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krak256
06/01/2009, 03:25 PM
I ordered a leopard wrasse from Live Aquaria last week and it came in on Friday. Everything was packaged beautifully and the wrasse wasn't DOA. It reacted to me opening the bag and swimming a bit. I used a float acclimation method, pouring water in every 5 mins or so for an hour. After that, I released the wrasse in my tank and threw the bag water out.

After I released the wrasse, it just floated down to the bottom of my tank. I think it had gas in its swim bladder because every time it tried to swim off the sandbed, it would turn upside down with its stomach facing upward.

The next day I found the wrasse swimming erratically around the tank and then it stopped and died.

I was wondering what caused this and whether Live Aquaria has had lots of people calling in to get replacements. Also, why doesn't LA ship the leopard wrasses with a 2 inch sandbed in the bag?

A few resources online cite this as a reason for losses:
"Leopard wrasses are shipped from the collection site to the wholesaler, and finally to the retailer, in specimen bags that do not contain sand (Lidster, pers com). The result is a fish that is extremely stressed and usually beaten up from its constant unsuccessful attempts to bury itself within the specimen bag. Damage to the mouth is imminent and highly probable. Excessive damage to the mouth will hinder their ability to eat, thus leading to starvation. Other areas to observe are the tail and fins for tears, or the body for scrapes or burns. A simple 2-inch layer of sand inside the shipping bag would eliminate a large percentage of these injuries."
(http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-07/hcs3/index.php)

dfs/la2
06/01/2009, 04:52 PM
krak256,

Thank you for your post. We sincerely apologize for the loss of your Leopard Wrasse. As of this time, we do not add sand to our specimen shipments. A previous thread further addressing our decision on this practice can be found here (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1364849). If you would please PM us with your order information, we would be happy to further look into this matter.

Mike S.
LiveAquaria (http://www.liveaquaria.com)
Drs. Foster and Smith (http://www.drsfostersmith.com)