Halichoeres Quarantining

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cjpitt80

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Hi,
I currently have a Melanurus and Yellow Coris wrasse in a 29gal quarantine tank with a dish of sand. The Melanurus seems to exhibit pretty standard diurnal behavior; he's out during the day and sleeps in the sand at night.TYellow Coris did the same for about a week, however in the past 3 days, the yellow coris seems to be under the sand all the time. 1) is this normal? 2) if he's always under the sand, how will he eat? 3) should I do anything?
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nereefpat

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It is normal for them to go into the sand in QT. It will come out to eat when it's comfortable. Don't dig through the sand, as it will just stress it out more.

However, it is possible that the melanurus is pestering the yellow. They are cousins. They sometimes can coexist, but it's something to watch in case you need to separate them.

What is your QT philosophy? That affects the situation a bit also. If you are just doing TTM or copper and then adding to the display, for example, that would impact my decision.
 
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cjpitt80

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The first 2 days they were both out and I saw no harassment, they simply ignored each other and ate together. The 2nd and subsequent nights, they even both shared the Tupperware sand bed. Just the past 2 days, the Yellow Coris seems to sleep all day. I've re-looked over my notes and today is actually day 6.

Right now, my QT is simply observation. I will do a couple rounds of API General Cure next week, but as of now I'm doing nothing but watching and waiting. Salinity is 1.020 b'cuz that's what it was at the LFS. I've got 30 days to bump up to match DT. Temp is 77F. Ammo alert shows zero ammonia... QT tank seems to be fine
 

evolved

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However, it is possible that the melanurus is pestering the yellow. They are cousins. They sometimes can coexist, but it's something to watch in case you need to separate them.
This is my concern too.

I'd advise you put a divider in the tank and separate the two (add another dish of sand on the melanurus side). If the behavior of the yellow changes, than there's your answer. Otherwise, I'd suspect there might be an aliment that's effecting the yellow.
 

Jesterrace

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Melanurus can be aggressive to other wrasses (particularly of such a close relation to them). Mine has been kind of a jerk to my Blue Star Leopard (not too bad, but it can get territorial at feeding time). I definitely wouldn't keep another Halichoeres Wrasse with one.
 
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cjpitt80

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Will try to add a separator (I'll have to dig the yellow from the sand). There definitely wasn't any aggression the 1st few days. Even saw them out eating together ignoring each other. But now this is going on day 3 and still haven't seen the yellow out in the day time.

I thought Halichoeres were safe with each other. I want to add a Vrolik's in the display
 

evolved

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Melanurus can be aggressive to other wrasses (particularly of such a close relation to them). Mine has been kind of a jerk to my Blue Star Leopard (not too bad, but it can get territorial at feeding time). I definitely wouldn't keep another Halichoeres Wrasse with one.
I've kept melanurus with other Halichoeres just fine in the past, as have others. You're right, however, that there are occasional specimens of the species which are pretty aggressive. It's definitely a bit of a gamble with the species, but usually it will work out okay mixing with other Halichoeres (provided you avoid certain ones). Which brings me to...
I thought Halichoeres were safe with each other. I want to add a Vrolik's in the display
That won't work. H. melanurus and H. chrysotaenia are very close cousins. Visually, it's really just the pattern on the caudal that makes them distinct; there's a common ancestor before the populations became geographically isolated. One will kill the other in the same tank.
 
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cjpitt80

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Yeah I thought in general the same looking, same size is a "no-no" until I came across this
H. melanurus “Melanurus Wrasse”: Usually available, relatively inexpensive. May occasionally target snails and/or crabs (including hermits). Usually peaceful with other Halichoeres wrasses.
(My own emphasis added)
Would this also exclude H. cosmetus and/or H. claudia with a melanurus? This is a little harder than I thought LOL. Is H. biocellatus different looking enough? This is all in a 75g. I want at least 1 more with pattern.

Also, these should be fine with my already established flashers (Carpenter's & Linespot), correct?
 

nereefpat

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Would this also exclude H. cosmetus and/or H. claudia with a melanurus? This is a little harder than I thought LOL. Is H. biocellatus different looking enough? This is all in a 75g. I want at least 1 more with pattern.
Those are all pretty similar, although not as similar as Vrolik's (that's a sister species...essentially the same fish).

H. chyrus or H. luecoxanthus would be better.
 

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Yeah I thought in general the same looking, same size is a "no-no" until I came across this
(My own emphasis added)
Yes, I do say that there. Of course, "usually" is the key operative. :) I also try to make it clear in that article that everything there is a guideline only, and that it's impossible to make general, universal statements. Exceptions always apply.
Would this also exclude H. cosmetus and/or H. claudia with a melanurus? This is a little harder than I thought LOL. Is H. biocellatus different looking enough? This is all in a 75g. I want at least 1 more with pattern.
Really, any of those should be fine. H. cosmetus is probably the least risky, and H. biocellatus the most, of those three. If you're going for H. claudia, you'll need to ensure it's actually that species, and not H. ornatissimus.
Also, these should be fine with my already established flashers (Carpenter's & Linespot), correct?
Highly likely, yes. But if the melanurus is at the extreme end of "bad apple", then he might take issue with them. (But this is like a <5% chance, IMO. Something I'd easily gamble on without hesitation).
 

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Just to further the H. melanurus v H. chrysotaenia comparison/discussion, here's an example of both species, as mature adults. The notable difference is just in the tail pattern.

H. melanurus:


H. chrysotaenia:
 
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cjpitt80

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I assume that's the chrysus? Sorry to hear/see.
Yeah that's the yellow Coris. Not sure what happened. 1st 2 or 3 days he was out and about eating with the melanurus, seemed fine. Saw no aggression of any kind whatsoever. Then he went in the sand for 2 days and found that when I came home. Maybe the melanurus was bullying him whenever I WASN'T watching?? Maybe he was just sick....Body showed no signs of physical "trauma" though I admit I didn't do a full fish autopsy lol.
Well the melanurus looks good and is active and eating well, so hopefully he'll make it to the DT
 
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