Exquisite Fairy Wrasse Died - what went wrong??

monkeysee1

Member
Hi again everyone!
Two weeks ago I ordered an Exquisite Fairy Wrasse (along with a cleaner shrimp and a couple of emeralds) from an online fish store that I've hadn't had any issues with. I'm surmising it was a female because of the lighter intensity of her coloring.
She came shipped as expected and was packed well in the styrofoam container. I acclimated her for three hours slow drip then I put her in quarantine. She did well for the first few days but about three days into quarantining I noticed she was lying belly up inside the PVC piping I have in the QT tank (to give my QT fish a place to hide and feel secure). I thought she was dead. I prodded the pipe a bit and she darted out. But at night she would lie in the corner of the tank motionless. A few days after THAT I noticed she was eating less and less. And she was breathing VERY heavily on her side. I freaked! To make a LONG story short, early this week (shortly after I got up) she was dead; the shrimp and emeralds pretty much had her picked clean.
I'm still trying to figure out what could have went wrong. The lighting for my QT isn't that strong, nor is the flow. I don't believe Scarlet Skunk Cleaner shrimps or Emerald Crabs are overly aggressive, so I DON'T think THAT was the issue. NO ammonia, Nitrites or Phosphates in my QT. pH was 8.1. Alk was 10 dkh. Nitrates were 10 ppm.
I'm STILL shell-shocked from this; she was a beautiful fish and I feel would have done will in my DT ( it is NOT an overly aggressive tank). Needless to say, it was not pleasant to see $120.00 go up in smoke. MORE than ONE online fish store I looked at stated that these wrasses were fairly easy to keep. My tank met the requirements of size, rock work and sand bed.
Any insight would be appreciated. Maybe wrasses are just too delicate of a fish?? :confused:
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
Sorry to hear your loss! It's always frustrating to loose a fish. Unfortunately it's impossible for us or suppliers to tell if a fish has any internal problems or infections. My guess is it had already had a problem and the stress of shipping just added to it's demise.
 

JohnL

RC Staff
Staff member
Admin
Sorry to hear your loss! It's always frustrating to loose a fish. Unfortunately it's impossible for us or suppliers to tell if a fish has any internal problems or infections. My guess is it had already had a problem and the stress of shipping just added to it's demise.

Agreed. Sorry for your loss.
 

monkeysee1

Member
Hi guys!
Yea, I was thinking along those lines as well- maybe she had something bugging her to begin with - although she didn't have any spots on her and her fins looked fine. Hmmm....
Or maybe wrasses just don't ship all that well.
Thanks for you response!
Lesson learned Won't be getting any more wrasses anytime soon. Guess I'm not THAT good at expert saltwater fish keeping yet. I'll stick to hardier fishes. :(
 

Anemone

Cloning Around
Staff member
RC Mod
Premium Member
The other possibility is ammonia toxicity. A three hour acclimation period is great if you need to match SG, but as soon as you open the bag non-toxic ammonia begins to be converted to toxic ammonia (in the presence of oxygen). If your fish has been in a bag for 12 or more hours, you have about 30 minutes to get the fish out of the bag before damage begins (gill, liver, kidney), unless you use an ammonia detoxifier. Death within a few days is common due to ammonia poisoning/damage.

Kevin
 

monkeysee1

Member
Wow Anemone, I'll have to remember that the next time I order any fish online. And I'm sure the shipping was stressful on her. I'll be a lot more careful and plan my ordering and unpacking better, and maybe next time give my online fish store the exact address of the Fed Ex center near me (it's only about thirty minutes away from where I live) so I can get there when it first opens, rather than waiting for the truck to deliver at my address, to cut some time off the fish is in the bag......
 

billdogg

Well-known member
The other possibility is ammonia toxicity. A three hour acclimation period is great if you need to match SG, but as soon as you open the bag non-toxic ammonia begins to be converted to toxic ammonia (in the presence of oxygen). If your fish has been in a bag for 12 or more hours, you have about 30 minutes to get the fish out of the bag before damage begins (gill, liver, kidney), unless you use an ammonia detoxifier. Death within a few days is common due to ammonia poisoning/damage.

Kevin

^^^This^^^

You just beat me to it.

Sorry for your loss. I use a syringe and needle to remove a little water from the bag and use it to test for specific gravity. Put a piece of tape over the tiny hole and float the bag in your QT while you match it to the SG off the bag. As soon as you have a match, open the bag and carefully drain all the water from it and let the fish go straight into the QT.
 

monkeysee1

Member
Excellent, bulldog - thank you for the advice! Do you use a net or a plastic cup with a handle to get your fish into the QT or DT??
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Safest method is to determine the salinity of the shipper (ask them) and pre-set your qt to that. Then on arrival, float for 15 minutes to adjust temperature (unless extraordinary) and then test the bag's salinity. If the same as you set it in the qt, re-test the qt to be absolutely sure, then put the fish right on across. Acclimation of temperature is usually 15 minutes. Acclimation of salinity is best done by preparation of matching salinity: no stress, no damage.
 
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