Potters Wrasse "playing dead"?

christopher.lauwers

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Hello everyone,

I managed to get my hands on a potter wrasse from Saltwaterfish.com which was delivered Wednesday. Added him to a 20 gallon QT tank. First day was swimming around no issues, 2nd day no issues. But today after fishing out some shrimp I also had in the tank he is now laying down and I feel breathing heavily.

I think it may be because I was in there fishing out the shrimp... but I wanted to get some other opinions.
I have picked him up with my hand to see if he would dart away... but I was able to do so. Is this a bad sign?

I know wrasses can "play dead" just not sure if this is that. Color seems good.
 
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Rrwilson1223

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Leopard wrasses are notoriously bad shippers. I recently had 2 die in QT from LiveAquaria...

It’s why the companies list them as expert only and don’t guarantee beyond arrival.

I would go with API General Cure right away and then do copper power afterwards. My next attempt will be from an LFS that promised to hold them for a week to make sure they are healthy and eating.
 
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christopher.lauwers

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Wrasses get spooked easily. and play dead..he didn't find the sandbox to hide
I added a small container of sand to the tank... which he has went into. Just right now not heading in there.

I did turn on just the blues ...trying to limit the light for hopefully less spooking.
 

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That's not playing dead - that's in a state of severe stress or the onset of actually dying, I'm afraid.

If there wasn't any sand for him to hide in prior to this, then that could be a source of severe stress.
 

Fishurama

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No it's not looking good, i personally would put it in my DT. As others have recommended, if you didnt have sand in there originally, that would stress it out since it's natural sleeping/hiding spot is the sand. Stress alone can kill leopards, hence why shipping them is so hard on them. They also aren't the best fish to QT due to stress(you get a lot of split reactions here)
Ive had my ornate leopard wrasse survive a worse state(playing dead and torn fin) so hope is there. Here is my thread on it.
my ornate leopard wrasse thread
 
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christopher.lauwers

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Thanks for the feedback. I have a little container of sand in there.... had it in there before I even got the fish. He HAS went in there but for whatever reason he is not in there now :(

I can move him to the DT... just didn't know if just throwing him in there would be such a good idea with all the action.
 
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Fishurama

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Thanks for the feedback. I have a little container of sand in there.... had it in there before I even got the fish. He HAS went in there but for whatever reason he is not in there now :(

I can move him to the DT... just didn't know if just throwing him in there would be such a good idea with all the action.
It's a risk, but pods, more sand, and if the other fish are calm, it will lower stress as well. If you do put it in the DT just watch it for awhile and make sure nothing goes after it.
 
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christopher.lauwers

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For better or worse...I gave it some help. I made a little bed... gently move the wrasse into the sand and covered it. not sure if this was the best idea but its worth a shot? He did react to me moving him.

This has been going on all day... and I am afraid that if i try and get him in the DT it would just cause to much stress. I assume bulling would start and just be to much.
 
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christopher.lauwers

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my idiot wrasse does it all the time.
Lol well good to know mine might be an idiot. Again put hi in the Tupperware container buried him. Turned the lights off and put a blanket over that side of the tank. hope for the best at this point.

just one of those fish I have always wanted and bummed that I might be already dead... :'(

leaving him alone is the best thing... get sand bed in there
Yep had one in there form the start just for whatever reason didn't go in there.
 
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Rrwilson1223

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Lol well good to know mine might be an idiot. Again put hi in the Tupperware container buried him. Turned the lights off and put a blanket over that side of the tank. hope for the best at this point.

just one of those fish I have always wanted and bummed that I might be already dead... :'(


Yep had one in there form the start just for whatever reason didn't go in there.

Oh I can relate. Been wanting a small group Of leopards (3/4) in my 200 gallon and haven’t had success yet. Had one small one do well and of course he jumped through a small opening. Hoping for the best for yours!
 
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christopher.lauwers

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Sad to report he died last night :(

Really bummed out. should have just went into the main display as other have said.... going to try and get my hands on another one.
 

GoingBroke88

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Definitely pros and cons to QT vs. DT. I've tried both, and had both success and failure with both.

DT gives a more natural environment, lots of sand to hide in, and a population of pods to eat. But like it's been mentioned, other fish can bully it and for me, the more annoying part is that they can disappear anywhere with some showing up eventually and others disappearing forever. Also, it's impossible to treat for internal parasites that way and harder to get them to start eating non-live food (since they can fill up on pods).

QT gives a better chance to observe them and treat, though at the cost of stressing them more. Plus, if they're only eating pods, it's hard to get a good pod population going in the QT. And yes, they definitely need the dish of sand which you provided.

In the end, the best predictor of success for me has been being able to see them first hand in a LFS. The ones that I've bought that were out swimming around and actively hunting did fine either way. I did have one store that got a couple for me that were hiding in the sand still (they told me that they normally woke up later in the day), and unfortunately those two went straight into my DT sand bed and disappeared forever. Unfortunately, one of my favorite LFS won't order them at all (due to unacceptably high losses for them) and the other couple do so sporadically, and even so only one at a time generally. On the other hand, shipped ones have been hit or miss. So for now, the best policy for me will be to see the fish before buying (though sometimes it's hard to resist ordering!)
 

Tamberav

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Best success I have found for delicate fish is to have a seperate conditioning tank that is basically a mini display tank. It has all the pods and worms and such as a DT but no active boisterous fish to steal food. Then I overfeed this tank to fatten em up and see what they will eat. I run the lights mostly blue to try and keep stress down.

This is my 25g conditioning tank I use for that. Just picked up a Pencil Wrasse...quarter sized sailfin... And a yellow longnose butterfly this week so working on putting weight on them in here and letting them settle before moving them to a larger tank. I already treated with prazipro.

If something sinister like velvet showed up then they would be moved to a hospital tank and this one run fallow.

Works really well for settling leopards and training them to frozen.

MVIMG_20200730_170311.jpg
 

Bob Weigant

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These guys can be tuff but I don't think I would ever order one online. I like to see all my fish and watch them for a bit at my LFS but especially these guys. Just don't ship well. I did grab one yesterday and the store had him since tuesday. Swimming well and eating well. Fingers crossed
 

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