Strange wrasse behaviour

Moort82

New member
I have a whip fin fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus filamentosus) and have had it a couple of years. Its terminal phase male but not quite fully grown (around 3"). For the last ten days or so I've seen hardly anything of it. It was normally very bold and outgoing. It shares a tank with a Lubbock wrasse (2") and a yellow fin fairy (2"). There are other fish but none including the two mentioned have ever bothered it. I see they have a rep (whip fin that is) for being aggressive but this has never been anything but peaceful.
Nothing has been changed in the tank and the dynamic of the other fish seems exactly the same apart from the other two wrasse mentioned seem more active in the lower waters where the whip fin normally lived (what you'd expect really). I have seen it three times but only glimpses of it as it gently swims outside the rockwork before slowly heading back in. Its colour is good, there are no marks or signs of disease/damage. Basically apart from the shyness (was really bold and settled). I have no idea if its picking up food as it floats through the rockwork or hunting pods itself (I'm inclined to think that it isn't eating although it remains a good weight). When it has came out the other wrasse swam by and ignored it completely so I don't think there is any aggression. An illness is possible but there are no external signs and everything else is fine from the looks of things.
So basically I'm a little stuck, any ideas? I've seem elsewhere that wrasse can show similar symptoms when they are old but I'm not convinced its that old. Any help appreciated.

TIA
 

Deinonych

New member
Could be old age. They have a lifespan of about 5 years, and unless you got it as a juvenile there's no telling how old it was when you acquired it.
 

Moort82

New member
Thanks.

I've heard they are short lived but always assumed that was a "reef" age rather than captivity. By that I mean it doesn't have to worry so much about competition or fighting for its place in the hierarchy and it won't be warn out from spawning. So assumed they would live a much longer life (like my eight year old coral goby).
I know I've had it two years, it was a male when I got it so it could be old. It just doesn't really look old.
 

eatbreakfast

New member
When fairy wrasses get "old" I find their face gets a little misshapen, and they get "bulky" near the anterior of their dorsal and around their pectorals and their color fades. I have seen the lethargic, hiding behavior after darting quickly and hitting the glass or rocks, almost as if it was concussed.
 

Moort82

New member
Thanks

The colour and shape are still good as is its weight (slim and fit rather than porky if you get me).
Its hard to say whether it is lethargic or just not being very active (I know that sounds weird) but I think it could still dart around from the looks of it, rather that it chooses not to as there is no need.

The only thing that has me worried is I lost a H. cosmetus a couple of years ago where it just began to starve itself. It's colour was perfect and it was still active for weeks before finally giving up the ghost where it would partially bury and stay there.
I also had a yellow tang a year or so before that stopped feeding and over the course of a few months began to weaken.
Both of these fish were very old, tang 15 years in captivity (wasn't tiny when it was bought) and the wrasse was a large male when I got it and lived 4 or 5 years with me. They are also the only fish I've lost in the last few years and their tank mates are all a good few years old, so I don't think there is necessarily a problem in the tank but would like to rule everything out. Any thoughts?
 

Moort82

New member
The wrasse never came out after that and I found a spine a few days ago. The Lubbock's is now the top dog and harassing the yellow fin a bit, but I don't think it was the reason for the much larger whip fin's demise.
 
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