Sick melanarus wrasse

Mattyreefs

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Need some help ID'ing what's wrong with this new Melanarus Wrasse. I got him last Friday. I noticed during acclimation that he had some really minor damage to his pectoral fins that I figured might be from netting/shipping. He seemed fine over the weekend. He was eating and swimming around typical to what I'd expect from a wrasse.

I noticed this morning that his right fin was much worse and almost looks like it's rotting. It's also on the left but far less pronounced. It also looks like the bottom fin is starting to fray. The tail looks fine. He's eating but I noticed that he's swimming into the glass a lot and using the right fin sparingly.

Breathing looks normal and I don't see anything around the gills or body, just the fins.

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Jay Hemdal

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This looks like fin damage that has become infected. The problem is that wrasse use their pectoral fins to move through the water, so when these are damaged, they have difficulty swimming. Are you sure there is no on-going damage from any fish the wrasse is in with now?

Treatment for this issue would require moving the wrasse to a treatment/quarantine tank and then dosing the water with a broad spectrum, gram negative antibiotic such as Neoplex or Kanaplex.

Jay
 
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Tankmates are 3 green chromis and a coral banded shrimp. The chromis are scared of their shadow so can't imagine they are the culprit but the shrimp has been aggressive toward fish in the past. I think it killed a bangaii cardinal that just disappeared overnight previously.

This is a temporary tank that I have running for misfits that don't fit in my DT. My plan was to leave the wrasse in here for a month or two and monitoring before I moved him over.

I started a QT but it's not cycled yet. I put in some extra cycled media and prime. How long until it's safe to move him? Or I guess what's an acceptable ammonia level?

I have melafix on hand. Is that OK or should I stick with the two you mentioned?
 
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Yes- antibiotic. Melafix is teak tree oil and nothing more than a tonic.
Tankmates are 3 green chromis and a coral banded shrimp. The chromis are scared of their shadow so can't imagine they are the culprit but the shrimp has been aggressive toward fish in the past. I think it killed a bangaii cardinal that just disappeared overnight previously.

This is a temporary tank that I have running for misfits that don't fit in my DT. My plan was to leave the wrasse in here for a month or two and monitoring before I moved him over.

I started a QT but it's not cycled yet. I put in some extra cycled media and prime. How long until it's safe to move him? Or I guess what's an acceptable ammonia level?

I have melafix on hand. Is that OK or should I stick with the two you mentioned
 
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This looks like fin damage that has become infected. The problem is that wrasse use their pectoral fins to move through the water, so when these are damaged, they have difficulty swimming. Are you sure there is no on-going damage from any fish the wrasse is in with now?

Treatment for this issue would require moving the wrasse to a treatment/quarantine tank and then dosing the water with a broad spectrum, gram negative antibiotic such as Neoplex or Kanaplex.

Jay
LFS is closed until Wednesday but I was able to get Kanaplex shipped for delivery tomorrow. I also ordered some bottled bacteria so hopefully I'll get him into QT tank tomorrow. I pulled the shrimp. I've been looking to rehome him anyway.

He seems to be doing worse pretty quickly....doing a lot of aimless swimming into glass instead of in and out of rockwork like he was.

I noticed a white spot behind his right pectoral fin. It looks like it might be raised. It's hard to get a picture. With that, do you still think it's fin damage that lead to infection?

Should I worry about it spreading to the chromis? Any reason to preemptively put them in QT and medicate?
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Jay Hemdal

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I don't think there is any real worry about disease transference to the chromis. If this is bacterial, the species involved is one found in your tank anyway, so unless the chromis gets injured, it won't get the same infection.

I can't see the spot you are referring to, sorry.

Jay
 
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I don't think there is any real worry about disease transference to the chromis. If this is bacterial, the species involved is one found in your tank anyway, so unless the chromis gets injured, it won't get the same infection.

I can't see the spot you are referring to, sorry.

Jay
Thanks, Jay. Looks like he's on his last breath so I was able to get a better picture. Looks a bit like an abrasion. Don't think I'll get a chance to try to treat him but I'd still appreciate any insight if this changes your opinion.
 

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Jay Hemdal

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Thanks, Jay. Looks like he's on his last breath so I was able to get a better picture. Looks a bit like an abrasion. Don't think I'll get a chance to try to treat him but I'd still appreciate any insight if this changes your opinion.
Oh! That didn’t show in the other pictures - that lesion is pretty typical of Uronema, an inter cellular protozoan commonly seen in newly acquired wrasses. It is not treatable by any means I’ve ever been able to find. By the time you see the lesion on the surface of the fish, the damage has already been done internally - sorry to see! The fin damage is not related.
Uronema is found free living in many aquariums, nobody knows why/how it gets into wrasse like this, but it shouldn’t be contagious. If you search the library here I have an article posted on “red band disease” - that is the same thing.

Jay
 
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Oh! That didn’t show in the other pictures - that lesion is pretty typical of Uronema, an inter cellular protozoan commonly seen in newly acquired wrasses. It is not treatable by any means I’ve ever been able to find. By the time you see the lesion on the surface of the fish, the damage has already been done internally - sorry to see! The fin damage is not related.
Uronema is found free living in many aquariums, nobody knows why/how it gets into wrasse like this, but it shouldn’t be contagious. If you search the library here I have an article posted on “red band disease” - that is the same thing.

Jay
@Jay Hemdal Post-mortem picture from this morning...amazing how quickly things went downhill.

I read your article (and a ton of other posts here and on humblefish). It sounds like uronema is pretty terrible to get in a display tank and near impossible to get rid of ---luckily this is an extra tank I use as a "visual" QT and corals I don't care much about. I'm more upset about the liverock & biofilter than anything else.

So far the Chromis look fine but it looks like they are more susceptible than any other species? I'm going to get some metroplex tomorrow and treat for 14 days. But it sounds like I should plan on never moving them (or anything else in this tank) to my main DT. Or can I put the Chromis through some QT in a clean tank and feel comfortable about moving them at some point without bringing along the uronema?
 

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As I said, inter cellular Uronema is not treatable using a bath, despite what you will read. One person reported curing it with an injection in a clownfish using an antibiotic, but no dose was offered when I asked. Chloroquine will reduce external numbers of Uronema in tanks, but nobody knows if that helps stop internal Uronema or not. I would quarantine the green chromis with copper and prazi, and after that time, consider them good to go. If your DT has been set up for any appreciable time, it most likely has Uronema in it already. Uronema feeds on bacteria under normal circumstances -
Jay
 

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