Flasher wrasse being bullied by tankmates

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by xRob, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. xRob

    xRob Member

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    I added a royal flasher to my display ~4 weeks ago. He's feeding very well (and did all the way through QT) however there seems to be some aggression issues from the other inhabitants. The first week or so I observed some chasing from my female clown (who is about the same length as the wrasse but much more bulky) but there didn't ever seem to be any contact. After that everything seemed to settle down and there was none or very little chasing.

    The last week or so however the wrasse has been missing progressively more of his tail fin, to the point that today some of it is almost completely gone. The last two days I've noticed my banggai cardinal chasing him occasionally but again no actual contact. The fin doesn't look ragged or infected as far as I can tell so I think it is nipping as opposed to fin rot. Today while still feeding well he has spent a lot of time sulking in a corner - sometimes actually laying on the sand bed wedged up against the back glass.

    If I can work out who the culprit is I can move it to my QT for a couple of weeks timeout, is this likely to solve the problem? Is there anything else I can do to stop the aggression/is it likely to stop eventually without me intervening? I'm not even 100% sure if it's a fish - I've never seen any actual nipping so it could even be a hitchhiker crab?

    Tank specs:
    • Reefer 250
    • 2x Common clowns
    • 1 Banggai cardinal
    • 1 Peppermint shrimp (do they ever nip fish? I think the flasher sleeps in the same area the peppermint lives in)
    • 4x hermits
    • Assorted snails
    Thanks!
     
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  2. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Jack of All Trades, Masters in One R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    It may solve the problem temporarily if you move them but the current aggression may also works itself out with a little bit of time. You could also try taping a picture of a bigger fish to the tank or using the mirror trick. I would try those two options before adding stress to situation trying to catch the bully.
     
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  3. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Active Member

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    Clowns and that Cardinalfish are all semi-aggressive/territorial fish and the flasher wrasse is generally peaceful so that doesn't surprise me. One of the things that irritates me to no end are the folks who list Occ variety clownfish as Peaceful on their sites, when there are plenty of examples of them being aggressive/territorial. Also, how big is your tank and how long have the current inhabitants been in there? Personally if the fin is mostly missing and it is sometimes curled up on the sand, it's definitely an issue and I would get the wrasse out of there if you can.
     
  4. xRob

    xRob Member

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    The tank is a reefer 250 which has a display of 204l/~53 US gallon and is 90cm/3ft long. It was set up August 2017. The bigger (female or soon will be) clown came from my nano and was added in September. The second clown was added mid October and the cardinal mid November. I got the flasher in November and it was in QT until mid December.

    I had anticipated some aggression from the clowns yes - But it's not as though people don't mix clowns and wrasse with success. I haven't been able to find many instances of cardinals being problematic except towards their own kind. I guess the mistake was not adding the wrasse first. I still haven't actually *seen* any nipping, only occasional short chases. There have never been any problems between clowns and cardinal - They completely ignore each other. I'm wondering if this will resolve itself as I add more fish as any aggression would hopefully be spread out.

    Last night I fed just before lights out and the wrasse was feeding well. This morning when I checked the tank before work the wrasse was sleeping against the back glass on the sandbed. He also did this the first night he was in the display. This seems odd as I would expect him to feel safer sleeping in the rocks if he is being harassed by the other fish.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  5. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Expert Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    Can yo u post a pic of the wrasse?

    It could be bullying, but if it were you should be able to notice the aggression.
     
  6. xRob

    xRob Member

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    IMG_4348[1].JPG

    Apologies for the terrible photo (he is very camera shy!), I'll try to get a better one later today if needed. I would say that if anything this photo understates the damage.

    Last night when I checked the tank he was again sleeping on the sand - Is this at all normal for a flasher? I've never heard/read about it...
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  7. xRob

    xRob Member

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    This morning if anything the damage is worse, however it now looks like its tail is losing colouration where the damage ends. It also looks more ragged than before. I'm guessing that means infection (@eatbreakfast definitely value your opinion here)? I'm going to my LFS now to ask for their advice on possible medications. I suppose there's nothing reef safe that will help? I'm going to have a hard time catching him as despite the fact that he's sulking in the corner most of the time he immediately darts away if I try to get close to take a photo.
     
  8. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Expert Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    It looks like he has flukes pretty bad. Prazipro can help, however if they are badly infested on his gills, they can cause pretty serious damage when they come off.

    If you can catch him and put him in qt, you could do a 1min freshwater dip to kill some but not all of the flukes. Then dose prazi in qt. While doing that I would treat dt for any flukes in there.
     
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  9. xRob

    xRob Member

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    Thanks for that. Can I ask how you ID'd the flukes based on the picture/description there? I can't see any in person (I've read they are translucent in any case). Unfortunately prazipro is not available in my country (UK) however my LFS has recommended fluke solve (http://www.vetark.co.uk/pages/SoluPraz_1.aspx?pageid=368). This is apparently reef safe and won't harm most inverts - I've read that it may kill tube worms/urchins though. If I can't catch the wrasse (seems likely) then I may just dose this directly to my display.

    About freshwater dipping - do you recommend using tap or RO water? My LFS say tapwater and leave it overnight to evaporate any chlorine out and stabilize PH before use.
     
  10. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Expert Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    Flukes can cause fin damage if it is a bad case.

    On the dorsal and on the body in the pic it appears to have spots where flukes are attached.

    Also, laying on the sand is a sign of it not getting enough oxygen, so something seems to be affecting it's gills.
     
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  11. xRob

    xRob Member

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    I've decided to dose the fluke solve directly to my DT - catching the wrasse at this point would be too stressful I think (for both of us!). Hopefully it won't have any adverse affects on the rest of the tank.
     
  12. xRob

    xRob Member

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    So I dosed the fluke solve (praziquantel) on Sunday. After a few hours the wrasse seemed to be more active and was still eating. Unfortunately after 24 hours or so it seems to have taken a turn for the worse - It's swimming very lethargically without really using its tail at all and hasn't been interested in food as far as I've seen today (tried 3-4 small feedings with added garlic). The tail damage does appear to have stopped getting worse and its breathing seems slower. Is there anything further I can do at this point or is it just wait and hope?

    My skimmer is still off and I'm running without carbon until tomorrow (48 hours after the dose). Whether or not the wrasse survives I plan to do a second dose in a week. I'm definitely going to start dosing this in my QT for all new fish from now as clearly copper isn't enough!
     
  13. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Expert Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    Copper doesn't kill flukes.

    Methylene blue bath can therapeutically soothe gill issues.
     
  14. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Active Member

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    You are likely going to need a trap of some form. You could try making one out of a bottle of water (I prefer it over soda since water residue won't do much of anything to your tank and is easier to clean). The standard method is to take a bottle and cut off the top and then invert the top inside the bottle and hold it in place by bending the plastic around it. place seashells or small rocks in it and it will hold it down and then place it near where the wrasse usually hangs out with a bit of it's favorite food in there. It might take a few days but eventually it will warm up to it and get curious about the food. The only other solution is to tear your rockscape apart and try and catch it (Good luck with that one).
     
  15. xRob

    xRob Member

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    Sadly when I got home from work today he had died. I think the damage from gill flukes letting go must have been too much for him to recover from. Or perhaps just the stress of the medication. The total time from noticing an issue (i.e the tail fin having some damage) to treatment was 3 days which seems very quick. @eatbreakfast do you know if it is usual for a fish to deteriorate so quickly from flukes alone? Regardless all new fish from now will get prophylactic treatment for flukes in addition to the usual stuff. My DT will also get a second dose next Sunday (1 week after the first dose).
     
  16. Jesterrace

    Jesterrace Active Member

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    I have heard that flasher wrasses are more delicate than other varieties. Personally I would go with a young Melanurus Wrasse. It will get big (about 6 inches when fully grown) but the colors, personality and activity are stunning and they won't put up with something pushing them around. My butthead of a snowflake clownfish found that one out the hard way. :D
     
  17. xRob

    xRob Member

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    Yeah I know they're a bit delicate but it felt as though everything was going well! I think next time a more comprehensive QT procedure will do the trick...
     
  18. Radman73

    Radman73 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    If one fish had flukes, likely all fish do now. I suggest following the protocol on your fluke meds to completion.
     
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  19. xRob

    xRob Member

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    Yep. The treatment is fluke solve which is just powered praziquantel and I assume something to help make it soluble. It seems that most people wait a week between doses of prazipro so that's what I'll do also.
     
  20. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member CTARS Member

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    Did you actually SEE any flukes come off? Maybe TJ has super x-ray vision, but I confess I don't see them in your photo LOL. IME flashers are incredibly twitchy and not at all good at settling into a community tank.
     
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