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FAQs on Thalassoma Wrasse Systems

Related Articles: Thalassoma Wrasses

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

 

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
space?
Thanks,
James
<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.
Thanks
<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>

... 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.
Thanks
<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>
Thanks,
Jim
<Welcome. Bob Fenner, out in Fiji, observing this species in such associations most days>
re: Harem of Lunare wrasse requirements   10/5/11
Thanks for the quick response! Enjoy the Fiji's..I'll give it a try with 3, and share the results.
<Thank you, BobF>

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?.
<Yes>
I appreciate any advice you can give me on this issue.
Many thanks,
Howard
<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.
<Ahh!>
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.
Howard
<As many welcomes my friend. BobF>

Re Housing lots of Moon Wrasses And Not A Hoax/Bob's Input Please 3/15/09
<Hello Karen. Please see Bob's input in double carets below.
James (Salty Dog)>
Hi James,
<Hello Karen>
My thesis is actually a scientific one. I'm isolating anti-feeding metabolites from invertebrates and I'm using Thalassoma lunare in my feeding assays. Also, this species of Moon Wrasse is common in our country.
If you don't want to dive and buy it from suppliers, it cost around 30 pesos ($0.60), its pretty cheap, actually.
<All making more sense now, did not know your location as your English does not dictate such.>
My friends are willing to lend me two other 50 gal tanks, so now I have four. Sand and rocks? I can buy them cheap also. Since Thalassoma lunare is a tropical fish, do I still need heating?
<Likely not in your location. They would tolerate temperatures as low as 72F, but likely not too happy above 80F.>
I am actually worried it might die of heat, it's summer here!
<You may need to keep this in an air conditioned room.>
I need to buy a filter though. My problem is actually to keep them alive for about 4-5 months without them killing each other or dying. For the dividers, I need to group them for replicates, so I was thinking to group
them even before I use them in my assay. So it's a not a good idea after all?
<If you divide your total gallons (200) by 40 wrasses, that's only giving them 5 gallons of space each, not nearly enough to expect any long term success. The tanks would have to be covered, as they would
jump, then with no escape possible, environmental stress would set in likely leading to their demise. I'm thinking you will be wasting your time.>
And don't worry this isn't a hoax.
<Mmm, maybe not a hoax, but not a workable plan, at least in my mind. How about in yours, Bob?>
<<Mmm, this Thalassoma species lives in harems... one adult male... dominant, with perhaps a few trailing females and juveniles... I don't know of a practical way to house a bunch together in one system w/o real
trouble. RMF>>
Thanks.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Housing lots of Moon Wrasses 3/15/09
Hi.
<Hello Karen.>
Thanks again for your reply.
<Welcome.>
I just recently found a research paper (about 10 min.s ago) describing on how they housed Thalassoma species.
"One to two specimens of either T. klunzingeri or T. lunare were placed in each of the 75 l aquaria supplied with flowing seawater."
However, they didn't mention if they did it in a long-term period. Do you think they could probably live for 4-5 months at the condition mentioned above?
<As long as they are not adults and/or two males and you provide good nutrition, you might have a
shot at it. Any useful observation will likely be meaningless as they will be in a survival mode. James (SaltyHousing lots of Moon Wrasses 3/13/09

Hi WWM Crew,
<Hello Karen>
I need to house 40-50 Thalassoma lunare (moon wrasse) in an aquarium for my thesis.
<I'm guessing you have well to do parents and/or are financially secure.
I'm not understanding the purpose of your thesis and to inform you that we are not in the habit of helping with homework, do not have the time.>
I read that the minimum amount of aquarium space for a single Moon Wrasse is 75 gal with other aggressive tank mates. If I will house just moon wrasses in the aquarium, does the 75 gal-rule still apply?
<Yep.>
Also, I can't find information if they can eat their own kind? They can eat other small fishes, but are they really that aggressive to eat their own kind?
<I don't know about eating their own kind, but the aggressiveness is more pronounced in closed systems than in nature.>
Also, would it help if I install dividers in my aquarium, more like having rooms or cells for each Moon Wrasse?
<You would have better luck putting five German Shepherds in a closet.>
Currently, I have two 50-gal aquarium and I will start conditioning it next week. Hope you could help me.
<No, I cannot help you, Mr. Fenner may inject his input here. The whole idea sounds ludicrous to me, makes no sense.
Even if this were not a hoax, to purchase and properly house 40-50 Lunare Wrasses would cost a few thousand dollars. Three to four inch size Lunare Wrasses are near 40 bucks each....Mmm let's see, we have about 1800 bucks in fish, probably going to need about a 750 gallon tank along with a 3 to 4" deep sand bed for them to burrow in, plenty of rock, heating, and a large filtration system.
We are also going to lose some money here due to deaths from territorial issues, and to prove what? Why am I going on.
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Housing lots of Moon Wrasses And Not A Hoax/Bob's Input Please
3/13/09

Hi James,
<Hello Karen>
My thesis is actually a scientific one. I'm isolating anti-feeding metabolites from invertebrates and I'm using Thalassoma lunare in my feeding assays. Also, this species of Moon Wrasse is common in our country.
If you don't want to dive and buy it from suppliers, it cost around 30 pesos ($0.60), its pretty cheap, actually.
<All making more sense now, did not know your location as your English does not dictate such.>
My friends are willing to lend me two other 50 gal tanks, so now I have four. Sand and rocks? I can buy them cheap also. Since Thalassoma lunare is a tropical fish, do I still need heating?
<Likely not in your location. They would tolerate temperatures as low as 72F, but likely not too happy above 80F.>
I am actually worried it might die of heat, it's summer here!
<You may need to keep this in an air conditioned room.>
I need to buy a filter though. My problem is actually to keep them alive for about 4-5 months without them killing each other or dying. For the dividers, I need to group them for replicates, so I was thinking to group them even before I use them in my assay. So it's a not a good idea after all?
<If you divide your total gallons (200) by 40 wrasses, that's only giving them 5 gallons of space each, not nearly enough to expect any long term success. The tanks would have to be covered, as they would
jump, then with no escape possible, environmental stress would set in likely leading to their demise. I'm thinking you will be wasting your time.>
And don't worry this isn't a hoax.
<Mmm, maybe not a hoax, but not a workable plan, at least in my mind. How about in yours, Bob?>
<<Mmm, this Thalassoma species lives in harems... one adult male... dominant, with perhaps a few trailing females and juveniles... I don't know of a practical way to house a bunch together in one system w/o real trouble. RMF>>
Thanks.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re: Housing lots of moon wrasses

Karen, James, Bob,
With my zoologist cap on, can I just add my two-cents' worth? Karen: if you're going to do any sort of experimentation on animals, you need be able to demonstrate that you've controlled all the variables. Specifically, you need to eliminate anything that might affect whatever measurement(s) you're taking. So if you're analysing growth rate of wrasse as related to, say, temperature, you need to make sure that social behaviour (crowding effects) aren't affecting the growth rate, or that metabolite concentration in the
water isn't affecting growth rate through toxicity. You need to be able to say that (in this case) temperature alone accounts for the changes in growth rate you've seen, and not bullying or nitrate poisoning. For practical reasons, most studies on fish use small species -- guppies, gobies, sticklebacks, convict cichlids and so on -- simply because it's easier to control all the variables. That's why we know more about these fish than whale sharks or sturgeons! If you're specifically interested in wrasses, there is a literature on some of the European species, for example through their use as "cleaner fish" on salmon farms. So you might want to find out how these fish were handled and maintained before coming up with
your own protocol. Otherwise, find some other small, cheap, available fish that might work better. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Housing lots of moon wrasses

Hi Neale,
Thanks for your reply. I'm not planning to do any growth rate measurements or any of that sort. My objective is to prove that my invertebrate have anti-feeding metabolites. How? I'll extract these metabolites, incorporate them in a food matrix, make them look like food pellets and see if these
pellets are palatable to the fish. My control is food pellet without extract. As for my moon wrasse, I'll get them in just one reef location where I'll be getting my invertebrate, to eliminate any possible location
effect error. Also, I'm using wrasse because it's a generalist predator of benthic invertebrates.
<Hello again. While your idea sounds workable, I still think wrasse will be too big to make controlling the other variables easy. You'll have enough work isolating each metabolite, determining effective concentrations, looking for combination effects of two or more metabolites, and so on. I'd imagine a smaller fish, like a goby or flounder, would work much better.
For example, you could feed gobies live brine shrimp. By adding or not adding dosages of a particular metabolite, you could determine whether the presence/absence of that metabolite had any impact of feeding rates. Flush the water out, starve for 24 hours, and repeat as required. It would be easy to keep gobies in 5-10 gallon tanks, and since they feed on small particles but in large quantities, you could video tape their behaviour and get sufficiently large numbers of data points to actually do some serious
statistics. Do have a look at the classic Optimal Foraging work done using Sunfish and Daphnia; while not identical to what you're trying to do, in terms of practicalities and statistics, I'd imagine it would be relevant.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Housing lots of moon wrasses

Hi Neale, Thanks for your reply. That will be good because it would be easier. Regarding on the concentrations, I am particularly interested if the natural volumetric concentration of metabolites can deter feeding of the wrasse.
<May well do for all kinds of reasons. A small amount of a "prey" smell could indicate food, but in large quantities, a potential predator, or at least a predator feeding. So there are likely threshold values below which there's no response, a peak value the elicits the strongest response, and then amounts where the response either doesn't increase further or declines.>
For the starvation, I will not starve it, I'm doing my feeding assay an hour after its daily feeding.
<OK. But you'll have to demonstrate why this time interval was selected.
For zooplankton feeders like gobies, feeding likely occurs all day, and the stomach/gut morphology reflect that; opportunistic predators by contrast may be adapted to consume large amounts of food at one sitting, and then may not feed for some hours, even days, afterwards. Hence, a period that would starve species X might be simply a breather between meals for species Y. Assuming this is an MSc or PhD-level project, your examiners will presumably expect you to have demonstrated the optimal period between feeding sessions to elicit the strongest feeding responses (i.e, animals feed more, take more risks in terms of leaving shelter, the hungrier they are).>
This is to make sure that they are just not feeding out of hunger.
<What other reason is there for feeding? Do wild animals feed simply because food is sitting there? To feed optimally, they need to balance the risk of being exposed to predators against the benefits of consuming the energy source available. What you'll end up looking at, I suspect, is not innate desire to eat, but rather, do certain metabolites dissuade animals to feed despite being hungry.>
I actually based my methods on a paper. Please see the link
(http://people.uncw.edu/pawlikj/1995MEPSPaw.pdf)
This method is used by the same author in his other studies and when I looked at other studies, other researchers also used this, so it's like a standard procedure.
<Cool. It's always easiest to follow someone else's protocol, while changing a single variable to match whatever you're interested in. But still, be open minded: if the work has been done to death, there's no
mileage in doing it again. But if there's a reason other researchers could be mistaken, or if there's a factor they've not investigated, that's how you do good science. Anyone can follow a recipe; good cooks create their own! Cheers, Neale.>

Thalassoma purpureum 9/26/08 I am currently on waiting list for the Surge Wrasse (Thalassoma purpureum) at my LFS, Marine Center and Zooquatics.com. I wanted to get a better idea on feeding, care and handling of this fish, as there is very limited info out there, even on your site. Thank you in advance. Charles <Mmm, needs room, clean water, vigorously moving, high DO... high RedOx... feeds largely on small fishes and invertebrates, accepts most all meaty fare in captivity... More here: http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=5647&genusname=Thalassoma&speciesname=purpureum Bob Fenner> 
Re: Thalassoma purpureum  9/27/08
DO? <Sorry re: Dissolved Oxygen... as you are likely aware, this species lives in areas of high, consistent gas availability> From what I've read, it seems otherwise to be a very hardy and unique addition to a FOWLR system, yes? <Can be. B>

Triggerfish has become unsocial and not eating... sys. /env.    5/2/08 Hi Crew, I've read some of your answers to other problems (and i am definitely looking here first for all my fish info!) but unfortunately I haven't quite got the answer that I'm need for this situation... I have a 50-gal tank and all the levels are good. and there are many rocks, plants, and hiding places. I currently have 5 fish living in this tank, two 4-stripe damselfish, a blue devil damselfish, a 3 1/2 inch lunar wrasse, and a 3 inch rectangular trigger fish. <The last two need more room than this...> The wrasse is the newbie in the tank and he is doing really well. but before we got him, trigger was king of this tank and for the first couple days that the wrasse was introduced, the trigger would get very protective of his side of the tank and would chase him all over. and then they co-existed peacefully for about a week but for the last 4 days or so trigger has been MIA... he is hiding all the time and not been coming out to eat the frozen pieces of krill that he loves. <Not good for a standard diet> the wrasse doesn't bug the damsels at all, he just likes to swim all over. but the times that i do see trigger (when the tank light is off but the overhead light in the room is on and the fish are "sleeping") i can see glimpses of trigger moving to where he sleeps. at this i see an opportunity to feed him, but as soon as he sees me he goes back into hiding. I'm afraid that he is going to starve. should i take the wrasse out? <Perhaps> i have another 10-gal tank that has 2 ocellaris clown fish and a scooter blenny in it <... also need more room> but i think that tank would be too small and he would be unhappy. the other solution i thought of was to sell back the wrasse the fish store but that also doesn't grantee that trigger will go back to normal, plus I enjoy watching the wrasse 'fly' throughout the tank. i hope this is enough info and any help would be greatly appreciated! -Jamie- <Well... you seem to be aware of your options. Going forward, I'd either get much larger tanks, or investigate the psychological needs of the livestock you intend to keep... These systems are too crowded. Bob Fenner>



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