Few questions for those with leopard wrasses

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Fishurama

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So after some research i bought an ornate leopard wrasse, learned they are terrible shippers, I thought mine was going to die the first night, fairly heaving breathing, laying on her side a bit. I had it in an acclimation box for about 30 minutes, and decided to let it go to the sand, she did. She went crashing down, hitting a rock and getting all scraped up(i assumed). Didn't see her until the next day around 5pm(PST). She looked terrible, scraped up from hitting the rock, her lower fin was missing about 1/8 section in the middle, she wasn't breathing heavy, but also looked like she was playing dead since but she looked so bad my eel put its mouth around her,trying to eat her, she didnt flinch like she gave up, while i was watching and had to push the eel away, as soon as i did that, she up and moved, so weird, which had me think she was playing dead. She would go by rocks and just lay there for a bit on her side, or straight up only to come out every 5-10 minutes for about 1-2 hours until she decided to go back into the sand. During this time i tried to spot feed mysis, no taker.

Day two how she looked as explained above.
wrasse.jpg

wrasse2.jpg


Today Day 3, she also came out around 5pm(PST) again so i tried keeping my lights on longer(they start ramping down from 530-6. But instead of just kinda sitting and only sometimes coming out to swin she came out and swam not stop and ate some pods along the way. Tried feeding mysis again, no taker again. Stayed out for about 2 hours again, then went back into the sand. Lights are very blue right now trying to keep it easy on the fish, so sorry about not getting her color.



































So my questions are:
1) How does her survivability rate seem?
2) Whats a good way to get her to eat mysis? Just keep trying?
3) How long did yours take to get adjusted to the light schedule and what did you do to help?
4) Anything you wish you new when you first got your wrasse that you know now? Im an open book willing to learn.
 
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Jesterrace

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1) Leopard Wrasses of all varieties are all delicate shippers and it's literally a case of picking the right fish as only the hardier individuals do well long term in captivity. What I always recommend to people is that they pick out an individual that has been at the LFS for a couple of weeks and is active and eating. That goes a long way to helping out with the fish adapting to other food as well.
2) I would say I would go with a more diversified diet then simply mysis as they are picky pod eaters by nature. I would try LRS Reef Frenzy as it has Mysis and many other things in it that are more likely to get the fish to eat. Strangely enough though the first thing that my current Blue Star Leopard Wrasse adapted to was Seaweed/Nori and then after a couple of days it also adapted to LRS Reef Frenzy and now eats both like a pig.
3) Mine adapted to my light schedule within 48 hours, but that was because it had been on almost the exact same schedule for 3 weeks prior at my LFS. Another reason I recommend the LFS bearing the brunt of the acclimation on Leopard Wrasses.
4) Not really. I did a lot of research and was patient for the timing and circumstances to be right for my LFS to do a bulk order on Leopards and give me the chance to take my time and pick the right one. It paid off in every respect, it readily adapted to other foods, acclimated easily to my tank and I got it for a great price ($35). The only thing I wish I had known was that my Melanurus Wrasse can be a jerk to it at feeding time, nothing major though and the Blue Star Leopard is one super determined fish that makes sure it gets more than it's fair share of food.
 
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Fishurama

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1) Leopard Wrasses of all varieties are all delicate shippers and it's literally a case of picking the right fish as only the hardier individuals do well long term in captivity. What I always recommend to people is that they pick out an individual that has been at the LFS for a couple of weeks and is active and eating. That goes a long way to helping out with the fish adapting to other food as well.
2) I would say I would go with a more diversified diet then simply mysis as they are picky pod eaters by nature. I would try LRS Reef Frenzy as it has Mysis and many other things in it that are more likely to get the fish to eat. Strangely enough though the first thing that my current Blue Star Leopard Wrasse adapted to was Seaweed/Nori and then after a couple of days it also adapted to LRS Reef Frenzy and now eats both like a pig.
3) Mine adapted to my light schedule within 48 hours, but that was because it had been on almost the exact same schedule for 3 weeks prior at my LFS. Another reason I recommend the LFS bearing the brunt of the acclimation on Leopard Wrasses.
4) Not really. I did a lot of research and was patient for the timing and circumstances to be right for my LFS to do a bulk order on Leopards and give me the chance to take my time and pick the right one. It paid off in every respect, it readily adapted to other foods, acclimated easily to my tank and I got it for a great price ($35). The only thing I wish I had known was that my Melanurus Wrasse can be a jerk to it at feeding time, nothing major though and the Blue Star Leopard is one super determined fish that makes sure it gets more than it's fair share of food.
Thanks for the reply, sadly my LFS didn't have any ornate leopard wrasses, i don't think many want to try do to diet,even hard to find online so thats why i did but it took 3 tries online with stocking issues from the first two vendors lol. Ill try the reef frenzy, see if any of my LFS carry it. Maybe even check petco lol. Luckily I bought her to help with an amphipod problem(they were eating zoas :( ) , so hopefully i have time to get her on frozen. Beautiful fish. Im assuming mine is on a completely different schedule coming out at 5pm. Ive even checked at 1-4am randomly to see if she would pop out. No luck, so seems like she is a day ahead based on where she would have come from. Hopefully as she becomes more accustomed she will be out longer. My Melanurus(3ish inches) is a bit smaller so it was nice to the ornate(about 3 1/2- 4 inches), but the ornate would kinda body it since it found its area it likes when its out for its short time. Otherwise they get along great and its fun to see her dive bomb the sand and do it's little dance. Albeit it i hate when my tank gets cloudy from it haha.
 

Jesterrace

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Yeah, I agree my method is much easier for standard and blue star leopards than an ornate, but online ordering is such a gamble with Leopard Wrasses. You are correct that it is likely still adjusting from it's old schedule.
 

Jesterrace

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Yeah, I agree my method is much easier for standard and blue star leopards than an ornate, but online ordering is such a gamble with Leopard Wrasses. You are correct that it is likely still adjusting from it's old schedule. I hope it pulls through. Beautiful fish.
 

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You might try buying a bottle of live tigger pods. This isn't a long term solution, but it might help to get that initial feeding response which could help the little guy feel comfortable enough to try some of the frozen food. If your work schedule puts you away from your tank while your new wrasse is awake, you'll likely need to find a way to make it home over lunch to feed for a week or two or it might not make it. I've also heard of people having some success in changing their lighting schedule to mimic the daylight hours of where it was just shipped from, although I've never done this myself. Best of luck, let us know how it goes!
 

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Up and picking at pods is a good sign. I describe mine as dramatic, any change is apt to put them off. But yours has survived shipping and the first 48 hours which is a big deal. I’d venture to guess she will start eating soon enough. Mine eventually lost all interest in frozen and lives off pellets and pods. Just keep doing what your doing. She’ll come around
 

TexAgReefer

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I have a leopard wrasse from LA that has been doing great. This is the first time I’ve done this (ordered several over the years without success) but it worked SO well.

I kept it in the acclimation box for a full week. They are sand sleepers so I cut a plastic cup and filled with sand and put it in the box. The wrasse buried in the sand every night. This allowed me to keep a close eye and it didn’t have to compete for food.

Worked awesome and would recommend to anyone wanting a leopard wrasse.
 

maroun.c

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Indeed leopards tend to ship bad and are not easy to get to eat prepared foods.
A tank goes a long way to get them eating and fatten up before placing in a tank with other fish competing on food. Qt also helps with light acclumation where h light up the qt as where said wrass came.from and bring g the light 1 hour closer to ur timeline every 2,3 days.
Unfortunately looking at all what this wrass has been through I believe its chances of making it ain't that good.
 
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Fishurama

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Yeah, I agree my method is much easier for standard and blue star leopards than an ornate, but online ordering is such a gamble with Leopard Wrasses. You are correct that it is likely still adjusting from it's old schedule. I hope it pulls through. Beautiful fish.
Yeah sadly my first came DOA from saltwaterfish, the second time within hours of the fish coming in stock from LA(email notice) I bought it and was told they weren't in stock. Aqualocker got me the one in the videos above. I hope it pulls through too.
This was my first DOA, beautiful fish.
dead2.jpg



You might try buying a bottle of live tigger pods. This isn't a long term solution, but it might help to get that initial feeding response which could help the little guy feel comfortable enough to try some of the frozen food. If your work schedule puts you away from your tank while your new wrasse is awake, you'll likely need to find a way to make it home over lunch to feed for a week or two or it might not make it. I've also heard of people having some success in changing their lighting schedule to mimic the daylight hours of where it was just shipped from, although I've never done this myself. Best of luck, let us know how it goes!
I have more then enough pods haha, Its actually why i got her as stated above, dang larger amphipods where eating my zoas! girrrrr lol. My tank was a predator tank prior to last year when i started to convert to a reef, so my tank is pod central. I only added a scooter blenny two months or so ago and a spotted dragonet about week ago then the melanurus wrasse I just got with this fish since my dragonets are too small to eat the larger amphipods. Otherwise nothing for a few years has been eating pods in my tank.
I hope I can get the light schedule to work out, hopefully she is just still feeling new and stressed to the environment. Thanks for the reply.

Up and picking at pods is a good sign. I describe mine as dramatic, any change is apt to put them off. But yours has survived shipping and the first 48 hours which is a big deal. I’d venture to guess she will start eating soon enough. Mine eventually lost all interest in frozen and lives off pellets and pods. Just keep doing what your doing. She’ll come around
Yeah I was thinking that too. Eating is eating, even if its only a little. We all know the feeling of being sick/stressed so i hope its just that. Really happy the 3rd day she was swimming like a champ. I hope to see her come out around 4-5pm again and eat and stay out longer. If I get that it will be a great sign IMO. Thanks for the reply.

I have a leopard wrasse from LA that has been doing great. This is the first time I’ve done this (ordered several over the years without success) but it worked SO well.

I kept it in the acclimation box for a full week. They are sand sleepers so I cut a plastic cup and filled with sand and put it in the box. The wrasse buried in the sand every night. This allowed me to keep a close eye and it didn’t have to compete for food.

Worked awesome and would recommend to anyone wanting a leopard wrasse.
I have a 1-4 inch sand bed(sand sifting goby makes sure to change it daily LOL So some areas are deeper then others) My Ornate seems to love the 4 inch spots to hide as ive seen her do it twice which is cool to watch, then you hate it as your tank gets cloudy haha. My melanurus wrasse does it so much "neater" and doesn't cause a cloudy explosion. Thanks for the response.

Indeed leopards tend to ship bad and are not easy to get to eat prepared foods.
A tank goes a long way to get them eating and fatten up before placing in a tank with other fish competing on food. Qt also helps with light acclumation where h light up the qt as where said wrass came.from and bring g the light 1 hour closer to ur timeline every 2,3 days.
Unfortunately looking at all what this wrass has been through I believe its chances of making it ain't that good.
Ive read its horrible to QT these fish based on their diet,sandbed need,etc, most people seem to recommend the acclimation box or just let it go into the sand as it will stress more looking for sand/trying to bury in a QT tank which also generally doesnt have pods. Hard fish with lots of different methods from people still trying to figure out what works "best" it seems. Thanks for the reply, hopefully she makes it. Day 3 was a good sign, hoping day 4(today) is even better.
 
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jsvand5

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Live brine is the way to go to get tough ones started. Once they take that they’ll quickly switch to mysis. Most leopards are not really difficult to get eating. It’s keeping them alive afterwards that can be a challenge. Once you have him eating well (assuming it survives) feed it some mysis with wormer added a few times.
 
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Live brine is the way to go to get tough ones started. Once they take that they’ll quickly switch to mysis. Most leopards are not really difficult to get eating. It’s keeping them alive afterwards that can be a challenge. Once you have him eating well (assuming it survives) feed it some mysis with wormer added a few times.
Thanks for the reply. By "wormer" do you mean like prazi or metro? If so ill definitely check for stringy poop and see if it has internal parasites/worms. Kinda expect stringy poop anyway right now since it isnt eating much. Im not big on treating my DT and since it wasn't the best idea to QT this fish from what ive read. I do know they have a higher then average chance at having internal parasites.But even if i target feed id be afraid of another fish eating some and getting the side effects and lose their appetite too. I see why they label this fish an "expert" while it doesn't really have "expert" requirements other then keep copepods/amphipods count up, but its a PITA to get it acclimated and happy and possibly pest free haha.
Does anyone know if the garlic trick would work to get them eating or have you tried and are they still picky?
 

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I always leave my power heads on to entice feeding with my little delicate guys. So far, 100% success.
 

jsvand5

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Thanks for the reply. By "wormer" do you mean like prazi or metro? If so ill definitely check for stringy poop and see if it has internal parasites/worms. Kinda expect stringy poop anyway right now since it isnt eating much. Im not big on treating my DT and since it wasn't the best idea to QT this fish from what ive read. I do know they have a higher then average chance at having internal parasites.But even if i target feed id be afraid of another fish eating some and getting the side effects and lose their appetite too. I see why they label this fish an "expert" while it doesn't really have "expert" requirements other then keep copepods/amphipods count up, but its a PITA to get it acclimated and happy and possibly pest free haha.
Does anyone know if the garlic trick would work to get them eating or have you tried and are they still picky?
I usually use a syringe to inject PE mysis with fenbendazole. That way not much gets into the water and it’s not an issue if other fish eat some as well.
 

Jimmyneptune

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So my questions are:
1) How does her survivability rate seem?

Good. If they make it to coming in out of the sand thats a good sign.

2) Whats a good way to get her to eat mysis? Just keep trying?

Don't force it. He won't see it as food until he does, usually seeing others eat the mysis.

3) How long did yours take to get adjusted to the light schedule and what did you do to help?
varies. If he is coming in and out of the sand he has a safe space which is great.

4) Anything you wish you new when you first got your wrasse that you know now? Im an open book willing to learn.
They make it or they don't. I think trying to force feed can hurt more than help.
 
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Ive read its horrible to QT these fish based on their diet,sandbed need,etc, most people seem to recommend the acclimation box or just let it go into the sand as it will stress more looking for sand/trying to bury in a QT tank which also generally doesnt have pods. Hard fish with lots of different methods from people still trying to figure out what works "best" it seems. Thanks for the reply, hopefully she makes it. Day 3 was a good sign, hoping day 4(today) is even better.
I'm going to politely disagree with avoiding QT with leopards. One concern that can easily be avoided is by putting a Tupperware bowl with sand in the QT. I also find that the smaller tank with zero competition can be very helpful in getting them to eat. Most tanks will not be able to sustain and adequate pod supply to keep these guys healthy....especially if you have Halichoeres or other pod eating wrasses.

I've had good luck with live black worms, live white worms and frozen blood worms. Remember eating from the water column is not their natural feeding behavior. Letting the worms fall on top of their sand bed worked well for me.

My Potters now eats LRS, mysis, blood worms and eats Nori like crazy.
 
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maroun.c

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Ive read its horrible to QT these fish based on their diet,sandbed need,etc, most people seem to recommend the acclimation box or just let it go into the sand as it will stress more looking for sand/trying to bury in a QT tank which also generally doesnt have pods. Hard fish with lots of different methods from people still trying to figure out what works "best" it seems. Thanks for the reply, hopefully she makes it. Day 3 was a good sign, hoping day 4(today) is even better.
Not really they ain't that difficult to eat and benefit from QT to get them eating and also to deworm them and get them used to time zone for lighting. A small sandbox does the job and some people even quarantine them without sandbox to get them used to lighting time
 
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Fishurama

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Thanks everyone for the responses, she came out again today an hour earlier at 4pm which is better, I tried broadcast feeding as mentioned and she ate today a little bit or tried to hard to tell. A few pieces of mysis i saw her eat and spit and some it looked like she ate, but was hard to tell. She did definitely take a few nibbles of a small piece of krill. Will have to try the reef frenzy food to see is she likes other things now she shown she is slightly gaining the will to eat frozen since that has more variety after some research. Her small tear in her bottom fin has healed quite a bit and is now about 1/16 big instead of an 1/8. She still has scratches on her sides from diving into the rocks the first night, but i assume that will take a week or so if she makes it. I think she will as long as my copepod population doesn't dip and she starts to get weened on frozen foods. She seems livelier. Just wish she would get on the proper time schedule. But slow and steady wins the race here.
A few videos of today. Still bluer lights to keep her stress down, but slowly upping intensity too.
PS anyone know any decent app to remove blues or similiar? Not good at photography and while i don't expect much from my phone, its decent enough that im sure i can get better pictures/videos in blues then what ive posted so far lol. Thanks again everyone.


 
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ca1ore

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Truths .... and un-truths about leopards .....

They ship poorly .... I’ve had more DOA with them than any other fish genus.
They are highly susceptible to internal parasites, so something like prazipro is important.
Even leopards that eat may still lose weight (aforementioned parasites). Don’t ever buy one that shows pinching behind the head, even if eating it will not survive.
Out of sync bio clock is common and they can take a couple of weeks to adjust.
Hiding in the sand for as long as a week, or even two, is common. Let them be, do not hunt for them in the sand.
A QT tank with some sand not only allows you to treat for parasites, but gives them a chance to get eating without aggressive competition.
Most leopard species are not hard to get eating if they get over shipping trauma. Buying live pods is not necessary; if they won't eat calanus or brine, they probably won’t eat anything.
Potters and choats are significantly harder than the others. Don’t start there.
 
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Fishurama

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So she came out again today at 4pm I was hoping 3pm since the day before that it was 5pm... Still only staying out for about 2 hours then goes back into the sand... Hoping she starts staying out longer. But... Some good news. She is eating! Most of the scratching from diving into the rocks is gone, and the lower fin tear is about healed. I also learned to color correct pictures a bit, at least better then what it was... Need something for videos now haha.





















I tried color correcting a bit, still can't see her greenish blue scales in the middle, but she is looking well.

ornate leopard wrasse.png
ornate leopard wrasse 2.png
 
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