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FAQs on Thalassoma Wrasses 1

Related Articles: Thalassoma Wrasses

Related FAQs: Thalassoma Wrasses 2, Thalassoma Identification, Thalassoma Behavior, Thalassoma Compatibility, Thalassoma Selection, Thalassoma Systems, Thalassoma Feeding, Thalassoma Disease, Thalassoma Reproduction, Wrasses, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse BehaviorWrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,  

Thalassoma jansenii in an aquarium in Fiji.

Do you consider a Lunare Wrasse reef safe (except with shrimp)?  - 02/16/2006 <... on a sliding scale of 1 to 10...> Will it damage other inverts and corals? Thanks, Kent <Unless in a large (hundreds of gallons), I give this and most Thalassoma species a low score. Bob Fenner> Spitting lunar wrasse  2/8/06 Hey Bob, <Yo> I observed something interesting in my tank this evening.  One of my fish is an adult lunar wrasse, approximately 6 inches long.  I feed chopped up fresh sea food that is just dropped into the tank and frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms.  I put the brine shrimp and bloodworms in a "worm basket" to feed.  I do not know if that is the proper name, but it is what the folks at my LFS called it.  Anyway, it is a plastic mesh cone that the food sits in to slowly dissolve in the tank.  Well, I can not just leave it suction cupped to the glass because my wrasse will rip it off the wall.  So, I hold the cone in the water for a few seconds to let some food dissolve and then I pull it out until most of it is eaten.  Then I put it back in, let some dissolve, and remove it again.  I do this until all the food is slowly dissolved.  All of that to say this: I noticed tonight that when I pull the feeder out of the water, my wrasse will come to the surface and spit water at the feeder.   <Neat> I saw him spit it as far as 3-4 inches.  It was really an interesting behavior.  I have seen this behavior demonstrated with freshwater Amazon fish, but not with reef fish.  I cannot imagine that is a typical behavior, but one this fish has learned due to my feeding technique. <And who says fishes are dumb? Bob Fenner>

USW - Unidentified Swimming Wrasse  12/10/05 Hi Bob, <Bob is out diving just like you were, and I bet he's taking pictures too. Today you get Adam helping you out.> I wonder if you can help me to identify the wrasse on the attached photo?  The picture is a video capture taken in about 30 feet of water off Pacific Harbour, Fiji. As you can probably see there were a small group living with damselfish round a small coral head on a wreck. <Very nice picture, your wrasse looks to be a Thalassoma lunare, most folks just refer to it as the Lunare Wrasse.> Many thanks
<Quite welcome.>
<Adam J.>

Strange growth under gill plate  11/15/05 Hi, <Howdy> I have a lunar wrasse in a 90 gal tank along with a queen angel, <Will get too large... psychologically first, then if it survives, physiologically, for this system> a Condy anemone and some hermit crabs. The problem is with the wrasse. He has a strange growth protruding from under his gill plate, toward the rear. It sticks out just past and along the edge of the back part of the gill plate. It is bubble-like in appearance and sort of translucent, not a solid looking mass of tissue. Kind of like little water filled balloons (it looks as strange as it sounds). It labors his breathing and he is more lethargic now.  He has been lethargic with a decrease in appetite for several months and I suspected something was wrong. Well, this problem is visible now with this growth or whatever coming out from under his gill plate. It has been visible for several weeks now. He's been doing ok for a while now with it, other than the aforementioned symptoms and just not being his normal energetic and curious self. <Likely the actual gill, branchiostegal (supporting member) itself... from a physical trauma... a bump, or jump...> The system parameters are in healthy ranges - salinity 1.023-1.025 pH 8.1 temp. 76-78* Amm. 0 Nitrates 40 Nitrites 0 Everything else in the tank is fine and show no signs of illness. Do you have any idea what this could be? Any help is appreciated. Thanks! Tim <This genus, species of wrasse/s are very active... the Angel could have "spooked" it... Not much to do re... but hope for a self-cure. Bob Fenner> 

Re: strange growth under gill plate  11/16/05 Thanks for the response. I've been watching it over time and it seems to be slowly growing/getting bigger. Would that be typical if it were caused by trauma? <Mmm, yes... if not directly fatal, often this critically important tissue will enlarge, over-grow such traumas> What concerns me most is the length of time that this has been a problem; it doesn't seem to getting any better; if anything, worse.  Also, were you referring to the angel or the wrasse about getting too big? Thanks again for your help. <The Queen. Bob Fenner>

Re: strange growth under gill plate  11/16/05 Hey Bob, Sorry to keep bothering you with this same problem. <No worries> I looked up in fishbase the gill area, i.e. branchiostegal and membrane. That all looks normal on this fish. The growth is underneath that and coming from inside, out towards the back of the gill opening. <Mmmm, could be a goiter... a tumorous growth related to Chromaffin tissue... akin to Thyroids in tetrapods> It is getting bigger/swelling more.  Is there anything else inside there that could swell like this or is it maybe a growth of some other tissue?  <Yes... I would immediately try adding iodine/iodate (Lugol's solution) to the fish's foods, and to the tank water once a week> I'm afraid I'm going to lose this fish eventually and just would like to get this identified to see if anything can be done, so I appreciate you patience and help. <Sorry for not mentioning this possibility earlier. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Re: strange growth under gill plate  11/17/05 Bob, <Tim> I got the Lugol's solution from Kent Marine. It gives directions for adding it to the water, but no info on how to use it in food. Should I use part of the recommended dosage in the food and the other part in the water?  <A drop or two per food session is about right... ten, fifteen minutes before offering> Do I only dose the food once a week - along with the water as you mentioned? Or does it need to be in the food daily/more frequently for now? It seems you really need to be careful with this stuff from what it says and I don't want to over do it (or under either). Thanks again for all your help! Tim <Correct... In general one only wants to provide iodine/ide with testing. Not a real problem at this juncture, in your circumstances. Bob Fenner>

Re: strange growth under gill plate - Almost Instant Success!  11/18/05 Great, I'll stick to that regimen until this clears up. I gave him a drop last night in his food and, I tell ya Bob, this fish already looks a whole lot better! He is swimming around a lot and eating much better. The swelling has gone down too. I think you nailed this one. I can't thank you enough for your help and patience with this. It's much appreciated! Blessings, Tim <Ah, glad to hear of the fish's improvement, your success. Bob Fenner>  Wrasse concerns 10/9/05 Hi, <Hello> I'm sort of concerned about a lunar wrasse that I have. For a few weeks now, his appetite has tapered and he is lying on the bottom a little more than usual. <How big a tank, of what make-up, chemistry?> I've also noticed, for some time now, that he breathes rapidly. Is this normal for this fish? <Yes> As far as I know, he's always breathed rapidly. But with the decline in his eating and being somewhat more lethargic, I'm wondering if something is wrong. Other than that, he looks normal and healthy.  Up until just yesterday, he has been alone in the tank for several months. This after his Picasso trigger buddy jumped out of the tank to his demise. He now shares the tank with a queen angel. Thanks for any help! <... Please read re Thalassoma wrasses on WWM. Bob Fenner> 

Constipation... ASAP fish help?!  9/21/05 Hello, <Hi there> I have a Red Sea Lunar  Wrasse whom is severely constipated, I just recently noticed that his rectum is swollen and red.. I called the local pet store and they said to feed him Spirulina to loosen his bowels.  This is a rare fish in which we paid quite a bit of money for and are very fond of....my question is can he die from this? <Yes> thanks for any information you can provide me with <I would quickly move this fish to separate quarters and administer (add) about a level teaspoon per five actual gallons of system water of Epsom Salt (Magnesium sulfate) to the water... monitor behavior, aspects of cycling. The Spirulina takes too long, may not work... be eaten. Bob Fenner>

Normal lunare wrasse behavior  09/13/2005 Hi, <Hello Shelly> I was reading your FAQs regarding lunare wrasses, but I did not come across anything particularly relating to my fish situation.  We have kept a lunare wrasse in a 75 gal. aquarium for about 5 or 6 months now.  Tankmates include 1 snowflake moray eel, 2 domino damsels and assorted snails and hermit crabs.  We had a lionfish who died suddenly about a month ago.  There were no signs anything was wrong with that fish.  Just one morning, I woke up to find it belly up.  After that, I had the water checked and levels were perfect.  So we don't know what happened with the lionfish. <Diet?>  The only thing I can think of is perhaps it was injured by another fish.  At any rate, my concern now is with the wrasse.  It seems to be resting on the bottom of the tank for a few seconds, then gets up and swims around for a while, and goes back on the bottom.  Is that normal? <Wrasses do rest quite often.  Don't know what it's behavior was before the lion death.> It also likes to hide in some of the rocks (which I gather from your site is normal).<Yes>  Coloration and eating habits are fine.  I am just worried that it is coming down with something (maybe that the lionfish had?), and wondering what I can do.  I am going to take the water to get tested again today. <Shelly, lunare wrasses like meaty foods, and vitamins should be part of their diet.  A few drops of Selcon in their food does wonders.  Wrasses also like to burrow in a sand substrate.  Crushed coral etc is much too coarse for their skin.  Ten percent water changes weekly add to the health of fish also.  James (Salty Dog)> Thank you for your help. <You're welcome> Shelly

Sick Lunare Wrasse 07/01/05 Hi Guys <And the divine goddesses here...> As you have helped me out in the past thought I might try again. I have a very sick Lunare wrasse. Have had him for some time now around 8 months and he has always had a bit of a belly Recently it started getting larger and he had a few white patches develop around the swelling. He is in a five foot x2x4 tank all by himself and the water quality is good. I thought it was possibly a bacterial infection So have treated him with the relevant LFS treatments, he has not responded and has become worse. I have been to the vets who also think it is bacterial and have given me some stronger antibiotics which I am now treating him with in a separate hospital tank. They have said if this does not work then they can inject however the mortality rate is high so am trying to avoid this. As he does not appear to be responding to the antibiotics is there anything else this could possibly be? <My first and best guess... as you state the fish has always had a belly... is an internal parasite... I would try (in succession) an anthelminthic (like Praziquantel) and Metronidazole (in foods)...> I have also notice a small hole developing behind his gills however it looks only skin deep at this stage? As the water is okay wondered if I am not feeding him the correct diet, have been feeding a mix of cockles and small mussels (rarely) is there anything better I could be feeding him? <A wider mix of meaty, marine-originating foods. Fresh or frozen/defrosted, home-made or store bought> Thanks any advice would be appreciated. Kind Regards Leigh <Please read re the use of the stated medicines on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Lunare wrasse I love your site. It is at the top of my favorite bookmarks. I have a 110 gal tank with a dogfaced puffer and a Fiji Damsel (blue). I have 40 lb of sand and about 25 lbs of rock (base rock and live rock mixed).  The tank has been running for about 3 months.  I am thinking of getting a lunare wrasse but I don't want anything that is going to hurt my puffer: I love him way too much ;)  I am looking for something to add color and more character to the tank. (not that the puffer isn't full of character!)  I am also looking for something hearty.  I have a 10 gal QT that is well established, even has some snails in it. That is where any new fish will spend at least 3 or 4 weeks.  Do you think a lunare wrasse  would be a wise choice for my tank?  If not a wrasse, how about a yellow tang? <The Lunare Wrasse would be fine, keeping in mind they can attain a length of 10 inches.  They do like meaty foods and should not be placed in a reef tank.  You didn't mention corals or inverts so I'm assuming this is a fish only tank.  The lunare does like to burrow in sand for the night as other wrasses do, so be sure you have about three inches of sand.  James (Salty Dog)> thanks very much <You're welcome, Beth> Beth Lunare Wrasse - 06/08/05 Hi, recently purchased a lunare wrasse and have him in a quarantine tank. <<Kudos! to you.>> After doing some research I am a little nervous about adding him into our 45g tank with a spotted Hawkfish, bar goby, green Chromis, snails, shrimp and hermit crabs. <<Um...that's why we advocate doing the research "before" you make the purchase <G>.>> Do you think I have any worries about everybody getting along.  (while in the quarantine tank we have lost a snail). <<Susie...I think your snails, shrimp, and hermit crab are all in jeopardy from the wrasse...and a mature (4") Spotted Hawk may reek some havoc in the future as well.>> Can you also suggest some additional tank mates? <<You're gonna fill that 45 up pretty quick, but if you want to keep your inverts, and considering your current residents, I would suggest returning the wrasse and replacing it with one of the pygmy (Centropyge) angels.  Flame angels (Centropyge loricula... my vote) are hardy, beautiful specimens.>> Thanks for your help.  Susie <<Regards, Eric R.>>

- Lunare Wrasse Problems - Hi- I recently got some saltwater fish for my saltwater fish tank. It's a 40 gallon tank. I had 2 clownfish, and a firefish. They were all living together for about a week. I just got a lunare wrasse. When I bought it in the store, they told me it was a marble wrasse, but I looked it up on the internet, and the picture for the marble wrasse did not look like my fish, but the lunare wrasse picture does. My fish has a long, green body, with pink swirls on the face and yellow on the tail, which I think looked like the lunare wrasse. If you could verify that for me, that would be appreciated. <There are a couple of wrasses that bear this facial coloration. Would suggest you look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/thalassoma.htm > My main concern however, is that the wrasse apparently killed my firefish. They were fine last night when I first put the wrasse into the tank, and this morning they were fine too. I went home on my lunch break, and discovered that the wrasse had the firefish in its mouth, and it was dead. <Circumstantial evidence - quite possible the poor firefish was already dead before the wrasse decided to snack on it.> Now, I was told when I bought the wrasse, that it was a peaceful fish, and would not harm the other fish. <Mmm... well, it's true to some extent, but they are territorial and given to fairly boisterous behavior which other fish can find distressing. Not necessarily mean like a queen trigger.> I really don't think that the firefish died on its own though, because it seemed to be doing fine. <Can happen.> I just called the store where I bought the wrasse, and they said that it was very unusual that the wrasse would kill another fish, even if they are much smaller than it, and that wrasses are generally peaceful fish. <Generally. Is like the line from the young girl, Newt, in the movie Aliens, "The mostly come at night... mostly."> The only thing I can think of is that the firefish had a long spike on top of it's head that would move up and down, I wonder if that could have provoked the wrasse. <Doubt it.> Please let me know what I should do. I don't really want to take the wrasse back to the store because I like it, and hope that this was a one time thing that happened, but I don't want it to harm my clownfish, and any other fish that I will get. <Well... if you truly like this fish, you need to consider your future plans as this tank is too small for its long term needs.> Please tell me as soon as possible what to do here. Your response will be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot. <Cheers, J -- >

Aggressive Lunare Wrasse (You Can Say That Again!) - 5/11/05 Hi,  <Hello, Steve Allen with you tonight.> I have a 75GL tank with 40lbs of live rock. I currently have a maroon clown, Foxface, Flame Angel, and Lunar Wrasse, and a coral banded shrimp.  <Both the Lunare Wrasse and the Foxface will eventually need a much bigger tank.>  Since adding the wrasse about a month ago we have lost a camel shrimp, bi colored blenny and diamond goby all of which he had for dinner.  <These Wrasses are voracious eaters of pretty much any creature they can get in their mouths either whole or in pieces.>  We recently added the flame angel and for the first couple of days the wrasse wouldn't leave it alone. They seem to get along okay now and it does not seem to bother the rest of the fish except for a clipped fin on the clown every so often.  <Which is always an infection risk.>  I would like to add one more fish and wonder if you have any suggestions on what type of fish could hold his own with the wrasse and be compatible with my existing fish.  <Your tank is already full. Adding more would be a mistake. Nothing small enough that can be added will be able to deal with the Flame or the Lunare, both of which tend to be aggressive. Time to start saving and planning for a 120+G in a couple years or to trade the Wrasse and the Rabbit in for more suitable (i.e. smaller adult size) fish.>  My other option would be to return the wrasse but I actually kind of like him.  <They are beauties, but grow to nearly a foot and are very active swimmers--need more space.>  Thanks, Mike  <You're welcome. There are a lot of hard decisions in this hobby. Good luck.> 

Compatibility of Lunare Wrasse, Intro. to a Tough Crowd Hey Crew!! <Lucius> I am a fellow hobbyist who has been a daily reader of your FAQ's. I have learned so much from you guys! Thank You! This is my second time asking you guys a compatibility question. The first time I asked about adding a clown trigger to my tank. Thank you for steering me clear of that disaster!  I have another compatibility question this time. I have a 250 gallon tank that has a Eheim 2028 canister filter, a 10 gallon refugium with macro-algae, a UV sterilizer, an Aqua-C Remora Pro skimmer, a denitrator, about 100 lbs. of live rock, and 3-4 inches of crushed coral substrate.  I have a rough and tumble system with a 7-inch blue-lined grouper, a 6.5-inch Hawaiian black trigger, a 5-inch Picasso trigger, a 6-inch regal blue tang, a 4-inch porcupine puffer, a 4-inch yellow tang, and a 4-inch maroon clown. Everyone gets along well except for an occasional nipped fin here and there.  I would like to add one more fish to complete my masterpiece!! I am thinking about adding a lunar wrasse to this fun bunch. I saw a beautiful 5-inch lunar wrasse and my LFS that I would love to add for its color and personality. I have heard that lunar wrasses can be extremely aggressive, but, honestly, that is the only kind of fish I could add to these aggressive fish. Please let me know what you think. Your help will be much appreciated and needed. <Actually this is a very good choice for your system, current livestock... fast and smart and otherwise easygoing... should do fine here. Bob Fenner> 

Sick angel? And Wisdom on Thalassoma lucasanum Dear Crew, <Hi there> I have a Pygmy Coral Beauty Angel and a few days after I bought him, I notice white spots appearing on it. They are random all over the fish. They might be raised or on the skin, but the fish is always swimming through the rocks that I can never get a good look. I have not seen the fish scratch itself, swim unusually, show any signs of stress, or lose any color. The strange thing is, the spots appear at about 6 or 7 o'clock each night and last until the morning, but when I get home at about 4:00, the spots are gone. Could this be ich or some other disease? <Is almost assuredly Cryptocaryon... good description of a case/situation in which the parasite is gaining ground during the day, cycling off at night> I have read on your site that sometimes pods will attach to fish, could this be happening?  <Highly unlikely> At about 6:00 the sun goes down, and so the room will get a little darker, even though I have a light on the tank. I know that pods become more active at night when there is less light, so, I didn't know if that slight change in light would be enough to leave the rocks the angel is always swimming through and attach to her. Sorry I can't send you a picture, but I don't have my digital camera that works to photo my fish with me.  On a better note, I have seen pictures of the beautiful Thalassoma lucasanum or Paddlefin Wrasse. I have not found much info about it on your site or others. I have some questions about it,  1) Are they ok to be kept single? 2) What do they eat? 3) Will the wrasse be compatible with my current fish (2 perculas, orchid Dottyback, coral beauty angel, Huma Huma trigger, spotted Hawkfish)? 4) How hardy/ easy to keep are they? <Yes, most all meaty foods, likely yes, and about medium> And if you have any other information I might need to know to keep one, please let me know. <I would be studying re ich/crypt... looking into a treatment/quarantine tank... removing, treating all fish livestock... and the rationale for these actions... on WWM. Bob Fenner> 

Fish Keep Biting the Hand That Feeds... Sorry to pester you guys. I have been trying to find an answer to my question but when I put in fish bites or fish attacks I get all kinds of things that don't pertain to my question. I'll get right to it. I have had good luck with my fish until recently. I added a neat piece of live rock about 2 months ago, since then my fish are going crazy. They've all been together for over a year with no additions other than a Chocolate Chip star which they seem not to mind. But the second I added this rock my blue damsel got all defensive about it.  < Could be defending an area for mating reasons, but in new tanks I seriously doubt it. However, it could be defending a food source, and if you don't have much algae in your tank than this is very likely. >  He has had chunks taken out of him by other fish fighting him for it. I put him in the QT tank and when I brought him back up I had rearranged all the rocks. He found it again and it attacking everything, including the magnet when we clean, our hands when we clean, etc. Then tonight I went to feed the starfish, he was on the bottom on the sand and I wanted to give him some shrimp, so I put my hand in to pick him up and my Paddlefin Wrasse bit me. It hurt and bled quite a bit. That's never happened before. Any idea why my fish are going crazy?  < It may be a lack of food, or a lack of natural settings in your tank. They are defending an area heavily because it is the only nice place in the tank. > The Wrasse doesn't care about the live rock the damsel is so enamored of so he wasn't defending that. Have you heard of wrasses attacking their meal tickets? I know Thalassoma wrasses are pretty aggressive but Paddlefins are supposed to be pretty calm I thought.  < Actually I love wrasses. But no, I have no idea why this would happen. Sounds a little odd. >  Now I'm scared to put my hand back in the tank! I have heard of triggers biting, but our damsel tries to bite (just bumps into your hand) and now the wrasse! It sounds like I have my hands in the tank all the time, which is not the case and I usually wear long gloves when I'm cleaning it out but tonight I was in a hurry. Thanks so much for your time and your wonderful insight!  < Well, not much I can say except I would consider adding a few more pieces of nice live rock. I think that will help. > Amy < Blundell > 

Lunar Wrasse Greetings and Salutations Bob Fenner, <Salutem dicit Chris> Bob I recently purchased a Lunar Wrasse and presently house it in a 90 gallon tank with a bunch of other fish like; tang, clown and other. I also have a predator tank or more aggressive tank with lionfish, trigger and butterfly. The question is this, I need to buy a bunch of snails and stuff however the wrasse annoys them and probably eats them. <Yes> Every time I buy a new order my wife say's that the Lunar is fine dining. I have been trying to scoop him out over the past 3 days (I leave a net hanging in the aquarium) with no luck, however the other fish are starting to get annoyed, any suggestions? <Two nets... and perhaps help from your wife to net this fish out and move it in with the other tanks inhabitants. Bob Fenner>

Wrasse Identification Hi, I have been eyeing a wrasse at the LFS for the last few weeks and decided to finally pick it up. Because it kind of just laid around I wasn't sure of its health especially as I hadn't seen one like this before. <Likely a Thalassoma lutescens: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/thalassoma.htm > Most wrasses I have had/have are energetic swimmers.  <Mmm, many species spend a considerable amount of time sitting about on or in the substrate> But, I attributed this to its housing at the LFS, which was a small cube. It was labeled generically as Green Halichoeres Wrasse. But, he was unusual so picked him up after seeing him digging and apparently healthy after a few weeks, though still not swimming much. I got him home and acclimated him. After releasing him, he just fluttered to the bottom (44 gal corner, with 2 small Chromis). I had brought water to the LFS before buying for a test and everything was nominal (8.3ph, 1.022 salinity, 0 ammonia, nitrates, nitrites). It's a well established tank that I recently moved some fish out of and to another tank. He "rested" upside down for hours, but his eyes showed he was awake and aware as they were looking around constantly. I had seen this somewhat before with wrasses being paranoid or scared and usually digging in for a while. Later at night he hid behind some rocks, then finally came out and swam close to the bottom for few minutes and then used his head as a shovel and dug a hole for the night. This took about 10 minutes, then he finally did that squirming I'm used to for wrasses to get the rest of his body under the sand. This following morning (got him yesterday) he was back behind some the rock wall lying down, but again his eyes were alert and was respiring normally. He doesn't move, at all, quite unlike other wrasses. I am hoping with identification, maybe you can shed some light on his name and habits so I can see where I stand with this new fish. He is your standard wrasses shape, closer to a dragon wrasse in shape with less ornamental fins, bright green though. In addition he has enormous canines similar to my Harlequin Tusk. I have attached 4 pics from when I was acclimating him (I figured this would have been the only chance to photograph him standing still, apparently I was wrong). Thanks as always. Scott <Use the scientific name... your search tools... Bob Fenner>

Re: Wrasse Identification Thanks for the quick reply. I looked at the Thalassoma lutescens, but the one I have looks nothing like the aforementioned fish (Green Moon wrasse). The Thalassoma lutescens looks very similar to my lunar wrasse, but this one has a completely different mouth. It has huge canines and cannot close its mouth with them as they are so pronounced, much like my Harlequin Tusk. Is there any other species you might think it could be that I may be able to research? I looked at your wrasse pages and nothing looks similar. Thanks again, Scott <... the genus Thalassoma wrasses do have "large canines"... did you look at the pix on fishbase.org, Google images of this species? Take a look again please... at the pix you sent us. Bob Fenner> 

Lunar Wrasse, Why Won't you Be Nice? >Hi >>Greetings, Marina today. >Was hoping you could help me out with a query.. >>Indeed. >I bought a lunare wrasse today as I was advised by the store owner that they were non aggressive and reasonably hardy. >>HA!  That's amusing.  I cannot repeat some of the other names this Thalassoma is referred to by, suffice it to say they're all quite descriptive about its propensity to harass other fish to DEATH. >I couldn't find much on your site about this.. but from what I just read in a faq that maybe this is not the case? >>Maybe?  The correct answer would be this is definitely NOT the case.  These fish can and should be housed with like aggressive, it can hold its own with the likes of undulatus and blue-line triggers (assuming they're not cramped into tiny quarters). >I currently have 2 Chromis as I have only been running the tank for about 8 weeks. (it is cycled). >>Of the damsels, those called "Chromis" are among the most timid.  Not a good mix.  As for the cycle, please remember that with each addition the bioload is increased, and it will take time for the cultures of nitrifiers to increase sufficiently to handle nitrogenous waste (ammonia and following). >I have put him in the tank and noticed that all he is doing is swimming around in vertical circles. >>These fish do at times have an odd tendency to swim in a vertical fashion, using mostly their pectoral fins.  I've noticed that once the fish is comfortable and becomes more established in its territory that this will tend to disappear, and the lovely harassment of other fish begins. >Is this behaviour normal or are his days numbered? >>Can be normal, but you've made a new addition whose size of which I haven't a clue, let alone the size of the system.  For all I know it's a smallish tank and it's become thick with ammonia, though I'd think the Chromis would exhibit some different behavior as well.  Also, you've made no mention of quarantine, so, if the animal has been introduced and is diseased, this stress can likely "bump it up a notch".  This means that what was latent may become obvious. >I am hoping that maybe he just needs to settle in and could just be a bit stressed? >>Yes, this would be my tendency, but again, I know nothing else of this system other than the fish and age. >He is also occasionally attacking my thermometer which leads me to believe that he might be a bit nasty to my fish / future fish. >>Hee!  He'll settle in just fine.  Then he'll be having Chromis for dinner, thank you.  Can we have a side of shrimp with that, please? >What are your thoughts on this? >>As above, my friend.  The store owner doesn't seem to know this genus of wrasses very well, or perhaps has been quite fortunate not to have seen at least one going full bore.  Watch the animal closely, and know that the if he should become aggressive, it won't pass, and that in that case you'll need to make a choice regarding what you wish to keep with good results. >Your help is much appreciated.  Regards, Simon >>You're quite welcome, and I wish you the best of luck!  Marina

Lunar Wrasse I Love You >Dear Marina >>Hello Simon. >Thank you for your prompt and detailed reply regarding my lunare wrasse. >>My pleasure, Simon. >Okay.. there is a slight problem. It turns out that I have grown an affinity towards my Lunare Wrasse.   >>Heh, alright. >He is very funny - he reminds me of Homer Simpson -  very clumsy and greedy. >>Is he eyeballing your doughnuts and beer yet?  I'd allow a bit of the doughnuts, but the beer is where I'd draw the line.   >He has settled in quite nicely and has not "YET" hassled any of my Chromis. But given your response it sounds like that could change. >>Yes, it could.   >-My tank is 38x18x18 with a sump/skimmer/live rock/no corals >>Are those metric or English measurements?  Hrm. >-The lunare wrasse is about 5 inches >-The Chromis are about 1 inch each. >>Doesn't sound a fair match, does it?  If those Chromis were dominoes, white/black tailed, sergeant majors, or similar Dascyllus, or anything that ends with 'devil', you'd have little to worry about. >So my dilemma is do I take the wrasse out? >>Not if you like him, no.  But you'd probably want to pull the damsels if/when the picking starts.  Even if the tank's 38"x18" you'll be committed to a lower fish load because the wrasse is an active, voracious animal. >How much should I feed him? He eats like a pig. >>Speaking of the devil, eh? >At the moment I give him a quarter of a cube of brine shrimp and he annihilates that. I think he wants me to upsize it but I'm not sure if I should give in? >>I wouldn't give MORE, but I *would* give different.  Silversides, krill, squid, shrimp, octopus, etc.  Also, if you can get him on a decent dry staple food, that should help your wallet.  In any event, as long as he's nice and fat, I wouldn't give him more feed.  If the area behind the head/eyes becomes sunken looking, then you know he's not getting enough. >Do you think I could add a tomato clown? >>IF you took out the Chromis, most definitely.  A tomato, skunk, or maroon would all be able to hold their own. >I have been told that they can hold their own. >>Yes, yes you have.   >Do you think I can get turbo snails or will they get eaten? >>I would worry for smaller snails, and 'shellfishes' (mollusks/crustaceans/arthropods) in general with this guy.  Larger specimens may be able to hold their own, but it's not guaranteed, especially whence he gets larger. >I am proactively planning for a future algae bloom. I know there is one around the corner. >>Maybe, maybe not.  It's common, but not necessarily a given. >The alternative is to get rid of the wrasse and cut my potential losses? >>More than one alternative.  Just decide who/what you *really* want.  Then go from there.  It can be sorted out, I'm sure. >What would you do? ;) >>If I loved the wrasse, then I'd reconsider my plan so I could keep him.  I think he'll do alright in a tank this size for a while, but do take care not to be too generous with the food.  Know, also, that the hungrier he is, the more aggressive and less trustworthy he'll be. >Your help is much appreciated.   Regards Simon >>You're welcome, Simon.  It seems you may have found a friend, and wrasses certainly aren't without strong personalities.  Coloration could never be beaten by any damsel I've ever come across, even if he never morphed into a super male.  Should you decide to keep him, get tough mates for him, but not too many.  Keep the rockwork very open, but with lots of hidey-holes for him to explore and keep his mind occupied.  He may like some sushi Nori (dried seaweed) to nibble.  The clowns are a good idea, as would be a Pseudochromis of some sort - most come with lots of moxxie.  Beyond the physical space issues, these are fairly hardy fish in my experience, often tougher than damsels.  Will you be naming him "Homer"?  Or mayhaps "Santa's Little Helper"?  Marina - Sex Changing Wrasse - Hello to all at WWM: About three months ago a bought a FEMALE Thalassoma lucasanum, (AKA Rainbow Wrasse, Paddlefish Wrasse, Cortez  margarita Wrasse). However, now almost 3 months later, it has changed to the  male coloration, maybe into an actual male. I did not know these fish would or  even can change from the female coloration to the male coloration.  Just curious if anyone at the Crew has heard or seen of such a thing. <There are many wrasses as well as several other groups of fish that have this remarkable ability. It ensures the continuation of the species. What a planet!> Either way I like both color forms. By the way, Scott Michael's Marine Fishes pocket guide  has great photos of this fish on page 319. As always, thanks for all your time and effort. Gene <Cheers, J -- > Wrasse Impasse? Hello again crew! <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> Sorry in advance to bother you AGAIN! <Never a bother!> I have gotten myself into a predicament, it was a dumb move but can still be undone. <Hah! If I had a dollar for every predicament I've gotten into....> I have a 120 gallon SW tank.  On a trip to Hawaii in October I fell in love with the Thalassoma trilobatum, Christmas Wrasse, I have been searching in vain for months to add one to my tank.  I have made TONS of calls to Hawaii even, but I had come up against walls at every turn and have found that this fish is near impossible to find in the aquarium trade. <Did you try Marine Center? They can look for one for you.> I currently have a peaceful tank but wanted a wrasse as my dream fish.  I have plans to get a larger tank in a few months and was hoping the fish I had would get along in the 120. <Well, this fish can reach almost a foot in length. I'd avoid a fish of this size and activity level in a 120 gallon tank, myself. How about a smaller Halichoeres species, like a H. melanurus? Almost as colorful- but easier to find and smaller.> Currently I have a Naso Tang (which I hope to get in a 180 at least, if not I have arrangements with the LFS to take her back (went to high school with the owner), but currently the Naso is wonderful, fat and healthy.  Her tankmates include: Yellowtail blue damsel, blue damsel, 2 cleaner gobies, and a bicolor angel.  Oh and last but not least I have 2 shrimp, Popcorn the fire shrimp, and Scampi the skunk shrimp. <Love that name!> I have become very attached to them but realize that they will probably have to go back to the LFS.  Man this is getting long winded!  Sorry. My problem is this, I bought a Klunzinger's Wrasse at the LFS, they've been getting in wrasses by the week for me in hopes they'd find one that would be close to my dream fish.  This one is the closest, it's about 6 inches long, and gorgeous.  Before I brought it home I looked at your website and could only find that they came from the Red Sea.  I searched online and couldn't find anything.  I checked in with Scott Michaels book & Bob's CMA and found nothing. So I bought it and it's currently in my QT tank.  I called 4 LFS's, no one had any advice and hadn't ever had one before, the store I got them at told me it was a peaceful fish like a Scott's fairy, which just watching him eat I know is way off base.  So my question is what do you know about this fish, what would have to be removed for him to live in my tank, I also had a Brazilian Gramma on my list, will any of these be able to live together? <I must say that I have never personally kept this fish, but have known hobbyists who have kept them. I'm not certain of the Scientific name, which will help you find out much more information. They do tend to be a bit "rowdy" at times, and they do eat aggressively once they settle in. If you know the genus and species, you'd do well to check on fishbase.org for more detailed information on the fish than I could provide here.> Is my tank going to be over stalked or any you advise me who might be some other fish to add, I feel pressured to get whatever I'm going to get in the tank, as I know this one will be the most aggressive of the group. <Don't feel pressured by anyone to get any fish. You are in charge! Besides, we're talking about living creatures, and no one else should tell you what to do!> I haven't added anyone new to tank for a while so they're a pretty tight knit group.  I know the shrimp will have to go, but will the Gobies be a lite snack too?  Where can I go to find out more about my new fishy? ><{{{{"> Thanks so much!    Amy <As above- fishbase.org. That should give you some good scientific information and a means to search for more hobby-based information. Also, make use of WetWebMedia's chat forum. Other hobbyists who keep this fish may have some better information. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Wrasse impasse? Oops sorry about that last e mail with no message! <Wondered what was going on in the wide, wide world of sports!>   Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly.  And just to answer a few questions, I have tried Marine Center, I was told that these fish live close to the shore and no one can catch fish from that area.  I believe it was Jeff there, really great friendly people!  Also I wasn't feeling pressured by anyone to buy more for the tank, it was my own pressure.  I was trying to add in the more docile creatures before putting the wrasse in my tank, so I felt like I had to hurry and get everything I'd want in there and add him in last.  But I now have another question for you, how about a Paddlefin wrasse, also colorful but considerably smaller.   Are they as aggressive or would my shrimp be safe with them? <Not as aggressive as some other species of wrasses, even other Thalassoma spp., but not safe with shrimps> I'm hopelessly addicted to wrasses and would have a wrasse only tank if it were possible but I have a lot of trouble finding info on them.  I check out Fishbase.org all the time but they don't have much in the way of info for hobbyist (is that a word?) <Spelled hobbyist, yes>   Scott Michael lives right here in town <Lincoln, Nebraska> but his book doesn't cover a lot of wrasse species, any idea where I might find more info so I can make an informed decision?  I have been trying to find Rudie Kuiter's wrasse book but  haven't been able to order it from Barnes & Noble. <Try Amazon.com... and SeaChallengers.com>   Thanks again for all your help & insight!  You guys have been a Godsend!  Thank you so much for giving so much time and dedication to this site!  I'm a WetWeb junky, I read it daily!   Amy <Glad to share. Bob Fenner>

Wacky Wrasse?  Howdy, I bought a Lunare Wrasse 2 days ago. When I was vacuuming the wrasse got a little frisky, and hopped out of the tank. I got him back in after about 45 seconds to one minute. It was a close one, but now he just lays there and breathes. All of his color is still there, and my chemicals are pristine.  <Given time, he can make a full recovery. keep an eye on him, and make sure that he eats. Continue to maintain excellent water quality>  Also, is it normal for a wrasse to lay around except for the outbursts of energy where he shoots around the tank and eats? Jeffery  <Yep- wrasses are known for some of their wacky antics. If there are no disease signs, and the water parameters are as good as you say- I'd chalk it up to typical wrasse behavior. Given what your wrasse went through, I'd say that he has a good chance at a full recovery. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Wrasse Photos - Hello I am a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard.  I study gene expression in the brain and how it influences behaviors.  I have a small collaboration going with a student who wants to look at the change in gene expression in the brains of wrasse as they change sex.  I am writing grants to secure funding for this project and I am looking for photos of Bluehead and Cortez Rainbow wrasse.  I have found some nice ones on the web but I would like to have some high resolution images.  If possible I would like to find some that include both males and females in a natural setting.  Do you have something available that fits this description, I couldn't find any hi-res to download for these fish on your site...? <Please give our photo site a look, http://www.wetwebfotos.com - if you find anything here you can use, I'll gladly give you access to the high-res versions of the images. Just email me back the image numbers you need and we'll get this taken care of.> Thanks Suzy <Cheers, J -- >

Bluehead Wrasse, Or, "You BETTER Watch Your Wrasse!" >Hello, >>Hello. >I recently set-up an 85 gallon fish only saltwater aquarium.  It contains about 60lbs. of live sand and about 40lbs. of lace rock.  It is equipped with a large protein skimmer and 2 Whisper 5s.  There is 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and very low nitrates.   >>Alright. Right now I have the following fish: 1 Yellow Tang (3 inches) 1 Clark Clown (3 inches) 1 Tomato Clown (3 inches) 1 Black and White Striped Damsel (1inch) 1 Blue Damsel (2 inches) (Both the Clownfish get along fine) >>Whew!  Let's hope it stays that way, they should have enough elbow room in there, though. >I recently added a (5 inch) Blue-Headed Wrasse to the system.   >>Uh oh, trouble in paradise? >How big will this fish get? The dealer told me up to 8 inches.  Is this true? >>Ok, not being positive of the species you're calling "blue head", my first inclination is to think of one of two wrasses, both will hit about that size, and one of them was known to me by a most UNflattering moniker, relating to one particular nickname of Richard ("Richard"head wrasse), taught to me by my favorite old-timer.  He was RIGHT.  This fish was aggressive, and constantly harassing other fish. >If it will eventually become incompatible I am willing to change the tank mates.   >>It *may*, again, I can't be positive.  Of the fish you have in there, I would expect the clowns to be the first to develop sufficient moxie to deal with him, possibly the tang, definitely the Dascyllus once they hit panfry size. >Right now it shows no sign of aggression.  Also I was thinking of adding a Kole or Scopas Tang.   >>I would expect either of those fish to be too timid to deal well with the wrasse I'm thinking of, of course, it would be more helpful to both of us if you could get a positive ID on him/her. >If I rearrange the decor and purchase a slightly smaller specimen then the tang in the tank already could it work?   >>You would have to purchase a specimen of significantly different size, and considering their personalities, I would get one at least 5", NOT smaller than the present yellow tang. >Food would not be an issue because I usually add fresh macroalgae from a large refugium every week.  Thank you, Dennis >>AWESOME!  We like that (refugia AND feeding your fish fresh macros.. yum!).  Marina

Bluehead Wrasse, Or, "You BETTER Watch Your Wrasse!" II >Thank you for being so quick and answering my questions.  I have been looking on your website and found the scientific name of the wrasse.  Thalassoma bifasciatum.  Again thank you so much for your help. Dennis >>Excellent, I'm very glad I could be of help.  Marina

Confusing Wrasse Hi guys: I have a Lunar wrasse bought from the LFS 3 weeks ago.  For about 2 weeks was eating vigorously.  Over the last week, has grown very finicky.  Won't eat Mysis shrimp anymore (eats and then spits it out). And may eat whole shrimp (with shell) sometimes (bangs it against a rock, very cool). <Yep- I've seen that behavior- it IS cool!> No change in behavior (still all over the tank).  We have noticed that its color has become more green in the last few weeks (don't most of them go the other way) so am worried that the sex is changing.  (A) is that possible?  (B) any chance that is causing the lack of food take?  Do I need to vary the food even more? <Female-to male sex changes are common. Color changes do happen...These fishes start out as relatively dull juveniles, and really start to color up when they reach adulthood...As for providing a variety of foods: I've never seen a fish that won't benefit from this!> Tank specs: 90g  Fish Only Wet Dry with Sump ETS 300 Skimmer (was originally a reef tank) 2-3" Sand bed No nitrates, ammonia, tank very well cycled Salinity is high 1.025-1.026 but maintained constant with a NURCE top off device Lots of rock and hiding places Other inhabitants: Majestic Snapper Koran Angel Baby Clown trigger <Wow! These are some potentially very large fishes...Please, please consider the "end game" here, and plan on much larger (like several hundred gallons) housing for them in the near future, if you expect them to live anything close to a natural life span...> Thanks in advance for help! <You're welcome! Scott F>

Klunzinger Wrasse What's your opinion of the Klunzinger Wrasse?  Hardy? <Can be... in a largish system (more than a hundred gallons) with very good (brisk!) water circulation... IF one can find an initially healthy specimen... they take a beating in collection, holding, shipping>   From the Red Sea? <Yes, the best>   Easy to keep in captivity? <Most don't live a month... due to the above points> How large do they get in an aquarium? <Six to eight inches> Temperament? <Rough and tumble... okay around all but the smallest fishes, will eat shrimps, crabs... perhaps other sessile invertebrates if hungry> Thanks for your help.  Was thinking of getting one in the 4 inch range. <A good fish for an advanced aquarist. Bob Fenner> Elizabeth K. Birdwell

Bluehead wrasse, and a mystery critter. 07/20/03 <Hi Fred, PF here> So here's a question for you... If I put 2 terminal phase blueheads in a 90 gal what will happen?  I suspect that they will just fight but wondered if it was possible for one of them to revert back to a previous phase. Now here's the real question... I went out snorkeling today in S. Florida and found what I would have to call a worm of some kind.  Its small <2" and dark green/brown.  It looks like a little cuke, but it moves by sucking in a big ball of water at one end and moving it through to the other end.  It looks like the little guy keeps swallowing a marble twice as big around as him.  It has a pinkish snout of some kind that extends out of one end.  When I first saw it, it was not all stretched out and it looked just like a snail.  That's what I thought it was until I got back to the boat for a closer look.  When I fist picked it up it was kind of hard too (like a snail) or at least very firm, but it can and does get very squishy too.   Any idea what this thing might be? As usual, thanks a million for this fantastic web site and oracle of marine knowledge you guys run. Fred <Well Fred, I wouldn't recommend putting them together, they could well kill each other before working out the hierarchy. As for the mystery critter, your guess is as good as mine. There are hundreds of thousands of undocumented species out there. It sounds like some kind of worm to me. I'd say take a picture, or the specimen itself to a local university and see if someone in their bio department can't help you. Have a good night, PF>

Wrasse id I am wondering what kind of wrasse this is, can you help me? <Of all things... we're currently out at the Hawai'i house, and this is the most common fish on the reefs here... and an endemic. Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/thalassoma.htm                                                              Bob Fenner>        Thanks, Codie

Wrasse ID I just sent an email earlier and I still am not sure of the wrasse that I have?  It the Thalassoma dupery or the Thalassoma grammacticum or is it neither?  I believe the fish has not matured yet. see attachment. <It's the former. Pls see the previous citation. Bob Fenner>                                                              Thank you for your help, Codie

A Reef Safe Wrasse  5/27/03 Are the  lunar or sometimes call ed moon wrasse reef safe? <Around corals they are fine.  But they may nip at crustaceans and small invertebrates.> Thanks Michelle <No problem!  Phil>

Pass On The Wrasse? Hello <Hey there! Scott F. with you today!> Hope you all survived Valentine's Day! <Squeaked by another one!> Just a couple quick questions for you guys.  Although I have read as much as I possibly can on these wrasses, I still have a couple questions. First one is the "surge wrasse" I've only seen one at a LFS (Alberta) and am wondering how they normally ship?  I would like to order one (for my 7' FO tank) but the LFS tells me they can't get them in any smaller then a foot?  Are these fish as hardy and aggressive as the other Thalassoma species? <Well, I am not positive as to which species you are referring to (the common name may apply to a few species in this genus...), however, my experience with the Thalassoma wrasses is that they ship fairly well, adapt to captive life quite readily, and do get quite aggressive over time! I tend to favor smaller specimens, so I, personally, would pass on a fish that's a foot in length...Try to get a much smaller one. If you cannot locate one at the LFS, maybe you could try contacting Marine Center (see our home page for their link), and they may be able to secure one for you. If you can get the scientific name of this species, I may be able to find some more specific information for you> Also, would putting a checkerboard wrasse (4"fish, 180 g.t.) be safe in my reef tank?  I feed 4 - 6 times daily. How much do these guys like fanworms?? Probably a individual thing, hey? <Gosh- sorry...Once again, there are a few species that go by this common name.. If you could supply genus and/or species name I could provide some information...On a general basis, if you're talking about an Anampses species, I'd say that you're taking a huge gamble with your inverts, IMO. If it's the Halichoeres hortulanus, once again, I'd say it' a role of the dice...Some couldn't care less about your fanworms, others will simply decimate them! If you are keeping it well-fed, you certainly have a better chance, but it's your call on this one! And believe me- these little guys are just about impossible to remove from a reef tank...proceed with caution!> Last question! How do I properly quarantine fish like Mandarins and certain wrasses that basically won't really take prepared foods but need live rock?  I have a bare bottom 40 gal with no live rock (like to keep the salinity down)? <Good question! I usually quarantine these guys with some very small "rubble" pieces of rock, which I will rotate out every few days...There usually is not enough living stuff on these small rocks to sustain the fish, so I make it a point to harvest some amphipods from the refugium (a tedious process most of the time!) and dump a bunch in every day...The high level of care is just another reason why you have to be up to the challenge when keeping these guys!> Thank you so much, you guys are truly the biggest help ever!! Lynn <Well thanks, Lynn! And our readers are the best, too! Take care! regards, Scott F>

A Lunar Phase? Hi there. <Good morning! Scott F. here!> I have a quick question for you, that I didn't find any info on your site about.  I set up a 209G tank several months ago and is now home to a couple of baby triggers (3 inch Niger, 2 inch Queen, and 4 inch Blue line), "true" Black Volitans Lion (pitch black!), and a Arothron manilensis puff. <Wow! That's a lot of fish that get HUGE in one tank, even a large one. These are pretty messy eaters, too, and can degrade water quality in no time if you don't stay on top of things (but I know that YOU will, right?) You may need to move everyone around for the long term in order for this community to work. The Queen Trigger is absolutely one of the nastiest fishes around...do keep an eye on the interactions in this tank as the fishes mature..> Today at a LFS I work at a guy brought in a 4 inch Lunare or Moon Wrasse.  I bought him from him for only 5 dollars since he has HLLE (didn't know wrasses could get it, but I guess anything is possible). <Yep- just about any fish can contract this malady> I know how to cure it and the 209 tank gets Formula One, Formula Two, Brine Shrimp Plus, Prime Reef, VHP Formula, Angel Formula, and Spirulina Formula all in the Variety Pack made by Ocean Nutrition. <All great foods- good choices! remember, water quality is also thought to play a role in HLLE, so be sure to keep on top of water changes and other maintenance relentlessly!> I figure this should cure it in no time.  But the question is my boss said it is possible to keep a male female pair together in a large tank (Scott W. Michael also states this in his Marine Fish book). <Yes- I've seen it done before> We just got a 1.5inch baby Lunare in at my store.  So if I were to add the smaller one would they pair up or would they fight? <Wow- really hard to say...could work, or could be a problem, due to the size disparity. also- there is the outside possibility that this little one could become "trigger food" in this tank...Personally, I'd think long term (particularly about how 3-4 fishes that can potentially reach 15-20 inches will live in this situation), and really avoid adding any more fishes to this tank. What a great excuse to set up another large tank! :). Seriously, you seem like a keen observer and fish lover, so I hope that you'll take this long-term view and make good decisions> Sadly, our store has not had good luck with the Lunare's but the one I got today is doing great.  He is very active and is like a sky blue neon kinda color.  Thanks for any help provided.  Kim <Once again, Kim-I'd hold off on the purchase. Enjoy the fishes that you have now...Think about another tank in the future. Best of luck! Scott F.>

Mexican wrasse in hiding Background: 55 gallon (fully cycled), 2 clowns, 1 Firefish, 1 Rabbitfish, and 1 wrasse with about 18 pounds of live rock and good water conditions. I have a Mexican (Cortez, Rock, Rainbow) Wrasse for about 6 weeks now.  The first 2 weeks he was always visibly swimming around the tank and never hiding - then I added some (more) live rock and did a little rearranging in the tank.  The wrasse now hides for the past 4 weeks.  I have peeked around the corner when the lights are off in the room and I know he is alive and has very good color... as soon as I put the lights on or he sees me he bolts back into his hiding place (a fake plastic sponge (I think) coral, where one of the fingers broke off allowing him access to swim into the base) and won't come out.  My question - he is a beautiful fish and I enjoyed watching him swim for the first 2 weeks so what can I do to get his behavior back to that state. <Likely not much that is easy to do... this fish lives in quite large haremic settings... lots of space... and lots of others (especially females) of its own kind. If you had a larger system (a few hundred gallons) you might be able to somewhat replicate more natural conditions, and hence behavior... If you can place this fish in at least twice the current volume, adding a female or two would likely induce the male to become (return to being) more outgoing. Bob Fenner> Thank you so much for your help with.

Mexican wrasse in hiding Bob, thank you so much for your prompt response!  Your WetWebMedia site is a tremendous resource to us newbies starving for legitimate direction in our efforts and avoid disastrous mistakes.  Further to my question on my hiding Mexican Rock Wrasse, I saw a FAQ on a similar situation (see excerpt faq below).  Do you think if I add a Damsel in my tank that he may stimulate the Wrasse to come out of hiding?  Thanks again for your inputs and keep up the great site for us!!! <Thank you my friend, and yes to the attempt at adding a ditherfish. This is likely the best thing you can do presently to encourage your Thalassoma to be more outgoing. Bob Fenner> EXCERPT FAQ: I have a 65 gallon reef tank with only 4 fish--maroon clown with anemone, yellow watchman goby, African Flameback angel, and a purple tang. The former 2 understandably do not swim around very much, but the latter 2 seem to hide all day. I see the fish only when I feed. I have A LOT of live rock in my tank though. Are they just indirectly hiding? <Indirectly? All should come out to some extent... Is there much "activity" around the area, folks walking by during the day? Perhaps a very active "dither-fish" like a hardy Damselfish species would do well to make all more outgoing. Consider A four or three stripe or others: http://wetwebmedia.com/damsels.htm One that stays smallish> Or do they just need to be enticed out into the open by more social fish? <Ah! There you go> The tank is fully stocked with corals and my cleaning regimen is very pristine. What should I do so I can see more of my fish? <Try a/the dither fish idea here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mexican wrasse in hiding You (and the web site) are amazing!  I went home last Friday night and anxiously added a ("dither fish") four stripe Damsel as you recommended, and my Wrasse has returned after not seeing him for over 4 weeks - incredible. Thank you so much! <You are welcome David. Bob Fenner>

Are Blue Leg Hermits subject to predation by a Lunare Wrasse? <Yes> I put one of these into my tank and suddenly all of my hermits have disappeared. <Into his belly> They've been living very happily in their FOWLR 55 gallon home with a Yellow Tang, a Clark's Anemone fish, a 3 Stripe Damsel, a Niger Trigger and a Blue Green Chromis. I also have a Chocolate Chip Starfish, a Serpent Star and a bunch of Astrea Snails. Thanks, Ana M. Saavedra <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Thalassoma Lucasanum Bob, <<Actually, JasonC today...>> I have two female Thalassoma lucasanum. One of them is going through a sex change from female to male (it's really very interesting). <<Indeed.>> Is there any chance that they will mate? <<Certainly a possibility, but not guaranteed - the right conditions may not exist in a captive system.>> If so, is there anything I can do to help insure the survival of the offspring? <<Probably not... I'm not sure that there's ever been any success at breeding these in captivity.>> I also have a yellow tang, a maroon clown, and an assortment of damsels (blue fin, blue devil and green Chromis) in my aquarium. Thanks, Rich <<Cheers, J -- >>

Wrasse and angel hi guys, 2 Quick questions. Tank is 72"x18"x18". Home to my Asfur angel and volitans lion. Each about 2.5 to 3". (1). I know how big Asfurs get in the wild, but how big is he likely to get in my tank, given an average diet and water quality. <About eight inches standard length, ten overall (ends of unpaired fins)... six in a year... the rest within two likely> (2). I love a lunare wrasse (Thalassoma lunare). If I got a small one, is he likely to cause havoc.  <Should be fine with the Asfur. Bob Fenner> I had one before, but I was very inexperienced, and I made the mistake of him being one of the first introductions to the tank ..... as he result he was a bit of a bully. Cheers, Matt

Re: wrasse and angel Thanks Bob. Good to hear from you :-) The Thalassoma lunare ..... how about the lion fish.... likely to "pick" at him.... at the moment, the lion is quite "aggressive" in terms of feeding, and he actually has a go at the Asfur now and then. <The Lionfish may get big and bold enough to try inhaling the Wrasse, and the Lunare might pick on it in return, but I give you good odds here that they will get along. Bob Fenner> Cheers, Matt

Wrasses I have two female Rainbow Wrasses and was thinking of adding a male Banana Wrasse. I know there should only be one male wrasse per tank, but would like to know how mixing a different variety of wrasse would affect the mix. <Mmm, how large a system is this? How big are your current Thalassoma wrasses? If the system is 100 or more gallons, has few other fishes, should be okay. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Rich

Wrasses Hello Bob! <Hi Kat> Recently purchased a lunare wrasse, juvenile, for my 75 gallon tank. Other occupants are 2 damsels, 2 Clarkii clowns, 1 lawnmower blenny, 1 cleaner wrasse, 1 Sebae anemone, 1 sand sifting starfish , turbo snails, emerald crabs, and several hermit crabs. My question is this: I had a cleaner shrimp in my tank, he has mysteriously vanished without a trace, and most of my hermits are gone now too. I have had the Lunare for only 2 weeks, could it have eaten these items? P <Yes my friend. Expensive meals, lesson. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/thalassoma.htm and particularly the FAQs associated with this page> lease let me know as soon as possible before I add anything else to my tank. Thank you! Kat <Be chatting! Bob Fenner>

Lunare Wrasse, small, starving Hi Bob, I have a Lunare Wrasse in a 55 gal. tank with a Percula Clownfish, two three striped black and white Damsels, and a Triggerfish. They have all gotten along quite well for almost three years. I keep a very clean tank with 10 gallon monthly water changes. I have had no problems at all with my tank or fish. Now, in the last week, my Lunare Wrasse has stopped eating and has gotten very thin.  <Not good...> I called up my Aquarium retail store professionals and described what was happening. I told them that my Lunare Wrasse stopped eating, acted like he was blind to the food, was lethargic and laying around although not buried. I even tried to hand feed him with no luck. He gets excited when I go by the tank and when it is feeding time and will start swimming around acting like he wants to eat. But when I introduce the food (and believe me, I have tried to entice him with a different variety), he will act like he wants to eat, but then acts like he can't find the food, kind of like a brain disorder. The retail store owner said to test the water with an OHM reading and see if there is an electrical current running through the water. I did, and found nothing. He is only 4 inches long, so I suspect that rules out old age, since I was told that he should live to be 8-10 inches long. What can I do for him? He has good coloring and no signs of anything else wrong with him, except he has gotten really skinny and emaciated looking. I have tried everything I know, and I want to do whatever I can to save him. Please help! Sincerely, Dorry <Thalassoma wrasses do go on starvation bouts from time to time... and can die from same... I suspect something in the way of an internal parasite problem... but if the animal won't eat, it becomes very difficult to try and treat for same. In the circumstances you list (small specimen, prolonged starvation period) I might risk the damage/trauma of force feeding this animal, catching it in a net and holding it with a wet towel in the net, shoving meaty food diced up into its mouth. First, do try a dip/bath in seawater (in a separate container) with a tablespoon of Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate) per gallon, for a duration of ten minutes (to flush out the animals G.I. tract), and the next day, place either a whole small "cocktail shrimp" (sans shell and sauce) or an opened bivalve/clam in the system to see if it will take it. If you have them, add liquid vitamins to the foods and water. Bob Fenner>

Problem wrasse I have a lunar wrasse in my 55 gal tank. Was other damsels and I previously had yellow tangs who died . I am new to this. So here is my dilemma. My wrasse is a creep. Thinks he's king of the world. <S/he may well be king of his/her world> I added a spotted grouper last week he did fine for a few days then started to get pale looking. Luckily my pet store lady is a great person she had me bring him in back into the same tank he was before and he is doing much better now. Come to find out my wrasse was beating him up. He (the grouper) had been in the same tank at her store for quite awhile before I got him he is sharing this space with a Huma Huma trigger. As soon as he was put back in his original tank the Huma went up to him and rubbed against him almost like he missed him! The grouper is doing so much better by the next day his eyehole wrasse boy must have socked him) looked much better and his coloring was back. Anyway any suggestions on what to do with Mr. wrasse?  <Your tank is too small for two "alpha" fishes... You could trade it in or place sub-dominant animals with it> She says I can bring him back and trade for something else but I really like the way he looks. But I don't want him to be problematic with anyone I put in there. We want to ad a porcupine puffer and nigger trigger in this tank. I would also like my grouper back. Could part of the problem with him been having at all to do with separating him and the Huma?  <Doubtful> Should they be bought as a pair? I plan on by the middle of this summer switching to larger tank to be sure of room for these fellows. But I don't want a tank with only one wrasse and few crabs. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you Nanci Cowman <You might try removing the wrasse, placing the bass for a week or two... then replacing the wrasse to see if a new hierarchical dynamic can be established... but eventually you will need/want a larger system. My real advice is to start over with a workable stocking plan for your 55. Please read through here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MarInd3of6.htm on the articles and FAQs files on stocking marine systems. Bob Fenner>

SOLAR OR PADDLEFIN Wrasse Hey Anthony, <Cheers, mate> I did finally ID that wrasse I described to you. It is indeed a Paddlefin, but it has not changed into it's striking adult colors yet. <indeed funny how they call females and lesser males by other common names... a quirky throwback to when they thought the two very different color morphs were distinct species> My LFS says that the Paddlefin is much less likely to attack my cleaner and coral banded shrimp then others in the Thalassoma genus. He said they should be okay.  <I don't necessarily agree or disagree. Just watch closely> He also had a beautiful Solar wrasse that came in on Tues. I KNOW that one would not be a threat, but I'm concerned it's too passive.  <agreed...too passive. But what a magnificent fish! Even if not directly harassed by the Paddlefin, the mere presence and activity of the dominant fish can force the solar into competing poorly and dwindling over time> What do you think about the hardiness/ pros and cons of each of these fish. One thing to take into account is that the new Paddlefin I'm looking at came in Tues with the Solar.  <the solor is a great fish with the right tankmates (generally passive)... but it couldn't compare to the incredible hardiness of the Paddlefin. A sturdy fish. But two very different fish. By any measure... the Paddlefin is for a fish only tank and the solar is a reef tank fish> This Paddlefin is much closer to his adult color, but he's very timid about eating just yet (normal obviously)..... <not really for this species... they are remarkable fish... I have had few imports eating offered food in a freshwater bath!!! Keep an eye on this specimen. Are they feeding it crustacean fare (Mysid, Pacifica plankton, shredded krill, etc?)> the Solar is eating very aggressively. <I personally would take the solar... Paddlefins are rather common and despite their wonderful hardiness, they get rowdy as they get older. The solar is good with just about anything that won't eat it <smile>> Thanks pal, Rick <quite welcome, my friend. Anthony>

Re: SOLAR OR PADDLEFIN Morning Anthony. <Cheers, my friend> I agree with you on the Solar Wrasse, however on Sat I picked the Paddlefin. <indeed a great fish, all told> When I went back the Paddlefin was eating with the gusto that you described. <yes, hardy, colorful and meaty.. a great FO species> Based on pure looks, future size, "commonness", the Solar was the better choice, but I picked the Paddlefin because my tank is pretty much fish only. Their are a few inverts but it can be a tough place. The Solar was so gorgeous and I couldn't justify taking a chance that it would be pinned in the corner or something.  <you are very correct... easily intimidated... good to trust your intuition about your tank/fish> The Paddlefin was bigger and faster. It hasn't shown any interest in my cleaner or coral banded shrimp "yet"....is that a good indication of things to come or could he turn on a dime?  <alas. the latter> Of all my fish to give this new wrasse trouble.......my tiny little jewel damsel! He's relentless!  <tiny? If you haven't already, look up the scientific name for this fish yellow-tailed adult fish (Microspathodon chrysurus).. a huge beast and quite a color change. ferocious, indeed!> I can't believe that the Paddlefin won't turn the table in a day or two. <it might be like the big dog afraid of the tenacious little dog...hehe> Thanks for all your help. Rick <very welcome, my friend. Anthony>

Longnose Butterfly (Thalassoma Wrasse) Thanks Anthony, <very welcome, good sir> I kind of knew that would be your take on things.  <I have had a reputation as a bit of a marine Nazi...hehe> However I must VERY respectfully disagree with you on the compatibility of my Levi (Eibli) angel and my Emperor, and tangs. The tangs totally ignore the small angel and the Emperor only occasionally chases him as if he was a pesky fly or something....nothing ever malicious or sustained. The Levi merely gets out of his way and the confrontation is over. <I respect and appreciate the difference of opinion> Anyway, point taken on the butterfly and tank size. Trust me my friend, I know I will need to upgrade and I look forward to doing so.  <I believe it to be try... a wonderfully addictive hobby! I'm still thinking about sealing up the basement with glass doors and windows and just filling it with seawater...perhaps I'll cut a whole in the ceiling and view/service the tank via a PVC fireman's pole from upstairs...hehe> I'm going to avoid the flame wrasse and all butterflies as per your advice. However I "may" still add one more fish. Perhaps you would be willing to help me ID this fish. I'm looking at a smallish wrasse that they're calling a Paddlefin Wrasse? I can't find it on WWM, but it had the body of a Lunare (perhaps a slightly rounder face). It's white with about 3 navy blue-black horizontal strips. There is some red on the dorsal fin.  <hmmmm... the Paddlefin wrasse as it is commonly known in the trade sounds nothing like what you describe. The LFS may have a mis-ID fish. Also known as the Cortez Rainbow wrasse or Mexican Rock wrasse...only the males of the species (Thalassoma lucasanum) are called Paddlefins. Do look up this species to see if we can rule it out. If your fish looks similar enough in type that you still suspect it to be a Thalassoma sp like T. lunare and T. lucasanum...then I would agree that it is not even close to being reef safe> My LFS guy says it's reef compatible but I'm not buying that just yet as it is certainly not a fairy wrasse. I don't have a reef but I do have a couple of cleaner shrimp. Do you know what this wrasse is and if so is it a threat to my shrimp?  <the shrimp are fair game for the Thalassoma and all larger wrasse genera> Thanks Anthony. Rick <quite welcome! kindly, Anthony> PS. My LFS would have had me keep the yellow tang AND add the wrasse and then some.  <yes.. they think they will make more money by selling more fish to folks in the short run, but the truth is that they will sell more fish to successful aquarists that don't struggle and stay in the hobby> I truly feel I can add another fish with no problem. I'm upgrading next winter. <I will trust your intuition and good husbandry>

Adopted Wrasse Hi Mr. Fenner, It's a pleasure to speak with you. I've acquired a Cortez rainbow wrasse from a person at work yesterday who is moving and needed to get rid of her live stock. It is currently in my 20 gallon tank because I wasn't sure if it could be in my 55gallon reef with invertebrates. Any husbandry you can tell me about this fish and compatibility would be greatly appreciated. I did a search and couldn't find much at all. Thanks, Ken <This fish is a typical "go getter" for the genus (Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/thalassoma.htm). It will try, eventually eat many small crustaceans, worms, possibly mollusks in home aquarium settings... once acclimated, makes a hardy, interesting specimen. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help??? Dear Jason, Thanks so much for the helpful info. <<absolutely my pleasure.>> Just to clarify -- are you saying that my Rock wrasse (which I'm hoping he's really that! -- he doesn't look like the picture on your website. . . he's got about 4-5 horizontal rows of different colors -- pink, green, yellow???)really isn't happy in the tank? <<well ok, looking at wrasses that match that description... can't seem to find one, did you search through the WWM Wrasse pages to see if you can find a match? Likely this one has had the wrong name applied - and if this is the case, then my previous statement about this fish not liking tropical temperatures would be moot. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/wrasses.htm >> Speaking of cool water, we recently did increase our temperature to 79 degrees when our local store told us that we were keeping the tank too cold at 74. <<74 is cool, but anywhere in the range of 72 - 80F should be good.>> Could this increase in heat be the reason he is changing colors sometimes? <<Yes, perhaps, good to take this adjustment slowly - a degree or two each 24 hours.>> How do you know if he's "happy" or not? <<Is it eating? Interacting with other fish, decor, rocks - looking at you - or is it completely clamped up in a corner by a heater never coming out to eat or see its surroundings. These are generalities of course, but it should the fish should be out, about, and eating - color changes mean all kinds of things - mood, etc. Perhaps make your way to a public aquarium if you can so you can see the same in a different surrounding.>> Could it really be him growing into adulthood because he is getting larger and larger by the day -- growing very fast. <<always a possibility >> (Please excuse my stupidity. . I'm VERY new to this!) <<not stupid at all, a very valid question.>>  I gather that you agree to leave the Clown alone and see what happens. Until then don't add more fish? <<yes>> However, he's getting increasingly better each day -- once the white spots are gone for good can I assume he is well? <<not really a safe assumption, is why you need to leave and watch for a couple of weeks - make certain.>> At what point is it safe to introduce another fish? <<personally, I never introduce more than one animal in a month unless they are tiny. I just like to take it slow and see what happens, give everything time to adjust.>> One more question (sorry if I'm overwhelming you) would you recommend a fresh water dip for any new fish before you introduce them into the family tank? <<not overwhelmed yet. as long as you pH adjust the freshwater, yes.>> Thanks so much! I'm so glad I found your website! It's a great source of knowledge! :) <<Glad you enjoy the website, although it's not actually mine, I just hang out here. Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Help??? Oh My Gosh! This is so exciting! I researched the wrasse family on the wetwebsite and found a picture of the one that I have! She is a Thalassoma Lucasanum (rainbow wrasse)! This is the neat part. . . I found a picture of the female and that is definitely what I have, BUT, I found a picture of the MALE and he looks like what my female looks like when she changes color!!!!! I did further research and found out that the female rainbow wrasse is able to change sexes during her lifetime! This must be what is happening! <What a planet!> This is so cool! Thanks so much for your help!!! :) <Be chatting and diving. Bob Fenner>

Wrasses Can you recommend a good wrasse of the genus Thalassoma for a 55 gallon tank? I was thinking about a Paddlefin or a Bluehead-how big do these species get and how hardy are they? Thanks for any help you can provide, I have not been to successful on finding quality information. TJ <Both these species are covered on our site (WetWebMedia.com) under the genus name... and am out in the Bahamas right now trying to get better pix of the latter! Bob Fenner>

Lunare Wrasse and hippo tang fighting! Just wanted to say first that your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" is the greatest saltwater fish book out. I really enjoyed it and I still use it all the time.  <Glad to find ones work of use> Now, I have a 150 gallon fish only tank and it contains a yellow and Naso tang, emperor angel changing), Koran angel small), and a lunare wrasse(7"). I have a 30g QT that I had to put my hippo tang in because the wrasse and him fought relentlessly-and this is after being together for about 6 months! The wrasse had puncture wounds all over him and the hippo had all of his fins frayed from the wrasse biting him. Are these two fish not compatible? <Not these two! Larger Thalassoma wrasses can be very tough on animals they perceive utilizing similar habitat, foods. Perhaps a smaller Lunare would have mixed in okay.> I tried to put the hippo back in after a month and the same thing happened immediately! The hippo tang is about 5". I also have plenty of coral dead) and hiding places. Thanks, Kevin Ballard <Looks like it has to be just one or the other. Perhaps another wrasse species? Please see the review of the Labrids on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for much more. Bob Fenner>

Wrasses I would like to add a sand diving wrasse to my 55 FOWLR and a 4 inch sandbed. Currently I have a 5 inch marine Betta, 3 inch Fu Manchu Lionfish, a 3 inch maroon clown, and a 2 inch Valentini puffer. Can you please recommend a species that would thrive at adult size in this tank. I was thinking of a smaller Thalassoma species. thanks, Everett <Hmm, some of the Thalassoma might do... but do look at the genus Halichoeres... particularly the ever-popular H. ornatissimus as a candidate. This latter genus' members don't get quite as big or rambunctious... for your 55 and other marine life, a plus. Bob Fenner, who suggests reading through the genera and images on www.wetwebmedia.com and supplying a "tray" (chemically inert... glass or plastic) of fine coral sand for your new "digger".>

Bluehead wrasse photo I'd like a close-up picture of a Bluehead wrasse to show in my undergraduate psychology class on gender .... I suspect you have one in your library.....could you give me a url where I could download one? thanks c. >> Take a look at the fabulous image of the male you're looking for on our site: Home Page, and, you're welcome.  Bob Fenner

FISH PROBLEM Hi, I have had a small lunare wrasse for the last 6 months. The last three weeks it hides in shells and under rocks and never seems interested in eating or swimming around the tank. He is breathing heavier than normal and his body color is changing from light blue to a lime green color. Is it sick or is it going through it's sex change where it becomes a "super male" ???  AMY  >> You may have hit the proverbial head on the nail... I wouldn't be overly concerned re this Thalassoma lunare... as it will once again become more outgoing... I doubt if it/she/he is really sick. Bob Fenner

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