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FAQs on Thalassoma Wrasse Stocking/Selection

Related Articles: Thalassoma Wrasses,

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

A T. duperrey in the wild, HI.

Pinkface wrasse - bad idea?      5/4/15
Hi Bob. I’m interested in your advice regarding a Pinkface wrasse (T. quinquevittatum). This fish was at the top of my list when I started my 260 gal FOWLR about a year and a half ago. However, I have not been able to find one until now.
<This Thalassoma and its near congeners don't make their way into the trade very often; mainly because the habitats that they most often are found in aren't fished by collectors... near shore, high water movement. A close second reason is that folks don't have the sorts of confines in turn that they require.... large, roomy, with lots of water movement>
My LFS has three of them in. Two are smaller (3-4”) with not great color, the other is about 5” with very nice color.
<All will grow to be well-colored if maintained properly>

All are very active and eating well. In researching the fish, though, I have heard that Thalassoma wrasses are pretty aggressive, and cam be downright mean if not homicidal (or piscicidal, as the case may be).
<Some more than others... this one is of the more aggressive>
I know lunare wrasses are particularly mean; I have heard that Pinkface wrasses are not as bad, but I still concerned. I have a well-stocked tank with several tangs in the 4-5” range, several angels in the 5-6” range, a 7” niger trigger, 5” Bluejaw trigger, a few smaller fish such as a flame hawk, royal gramma and purple pseudo, and a number of wrasses. My wrasses include a 6” harlequin tusk, 5” red velvet fairy, 3.5” exquisite wrasse, 3.5” melanarus, 4” quoyi parrot, and a 3” transitional red Coris. What are your thoughts on adding the 5” Pinkface?
<I'd start with one of the smaller individuals... in a system of this size; it should learn to get along>
I know it can hold its own, but is it likely to start harassing and even injuring or killing some of my other fish? My fish are generally bold, but I don’t want to upset the balance. I had to remove a murderous Picasso trigger a few months ago. I am afraid catching a Pinkface wrasse would not be so easy.
Thanks for your advice!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pinkface wrasse - bad idea?      5/4/15

Thanks for the quick reply Bob. You think the smaller ones will color up as they grow?
<Already stated>
Are these a fast growing species?
Interesting to hear you say pinkfaces are among the more aggressive - I had heard otherwise but not from as reliable a source as you. Sounds like you think it’s not so bad that I should just avoid it entirely though? I have also heard they can really harass other wrasses. I’m most concerned about my melanarus and parrot as they are closest in color and form.

Thalassoma quinquevittatum; stkg., sel.  7/20/2014
Hi Crew,
I would like to know if three of these would pose a threat to a group of 6 gramma loretos already established in a 160g Fowlr system.
<Not likely a threat unless the former were very big, the latter very small. This Thalassoma is even more energetic than the usual members of the genus... really zooming about. You'll want a "quiet end" (stack of high rock) for the Grammas to hide out in>
Would one or two be better instead?
<Likely so... especially if all started small... 3-4"... with just one "turning into" a male>
My goal is to see the color changes exhibited by the male wrasse. (I can't select a male since I live in the USVI
<Oh! Am headed out to St. Thomas next week... to do a bit of diving>
and order directly from a stateside wholesaler.) The smallest loreto is 1.5" and the wrasses will be ordered as "medium."
Also, is there any snail that would work?
<Not any that I'm aware of... too likely to get flipped, eaten>
Thanks. Your service is invaluable.
Chris Powell
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Thalassoma quinquevittatum
Thank you, Bob. I'll try two wrasses rather than three. The rockscape has two dense areas and dozens of small holes that the loretos use--endlessly fascinating. I'll rely on my three tangs, my two dwarf angels, and my cleanliness to control algae.
<Real good>
Ha, I am on St. Thomas. It would be a kick to meet you.
<Oh! Will be at Megan's Resort 7/25-31... Would you like to go diving with us? How to contact you? Via this email I take it>
I'm sure you have a full agenda, and I'm having the dreaded dental surgery next week--plus the new fish arrival on Thursday evening. However, toss me a line if you like. Maybe there will be a gap in common.
Cheers, back atcha,

Re: 200G FOWLR Predator Stocking - wrasse selection/tradeoff     7/31/12
Bob (or other Crew if Bob isn't available),
<Bob here Dave>
I am finally ready to add fish to my tank...after years of planning, running in circles, and 8 months of incessant emails to you (sorry)...
<No worries>
I've updated the final selections. Now that rock and sand are in my 200 Gallon (60" long x 30" tall), and I hope to err on the side of under stocking so all specimens have a little elbow room. I hope to get your advice one more time on FOWLR stocking.
I have 2 engineer gobies and a maroon clown in quarantine. I plan to add a harlequin tusk, a porcupine puffer, and a hippo tang. I would like to add 1-2 more fish, but want to ensure there is no crowding or competition with the swimming needs of the puffer and hippo (and for this reason, ruled out added large wrasses, large angels, triggers, tangs, goatfish, etc).
<Smaller Tang/s, Goatfish would be fine>
Any suggestions on others to consider? Maybe a larger Hawkfish (*P. **forsteri, P. hemistictus or C. pinnulatus)*?
<Interesting animals... I'd skip on the last>
 Or a smaller Thalassoma wrasse (*T. hebraicum, T. bifasciatum*)?
<Also good (fast moving) choices>
 Seems these would help ensure the puffer and hippo have their unobstructed run of the tank?
<They'll highly likely be fine together>
Appreciate any suggestions
on these listed or others you may suggest.
<I'd consider a small, schooling species here... for color, movement... Perhaps a shoal of Anthiines or Cirrhilabrus>
Thanks, Dave
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: 200G FOWLR Predator Stocking - wrasse selection/tradeoff    7/31/12

Bob, thank you for this feedback. I hadn't considered a shoal of fish to add. In researching, it seems fairy wrasses may be a better fit to the bruisers already on the stocking list (especially the Premnas and Diodontid). Would you agree?
<Mmm, well; there are quite a few other choices/groups, but yes>
I'll complete the stocking list with a handful of larger fairy wrasse specimens and a freckled Hawkfish. Seems this will keep the water column traffic patterns in balance for my tall/narrow 200G.
Thank you!
<Welcome Dave. BobF>
Re: 200G FOWLR Predator Stocking - wrasse selection/tradeoff... Thalassoma stkg./sel f' as well    7/31/12

Do you suggest that I focus on any other select choice/group?
<Mmm, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fowlrlvstgfaqs.htm
and the linked files/FAQs above in the series. B>
Re: 200G FOWLR Predator Stocking - wrasse selection/tradeoff   8/1/12

Bob, thank you. Having done more review on WWM at your suggestion, I am considering introducing a small shoal of Thalassoma lucasanum instead.

 I would like to add a 6" terminal male
<Wow! Hard to find, catch... you'll soon find out>
 that I found today at a local reputable fish store (Elite Reef in the Denver area), and see if I can find two smaller initial phase specimens (with the hope that they will be female). Do you think there is any concerns with this?
<Mmm, no>
 If not, do you have any guidance on maximum sizing for the smaller specimens?
<Three inches or so...>
As the other fish will be mid to large size, I don't want to go too small on these.  (IE, Engineer Gobies are 9", Maroon Clown and Hippo Tang are 4", Harlequin Tusk and Puffer are 7").
<The Thalassoma are very quick and aware. As long as they're healthy when introduced they should be able to stay out of the way>
Thank you...I'm almost there...Dave
<Enjoy the anticipation, process. Bob Fenner>
Re: 200G FOWLR Predator Stocking - wrasse selection/tradeoff   8/1/12

Bob, thanks for the feedback! I'll be sure to let you know how this experiment goes. As they are speedy, and there will be plenty of tankmates/obstacles that will prevent their capture, I can only hope that carnage/death is not the final outcome of a failed harem attempt...we shall see...
A few last questions before I give this a go...
Do I introduce the male first, females first, or all simultaneously? I see FAQs generally encourage a simultaneous intra-species introduction, but want to double check on the approach for a harem.
<Females first or all simultaneously>
Do you think this is likely to cause higher male aggression towards the other tank specimens?
 I may not attempt if this could cause all-out tank warfare, especially for the other Labrid (i.e. the 7" Harlequin Tusk). The Thalassoma is my last-choice specimen group.
<Exciting. B>

Lunare Wrasse or Not??    4/16/12
<Hi Tina, Jordan with you today.>
Ok, so long story short :)  I started with a 5 gallon saltwater and about 2 months later upgraded to a 40 gallon saltwater (would love a larger one but not enough room).  I have a Yellow Tail Blue Damsel, Scooter Blenny,
<Is the Scooter accepting prepared foods? It is going to be difficult to sustain enough pods to support a Dragonet in a 40.>
Large Condy Anemone, Large Feather Duster, Multiple Tiny Feather Dusters (hitch-hikers), 2 large snails, 1 medium snail, some small snails (hitch-hikers), 2 Blue Leg Crabs, 4 Red Leg Crabs, and plenty of other tiny hitch-hikers.  (Only had the Damsel, Feather Duster, and 2 crabs in the 5 gallon.) 
Since I set up my 40 gallon breeder (36 in. L x 18 in. W x 17 in. H) around Christmas I have lost 2 other damsels to ick, but it has never affected my Yellow Tail Blue Damsel or my Scooter Blenny (it has been over a week since my last damsel died of ick).
<Are you treating in any manner? Cryptocaryon irritans will not just go away. Read more on Marine Ich-- http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm 
I have seriously been wanting to get a Lunare Wrasse (which I can get at about 3 inches) but don't want it to get ick right away and die (unfortunately I don't have a QT).
<Thalassoma lunare?!? They get much too large for a three foot tank and are quite aggressive. I'd recommend setting up a QT system.>
 My LFS says they are very hardy and usually don't get ick as they spend so much time in the sand, is this correct?? 
<LFS is trying to make a sale.>
Should I go ahead and get one?
<No, tank is way too small!!! Do not add any fish until Crypto has been addressed and corrected.>
I know there are worries about them eating crabs and snails but I'm hoping if I get the 3 inch one he won't be as apt to mess with the larger crabs and snails (not too worried them).
<It's only a matter of time until the largest of snails and crabs are on the menu.>
My other worry is my Condy, it's kind of my baby and I would hate for something to happen to it.  Do you think if the Lunare is 3 inches when I get it that it will leave my Condy alone??
<Condy would pose more of a risk to the Wrasse.>
I know it's taking a risk, but how big of a risk do you think? I have done a lot of reading on-line and in all of my many Marine Aquarium books and they all say so many different things, can you please help me out??
<Do not put a Thalassoma lunare in the tank and kill the Crypto before adding any new fish.>
Thank you so much in advance, you guys and gals have helped me out before and given me great advice...keep up the awesome work!!!
Looking forward to your reply...Tina  :)
<Best of luck>

Just wanted to get some advice regarding a Thalassoma duperrey. Comp. 2/1/12
<Ahh. A fave endemic from HI>
I have a
90gal FO tank with a good amount of free swimming space. Do you think I am "pushing it" by adding this 6" wrasse to my tank?
<Mmm, possibly. What else is stocked here?>
His tailfin alone is around 2" (including long point tips). So I'd say his body is about 5" or so. This is the first (out of 3) Thalassoma wrasse that actually swims calm and relaxed....yet alert and always "on the move". Does this species tend to be less "rambunctious"? What do you think? Am I providing enough
<Is about mid rambunctious for the genus... Bob Fenner>
re: Hey folks.....
I have a 3" yellow tang, 2" flame hawk and 2" purple Dottyback, 4" Harlequin tusk, and a 2.5" Kole tang....
<Should go w/ B>
re: Hey folks..... 2/1/12

And.....WOW....he is beeeauuutiful! Pictures don't do justice in the least! He looks like a palette of monotone pastel colors...amazing.
<Healthy individuals are fab. BobF>
... Thalassoma Wrasse, lighting... 2/3/12

Get Bob, speaking of the wrasse I am confused with the lighting. The orange on the wrasse and the reds (oranges) on other fish are very muted under my coral life t5 light. Should I increase the actinic or the daylight in order to bring these colors out? Its a 10k daylight bulb and just the standard actinic that came with the light. I'd like to keep the intensities on the blues but intensify the reds and oranges as well.
<I wouldn't change the lighting. Your eyes/mind... appreciation will adjust in time. B>
re: Hey folks..... 2/3/12

Ok, will do. Just out of curiosity though, what would you do hypothetically, if you wanted oranges/reds to stand out in addition to the blues?
<Apply more light in the longer wave length, shorter frequency range of EMR that humans can register. B>

Harem of Lunare wrasse requirements 10/5/11
Hi All,
I had a quick question. What is the minimal size tank required to have a harem of Lunare Wrasses?
<Mmm, likely 150 gallons>
I have a 450 display with another 100 gallon sump. What's the best number of Wrasses to have in this?
<One definitive male, a few females/undifferentiated individuals...>
It is fairly well stocked, but I thought the harem would be neat.
<Me too... I see such groupings (where the genus Thalassoma occurs natch) in the wild, and only in public aquariums otherwise>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner, out in Fiji, observing this species in such associations most days>
re: Harem of Lunare wrasse requirements
Thanks for the quick response! Enjoy the Fiji's..I'll give it a try with 3, and share the results.
<Thank you, BobF>

Thalassoma sel. 5/30/11
Hey Bob.....Hope you had a good weekend. For the first time at my lfs I saw a Gold Bar Wrasse and he looks ok. You say its your favorite wrasse of the genus and this one is very dull gray/green. I always buy fish that are your favorites including the Red Coris. So, should I waiting for one that ls more along the lines of what you say to be beautiful, or will he change and get more colorful (he is 4")?
<Up to you... will change colour and more w/ time... Better under good conditions. B>
re: Hey folks..... Thal. sel. 5/31/11

Ok thanks. There is very limited information on this species. I wanted to know, are there coloration/marking differences with male and female?
<Mmm, yes... see the geog. survey works by John Randall, Gerald Allen and co. B>

Saddle Wrasse Question... hlth./quarantine 3/23/11
Quick question. I picked up a beautiful 4 inch Saddle Wrasse
<A small individual! Am impressed by whomever was able to capture one of these Thalassoma at this size>
from my lfs yesterday. After reading your site I got the impression that this fish could be freshwater dipped and placed right into my display tank as opposed to be put into a quarantine tank for several weeks.
<Can be... It was our store's long-standing policy to do such expediting w/ Labrids of this and quite a few other genera. These fast-moving fishes (Thalassoma) suffer way too much otherwise being confined to small spaces... often damaging themselves, jumping out...>
My QT is a 20 high and knowing how active this fish is should I do a quick dip and then place the Wrasse directly into my 150 gallon display tank?
<Yes, I would>
Thank you for your help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Thalassoma... sel. 3/16/11
And I'm not sure if the Jensen's Wrasse had additional color morphs since your written literature on WWM but I just bought a male and he is gorgeous (navy, lime green, mustard yellow and bright blue). Reason why I'm saying this is because in this fish's Bio next to the pic you state "not a great beauty but Hardy as the genus goes....". Just thought maybe they weren't as pretty back then compared to the newer ones. Just hope he doesn't get overly aggressive and lives a while haha.
<Ok. B>

Klunzinger's Wrasse Question 1/12/11
Hello Crew. I ordered a Pink Faced Wrasse yesterday, but received a Klunzinger Wrasse instead. He is now a "freebie" and they will send me the proper fish as well. He is a good 6" in length
<Yikes... a VERY active animal>
and looked great in the bag. After a 3 hour acclimation I placed him in quarantine 20 hours ago.
<Take him out! I'd summarily dip/bath and place this fish in your largest system. Something at least six feet in length>
He seems really stressed out and has been laying upright, (not on his side), breathing heavy, with an alert look in his eyes, and in pretty much the same area since being placed in the 40 gallon long tank.
<MUCH too small a volume>
I was wondering if this is common behavior for this fish after a coast to coast trip from California, to my door in Michigan, or should I be concerned here. I have the light turned off and tried once to give him
Mysis today, without luck. The parameters in the quarantine are right where they should be. I am also curious now that I have this fish, if you think I will be able to keep two, Thalassoma wrasses in a 96" x 36" x 36" system?.
I appreciate any advice you can give me on this issue.
Many thanks,
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: Klunzinger's Wrasse Question 1/12/11
I truly appreciate the "rapid" response Mister Fenner.
<I felt the need... "the (wait for it) need for speed"!>
I did as you instructed and he immediately went into a dark cave in my "show" tank (8ft long, 3 ft wide and 3 ft tall). The Wrasse came in very "fat" but I am wondering, should I try and place some food in his "cave" in a day or so, or do you think he will come out on his own and eat when he is ready?.
<Oh, this Thalassoma will definitely come, be out eating w/ gusto in time>
I have exhaustively read, and continue to enjoy your site, so I know your take on quarantine. I was just thinking exactly what you recommended may be an "exception", much like my new Red Coris Wrasse was, which I why I contacted you today. The Red Coris Wrasse is doing great, by the way, and ate right out of the bag.!
<Ah, good>
My show tank is aggressive and though I read up on the Klunzinger Wrasse, and know he is also aggressive, I wanted to give him a little "peace" after the long haul from the Red Sea, to California, to Michigan, before he had to deal with the "brutes". Once again I want to extend my heart felt thanks to you, and your marvelous "crew" for your tireless, wonderful service you provide for fellow aquarists.!!!. I am also a diver and take one trip a year.
I miss the ocean, but my multiple salt water aquariums take the sting away a bit between trips. Have a great day Mister Fenner.
Many thanks.
<As many welcomes my friend. BobF>
Re: Klunzinger's Wrasse Question 1/17/11

Hello Mister Fenner or whomever I get from the "Crew" here today. I have promising news on the Klunzinger Wrasse. As you predicted, he is starting to emerge from a cave and grab some food.
He still appears somewhat skittish, retreating to his cave afterwards. I do see him out and about more as each day passes. He is a magnificent fish indeed.! Thank you again for your timely advice. I think it saved this one for me.!
Many thanks,
<Thank you for your report Howard. BobF>

Thalassoma hebraicum pair 12/7/09
Dear WWM Crew,
I would like to get a pair of Thalassoma Hebraicum in my 300 gallon tank but have not found a retailer who has a pair for sale.
<Mmm, this genus, like many Wrasses, live in haremic conditions, a dominant male with a mix of females, developing individuals, not "pairs" per se, though will live as "two" in a system as large as yours just fine>
At LiveAquaria, they have a 4" female for sale and at another retailer, they have a 5" male. Is it possible to buy them separately and put them in a tank and they pair up?
<Mmm, in as much as the genus does, yes>
If so, should the female go in 1st? Should they be the same size or the male bigger?
<In the volume/system mentioned, either could go first, the size difference is not important here.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Thalassoma duperrey, sel., HI biotope -- 06/29/08 Hello WWM crew-- I am interested in setting up a Hawaii biotope. The tank will be either 180 g or 210 g. I am still working out a few of the setup details, including the stocking plan. I know how common the Thalassoma duperrey, or Saddle wrasse, is in Hawaii and would really like to have one of them in the tank. Are they available for sale anywhere? <Mmm, yes... may have to be "special ordered" by your LFS from their supplier/s, but are caught for the trade in Hawaii> I live in a small town and buy most of my livestock online, but haven't been able to find them anywhere. The display just wouldn't seem right without the Saddle wrasse. Could you possibly point me to a vendor that might have one? (Or let me down easy if they are not available in the aquarium trade...) Thanks for the help. Your site is a huge help to me. Tom <Try requesting specifically... from Dr.s Foster & Smith, MarineDepot.com... call and talk with them specifically re... they in turn can ask "the folks at 104th street" in LA (mainly Quality Marine, Sea Dwelling Creatures, Underwater World...) to ask in turn... Bob Fenner>
Re: Thalassoma duperrey 6/30/08
Thank you Bob, that is great news. Now I have a couple follow-up questions. I read the Wrasse System FAQs and the Thalassoma FAQs, but I am still not sure if the Thalassoma duperrey requires a sand bed. <Mmm, not to dig, sleep in, no> I know the moon wrasse does, but I learned in the System FAQs that some wrasse are able to wedge into rocks as an alternative to burrowing into sand. Would that apply to T. duperrey? <I do think so. All members of this genus I've seen at night in the wild were doing so> I was hoping to have a DSB as part of the refugium and leave the display tank BB to avoid predation. Thanks again for the help. <Welcome. BobF>

Bluehead Wrasse, Males sel. 6/19/08 Hi Crew, [insert Crew member quip ; ) ] The only picture used to represent the Bluehead Wrasse, Thalassoma bifasciatum, shows the terminal phase male. Studies show this coloring is present in approximately 4% of wild fish! My question is: How do the fish stores and/or their suppliers produce so many TP males? Or, how do they get so many IP males and females to "make the conversion"? Thx for any insight you can provide. David <These male/terminal phase individuals (also for many other species) are preferentially collected in the wild. Hopefully near-conversion "males" are readily available in such harems to convert to functioning males. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Bluehead Wrasse 6/19/08 Hi Bob, If you'll entertain another question ... Will IP males be a paler version of their brightly colored TP counterparts; or is the coloring of IP males and females usually various shades of yellow and white bands? Thank you again for your assistance saving my Zebrasoma some months back. It is alive and well thanks to your experience and advise. Regards, David <Come/occur in intermediate colors/markings... depending on mood/physiology (principally hormonal, but neurologically mediated as well), through recent behavior... most are yellow, with some white and black markings... ones that are "close", waiting... turn a bit more bluish, sometimes with black banding... like males... BobF><<Who does wish he had the means, time on WWM to put up his many pix to show such>>

R2: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy), now Thalassoma -- 02/11/08 I've seen a Blue Headed Wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum) and find them to be quite spectacular <<Indeed'�>> ... based on the reading I've done it seems that it could work since it is semi-aggressive (no fear of Tomato Clowns), and differs in body size and colour from the Sixline? <<Mmm, the size of your system is the problem here 'though not a 'giant' (but still, almost 12' in the wild), this wrasse gets too big and is much too active/requires much more space than your 65g tank provides. Even though a small juvenile 'looks' like a good fit, placing this fish in your tank will lead to health and behavioral issues for the wrasse. Better to stick with a Cirrhilabrus spp. as discussed 'in my opinion. EricR>>

Lunar/Moon Wrasse sel., Rock Beauty nutr. 2/8/08 Hello; <Jamie> I currently own a 125 gallon reef aquarium. Reef includes many varieties of torch coral, mushrooms, polyps, and other unique animals. I have read many articles about over population of mini reefs so I have kept my inhabitant limited including only a true Percula clown who hosts with a toadstool.... amazing.. he even tries to feed it; a lunar wrasse, and a rock beauty angel. When I first started doing this I was very naive (as most people are) and someone told me the rock beauty angel was a pygmy lemon peel with weird markings and I thought "oh how cute" and bought him. He has survived 2 moves and is in his final home the 125. He seems to be doing well and has grown from about 1 inch to about 4 inches. A very good eater as well. I have read a lot about their eating and am even providing live sponges for him to nibble on but he doesn't touch them... I feed him a wide variety of food including angel and butterfly formula. Are there concerns I should have with his health in the future? He is an amazing fish and I would like to keep him healthy. <If you have done as well with this Holacanthus tricolor as you state, you likely have much you can teach me... I would have suggested the angel formula (I "talked" friend Chris Turk into its making years back when he owned/managed Ocean Nutrition.) or Spectrum pellets... as I've seen Pablo Tepoot's specimens feed well on it...> My main question (now that I have strayed) was the following; I was looking through the Marine Fishes Guide by Scott. W. Michael and read that lunar wrasses can be kept in pairs in a tank 125 or larger. Is this true? <Mmm, yes> I ask only because I believe I have a female... she is quite solid green with pink variations on her face nothing "wow" as far as color goes. I understand that they can change sex on their own to help keep populated in the wild. <Yes, this is so> I am not sure how fish work but I would rather be with a partner than without. <Is fine w/o...> I would like to give her a mate that she can relate to. If this will not cause me any problems how do I go about choosing a male? <Best to choose an apparent female of slightly smaller size (an inch or so) and allow the present one to change> Any information you can offer would be great! There is not to much information I can find in books or anything...all I can find is that one phrase. "Males and females can be kept as a pair in tanks 125 or larger". Thank You! Jamie <Bob Fenner>

Advice on SixBar wrasse, Thalassoma Pass On The Wrasse (New Fish Addition)? 12/3/07 Hi <Hey There! Scott F. in today!> First off, thank you guys, so much, for putting all of this great stuff out on the web for free. I've never written in before but I've read your FAQs for many years and over this time I've gradually been trained to never ever put anything in my tanks before running a search on WetWebMedia for it first. <Wow-I can now die a happy man...mission accomplished- with at least one of our readers, anyways!> I've run into a wall on my latest 'want' though - a SixBar wrasse. I've run through the spellings I've seen for this on the web (Hardwick's, Hardwickii, Hardwicke, 'Sixbar') and haven't found much on WWM to do with it. I am just wondering if there is any advice you can give me on whether this is a good addition to my tank: <Will try> hardware - 5'x20"x20" tank, 1" crushed coral bed, 80lbs live rock, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 to 10 nitrate (depends on feeding), Deltec MCE600 skimmer (by far the best and most expensive thing on the tank), circulation totals to 17x volume turnover. inhabitants - 4.5" Odonus Niger 'Niger' Triggerfish, 5" Melichthys vidua 'Pinktail' Triggerfish, 3 1-2" Chrysiptera parasema 'Yellowtail' Ddamselfish,1" Salarias fasciatus *'*lawnmower' blenny, various snails and Hermit crabs (triggers are yet to show the slightest interest in these - I am sure they will someday). <I would tend to agree!> Nobody ever gets scrappy with anyone else that I have ever seen. The Damsels were a little bit of a gamble but the Triggers are far, far and away more active in the tank than before they were added - I think these might be used as 'ditherfish' by the Triggers, they never bothered to explore much beyond their hiding space before the Damsels went in. <Good thought...It's hard to believe, but these types of Triggers do tend to be rather shy, at least at first. Some do develop rather nasty personalities down the line-it does vary among individuals.> So, would you recommend a 5" Sixbar/Hardwick's wrasse for this tank? I am guessing they are broadly similar to the other Thalassoma wrasses in their behavior, but I don't know if they might play a little hard for what seem to be some fairly peace-loving Triggerfish in this size tank. <I appreciate your caution! I would probably be inclined to pass on this addition. The main reason would be more of a capacity issue than anything else. Your aquarium would be pretty much maxed out at this point, from a bioload standpoint. Remember, the Triggers do get quite large, and give off copious amounts of metabolic waste. Plus, they reach pretty large adult sizes! Niger Triggers can hit 10" plus easily! They need physical space as well. Adding another fish (particularly a 5" one) is pushing it, IMO. Sort of analogous to having "one more" gin and tonic, or "just one more" slice of pepperoni/garlic pizza before that first date! The consequences may not be immediate but they will probably be unfortunate!> I have another 5' tank sitting empty at the moment which I plan to move whichever Triggerfish hits the 10" mark first, so I think I have a lid on 'these fish will get too large for your tank' issues for the time being at least. <I'm glad you have this option. However, I would be inclined to put one of these guys into it's own new aquarium sooner rather than later. Why wait for issues to arise. I'd move the Niger now.> Does the Sixbar Wrasse need a deeper sand substrate? <In my experience, the sandbed depth is of some consequence with this genus of Wrasses. You would probably want to increase it by a couple of inches.> Are they infamous 'tank psychos' once they reach a certain size? Is there any preferred environment for these fish that you guys know of? <They (I'm really referring to the genus as a whole- I have personally not kept this species) can get large, ornery and a bit "neurotic", in my experience (sort of like a number of humans I know!), and can even be aggressive at times. This genus of Wrasses runs the gamut from mildly aggressive and jumpy to full-on "get out of my face" aggression! Like so many things in the hobby, there are no guarantees. If you are not prepared for the potential problems, I'd simply pass. Perhaps another species is more appropriate. Hint: Look into the genus Halichoeres....> I think these might have been overlooked by a lot of hobbyists because they seem much more plain than some other Thalassoma wrasses - it wasn't up until I got a close look at one (i.e.; not a terrible compressed .jpg) that I realised they have a brilliant mother-of-pearl effect going on along their sides, rather than being plain black and white. <Plain fishes need love, too! But remember, there are many factors that affect the color of a fish- mood, environment, lighting, arousal (sexual or otherwise), geographic morphology, even the photographer's skill with Photoshop (when it comes to pics). Your specimen's appearance will vary! Although you are correct that the fish has a subtle beauty that is quite attractive.> Again many thanks for your website and to all the contributors. <Glad to be of service! Regards, Scott F.>

Medium size wrasse, sel. 11/16/07 Hi Crew, Just a general question if I may regarding the Mexican Lollipop Wrasse (T. lucasanum) and the Cuban Hogfish (Bodianus pulchellus). Mexican Lollipop Wrasse (T. lucasanum)> I have done lots of Google searches for pics etc. If I buy a small(ish) specimen, over time will it develop into a terminal male, with full 'lollipop' colours? <Mmm, not so much... takes the presence of a shoal of females to generate this> I am led to believe this fish has the same general husbandry requirements as the Lunare Wrasse, but it is much less aggressive / destructive? <A bit less> Cuban Hogfish (Bodianus pulchellus) My dealer doesn't get these fish in regularly (he deals more in 'reef' fish), hence I will need to order one. Are they all red with yellow tail and white stripe, or is that for large mature males only? <Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/bodianus/index.htm> Lastly, of the two species, which would you say is more 'companionable'? Many thanks <The Bodianus. BobF> Matt

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".>

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>

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>

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>

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

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>

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