Sudden death of new melanurus wrasse

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Hi everyone,

I'm floored.
I wanted a Melanurus Wrasse for a few months, and it showed up at my trusted LFS and so I bought him and brought him home, acclimated, and dropped him in the tank. I know quarantine is suggested, but I have no way of doing that before I renovate the house and I've been buying livestock from this LFS without issues.

Anyways, he dived straight to the sand, and burried right next to a rock with euphylias. So far, so good, as I expected him to hide as soon as he entered the display tank.

Next morning I saw him all active and swimming around, picking at rocks, and responded very well when I fed the tank mysis. When lights started to fade he went back to the sand.

Following morning I didn't see him and thought "well, that's odd, maybe he's not used to the tank light cycle yet, or just not rested enough", so I waited for a couple of hours and fed the tank mysis again to see if I could get him to pop out of hiding and nothing happened.

A few hours later I find my bristle worms eating away his gills as he was dead at the back of the tank.

The rest of the fish seem fine, active and eating well.

0 Ammonia, 0 Nitritate, Nitrates fluctuate between 5 and 10, phosphate is 0.12, alk is 8 dkH, salinity is 1.025 and temp is 78.8 F (26 ºC).

For sand dwelling creatures, I only have a sand shifting sea star. I have other CUC such as a scarlet hermit, turbo snails and a lot of pods and bristle worms.

The only tank creature that I think could harm him is a very big BTA, but I don't think I would be seeing the full fish body if that was the case.

I'm very sad with this loss as I've anticipated this fish for a while, and I don't know what happened. I've been hit with velvet before and it is heart shattering, but at least you know what is happening and can try to save your fish.

Any idea on what might have killed an apparently healthy fish.

Photo attached of the dead fish. Whitish dots are grains of sand, and redness on gills are where the bristle worms were eating away at it.

image2-1.jpeg
 

Miller535

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It is really hard if not impossible to say with Wrasse's. I think some of them, especially the kind that bury themselves like the Melanurus, tend to get really stressed when being added to a new tank. IMO if they make it through that period they are generally hardy. But at the same time Wrasse's are also known to have intestinal parasites. So it's really hard to know. I know you said you can't quarantine but it really does not take more then a 10 gallon tank to quarantine. At the very least I would always quarantine Wrasse's and treat for 2 weeks with Prazo Pro to eliminate internal parasites. I think this time also gives them time to settle down and adjust. Often times they are yanked from the ocean, go to a distributor for a day or so, then to the store, then to you, and several planes trains and automobiles in the middle. Time to settle down and actually eat is good.
 
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It is really hard if not impossible to say with Wrasse's. I think some of them, especially the kind that bury themselves like the Melanurus, tend to get really stressed when being added to a new tank. IMO if they make it through that period they are generally hardy. But at the same time Wrasse's are also known to have intestinal parasites. So it's really hard to know. I know you said you can't quarantine but it really does not take more then a 10 gallon tank to quarantine. At the very least I would always quarantine Wrasse's and treat for 2 weeks with Prazo Pro to eliminate internal parasites. I think this time also gives them time to settle down and adjust. Often times they are yanked from the ocean, go to a distributor for a day or so, then to the store, then to you, and several planes trains and automobiles in the middle. Time to settle down and actually eat is good.

I totally understand what you're saying about QT, but my problem is that the only space that will not have work done is the room where the tank is. I can only add a QT in the garage, but I'm afraid exhaust fumes might make more harm than good.
Also, if the fish had intestinal parasites shouldn't he be showing symptoms like not eating well, or lethargy? It just puzzles me that he looked so healthy and next day is dead and being eaten by the CUC. It's so frustrating :(
 

Miller535

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I totally understand what you're saying about QT, but my problem is that the only space that will not have work done is the room where the tank is. I can only add a QT in the garage, but I'm afraid exhaust fumes might make more harm than good.
Also, if the fish had intestinal parasites shouldn't he be showing symptoms like not eating well, or lethargy? It just puzzles me that he looked so healthy and next day is dead and being eaten by the CUC. It's so frustrating :(

I think with intestinal parasites it may or may not shows signs. Its really hard to tell with these buggers who burry themselves. They sleep buried, but they also bury when they are stressed and sick. Maybe hold off until your remodeling is done and you can quarantine.
 
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I think with intestinal parasites it may or may not shows signs. Its really hard to tell with these buggers who burry themselves. They sleep buried, but they also bury when they are stressed and sick. Maybe hold off until your remodeling is done and you can quarantine.

Yeah, I think I will hold this off while I get things done around the house. Was really looking forward for this fish, but I rather do this right next time around.
 

Miller535

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Yeah, I think I will hold this off while I get things done around the house. Was really looking forward for this fish, but I rather do this right next time around.

Right, I've been in your shoes. It's really heartbreaking and sad when you lose a fish, especially one you have really wanted for a while. Better to wait then go through that again.
 

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