but I noticed a bulge in his stomach, on his right side towards the bottom, and he was swimming a little crooked, leaning to the opposite side of the bulge. After feeding the tank around 11am spectrum pellets and some Mysis shrimp he was swimming erratically, unbalanced and he seemed lost. Later on around 6pm I fed Mysis again and he ate a lot and about a half our later he was completely out of control, swimming upside down and in circles so I quickly netted him and held him upright with my hands so he could regain his composure which he did in about 5 minutes then I let him go and he went to sleep for the night.
He woke up the next morning swimming good again, not perfect but good, so I added SeaChem Metronidazole with focus to some Mysis and fed the tank sparingly which he ate. After feeding there were no real bad balance issues but I did notice two white things attached to his gill area which he was rubbing on the rocks so I attempted to help remove them and they fell of in the tank as I grabbed him, I don't know what they were. As the day progressed I noticed the bulge getting larger and after the evening feeding the erratic swimming came back, but not as bad as the day before.
So with my long story being told(sorry) I want to know what you think might be wrong here?
<Perhaps a "worm" (or more than one) problem here>
Do you think I'm heading in the right direction with the Metronidazole?
<I'd add an anthelminthic.. see WWM re.>
Or is it a issue of constipation?
Should I move him back to the quarantine tank and treat/observe him in there?
D you think my other fish are in danger of getting sick?
<Not likely. Such issues tend to be more species, genus specific; and often the parasites have complex life cycles; w/ intermediates missing in captive systems>
Please let me know what you think and what I should do going forward.
<Add the vermifuge to the foods>
Thank you very much,
Joe Marino
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Lineatus fairy wrasse swimming problems     3/11/13

Hello Bob
<Greetings Joe>
Thank you for the quick response, much appreciated.
This morning when I left things were ok, he was a little tipsy but not much but when I got home it was not good. He is swimming in circles and just looks lost. I moved him back into the quarantine tank and held him in my hand to help him gain control of himself. I turned the lights off and put him in a hiding spot in the quarantine tank in hopes he will regain some composure.
It really saddens me to hold this beautiful fish in my hand in this condition.
Anyhow, can you advise me on how or where I can get some of the medicine you suggested I try?
<Yes; please just use the search tool (on every page on WWM) for Praziquantel... available most everywhere. BobF>
Thank you
Joe Marino

Hurt Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse    12/24/12
<Hey Brent>
It's Christmas Eve, but I thought I would send this out because I woke up this morning and noticed that my Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse appears to have a chip of his head gone. It is a pretty big spot. It doesn't look like an ulcer spot, but rather it appears to be a possible bite.
<Mmm, appears to me to be an all-too common injury from these fish's jumping...>
 This is the same Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse that was flashing the Lime Green Wrasse  (Halichoeres chloropterus), which was looking much more like a mating flash than just an aggressive flash. What is odd is the Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse has the apparent bite on its head and the Green Wrasse is acting unusually aggressive. This normally shy, coy, and sweet fish was seeming to be very aggressive. Normally, when I would come up and look in the tank she would hide and peak around the rocks and then come out and visit, before she would dart away. Only to do the same thing again.
However, today she was almost standing me down. She would approach the tank with her mouth open and would then quickly flip stirring up the sand and hitting the side of the tank. It was almost like she was protecting something. I don't know if the two fishes situations are connected but I almost wondered if she aggressively took a bite out of the Flasher Wrasse?
 Any ideas? Any insight into the change in the Green Wrasse's behavior? As for the wound of the flasher, should I just let it heal itself and wait watchfully, or should I take another action?
<Just leave all as is... Do check to make sure there are no openings in the top/cover that the Wrasses can launch themselves out of your system. Folks w/ lots invested in Paracheilinus, Cirrhilabrus... often have soft screen covers twixt their tank and lighting>
I have attached some photos of what looks like what I would think was a bite. I'm going to upload the video of the aggressive behavior on my site.
When I do, I will send a link.
Thanks so much. Have a wonderful Holiday!
Brent Wells
<And you as well. Not to worry; such injuries almost always heal in a few weeks time. Bob Fenner>

Re: Follow up- Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse   12/29/12
Hello Bob,
<Hi Brent>
Just a follow up on the Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse with the marks on it. If you remember, on Christmas Eve I noticed he has a big mark on his head that appeared to me to look like a bite. Now the little guy looks worse. He not only has the mark on his head which really doesn't look any better, but he also has a few more marks on his head and body.
<I see this/these in your pix>
 One of them is on his head and the other a little further down on his side. He looks rough.
<Actually; this fish looks "good" to me... is healing, has a good index of fitness (is "full", not hollow bellied... bodied)>
You had mentioned making sure he couldn't jump out. We are good on that end. It is a bow front with a lid. The one area he could jump out of we have a mess screen covering it, so they are all secure.
 I'm obviously concerned he looks worse, rather than looking better.  Could a small hermit crab cause such a mark?
<Highly unlikely; no... perhaps if the fish were dead, on the bottom>
 I know the wrasse likes to hide down in the sand/rocks to sleep. Could a small zebra hermit crab cause something like this? Or, do you feel this could still be from the fish jumping.?
<Most likely by far jumping>
 I've never seen him even act like he wanted to jump, although i know he could. I'm sending a few more pics. He is so quick it is tough to capture a clear pic. Just want to make sure I'm watching for the right things.
<I urge patience here, only. Bob Fenner>

Re: Follow up- Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse    1/1/13
Happy New Year, Bob!
<And you Brent>
Well, my year is not off to a good start. Really sad morning. I had both the Lime Green Wrasse (Green Wrasse  (Halichoeres chloropterus) and the Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse die.  I watched the Lime Green Wrasse burrow last night but this morning she was laying on the bottom of the tank lifeless. She has been fine except for the more aggressive flashing I mentioned a few days ago. The Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse was really odd. As we were taking the green wrasse out of the tank, we saw the Flasher Wrasse come rolling out from the rocks where it was sleeping. It looked stiff and curved. It's fins were all spread out, but it was on the bottom lifeless.
All of a sudden it would dart around the tank. Then, it would stiffen up and fall to the bottom of the tank again. It did this for a while. I've never encountered this before. It finally died. I Immediately checked the water conditions. Everything was looking good: Amm: 0, Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 0 pH 8.1, Salinity: 1.023, Temp 78.9, Phosphates 1.0.
<Mmm; well the spg is a bit low, the HPO4 high>
 They had both been eating: Mysis shrimp with Selcon, Spectrum pellets, some MegaMix at times. The Flasher Wrasse was always eating, while the Lime Green Wrasse would disappear and sleep a long time, then she would appear all shy. They both were such fun, beautiful fish. I don't understand them both dying so close together. Water conditions are great.
<Ahh, for what we can measure>
 It is such a peaceful tank. The Flame Angel fish would on occasion chase the Flasher Wrasse away, but besides that, they all seemed to get along.
The chasing only happened on occasion. The Flasher Wrasse's death was odd.
It was like it was paralyzed and then it would try to swim but it's fins wouldn't work. I have attached a link to my quick I phone movie in my DropBox Folder. I thought it may help if you see what it was doing. The only odd things have been that we have had two Turbo Snails die and two small dwarf hermit crabs die. We can't explain it, since we did an almost 5 hour acclimation to the DT. I wouldn't know if they could be connected?
<Perhaps... the two biggest categories of guesses as to root cause are "something" in the system... a worm? Eaten, touched? Or consequent collection, handling, shipping damage...>
 Besides the bump on his head that two were healthy great fish. Any ideas?
Would love to know what you think of the short iPhone clip?  Thanks as always. Today is a sad start to the year, since they were two of my favorite fish. Here's the Link: 
<Mmm, can't get this to come up>
Thanks- Brent
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Brent Wells shared wrasse.MOV with you; Re Paracheilinus death   1/1/13

Brent's message:
"Bob, I got your message that the link didn't bring the video up. Not sure why it wouldn't, but here is different link. It is so odd, I am curious at what you think? You mentioned, "<Perhaps... the two biggest categories of guesses as to root cause are "something" in the system... a worm? Eaten, touched? Or consequent collection, handling, shipping damage...> These have been in the main display for awhile, so would that rule out the last part?
So when you say, "worm", I'm not sure what that would mean?
<<Having seen your video now... w/ the nice Chlorodesmis, the Paracheilinus spazzing about, am more convinced that it ate "something" (a Polychaete worm of some sort?), got punched by an Alpheid, or badly stung... again, there are quite a few possibilities. Perhaps a read here:
 Any recommended action, or something I should concentrate my search on? A killer worm in my tank that could take out two of the fish, what should my stance be with concerning the other fish? Thanks - Brent Wells"
Click here to view the video:
(Brent shared this file using DropBox. Enjoy!)
<I saw it; but not enjoyably. Cheers, B>
Re: Brent Wells  wrasse  1/1/13

First, sorry about the "enjoy" attached to the video. That was an automated add on by DropBox.
<Oh; understood>
The movie definitely wasn't enjoyable to watch. So if we go with the worm premise, it is difficult to choose course of action. Some started from scratch, while other did significant water changes. I'm still reading but I'm not making a connection as to potential next steps.
<Well... some folks might over-react and use a Vermifuge to kill the worms in a given system (I would not)>
I meant to ask but do the turbo snails release a toxin when dead?
<Not really; no... their decomposition can detract from water quality... but all would be mal-affected>
 One of the turbo snails was not found for a few days and wondered if they would eat that and cause something like this? It is possible that these would be very difficult for me to ever spot in the tank, correct?  Brent
<Not so hard to detect at times... Errantiates and other worms can be baited, lured out... trapped, mainly at/by night.
Do read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/wormcompf.htm
and the worm compatibility FAQs links above.
Bob Fenner>

Question: Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse, damaged mouth       12/10/12
Hello WetWebMedia Crew:
<Hi Brent>
I have a question concerning my Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse. I noticed today that its mouth appears different. The upper lip is white. I can't tell if it has damaged its lip by burrowing deep in the sand and rubble or if I should be concerned with some mouth fungus?
<Likely a "scrape" from burrowing/contact with a rock.>
He darts around the tank at times, so my first thought was he just scraped it, but then I started getting concerned it may be something more. Either way, at what point should I be getting concerned about it?
<This will likely be a somewhat common occurrence. I would not be concerned unless it quits eating.>
If it has just damaged it mouth, should I just let it heal itself, or is this something I should treat?
<Offer a well balanced diet and it will heal naturally; no medications necessary.>
If it is some fungus, what is my best option with the wrasse since it is my understanding they are sensitive to many treatments? I have attached a couple of pictures in hopes it may help in the diagnosis. Thanks so much.
<Quite welcome.>

Carpenter Wrasse White Streak/Spot on Eye    6/3/12
Hello All!
Let me start by saying, I love your site, and all the good work you do! 
That being said, I was hoping you could help me out with a Wrasse problem. 
When looking at my Carpenter Wrasse yesterday, I noticed it has a white somewhat raised looking streak/spot on it's left eye.
<I see this in your photos>
  I have had him (could be her, but I stick with him for grammar's sake) for about 6-7 weeks now.  The first 4 of which were in quarantine.  My main tank was fallow for about 7 weeks before I put him (and a Percula Clownfish that I got at the same time) in it, and he looked very healthy in quarantine, with no signs of disease or stress.  His behavior hasn't changed one bit and he is swimming happily all over the tank and seems to be eating just fine.  I don't think he has PopEye, as his eye is not bulging at all, however, I worry that it could be some sort of fungus, parasite or bacterial infection.  In reading your site, I am hopeful that its a simple injury and that it will heal on its own,
<Yes; and this is almost assuredly all this is... t'were there another cause, both eyes would be affected>
but I would like to get your opinion.  I have attached two photos (taken from my phone so there not the best) that show his eye.  Currently, my tanks specs are:
29g Biocube w/ about 30lbs. LR
Ammonia, Nitrite, Phosphate are all 0
Nitrate ~ 5ppm
pH is ~ 8.1 - 8.2
Temp 78
Salinity 1.026
Running standard Biocube lights and pumps with an added powerhead,
UV-sterilizer, and homemade protein skimmer
Live stock includes:
1 Percula Clownfish
1 Carpenter Wrasse
1 Skunk Cleaner shrimp
1 Rose Bulb anemone (any advice on getting my CF to host in him would be greatly appreciated)
1 Electric Blue hermit crab
6 dwarf hermits
12 Astrea snails
4 Nassarius snails
And a few corals
Any help you can give me figuring out what is going on and how to treat it would be great.
<I would do nothing here. Simple good maintenance will see this fish improve>
Thanks for all your help!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Carpenter Wrasse White Streak/Spot on Eye & New Sickness    6/10/12
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the quick reply for the email below.  I wanted to give you an update on my Wrasse and see if I could get your take on him.
As a reminder, my Wrasse had a white streak on his eye.  I believed it was an injury because he was not acting any differently.  In your reply you agreed and said I just keep up with my normal routine.
A couple of days later, my Wrasse became a bit lethargic.  He would sit in his cave for a portion of the day (which he never did in the past), acting more like he was resting than becoming skittish.  Since he has been more stationary I have been able to get a better look at him.  His eye problem is still there, no better or worse, but now it looks like he has a white scale on him.  The best way to describe it is to say it looks patches of dry salt (no individual dots as you expect with Ich).  As I haven't noticed this before, I am worried that he has some sort of disease.  I have attached two pictures of him.  The first is a picture of the white scale, and the second is a better picture of his eye (now that he is stationary).
<I see this>
Any help you could give in diagnosing him, and a possible treatment plan would be great.  Please note that tank parameters are the same as in the email below except for the addition of a Lettuce Sea Slug or Nudibranch today.
<My position is the same... a physical injury. I would not treat this system for it; will resolve on its own w/ time>
I look forward to hearing from you.  Thank you for your help!
<Welcome. BobF>

Sudden death of red-tailed flasher wrasse!   7/8/11
Dear WWM Crew,
It is with great sadness that I recount today's events leading up to the fairly sudden death of our beloved red-tailed flasher wrasse. I'm wondering if you can speculate a cause of death, as I can't think of any satisfying hypotheses.
<Let's see>
The system: 225-gallon mixed reef tank, reasonably heavily stocked with both corals and fish-- but all carefully chosen for compatibility. Tunze 9410 skimmer, ozonizer set at 370 mV ORP, lots of carbon and GFO filtration,
<... do you have "real" troubles w/ HPO4? Am not a fan of continuous use of this product>
changed every 2 weeks for carbon and every 4 weeks for GFO, wet dry sump with all bioballs removed and replaced with Seachem Denitrate crushed "rock", automated home-made continuous water changer that changes 3% of the water every day (broken into small amounts 150 times a day) with aged Reef Crystals + RODI water at 1.0255 sg, automatic top off with RODI water, 10 micron mechanical filtration (a pool filter, changed every two weeks), flow provided by mechanical filter return (1500 gal/hr), sump return (500 gal/hr), and four Vortech MP40s (total of 5,000 gal/hr at current settings), 1 L of NPX biopellets in a TLF 550 reactor, illuminated by six Aquaillumination Sol Blue LED units.
The water chemistry: 0 ammonia, 0 NO2-, 3 to 5 ppm NO3-, 0.00 phosphates
<... need some. Cut back on the GFO>
(by Hanna photometer; I have actually been trying to increase phosphate levels slightly to facilitate nitrate export by NPX-fed bacteria, which seem to be phosphate-starved currently), 460 ppm Ca++, 450 ppm K+, 0.06 ppm iodide, 4-8 ppm Sr++, 7-8 ppm dissolved O2, 1500 ppm Mg++ (normally 1350 ppm but recently added 150 ppm Kent Tech M over 5 days to inhibit Bryopsis growth), sg = 1.0255, temp = 79-81 deg F.
The situation: this morning I noticed that the large, beautiful, normally-in-perfect-apparent-health red-tailed flasher wrasse (male, purchased in March from Live Aquaria Diver's Den, grown rapidly to 4", perfect physical condition, no tattered fins or swollen places, no sign of Ick or velvet disease, eating very well, fat, very active and flashing daily with two smaller female red-tailed flasher wrasses in the same tank) was behaving oddly. Instead of his usual swimming and flashing while waiting for food, he was swimming slowly, closer to the bottom than usual, and "gasping" as if having difficulty getting oxygen. Coincidently, I just measured oxygen levels at 8 ppm last night, so I don't think the water quality was an issue.
<Me neither>
He did not eat this morning, which is very unusual for him. Also, his coloration was partially in "stressed mode", and he was not chasing or flashing his harem.
(In retrospect, the previous night he also behaved a bit oddly-- he came out after his bedtime (around 10 pm daily), with his night time/stressed coloration, and settled under a different rock compared with his usual sleeping hole. This observation may or may not be relevant).
After breakfast (which he did not eat), he settled under the new rock for several hours, before moving yet again to a hole in a different rock. By noon he had his full night time/stressed coloration showing, but otherwise relatively asymptomatic. One odd observation-- at this point I noticed that his two eyes did not seem to be tracking together always, with one eye looking upwards while the other would look downwards, which may or may not be odd for the species.
By 5 pm he was lying on the sand on his side, barely (if at all) alive.
Five minutes later, the cleaner shrimp and Nassarius snails descended on him, and I pulled his body from the tank.
I'm stunned by how quickly he died-- of about 28 fish and only three deaths in the history of this tank (one jumper through a fine mesh cover, one injury-induced PopEye that never resumed eating and never recovered), his death is the first mysterious one. He literally went from a picture of health yesterday to dead in less than 24 hours.
Other tank inhabitants of note include a M-F pair of flame angels, two female red-tailed flasher wrasses, a blue tang, a yellow tang, and a variety of much-less-aggressive tank mates. No anemone (I took your advice), although there is an elegance coral, a hammer, frogspawn, torch, and mushrooms as the more aggressive corals.
Any theories as to how our beloved fish died?
<Yes... an unfortunate "brush" with some of the stinging life present, or ingestion of an organism, bit of organism that was toxic in some way. No fault of yours.>
I'm leaning towards "jumped hard enough to hit the tank cover and induce neurological disorder", but it's a terribly unsatisfying, poorly supported hypothesis.
<And you, Bob Fenner>

QT Female Filamented Flasher Wrasses? -- 04/04/09
I'll be receiving 3 female flasher wrasses to put in with the male I currently have.
<<Mmm, not the best 'sequence' for stocking these fishes. Perhaps you can sequester the male until the females arrive and then place 'all' at once?>>
I planned to hold them in QT at least 4 weeks
<<Not recommended in 'my' opinion. These fishes are fairly disease resistant'¦but more importantly often suffer from such quarantine in my experience and warrant direct placement in the display>>
but just tonight read that if there is no male the dominant female will become the male and this can take place in as little as 10-14 days.
<<Perhaps a bit longer considering the confusion and stress of capture/transportation/quarantine in a bare tank'¦but still a possibility, yes>>
I was also told that wrasses don't need to be QT because of their slime coat.
<<Many are quite resistant to protozoan infection>>
Are either of those true?
<<To a degree, yes'¦but as stated, I think it is more important that with these fishes just the quarantine itself may prove more detrimental than beneficial. You can try a freshwater dip before introduction (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm), but do watch the fish closely during>>
I still want to QT the fish but I don't want to have one become a male.
<<You have my thoughts re this process and these fishes>>
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

Re: QT Female Filamented Flasher Wrasses? Now Royal Gramma comp.  - 04/06/09
Thanks for the reply.
<<Quite welcome>>
The male was in QT for 4 weeks (not your typical QT... It was my 2 year old 20g that needed to be broken down with tons of live mysids) I didn't have to feed him for three days.
Anyway, he was put in his new home Friday. My new issue is my Royal Gramma.
I currently have the tank now divided in half via eggcrate & 1/4" casting net. Will the gramma accept his new tankmates over time?
<<Mmm, as the 'established' fish here'¦you likely will have to remove it until the Flasher Wrasses have settled in and acclimated to the new system>>
If so, about how long would the divider need to be kept in place?
<<It is best to remove the Basslet altogether for a time to disorient it/provide the upper hand to the Wrasses upon its return>>
He seems to be showing less aggression today. Only if absolutely necessary I can move him to my frag tank.
<<It is up to you'¦ You can try the divider'¦but I would be more inclined to move the fish for a while, for the benefit of the Flashers>>
I have a catch net resting on the Monti cap for him to get used to should I need to try and catch him.
The females are supposed to be shipped today so they'll be here tomorrow.
<<Though less of a risk than the Basslet, do keep an eye out for excessive aggression towards the females from the male (being first in the tank)>>
Oh and rearranging the tank won't work. His fave spot is the 10x10 Monti cap attached to a large rock - not an easy piece to rearrange.
<<Agreed'¦temporary relocation of the Royal Gramma is best here I think>>
Thanks again!!!
<<Good luck with your Flasher Wrasses'¦wonderful little fish! EricR>>

Filamented Flasher Wrasses follow-up -- 04/12/09
I had ordered three female flasher wrasses to join my male and the shippers held them an extra week until they felt they were ready for shipping. In the meantime I moved the royal gramma the day before their arrival to another one of my tanks and he's doing well. Absolutely the best decision as the gramma owned my large Monti cap, slept there and swam in and out of all the holes... the wrasses have now taken it over. Before moving the gramma the male wrasse was out and about occasionally with a divider separating him and the gramma but still stayed hidden 90% of the time.
The females arrived early Friday morning and after a lengthy acclimation (4 hours) were put directly into the tank. The only other fish in there now was the male wrasse. The three females dove right into the huge Monti cap and hid. Even with the females hiding, within 5 minutes the male was out and hovering over the Monti cap darting in and out. Within 20 minutes the male and dominant female were hovering together over the Monti cap.
I saw him more yesterday after the females were in the tank than I have the whole six weeks I've had him. What a huge difference in his behavior... their interaction as a group is fascinating. I have a Vortech that they love to face into the outflow above the Monti.
<Very nice>
After another couple hours I decided to try feeding and had frozen mysis and Rod's food soaking in Selcon. As soon as the food hit the water the male and two of the three females were scooping it up and wanting more. I fed them 3 more times throughout the day. The remaining female who looked more stressed than the other two during acclimation remained hidden. I kept the lights on actinics only all day.
I made a tank cover using 1/4" monofilament casting net because during the male's stay in a holding tank the male was always jumping (just because he could) and kept hitting the acrylic cover on that tank. 1/4" black nylon casting net covers the Vortech.
For the slower to recover female Is there anything else I can do to help her through this?
<Mmm, possibly add/try some live foods, otherwise, nothing else I would do>
I'm running eight T5 HOs in the tank, no Halide, and was thinking of keeping the lighting subdued again today running only half of the lights.
I hope some of this is helpful to others thinking about getting flasher wrasses.
Thank you,
<And you. Bob Fenner>

Flasher Wrasses I recently ordered 3 filament flasher wrasses mail order.  When they arrived, none of them looked to be in good shape.  One did not make it through the night but the other two seemed to have come around.<sorry to hear about that>  They have been in QT for 10 days now.  Physically, they look fine but their behavior is very odd.<doesn't sound good>  They often seem to make a vertical twitching/shaking movement.  I am worried about this and was wondering if this behavior was normal.<not really, they do act strange but not switching and such> They are feeding and look fine.<well if they are eating then that is an excellent sign>  I also wondered the recommended QT period on these fish as I read on your site and in the book that a short QT for wrasses is best.<well if they are doing well in the next couple weeks...eating/acting normal etc I would add them to the main aquarium>  Exactly how long is short.<Qt process for the wrasses all depends on how well they do...I like to keep my fish in quarantine for at least 3 weeks>  I normally quarantine for 3-4 weeks. <I do too>  Also, will it be fine to add 2-3 more wrasses later (same species).<These wrasses do get along in groups, but I would still be cautious on introducing "new specimens" to the aquarium. You could try it but would definitely remove the new additions if they are getting attacked by the other 2, it is always best to introduce fish of the same species at the same time> Thanks for your input.  Abby <your welcome, IanB>

Flasher Wrasse Problem - 11/25/06 Your help in the past has been so beneficial for my reef inhabitants, I thought I would give you guys <<and gals>> a try on this problem that has everyone (myself, my friends, ReefCentral, the LFS, etc.) without a clue. <<Really?  Hmm, I shall try...>> 7 weeks ago I purchased a male McCosker's Flasher wrasse from a LFS. <Gorgeous fish>> He was active and happy in the store and had been there for two weeks when I purchased him.  For the first 6 weeks in my tank he was incredibly active and a voracious eater.  10 days ago, when I went to feed the tank, I noticed that he was sitting on the rockwork (he had never sat around during the day before).  I fed the tank.  He ate a bite or two and then "freaked out" swimming incredibly rapidly and jumping (two things I had never seen before). <<Not all that unusual, this genus (Paracheilinus) as a whole is quite "high-strung" at times, in my opinion/experience.  I used to have a small group that any time the lights went suddenly off as with a power outage/interruption, you could hear the wrasses "pinging around" in the light fixture like little pinballs>> He then proceeded to hide in the rocks.  Since then, I have seen him display this same behavior on three occasions.  When I feed the tank, he will come out of hiding and eat a bit, but will not eat as he use to or swim around the tank at all.  Any idea what is going on here? <<You say you've asked around so I have to think this has been brought up before but...sounds to me like you may have an aggression issue.  Aside from interspecific confrontations, these fish are very peaceable and easily fall prey to more aggressive species (I have witnessed six-line wrasses terrorize/kill flasher and fairy wrasses).  Even if "you" have not witnessed it...doesn't mean it's not happening>> Here is some tank information: 25 gallon display with 25 pounds of Marshall Island live rock.  Parameters all very stable with 0 ammon., nitrite, nitrate. Temp 80. Ph 8.25. Alkalinity 4.5 Meq/L.  Other inhabitants include snails, hermits, LPS, mushrooms, Zoanthids, Monti-cap.  All in the entire time the fish has been here. <<Other fishes?>> There is a grounding probe in the tank. <<Mmm...more of a hunch than anything else, but try removing this for a time and see if the fish responds>> The only thought that we tested was that three days before his first freak out, a small Yashia goby and pistol shrimp were added.  There was some concern that the pistol shrimp's popping was scaring him so the pistol was removed 5 days ago, but the behavior has not changed. <<Doubt this is the problem>> The goby is still in the tank, but there is no aggression between the two of them and, in fact, the spot where the wrasse hides all day long is right next to the goby's hiding spot.  I appreciate any help on the issue. <<I don't feel like I've been much help thus far.  Aside from aggression or stray voltage, there may be environmental issues at play here, to include excessive allelopathy in this relatively small/confined space.  If you have not done so already, please read here and among the associated links at the top of the page for more info re husbandry/maintenance of these fishes (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracheilinus.htm)>> Oh, and by the way, the Scorpionfish you helped me with a few months ago is doing great ... thanks for your help! <<Good to know>> Adam <<Regards, EricR>>

Need some sanity for my wrasses   1/4/07 Hi- <Hello Nathan, JustinN with you today.> I have a 50gal reef tank. <Ok> Besides a day-night pH fluctuation that bothers me, I have no issues. I have a blue carpet that minds it's business, more than several SPS's, some polyps, 4 shrimp, a host of hermits, a starfish that I forget the name of the Ophiothrix type, 400 Watt 15k augmented with 64 actinic, moon, skimmer, chiller, on and on and on :) I have zero issues in my tank. EXCEPT! Flasher wrasses will not stay alive in my tank. For fish I have a Fridmani Pseudochromis, one Ocellaris clown, an exquisite wrasse and a unknown wrasse of the same genus. <You are very close to, if not already, full on bio-load here.> The Exquisite is a male. I have read that Cirrhilabrus and Paracheilinus can coexist easily. <Certainly, in a large enough setting> These 2 wrasses are such characters and will even let me pet their noses (I know it isn't a nose!) when I feed them. The are very playful and well established. I have tried to put in my tank 2 smaller Paracheilinus wrasses (cyanus and carpenteri) and both died the same way: they looked happy and established, were eating, then the next day they are curled up with labored breathing in the corner only to die no matter what I do (I put them in isolation and it is too late). Honestly, I see them looking ok, eating one minute, then near death 1 hours later. <I would think that both wrasse and the Pseudochromis are all culprits here.> My only guess is that the combination of Paracheilinus being a bit tender and wimpy combined with the territoriality of my Pseudochromis  (it will not allow the flashers near the rock pile during the light hours) are driving these beautiful wrasses out of their mind and they die. But what is odd is that the Pseudochromis never bothers the Cirrhilabrus. <You may just not notice it, or it may be that they're already established. However, I agree that the Pseudochromis is likely the lead culprit, though I would not exonerate the wrasse yet!> I just need someone to tell me my supposition is plausible, or what I might do to remedy it, because I will not let another fish die until I fix the problem (and fixing it maybe giving up on owning a  Paracheilinus). While Paracheilinus are beautiful so it my solid purple Pseudochromis. Could this all be due to the Pseudochromis? If you think so, I might consider trapping him and trading him to another tank. <I would consider your tank pretty close to full as it is, and if its been successful until now, I would continue with your current stocking list. If you cannot upgrade to a larger settings, I would pass on another wrasse. I would only feel comfortable adding some sort of small fish, such as a small goby or Ecsenius sp. blenny into your current arrangement, in fear of tipping the bio-load too far.> Thank you, Nathan Tableman <No problem, Nathan. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>

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