HELP! Ruby Red Dragonet not eating, lethargic and sleeping?

leilanastasia

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I just bought my ruby red dragonet yesterday. It was in the fish store for a week before taking it home (I put it on hold). I’ve been preparing for dragonets in my tank for awhile now (I have a culture hatchery established) and was finally ready to bring one home. I didn’t notice until he was already acclimated and welcomed into my tank, that he has a majorly sunken in belly. Not at all rounded, I immediately put in a load of copepods- but he hasn’t eaten any. I have a very very well established isopod colony. They mainly hide in my coralline rocks along with some amphipods. There’s a couple isopods right in front of him right now and he isn’t eating. I have copepods living in my filter/refugium area as well which aren’t in the main tank. He is alive and breathing but I’m worried there’s something wrong. He is pretty small as well since he’s pretty much a baby. Does anyone have advice on what to do? He is clearly starving, even when food is right in front of his face :(

my arrow crab touched him and yesterday when I brought him home he did not like anything touching him or near him.. he didn’t respond to the arrow crab nor did he move. I’m wondering if he’s on a weird sleep cycle or something.. maybe it’s me making up excuses for my new baby dying

092989B1-BE53-44D7-BEB4-F8F25395421A.jpeg
 
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Idoc

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It is hard to see with the pic of the belly is sunken in... the fin seems in the way.

But, as previously mentioned, it's not rare for a fish to respond with a little shock when put into a new system... and also, not to eat for a little while until they feel safer.

If watch him from a distance and keep the light brightness down low, if possible.

Many fish can go several weeks without eating before dying. If it's starvation, I doubt he'll die in a few days.

Quarantine with or without medicating is always a good practice.

If you think his belly is really shrunken in, then he could have internal parasites or worms. You can't force him to eat... and the treatment is mixing meds with food. It's very hard to treat with medicated foods with these types of fish that have not been trained to eat frozen foods yet. You can't mix meds with live food... so, if treatment is required, then you'll have to treat the water column and hope the fish ingests enough meds to treat. If this is the case, you'll want to treat with General Cure.

But again, I'd observe from a distance for a few days to let the fish settle in.
 
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Alexopora

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Sorry for being pessimistic but in my experience, a listless and especially sunken bellied dragonet has a high chance of dying in the next few days. I got a ruby red a few months back and initially I thought I picked the roundest looking ruby red but I guess the lfs might have accidentally caught the wrong one. It has a sunken belly and didnt last two days. I had a starry dragonet before this for about a year, but sadly it decided to jump out of the tank.

So this ruby red was meant to replace it but i barely lasted. A few weeks back I got a starry dragonet once again and made sure i got an active and full bellied one. Upon immediate introduction to the tank it went pod hunting and has been doing fine for the past three weeks.

However, I’d say no harm trying to save the fish with the methods others have suggested so far. Hopefully yours makes it through.
 
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leilanastasia

leilanastasia

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Let him settle in, if there are Pods available for him, he'll have find and eat them. Not much you can do, assuming he's acclimated and the wrasse is leaving him alone. They're skittish and may take time to begin feeding.

When I purchased mine, the lfs guy threw in Pods with him so I could see him eating. Your guy might be skinny if he hasn't been fed correctly.

Make sure he has a lot of rock to scour and hide in.

Hard to qt mandarins or dragonet.
Thanks so much! I agree, it is definitely hard to qt the mandarins/dragonets. I appreciate everything you said. The lfs definitely hasn’t been feeding it properly, I’ve got plenty of pods of all types so I hope he bounces back. I have faith he will now, especially from everyone’s kind comments. I feel super lucky with the wrasse since he’s super peaceful and almost dainty haha. The wrasse can’t hurt a fly lol!! thank u again! :D
 
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leilanastasia

leilanastasia

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Qt does not require medication but is highly recommended to qt regardless so that fish can be given a safe place away from other fish and to be able to slowly acclimate to you, seeing you as the feeder rather than a threat. Also as the name implies if the new fish does happen to be sick you will keep it from introducing the pathogen to your mt.
It is totally normal for new fish to be listless for a while after being added to a tank. The best thing you can do is leave it alone however if it is being harassed you should get it into qt immediately. I don't have any experience with this fish so I can't make any sort of diagnosis about a possible infection. This is made extra difficult as fish can appear very bad off when they are in the overwhelmed state. So what does "leave it alone" mean? Observe from a distance to make sure it is not being harassed but stay away from the tank and do not attempt to feed the fish. If you feel like you can easily catch the fish feel free to move it to qt asap. If you don't have a qt set up you can use a combination of live nitrifying bacteria and seachem prime to make the tank safe just keep on top of dosing and do around 20% water changes every day or two.
Oh and welcome! I am sorry for your troubles.
Wow thank you so much! Great info, I really appreciate it.
 
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Fish Think Pink

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Thanks! I feel better about him now, he just started moving a little more than he was.
Hello and Welcome! Sending positive energy your way for you and your cutie red baby!

Going to suggest hatching live brine shrimp to tempt him into eating more frequently and just MORE. Keep up the copepods, too!!! I have two of these hatchers so I can keep them in rotation, with brine shrimp eggs kept in fridge and freezer.

I have a home improvement store simple light with an incandescent light bulb for heat and to get the babies to swim into the hatchery cup area for lifting out (lift via cup or baster). The light sits on top of a cardboard box about 18 inches tall and large enough to allow that flat hatcher to fit inside. This both keeps heat in and light out because the light constantly on got old FAST. Bottom of box is open so I can lift it off to get to the hatchery. Hatchery sits on scrap of plywood as its flimsy and filled with water I don't trust it (you have to carry hatchery to sink for cleaning; board underneath is very helpful.

Then once they begin hatching in 18-30 hours depending on heat, use a turkey baster to pull out brines as they hatch (or the cup... but new ones swim over while cup is out) and put in dragonets face. If you work from home, whenever you take a break just turkey baster out of hatchery, into dragonets face.

Better feeding then turkey baster puff in face (gets old fast), here is link to Paul's feeder which lets you puff into the feeder tube (cap it to stop light going down), sending them down into collection cup and sucked out by dragonet fish thru nylon stocking. The baby brine shrimp are most nutritious right when they hatch because of their little egg sack. I found solid blue pex pipe at local home improvement store, but I'm looking to change up design with black if I can ever locate stiff black plastic narrow (3/8"ish) tube.

Yours seems extra cute and in need of extra love (food & security). Dim lights a bit so not so scared out looking for food since its had a tough week going from place to place. I heard dragonets do not have stomachs like us or most fish, so constant food sources are important to long life. I do my best. Lets hear it for fattening up our dragonets!
 
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leilanastasia

leilanastasia

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Hello and Welcome! Sending positive energy your way for you and your cutie red baby!

Going to suggest hatching live brine shrimp to tempt him into eating more frequently and just MORE. Keep up the copepods, too!!! I have two of these hatchers so I can keep them in rotation, with brine shrimp eggs kept in fridge and freezer.

I have a home improvement store simple light with an incandescent light bulb for heat and to get the babies to swim into the hatchery cup area for lifting out (lift via cup or baster). The light sits on top of a cardboard box about 18 inches tall and large enough to allow that flat hatcher to fit inside. This both keeps heat in and light out because the light constantly on got old FAST. Bottom of box is open so I can lift it off to get to the hatchery. Hatchery sits on scrap of plywood as its flimsy and filled with water I don't trust it (you have to carry hatchery to sink for cleaning; board underneath is very helpful.

Then once they begin hatching in 18-30 hours depending on heat, use a turkey baster to pull out brines as they hatch (or the cup... but new ones swim over while cup is out) and put in dragonets face. If you work from home, whenever you take a break just turkey baster out of hatchery, into dragonets face.

Better feeding then turkey baster puff in face (gets old fast), here is link to Paul's feeder which lets you puff into the feeder tube (cap it to stop light going down), sending them down into collection cup and sucked out by dragonet fish thru nylon stocking. The baby brine shrimp are most nutritious right when they hatch because of their little egg sack. I found solid blue pex pipe at local home improvement store, but I'm looking to change up design with black if I can ever locate stiff black plastic narrow (3/8"ish) tube.

Yours seems extra cute and in need of extra love (food & security). Dim lights a bit so not so scared out looking for food since its had a tough week going from place to place. I heard dragonets do not have stomachs like us or most fish, so constant food sources are important to long life. I do my best. Lets hear it for fattening up our dragonets!
Thank you so much! I’ll have to do this. I love the method you’re using, I just bought some special netting to setup a nice little feeding station in the tank. I will def turn down the lights and cheers to the happy and fat dragonet process
 
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leilanastasia

leilanastasia

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It is hard to see with the pic of the belly is sunken in... the fin seems in the way.

But, as previously mentioned, it's not rare for a fish to respond with a little shock when put into a new system... and also, not to eat for a little while until they feel safer.

If watch him from a distance and keep the light brightness down low, if possible.

Many fish can go several weeks without eating before dying. If it's starvation, I doubt he'll die in a few days.

Quarantine with or without medicating is always a good practice.

If you think his belly is really shrunken in, then he could have internal parasites or worms. You can't force him to eat... and the treatment is mixing meds with food. It's very hard to treat with medicated foods with these types of fish that have not been trained to eat frozen foods yet. You can't mix meds with live food... so, if treatment is required, then you'll have to treat the water column and hope the fish ingests enough meds to treat. If this is the case, you'll want to treat with General Cure.

But again, I'd observe from a distance for a few days to let the fish settle in.
Wow this is super helpful. Thanks so much, makes me feel a whole lot better. Hopefully he doesn’t have some internal parasites, but if need be I just purchased an extra tank as well as some parasite medicine for quarantine especially since I hope to expand my tank further. Just got all that stuff today after awesome people replied to me. Loving the community here so far, so much positivity! I do have another question though. If you bring home a fish with internal parasites, does the water itself become contaminated? What does one do if that is the case? Also this may be an obvious question, but will it spread to every fish in the tank no matter what?
 
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Idoc

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If you bring home a fish with internal parasites, does the water itself become contaminated? What does one do if that is the case? Also this may be an obvious question, but will it spread to every fish in the tank no matter what?

I treat all incoming fish with medicated foods just in case they have an intensity parasites or worms. I try to start this as quickly as possible since once a fish stops eating, it's hard to get the internal problems fixed.

I also treat the water column with PraziPro (2 doses, 6 days apart from each other) for external flukes.

Will the other fish catch the parasites? No definite answer... but fish can fight off a lot of they are well fed with a good diet to build their immune systems... and kept stress free.
 
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leilanastasia

leilanastasia

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I treat all incoming fish with medicated foods just in case they have an intensity parasites or worms. I try to start this as quickly as possible since once a fish stops eating, it's hard to get the internal problems fixed.

I also treat the water column with PraziPro (2 doses, 6 days apart from each other) for external flukes.

Will the other fish catch the parasites? No definite answer... but fish can fight off a lot of they are well fed with a good diet to build their immune systems... and kept stress free.
Thank u once again! I’ll go get prazipro, I appreciate the time u took to help me :)
 
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attiland

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I just bought my ruby red dragonet yesterday. It was in the fish store for a week before taking it home (I put it on hold). I’ve been preparing for dragonets in my tank for awhile now (I have a culture hatchery established) and was finally ready to bring one home. I didn’t notice until he was already acclimated and welcomed into my tank, that he has a majorly sunken in belly. Not at all rounded, I immediately put in a load of copepods- but he hasn’t eaten any. I have a very very well established isopod colony. They mainly hide in my coralline rocks along with some amphipods. There’s a couple isopods right in front of him right now and he isn’t eating. I have copepods living in my filter/refugium area as well which aren’t in the main tank. He is alive and breathing but I’m worried there’s something wrong. He is pretty small as well since he’s pretty much a baby. Does anyone have advice on what to do? He is clearly starving, even when food is right in front of his face :(

my arrow crab touched him and yesterday when I brought him home he did not like anything touching him or near him.. he didn’t respond to the arrow crab nor did he move. I’m wondering if he’s on a weird sleep cycle or something.. maybe it’s me making up excuses for my new baby dying

092989B1-BE53-44D7-BEB4-F8F25395421A.jpeg
Mine was shy in the beginning. You can try spot feeding him with frozen myses or live black worms. Mine was eating that from even the water column.
During the day dragonets are not
eating much but towards to the end of the day they becaming way more active and hunt for pots like crazy.
 
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