This week’s AquaNerd Picture of the Week shies away from our normal view of beautifully flourishing marine aquarium life and shines a little light on its darker side. The subject of our POTW is a dead and dessicated sixline wrasse, the victim of its own trangressions. This particular fish, for reasons unknown, jumped out of the aquarium and landed somewhere where it remained unseen for many months. Its death was probably due to asphyxiation because out of water, the fish’s gills are not supported and collapse on themselves. This prevents oxygen from being into the fish’s bloodstream, obviously leading to its death.
Despite that this is a likely eventuality for many fish, it is almost completely avoidable. Open top aquariums are far more common today than in previous years, and fish are no longer kept in the tank by aquarium canopies or low hanging light fixtures. Instead, they end up carpet surfing when nobody is around to save them. Fortunately, there is a very convenient solution. Many aquarists who keep wrasses or gobies have resorted to usin a mesh material to layer over their tanks. This keeps the fish in and also allows light to bath the corals lying below. It’s a cheap and easy fix, but aquarists don’t always utilize tools like these.