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FAQs on Wrasses 1

Related Articles: Wrasses, Wrasses of the CooksDragon Wrasse,

Related FAQs: Wrasses 2Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases

A Splendour Wrasse, Cheilinus, in captivity.

"Purple" Wrasse Hi, guys. Hope you have a good Easter weekend. I'm trying to id a wrasse my LFS has. It is listed simply as a purple wrasse. To me, it looks a lot like a Halichoeres marginatus except that it is a dark purple, rather than the H. marginatus coloring so I was thinking it might be a Halichoeres genus. The store isn't sure but thinks it probably isn't a Halichoeres. I've looked through Burgess, your site and other books for the fish without luck. Any idea on what it might be or where I could find it described? It's a real beauty and only $18 but I'd like some idea of what it might be. The store says they get them from time to time so it isn't some oddball rare fish. Thanks! Marc <couldn't say with confidence on the general description... please send a pic if you like.>

Wrasse ID Checked out the Mexican/Cortez Wrasse......it's definitely not that. It's not as colorful. I really love that whole genus but as you stated they would make quick work of my cleaner shrimp. I will continue my search. It's patter somewhat resembled the female Cortez, but the colors were quite different. Thanks for your help Anthony. PS.....I've also daydreamed about filling the basement...........? (hehe) <you are quite welcome, my friend. Send along a picture and I'm sure one of us can ID the fish. Kindly, Anthony>

Re: A fish at PetCo Hi Bob. I was down at a PetCo last evening (a big pet chain who also tries to sell a few saltwater fish) <Yes... very familiar... I largely built their "set", drygoods, livestock over three years before they initially went public in 1994...> and I saw a 3-4" wrasse in a small tank which looked fairly happy. The tank was unmarked, and the gals working there didn't know what type of wrasse he was, and eventually they found someone on staff who said confidently that he was a lunare wrasse. <Oh> My question to you: his coloring is nothing like a full-grown lunar wrasse. His body was goldish, he had a dark spot on his upper fin (in the same place as maybe a Christmas or pudding wife wrasse), but he did have some squiggly variation on his face. His shape looked more like a Halichoeres than a Thalassoma, to me. <A lot of Thalassoma wrasses look something of this as juveniles... and a few Halichoeres> Anyway, the young guy said he was sure he was a lunare, and his price was only $10.99. He looks like a very healthy fish, and I wondered what your thoughts were about putting something "unknown" into my reef tank (after proper dipping and a multi-week visit to quarantine, of course). <Life is full of calculated risks, and surprises. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your advice, as always. Jim Raub

Re: ID Pencil wrasse Any suggestions to ID or find out more about this fish? <Oh... took a look at your image... this is likely a Cigar Wrasse actually, Cheilio inermis. Here on Fishbase: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=5623&

and on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/wrasses.htm Not as hard to keep as Pseudojuloides spp... Bob Fenner> Joel Heidecker

Please help me ID this wrasse After having all the fish die in our tank except the unidentified wrasse (came free with the tank and ecosystem purchase). I am ready to slowly begin adding fishes again. I bought "The New Marine Aquarium" book per your advice. <Really? I have never advised the use of this book as far as I'm aware... have never read it myself> It has been 5 weeks or more since the die off, 2 water changes, added more live rock and all levels are perfect again. Now I just need to identify this wrasse. I have spent hours online trying to find this same species in a picture. The store originally told me it was an 8 line wrasse then another person said it was a banana wrasse. <Both are described, photos offered on our site, www.WetWebMedia.com the first here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudocheilinus.htm the second: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/halichoeres.htm> Based on this information I began looking for the answer. What I have found is that the fish does look similar to the banana wrasse except that it has 2 black spots. One at the tail and one at the fin on his back (I wanted to sound like I was knowledgeable and say dorsal fin, but what if I was wrong....I'd prove myself an idiot). He is extremely active and swims around doing spins and attempts to knock the snails (15 of them) off the glass continually. I believe he has them trained to only come out at night when he sleeps deep in a crevice and it is dark. Every morning when the light comes on they have been noticeably hard at work and the tank is clean. My goal is to begin adding fish and other items of interest so that my children can begin enjoying the tank more. My oldest daughter is autistic, she loves science and is fascinated with the tank and its mysterious happenings already. She was completely devastated when all of the fish died. The local store that we have is really very limited as far as their experience, we are the blind leading the blind. So I turn to you. Please help me with this wrasse. I may end up taking it back to the store if it isn't going to be compatible with our desired species. My daughter would like clowns, blennies, grammas, gobies, Anthias, black-axle Chromis, Firefish, and the purple tang. <All compatible with the first species, the second species of wrasse I would trade in at this point. There is variation in the Halichoeres hortulanus... take a look at the images on fishbase.org here by entering the species name... clicking on the image that comes up> My husband loves the soft corals. Our tank is 65 gallons. The other current inhabitants are an emerald crab, some red tipped hermit crabs, a spiny urchin, and a few brown crabs that were in the rock when purchased and we rarely see. Thank you so much, Trisha Montez <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Re: please help me ID I typed in black-axil Chromis and my daughter wanted me to send you the correction. She wants the Chromis viridis <viridis> not the black-axil. In fact she wants several. ;) Trisha <No worries. Even more mix-able. Bob Fenner>

Re: More > Hi Robert > > I'll take a look at the page again. BTW I got once the "bad named (your > > words)" yellow "Coris"....but he decided to jump out from my tank :( I > > wonder if I should give a second chance to one of these guys > > Edgar > > <Hmm, Halichoeres chrysus might still work your shrimps woe... Bob > Fenner> > Ok, I'll forget about those, I really like my shrimps :) > Edgar > <Ah, good. Be chatting. Bob Fenner> Yup :) I'm really surprised that you have answered so fast during this time and I really appreciate that. Not everyday you can talk with THE expert :) most of the times I just read your book. Edgar <Please do familiarize yourself with our website (www.WetWebMedia.com) and seek other considerate informed opinions on our Chatforum: http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ Bob Fenner>

Re: More Hi Robert > Thanks a lot for your fast answer, I'll follow your advice and get a small > wrasse for my tank. > Edgar > <I'd look to the genera Cirrhilabrus, Paracheilinus... Bob Fenner> > Oh, and these are covered on our site by genus. Example: > http://wetwebmedia.com/cirrhilabrus.htm I'll take a look at the page again. BTW I got once the "bad named (your words)" yellow "Coris"....but he decided to jump out from my tank :( I wonder if I should give a second chance to one of these guys Edgar <Hmm, Halichoeres chrysus might still work your shrimps woe... Bob Fenner>

Lost wrasse? Mr. Fenner I have a question about a Scott's Fairy wrasse. I purchased one 14 days ago. Put him in the tank he was eating and seem to be doing fine. No one else was bothering him. Two days after I put him in he disappeared! No trace. Couldn't have jumped cause I have a totally enclosed canopy. I have been told by a few experienced reef people that they have heard of this wrasse going into hiding for several days even a couple of weeks they all told me to be patient and wait sine I haven't seen any part of a carcass and no fish I was wondering if you know anything about this beautiful creature. Dave Brunsmann <Hiding for a day or so isn't uncommon... more than a few days is... Generally a hardy species... Cirrhilabrus scottorum... may have perished under the sand, been consumed by decomposers... any indication in measuring aspects of nitrogenous cycling? Any smiling house cats about? Bob Fenner>

Re: An unusual wrasse, Pteragogus flagellifer (not) Bob: Just back from a week of diving at Kiritimati (Christmas Island) in the Line Islands. Your Pteragogus is cryptus (one I described); Aloha, Jack <Yikes. Thank you Dr. Randall... will change in the system, WWM, original... Bob F con tail twixt legs>

(Re:) Tank specs for the wrasse use. This is the setup I should have sent with last e-mail. You can also see it with links I've sent earlier today. The main 65gall Tank setup is as follows. We have a 55 gall. capacity wet dry, with a 40 gall Eheim canister that is pushing water through our 40 watt UV. We also have protein skimmer good for a 70 gall tank. Since the tank likes running a little warm at 82 we have a fan run at night and 2 during the day. we are stabilizing at 82-81.5 for temp. We have 2 green Chromis, a Huma Huma Trigger, a Flame Angel, a Snow Flake eel, and now an Annularis Angel. <Still too small a system for all this fish life> We would like to add in the future a yellow tang even though their Ick prone, A dwarf lion, a sharp nose puffer, and a Royal Gramma I could take the Chromis out! <No! Really... you should either get a much larger system, or take out the trigger and Annularis... Bob Fenner> Thanks Again! JET

Re: Tank specs for the wrasse use. Is this opinion based on the fact these fish will grow? <Yes and to some degree for how large they are now... crowding malaffects can be defined physiologically (like by how much gaseous exchange a system affords) and psychologically (as in "stress" from crowding)... Your system is already maxed out by the latter measure. Your fishes are far more likely to "break down", succumb to various types of diseases by virtue of how mentally-emotionally they're pushed together... This "over-crowding issue" is very, very common in the aquarium hobby. I do wish I had the opportunity to take sharp, upcoming go getters as yourself on dive trips... for among other things you would experience is just how large the "living places" are for your livestock, and witness up-front the negative interactions that occur in the wild when different types of life "come together". Bob Fenner>

Re: Tank specs for the wrasse use. Well I have a 125-150 gall in storage and a 35 gall hex, it has just about everything I need. It was designed for a reef setup. <Ah! Fortunate> That is where I got the 40 watt UV. I have absolutely no room for it at the moment. <Behind the couch? Instead of the kitchen table?> I bought what cost this rich guy's 7000.00 setup for less than 1,000. It was a definite bargain! So I hope they won't grow fast anytime soon. I'll take the Chromis out after the treatments and add this wrasse. I realize This still won't decrease my bio load enough. I got to get this parasite thing under control. <What about the stress component? Please read through the pitch/presentation I gave at the most recent WMC posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com site, "The Three Sets of Factors that Determine Livestock Health"> Their is still itching and I'm 90% percent sure now the Annularis white spots are Ick! (smaller than usual) He's still eating good. The spots have not moved for days and have grown ever so slightly. Still no dots on the other fish, but an occasional itch is seen. JET <Read the cited section and related FAQs files. Bob Fenner>

Wrasse Hello Bob I wonder about the Wrasse family of fish. Some species don't  look alike at all . Their mouth, face shape, or physical features  are not the same in anyway. So could you tell me why a certain species belong to this family known as Wrasses: What do they have in common? And what do all Wrasses usually eat? Please tell me more about what they eat. Thank You.  <<Big, diverse family (600 plus species)... have a few physical traits in common... long dorsal and anal fins with spines and soft rays... Most with square/truncate caudals (tail fins). Large ctenoid (interdigitating scales), large caudal peduncles (part of the body before the tail).... most are opportunistic omnivores... meat, zooplankton eaters... that their mouths (some folks think name for family, "labros" refers to Greek word for "greedy"...)... Many do undergo bizarre changes in color, body shape with age, changing of sex... (go from undifferentiated or designated juveniles to females to males... to possibly super-males...). Bob Fenner, whose wrasse family pieces you can peruse at www.WetWebMedia.com>>

Pseudojuloides cerasinus Hey Bob While on Maui over Xmas I saw an incredible wrasse-- my dive manual identified it as the Smalltail wrasse-- Pseudojuloides cerasinus. Is this fish suitable as an aquarium animal in either a f/o or a reef system and is it ever available from suppliers? I've not been able to find it on any of the online sources like ffexpress.  Also, ffexpress has the dragon wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus) listed under their unsuitable list of animals. What about the adult form of Novaculichthys taeniourus (Rockmover wrasse)? Is it a decent aquarium species? and is it ever seen on the market? Thanks! Randy  <<Do know of the fish, P. cerasinus... hard to approach, but it is caught and sold into the trade from Hawai'i on occasion (and more rarely Micronesia). Unfortunately, like other members of the genus it does not fare well in captivity... most dying in a week or so... from? Transport shock? Stress in general? They're always found in dense coral settings... so maybe you'll be the one to keep them successfully... Ask your suppliers if you're interested... and IMO, do try to get a pair... though the females aren't nearly as attractive. Of the other six-hundred plus species of wrasses (you can see why nobody lists them all), the Rock Mover or Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys) is generally a tough species for aquarium use if you get an initially healthy specimen... maybe too tough... for most systems. This species gets larger (to more than eight inches), quickly and is a voracious feeder that often becomes a bully of easier going tankmates... and is a prodigious digger... toppling decor... So, is really only suitable with other aggressive fishes. Oh, and it's on the market most times of the year. Just ask for it... in the west as a Dragon Wrasse. Bob Fenner>>

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