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Sick Wrasse


Ashley

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Our half-and-half wrasse has recently started showing some white spots and we just noticed that part of his tail is torn. Our hippo tang has been rubbing against things in the tank and we've been treating with garlic...the wrasse just started rubbing against things as well. Any ideas on whether this is ich? And how should we proceed? We'd like to treat pretty aggressively as this guy is our favorite little fishy!

Pics attached...notice the white spot near where his tail meets his body..that is usually solid black. You can also see in the pictures the missing part of tail.

Thanks so much for any advice!

Ashley

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Can't really tell from the photos, but from what I can see it looks more like a wound than ich. Anyway to get a better photo of the white section? Or, could you describe what it looks like in more detail? Also, is the tang showing any other signs of disease, other than rubbing?

If it is ich it is better to leave the fish in the tank and try to find the issue that is causing the fish to be stressed.

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Thanks for your replies. I'll try to get better shots of the spot near his tail when I get home tonight. On closer inspection, it definitely looks more like a hole...like the flesh has been removed in some way. We picked up a skunk cleaner shrimp at Fishy Business yesterday to see if that would help. Based on my description of the wrasse, Shane thought it might be a bristleworm stinging the wrasse while he sleeps. If that's the case, and we manage to find the worm, will the wrasse recover?

Any thoughts on how to find/capture the worm or other predator?

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Um, in my tank I have hundreds, if not thousands, of bristleworms :)

You could try trapping some. They will go after food (they actually are a great clean-up crew). So you could try the bait in a bottle trick (if you don't know what this is, let me know).

I have never seen either of my two wrasses stung like that after sleeping in the rockwork.

What type of substrate do you have in the tank? Some wrasses dig into the substrate at night to hide, while others hide in the rockwork.

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This wrasse seems to sleep in the rockwork most of the time...he basically disappears though. We've seen him on the sandbed a couple times, but we've never seen him dig or bury himself. I believe our substrate is Carib Sea Aragonite.

I'm thinking either some hidden, unknown predator or a disease is the culprit here. I don't think any of our known fish or inverts is attacking him.

I'm wondering if it would be better to leave the wrasse in the tank, continue to treat with garlic, and see if we can figure it out. Or, if we should move him to another tank or set up a QT so he doesn't keep getting attacked. He is extremely difficult to catch and gets pretty stressed so I don't want to move him unless it's necessary.

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Well, if you suspect something is attacking him, moving him to another tank might be the best option. But like you said, catching him might add unneeded stress to the fish.

I would suggest giving him a few days, and see if it looks like he is healing. My fish get torn fins and some missing scales from time to time, but a few days normally brings them back to looking like new.

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Thanks seahorse! Someone on MAAST suggested that it might be fin rot. We are going to test all the parameters again just to make sure nothing weird has happened.

We set a bottle trap last night just in case, but didn't catch anything as of this morning (of course, I had dreams all night about catching all sorts of crazy things!). We are going to keep an eye on him, continue to treat with garlic, and move him to a QT if he doesn't improve in the next couple days.

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So far, our new skunk cleaner shrimp hasn't interacted with any of our fish yet. The shrimp is out and about and the wrasse is swimming all over the tank. Any ideas on how to get them together so the cleaner shrimp can help out with whatever is affecting the wrasse? Or is this relationship/cleaning thing just something that takes a few days to happen?

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