Wrasses don't ship well?

hkgar

New member
Apparently Wrasses don't ship well? I received an Lubocks, Carpenter and Hoevens today and drip acclimated for two hours. The Carpenter did not look good during acclimation and within 4 hours of going into the QT he was gone. The Hoeven is looking poorly and laying behind a piece of PVC pretty much on his side - doubt he will make it.

The fish came from Live Aquaria and they are great and have already credited my card back for the Carpenter, but I don't really like getting DOA fish. This has happened before with Wrasses I have purchased.
 

gone fishin

New member
I guess I have been lucky. I have got a Hoevens, mcKosker, clown fairy, red flasher and Exquisite from LA. All doing well. I hope you have some better luck and what you got makes it.
 

Mr.C

New member
I think I read that wrasses that are changing phases have a tough time shipping, but once they get to their terminal phase they do better? I know wrasse can act funny for quite some time before they get comfortable in their new surroundings.

I bought 3 terminal phase males from DD and they arrived in good health. Two of them did have me worried because after acclimating and adding to tank they were laying on their sides on the sand. An hour later they were fine.

Sorry about the loss, DD customer service is always top notch.
 

hkgar

New member
I think I read that wrasses that are changing phases have a tough time shipping, but once they get to their terminal phase they do better? I know wrasse can act funny for quite some time before they get comfortable in their new surroundings.

I bought 3 terminal phase males from DD and they arrived in good health.

The Carpenter was a young male. No info on stage of the Hoeven.
 

phillrodrigo

New member
Ive always heard the same thing they dont ship well. Everytime ive gotten a wrasse from blue zoo they look like crap almost dead but they come right back. They will even tell you that wrasses dont ship well but mine have always snapped out of it. I got a mccoskers last week I swore wasnt gonna make it. I acclimated it and as soon as it went into my tank he looked like he had been there for awhile. It even ate a few hours later
 

hkgar

New member
drip acclimated for two hours


this could be the problem.... not such a good idea for fish.

WHAT? Don't acclimate? Two hours too long? Drip inappropriate?

Never heard that drip acclimation was not good. What are you talking about. How about saying what you mean and not being cute.
 

zeebies

Member
drip acclimated for two hours


this could be the problem.... not such a good idea for fish.

Agree. Could be problematic.

After a brief temp acclimation, fish should go into a QT that has been set up to match the salinity of the fish bag water. Then the salinity can be raised to your DT salinity over a few days.

Do you know the salinity of the shipping bag water?
 

r-balljunkie

Registered Reefer
wrasses are a pretty hearty lot, overall when compared to other groups of fish.

FWIW, I don't drip acclimate at all....not even temperature match and I have a really high success rate.

when I get back to the states, i'll at least move towards temp matching, but from my observations, fish can take a pretty big swing in both temp and salinity differences. I hit thermoclines all the time diving.....the fish have to deal with the same thing.

I hit changes in salinity (tidal changes, run off) from time to time.....the fish have to deal with the same thing.

2 hours might be a bit much.
 

MrClam

New member
The readers digest explanation on drip acclimation:

DO drip and temp acclimate for fish obtained from a LFS. They are only in the bag for a short period and do not build up ammonia in the water.

DONT drip acclimate shipped fish (temp acclimate only). Try to match salinity as closely as possible. Any stress from slight mismatch is far outweighed by the stress of ammonia toxicity. Fish spend many hours in a small bag of water and thus build ammonia, but the falling O2 content of the water limits ammonia's toxic form. Once you open the bag the ammonia is converted to the toxic form again, which rapidly poisons the fish. Some ppl suggest drip acclimating for a short period (10-15mins) but even this is plenty for ammonia to become toxic.

As for the wrasses, I have noticed every one I ordered came in looking like death. They almost "play dead". I have found it important to provide total blackout conditions and hiding places in QT to allow them to adjust slowly. Using this method I didnt have a single one die.
 

JTJreef

Member
I don't have any experience with wrasses being shipped. I've bought quite a few fish online though. I always put a few drops of prime in to detoxify the ammonia as soon as I open the bag. I've had good success doing this before I start to drip them.
 

ca1ore

Grizzled & Cynical
If you are putting new fish into a QT system there is no reason to drip acclimate any fish EVER! Vast majority of fish are kept/shipped in water with a salinity of 1.020 or lower, so simply set your QT initially to that level. Once the fish arrive, check the salinity in the bag, and further adjust your QT to match. Float the bag for 15-20 mins. tops to equalize temperature and net the fish into the tank. FWIW, I do this for all my new fish - whether they came from a LFS down the street or from across the country. You can then adjust the salinity back up to 1.025 over the course of a few weeks.

If you are putting new fish directly into your DT ..... well, you should be using a QT.
 

GroktheCube

New member
I make sure salinity is matched. I keep the initial QT at NSW strength and ~70% filled. If the fish is shipped in lower salinity, I add RO/DI to match. I usually do a temperature acclimation and then just dump them. IMHO, the minor shock of the pH swing is more than made up for by getting into water with zero ammonia and high oxygen.

The only things I really drip acclimate nowadays are sensitive inverts, but even with those I'm not sure it really helps too much. Corals I always just pull out of the bag and pop right in (following a dip for SPS), I don't even bother with temp.
 

Nina51

biggliest cofveve champ
i feel your pain but my situation was a little different. i, too, ordered a mccosker's and a carpenter's from LA. unfortunately, UPS delivered to the wrong address, the package sat out in the sun on a very hot day, and i got it 6 hours late. the carpenter's was in very bad shape and didn't survive. the mccosker's was iffy but after being in qt for a couple of hours, he bounced back and even ate almost immediately. he's doing great now.

i did get a credit for the carpenter's from LA without even asking. their customer service is awesome, as is their livestock!
 

hkgar

New member
The readers digest explanation on drip acclimation:

DO drip and temp acclimate for fish obtained from a LFS. They are only in the bag for a short period and do not build up ammonia in the water.

DONT drip acclimate shipped fish (temp acclimate only). Try to match salinity as closely as possible. Any stress from slight mismatch is far outweighed by the stress of ammonia toxicity. Fish spend many hours in a small bag of water and thus build ammonia, but the falling O2 content of the water limits ammonia's toxic form. Once you open the bag the ammonia is converted to the toxic form again, which rapidly poisons the fish. Some ppl suggest drip acclimating for a short period (10-15mins) but even this is plenty for ammonia to become toxic.

As for the wrasses, I have noticed every one I ordered came in looking like death. They almost "play dead". I have found it important to provide total blackout conditions and hiding places in QT to allow them to adjust slowly. Using this method I didnt have a single one die.

Thanks your explanation was best at explaining why drip is bad. So many responses were DO NOT DRIP, but with no reasons why.

The amonia issue was something I should have thought of on my own, but my poor mind just never went there.

It goes along with my never qting for 9 years in this hobby and then BANG hit with ick and lost 9 fish. That is why I know QT.

Two years with QT and no deaths except one Wrasse that I contributed to bad luck until I ordered these three. Another lesson learned. I apologize to the reefing community that I have had to learn at the expense of the lost fish.

By the way the Hoeven is doing great today.
 

hogfanreefer

Active member
Almost every fairy and flasher wrasse I've got on line has "played dead" and looked bad on arrival. Only one that didn't survive.

How do you guys check the salinity in the bag and then float it without exposing it to air and causing the pH swing to start?

I just ask the vendor what salinity they ship at and set my QT to that. Never been more than 0.001 off and that shouldn't be tough on the fish.
 

ca1ore

Grizzled & Cynical
How do you guys check the salinity in the bag and then float it without exposing it to air and causing the pH swing to start?

I just stick the refractometer pipette into the bag quickly and then seal it up again. The few minutes it takes to then adjust the salinity of the QT aren't likely to be a problem.
 
Top