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FAQs on Thalassoma Wrasse Compatibility

Related Articles: Thalassoma Wrasses

Related FAQs: Thalassoma Wrasses 1, Thalassoma Wrasses 2, Thalassoma Identification, Thalassoma Behavior, Thalassoma Selection, Thalassoma Systems, Thalassoma Feeding, Thalassoma Disease, Thalassoma Reproduction, Wrasses, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse BehaviorWrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,  

Chaetodon punctatofasciatus Cuvier 1831, the Spot-Banded Butterflyfish. Likely compatible...

Wrasse on wrasse hate       5/28/18
Hi, need some expert advise that the forums can't provide. I added a yellow moon and lunar wrasse some time ago and the two hung out with no issues.
<Genus Thalassoma wrasses are not generally a good idea to mix... territorial. Best to have one species per system, unless it's huge... with one determinate/male and the rest either initial phase/female or sexually undifferentiated individuals. This is gone over on WWM>
Later I added a blue headed wrasse and he was targeted a little by the lunar but handled it well.
The last time I saw him get bullied was when he had a krill that he refused to give up and ended up keeping it.
An era of peace descended on the tank for anything that didn't have a shell.
Then today I saw my yellow moon being chased at top speed around the tank by the lunar wrasse. Things subsided and they all settled back into their normal habits with the exception of some mean glances from the lunar which made the yellow moon turn the other direction. Then at bed time the chase
occurred again... Funny thing is these two are the same size, the blue head is smaller and seems unaffected by the fighting. Thoughts/what should I do/what's the crystal ball showing you?
<As above. I'd have these in separate systems... with more of their own kind>
Btw I planned on banishing the lunar to the sump but it dives for cover when I reach for the net. So I don't know that I'll be able to do that.
<Better by far to study ahead of acquiring livestock. Bob Fenner>
Re: Wrasse on wrasse hate      5/29/18

Thanks for the reply, I guess I've been looking at the wrong portion of your site.
<Ahh, please see here re the genus: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/thalassoma.htm
and the linked files (at top)>
Most of the information I've read is in email form like the reply I received.
<Ah yes; what we call/label as FAQs>
Also, I did research putting wrasses together but nothing really highlighted this issue other than to say they establish a hierarchical system and one person saying it'll only get worse even if I isolate the lunar for a while.
<This is likely so unfortunately>
In fact my research showed several people keeping 6 types together which is why I did this.
<Ahh; like many Cichlids, if/when crowded, aggression can be diffuse/d>
Anyway, I guess I'll keep observing and see about removing the yellow moon. Thanks again.
<Sensible; welcome. Bob Fenner>

Green Bird Wrasse and Lunar Wrasse Compatibility      2/23/18
Hello Bob -
I am suspecting the answer is, "no, don't do it" for either situation I am contemplating but would greatly appreciate your expert advice.
I have a 265 gallon (excluding sump volume) FOWLR set-up. Among other fish (Annularis Angel, tangs...etc.) I have a gorgeous approximately 7 inch Lunar Wrasse in this 265 set-up. I've had him a few years, where he started off as maybe 4 inches.
I am contemplating adding a 6 inch Green Bird Wrasse to this 265 gallon set-up, however, I am hesitant thinking the Lunar might go after him due to the similar colors. The Lunar (somewhat surprisingly) has not bothered any other new few fish that I've added in the past.
Note that I also have a 220 gallon set-up where I originally thought of placing a Green Bird Wrasse but my fear there is that I have a wonderful 3 inch Molly Miller Blenny, who's done a great job taking care of any Aiptasia, but who might become a meal for a Green Bird wrasse.
Your thoughts?
<I think you'd likely be fine in either tank here w/ a Gomphosus addition.
Am out currently diving in Moorea... seeing G. varius and Thalassoma species in close approximation, including all yellow Lunares. And of course there are blennies galore if you're observant>
Thank you as always,
<I'd go ahead with this fish, male or female in either tank. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Green Bird Wrasse and Lunar Wrasse Compatibility      2/24/18

Wow, thanks Bob! So glad I reached-out. Have fun in Moorea, looks like paradise there.
<Thank you John... Will kibitz further and state, I'd put an initial phase/female in your smaller system, a male in the other... place together some time later! Cheers, BobF>

mixing Thalassoma wrasses?        4/9/15
I'm interested in putting 2 Thalassoma genus wrasses in the same tank. is this possible?
<Yes.... mostly based on size, shape of the system>
I already have a 3" lunar wrasse and am considering about the same size Goldbar wrasse. the tank is a 400g mixed reef, mostly softies. I know I can't have inverts or small fish. dimensions of the tank are 120" long x 32" wide x 24" tall.
fish currently in tank (they all get along great)lunar wrasse ~3"yellow wrasse ~4"melanurus wrasse ~5"dusky wrasse ~4"mystery wrasse ~4" fish I want to add Goldbar wrasse(2) true percula clown, spotters angel coral beauty dussumieri tang purple tang chevron tang do you see anything I shouldn't add or have other recommendations?
Thanks, Calvin
<I give you good odds w/ th
ese additions. Bob Fenner>

Female Thalassoma Wrasse Temperament (Shrimp eaters? I think so!) – 06/19/14
Hello Wet Web,
<<Hey Jake>>
I am considering adding ornamental shrimp to my 90 reef tank. The only fish I foresee being problematic is a 3" female Thalassoma lucasanum. So far she's been very well behaved and hasn't bothered coral, other fish, Mithrax crabs, or snails but I've always herd those wrasse chew up shrimp.
<<Is true for several (many?) wrasse genera/species>>
My question is in your experience, are female Thalassoma species less apt to go after shrimp than males?
<<I don’t think gender makes a difference here>>
My gut says no, but then again it seems like a vast majority of the wrasse you see in tanks are male,
<<Because they are generally more “pretty” than the females>>
so maybe the rule of thumb is more geared towards them.
<<I once saw a 4” Thalassoma sp. attack 2” Rhynchocinetes durbanensis…the shrimp were too big to eat outright, so the wrasse simply “plucked their eyes” and ate them. I don’t recall if the wrasse was male or female, but I think either sex is a good bet for going after the shrimp. Especially so with the wrasse already in the tank when you add the shrimp (someone ring the dinner bell!)>>
Thanks for your help,
Jake Billhorn
<<Happy to share… Eric Russell>>
Female Thalassoma Wrasse temperament
     /RMF – 06/19/14
Hello Wet Web,
I am considering adding ornamental shrimp to my 90 reef tank. The only fish I foresee being problematic is a 3" female Thalassoma lucasanum.
<Uh yes; will consume>
So far she's been very well behaved and hasn't bothered coral, other fish, Mithrax crabs, or snails but I've always herd those wrasse chew up shrimp.
My question is in your experience, are female Thalassoma species less apt to go after shrimp than males?
<Mmm; well; the larger (terminal vs. initial phase) individuals more so... females become males... I would not risk their cohabitation>
My gut says no, but then again it seems like a vast majority of the wrasse you see in tanks are male, so maybe the rule of thumb is more geared towards them.
Thanks for your help,
Jake Billhorn
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Traumatic Injuries To Freckled Hawkfish…Chance For Recovery? – 06/05/13
Hi Bob and others.  I read your book years ago, and still refer to it at times.  I have a 75 gallon with a canister filter, Emperor 400, skimmer, chiller with pristine water parameters.  I have had my tank set up for over 3 years, but may have an unusual compatibility problem.  I have a Freckled Hawk that my Lunar Wrasse has beaten the crap out of.  Its top fin is shredded, top skin sloughing off with bloody undertones.  Probably 30 percent injury.  This fish is supposed to be tough, and even beat up the wrasse after acclimation.  I have had them together with a yellow tang, and Picasso trigger for a long time.  I am drip acclimating him to my 20 gallon green spotted puffer fish tank.  My quarantine tank is in use at the moment.  He is still breathing, but I could catch him without too much effort.  My question is; am I giving him a fighting chance, or just delaying the inevitable.  Thanks in advance!  Ed
Sent from my iPhone
<<Fishes have amazing powers of recovery from physical trauma in my experience…when given a chance re separation from aggressors and provided with excellent water conditions and nutritious feedings.  I do think you have good odds of saving this fish.  EricR…Sent from my work PC  (shhhhh, don’t tell anyone!)>>

Wrasse compatibility....    2/19/13
Hey guys, would I have trouble mixing a sunset Thalassoma Lutescens wrasse with Halichoeres Chrysotaenia? I have a pretty rowdy 90g.
<Mmm, if both started small... a few inches for the Thalassoma, I give you good odds of this pair working out.
Bob Fenner> 
re: Wrasse compatibility....    2/19/13

Ahhhh.... They're both big.  The Thalassoma is five inches and the Halichoeres is almost 4.
<I see; well, less chance of compatibility then>
 I've always had issues with Thalassoma wrasse harassing any Hogfish or Harlequin Tusk that I've had together in the past,  hence my questioning.  If it were you considering the sizes of the fish that I just gave to you, would you take the chance?
<Perhaps; if this is all the space you have. Otherwise, I'd house these Labrids separately>
  I read an article that most fish (and Melanurus) leave this species alone, is that your experience with this fish as well?
<... Halichoeres melanurus and? See WWM re the genus. BobF>
Thanks again

Introducing a 3 inch lunare wrasse....with a 6 inch Aussie Tuskfish     7/12/12
Hello WWM crew, I hope you are all having a wonderful day! So awhile back I acquired a juvenile lunare wrasse (LFS gave it to me because it was not looking so good) I've had it quarantined for a little over a month now.
Well yesterday as I was at work, my nephew thought it would be a good idea to feed him, as he was doing so he dropped the entire jar of NLS pellets into the tank.
 This happened in the morning, I got home at 9 pm and all the pellets had starting breaking apart.  Anyway I had to take him out prematurely I am currently cycling a tank for him, because of the crisis, the only other tank I have is my 200 gallon Fowlr.  The 200 gal is stocked with fish that compared to him are GIGANTIC, including a 6 to 7 inch Aussie tusk.  My question is will a tusk this size try and eat my little lunare.
<Not likely, no... this Thalassoma sp. is sharp and there's room here to maneuver>
I floated the bag he was in to see what the reaction was with the current residents and they all seemed fine. After I actually acclimated him and put him in the tank, the tusk started chasing him around, so I don't know if its to tell him the tusk is the boss, or if he was trying to eat him. I thank you in advance.
<As long as it doesn't damage it...>
P.S. The tank has been up and running 7 years, with all the inhabitants it has currently. Never have I seen the tusk act in this manner.
With Regards,
Jacob D.
<Likely mistakes it for a food item. Should abate the chasing shortly. Bob Fenner>
Re: Introducing a 3 inch lunare wrasse....with a 6 inch Aussie Tuskfish   7/12/12

Thank you Mr. Fenner!! Your site always has the answers I need to put my mind at ease. After the long month nursing my Lunare back to health ( his green was grey and pink areas were opaque!!!!) I don't want him to become food. I've gotten attached to the little guy. Very pretty fish, very scary as he eats but pretty none the less.  Thank you for your help.
<Welcome Jacob>
  Also any ideas on how to get my juvenile Pakistan Butterflyfish to eat??
<Mmm, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bffdsfdgfaqs.htm
This BF is almost always found in groups in the wild... Not easily kept in captivity>
Sorry for all the nob questions, but everyone I know, gives me fish they buy without researching first.  Their reason, because I've had the same fish for seven years!!
Thanks again!!
Jacob D.
<Cheers, BobF>

Blue Hippo Tang flesh being "eaten" away   11/28/11
I have a Blue Hippo Tang, purchased as a juvenile about 2 years ago. She has had no history of health or behavior issues.
We feed flakes daily, Mysis shrimp a 2-3 times a week. We have about 9 fish with live rock, urchin, starfish, crabs, no corals. Tank is 90 gallons, recently checked water quality and regular water changes. Tank has been stable and healthy for over 2 years. Last fish added was a Lunar Wrasse about 3 months ago.
<Mmm, well... ninety gallons... nine fish is too much... something/one has damaged this Tang... maybe the Thalassoma that's new, perhaps a run-in w/ a rock or the urchin... now the crowded/polluted conditions are conspiring to aid bacterial decomposition of your Paracanthurus>
About 2 weeks ago, the Blue Tang had a few "scrapes" on it's side, as if she had scraped along the rocks.
<Ah yes>
 They were gone in a day or two and no other marks showed up from that. I noticed our female Blue Jaw Trigger had similar feathery like scrapes on her head for a couple of days. Her's have gone away as well and she still seems fine We left town for 2 1/2 days (fish were fed flakes while we were gone.) We came back to find the Blue Tang with a white faded spot on her side, about the size of a quarter. She was breathing hard, swimming erratically and could not stay straight. She would flounder to the side while on the bottom, and would quickly head to a corner at the surface or under a rock where she could straighten herself. Within hours, I noticed pitting in the white area. The next morning, there were red areas where the pitting was. It has since grown at an alarming pace, and it appears she is being eaten by something from the outside in. Her breathing is a little better, she is eating, but not as much as usual. Her other side is fading a little, but not yet resembling the other.
We have treated with StressCoat,
<Of no use here>
 feeding Nori seaweed (she hasn't eaten that yet) and putting Focus and Metronidazole in food
<Why? Id est, for what presumed reason?>
 (frozen Mysis shrimp.) She is eating a little, eating more of the flake food than the shrimp. We unfortunately do not have a quarantine aquarium set up.
<No need; have to fix the environment/world all are in currently>
 If there is any shot at treating this without setting one up, please advise. Picture attached. This photo was about 32 hours after first coming home to a the large white spot on her side.
<What measure for Nitrate here? Do you have a skimmer? When last cleaned?
Do you use chemical filtrants? Don't know exactly where to refer you to for reading. Let's try here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blue Hippo Tang flesh being "eaten" away    11/28/11
We bought and used the Focus and Metronidazole in the food by suggestion of the tropical fish store owner in our area. He said it would take care of the bacterial infection he diagnosed this as.
<... is bacterial highly likely, but secondary... The med.s have no chance of treating this>
I also read (I've read a kazillion confusing articles) to use the Nori seaweed as a nutritional value, to be sure the Tang was getting the nutrients it needed.
<Actually, such algae have almost no nutritive value>
 Her wound has "whited" over today and I am hoping that is a good sign. She is staying hidden behind rocks.
I agree, too many fish, the last added (Wrasse) was too much. He is a large fish and in my opinion, too aggressive in our tank.
<I do agree. Would remove post haste>
We are going to remove him asap and return him to the store. He is difficult to catch, this will not be easy.
<Two nets... maybe four... w/ two people>
He has a good protein skimmer and a water filtration system, no chemicals.
I'm sorry I have no idea what it's called, that's my husband's area and he's at work. He does regular weekly 10 gallon water changes, did one early last week. He checked nitrates and phosphates on Saturday, I recall the phosphate being a 2,
<MUCH too high. Please read on WWM re HPO4>
 unsure of nitrate level. He only told me his water quality was okay.
We were also recently told to add Melafix
<Worse than worthless... may interrupt nitrification. PLEASE learn to/use the search tool on WWM ahead of actions and writing us>
and did so earlier today. Do you agree with this?
<NO. Would add a modicum of activated carbon to your filter flow path to remove ASAP>
It has also been suggested that this was caused by aggression. Though my memory goes back to the scrapes on the Tangs sides a few weeks ago. I also remember a day or two before that, our female Blue Jaw Trigger showing a "feathery-like" scrape on her head. It was there for a few days. It did not look like a bit or hit, it looked like a scrape. She seems to be fine, as of now.
Thank you Bob for your help. I have been overwhelmed trying to find the reason for this and the solution online.
<Glad to help you and your livestock. BobF>

Re: Blue Hippo Tang flesh being "eaten" away, Thalassoma incomp.  11/29/11
Hi Bob,
Thank you for taking time to answer my questions and give some guidance!
The Lunar Wrasse is the confirmed culprit.
<Ahh, yes; as I originally suspected>
 I witnessed it attacking the Blue Hippo Tang, took many chunks out of her.
The Wrasse was immediately separated from the rest of the fish and has been returned to the store.
 The Blue Tang has been out since and seemingly peaceful. Now it's time for healing her wounds, (new picture attached) and getting her healthy. We read the articles you mentioned (plus some) and added activated carbon as you advised and going to work on getting things back to where they should be for a healthy environment. No more new fish for our tank, lesson learned (the hard way, as usual.) Thank you again, you are well appreciated.
Christy Young
<Thank you for this follow-up. Cheers, BobF>

Hogfish With Wrasse   9/5/11
Hello again. I asked a question for the first time last week and found that you were very helpful (thanks!) I have one more: Do you think my Banana Wrasse (Thalassoma lutescens) at about 7" long would get along in the same tank with a 6" bright red Cuban Hogfish (Bodianus pulchellus)?
<Mmm, likely better odds than not>
I have a 160 gallon, FWLR, established for several years now and lots of rock. I'm rebuilding this tank and only have a Raccoon Butterfly fish along with the wrasse. Both have been in there for about 2 months and are happy. David
<Just have a contingency plan should there be too much aggression here; but I think you'll likely be fine. Thalassoma wrasses can be aggressive, but Bodianus are tough customers. Bob Fenner>

Compatibility; Thalassoma Lunare 5/28/11
Hi guys thanks for a useful great and awesome website it helps me a lot.
<<Great to hear.>>
My question.....will a Lunare wrasse be compatible with a yellow tang?
<<Though both can be territorial fish, their behavior and lack of similar appearance should make them acceptable tank mates given enough space (which it appears you have).>>
My tank is a 220gallon. Inhabitants are : yellow tang 2 blue hippo tangs Firefish goby 4 engineer gobies and a blue velvet damsel.
<<I would be more concerned with the larger Wrasse (can reach some 10') intimidating into submission the more timid gobies, to the point where they would hide and succumb to starvation, if they aren't outright attacked.>>
The tank is loaded with mixed types live rock tons of coraline algae and the front quarter is wide open for swimming. Also have some garancilla(might be misspelled sorry) algae.
<<A Gracilaria sp. perhaps?>>
Any advice u have will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
<<Larger Thalassoma lunare can be pretty nasty to similarly sized tank mates, especially other wrasse and animals that inhabit the same niche and make their homes or retreats in the substrate and lower portions of the tank, I don't think the compatibility with your surgeons will be much of an issue, especially since they are pre-established. The size of the tank is definitely on your side as far as odds go but with the smaller Nemateleotris gobies I do think there could be better choices even amongst other wrasses. If you do decide to go with the Lunare wrasse be sure your tank has a softer (not so coarse) substrate of a few inches where it can retreat/bury itself. Good luck. Adam J.>>

Thalassoma and Coris <Bodianus> compatibility  3/27/11
Hey guys how are you?
<Ok, thanks>
I have a Jansen Wrasse (5") and a Spanish Hog (4") in a 20gal QT and the Jansen is always initiating a fight and is very aggressive toward him,
<I would move at least one of these, now>
will this stop in a 90gal?
<Likely so, yes... at least much less pronounced and frequent>
I thought it may have been because of "close quarters". If not, aren't they different enough of a wrasse regarding they genus and coloration to get along?
And if it does happen when I move them to the 90gal will it fade after a while or will they be in constant battle like African Cichlids?
Thanks so much
<Well met. Bob Fenner>
Re: re: Thalassoma and Coris compatibility  3/27/11
Wow Bob ....you never have a day off....EVEN Sunday!
<Ah yes; I work every day the sun comes up... and am glad to>
Lol, I am always getting you when I send emails over to you folks...I feel like a pest lol.
<Not a worry. Cheers, BobF>

Lunar Wrasse/Lyretail Wrasse (Thalassoma lunare), comp.  1/21/11
<Hello Jay>
I have a question regarding a Lunar Wrasse (4.25") and a Red Coris Wrasse (3.75"). Since these two fish are different genus (even though they're both still wrasses), could I put these two together in a 90gal FOWLR? I'm unsure as to whether or not they are different enough to get along fine. Most literature states one Thalassoma per tank and wasn't sure about the genus Coris. I have had the Red Coris for about 4 months. Any advice on this would be great!
<One Thalassoma per tank is because of their aggressiveness. Your tank is a little on the smallish side as these fish can grow to near 10 inches.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Lunar Wrasse/Lyretail Wrasse (Thalassoma lunare), Coris comp. 1/21/11- 1/22/11

<Hello Jay>
Yes it is, its a temporary tank.
But my question wasn't whether or not my tank is the right size, it was whether or not these two different species of wrasse will fight or generally get along?
<Just wanted to note that as I had no idea your tank was temporary, you didn't state.>
Also, Bob states that the lunar wrasse attains a maximum of 10" on the reef....and significantly smaller in captivity.
<Agree, and I did state near 10". As to compatibility, the Lunare Wrasse, especially secondary males (females that change into males), can become aggressive and are known to frequently indulge in territorial disputes. As to compatibility, the Red Coris wrasse is also moderately aggressive, but not as aggressive as the Lunare Wrasse. In a larger system, 72"+ in length, with plenty of rock
work, these two species could co-exist with occasional disputes. In your new/larger system, I would put
the Lunare Wrasse in last. A good fitting glass top is highly recommended for wrasses to prevent unwanted bail outs.>
Thanks again.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> 
Re Lunar Wrasse/Lyretail Wrasse    1/22/11
Hey everyone. What are the chances these two genus' will get along in a 90gal Fowlr? I've had my red Coris for about 6 months and want to add a lunar last, both about 4". Was hoping to hear from someone before I go and purchase today.
Thanks for your time and advice.
Jay, why are you sending this in twice. I've just replied to your original query on this subject today. Please have a little patience.
James (Salty Dog)> 
Re Lunar Wrasse/Lyretail Wrasse    1/22/11
You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)

Two questions: Inter Genus wrasse compatibility, Crosshatch Trigger Behavior -- 06/09/10
Good morning!
<Slipping past quick!>
I am working on stocking a 600g FOWLR system and I have a question that I have not been able to answer with regards to wrasses.. The tank is 96 long, 36 deep, 30tall, and houses about 300 lbs of live rock.. I have a 150
gallon refugium beneath filled mostly with live rock rubble, and growing Chaeto.. Skimming is performed by (2) I-Tech 400 conical skimmers with dual pumps in a separate sump.. On top of this, I run 2 36" canisters with activated charcoal..
<Sounds good>
With that out of the way, I do run a pretty crowded ship.. I'm currently housing 2 Acanthurus Palani tangs, 2 Naso tangs, a blue hippo, 2 purple Zebrasoma, 1 yellow Zebrasoma, 1 desjardinii Zebrasoma, 2 crosshatch triggers,
1 orange spotted Rabbitfish, 1 coral beauty, 1 Copperband butterfly, 3 female flame wrasses, 2 ocellaris clowns, and a few (not sure on count anymore) cardinal fish.. Whew! I've never actually listed all of them before! Now on to question number 1: Can I add a female *Thalassoma quinquevittatum to his bunch?
<Likely would be fine. Fast, smart species>
*I'm after just that last splash of Thalassoma movement to the tank.. I wasn't sure how the flame wrasses would react to the addition, if at all.
<Not likely to react at all... though I would add a male (C. jordani) here to go w/>
. I would plan on quarantining the new wrasse before insertion, and I usually add new fish in while in a container with holes to let the new fish adapt to conditions before letting them loose into the general population.. Any thoughts?
<Keep beer cool, in a dark setting>
Ok.. Question #2: On a lighter note: My male crosshatch, (the pair was recently added, but has been in a friends' tank for over 1 year) seems to like to take position directly in from of one of my powerheads when I am
near the tank, but not feeding.. He swims directly into the current for a few moments, then moves out and "yawns" a few times, then back into the current.. If I break out my feeding cup and load it w/ food, he comes straight to me and starts begging.. He eats well, and then goes right back to the current..
Any thoughts?
<A nice way to spend one's time in such a captive setting I guess>
I'm kind of baffled by this.. I know when I move away a bit, he just goes out into the water column with the rest of the fish and swims..
He's always been a bit eccentric.. Just didn't know if this was him being him.. :) Also, and this is more of a footnote for long, long term future reference.. Will the crosshatch get along with a humu-humu?
<Generally yes>
Thank you! You guys have a Fantastic website!
<Thank you for being part of it Aaron. Bob Fenner>

Problem with Lunare wrasse compatibility   1/16/10
I read through your comments about compatibility of other species with Lunare wrasses. Most of the comments have to do with the wrasse being the bully.
<Yes, the genus Thalassoma is hit/miss, on/off with this trait in general>
I am having the opposite problem. In the last month or so, my Miniatus grouper and my black trigger have been harassing my Lunare wrasse.
<I'll bet!>
I have a 150 gallon FOWLR tank. All of my fish would be considered large and aggressive. The wrasse was in the tank long before the other two and they lived together in peace for many months. The grouper has now grown to over 8" and the trigger is nearly that size. My Lunare wrasse is close to that length but certainly not as hefty as the other two.
<And never will be>
In the last couple of days, the grouper has been chasing the wrasse into hiding if he even comes out to eat. Is there a way to deal with this problem other than getting rid of someone? Who should I remove?
<Put the alpha bully in a floating container (a Colander if you can find a large enough plastic one...) for a few days... Try feeding at opposite ends of the tank simultaneously...>
A list of my fish (all large) - my estimate is 45" of fish total:
Black trigger
Miniatus grouper
Lunare Wrasse
Porcupine puffer
Blue tang
Yellow tang
Very large hermit crab
I also had a large engineer goby in the tank until last month.
Art Berkowitz
<You may need to trade out the Cephalopholis... or the Wrasse. Bob Fenner>

Wrasse eating snails
Bluehead Wrasse ate a tube snail   8/27/09

I was removing a few tube snails that had started growing on some coral, and my Bluehead wrasse swooped in and ate a small one before I could catch it..
<Sounds about right. These guys will eat most inverts that they can fit in their mouths.>
Today the wrasse is lying on the bottom. Every once and awhile it swims a little, but goes back to the bottom. I have checked all tank parameters, 0 NH4, 0 NO2, 2.0 NO3, PH 8.3, SG 1.025, and they are good. My other fish are fine, and my corals are all open. This is the first time it has ever done this behavior. Could the tube snail be lodged in the digestive tract of the wrasse, and it is having problems passing it?
<It is possible, although unlikely. Most wrasses will eat small snails.
How big are these snails compared to the wrasse?>
<You're welcome,
Josh Solomon>
Re: Wrasse eating snails
re: Bluehead Wrasse ate a tube snail  8/29/2009

<Hello again.>
The tube snail, Vermetid, was roughly 1/8" X 1/8". Ate the entire thing, shell and all. The wrasse is swimming more but you can see a small protrusion now in the stomach area. I've been trying to get a picture, but it is pretty quick.
<Is he eating? The activity is a good sign.>
Thanks again,
<You're welcome,
Josh Solomon.>

Lunare wrasse compatibility     9/20/08 Hello crew, Shea again. I was just wondering about the compatibility of a 3" Lunare wrasse with a 3" emperor angel. <Should be okay in a large enough volume with cover...> I know the wrasse can hold it's own, but what about the angel? My plan is a 150 gallon that my LFS is getting rid of with all of the equipment. It is 1 of 3 live rock tanks, he decided he only needed 2. I'm trying to "blueprint" the tank, it will be a FOWLR with the Lunare wrasse and emperor angel assuming compatibility. The other fish I'm considering is a maroon clown and another wrasse species like a blue head, green bird wrasse, or paddle fin. Do you think this selection of fish would work? <In this size, shape volume, yes> Is there space for a harlequin tusk (love that fish!) <Likely so as well> Thank you for your advice it is always very helpful. Shea <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Lunar Wrasse Compatibility with Blenny and Dottyback 07/28/2008 Hi guys, <<Hello, Andrew today>> before my question I'd just like to thank you for all the informative faqs and articles; you've really helped me with my tank. About the tank: 75 gallon rectangular FOWLR, 2 BakPak protein skimmers and, 1 Emperor 400, 70lb live sand, 50lb live rock. <<Ok>> Inhabitants: 4.5 inch Picasso Trigger, 4.5 inch Fox Face, 3.5 inch Midas Blenny, 1.5 inch Blue Bar Dottyback, and most recently, a 2,5 inch Lunar Wrasse. <<Ok>> Question: I recently got the Lunar Wrasse acclimated him normally. He's not very aggressive, just bobs around normally. It's the other fish, particularly the Dottyback and the Midas Blenny, that I'm concerned with. They're not normally aggressive towards any of their tank mates or each other, but they chase the Lunar Wrasse if it comes any where near their territory. <<Quite normal, in my opinion>> With my tank, if I turn off the lights, the fish all go to sleep in their caves and barely move, so I've kept the light off to give the Wrasse a bit more time to adjust. But the tank has been pretty peaceful without the Wrasse, and I don't want it to get killed, so what do you think: Should I give it a week and see if the Blenny and Dottyback adjust? OR Should I get him out of there immediately? <<I would give it a little time to adjust. The fish in there, I would not class as incompatible. A word of caution here, these do get quite large in captivity, about 10 inches or so, and I would suggest a larger tank be available in the not too distant future.>> If I do have to get him out of there, I have a second tank with a 4.5 inch Niger Trigger. Could I put him in there temporarily, or will the Niger (whose been on his own for a year) tear him apart? <<Depending on tank, I would probably tend not to use this route. Thanks for your help! <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Saltwater tank question, Thalassoma comp., fdg.  06/24/2008 Hi, <<Hello, Andrew today>> Thanks so much for setting up this resource - I've really learned a great deal from reading your FAQs. I've got a couple questions please, hopefully these are not redundant with something in the FAQ already. <<Sounds good>> I've got a 60 gallon marine tank (although probably only ~45 usable gallons thanks to a built-in wet/dry filter in the back) and am still very new to the process (6 months now with the tank). We've got a tiny 1-2" damsel, a 2-3" clown, a 2" clown, a 3-4" yellow tang, and a very spirited (e.g. insane) 4-5" lunare wrasse (which I learned from your FAQ is just a baby due to two black spots). <<A bigger home will certainly be needed for the yellow tang and lunare wrasse>> I've also learned the hard way about the lunare and hermit crabs - we foolishly bought 10 crabs, 8 margarita snails, and 4 turbo snails from our dealer at the same time as the wrasse - suffice to say we only have 3 turbo snails left and the leftover carnage is frightening. The lunare was our last addition to the tank - and so far he seems to be in a tenuous alliance with the tang - they are constantly together, but occasionally chase each other. I'm more worried about the other three - I've read in your FAQ that adult lunare's will feast on smaller tank mates - is this true for fish that were there before it was introduced? <<Yes, these can be pretty voracious eaters, and if it will go in the mouth, it will be considered lunch>> <<Due to size of this fish, which can grow up to around 10 inches, i would seriously consider taking this back to the store>> Also - our smaller clown has recently started acting "lazy". I always feed them from the same side of the tank (the furthest spot from the intake for the filter - I've been feeding them algae flakes and Mysis shrimp now for months - but recently the smaller clown will just hover under the area I feed them waiting for me to give it food. I only feed them twice a day - and I think I am feeding enough (I know the tendency is to overfeed). <<Certainly, i only ever feed fish once every other day. I would cut down on your feeding and vary the diet you provide>> He used to swim around the tank - but now he just stays there until I turn off the light. I don't think the light is the problem because I've moved it directly over his "spot" and he still remains there. He will come right up to the surface when I feed them - but he will not pursue food that gets to far away from him. <<Bored of food, too much food available, does not want food>> I think his eyesight is okay, because he definitely reacts to me when I move close to the tank - and will move away from my fingers outside the tank if I move them rapidly. But if a small piece of food is too far from him (i.e. down below him or whatever) he will start towards it but then turn around to hover in his "spot" again. I've started spooning out shrimp to him to verify that he will eat - which he does - but this is ridiculous :) I cannot keep hand-feeding this fish. <<He he he...I have always hand fed my clowns, they love it>> Any advice? <<Seriously, change your feeding regime for them, to once every other day, change / vary their diet.>> thanks very much, Glenn <<Thanks for the questions Glenn, i hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Lunar Wrasse -- 6/17/08 We just (2 months) inherited a 95 gallon saltwater tank with a 30 gallon sump, Clarkii clown, 3 striped damsel, 6" Lunar Wrasse, a lawnmower blenny, lavender tang, maroon clown and a 1 1/2" lemon wrasse.. <How nice! Talk about jumping in (all the way!) feet first!> We have a protein skimmer and all in all, the tank is doing very nicely. The live rock we have is in an isolation tank for a few months with peppermint shrimp, who are removing the Aiptasia nicely. After quarantining, we put the brittle star that came with the live rock into the big tank. next morning we came down and the Lunar Wrasse had pulled almost all his legs off. <What they do> That was a big lesson in don't just look up the starfish, look up info on all the other inhabitants. <Ahh! Yes> he's back in the other tank and seems to be feeling and acting normally, just has a shorter "wingspan". We had also put a dozen or more hermit crabs and snails in the big tank and now have empty shells. Wrasse, I'm sure. I've listed this carnivore on craigslist trying to find him a new home, but no takers. <There will be> But the question I have is this - are there any snails or crabs we can add to the tank that the wrasse will not eat? <Mmm, none that you'd likely want to have... I am not much of a fan of using mollusks as cleaner-uppers...> thanks in advance. <Welcome... and want to say, an old friend/acquaintance, Lee Phelps, used to be a professor at San Diego State U., and a fine petfish person as well... Don't know if he is/was a close relation. Bob Fenner>

Re: Lunar Wrasse -- 6/17/08 Thanks so much for answering me! If you don't mind me asking, if you're not a fan of using mollusks for clean-up, what do you recommend? And - PS, the LFS said they'd trade the wrasse in for us, but catching him is a whole another issue! live and be well, Christy <Thank you. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm the second tray down. BobF>

Lunar Wrasse Trouble: 4-6-08 I have an aggressive tank (45) with a 10" Snowflake Eel, Dwarf Lion, Lemon peel Angel and Lunar Wrasse. I just bought another wrasse (Red Coris Wrasse) and added him in, I haven't seen the two of wrasses go at it yet, but have noticed that the new red Chromis (a little bit bigger than the lunar) has been very timid, shy and burying himself. (He did come out a little bit for a while and then went back into the sand). I seen the lunar take a strike at the red Chromis wrasse once in the 3 days I've had them. I don't want either one of them to die, WHAT SHOULD I DO??? Can I put the Lunar Wrasse with my other (65) tank with: Coral Beauty Angel, Neon Velvet Damsel, 2 Blue Damsels, 2 Yellow/Black Striped Damsels, Arrow Crab, and couple of Chromis? Take the Lunar back, be patient?? What? <Okay, let's start with the aggression: Lunar wrasse are very aggressive fish by nature and will bully other fish and definitely other wrasse especially if she was there first. In the other wrasses defense, Red Coris wrasses do bury themselves quite frequently so this is not abnormal behavior. You can wait this out and see if it's just your Lunar Wrasse having a superiority complex, which she will get over. Now with that being said, both of these Wrasse are going to get massively huge and require a 75 gallon minimum tank. You will not be able to keep them with small fish like your damsels because then the Wrasse will have an easy meal. So I would look into a larger tank for the future, or take them back to your LFS before you get too attached to them. Good Luck, --Yunachin>

Please Help Emergency Lunare Wrasse in Distress   3/3/07 <Hi Ivy, Mich here.> A few days ago I was replied to very promptly by your staff, All Thanks.   <Good to hear!> My Fimbriated moray attacked my lunare wrasse.   <Yipe! Yipe! Yipe!> I was instructed to separate them if possible.   <Gotta keep'em separated.> I did.   <Good.> I took all invertebrates out of the 55-gallon reef.  I took the lunare wrasse out of a 90 gallon with 100ppm <!> of nitrate, a work in progress.  Well he was moved to a 55-gallon reef with only one other fish that does not bother with him, shrimp goby.  Anyway the 55-gallon has about 10 ppm of nitrates.   <Much better.> As well other parameters would be different. <!> The levels of calcium would be higher, as well as the overall salinity and the temperature would have dropped from 82F to 80 F.  Well I acclimated the wrasse for an hour, with a heater and drip line.  He lay quite still.  All last night and today he has laid still eyes move around, he looks around.  Respiration is high but not exceedingly for this fish.  He seems to always have breathed faster than some others.   <OK.> I put my hand in the tank today and he let me stroke his face before he swam off.   <STOP TOUCHING HIM!!!> He swam about half the tank and then stopped again and still isn't swimming around.  He swam without difficulty though.  He is not eating.   <Not a good sign, but still may recover.> Anything I can do to help him.   <Stop touching him!  Leave him alone and stop stressing him.> Already treating with MelaFix and the cleaner shrimp gave him a once over.   <I would stop the MelaFix.  Better to concentrate of high water quality.> His wound from the eel was severe.   <I'm sorry to hear this.> But by this time it had begun to close up, rather rapidly.  He was vivacious and active just before I moved him,. eating well.   <So he was doing better and now is doing worse?> He is my pet.  He has been in the tank with high nitrates for two years.  I need him to live.  The wound doesn't look bad, it looks like it is healing but it has white stuff on it, right in the crevice of the deepest wound.  Is this healing tissue or fungus? <Hopefully healing tissue.  Don't pick it!> Oh my god I am just terrified I will lose him.  How can I help him? <Stop stressing him first off.  Maintain the best water quality you can, offer foods soaked in Selcon and give him time.  -Mich> Concerned Ivy

Genus Thalassoma Question of compatibility   1/30/07 I have read on your site that the Thalassoma lunare (aka Lunar Wrasse) is known to truly become a killer once mature.  Does the same hold true for the Thalassoma lutescens (aka Banana Wrasse)? <Mmm, both species can produce/become rogues... but the vast majority of specimens are fine in a "medium aggressive" setting> Was curious if the later could life peacefully in a 240 with a Harlequin Tusk, Miniatus Grouper, V. Lion, Yellow Tang, and a Queen Angel.  Or will he declare war on the angels fins and kill the Tusk? Thanks, Joe <Should get along fine in/with this mix... as long as it is large-enough to avoid predation by the Bass, Lion initially. Bob Fenner>

Porcupine Puffers (Diodon holocanthus) and selecting compatible wrasse    1/5/07 Hey guys, <Hey Gary!> I'm looking for a wrasse that would be compatible with my porcupine puffer. <Porcupine Puffers (Diodon holocanthus) may nip or attempt to eat smaller active fishes.  I would avoid smaller wrasses such as Fairy (Cirrhilabrus) and Flasher (Pseudocheilinus) wrasses.> Would a Lunare wrasse be a good tank mate with my Porc?   <Yes, I think this would be an appropriate choice, assuming this is a fish only system and your tank is at least 75 gallons.> The Lunare wrasse is beautiful and has lots of personality, but it seems that they also have a bad reputation as a nasty fish.   <Obviously there are many variables.  But I think as long as the Lunare (Thalassoma lunare) is not housed with smaller fish, or fish that are similar in shape and size it should be okay, but it goes without saying that any new introduction should be carefully observed for any type of problems.>    Thanks for your advice and guidance.   <Welcome, good luck!  -Mich> Gary

New Tank Mates and a Dead Cleaner Shrimp... Coincidence?   12/21/06 Hey guys, <Hi there, Mich with you today.> First of all, thanks for putting up this great site.   <Welcome!  Glad you find it valuable.> It has helped a lot of people including me. <This is good to hear.> Yesterday I introduced a Copperband butterfly and a lunare wrasse in my tank and this morning I could not find my cleaner shrimp, I searched everywhere and found him dead. <Uh oh!> Could it be that one of the new fish ate him, or could it be that both of them ate it. <Yep.> I really need to know. <Yes, unfortunately it is certainly possible that one of your fish took out your shrimp.  Many possible causes ranging from aggression to hunger to defensive behavior.  I would tend to suspect the Lunare Wrasse (Thalassoma lunare) as the more likely culprit.  They can be highly predatory.  Sorry for your loss.>   Thanks guys. <You're welcome.  -Mich>

Lunare Wrasse Rescue, comp. scavengers    9/5/06 I recently went to purchase some miscellaneous aquarium supplies from someone breaking down their saltwater setup.  He had three fish (a maroon clown, a yellowtail damsel, and a lunare wrasse) sitting in putrid, stagnant, water in the bottom of a bucket.  All three were very very near death, so I went ahead and got them to attempt a rescue.  The yellowtail didn't make the 30-minute trip home (very sad).  After some time and effort, the other two are recovering well -- though the clown is still a bit lethargic and the wrasse seems to twitch now and then.   I put a BTA with the clown, and I think that's helping his recovery.   I'm planning on integrating the clown in my main (150g) reef tank, but don't think the inhabitants will appreciate the wrasse. <Much more likely the BTA...>   The local fish store doesn't want the wrasse, and so I decided to keep him since I invested so much effort to keep him alive.  I'm setting up a separate 55g tank (it's the biggest tank I have available right now) just for the wrasse.  I've been told, and have read that they like to eat things like snails and crabs.  So, to my question (sorry for being so verbose)...Do you know of any species of tank cleaners (snails, crabs, etc.) that can reside in the wrasse tank without getting munched.  If not, what sort of critter would you recommend putting in this tank to remove detritus and any uneaten food? <Mmm, I'd look to fishes instead of invertebrates here...> By the way, the wrasse is about nine inches long.  Thanks for any tips. Chris. <Perhaps sand sifting Valenciennea... Salarias/Atrosalarias blenny... a small Siganid... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marscavart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Wrasses & Triggers - 03/06/06 Hello, <<Howdy>> Just a quick question.  I will still look on the site but I don't seem to get the answers I want although a lot of helpful information. <<Indeed>> My question is this; what wrasse can live with a lunar wrasse, if any?  I was thinking green bird or (banana/sunset) is it possible to have any of them live together? <<Mmm, the Lunar Wrasse can be feisty...but this "could" work in a large tank (100+) if the Lunar is added last (the Banana Wrasse <Halichoeres chrysus> is probably the better choice to house with the Lunar Wrasse). Second question is can a Niger trigger fish live with a Huma-Huma trigger fish.  I know that size of tank plays a factor in this.  I have a 100 gallon. <<Too much fish flesh for this tank my friend.  The Niger trigger will outgrow this tank pretty much on its own (please take mature sizes in to consideration), but I think you could get away with the Huma-Huma and the two wrasses.>> I have been scouring your site for these answers and everyone has all kinds of questions about them but never for the ones above I'm looking for. Thanks, Michael <<Regards, EricR>>

Lunare Wrasse, compatible? Bob, I was doing some surfing looking for wrasse info when I found this site.  <Pleased to meet you> I'm very new to the aquarium hobby (started a 75 g. last November) and hoped you could give some advice. My tank consists of a yellow tang, Huma trigger and speckled Hawkfish (no coral/inverts). I purchased a lunare wrasse a couple days ago and the Hawkfish seemed particularly annoyed with the new guest.  <Yes... they don't particularly care to share... space, food, attention> When I released the wrasse into the tank, he swam casually across the tank and was promptly attacked by the Hawkfish.  <Yes. I have seen this and other genus Halichoeres wrasses chasing, eating Hawkfishes in the wild> Since then, he hasn't left the protection of the lace rock. I have been feeding my three regulars a steady diet of frozen plankton and an occasional piece of Nori on a food clip, but none of the plankton even makes it to the wrasse. I tried feeding him some brine shrimp, a few of which he ate, but I read that they aren't very nutritious. <Not able to sustain such an animal as this, no> Do you think the wrasse is going to fit in with the others? <Doubtful. I give the situation less than 50% of likelihood.> I tried adding more rock and rearranging the tank a little before adding the wrasse. I heard this can reduce the territorial aggression of the other fish. <Yes, a good move> Any suggestions about feeding would be greatly appreciated. Also, can I add any type of snails or conch with these types of fish? <Not really a good risk with the trigger. I would trade in the Lunare and look for a hardy tang species instead... or one of many other choices. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Allen

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>

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>

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>

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>

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>

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.>

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>

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>

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

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

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>

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> 

- 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 -- >

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 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

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>  

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