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FAQs on Wrasse Compatibility

Related Articles: Wrasses, Wrasses of the Cooks

Related FAQs: Wrasses, Wrasses 2Wrasse Identification, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Systems, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Disease, Wrasse Reproduction

Halichoeres iris is one of the most peaceful, even reef safe wrasses.

Slingjaw Fin      4/26/18
<Hi Dylan>
I have a Slingjaw wrasse in my tank, and I recently discovered it was missing a chunk from its fin.
<I see>
I had a puffer in there that I am sure caused this injury, and they have been separated.
<shouldn’t be together again>
My question is will this part of the fin grow back?
<It will>
Should I do anything to the fin?
<leave it to recover by itself>
I plan to treat the water with some antibiotics and anti-fungal medicines.
<Better if you leave it to heal with no medications, just keep an eye on it, you can add some vitamin supplement to the wrasse´s food and maintain good water quality>.
Sorry about the poor photo quality,
<It´s fine>
and if the size is too large, but you should be able to see the outline of the fin at the least. Thank you.
<You are welcome, Wilberth>

Wrasse Compatibility    9/26/17
Dear Wet Webbers!
I do hope all is well.
<Thank you; yes>
Firstly, thank you so much for helping me, and other fish lovers, with your wonderful site and insight!
<We're glad to share>
I have what I hope is a quick question for you.
<Let's see...>
I have a 350 litre “sea bottom” tank �� It can in no way be described as a reef tank or a fish only tank, but somewhere in between! I have several different species of macro-algae, as well as pulsing xenia, buttons and a couple of softies. The fishy inhabitants are a Yellow Tang, a Chalk Goby, a blue/green Chromis, an Azure damselfish, a small clownfish (started out orange but is now turning darker) and a Melanurus wrasse – who was my most recent addition about four weeks ago – and who is a gorgeous, active fish!
I would like to add one more fish, ideally another wrasse, as “Mel” has now become my favourite fish in the tank, but I’ve done so much research that my brain is boggled! I’ve read that mixing wrasses can work, especially if I add a fairy or flasher wrasse, but other forums say it’s not an option.
<Mmm; is an option. IME Halichoeres and Cirrhilabrus, Pseudocheilinus cohabit well... given the usual provisos of space, habitat...>
Do you think a Carpenters or McCosker's wrasse would work with Mel and his other tankmates?
Failing that, I’d thought about an Orchid Dottyback but feel it would be intimidated by Mel’s whizzing about; likewise with a Royal Gramma.
<These would be fine as well>
I’ve also considered a Flame Hawkfish but given that these like to eat feather dusters and I’ve got a huge colony of these tiny guys, I think this is a non-starter. My only other though is a Flame Angel but, apart from the fact that I’ve tried these before and lost them within weeks of introducing them (some months ago now admittedly), now that I’ve got the corals, I’m fearful that a Flame angel might start nibbling them, as many other fish keepers have found!
<I consider your other choices better here. More outgoing>
Any thoughts about my final addition would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Lesley Saxton

Wrasse compatibility
Hey crew!
<Hi, Earl here today.>
I have read your site exhaustively over the years, and I really couldn't be more thankful for the time and effort you've put into this. You've done so much to enrich our lives and the animals we've chosen to have stewardship
over. Thank you so much.
<Definitely has been a great thing to contribute to.>
Now to the business at hand. I have a fairly new 45 gallon tank that has been up and running for a few months. Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, 80 degrees, ph hovers around 8.0, calcium 480, dkh 11. Current inhabitants are: 2 ocellaris clowns, a juvenile redline wrasse (Halichoeres biocellatus), a blood shrimp, blue porcelain crab, various snails, various zoanthids and a couple of leathers. Everything is doing great!
<So far so good. Maybe you can get the clowns to bunker up in the leathers and get that coveted host behavior, with luck. Seems you also have room for everything to grow.>
I'm planning for what will probably be the last fish inhabitant and I really want it to be another wrasse. One of the reasons for going with the Halichoeres biocellatus was their reported easy going nature. I don't think it would be appropriate to try to squeeze a Cirrhilabrus species into the tank. I know the Paracheilinus species aren't keen to be kept solo, so they're out. The Pseudocheilinus are too feisty for my tastes (especially in a tank this size). In my estimation, that leaves the Wetmorella species.
I do love the possum wrasses, but do you think they'd get along with the redline wrasse? They're so timid and docile (and awesome!). A pink streak wrasse (Pseudocheilinops ataenia) is a possibility, but they seem pretty
impossible to find.
<I have rarely seen the pink-lines for sale in my area (Chicagoland) but I am sure you could find one online, although probably seasonally, or try to have a local retailer look for one via their supplier. People don't buy
things because stores aren't stocking them, which is because nobody asks for them so they don't stock them for people to see and so on. If you are spending who knows how much money (and time, and effort) on a tank, I'd go
ahead and do everything I could to snag that perfect crowning jewel of a fish from my wishlist!>
If there's not another wrasse you'd suggest keeping, is there a sociable, outgoing dottyback (fridmani?), or basslet (Assessor flavissimus?) that you'd feel comfortable with?
<I would simply look adhere to the usual procedures here rather than being too hung up on specific species. Size, available cover/hiding places/breakup of sight lines, frequency of feeding, roominess of the tank, all these will be more important. If you are set on a wrasse, look for one of similar size and keep an eye on them for territoriality and competition for food. Multiple feedings per day will be a huge help to curb any aggression if that comes up. Simply be prepared to put one in the "penalty box" or as Bob calls it "time out" in a pasta colander. This is covered on the site in more detail. Bear in mind that we're talking about netting a wrasse, which as you're probably aware can be nightmarish. In short, my main concern would not be the specific wrasses chosen (within reason) but rather a backup plan should things go south. That said, with two smallish species, introduced as close together as possible, and an eye out for behavioral problems, you should be fine with any of the choices you
mentioned above.>
That was a lot! Sorry!
Thanks again so much for all that you do for the hobby!
<Wouldn't be here if we didn't enjoy talkin' fish! Hope this is helpful.>
Re: Wrasse compatibility       5/13/17

Well, I added the orchid Dottyback last night. I drip acclimated for about 90 minutes after the lights went out in the tank. This morning, about 12 hours later, the Dottyback is out and about exploring its new surroundings.
The odd part is that the redline wrasse is nowhere to be seen.
<Yikes; check the floor, overflow/s>
He's usually zipping around as soon as the "sun comes up". Is the new addition the reason for his shyness?
I also got a mushroom rock about the size of a baseball that went onto the sand bed. Did I trap him underneath, or would he be able to wiggle out if that was where he had chosen to sleep last night?
<If it wiggled in, it can wiggle out>
On a semi related note, if there were going to be an ammonia spike after the addition, about when would that occur? (Both ammonia and nitrites are at 0 now)
<Within hours>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. B>
Re: Wrasse compatibility     5/14/17

Wrasse made his grand appearance shortly after your reply.
<Ah, good>
Who knows why he chose today to sleep in?
<Late night?>
Strange. Anyway, I thought you'd like to know!
<Thank you, BobF>

New Wrasse additions   5/29/16
Hello WWM Crew,
I have a 12' 460 gallon aquarium, stocked with a 5.5" Harlequin Tusk (can be very aggressive to new additions- he was particularly so with my Birdmouth Wrasse who he chased repeatedly), a 6" Birdmouth Wrasse, 5" Majestic Angel, big Snowflake and Zebra Moray and a 9-10" Golden Puffer amongst a number of Domino Damsels. I was thinking about adding at the same time a large Sling-Jaw Wrasse (Epibulus insidiator), a Moon Wrasse (Thalassoma lunare) and a Yellow Moon Wrasse (Thalassoma lutescens) to the mix. I have plenty of live rock split into two islands with a large open water swimming space in the centre of the tank. Do you think these Wrasse<s> would be suitable with my current stock and with each other, particularly adding the two Thalassoma wrasse?
<Yes; I think these additions will work; I'd add all at the same time. The combination of adding all at once should diffuse aggression by the Choerodon, others>
Lastly, slightly off topic I have had both the Harlequin Tusk and Majestic Angel for 3.5 years now and have noticed minimal growth in both, particularly with the Majestic. Do you know of any reason for why this may be the case?
<Either something/s missing or too much... you have sufficient feeding?>
Perhaps as I see them every day I don't notice the growth as much.
Thank you for your time and advice, I appreciate it a lot!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Hologymnosus Wrasse sp; comp. w/ corals        1/13/16
Dearest Bob & Crew,
Thank you so much for your passion for aquatics! Your help and guidance over the years has been amazing!
A friend has given me a Cigar Wrasse which I think may be Hologymnosus sp.
There is not a lot of info on these. He had it for about 2 years in which it had outgrown his 50g reef. I currently have it in my 155g reef. It appears to be reef-safe so far but is a rather rowdy fellow.
<Yes; though not as much so as Bird Wrasses or Rock Movers let's say>
It has taken out a few crabs and snails and takes a great liking to flipping over small rocks. It is obviously looking for food items and I have been quite impressed at how strong it is, flipping over several rocks that are 4-5" in size as well as an 6" Open brain coral, which I was forced to remove.
My question is that I would like to add some sand dwelling corals such as Fungia sp, and Scolymia sp. but I'm pretty sure that the wrasse will flip them upside down. Would you recommend gluing or epoxying these corals to rock or glass?
<I would definitely not do so>
My gut tells me no on these.
Thanks so much! Joe
<Likely the wrasse will leave any Fungiid or size alone on the substrate, and the Mussid I'd place on a flat area of a stone where it couldn't be easily dislodged. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Wrasses, comp.      11/29/13
Would a Cuban Hogfish and a Corris Gainard get along in a 265gallon tank?
My Corris is about 5-6inches long. Just a guess but I expect if I ordered the Cuban it would be about 4inches.
<... one r in the genus Coris... likely would get along in this setting.
Bob Fenner>

Pink Streaked Wrasse fighting..    5/6/12
Hello! : )  I am having a bit of trouble with my pair of pink streaked wrasse.  Although they used to spawn about once per 3 days, they do not anymore and the male is being QUITE aggressive with the female.
  A couple of weeks ago he would chase her now and then but today and yesterday he is being horrible - he goes after her as soon as he can see her and they go all over the tank chasing.  I've separated them today with a divider until I upgrade (they're currently in a nano
<Shouldn't be>

but are going in a ~120g tank), but in the meantime I'm wondering:
1.  Am I correct in assuming that she has turned into a male?
<Not necessarily, no>

  I say this because, although I haven't noticed any color changes, she no longer gets swollen during their spawning time.
2.  Is there any way she could turn back into a female?
<Some believe so>
3.  Do you think it would be possible to house these 2 in my 120g or should I catch one in the small tank where it would be much, much easier?
<The larger the system the better>

<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Wrasse Compatibility/Introduction -- 09/13/11
<<Greetings unsigned querior>>
I would like to add a leopard wrasse (meleagris)
<<Ah yes, Macropharyngodon meleagris'¦I've had a mated pair of these in my own 300+ reef system for about six years now>>
to an established 210 gallon tank which contains 3 yellow Coris wrasses (medium to large).
<<I'm thinking you are referring to 'Halichoeres chrysus' here? '¦a readily available and exceptional aquarium species'¦and much better commonly referred to as the yellow 'banana' wrasse as opposed to the misleading 'Coris' tag>>
My procedure when doing this is to put the new fish inside a 5 gallon tank in the DT. This allows me to see the reactions of the main tank inhabitants and to let them get accustomed to the new fish while allowing me the opportunity to remove it if necessary (I would put sand in the bottom for it to hide).
<<Indeed'¦a couple inches of sand (fine aragonite) is definitely a requirement>>
Your thoughts on this method and the compatibility of the wrasse would be appreciated... Inhabitants are Majestic Angelfish 6", Regal Blue Tang 6", Foxface 7", Sailfin Tang 5", Flame Angel 2", Bicolor Angel 2" (I successfully added this one with this method), 2 Clarkii Clownfish, one large one, 3 Blue Damsels 2", Six-lined Wrasse 2", Harlequin Sea Bass 5" all in a FOWLR plus everything but hard corals.
<<The Leopard Wrasse will tolerate most anything but conspecifics (large tanks and/or mated pairs the exception), but the Six-Lined Wrasse is not going to feel the same and will likely prove problematic. The rest of your fishes shouldn't be an issue long term, though the Angels and Damsels will probably let the newcomer know who was there first. I think your method of introduction is fine'¦and may well be the only way to get the Leopard in to the tank with the Six-Line'¦if at all>>
Thanks for your help
<<Happy to share>>
-you do a great service to the hobby and industry.
<<A collaborative effort, thank you for the kind words'¦EricR>>

General Wrasse compatibility, & Cirrhilabrus f'  2/5/11
Dear WWM Crew,
I have a 180-gallon reef that has been setup since 1997, over that time it has gone through many different transformations in rockwork, equipment, lighting and such but over the course of the last two years I have been extremely happy with the end result and it has gone relatively unchanged with the exception of adding coral (primarily SPS) and fish (tangs, Anthias and a majority of different wrasses). The main DT and satellite tanks drain into a 90-gallon sump which is then disbursed, back to the display, a 55-gallon frag tank and a 30-gallon refugium. Now that I have given a small description of my system, comes my question, In my DT I have three small tangs, a Yellow, a Red Sea Purple and a Red Sea Sail Fin.
<This last gets very large as you likely are aware>
A male and female square patch Anthias, three green Fiji Chromis and the rest of the fish are various different wrasses. They include an Ornate Christmas wrasse, a leopard wrasse, an African exquisite wrasse, a red finned fairy wrasse, a solar fairy wrasse, a McCosker's Flasher wrasse, a female Hawaiian flame wrasse and a hooded fairy wrasse. Shortly after this past Christmas, I purchased the last and final fish, a Male Hawaiian Flame wrasse which just finished its 6-weeks in QT. I waited until all the lights were out in the DT, the DT was feed heavily just prior while my male flame was being drip acclimated.
This was my prized addition, I got him a little on the thin side but over the 6-week QT built him back up to a healthy robust specimen, he looked fantastic. Once I added him to the display, I watched him under the moon lights as he poked around finally settling into a small cave with the rockwork. The next day when I came home from work a sit in front of the tank as I do every night and spend about a half hour visually scouring over everything then feed the fish. All the fish come right to the front glass as they usually do every night with the exception of the Male flame which I assumed was still adjusting to his new surroundings and being shy. Two days later, still no Male flame sighting when feeding the tank, later that evening I did see him bolt across the front of the tank and dive for refuge under a rock shelf just above the sand bed. After two more days of disappearance I was really starting to worry. Last night while turkey basting my rockwork, I must have blown into his hiding place and he shot up to the top of the tank. He looked nothing like the same fish I added approximately 1-week before, he was slimy, sand was stuck all over his body and his fins were ripped to pieces. He stayed at the top of the tank long enough for me to pin him into the corner and scoop him out with my hand before rushing him back into the qt tank that I continually keep up and running. He was breathing very heavy at the time but now has since calmed down and settled into the QT. I added some SeaChem Stress Guard last night and again this morning and will keep a close eye on whether he is eating or not but the real question to this long winded blabber is of the current list of fish referenced above which of them do you feel would have been the most likely to fight cause such damage, I personally feel it was the Exquisite wrasse and the Red finned Fairy.
<Mmm, my money is on the Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus>
The reason I am asking is that once the Flame is healthy enough to be put back into the display, my plan is to capture the other wrasses and put them into the 55- gallon frag tank or refugium to hopefully break them of their territorial habits before adding them back to the DT once the male Flame has gotten himself re-established.
Looking forward you hearing what words of wisdom or advice you guys can provide
<I hope you're VERY good with nets... I'd get some help, maybe even traps to help here... Again, I'd remove the congener first>
Thanks for your time
<Please do make it known how this turns out. I do hope your male C. jordani recoups. Bob Fenner>

Re: Vampire/tennenti tang - powder blue tang... Now Sohal & Mystery Wrasse comp.   12/28/10
Thanks for the advice Simon!
<No worries!>
I have spoken with the LFS that is responsible for the construction of my tank, and it looks like a Tennenti Tang is going to be pretty difficult to get hold of, so I'm going to have to think about what combo I get some more.
<Really? These are regularly seen where I come from (England). Might be worth looking elsewhere for this fish before giving up, a supplier that gets their stock from one of the larger wholesalers should be able to find one for you.>
I have another question for you regarding fish compatibility.
A while back, my Sohal was responsible for the destruction of a Lineatus Wrasse (she sent it carpet surfing while I was out of town). I learned my lesson and covered my tank, and replaced the Lineatus with a Labouti <Laboutei> Wrasse.
<Ahh, but you tried here to treat the symptom.... look to the cause, something was making the fish 'jumpy' and you did not fix this. However, these fishes should be housed in covered tanks anyway as you now know>
After 3 or so months, my Sohal started picking on it (it was the next largest thing in the tank).
<This is typical in the size of system you were housing the Sohal in>
The decision to get rid of my Sohal was made firmly when she also sent the Laboutei carpet surfing - the fish was stronger than my hybrid glass/light diffuser cover was heavy. All the while, I had a Mystery Wrasse that hid 80% of the time, but got along with everyone.
I love Lineatus Wrasses, and always wanted to try my luck with one again when I had an appropriate home for it, so once I found a home for my Sohal, I started looking for one. I've now had a 2.5 inch lineatus in my 20 gallon quarantine for two weeks.
<Good practice>
I removed the Sohal today (she's gone to a much bigger home), and added my Lineatus to the display.
Well, I guess the Mystery Wrasse got used to being the king of the hill in the month and a half it was the only Wrasse in the tank. It reduced the Lineatus' fins to shreds in minutes. It only stopped when the lights went off. I had heard they could become aggressive, but as this particular fish had lived peacefully with two previous Fairy Wrasses, I thought it would be fine.
<Have you considered that this could be the reason, or at least a contributor for the other Wrasse losses, and not the Sohal? There are only so many hidey-holes in a 90 gallon tank you know.. when space is at a premium, it is better to house fishes from different 'niches'>
My plan is to remove the Mystery wrasse and send it to my quarantine tank tomorrow. I will likely need to remove every piece of rock to do that, but that's my own darn fault I suppose.
<Try a trap first.. inverted 2ltr bottle with a hole at one end for you to squeeze some bait into.. try for a week or so. Or buy a commercial one, I use a large Aqua medic one that has a glass trap door, works fantastical!>
My question for you is whether or not you think a 'cool out' period will mellow it out, and let the lineatus establish itself. If so, how long would it need to be separated?
The quarantine tank has lots of rock for it to hide in, but I don't know how long it will take the mystery wrasse to 'forget' it's old territory.
<Two weeks or so, would be worth doing a re-aquascape in this instance as well>
I would hate to have to sell it, but if this is a sign of future intolerance to all other wrasses,
<No, this is due to the size of the system here.. with more territory you will have fewer problems like this>
it's going to need to find somewhere else to live.
<Your tank is only 90 gallons. My advice is to wait for the 260, then add the Cirrhilabrus before the Mystery>
The Mystery was well established when the Laboutei was added, and it didn't even bat an eye. This sudden change in behavior is most distressing. The Mystery Wrasse still has all of it's lines, and is at most 2.5 inches long, so I don't think it's even an adult yet.
<Mmm, perhaps some stunting/ growth retardation is present due to the size of the territories/ housing. Again, I would stick with your present fish/es for now>
Again, thank you for your sage advice,
<No problem Adam, please try to capitalise the names of your animals if you write in again..
<Merry Christmas Adam, Simon>
Re: Vampire/tennenti tang - powder blue tang, comp.  1/9/11

Hi Simon,
<Hello Adam>
I wanted to share a little update with you:
My Mystery has been removed and sold to someone from a local reefer forum. I'm either terrible at making traps, or it's a smarter fish than I thought, as all I caught with the four traps that I made were snails and crabs. I ended up having to remove all my rock to get it out (Grrrrrrrrr).
<Ah well>
I also had some fortuitous news from my LFS. They put in a request for a Tennenti on their last order and lo and behold, one showed up.
<Yes, not a particularly difficult fish to find>
I've got my name on it, so once it's proven that it reliably eats prepared foods I'll be bringing it home.
<This is good practice, with QT included of course>
It's a juvenile, so it should be perfect for my 90 gallon for the next 7 or 8 months.
<Mmm, I can only recommend buying fishes that you can house properly now>
If I could get a female Lineatus, do you think it would get along with the one I currently have in my 90 gallon, or would I needed to have added them together?
<I would not add anything else here, wait for the big tank IMO>
My question for you is about stocking lists for my next tank. My two favourite families of fish are the wrasses and tangs, but it's always such a fine dance figuring out what can and will live together.
<Because this is not an exact science>
My LFS had a M/F pair of Flame wrasses (Cirrhilabrus jordani) come in on the same shipment as my Tennenti, I've never seen them in person before and I completely fell in love. I don't think they would be appropriate in my current tank, as the Lineatus will have been living in it solo for nearly a month before they would come out of quarantine. I also have a Cinnamon clown pair that recently started laying eggs and they seem to have exclusively claimed about 1/4 of the tank. I never noticed them being aggressive until I took the Sohal out, but now they even attack my hand when I scrape the glass. The female drew blood yesterday, so they probably won't be making the move to the new tank. The egg laying is cool, but so is my skin.
<They can be aggressive>
Do you think that I could get away with a harem of Lineatus and Flame wrasses in the same 320 gallon tank?
<Not something I would do. Pick one species for a harem and enjoy it>
I realize that dimensions may be as important as volume, so to give you an idea, the tank is a custom build and will be 6'1" long, 3' feet wide and 30" tall, more square than long.
<Nice! I like tanks with good width, mine is a similar shape, but larger>
I plan on having plenty of rock arranged in several 'islands' with open sand between them.
<Great! This is how mine is set up, with a couple of large cave structures as well>
The LFS also brought in a Rhomboid wrasse that took my breath away, so if it was possible to have harems of three kinds of wrasses in a tank that size, that would be my choice for the third. I like the three most expensive wrasses in the hobby though, so if I'm going to do this I need to be sure they'll get along. From what I've read here, I think three species might be pushing it.
<If you are having a harem then I would stick to just one species>
If that combination is possible, how many females would be appropriate?
<I can't recommend placing harems of three wrasse species.>
And is it acceptable to add females later?
<All should be added at the same time>
I've read your entire wrasse compatibility page and the general rule seems to be 'add them all at once' and 'don't give one male females, but not the other'. I just don't know if it will be possible to get that many animals of the desired sexes at the same time. I could most likely get male Flame and Rhomboid wrasses at the same time to add together with my Lineatus, but I don't know how many females of each species I could get at once.
<If they could be kept, collected together in another tank/s and then added to the main system together this would work, but really you should put the order in to the LFS to have them all brought in at the same time>
Then for the tangs - I love the Tennenti, but it's not the most colourful fish in the sea. I will obviously be adding it to the 320 first and giving it some time to make it's claim, then I would like to get one of either a Powder Blue or Brown, depending on if I can get a healthy specimen of the right size (and right species if it's a Powder Brown). After that I'm not sure what other tang to add. I think three Tangs will probably be the max for that tank, so I would like the third to be as colourful as possible. I was thinking maybe a Zebrasoma xanthurum, as they are quite spectacular, but I don't know if this pairing would be possible given it's innate aggression.
<Mmm, the Zebrasoma is not so aggressive really, not compared to the Acanthurus. Would add this first, depending on size/s. You could easily have one of the Ctenochaetus species here>
Maybe a smaller specimen, added last, but I'm open to suggestions.
<Place before the Acanthurus, especially if smaller>
I don't plan on adding many more fish, except maybe some very small guys that will sit on the sand/hide in the rocks after a good population of copepods has established itself.
Once again, thank you for your time and advice,
<Good luck Adam, this is an exciting time for sure!>
Re Wrasse harem questions.. mixing species. Also Tangs 1/9/11

Thanks again Simon!
<No problem Adam>
When you say only keep one species as a harem, do you mean only keep one species of wrasse per tank if you do a harem? Is it possible to keep a harem of one species, and individuals of another species in the same system?
<I think this is a better/ more sensible approach if you want more than one species>
Also, what constitutes a 'harem'?
<One male and a few females usually>
My LFS only orders and sells Flame Wrasses in M/F pairs. Could a harem of Lineatus Wrasses be housed with a m/f pair of Flames? Or would a single Lineatus with a harem of Flames be more appropriate (assuming I could special order in only females).
<Mmm, we are leaving my comfort zone here now a little! I would research this more on WWM, perhaps Bob might have some input, will post to his box and if he does he will chime in>
<<Need more than a single female for all to be "happy"... and yes, especially disparate (not very similar) genera of haremic wrasses can be kept in large systems (hundreds of gallons). BobF>>
I've been doing more and more research on Tang compatibility, and the more I read, the less convinced I am that a powdered tang (blue or brown) is a good idea with a Tennenti. I know I'd need to make sure I got A. japonicus and not A. nigricans if I went the brown route, but I've been reading some horror stories about A. leucosternon aggression on forums that gives me pause.
<They can be terrors, but are beauties if they work out>
I've had a Naso tang suggested to me as an alternative, as that would mean I wouldn't be grouping animals from the same genus, but I'm concerned about size. They are a beast of a fish when they grow up, yet every fish retailer online lists a 125 gallon as a minimum size.
<IMO an 8 foot tank is an absolute minimum for the Lituratus, which I assume is the fish you mean. I have kept this fish in a six foot tank before, and to be honest, once it grew to a large size not only was it obvious that it needed more swimming space, it also looked a little silly as my once 'large' tank really did start to look small. I now have a 7.5 x 5.5 foot tank and have decided against a Lituratus there for the same reasons, though I have been sorely tempted! In a 10+ footer this fish is a must-have though, once again IMO>
I have a hard time swallowing that number for an 18 inch fish.
<Me too.. 125 is an 'older used' number that means the smallest 6 foot tank available. But the fish would hardly even be able to turn around were it able to reach anything like it's full size, which it should be given the opportunity to do. It would probably get to over a foot in your 'new' tank though, not likely 18 inches, but still huge. To go with the size is the activity of the fish, which is why it needs a long 'run'>
My tank will be over double that volume, but still only 6 feet long. What are your thoughts?
<To pass on the Lituratus, and either gamble with the A. leucosternon or go for a Paracanthurus, introduced before any other Tangs. This fish is much smaller growing, a 'cruiser' as well as easy-going towards it's tankmates>
Again, thanks for your time. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate it.
<No problem Adam. It is commendable that you are taking so much thought over this.. this research and planning will see you have far fewer problems in the long run.>

Seagrass Wrasse compatibility?  12/27/10
<Hello Karen>
I'm very interested in adding a seagrass wrasse (N. macrolepidotus)
<Mmm, this species not often seen in the trade, esp. compared w/ its congener>
to my 225 gallon tank (with 90 gallon sump) and am concerned about its compatibility with some of my other inhabitants. Some say that the fish is reef safe, others say it is not, but all say it likes to bury in the sand at night.
<About middling "reef safe wise", and yes, a burrower>
My tank currently houses a niger trigger, Naso, Sailfin, and regal tangs (one each), a Foxface, a pair of maroon clowns and a pair of percula clowns, a bluespot jawfish,
<Not really a tropical>
a convict blenny, and a huge pig of a mandarin.
My particular concerns are the jawfish - would hate for the wrasse to destroy his burrows -
he's a happy little guy, and the mandarin due to competition for pods.
<And possibly consume your Clowns>
I know I've got an odd combination of fish, but it is the result of combining two tanks and I've been fortunate that everyone gets along well. I have a variety of soft corals. Would I be flirting with disaster to add the wrasse?
<A bit more than flirtatious... I'd look into easier-going Labrids myself>
Thanks so much!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: Seagrass Wrasse compatibility?  12/27/10
Thanks so much for the quick reply! Beautiful fish, but more risk than I'm willing to take with my other inhabitants. I appreciate your input and no doubt my fish do as well!
Happy New Year!!
<And to you Kar! BobF>

Clam eating wrasse 5/10/10
I have noticed that my wrasse has been eyeing and attacking my clam. It has pushed its head into the siphon, causing the clam to retract. It has also nibbled at the mantle. The clam has not been opening as often, or as wide.
Is this normal behavior for a wrasse, or does it sense that the clam is sick? I am thinking of catching and selling the wrasse before my clam is dead. Any suggestions?
<Separate them... Many Labrids will "gladly" consume Tridacnids, other bivalves, gastropods. Bob Fenner>

Crazy eel? Feeders? -- 04/03/10
Hey so my eel, has gone crazy,
<Rather behaving natural.>
I recently bought a 6 inch wrasse (I think) he was over an inch round, and I can't seem to find him, is it possible for a 12 inch very thin eel, to eat such a big fish, or would it be my grouper fish, or med size lion fish'¦
<Sorry, my crystal ball won't answer me the question which of your predators ate the small fish you added and of which you don't know exactly what species it was, maybe the fish is just hiding. The eel's definitely a possible medium sized wrasse eater'¦ just as the other two named. Cheers, Marco.>

Chiseltooth Wrasse/Compatibility 2/25/09 <Hello Jess> I recently purchased a wrasse at my LFS labeled as a "Purple Wrasse". I asked about this fish and was told it was reef safe and would only grow to about 4". I am now almost certain that it is a juvenile Chiseltooth wrasse. My tank is 65g, how big will this fish grow and should I even attempt to keep it or return it to the LFS? They take back live fish for credit. If I can keep it, what kind of care does it need? <If this is indeed a Chiseltooth Wrasse, it is the only member of the Genus Pseudodax. It can reach a length of 9 to 10 inches and is not 100% reef safe. They are not harmful to sessile invertebrates, but adults may eat ornamental shrimp, a variety of worms and small clams and snails. As far as care, as for most wrasses. Do read here and related articles/FAQ's. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/index.htm Be aware that these wrasses ship poorly and rarely live in captivity.> Thanks very much, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Jess Krulicki

Wrasse Compatibility... reading    12/15/08 Hello crew, Shea here. I was just curious if a Mystery Wrasse would get along with another "reef safe" wrasse, such as a McCosker's Flasher Wrasse. Thank you all very much <Likely so... given sufficient space, habitat... the Pseudocheilinus is fine solo, but the Paracheilinus really need to be in a haremic shoal... See WWM re. Bob Fenner>

McCosker's Flasher Wrasse with Cerith and Nassarius snails. - 07/19/08 Hello Crew! Let me start by saying thank you for the excellent job you do! Now for my question. I want to know if the McCosker's Flasher wrasse and Carpenter Wrasse will be compatible with my clean up crew? I have read on several online retailers web sites that this fish is "Reef safe" and will not harm inverts. Is this true? <Almost always the case, yes. Cirrhilabrus and Paracheilinus species by and large feed on "off the bottom" zooplankters> I really enjoy the work that my Nassarius, Cerith and Nerite snails do. They are excellent little scavengers and I don't want to add anything to the system that is going to hunt them down and kill them. The system is a 105 Gallon Half hexagon with a 35 Gallon sump/refugium with Chaeto and Macro growing in the refugium. 4-5" DSB in display tank and refugium, ETSS Reef Devil Skimmer, 1/4 hp Chiller, Mag 18 Return pump with 3x 1/2" water outlets, 4x65watt PC's and approximately 65 Lbs of Live rock. The system is cycled and about 2 months old. I purchased a kit of Copepods and amphipods along with only snails for the clean up crew. My goal is to research all the fish prior to purchasing them so that everyone gets along in a nice little community. Are there any Gobies or blennies that you might also recommend that will not feed on my clean up crew. <Many... see WWM re...> Thank You so Much! Mario from Rancho Cucamonga, Ca. <Welcome, from BobF in very VOGy Kailua Kona>

Labrid comp.   7/12/08 Hi all, This one will be real quick. What is your opinion on keeping a Sixline Wrasse, and some sort of Fairy Wrasse in the same 75 gallon tank? Thanks, Marc <Likely enough room for all here... The Lined staying in and amongst rock, the Cirrhilabrus up and about in the mid water. Bob Fenner>

Fairy Wrasses In a 350g Reef Tank - 05/11/08 I have a 350 gallon reef tank (8.5 ft long x 36" x 34"). <<Neat! I do love big tanks…have a 375g of my own>> I run a Reef Concepts skimmer (800 series) with an extender powered by the large Iwaki pump. I also run a calcium reactor. I have about 500 lbs of live rock (a little over half in the display, then other half in 2 40 gallon tanks attached to the sump in the basement). <<Ah, very good…is so important to NOT overfill the display with live rock>> pH maintains at 8.2, calcium over 400, carbonate hardness at about 12. It is currently housed by 15 or so Acro species, 4 Monti, 3 brain corals, and a 5 LPS such as frogspawn. The only fish are 2 clowns. The lighting is 3 175 Watt MH and 2 400 Watt MH. Nitrates are in trace amounts only. <<Amounts of less than 5ppm can actually be beneficial to the corals>> You may not need to know the above for my question, but you always seem to want to know and it may help to put the question in context. <<Indeed>> My question is about fairy wrasses. I want to keep a harem of fairy wrasses (10+). <<VERY cool fish, but also fantastic jumpers. Mine would ping about in the light hood like pinballs when the lights would suddenly go out from a power outage/surge. You will likely need to take steps to keep them in the tank. Also, I would consider two smaller harems of the same species (considering the size of your tank) with a male for each to keep them in their best colors>> A few questions arise from this. 1) What species (several suggestions would be great) would you recommend that would exhibit the best behavior. <<Several options really, but some of the best for this in my opinion are actually the "Flasher" wrasses (Paracheilinus sp)…McCosker's Flasher wrasse (Paracheilinus mccoskeri) …Carpenters Flasher Wrasse (Paracheilinus carpenteri) …and Filamented Flasher Wrasse (Paracheilinus filamentous). If you want to stick solely to "Fairy Wrasses" (Cirrhilabrus sp.) than maybe…Yellow Fin Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus flavidorsalis)…or Longfin Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis)>> 2) How would you recommend quarantining this many fish at once (I would assume that they would all have to be added simultaneously). <<Actually…I would NOT quarantine these fish. These fish usually fair poorly in quarantine…and being disease resistant are best introduced directly to the display>> If not, then could I add 3 at a time? <<Add females before males (though don't dally too long or the dominant individual will "turn")…or add all at once>> 3) Would it be possible to house a lone flame wrasse with the harem? <<Considering the size of the tank…I think it's worth a try>> I figure there is enough room, although I do not want to do anything irresponsible. Also, I hear that housing 2 males in the same tank helps them to keep their color. <<Yes>> I plan on keeping a few tangs later on and maybe a school of chromis and a few not yet determined smaller fish. <<The Tangs should be fine…but I don't suggest "any" Damsel species be housed with the wrasses as they are easily bullied by such. You don't want to give them any more reasons to "jump" my friend>> Any suggestions about stocking around this harem would also be appreciated. <<Avoid small and aggressive planktonic feeding fishes (like the Damsels) that will compete with the wrasses>> I know this is a general question, but I really couldn't get direct answers as it relates to a harem on your site. <<No worries…I hope this answers your questions>> Thanks for all you do for hobbyists, I can't tell you how much headache you have saved me by eliminating some of the trial and error education most reef keepers experience (you can never eliminate all of the on the job training). <<Ah yes…and quite welcome>> Thanks, Eric <<Be chatting, Eric Russell>>

RE: Fairy Wrasses In a 350g Reef Tank - 05/12/08 Great name! <<I agree!>> Just 3 quick follow up questions. <<Okay>> I assume that when you say 2 harems of the same species you mean to add 10 or so with 2 being males and they will naturally split into 2 harems, or should I add batches of 5 and 5. <<I would add all at once if possible…thus allowing the males to establish themselves at the same time>> Also, I know you gave "approval" for a lone flame fairy wrasse. Would it be possible to have another harem of a different species, or better yet, several lone wrasses of different species? <<A third harem is likely too much, but a few select individuals from differing species might work out in this big tank…given enough "cover" and not allowing too much time between the additions to soften the issues associated with "established" individuals>> I know my tank is big, but I think I may be pushing it! <<Indeed…>> Lastly, I am going to put a plastic mesh over the openings (1/2" openings in a grid). Is this the best cover to minimize the amount of light lost before it even enters the tank? <<It's about the best you can do re. And don't expect it to be foolproof, either. I've had fishes jump right through that little ?" opening>> Thanks for the quick response. <<Quite welcome>> Looking forward to my fairy wrasse display. Eric <<Do let me know how it goes…I'm sure it will be spectacular. EricR>>

R2: Fairy Wrasses In a 350g Reef Tank - 05/23/08 Eric, <<Eric>> Just wanted to update you on my fairy wrasse project. <<Ah yes! Thank you!>> Monday I added 3 fairy wrasses (Solar, Whipfin, and Exquisite). <<Nice>> They are all doing remarkable well, and eating anything I throw in the tank. <<Very good to know…I do hope that some of that "anything" includes New Life Spectrum pellets>> The most surprising thing is that they are all "buddies". <<Aggression is generally greater among conspecifics…being a heterospecific grouping, along with the large size of your tank, will help to maintain the peace>> The Whipfin is the dominant individual, but they all get along surprisingly well. <<Mmm, yes…I would expect a hierarchy to be established>> I also added a Powder Blue Tang Monday (after 2+ weeks quarantine and 3 healthy months in my LFS, I decided he was as healthy as any other tang). <<Beautiful fish (I have one in my tank as well)…and keeping it nutritionally well fed (s with all fishes) will go along way toward keeping it healthy (again, I can't impress upon you enough the benefit of adding the Spectrum food product to your feeding repertoire)>> This Tuesday I get my shipment of McCosker's (10 females and 2 males) <<Ah! One of my favorites for haremic groupings>> and my flame wrasse. <<Saw one of these t my LFS just recently…exquisite>> I will also be adding a Purple Tang, Mimic (Chocolate Tang), and Blue Tang (they are currently in quarantine). Also, I should be getting a Magnificent Foxface in that I will add on Tuesday as well without quarantine (as advised on your site). <<Indeed>> I am nearing a maximum in my tank (350 gallons) but would a school of cardinals be ok to add (you gave the thumbs down on Chromis)? <<I think so, yes…perhaps Threadfins (Apogon leptacanthus)>> Thanks again for everything. <<Is a pleasure to share>> I will let you know how the McCosker's do next week. <<Yes, do!>> I'll send a pic once they all settle down. <<Excellent!>> By the way, this has been a good lesson in fish aren't dry goods. <<Oh?>> I wanted all of the fairy wrasses at once, but it was impossible. Eric Alspaugh <<Ah, well…not a worry here I think. Be chatting mate. Eric Russell>>

Does my new wrasse have a death wish? -Dare Devil Wrasse and Anemone 4-3-08 So I'm very new to marine aquariums, learning new things every day and your site has been awesome. <Thanks!> I have a question about my pink tipped anemone, how poisonous is it to other fish? <Very. These stinging celled individuals can reach out and nab an unsuspecting fish with a wave of a tentacle. > About a week ago I added a six-line wrasse and he seems to be doing great in his new tank, except he worries me because he swims between the tentacles seemingly without a care in the world. My question is does the fish have a chance of being eaten, (the wrasse is small enough that it'd be pretty easy if the pink-tip got hold of him I'd think) and if not, is the fish bothering the anemone? I'm pretty sure my wrasse thinks he's a clown fish! <While his stunts may seem harmless to him, they are actually death defying acts. At any moment he can become a potential meal for your anemone. I would remove one of the two, as these acrobatics of the wrasse may cost him his life. As far as harassment is concerned, on the anemones behalf, I wouldn't be worried. > 14g 8.0ph nitrite: 0 nitrite: 5 ammonia: 0 the Thank you so much for your help! <Not a problem. You have a brave little wrasse. -Yunachin.>

Mixing Wrasse In FOWLR…other stocking questions 3/31/08 Hi guys, <<Hello Brian.>> Got a quick question that I hope you can help me out with. <<I will try.>> I have a 72 gallon FOWLR. Currently in the tank include 2 ocellaris clowns, a yellow tang (3 inch), and 2 scarlet shrimp. A mystery wrasse 2.5 inch (Pseudocheilinus mysterii) was added last week. I wanted to add a few more wrasses but wanted to confirm compatibility. My LFS has a great looking Laboutei wrasse (Cirrhilabrus laboutei) and blue flasher wrasse, can those two be added together safely with my current stocking list? <<In all honesty, with one established wrasse, and considering the overall volume of the aquarium I would not.>> My plans to finish the tank will probably include a dwarf flame angel and possibly an Auriga butterfly. <<Skip the butterfly.>> Thanks in advance for you advice, ~ Brian <<Adam J.>>

Stocking Questions (Wrasse Compatibility)   3/12/08 Hello again, <Hey there!> It turns out that my LFS says that an ornate wrasse (H. ornatissimus) will fight with my Carpenter's Flasher Wrasse. They said I would have to give back the Carpenters Wrasse to get the Ornate Wrasse or get a second tank because they won't sell it to me otherwise. What should I do? -Victor <Well, Victor- I am not so sure if I agree with their assessment of the compatibility of these two fishes, but I do respect their attitude about not selling you fishes that they feel will not coexist together. Just because I (or anyone else) has kept different species together successfully is no indication of the success (or failure) that you may experience. I'd keep that relationship with the LFS and either get another aquarium (THAT's a cool idea!) or make a stocking compromise. Your LFS is your friend, and although you may have different views, you should respect their opinions, as they can be a very valuable ally in your hobby efforts. Your call here. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Formosa Coris Wrasse with Thalassoma Lutescens Wrasse Compatibility 2/29/08 Hello - great site as usual. <Thanks and hello Jeff> Here's my question. I have a 150XH tank - fish only. I have a nice sized (6 ?") male lutescens wrasse (Thalassoma lutescens). <A Banana Wrasse.> I've also got a 5" Dragon Wrasse. One of my local stores has a beautiful 6" Formosa Wrasse that I'd like. What I'd like to do is trade in the dragon wrasse for the Formosa. I know the Formosa can get big and I'd find him a better him <home> if and when he outgrows the tank, but wondering how the Formosa and the Lutescens would get along. The lutescens and the dragon get along just fine. Curious as to your thoughts? I'd get the Formosa (tomorrow) if it would work. <Well, they are both aggressive, and there is a chance the Banana Wrasse will harass the newcomer, but in a tank your size, this should be minimal providing there are plenty of retreats. I'd give it a shot. Do read here for more info. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/Coris/index.htm> Thanks <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> J

Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy) - 02/08/08 I currently have a sixline wrasse along with 2 Tomato Clowns and a Yellow tailed Blue Damselfish in a 65-gal bare bottom tank with about 75 lbs of live rock. <<Hmm…not exactly a "peaceful" group, eh>> I'd like to know what wrasses would be a suitable tank mates for my current crew keeping in mind I will be adding some LPS and Flame Angel down the road. <<Mmm, will need to be a "smallish" species for this tank (e.g. - about 5" or less)…and none too docile at that (I think "most" Fairy and Flasher wrasses are out). You have a couple things working against you/limiting your selection here. Normally I would recommend one of the small Halichoeres species, but they will not fare well/survive in this "bare-bottom" environment. Also, the established Pseudocheilinus hexataenia will make adding fishes of similar shape/size/environmental niche difficult. Perhaps one of the "smallish" cocoon-building Labroides would be a good choice here (will need a rocky crevice in which to hide/sleep/feel safe)…say maybe, Cirrhilabrus rubrimarginatus…the Red-Margin Fairy Wrasse. Regards, EricR>>

Re: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy), Cirrhilabrus genus  - 02/10/08 Thanks for the advice. <<Quite welcome>> Do you think other members of the Cirrhilabrus <sic> family could work like C. exquisitus, C. punctatus or C. solorensis? <<Mmm…yes, I do. They are all of similar/the correct size (i.e. - larger than the "established" Sixline Wrasse but still small enough for your system), and will "sleep" in a mucus cocoon wedged in a crevice in the rock, which will get past your "bare-bottom" issue. EricR>>

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>>

R3: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy) - 02/13/08 Understood. I will keep to the Cirrhilabrus. <<Excellent>> Thanks again for the much appreciated guidance! <<Happy to share. I would be interested to know what species you choose and how it settles in your system if you feel so inclined to provide a future update. Cheers, EricR>>

R4: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy) - 02/14/08 Eric, <<Danny>> I'll most definitely let you know what goes on when I add the 2nd wrasse. <<Thank you>> I will most likely go with either an Exquisite or Solar Fairy, depending on which of the two I see a good specimen. <<Real good…either would be a fine choice I think>> Either way I'm still a few months away. Thanks again for your help. Danny <<Happy to assist, my friend. EricR>>

R5: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy) - 02/16/08 Got the 2nd wrasse, a Cirrhilabrus solorensis about 4" and the Sixline went after it within short time. <<Mmm, as I feared…do keep a close watch out for trouble>> I've turn off all the lights and will let the new wrasse acclimate over night. <<Actually…leaving the lights "on" for the next 24hrs will serve better. The new wrasse is unfamiliar with its new tank and turning off the lights only gives that Sixline more of an edge. Leaving the lights on lets the newcomer become familiar with its surroundings while better seeing/avoiding the aggressor Sixline. Extending the lighting-period can also disorient the Sixline, giving the Solar Wrasse some time to "settle">> Would you recommend returning the Cirrhilabrus solorensis ASAP, or give them some time to get used to each and in time they will co-exist? <<I would leave the lights on, keep watch for now, and see how things develop. You may well have to remove one or the other…time will tell. EricR>>

R6: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy) - 02/17/08 Lights are back on and the Sixline is after the Solar again, seems like he's on a mission. <<Mmm, yes…can be relentless>> Even when the Solar Wrasse finds a hiding place the Sixline relentlessly searches for it. When he finds it he chases around the tank at full speed until a new hiding spot is found... this cycle has repeated itself several times but so far no one seems hurt. Will this settle down in time and if so what signs should I look for? <<Less chasing about>> If not, how long do I wait to try and remove one of the two, which would be decided by which one I can actually catch. <<Sometimes these introductions just don't work out… If the Solar wrasse does not/can not feed, if any physical trauma occurs beyond a nipped fin, or if the "incessant" chasing does not stop in a couple days…I would remove one of these fishes. EricR>> R7: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy) - 02/18/08 Solar is hiding for the last 8 hours or so under some rock and the Sixline seems a little less interested in finding it then before. <<Mmm…maybe a glimmer of hope>> I also re-aquascaped part of the tank to hopefully disorient the Sixline a bit and enforce a truce while they all laid low. <<A good move>> An hour or so after I finished, the Sixline did find the Solar Wrasse in its hiding spot but just swam up to its face and stared it down for a while. This time Solar didn't make a run for it but instead just backed in deeper after the Sixline left. Hope this is a good sign since I really like both fish. All that being said, how long should I wait to see if the Solar comes out and feeds before getting concerned? <<Hard to say, Danny… If the fish was introduced shortly after arrival at the LFS then it likely hasn't fed much for days already, if at all, and is in a weakened state from the stresses of capture and transport and will need to feed soon in my opinion (within the next couple days). If this fish was quarantined and feeding/fed well before introduction then it can go a bit longer. EricR>>

R8: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy) - 02/20/08 Eric, <<Danny>> A quick update... <<Thank you for this>> The Solar had been spending the last 2 days hiding under the rocks but I could see him through the bottom of the tank to monitor his vitals. <<I see>> This evening a gave the gang Mysid shrimp with some Selcon for added impact and the Solar came out in seconds! <<I'm sure it must be hungry…>> However, the Sixline was on his case right away. <<Mmm, can be true "beasties"…much belied by their size/popularity in the hobby>> I managed to keep the Sixline at bay by using my net to distract / scare him back and that allowed the Solar a chance to gulp down a half dozen or so Mysids. <<A good strategy…is "very" important that this fish be able to feed/gain strength. I am impressed and pleased with the lengths you are willing to go to in the interest of this fish>> After feeding and the Sixline persisting in his chase attempts the Solar went back under the rock. To me this is a big step, since at least he's shown a desire to eat... <<It is a plus, but even though it appears there has been no physical trauma to the Solar Wrasse, the psychological stress imposed by the Sixline does have a deleterious effect>> And, if I can entice him at least 1-time a day to eat there may be some hope. <<If the Sixline Wrasse is not pursuing the Solar Wrasse in to its hidey-hole as they most often do, maybe so>> You never know, maybe the Sixline will get used to his presence over time or the Solar might stand his ground. <<Habituation is a possibility…but don't ever expect these two fishes to be "friends"…I expect there will always be a bit of chasing-away to some extent>> I also want to thank you for listening (reading) and always responding. <<No worries mate…is what we do!>> Being new to this fascinating hobby it's good to have some place to get impartial advice from people who are doing it for the love of the hobby too! Danny <<Ah yes, it is truly our desire to have you/folks like you succeed in the hobby. EricR>>

R9: Adding Another Wrasse To My Tank (Not Going to Be Easy) - 02/21/08 Good news, the Solar decided to come out this afternoon without needing food to entice him. <<A good sign>> After being out for a while my wife fed them some flake food and he ate. <<A better sign>> This evening I served up some more mysids, since I'm thinking this might be his favorite, and he devoured more than his share. Best of all, he's been out for around 6 hours now and although the Sixline and him pass the occasional dirty look there has been no overt aggression or chasing. <<Excellent news indeed!>> The Solar seems to be swimming higher up in the water column and the Sixline is mostly doing his thing around and through the rocks. <<Sounds good…and is in line with my experience with the Fairy Wrasses>> The Solar Wrasse does seem a little less colorful and has a slight tear on his tail but who would look perfect after crawling out from under a rock! <<This is so… The stress marking and battle wounds should heal quickly though. Do continue to fortify the fishes' foods (Selcon)>> So at this point it seems like this story may end well after all. <<And due in no small part to your actions/interested involvement/caring attention>> Once again, thanks for being there... Danny <<Has been my pleasure. Eric Russell>>

Fish compatibility... Labrids and Mandarins  01/13/2008 I would appreciate your thoughts on compatibility. <<Andrew here>> In my 90 that I have had running for nearly 4 years, I already have a Yellow Watchman, a Dragon Goby, and a Neon Blue Goby. I'd like to add a Clown Fairy (solorensis) wrasse. I enjoy wrasses and would consider adding a second type of wrasse. When having multiple wrasses, is it best to avoid keeping those of the same genus, in this case, add anything but another Cirrhilabrus? <<A very nice fish indeed. You can add multiple female fairy wrasse's, but stick to one male. Follow this link for more information. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/cirrhilabrus/index.htm >> Another fish I'd like to keep is the mandarin. Would there be compatibility issues with a mandarin, the wrasses, and the gobies I currently have? <<No, I don't see any issues there. The main issue with a mandarin is excellent water quality and a vast amount of copepods. As your tank has been running for 4 years, I would certainly say that your system should have a great amount of pods apparent. These of course, can always be bolstered up by purchasing pods from a supplier>> Thanks for your advice. <<Thank you for the questions, A Nixon>>

Wrasses for my 58?? Bring on The Wrasses! (Stocking Question) - 11/20/07 Hello WWM crew <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> First, kudos to you for all the wonderful information and help you give out on a daily basis. <Well, thank you kindly! Proud to have been associated with this group for over 5 years. We have amazing people whose love for this hobby and aquatic life is inspiring!> I have a 58 RR that is LPS dominated, mainly with Acans/Micros. <Ahh- you're one of THOSE people! Just kidding- they are beautiful corals! I just laugh because some of the hype that's been attached to them of late.> I currently have 1 Green Banded Goby, 1 Yellow Neon Goby, 1 Red Head Goby 1 small Royal Gramma and 2 Wheeler's Watchman Gobies. <Wow! A great assemblage of some of my favorite little fishes! Sounds sweet!> I would really like to add a wrasse to the tank. I was thinking about 2-3 Carpenter's Flashers or McCosker's in the same numbers. Would this work with my current fish list? <I believe that this could work fine. The smaller Fairy and Flasher wrasses will make fine tankmates for the fishes that you have, and their colors will be stunning, complimenting your coral collection!> If need be I have another home for the Royal Gramma. <This fish would be my only concern. There is a slight possibility that the Gramma will not be as friendly as we'd like. However, the Gramma generally occupies a different strata within the water column of the system than the wrasses do, and may not be an issue. Observe carefully and intervene if needed.> Would this work?? If not could I add one wrasse instead of 2-3? <I think that these wrasses are more comfortable, and display better in small groups. I would not go solo.> Everything I am reading sounds like they are happier and have a better survival rate if housed in small groups. <Cue "Twilight Zone" theme- you read my mind!> Thanks in advance for any help/direction you might be able to give me Patrick <You sound like you're on the right track! I'd love to see pics of this tank when everyone is settled in! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Family/Congener Compatibility: Rabbits, Wrasses & Surgeons 10/27/07 Hello Crew-person! A preliminary "thanks!" for giving this one some thought. <Howdy, and just as timely welcome> I am currently in the process of putting together a 180 gal. FOWLR w/DSB, refugium, and all the usual hardware. I've maintained marine systems for about 8 years now and have kept most of the following species at one time or another but want to further investigate their family/congener compatibility in a larger system: <I see> First, I have never mixed Rabbit species and have heard that doing so could promote mild warfare. I currently have a 6-inch One-spot Foxface Rabbit (Siganus Lo unimaculatus) that will be bumped up to the 180 and want to introduce a Magnificent Rabbitfish (Siganus magnificus) concurrently. Is this possible given the tank size? Should the S. magnificus be of different size? Thoughts? <Mmm, let's see... a couple of general statements. I have seen mixed species of Siganids "passing" each other in the wild many times... Some of the schooling species occasionally blended together in good numbers... Have never come upon open aggression w/in the family on the reef either... I don't think you will have trouble here... but if you do, you will see this happening... fins erect, bodies at an angle... them obviously avoiding each other...> Next, I'm a nut for the Labroides. <Mmm, from below... not the genus of Cleaners, but the family of wrasses... Labrids> Once again, given the somewhat larger confines, could I house 3 Wrasse species, each from a different genus? I have in mind an Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus), a male/female pair of the Cortez Rainbow Wrasse (Thalassoma lucasanum), and a Cuban Hogfish (Bodianus pulchellus) - (they will probably spend the first few hours trying to figure out why they've never seen anything that looked like that before!!). <These also should be fine together> Finally, the next subject family is the Acanthurids, specifically the Powder-brown Tang (Acanthurus japonicus) and the Chevron Tang (Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis). I would not anticipate any problems here.... suggestions? <No worries> Thanks again, my friends. David A. Bell <Hello David! Bob Fenner>

Leopard and Fairy Wrasse Together? - 03/10/07 Hope all is well crew. <<Doing fine, thank you>> My question for today is would a leopard wrasse get along with my yellow sided fairy wrasse. <<Is likely, yes>> The tank is a 90 gallon reef. <<Too small really...do you have a large and mature in-line refugium to help provide a ready supply of foodstuffs for these little understood and often quite difficult to feed fishes?>> I really like the potters leopard wrasse. <<A beautiful fish>> But all are Beautiful. <<Indeed>> What Leopard would you suggest? <<None are easy...all are delicate shippers and fussy to get to feed.  The majority (80%?...maybe more?) don't survive more than a week or so after capture.  If you can find one that is already feeding on Mysis and/or New Life Spectrum pellets (the latter is important for long-term health in my experience) then you may have a chance of keeping one of these amazing fishes alive.  But if you have any doubts...either in the health/vitality of the fish or your ability to provide for its long-term well-being...do please pass it up for a more suitable species.  Regards, EricR>>

Re: Leopard and Fairy Wrasse Together? - 03/11/07 Thank you for your quick response. <<Quite welcome>> Unfortunately at this point I don't have a refuge but I have about 30 pounds of LR just randomly thrown in the sump. <<Ah...then is a refugium "of sorts">> The live rock is definitely loaded with pods, and I've seen live Mysis shrimp swimming through the rocks too. <<Good>> It's the second time that I've seen my LFS bring in a leopard wrasse and each one has been eating well. <<Good again>> But I was concerned more about putting two wrasses in the same tank. <<Mmm...more concerned than whether the species is suitable for your tank to begin with?...unfortunate>> Which I've found out the hard way is not a good idea (or at least 2 aggressive species). <<Indeed, some species are more suitable for mixing in a small tank than others.  It would be wise to avoid species from the genus Pseudocheilinus here.  EricR>>
R2: Leopard and Fairy Wrasse Together? - 03/11/07
The two wrasses I attempted were in my aggressive tank.  FYI species from the genera Coris and Choerodon. <<I see>> My Harlequin didn't want any thing to do with a Red Coris I attempted. <<Hmm, perhaps in a larger system...>> But once again thank you for your very quick responses.  I might actually try a leopard wrasse. Josh <<Can be kept...but is rare.  Something from the genus Halichoeres would be much hardier, as peaceful, and some are just as amazingly colored (e.g. - Halichoeres ornatissimus).  Regards, EricR>>

Need some sanity for my wrasses   1/4/07 Hi- <Hello Nathan, JustinN with you today.> I have a 50gal reef tank. <Ok> Besides a day-night pH fluctuation that bothers me, I have no issues. I have a blue carpet that minds it's business, more than several SPS's, some polyps, 4 shrimp, a host of hermits, a starfish that I forget the name of the Ophiothrix type, 400 Watt 15k augmented with 64 actinic, moon, skimmer, chiller, on and on and on :) I have zero issues in my tank. EXCEPT! Flasher wrasses will not stay alive in my tank. For fish I have a Fridmani Pseudochromis, one ocellaris clown, an exquisite wrasse and a unknown wrasse of the same genus. <You are very close to, if not already, full on bio-load here.> The Exquisite is a male. I have read that Cirrhilabrus and Paracheilinus can coexist easily. <Certainly, in a large enough setting> These 2 wrasses are such characters and will even let me pet their noses (I know it isn't a nose!) when I feed them. The are very playful and well established. I have tried to put in my tank 2 smaller Paracheilinus wrasses (cyanus and carpenteri) and both died the same way: they looked happy and established, were eating, then the next day they are curled up with labored breathing in the corner only to die no matter what I do (I put them in isolation and it is too late). Honestly, I see them looking ok, eating one minute, then near death 1 hours later. <I would think that both wrasse and the Pseudochromis are all culprits here.> My only guess is that the combination of Paracheilinus being a bit tender and wimpy combined with the territoriality of my Pseudochromis  (it will not allow the flashers near the rock pile during the light hours) are driving these beautiful wrasses out of their mind and they die. But what is odd is that the Pseudochromis never bothers the Cirrhilabrus. <You may just not notice it, or it may be that they're already established. However, I agree that the Pseudochromis is likely the lead culprit, though I would not exonerate the wrasse yet!> I just need someone to tell me my supposition is plausible, or what I might do to remedy it, because I will not let another fish die until I fix the problem (and fixing it maybe giving up on owning a  Paracheilinus). While Paracheilinus are beautiful so it my solid purple Pseudochromis. Could this all be due to the Pseudochromis? If you think so, I might consider trapping him and trading him to another tank. <I would consider your tank pretty close to full as it is, and if its been successful until now, I would continue with your current stocking list. If you cannot upgrade to a larger settings, I would pass on another wrasse. I would only feel comfortable adding some sort of small fish, such as a small goby or Ecsenius sp. blenny into your current arrangement, in fear of tipping the bio-load too far.> Thank you, Nathan Tableman <No problem, Nathan. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>

Fish compatibility family Labridae  12/23/06 Crew, <Bryan> From what I have researched, I have found nothing negative about the compatibility of a Sixline Wrasse and a Twospot Hogfish.  However if the hogfish is part of the wrasse family, could there be an issue here if the two were in the same tank?   <These two specimens both of the family Labridae should be able to be housed in the same aquarium if not overcrowded.>   I like both of the fish, but not sure if I can have them in the same tank.  Any advice on keeping the two together?   <Larger tank, smaller fish and introducing them at the same time would be the best recipe for success.  Good luck!>    Thanks, <Welcome!  -Mich> Bryan

4-line and Clown Wrasse?  10/24/06 Hi Crew, <John> I currently have a 90g reef tank with a 4-line Wrasse, Coral Beauty, and One-spot Foxface.  My LFS has a nice Clown Wrasse that I'd like to add (after QT, of course).  What are the chances of the 4-line and Clown Wrasse peacefully co-existing? <Pretty good in this size/type setting>   The 4-line is about 3" and the Clown Wrasse is about 4".  The 4-line has been in the tank the longest but is currently at the bottom of the pecking order. Thank you, John H. <I would try this introduction in the AM, when the lights are first on... and you can be about to intervene should there be real trouble... But I suspect there is sufficient space/habitat for all here. Bob Fenner>

I was wondering if a blue line wrasse is a reef safe fish?    10/8/06 Thank You <Well, depends what you mean as the Bluelined wrasse.  If you mean Stethojulis albovittata, then I don't believe you should even have that animal in captivity - it will die.  No question about it.  So it really doesn't matter whether its reef safe or not - which I wouldn't put it in a reef tank.  However the Christmas/ornate wrasse Halichoeres ornatissimus I've also heard called a blue line wrasse would be OK mixed with corals however may be a threat to fanworms, small hermit crabs, snails, and ornamental shrimps - so I wouldn't really add it to a full reef tank either.  I'd recommend looking elsewhere for a suitable reef addition.  Try some research of WWM.  Have a good one, Jen S.>

Puddingwife Wrasse...Snail/crab compatibility  9-19-06 What up WWM Crew? < A preposition for a direction. Just kidding, howdy! > I've put a deposit down on a juvenile Puddingwife Wrasse so that I could do some more research on them...he was cool looking/interesting in the store. < Beautiful fish. Research ids always good, I could use some myself! > I've found that he will one day be too big for my aquarium, but am willing to deal with that problem when it arrives. < Spoken like a good foster parent. > I've read that they eat mollusks/sea urchins in the wild...that being kind of a broad statement, do you think that my snails and hermit crabs will be in danger from this guy? < Oh, yes. One of their favorite things to do is to pick up the snails/hermit crabs, and beat them on the rocks until the good stuff comes out. Horribly entertaining, but very taxing on your clean-up crew. > Also, are these fish generally wild caught or farm raised? Just curious. < Wild caught, but captive breeding is being worked on daily. > Thanks again, Brad < Good luck! RichardB >

Wrasse/Cirrhilabrus Compatibility - 08/03/06 Dear WWM, <<Good Morning>> We have a six-line wrasse, a yellow finned female fairy wrasse, a twin-spot or clown coris wrasse, and a red head solar or clown fairy wrasse.  With regards to the twin-spot we did not know what we had until we brought it home and looked it up (we typically do not buy anything without doing this first but this one time we did, so...). <<Mmm, yes...impulse buying...most all have been there/done that.  You since have learned this fish will grow to be a bruiser/will eat your other fish, perhaps returning it is in order?>> The yellow finned female fairy wrasse keeps chasing the red head Solor or clown fairy wrasse.  We are considering getting another clown fairy wrasse (to possibly stop getting the one we have now chased) but I read that males can be aggressive within their own species so that may not be the best thing to do.  What is your opinion on this and is there a way to tell a male from a female clown fairy wrasse? <<The "fairy" or "flasher" wrasses are not "gentle" fishes as the name might imply.  Keeping multiples is usually limited to keeping single specimens of interspecifics together, or keeping a male and "several" females (to "spread" the male's attentions).  Even then, some bickering may occur among interspecifics until a "pecking order" is obtained.  And like most all fishes, my experience with wrasses has been that the species most similar in size/color will fight the most with the larger species ignoring the smaller species...unless their big enough to eat them, of course.  As for sexing Cirrhilabrus solorensis, to be honest I don't know...I'm not even sure this species is sexually dimorphic>> We are also considering getting a yellow coris wrasse and a radiant wrasse. <<By "yellow coris wrasse" do you mean Halichoeres chrysus?  An excellent and relatively peaceful aquarium fish in my opinion, though I do wish folks could get away from calling this fish a "coris" wrasse.  I think "canary" wrasse is more suitable/descriptive of its nature...but enough of my rant>> Do you think we will have any trouble if we add these?  Our current tank is a 210 gal. and we are considering buying a 500 gal. from our local saltwater shop as he is downsizing and if so will move everyone into this tank. <<Even with the 210 I think you're fine, as far as bio-load.  But I do have concerns with the six-line and the twin-spot wrasses.  These may make it difficult to add future specimens.  The six-line looks small/cute enough, but can be real monsters.  I have seen these kill newly introduced wrasses of similar size...even in very large systems>> I would also like to say that we have struggled with Goniopora but either our tank is extremely established or squirting it with phytoplankton from a turkey baster is doing the trick. <<Mmm, a difficult species for anyone...Most don't survive their first few months, those that do rarely make it a year...probably best left in the ocean until we learn more about it/its care>> We bought a small $10 one and it is doing wonderful, puffing out all over the place since I have been squirting it.  I feed it every other day.  Maybe this will help someone else if they are having trouble. <<I do hope yours continues to prosper>> Thank you guys <<and gals>> so much for this website and all of your insight on the saltwater world. <<We're all happy to help>> It is extremely difficult to find people willing to help and with the experience and knowledge that you have. <<Is indeed a cumulative effort>> Best regards, Marc & Belinda Barry <<Cheers, Eric Russell>>

Re: Wrasse Compatibility II - 08/03/06 Dear WWM, <<Hello...Eric here again>> Thank you so much for your quick response. <<Quite welcome>> Yes we have had trouble with our six-line in the past chasing other fish but for some reason has settled down over the past few months. <<Well and good my friend...but keep a watchful eye on any new additions.  The fact the six-line wrasse has been in/acclimated to the system for several months can spell disaster for newly added fishes of similar size/habits/food preferences>> We did not realize that the twinspot would kill other fish. <<Not so much a "killer" of fish as it will "consume" fishes small enough to eat.  About like most wrasse species would do...just that this one will get quite big (to 24" in the wild)>> Would this be a danger now in his juvenile (sp?) stage? <<Not with what you have listed>> We do have smaller gobies in the tank. <<Likely not a worry for now>> When we called the fish store we were told it would take 4 years before he would grow to be big enough to do any damage and then would only go after snails, ornamental shrimp, small crabs, etc. <<Mmm, can't say for sure just how long it will be before this fish becomes problematic (some factors to consider such as environmental constraints/developmental retardation, feeding/nutrition, bullying/stunting from other fishes, etc.), but I would think you will see problems before four years are up...nor do I agree with the opinion the fish will only go after invertebrates.  These may be preferred food stuffs, but in the confines of an aquarium, behaviors very often become "modified">> We did talk about returning him, but not sure we can catch him. <<All the more reason to research before you buy <grin> >> We thought we would keep him until he got big and then give him to a friend who has a more aggressive tank (2 bird wrasses and not sure what else). <<Okay>> Or would it be best to try to catch him and relocate him to their tank now (referring to twinspot)? <<Is up to you mate, but I think I would try to move it out now were this me>> What is your opinion on our choices with the twinspot? <<...?>> I would feel really bad if he killed some of our fish as we have had them for a long time. <<Ah, okay (I understand now)...I think all is fine at the moment>> Is your opinion of Alveopora the same as Goniopora?   <<Pretty darn close, Alveopora still requires expert/specialized care...>> "Live long and prosper" :) Thank you all, Marc and Belinda <<Is a pleasure to assist.  EricR>>

Her Wrasse is just too much for this tank   7/6/06 I have been reading all about wrasses on your site for some time now and   have thought that this would be a good fish to add to my tank. <Mmm…well lets not be so broad, some are wholly inappropriate aquarium specimens (Napoleon) and some make long-lived and great pets (Six-Line).> I have a 65 gallon reef tank that has a Regal Tang, Foxface, <These two animals alone need upwards of 125 U.S. gallons at a conservative estimate…they should be removed soon.> and Clownfish that school  together.  Which one of the wrasses would be best to add to this docile trio? <I'm not so sure, I would consider this trio docile, the surgeon and the Rabbitfish are both territorial and voracious feeders and anemone-fish, especially larger females, can be quite ornery at times. Besides that at your tanks current stocking level I cannot recommend adding any specimen of fish at all, let alone a wrasse which are quite messy.> I also have shrimp, clams, anemones, and of course, numerous corals  and polyps.   <…> There is sufficient live rock and bottom substrate for hiding  and I have two 14000k metal halide lights. <Lighting isn't an issue here…but space is.> It is not fully covered, but  has a six inch top border in place.  I was looking at one from one of the  these genus: Cirrhilabrus, Halichoeres, or Paracheilinus.  Your input is  greatly appreciated! <Unfortunately just the above, once you fix the stocking predicament I will have some suggestions though.> Lori <A.J.>

Nasty Six-Line Wrasse - 5/2/2006 Hello to all the Wet Web Media Gurus- <<HA! Happy helpers, :).>> I have developed a problem with my two favorite fish- both wrasses.  After recently re-entering the hobby, I have been operating a 30 gallon reef tank for about a year.  Parameters of the tank are: 76 degrees F PH 8.1 SPG 1.024 All my tests show that ammonia, nitrite/trate, calcium, alkalinity, etc. are good and consistent. <<Numbers are always helpful.>> I do a 5 gallon water change every week. <<Good to hear.>> The tank has live sand and rock, a substandard protein skimmer (upgraded SeaClone 100), <<Ouch>> a power head for circulation, some air stones for aeration, and a three stage trickle filter with a sponge, carbon, and bio-balls (which I just heard are bad???). <<Not BAD, just not a favorite of many.>> The tank is crowded- residents listed are in the order added: 1 blue/green Chromis 1 cleaner shrimp 1 peppermint shrimp 2 small snails 1 fairy wrasse <<Many species possible.>> mushrooms 1 small clown fish (1 1/2") lawnmower blenny <<Tank is much too small for this guy.>> 2 turbo snails 1 hammer coral 2" bubble tip anemone 1 six-line wrasse 3 feather duster worms Also, looks like there are some zoos, small brittles, a hermit crab, and unfortunately a tree or colt coral that all came in as hitchhikers.  Now before you yell at me - I realize the errors of my ways and I am currently in the process of setting up a 72 gallon tank to house these guys. <<You read my mind!  Are you running proper light/feeding the anemone?>> Here's my problem:  The six-line has been bullying the fairy wrasse. <<Not uncommon.>> She has marks on her body and a small piece of her fin is nipped. <<Poor girl.>> I've pulled her out of the display and put her into a 10 gallon quarantine tank.  I've tried giving the six-line a "time-out" in the quarantine, rearranging the tank, etc.  Should I even attempt to put my poor beat up fairy into the 72 gallon with the six-line?  I suspect that the current crowded tank is exacerbating the bullying problem. <<I agree.>> I'd like to keep both of them if possible but I really don't want to keep the fairy in quarantine for the rest of her life. Please advise. <<Get the larger tank set up ASAP.  Introduce both fish at the same time, and watch them.  You may need to choose one over the other, but my guess is larger quarters will go a long way here.>> Thanks, Stephanie D. <<Glad to help.  Lisa.>>

Burrowing Wrasses And Substrate-Dwelling LPS - 03/28/06 I am planning my first reef tank. <<Exciting, isn't it?!>> I am attempting to select the species of animals and fish I will ultimately keep. <<This should be your first step in planning/building your system.>> The tank is to be 90 gallon with ample live rock and a 3-4 inch Oolitic sand bed. <<ok>> I am interested in keeping a variety of SPS, LPS, Clams, and have become attracted to Fairy Wrasses.  My reading tells me that many species of wrasse sleep in the sand and that some species will burrow beneath the sand for some distance. <<Yep>> Will this present a problem for substrate dwelling LPS? <<Shouldn't...I've kept burrowing wrasses for many years without any such problems.  More of a concern (in my opinion) are the sand-sifting gobies...these have a tendency to grab mouthfuls of substrate and then cruise over the reef 'crop-dusting' all the corals as they go.>> Thanks, Ed <<Regards, EricR>>
Burrowing Wrasses And Substrate-Dwelling LPS II - 03/28/06
Dear Eric- Thanks for the speedy reply. <<Quite welcome>> Since you mentioned Gobies-- I was also interested in a Yasha Hashe and a Pistol shrimp.  Will all live happily ever after? ed <<Neat little fish...should be no problem to house both with the flasher/fairy wrasses.  Regards, EricR>>

Wrasses/Compatibility   - 03/26/2006 Hi, <Hello Beth.> I have a 80 gal tank with live rock and sand, right now it only contains 2 chromis (1") and 1 Maroon Clown (3"). I want to add both a Carpenter Flasher Wrasse and Scotts Fairy Wrasse (male juveniles). Questions:   1. Is this realistic to have both if added together? <Yes, both species have peaceful temperaments>   2. Should I get any females to go with them and if so how many?  <Females do encourage the males to "flash" and perform courtship behavior.  I'd probably go with two females for each.    Thanks, Beth  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re:  Fish Compatibility  3/20/06 Hi and thanks for the quick response.  Based on your response, could I get a Halichoeres ornatissimus (xmas wrasse) and would it be a problem with my six line?  would any wrasse from the (sic) family  "Thalassoma"   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/ <Most Thalassoma wrasses exceed seven inches fully grown.  Compatibility, selection, etc all can be found on our web (sic) sight.  We just don't have time to spoon-feed/answer questions that have already been answered and posted on the Web Web.  Start here and read related FAQ's re your questions.    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/ Thanks again,  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Jose

Cirrhilabrus Wrasse Compatibility with Hermit Crabs   3/3/06 Thank you WWM Crew for all your past advice.   Two of my Red Legged Hermit Crabs (Paguristes cadenati) disagree with the common fact that Cirrhilabrus Wrasses are "Reef Safe." <Heee heee... who's "right?"> My Social Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis) must have gotten bored and ate up some free-range fish food. <Yee hah! Get along little anomurans!> It was no great loss (But a great show.)   I post this experience just so others can know and so they will not get terrified if one of there Cirrhilabrus Wrasses takes down a tank mate.    <Thanks>   One thing, he has never eaten one of the Blue legged hermit crabs (Clibanarius tricolor) ??? <Not as tasty? Might if hungry enough. A point in lesson here: "All animals, as species, individuals are only to some degree "safe" or no"... Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Compatibility/Wrasses/Coris Gaimard   2/23/06 Hello WWM Crew, <Hello Paul> First off, I just want to say thank you for all the time and effort you put into responding to these questions/e-mails. <You're welcome>  Anyways, I currently have a 55 gal tank with 3-4 inch sandy bottom with about 40 lbs of live rock.  The tank is stocked with: Two Clown Fish (each ~3 in. the other about 4 in.) One Coral Beauty Angelfish ( 4 in.) Two Yellow-tailed Damsels (one about 1.5 in. the other about 1 in.) One other fish that I'm not too sure what it is (given to me by a friend), but its about 3 in., yellow and not aggressive at all (just constantly swims back and forth in the tank) One Pulsating Xenia One Leather Toadstool Two Mushroom Polyps (Green Ricordea) One Black Sea Cucumber (about 5-6 in.) ~ 20 Hermit Crabs ~ 10 Turbo Snails ~ 20 Nassarius Snails Recently I ordered a beautiful Adult Coris gaimard (3-4 in.) (aka Red Coris Wrasse) that should be arriving shortly.  I read these fish need room to grow, and I plan on upgrading the tank sometime in the near future.  I also saw that they are notoriously difficult to acclimate, but I have had good past experiences with the shipper and acclimation so I'm not too concerned with the acclimation.  I also read that most of my inverts (my cleaning crew) will be eaten within a few months by the wrasse, and while foraging for inverts the wrasse will knock over the rocks the corals are attached to. My questions are:  One: should I remove any of my current fish to avoid conflicts with the wrasse or to avoid overstocking? <The wrasse should get along with the fish you have and think you would be overstocking the tank with the addition of the wrasse.> Two: will the wrasse pick on my cucumber? <A very good chance he will.> (I wouldn't want to wake up to a dead cucumber in the morning, along with every other fish!)  Three:  are there any good alternatives for a   cleaning crew that would be compatible with the wrasse? <In nature the coris will eat shelled mollusks including hermit crabs, urchins, tunicates.  Snails will be picked on.> Four: will the wrasse pick on any of my corals? <A chance.  This wrasse is not an ideal candidate for a reef tank so any inverts may be at risk here.>  Finally: any good ideas for a method to prevent the coral from being toppled over? <Glue it to the rock with reef safe epoxy.> (I was thinking to attach the rocks the corals are growing on via rubber bands to the larger live rocks in the tank, or maybe something like that.)  Any help/advice you could offer would be more than appreciated!  <Paul, why would you order a fish already knowing what may be destroyed in your tank.  Doesn't make sense to me.> Thanks You, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Paul

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>

Six-Line Wrasse and Expensive Meals 01/22/06 To the esteemed wet web media crew: <<Hello - Ted here>> I have a 55-gallon FOWLR tank with approximately 70 pounds of live rock, a 1-inch crushed-coral bottom, an external Magnum 350 canister filter, two powerheads, and an Excalibur skimmer.  I also use a small HOB refugium with an opposite light cycle.  The tank and refugium both have Chaetomorpha macroalgae, and have been up for about a year.  The stock includes a flame angel, two true perculas, four yellow Chromises, 1 cleaner shrimp, and three peppermint shrimp.  I also have an assortment of snails and hermit crabs.  I thought about adding a six-line wrasse as the final fish, but noted in your FAQs they may eat the shrimp.<<They will also eat snails and hermit crabs.>>  Should I pass on the Six-Line and try for a fairy or flasher wrasse?<<Pass on the Six-Line if you value your invertebrates.>>  I've not seen either a Flasher or Fairy wrasse for sale in three fish stores I frequent.<<Virtually all wrasses are capable of eating snails, hermit crabs or shrimps. Fairy wrasses may not be as inclined but you should be beware of the risk.>> I like the shrimp (although the cleaner shrimp is the only one routinely seen without searching), and can think of less expensive meals for the fish.  Thank you for your help. <<You're welcome - Ted>>

Fairy Wrasse Compatibility - 11/16/05 I added a Redfin Fairy Wrasse and 2 female Carpenter's Wrasses to my 135 gallon tank a couple of days ago. <<I love Fairy Wrasses!>> Would it be OK to add a Solar Fairy Wrasse, a male Carpenter's Wrasse, and a Scott's Fairy Wrasse? <<Considering the size of your tank, yes. I have mixed some of these wrasses before with no issues...quite peaceful with other species for the most part, most any/all aggression is conspecific.>> If so should I add them all at one time? <<If possible, yes...but not absolutely necessary.>> Do I need to add the new fish ASAP since I already have the Redfin Fairy Wrasse in my tank? <<Again, not absolutely necessary.>> Thanks for your help, Thresa <<Regards, EricR>>

Wrasse Compatibility or the Lack Thereof..?  11/15/05 Hi, I have a 220g tank with 250lbs of live rock and a large skimmer. I have yet to stock the tank and was wondering if I could have some advice on my fish list? Right now all I have is a school of Chromis and I was planning to slowly stock the tank with only quarantined fish <Fishes if more than one species> and place the more docile species in first. <Good plan> I would really like to keep several wrasses and was wondering if a harlequin tusk, a red Coris (yellowtail), a Scott's fairy, an exquisite wrasse, and a canary yellow wrasse would all get along if stocked around the same time and were small? Thanks Brandon <In this size system, likely yes... in about the opposite order you list them. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Stocking Wrasses - 11/08/05 Hi, <<Hello>> I have a 220g fish only with 250 plus pounds of live rock. I have a large skimmer and plan to incorporate a refugium. <<Excellent>> My question has to deal with stocking the tank. <<Ok>> I plan to make it a relatively peaceful community tank and would like to keep an assortment of wrasses. I plan to keep a Harlequin Tusk and a Banana Wrasse. But I wasn't sure what other wrasses I could keep peacefully with these. <<Many to choose from.>> Is there any certain stocking rule for Fairy and Flasher Wrasses? <<Depends on who you talk to...I've heard some say as many as eight females per male to spread out aggression...I feel two to four females per male is fine, if the tank is large enough.>> I've heard Flasher Wrasses can be kept in groups (one male with multiple females) but I also wanted to keep several male fairy wrasses of differing species (Scott's, Exquisite, etc). <<I have done this in the past without interspecific aggression in a large tank such as yours, though some species may be more tolerant/intolerant of others. The biggest risk with these beautiful wrasses, in my opinion, is their tendency to jump out of the tank. It's not a matter of "if"...but of "when". Regards, EricR>>

Evil Sixline Wrasse - 08/08/2005 I added a sixline wrasse to my 29 gallon reef a few months ago that contained a common clown, two skunk cleaner shrimps, an emerald crab, a handful of hermit crabs, some cerith snails, etc. <Sounds good....  so far....  The word "evil" in your e-mail's subject leads me to believe that all did not *stay* good....> Earlier this summer, when I returned from a week's vacation, I discovered that the sixline, after being in my tank for only two weeks, had killed both cleaner shrimps, the emerald crab, and most of my hermit crab population. <Yikes!  Though, I have heard/read of them taking out shrimp, on occasion....  I personally prefer the fourline, P. tetrataenia, which is reportedly less apt to mess with your crusties.> Also, my "pod" population has dramatically fallen, <Very much to be expected.> as well as the cerith and dwarf brittlestar numbers. <I'm a touch surprised at the snail, but the little brittles - yeah, I imagine they might be snacked upon.> I have seen my sixline nipping at snails and the surviving hermits and am sure that this other decline in microfauna can be attributed to him. These fish are supposedly reef safe, <Well, to a degree, yes.  Mandarinfish are "reef safe", as well, but will consume enough pods and such to wipe out all but very large systems in rather short amounts of time.  I think what is commonly meant by "reef safe" is that the animal is unlikely to harass corals.> and I have only heard of one other "bad" sixline that kills fish. <They do seem quite fish-safe.> Is it safe to say that my fish cannot be trusted around any other invertebrates? <I would say this is a correct assumption.> Mine seems to be best of buddies with my clownfish....   <And should continue to be so, should you choose to keep him.  I doubt you will see any aggression between these two.> A reef just isn't the same without invertebrates running around....   <Agreed.  For this reason, I am not considering a sixline in my system.> Thanks for your time. <And thanks for writing in.  Next time, do be certain to read as much as you can about a potential addition to your tank prior to adding it; there is much information on the web and even on WWM about this and other Pseudocheilinus' tastes for inverts.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Checkerboard wrasse? 7/7/05 Hello, just have a quick question. I have the opportunity to purchase a checkerboard wrasse,  I was wondering if it was reef safe, mostly coral and clam safe. < Yep, sounds safe to me.  It may pick at some small inverts but overall a very safe fish. > The wrasse is 4 inches long right now and would be goin into a 135 gallon with 150 pounds of live rock. are they finicky feeders? < I don't believe so.  Having lots of quality live rock will certainly help, and really any balanced foods will be fine. > and I have a 2 inch six line will this be a problem? < Should not be a problem in a tank that size. > I understand the wrasse gets to 12 " and I'm under stocked on fish right now. < So far I think you would be fine.  If it ever gets that big you can  get rid of it later, but that would be years down the road. > <<I'd rate Halichoeres wrasses as "medium" in the reef safe category... RMF>> thanks a lot Tristan <  Blundell  >

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

Solution for wrasses, Cortez, Halichoeres compatibility Hi and thanks for your time! <And to you, for you for yours> I "rescued" a rainbow wrasse from a very aggressive tank where it was being nipped and was ill to the point of lying on its side lethargic with fast resps. Rainbow was nursed back to health in a QT. (whoo hoo)& placed in a 100 gal tank w/30 combo refugium-sump w/ protein skim. Tankmates are Foxface, damsel and lawnmower blenny. The rainbow is very active and swims aggressively (like most drivers on our freeways) running into the other fish as he zooms by! Well, time passed and he was doing the tail slaps in the sand and getting along well.  Until that is, I saw a beaut, banana wrasse, pastel colors, easy going swimmer, and the store owners said "it belonged to someone else's tank prior, is prob a male and they (banana and rainbow) may have a few altercations but should be fine." <Mmm, not really> Well rainbow had a favorite rock but after he saw banana, whatever rock banana went to the rainbow challenged her. Sand and a blur of colors were observed from under many live rock hideouts.  I rearranged the rock and meanwhile they kept at it and I noticed several nip marks on both with banana getting the worst of it.  I took out rainbow and put her back in QT for now and completely rearranged the live rock. Banana is happily swimming along peacefully in the 100 gallon and tankmates are happy. So I'm wondering.. is there any hope for these two? <Not together> Should I wait a week and reintroduce the Cortez rainbow..&/or consider other tankmates?  <The latter> Could the prior abuse rainbow took at the store have made her temporarily battle ready? Any suggestions are welcome. I thank you and the fish thank you! (FYI Rainbow was at the store a couple months. Rainbow has been in our home 1.5 months.) Teresa <I'd look into either getting another system going, or trading one of the wrasses in. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Solution for wrasses, compatibility Thanks Bob, just FYI saw the banner on the FAQ website - We believed our second wrasse (banana) is a Thalassoma lutescens, not a Halichoeres... But your advice is sound in either case (and agreed with my (BJ's) first impression). <Tis> Grace, BJ and Teresa <Ah, real good. Bob Fenner>

Wrasse compatibility Thank you for answering my questions regarding wrasse compatibility.  The banana wrasse AKA yellow wrasse is actually the gentler of the two (Cortez/rainbow wrasse) so we ended up returning the rainbow to our favorite family fish store. We added a blonde Naso tang and there have been a few tail slaps from the small Damsel towards her.. but the funny thing is the Banana wrasse is quite a peacemaker.. running interference between these two and staying close to the tang.  I appreciate your time and I will research further before adding anything else knowing that you can't always rely on some stores to tell you who will get along with who. They may be trying to make a sale, speaking in terms of the majority knowing there are exceptions to the rules, or just plain clueless.  What a wonderful asset your crew is to those in the hobby! Overall we have found most people in the business to be friendly, helpful and caring toward their livestock. Your dedication and patience is commendable.  Thanks again, Teresa <You are certainly welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Green Wrasse Hi, I was wondering if the Green Wrasse (Halichoeres chloropterus) when people say not reef safe for this fish what do they mean EG they eat coral polyps, crustaceans ETC ? <According to fishbase.org, "Feeds mainly on hard-shelled prey, including mollusks, crustaceans and sea urchins"... And as it is a small species, a high/er score on blanket "reef safeness". Bob Fenner>  

Welcome to fishbase, the Net... Hi, I was wondering if the Green Wrasse (Halichoeres chloropterus) when people say not reef safe for this fish what do they mean E.G. they eat coral polyps, crustaceans ETC ? <Take a read re this species and the next whatever number you have in mind on fishbase.org re nutrition, life habits... Bob Fenner> 

PLEASE HELP! Fish dying/ fish living... and mixing wrasse species Hi WWM Crew!      My fish will be done with their 30 days of Coppersafe on Sat. <This is... getting too long for copper exposure... if such treatment doesn't "do the trick" in the first two weeks...> I ended up putting the Raccoon Butterfly back in the copper treatment after transferring her to a 30 gal. to treat her for a secondary bacterial infection with Furan-2. Her tailfin has grown back and her skin will hopefully improve more when the copper is removed. <I hope so too>      My question today is actually about Wrasse compatibility. I had done research on your website before purchasing my second Wrasse, a Radiant or Iridis Wrasse [Halichoeres iridis- He was in a separate qt and not with the fish being treated] I have a Red Headed Solon Fairy Wrasse [Cirrhilabrus Solorensis] currently in the sick tank, though he has never had signs of ich. I moved the Radiant Wrasse to the main tank after it had been fallow for 5 weeks, he seems to be very timid and shy. <They are> My Redheaded Wrasse is also quite the 'fraidy fish', the Raccoon even scares him! Like I said, I did lots of reading about Wrasses and even wrote to you guys and came to the conclusion these two peaceful Wrasses would be fine. <Should be>    I have since been reading opinions on your chat forum where a lot of people say not to mix Wrasses. <Mmm, depends on the species in question... most places one can go diving on this planet, you find different species of labrids together...> Now I am concerned. The Radiant Wrasse [in the main tank first] is smaller than the Redheaded Wrasse. They both seem so peaceful and timid I hope they will be fine together. In your opinion,[ which I value very much!] how do you think they will do?  I love Wrasses, I would have a tank full if I could!  Thank you so much for your help, Kim <I think you'll be fine here. Bob Fenner>

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>

- Mixing Sixline and Leopard Wrasses - Hello Mr. Fenner, <JasonC here in his stead.> Sorry to bother you but I have tried searching and really have not found an answer pertaining specifically to this pairing. We are contemplating purchasing a trio of Leopard wrasses and currently have a sixline wrasse in our 220 gallon tank right now. A friend of ours has a 450 gallon tank who is also considering purchasing a few leopards and he too has a sixline wrasse already. Will the sixline and the leopards get along?  <If the sixline wrasses is already in the tank, there is a greater likelihood of problems.> We will be moving up to a 500 gallon tank from our current 220gallon tank which is 8 feet long with lots of live rock for hiding spaces and will keep the same 8 foot length in the larger tank with greater height and depth. We have a Naso, Blue Regal, Bristletooth tangs and a Rabbit fish along with 2 Square Spot Anthias, 6 Banggai Cardinals, 2 purple Firefish, 1 Zebra Dart goby, 2 blue-green Chromis, 2 Mandarins, 2 True Perc's and 1 Pearly Jawfish in our tank which is SPS dominant with a deep sand bed. We would wait to add the leopards once we have our new tank settled but would like to know if this would be a compatibility issue for these 2 types of wrasses.  <I think in a tank of this size the odds are pretty good, but again I'd try and introduce them at the same time - if you already have the sixline wrasse, I'd hold it out until you're ready to add the leopards.>  Sorry for the redundancy in my question I keep getting interrupted at work so I apologize in short will these two species cohabitate peacefully with this large of a tank and available territory?  <I think so, your system sounds like a good match. But I do feel obligated to point out that these fish are iffy at best... few brought in as pet fish ever last, mostly due to starvation which is a failure to adapt to captivity.> Thank you, Sheryl D. <Cheers, J -- > 
- Mixing Sixline and Leopard Wrasses, Follow-up -
Hello Jason, Thank you for the fast reply I would like to just ask a few more questions :-)  <My pleasure and no worries...>  We would definitely try to add the leopards at the same time or I even thought to hold the sixline for a few days and let the leopard wrasses settle in first.  <Good plan.>  We have at least 500lbs of live rock and our friend who is close to stocking his 450g tank will end up with probably over 700lbs of live rock in his tank when he transfers everything over.  <Egads... will there be any water left?>  Will this add to the successful keeping of the leopard wrasses?  <It will certainly be a check in the positive column, but the fish themselves just have a hard time with captivity in general, and many are so stressed from capture, shipping that they just don't make a comeback... something you really can't do anything about.> Now I have a question about the lineatus wrasse, will they get along with blue assessors?  <I don't see why not... fairy wrasses in general tend towards the peaceful side of things... same with the assessors.>  I have a 75g with 2 Banggai cardinals, 2 tiny red head gobies, small red sea Sailfin tang that is moving to the 220g, naughty rusty clown goby (going to a new home) and a cherub angel who will also be going to a new home if he is not compatible I will be adding 4 blue assessors and would like to add a lineatus wrasse but there is not a lot of information on assessors.  <Not quite as common as many other fish in the trade which is why the information is sparse, but common enough that they don't come with enormous prices. Typically very peaceful fish.>  The 75g is going to be replaced with either the 220g or a totally new tank that will be at minimum 180 gallons or larger in size. I plan to keep this tank a peaceful community tank and I would like to have a few schools of smaller fish. Will I be able to add more lineatus wrasses later on to have a male and a few females to make up a small harem?  <I wouldn't do more than a male/female pair, even in a 220.>  Lastly can I mix blue assessors and yellow assessors?  <That's an interesting question, and one I'm not so sure about... I'd like to say probably, but I just don't know.> Thank you! <Cheers, J -- >

Wrasse Compatibility Hi Crew, Hope are doing well, haven't talked to you in a while.  The 210g.  reef has now been up for a full year, my how time flies.  Doing  well.  Question - Have a resident yellow Coris wrasse and a lime green Coris, <This latter is likely a Halichoeres species> would like to add an Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres family). <Not a family, but a genus... for clarification>   I  know some wrasse families <Genera> are very aggressive and quarrelsome but what little I  have found on the Halichoeres they are not. <Agreed> I need some good professional advice on these wrasses, fellows. Also is there a good reference  book on the various wrasses.  I have Scott Michaels and Bob's Marine  Aquarist, looking for more detail, if possible, on the wrasse. Many thanks Crew  and have a great weekend! <Look to the recent works by Rudie Kuiter, produced by TMC on the family... Search the name on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble... Bob Fenner> Ceil Wagaman in PA

Wrasse Compatibility Fri, 4 Feb 2005 Hi Crew, Hope you are doing well, haven't talked to you in awhile.  The 210g.  reef has now been up for a full year, my how time flies.  Doing  well.  Question - Have a resident yellow Coris wrasse and a lime green  Coris, would like to add an Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres family).  I  know some wrasse families are very aggressive and quarrelsome but what little I  have found on the Halichoeres they are not.  I need some good  professional advise on these wrasses, fellows. Also is there a good reference  book on the various wrasses.  I have Scott Michaels and Bob's Marine  Aquarist, looking for more detail, if possible, on the wrasse. Many thanks Crew  and have a great weekend! <I'm not a wrasse expert, but I thought I'd send you this link which may help.  I won't delete your query from our marine folder, since someone else may also reply.>   http://saltaquarium.about.com/cs/msub28wrasse/l/blprevpickwrass.htm  <James (Salty Dog)> Ceil Wagaman in PA

Wrasse compatibility I have a 72 gallon bow front reef tank with a pugnacious six line wrasse.  I have a Halichoeres argus in another tank and would like to add him to the 72 gallon tank, however, I am wondering if the six line and him would get along. < I'd say you will be fine. I don't picture either of them causing any problems. > Another option I have been pondering is to set up a fish only tank with some more aggressive fish - triggers, moray eel, and a puffer.   Would the  Halichoeres argus be able to handle this tank? < Yes, I think so.  Especially if he is 4 inches or longer.  I think that would be fine as well. >  For the more aggressive tank, what type of filtration would you recommend? < Lots of live rock, and a very large healthy refugium. >   Thank you for your help. <  Blundell  >

Radiant Wrasse I originally purchased the wrasse to put into a 40 Gal. SPS tank that has 70+ lbs. of LR. It is bare bottom except for a 1 foot square alcove in the rocks that gradually rises from ?" in the front to Approx. 5" in the back of the alcove. It also has 40 Gal. Refugium upstream and a 20 Gal. sump containing an overkill skimmer. A 1500 gph ( 0 head ) pump returns the water through a Mechanical, carbon, U.V., and heater modules. My question is will the wrasse be compatible with a Swissguard Basslet (L. rubre), and a Scooter Blenny (S. Ocellatus) which spends its nights buried in the sand (except for eyeballs). I had the intent of using the wrasse to help the scooter blenny control flatworm. I slipped up and didn't do my usual 4 week coral quarantine because I got some from a friend. I don't have a lot of flatworm. I think the blenny is doing some damage to them. He doesn't eat any of the food I feed the tank, not even Mysis. I do see him picking at the rocks and sand all day and he is chunky. It could be all the pods in the tank too. The only other occupant is a Flameback Angel (C. aurantonotus). <I don't see any problem with adding the fish.> My other option is to put the wrasse into a 40 Gal. Anemone (lots of polyps, mushrooms) set up that is identical to the SPS setup. This includes all equipment, refugium, LR, BB, and 1ft. square sand bed. This tank only has a pair of Solomon Island Perculas. The Chevron tang will also be going into that tank. I guess I could put the wrasse in this tank to keep the pods in check and leave enough for the scooter blenny in the SPS tank. This will insure he is working for his keep as I am not sure how it will do on flatworms. Thanks for all your opinions in this email and all other info you have shared with me on all FAQ's, Mahalo, Dennis <Dennis, I think either option will be viable.  I would like to point out that the QT is too small for those fish.  Even though it is a temporary home.  The wrasse will get along in either tank.  I would probably put the fish in the first tank.  Good luck MikeB>

Wrasses, compatibility with each other? I typically stay away from putting the same species of fish in my tank, but am completely in love with wrasses!  I am definitely getting a Scott's fairy wrasse and would LOVE to put in another type of wrasse.  I had pretty much decided against it, but now am finding some aquarists that do have 2 different types of wrasses in their tanks with success. <Mmm, yes... there are hundreds of species... some genera that are very docile...> I wanted a filamented flasher wrasse as my second, but that is impossible, as they aren't compatible with Scott's fairy wrasses.  Are there any other types of wrasses in general (or flasher wrasses, specifically) that would be compatible with a Scott's fairy?  Could I do male for one and female for the other, would that work? <A good suggestion, but should matter little>   What about a carpenter's flasher wrasse, since they are so non-aggressive.  Thanks so much for your help.   Carisa <Ah, the flasher, lined, velvet wrasses can actually be housed together given sufficient room, cover (live rock...) if all otherwise undercrowded. Do keep your tank well-covered as these fishes are notorious for "jumping out". Please read more re these labrids, posted on www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Adding a wrasse with aggressive tang. Hello! <Hi Gretchen, MacL here with you tonight> I just discovered your site and it has been a huge help to me! <Thank you kindly> I apologize if you've already addressed this issue, I read through the FAQ on wrasse compatibility and didn't see my exact situation... I have a 120-gallon marine setup with the following fish: 3 Green Chromis (1" each) 1 Maroon Clown (1") 1 Long-nosed Hawkfish (3") 1 Flame Angel (2") 1 Pearlscale butterflyfish (3") 1 Purple Firefish (3") 1 4-spot yellow Coris (2") 1 Diamond Goby (2") 1 Sailfin Tang (4" with fins extended, 1" body only) Up until two months ago I also had a beautiful exquisite fairy wrasse that I was particularly fond of.  The wrasse passed away, we think it was because he was pestered unmercifully by the 8-line wrasse that my LFS assured me would be fine as long as we bought them together.  I've since returned the 8-line in exchange for the sailfin tang.  I'd like to get another fairy wrasse but I'm now concerned that the tang won't allow it. He was pretty obnoxious when I brought the butterflyfish in although the tang had only been in the tank a few days himself. <Similar body shape size, and honestly while your tank is large for what you have in there its not going to be big enough. The wrasse should be a different story because he is a much different shape.>  He's since settled down and stopped harassing the butterflyfish (possibly because the butterfly outsizes him by a bit) but I'm concerned that he would bully a more docile fairy wrasse unceasingly. Is there a way to add a fairy wrasse safely? Would you recommend quarantining the tang for a few weeks? <I recommend quarantining everything before they go into the main tank.> Any help that you can provide would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks Gretchen

Wrasse compatibility Hi , I have a 79 gallon reef tank with a Halichoeres ornatissimus in and on   Saturday I added a Anampses meleagrides and a Coris gaimard << I can't think of a more beautiful sight to see.  But don't tell my wife I said that. >> the ornate wrasse   has not bothered the Anampses but has not left the Coris alone consequently I have not seen the Coris for longer than 5 min.s , will the situation get better  or have I got a major problem on my hands. << There is good news and bad news.  the good news is that many times after a few days the fish realize they are stuck with their tank mates and they work it out.  The bad news is that many times they just pick on a fish until it dies. >> My LFS said that the Coris would be  ok in tank. << It really is hit and miss.  I think your tank is right on that borderline size where they may or may not have enough room to make a home.  I would say that having lots of live rock would really help the situation.  But for now all you can do is cross your fingers. >> thanks yours Sharon brown <<  Blundell  >>

Shrimp vs. wrasse 6/30/04 Hello-Question? My sixline wrasse ate most of my cleaner shrimps legs.  This all started right after he molted. <Shrimps and wrasses are like sheep and wolves.  Also, shrimp are very vulnerable post molt.> I have him in a net box to keep him out of harms way, but I was wondering-will the shrimps legs grow back?  I been trying to feed him by my hand, which is not working.  So I dunno if I should just keep him till he dies or take him back to the fish store. <If the shrimp is able to take food, it may grow some of the legs back, but you won't see them until the next molt.  I don't see any benefit to returning it to your LFS.> Also my firefish, although he is active and eats a lot, looks very malnourished. I feed him formula one frozen food. Is there anything else I can do? I am guessing that my wrasse is a very aggressive fish and my tank may be just too small. <Firefish really benefit from several feedings per day. They also don't compete well with aggressive feeders like wrasses.  You may have to give one or the other up.  Best Regards.  Adam C.>

Sixline Wrasse Questions (6/2/04) Hello- <Steve Allen tonight> I just got a sixline wrasse a few days ago, and I noticed that my Firefishes tail has been pretty well chewed up a bit. I was wondering if the sixline wrasse was going to create a bigger problem for my Firefish? <Sixlines can be rather aggressive at times, and Firefish, being shy, are easy victims.> The strange thing is, I haven't seen them fight each other, they seem to kinda ignore one another, so I don't understand why this happened. <You never know what they're doing the 23 hours per day you're not watching them. You may need to watch for longer periods ad different times of day and in different light conditions to know what's really going on.> Another thing I noticed on my wrasse was one small white dot. could this be ich? <Unlikely if only one spot, but watch or more.> My other fish doesn't have anything on it. The white dot is on the tail and seems to have come loose a little bit, it kinda moves when the wrasse moves-i-s this ich, or something I should be concerned about? <Could be Lymphocystis--read about this on WWM & look at some pictures.> Thanks, Heather <Hope this helps. Steve Allen>

Correcting A Common Mistake  Well, I committed the sin I'm sure every aquarist is guilty of at some point, and I made an impulsive buy.  <Ahh.. we've all done THAT before!>  I was just amazed, because I had finally been to a nice fish store, with what seemed like knowledgeable staff members. I asked them if I could mix one of those beautiful wrasses with my Harlequin tusk, and they said yes, and that a Lunare Wrasse is perfect. So my girlfriend made me buy it.  <Yep- blame it on her! Heh, heh...>  Well, after some reading, I discovered that he's not going to go too good with my future and present stock. In my 220gallon, I have a Tusk, juvenile. Maculosus Angel, Flame Hawk, Black Back Butterfly, and am quarantining an Auriga Butterfly, some Chromis, and of course, a Lunare Wrasse in a separate tank.  <Glad that you quarantine! Good job!>  The fish store was several hours away, so taking him back there isn't really an option. How bad are my odds that it will wreak havoc on my other stock and make me wish I had never put it in?  <Well, it's really hard to say. Every fish is quite different, but I'd have to say that, given your population, the odds are that there could be quite a spectacular battle going on in there on a continuous basis-or at least until territories are established. Better safe than sorry...I'd pass on adding him. Lunare can be really feisty.. It could get ugly!>  I have over 200lbs of live rock, but my Tusk is my favorite fish, I don't want anything messing with him, and if not this wrasse  is there any other one that would go good with the fish I just mentioned? Thanks  Brandon  <Well, Brandon, to be quite honest with you- it sounds like you have a very interesting mix of colorful and active fishes in there. I would avoid adding any more fishes. The ones you have are attractive in their own right, and everyone will be better off in the long run if the population remains as it is. No one has ever been hurt by understocking a system (I would not characterize yours as "understocked", however...It's about maxed out, IMO). Do try to find a fellow hobbyist in your area that would be interested in purchasing the Lunare. In a proper home, it's a star in its own right! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Wrasse Mixing... Hi Everyone, <Hi there! Scott F. with you tonight> Just a couple of quick questions for you.  I currently have a male Redfin Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubripinnis).  I would like to add a few flasher wrasses (one male & three females).  Will they get along with the other fairy wrasse? <Well, in my experience, you can mix different species together if the tank is large enough. Not 100% guaranteed, but it can work. The key is plenty of room and groups of males and females to compliment these fishes' haremic lifestyles> How can you tell the male & female apart in flasher wrasses? <It varies from species to species. If you are very interested in Wrasses, do pick up a copy of Rudy Kuiter's "Fairy & Rainbow Wrasses And Their Relatives", a great little book with lots of good information and pictures to help you identify species and differentiate their sexes.> My tank is a 135 gallon reef with about 150 pounds of Fiji rock.  Thanks. Tyler <With that sized tank, you could probably mix a couple of harems of the smaller species. Do some research, and then do some careful shopping! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Hogfish sex??... Good Morning Wise Wet Ones- <Hey Andy> I recently got a 4" Cuban Hogfish for my 180 FOWLR, which also includes an adult Imperator angel,  clown, royal Gramma, hippo tang and 3 small damsels. After a few days of harassment from the angel, everyone has now settled down.  In CMA. Bob mentions to keep only one supermale per tank.  I checked your site and FishBase.org for help, but haven't been able find out how to tell the difference.  I would like to get another and haven't a clue how to tell the sexes apart.  Any ideas?  Do you think it would be too crowded if I added one more?  Thanks! Andy <Hard to discern the sexes in hogfish wrasse species... Males are decidedly larger, and do develop something in the way of a nuchal hump on their heads. Best to house just one of a given genus in all but the most humungous of systems (several hundred to thousands of gallons), unless all are small (a few inches)... or (risky) one very much smaller than another. Bob Fenner>

Australian Lineatus Wrasse 3/13/04 Hi All!  Well my flame scallops are doing well. heresy)  I know I'm a blind squirrel. lol  Thanks for the id on the Chisel-tooth wrasse.  Blasted LFS didn't have an id and I couldn't find an id, do you know anyone who'll want it once it gets 12" long? arghh.  I hope it grows slowly. ;]  Maybe by that time we'll have a 400g and a bigger house. lol  They have a Creole wrasse now that just looks beautiful, but its only 2 1/2" long. sigh. <Congrats on your success with the flame scallops.  Please do realize that success with such animals should be measured in years, not months!  Many inappropriate fish make it into the hobby.  I know a very famous aquarist who has a napoleon wrasse in his reef tank!  These grow to several feet in length!> I'd like some advice since you guys are such wonderful advice givers...   One of these days I would like to buy what I consider to be the holy grail of wrasses (one of them at least, I adore wrasses!) an Australian Lineatus Wrasse.  But not until we are well established in the 180 which we will be buying sooner than later (I hope!). <Good plan to hold off until you have a system that will be stable.> Would you consider this to be a hard to keep fish?  Also, what are the space requirements on a fish like this?  Would I be able to keep a small one in a 33g propagation tank or should I wait for the 180? <My limited experience is that these fishes (fairy and flasher wrasses in general) are fairly hardy, but not quite so hardy as other wrasses.  I would not suggest keeping it in a 33gal tank.  Why subject an animal that you obviously hold in such high regard to less than ideal conditions?  These fish are moderately susceptible to parasites and as somewhat timid planktivores they often demand live foods (at least for a time).  Aggressive feeders can easily outcompete them for food, especially in the first few days/weeks after introduction.> Would it be okay to mail order this fish or would it be better to try and order it through a wholesaler (we know several)? <I always advise against purchasing fish mail order.  If you ask your LFS to order it for you, the will often order more than one, allowing you not only to observe it's health, but to choose.  It is a whole other topic, but there are also a multitude of reasons to support your local stores.> Will a 180 be big enough, I currently have a Japanese wrasse and a super friendly exquisite wrasse in my 58g and my husband has a yellow coris (why do they call this coris, its sci name is diff?) and the chisel tooth in the 75g. <Please do consider the typical temperaments of these fish, as well as your observations and consider if you really want to risk them with your "centerpiece" fish.> Thanks and I hope you have a wonderful day! Your ever-loving fan, Morgan  Bob Fenner ha nihongo wo hanasu?  <Thanks for the kind words!  Best Regards, Adam><<Hi, wakarimas scoshe. RMF>>

- Compatibility - I was wondering if you think a yellowtail coris wrasse would be ok with a harlequin tusk wrasse; <Yes, these two should be fine.> And if a blue tang would be ok with a achilles or Naso tang? <Hmm... in this mix, one will be dominant. Might be some aggression but if the tank is large enough it should be little trouble. Cheers, J -- >

Wrasse Compatibility Hello helpers of fish lovers. <Hey there! Fellow fish-lover Scott F. here tonight> I am setting up a 150 gallon FOWLR tank and wanted to make it an aggressive species tank. I was wondering if it was possible to put a Green Bird Wrasse (or any other Wrasse like a Thalassoma or Halichoeres) with a Harlequin Tusk fish in my tank? <Possible, yes, but not recommended. Both of these wrasses have somewhat "strong" personalities, and there would be a certain amount of battling at any given time. Also, they both reach impressive sizes, and a 150 would be too small to accommodate both for anything close to a natural life span, IMO.> I have read a few things about only one Wrasse per tank, but with a 150, is there a way to do 2? <Well, you could go with multiple Fairy Wrasses, Halichoeres species, Macropharyngodon (Leopard) species, etc. But I would avoid mixing the species that you are contemplating> Which would be the best combo of these, which would be least likely to work out? <One or the other, IMO. Start with a small one, and you'll have a beautiful specimen of either in a couple of years> If possible, which would you introduce first?  Thank you Brendgol Majewski <Well, Brendgol- I'd choose the one you like best. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

What corals to keep with a bird wrasse - 1/29/04 Hello crew,  I have a 230 gallon FOWLR system which I am interested in converting into more of a reef set-up.  What I mean by this is that I would like to keep shrimp, hermit crabs and snails (to clean algae), feather dusters, and easier corals such as colt corals and the like. <Go for it> My problem is I currently have 3 percula clowns, 1 yellow tang, 2 blue devil damsels, 1 majestic angel, 1 emperor angel, 1 green bird wrasse and 1 clown trigger.  I know I would have to get rid of the clown trigger to keep some of the above, how about the green bird wrasse? <Should be fine. We have them at the Monterey Bay aquarium in our Clam and Soft Coral tank. They might snack on your hermits, shrimps, and snails. So might need to look into getting a hand fish. They are great a rasping algae from glass, sand, or acrylic (your hand cleaning the tank with an algae scraper, just in case you didn't get that futile attempt at humor.>  Would the snails and hermit crabs clean the algae? <They would if they weren't in the Bird Wrasse's digestive tract. Heheheh! Be sure to keep up the water quality and scrape away, my friend!> Any other corals you might suggest? <Green star polyps (Pachyclavularia violacea) or some clove polyps (Clavularia or Anthelia) Green or Yellow tree coral (Nephthea sp.) These are similar to what we maintain in our tank with our clowns, bird wrasse and damsels and tangs. Also keep an eye on the Angels, though as they may nip at the soft corals. If they do then you may have to make a decision; add noxious soft corals or get rid of the Angels. Paul>.   Thanks

Sixline With An Attitude! Hello to all WWM Crew from a rather cold UK!! <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> Just a quick question if you can spare a sec to advise. <Glad to...> I purchased a six line wrasse from my LFS about two weeks ago and he was fine, a nice peaceful addition..... Until now. <Uhh-Ohh...> The tank consists of a Coral Beauty, shrimp goby and his Tiger pistol shrimp pal and a Firefish in addition to the Wrasse. The tank is 40gallons with Live Rock, a cleanup crew of a few snails and hermits. <Sounds like a neat mix!> Up till about Sunday, they were all getting along fine, but now the Wrasse has taken a disliking to the firefish. Whenever the firefish moves he darts at him and chases him. I'm worried that the stress is going to tip the Firefish over the edge!!! My LFS said the Wrasse was a fine addition to the tank and was not bothered about having any territory (so not aggressive), but I'm not so sure? <Well, I love Sixline Wrasses! They are a lot of fun to watch, are gorgeous, and have great personalities. Unfortunately, you may encounter an individual (like you did!) who takes a disliking to another fish (usually a more docile species) and pesters it relentlessly> Can you offer any advice to try and curb his aggression? I've tried re-arranging the rock but this doesn't seem to have had any effect. The next course of action is to fish him out and take him back. The only problem is I do like this fish and I'm really happy with the way the tank is looking so it's a shame to have to re-arrange the rock to try and catch him stressing all parties concerned. But the Firefish comes first and he was the first in the tank so please any help on my dilemma would be much appreciated. Many thanks Martin. <Well, Martin- it certainly is a difficult dilemma! I'm afraid that I don't have any new and unique secret techniques for this problem! A thought here is that you could add another Sixline, as this could "distract" the resident Sixline. On the other hand, if could prove to be  disaster, particularly for the newcomer. My other tried-and-true solution is to (gulp) re-arrange the rock. Not a fun thing to do, but it often works. On the other hand, if it doesn't- you will have gone to all that trouble, only to have the same problem, and an aquascape that you may not like as much! In the end, removing one of the two parties may be the only ay to restore some sort of peace in the tank. It's your call, so do consider the alternatives carefully! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Pass On The Wrasse? Dear Scott, <Hey there!> Thanx again.  Just wonder, as you didn't mention in your reply, about the 6 line-wrasse. <Oops- must have been sniffing too much coral glue last night! Sorry..> Do you think it will be a problem with the hermits and snails??   <Not to the extent of other wrasses. In fact, Sixlines are good fishes to have if you keep clams, because they are known predators of snails that can bore into clam mantles, causing damage> Basically, wondered how the wrasse would work out with hermit crabs and snails and if it could get along with a goby as they both seem to like the substrate areas. <They might prey on smaller snails and hermits, but are usually very peaceful with other fishes. You'll just have to consider the possibilities and decide what works best for you> If you have time let me know what you think.  If you're too busy I understand. <Never too busy!> Actually, I'm not sure how you manage to answer so many emails in one day!  You must be a quick reader or typist!   <Well, there are about 20 of us crazy fish nerds on call, so we manage just fine! Besides, this is FUN!> Regards, Greg <Any time! Take care! Scott F.> ps If what is a "Sea Swirl"?  (I'm a Sea Swirl man, myself)  If I want the sinusoidal wave thing here could you send to China and could I call to give a VISA number so it's not going out over the internet (not sure yet if I wanna get one now, but just in case).

Sixline Wrasse -A Real Gas! Hello Scott, <Hi there!> Before I buy a 6 line wrasse, I would like to know if my inverts are safe??? <Well, these fish are generally model citizens, and real characters! However, larger ones can occasionally munch on some of the smaller shrimp that we tend to keep in aquaria from time to time. On the whole, I would not be overly-concerned here, with these caveats. Enjoy! Regards, Scott F.>

Wrasse Compatibility Hello, <hello> A friend is breaking down their reef tank and has offered me one each of the following two fairy wrasses. They have been living in a 60-gallon tank together, so I'm not concerned with their compatibility with each other. My question is whether you think the chances are good that these two and a Labroides dimidiatus (Cleaner Wrasse) would co-habit reasonably well in a 170-gallon peaceful community tank.  1 Female Cirrhilabrus laboutei <yes> 1 Female Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus <I think you mean Halichoeres Bathyphilus.  This is not a fairy wrasse. As far as it getting along with your cleaner wrasse I would say no problem in a 170 gallon tank. Ask your friend who will be giving you this fish it was mean to any that were introduced in after him.> I would love to give these unusual and beautiful fairy wrasses a good home, but Zippy was here first and I want the best for all fish concerned. BTW -Zippy was in a colleague's tank for 5 years before coming to mine and eats frozen meaty fish food like a champ! I consider myself privileged to own one of these fish! <good luck MikeH> Thanks,  Cheri

- Fish Mix - Hello WetWebMedia.com I have a reef tank 150 gallons (48Lx24Wx30H) with 200 lbs live rock and 150 lbs live sand.  I have a sump 40g, AquaC EV-180 skimmer with some hard and soft corals.  The tank has two Squareback Anthias (male and female), one Blue Green Reef Chromis, one Azure Damselfish, one Six Line Wrasse and one Powder Blue Tang 5" just bought from local store a week ago. My question is can I ad these fishes to my tank and these are my final fishes in the tank: two (2) Leopard Wrasse, two (2) Scott's Velvet Wrasse. <As long as you get male/female pairs, I think you'll be all set - get two males of either one and there will probably be trouble.> Thanks a lot for your help. Thien   <Cheers, J -- >

- Mixing Wrasses - Hello all at WWM, I have a female Christmas Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus) that follows me from one end of  the tank to the other. My kids like to watch her dive into the sand bed at night after the lights go out. How DO they breathe under there anyway? I recently saw a male at a LFS that has a gorgeous bright ruby red color and is around the same size of 4" long. would it be o.k. to introduce a male into my tank ( 200 gal. with plenty of live rock ) with her or might she resent the presence of a male in her territory? <It's my thinking that this wouldn't work out. These fish are solitary in the wild - almost never seen in pairs. I don't think, even given the amount of space you have, that this mix will work. If you enjoy the interactions of your current wrasse, I'd leave it be as these will certainly change post addition.> I read on your site they are solitary but she gets along fine with everyone else... <Solitary meaning they don't hang out with others of their kind.> Coral Beauty Algae Blenny Royal Gramma Azure Damsel If not the male, how about another type of wrasse such as the Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus Solorensis)? <Well, that Cirrhilabrus would be a fabulous choice not only because it is a real looker, but because it would work much better than another Halichoeres.> I want to make conscientious decisions on  stocking the tank to make sure all inhabitants are happy as possible. <Good think you asked in advance.> Thanks in advance for your answer. Cheers! Joel <Cheers, J -- >

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

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

- Tuskfish - Our local fish dealer has a beautiful harlequin tusk fish about 3 inch. long I have a 135 gallon tank with live rock and some soft coral (2 fingers and 1 hammer) Is this fish compatible the books I have don't say. <Should be fine - they are known to flip things over looking for food, but they don't 'eat' corals if that is your concern. Cheers, J -- >

- Wrasse Question - Hello, can a harlequin tusk be in a tank with a red head solon wrasse? <I'm guessing you mean a Solar Fairy wrasse, Cirrhilabrus solorensis?? If so, and given a 100g+ system, I'd think they'd get along famously. Cheers, J -- >

Christmas wrasse (one of at least three species...) >Hi, >>Good morning Rosie, Marina here. >I bought a Christmas wrasse at the LFS, he said it is reef safe. I have asked other sources and read in some books they won't bother corals but will eat ornamental shrimp, clams, etc.  I have a 90 gal reef  and it would be impossible to remove him if he starts acting up, so I have him in my hospital tank until I get the correct info on him. I hope you can help me. Thanks Rosie >>Please see this food item description on the above mentioned wrasse, known by the scientific moniker of Thalassoma trilobatum >> http://www.fishbase.org/TrophicEco/FoodItemsList.cfm?vstockcode=5943&genus=Thalassoma&species=trilobatum >>The general description via fishbase.org >> http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Thalassoma&speciesname=trilobatum >>Let this serve as a good lesson to those reading this, ANOTHER excellent reason to utilize quarantine facilities.  Rosie, your prudence has served you very well in this instance.  Best of luck to you!  Marina

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>

Reef Safe Wrasse Hello saltwater gods, <Flattery will get you everywhere. ;) > Have quick question for you today. <Uh oh. The quick ones often have War and Peace length answers...> I have a well established 120 gallon tank (60x18x26), 3-4" DSB 180 pounds Fiji, Kaelini rock, some soft corals and other cleanup type critters, one coral beauty, cardinal fish and a blue dot puffer. <Puffers are notorious for eating their tankmates> I really, really like the wrasse body style and coloration. The question is can you point me into a good direction what type have good coloration/movement/easy to care for? Are there different types that can't be housed together? <Often members of the same, or similar species will fight. There are exception, for example, the flasher wrasses should be kept in groups> links for husbandry etc. like to due as much research on these guys as possible prior to ordering them. < Here's a place to start: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/faqs.htm You might also want to look at Marine Fishes by Scott Michael. Lots of good wrasses listed in their. One of our sponsors, the Marine Center ( http://www.marinecenter.com) lists a section of reef safe wrasses.> BTW you guys provide an excellent service to this hobby, can't say enough good things about you and you efforts. <Thank you, you're going to make me blush> Thanks, Chris <You're welcome, have a good night, PF>

Wrasse (in)compatibility I have a 200 gallon <Lucky devil, wish I had a tank that big> with one Naso Tang (5inches), one maroon clown (2inches), two yellow tangs (one inch each) and one sunset wrasse (5inch). They have all been together for almost 2 years now. <That surprises me, your fish should have grown quite a bit>  I am getting ready to add a Half Moon Angel (6inches) next week to the mix.  He will be our final addition to the tank. <Nice to see you're adding him to a tank big enough to hold him> Normally they all get along fabulously.  The only "problem child" in the tank is the wrasse (to be expected I guess).  He only picks on the maroon clown though.  Sometimes he'll go months without even looking at her wrong and then right now he is terrorizing her every day.  The problem is she doesn't back down.  She's a tough cookie. <I'm regularly savaged by my false Percs, remember, they are damsels after all> He just picks at her fins -- doesn't act like he's trying to kill her or anything.  Wouldn't he have killed her by now if that was his goal? <Maybe, sounds like general aggression to me> What is the problem? <My guess would be that he finds her presence intrusive on his territory, and that over the course of time his annoyance at her presence grows until he acts out. Feeling he's established his dominance in the tank, he goes away happy. A while later though her presence starts to bother him... and lather, rinse, and repeat> Why does he do this?  Can you provide some understanding?  Is there anything I can do besides separating them? <Maybe rearrange the decor/live rock, take everyone out and reintroduce them into the tank> Will adding the angelfish change the dynamics and make things better possibly?  or worse? <Well, it will change things. For better or worse, I'm sorry to say I don't know. A lot depends on the personality of the fish> It's my understanding that angelfish tend to become the "boss" of a system.   Right now I think my wrasse is too big for his britches. . . maybe the new angel will help? <Maybe, have you though about getting the clown a mate?> Thanks for any advice.  Also, when adding the new angel would you suggest skipping my weekly water change to give him time to acclimate and settle down or would you suggest keeping my weekly water change/cleaning schedule? <Keep to your schedule. Be sure and QT the angel first> Also, should I add the angel with the lights off or could I just leave them on dim? <I'd say turn them off, and rearrange the decor, that changes the territories> Any advice on this process would be much appreciated. Thank you so much! :) <You're welcome, I hope I've helped. Have a good weekend, PF>

Bird Wrasse Compatibility Hey. I love your web site. You guys do a great job. <Thanks> I have a 55 gallon tank with a green bird wrasse (about  5 in.). I was wanting to get 2 percula clowns, an Atlantic blue tang (Acanthurus coeruleus), and maybe a few yellow tail blue damsels. I was hoping on breeding the clowns. <I'd be willing to bet that they will not breed successfully in a tank with these inhabitants.> I heard that a bird wrasse might eat percula clowns. Is that true? <They are more into crustaceans than other fish.> I was wondering if all these fish would be compatible and if this is too many fish. <For this tank, yes> I know I would eventually have to get a bigger tank for the blue tang. How big is too big for the wrasse with my size of tank? I know it's a lot of questions, but I want to plan out my tank and make sure everything is all right. Thanks so much for your time. Cayse <I would not add any large fish until you get a larger tank.  The wrasse and the tang will both reach about 1 foot in length,  I would not recommend anything smaller than 6 feet in length, they need a lot of swimming room. Best Regards, Gage>

Wrasse Compatibility Sorry to bother you with this question, <No problem!> but could not find answer in FAQ. Would a Canary Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus) and a Flame Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus jordani) get along in a 80G tank? Will they harass/eat Lysmata amboinensis shrimp?<They should be fine together as long as you have a lot of hiding places, preferably in the form of liverock.  They will also leave the shrimp alone.  Cody> Thanks for your get work on behalf of this wonderful hobby. Steve Allen  

Missing Critters - Wrasse Attack - 2/17/03 I recently lost 3 Peppermint Shrimp in my reef tank. You guys agreed that the most likely culprit was the serpent stars. <Hmmm... my apologies if there was a miscommunication. I'm chiming in late here. I should say that all brittle and serpent starfish are very reef-safe except (!) the Green brittle starfish (O. incrassata) which is indeed predatory and not reef-safe by any definition> Now it seems my blue leg and scarlet hermit population is on the decline. Today I also found my emerald crab bottoms up. Water quality is good, corals are healthy and fish look fine. Current fish include pygmy angel, flame cardinal and a very mysterious but beautiful 8 line wrasse. <Hello predator> Is this all just a coincidence or can the wrasse and cardinal be the problem? <The cardinal is a slight risk... the wrasse is a huge problem. Crustaceans are natural prey: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Pseudocheilinus&speciesname=octotaenia What can you tell me about these fish, since little info is posted about them. <See the link pasted above... they are hardy fishes, but territorial and eat many types of reef invertebrates. Do consider buying/reading Bob's Conscientious Marine Aquarist book too. Fantastic for marine aquarium husbandry> I have a pair of juvi Clarki clowns and a yellow tang in my quarantine just about read to go in. What to do? <Please be sure to QT only one fish at a time for a proper QT. Else one sick fish can infect and kill all others> Thanks as always, I would be lost without you guys. Ken <No worries, Ken... its actually a good fish and likely compatible with the clowns and Tang... just not with critters :) Best regards, Anthony>

Pass On The Wrasse! (Pt.2) Hi, <Hello again! Scott F. back with you> Oh gosh! yes I should have told you his name...it's Moe! and the new one is gong to be Larry!  Sorry, couldn't help that one. <As long as you're not calling the next fish "Curly", we're ok here!> The surge is a Thalassoma purpureum. <Ahh...A beautiful fish...It gets quite large, however (like around 14-15 inches... a fish that gets this big needs large quarters and high water quality. It does feed on smaller fishes, too-so its tankmates need to be chosen wisely> And the checkerboard is a Halichoeres hortulanus. <Another fish that can get to a larger size, as well (around 10 inches). They love to bury themselves in the sand at night, and "explode" out of the sand in the morning (cool to watch). Less likely to eat other fishes, but they will eat a variety of sand-dwelling invertebrates, snails, etc. Relatively easy to feed, but not one of my favorite Halichoeres species (I like H. melanurus and H. chrysus, myself!).> I'm really interested in a purpureum, I don't think I have ever seen such colors on a fish before. Thanks again, Lynn <Well, Lynn- they are unquestionably gorgeous-but I'd urge you to take a look at some of the Cirrhilabrus "Fairy Wrasses". They have absolutely radical colors that will blow you away, stay relatively small (like 4 inches or less), are easy to feed, have none of the nasty habits of the bigger guys, and can be considered "reef safe". Check 'em out..! Have fun! Regards, Scott F>

Wrasse vs. Wrasse? Hello, <Hi there! Scott F with you today..> I have a 180 gallon Fish Only tank with lots of live rock (plenty of hiding spots) there are numerous fish but my concern is only two for the moment. I currently have a 4 inch Lunare Wrasse (easy going) I'm thinking about adding a male Hawaiian Flame wrasse 4 inches or so. How would they be together? I'm not really attached to the Lunare wrasse and I have friend who would love to have him. Any thoughts? <Well, I can tell you that the Lunare can be a rough customer, as wrasses go, especially with a newcomer to "his" tank! Although the Flame Wrasse will tend to swim in the upper reaches of the water column, there can be some territorial disputes and "incidents". It's really a tough call. It can be done, but keep in mind that the Lunare can hit about 8" or so in length, and the Flame generally will max out at 4 inches. If an "adversarial" relationship develops between these two, it's quite likely that the Flame will be on the "receiving end" of the trouble...Proceed with caution, or consider calling that friend who wants the Lunare if you're really sold on the Flame! Thanks Mark <Our pleasure, Mark! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Harlequin Tusk ,Thalassoma Lunare follow on Hi Anthony I haven't written for a few weeks so hope all is well in your 'neck of the woods' ? <very well, my friend with hope for the same with you :) > I don't know if you remember but I asked your advice on the above combination of fish and got the reply too late!! (I'd bought the Harlequin over the week-end because I'd found WWM write-ups saying the harlequin was fine with most everything) <agreed... do recall> I thought I would give you an update on progress . I left the Harlequin in the QT for nearly six weeks while I debated what to do, in the end I'd grown too fond of him to let him go and so will keep him even if I have to set up another permanent tank. <heehee...a  true addicted aquarist!> During this time I got to think that this particular fish was very bold after the first settling in period and was very quick at feeding and I was also of the opinion that my Lunare was not too mean (he lets me stroke him in the tank and swims in and out of my fingers, and doesn't attack anything else in the tank.) <all good> As you had also (reluctantly, with warnings of possible quick rescues) said I could try the mix, that's what I did. So far there is no fighting and they ignore each other completely until feed time. You do know your fish don't you!) <heehee... yes. Working as a wholesaler or retailer for many years lends you great insight for handling a few thousand fish> Once food arrives in the tank the lunare does try to chase the Harlequin off his 'patch' as you warned, but is so keen to get back to the food that he does no harm to the harlequin who seems not to care and is straight back in the furor again. he certainly gets his share and to help this, I drop food in at both ends of the tank at the same time. <reasonably well enough... all though their is some concern that the perpetual stress at feeding time will lead to complications in time. Its like living with a roommate or spouse that is otherwise perfect except for 3 meals daily and tea time when they punch you in the face. Lends some stress to the lifestyle despite all the good times in between> After the first flurry they ignore each other again until next feed time. They have co-habited now since the Christmas holiday and so I am hoping they can continue together but I will watch for any developing trouble. <very well> Eventually I plan to have a much longer tank than the present 5ft so they can have their own territories. I'm thinking maybe about 8ft would be o.k. for them and the tangs (1 Naso,1 Pyjama and 1 yellow) and  maybe something else that  I will check with you before I buy (honest!). Thanks again - Jenny <the bigger tank will be the best solution in time. Great to hear from you! Anthony>

Six line wrasse compatibility Hello,  I have a question on Six Line Wrasse compatibility. I have a 29 gal tank with two False Percula clowns, four Nassarius snails, 4 Blue Legged Hermit Crabs, a Emerald Green Crab, a group of small Star Polyps, one False Anemone, one large Feather Duster, and several small feather dusters and  white worms with red plumes. <all fine... but keep an eye on that crab as it matures and make sure to keep it fed if microalgae wanes ... or murders will occur and it won't be the butler who did it> I like the small dusters and worms that came on the live rock and am concerned about their well being. Will the Wrasse eat any of the aforementioned?   <possible, but not a huge risk> I wanted something small that would swim around the rock that I've taken great pains in setting up to provide hiding spaces and good current flow. <Hmmm.. a fairy wrasse (many species) would be a much safer and peaceful choice here. Six-lines are wonderful but ferocious. There's a greater chance it will kill your clownfish than featherdusters in time> My clowns swim close to the top and the tank needs something swimming around the rocks. I am also concerned about a few smallish Bristle Worms in the tank that at some point may go after ......anything. <no worries... bristle worms are great for sand ecology. They only flourish if you overfeed, under skim, lack of water changes, etc> Wrasses should keep these in check. <correct> If not a Wrasse, have you any suggestions? <besides Fairy wrasses, Firefish and delightful for the aesthetic> Tell Anthony, that the folks at Elmer's Aquarium say " Hello". Thanks! <excellent to hear! Cheers, my friend> Steve Scott( A frequent Customer at Elmer's, and dedicated reader of your fine website!). You folks saved me a lot of frustration and probably many a fish life! <great to hear it... kind regards. Anthony

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

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

Harlequin Tusk ,Thalassoma Lunare, Butterfly and Emperor/Queen Angel Hi again Anthony, Thanks for your reply even if it wasn't what I wanted to hear! The reason I picked the Harlequin was because I read at WWM that to quote "most everything leaves a harlequin tusk alone and vice versa" so I thought I was reasonably safe with this <generally true... but beyond tank size issues, mixing two wrasse species (tusk and lunare) is quite risky just like mixing tangs or angels. More often than not there is serious compatibility issues> and they had a lovely one at the LFS! <a gorgeous fish indeed> They also said it would be fine with my existing wrasse and as I hadn't heard back from you then (I think you were lecturing) I bought it and it is now in my QT! <wow... bummer. Hmm... what to do. Since you do have a QT, you can chance the mix after QT, and be prepared to pull them if they scrap. This may mean tearing the rockscape down. No guarantee that the victim will service the stress of it all either. I'm also thinking in the long run.. lunare wrasses have a well deserved reputation for turning out to be satanic once sexually mature. Now I must decide what to do with him! Also I find that the "pearl" butterfly I was asking about is actually a Redback butterfly >according to Bob's book ,what can you tell me about this, is it timid like the pearl or could I get that ? <too timid indeed. In fact, there are very few butterflies that have a prayer with this crowd of active feeders even if they are not aggressive. A Raccoon butterfly may be one of the few with a chance> regarding the Emperor or Queen are you saying never OR just never with this tank size? <I hate to say it... but they are all really dreadful mixes for the long run. These angels are as aggressive or more so than the lunare wrasse after a year or two. And we need to plan for the long run since these fishes live well over 10 years. Its like planning for space with a puppy: no great Danes when living in an apartment. I see this fish dominating a 300 or 400 gallon aquarium in the 5 year plan. Indeed... I have seen quite a few in my lifetime do this very thing. For aggression and your present tank size... no angels in my opinion> I didn't strike very lucky with this list did I? Thanks again - Jenny <alas, no my friend. You have picked many wonderfully hardy fishes... but too many attitudes and too great a size even for the new tank. Best regards, Anthony>

Wrasses wrassling Hi Bob (or Anthony or Steve or whoever else is there) <hey, bub> You guys have any thoughts on trying to keep a C. solorensis with a H. ornatissimus in a 75G FOWLR tank?   <yep... I think I wouldn't do it. It would be a shame to see that solorensis turn into carpet food after being chased out of the tank> Eventually the C. solorensis will go in my 120G reef but it isn't ready yet.  Would it be a bad idea to try and keep these guys together for a few months? <I do believe it is an unsafe risk and a bet that I wouldn't take> Thanks, Bret Packard <kindly, Anthony>

Green bird wrasse in a reef? Dear Robert My name is Edgar, I live in Mexico and currently I have a 110 gal reef tank with several soft and hard corals, mushrooms, zoanthids, feather dusters, 2 anemones (E. quadricolor), snails and shrimps (2 S. hispidus. 2 L amboinensis and 3 L wurdemanni) . I also have a yellow surgeon and a couple of P. biaculeatus as well as one Salarias fasciata.. I wonder whether a green wrasse could be a good addition to my set up. <Hmm, I wouldn't try it with your shrimps... too likely they'd end up meals> I know they get big, but I also have several friends which can keep him/her when he/she reaches adulthood. I know these fish can eat bristleworms, but I don't know whether they can (and will) eat my featherdusters or will bother some of my corals. Could you please give me some advice? <Certainly my friend. I would look to other smaller wrasse species if it were my system. Gomphosus varius is too rambunctious and a big eater for your tank and its current occupants. Bob Fenner> Thanks Edgar

Re: Green bird wrasse in a reef? Hi Robert Thanks a lot for your fast answer, I'll follow your advice and get a small wrasse for my tank. Edgar <I'd look to the genera Cirrhilabrus, Paracheilinus... Bob Fenner>

Re: reef fish (Wrasses) Steve, Would a Scott's fairy wrasse be ok for my tank? I didn't know if my sixline would be a problem. Once again thank you for your help. I am trying to figure out what and how many fish I can add to the tank. Jason <You have 11 fish now, right? Two or three more should be ok for your 135, depending on size. The fairy wrasse should be ok. May have a little trouble with the sixline, but sixline's are not known to be too terrible. -Steven Pro>

Re: starting again Jason, <<Greetings...>> Thanks for your previous replies....given food for thought. Having really analyzed and discussed things with other folks, I have abandoned the idea of starting from scratch and instead am going to keep the few fish that are getting on, and work from there..... far more sensible :-). Had considered getting rid of my lion too, and going "peaceful" as you say, but I really feel I "need" my lionfish :-) if you know what I mean. If however there was some conflict or whatever I would obviously consider the fishes needs first.  So, basically, my tank is 78x18x18 (to re-cap). Despite all that which has gone before, I am now certain that I am going to keeping my Asfur angel, volitans lion, and my regal tang. I really like these fish, and these all get along well. The only other fish that lives in harmony at the moment is my little 4 line red sea cleaner wrasse (a good 3") .... but within 6 months he is going to be moved due to the lion. So, my base line stock you could say is a 2-3" Asfur angel (changing), a 5-6" regal tang (ancient) and a 3" volitans lion (that I just love to bits). <<You do realize this fish will never stay 3 inches...>> What I'd like to add which I am unsure of is a wrasse species. I am very interested in both the lunare wrasse (T. Lunare) and the Cuban hogfish (B. pulchellus). I understand both these fish attain about 8" or so in the average home aquarium..... can you foresee a problem if I added EITHER of these (not both!!!) <<Not really... your tank is a good size, albeit a little narrow... would be ideal at 24" wide or more.>> The reason I ask is that I had a lunare before, a few years back, but made the mistake of putting him in early in the tanks life..... he later killed a fuzzy dwarf lion (which was added after the wrasse), and I am now afraid that the same might happen with the volitans..... is this something I should worry about, or is it very unlikely. <<No easy way to predict... given enough time, any fish would just assume this whole tank belongs to me. Any new addition comes in the same way daily feedings do so it's also an easy assumption that the new fish could also be food. Better to get something at least as large as the Volitans.>> Would such concerns be relevant with regard to the hogfish? <<Same stuff applies.>> Generally I am pretty familiar with T. lunare's habits etc, is it fair to say that the hogfish is similar in behaviour / activity / swimming etc? <<Same but a little different.>> This would probably be the last addition to my tank, as it would be approaching "over stocked" at that. Thanks a lot for your input. Regards Matt <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Harlequin Tusk & Bird Wrasse in Reef? Hi Anthony, Thank you so much for advising me on those beauties.  <always welcome, my friend> Well the HT and BW I saw in the shop is less than 7 inches long.  <which sounds like "up to seven inches" to me...heehee. They typically come in large (5-6 inches) and sure don't stop growing from there> Are they OK with the tank? Latest I heard my clams could be in danger with these guys. Is it true? Don't want my expensive clams to die. <clams are portable and can be smashed against the rocks easily. Although not preferred fare... I cannot convey strongly enough how large wrasse species do not belong in a reef. You need a FOWLR tank for these bulls> ps. Was wondering how you guys run your service? I mean do you do it on voluntarily basis answering idiot question like mine or is it subsidized by something else. You guys are wonderfully incredible in assisting people out there with marine issues and I think we should do something back. <thanks kindly... all volunteer work. Bob started this great site out of his kindness and empathy for the industry and aquarists.. as it grows, he enlists the help of friends like us. Best regards to you and all, Anthony Calfo>

Wrasse type/safety and carpet anemone move Hello again Anthony Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I've had a minor op on my foot and only just come back to work.  <no worries... hoping you are well!> I must also apologize for the long e-mail but I have a couple of worries to share with you. In my last e-mail I was asking about a Lawnmower Blenny and the fish it would have to live with in my two tanks, the gist of the e-mail and my return response is this: [regarding algae control] << I know about the skimming but I have a problem in getting a hang on type to fit my tank which has glass ledges 6" wide each end as well as front and back ledges of 2" plus no room for a sump! if you know of any skimmers I could use please tell me the brands.  <Tunze makes some fantastic rail mount models if you don't mind the top mount. Else, you can use a sump model and pump from the display to an upstream vessel like a refugium with a skimmer and them let the water overflow back down to the display> I have an adapted sea clone that came with the tank (2nd hand) and the glass was broken at the top to accommodate the SC. I plan to get a new tank eventually but not yet. The other tank is newish but not reef ready and I bought a prism skimmer for 140 pounds sterling before I found your site!>> <Ughhh... sorry about the sea clone and the prism <G>> >In the FOWLR he would have to mix with 1 7" Naso , 1 7" green  >wrasse, 1 3 1/2" yellow tang, 1 3" pyjama tang, 2 percula clowns  >and 2 green Chromis. ><hmmm... I do have concern that the Green Bird (?) Wrasse will eat  >the Percs, Chromis and lawnmower in time. They get quite large and  >aggressive at sexual maturity.. they behave for a year or so. After  >that, I have seen them fed 4" crayfish which they smash to pieces  >off the rocks. Do consider removing in time. Kindly, Anthony> << I think my Wrasse is a male Thalassoma lunare , mainly green with slight flecks of blue on the body and blue/red markings on his face, he also has a yellow tail. He is very active, nosey and a fast swimmer but I haven't seen him be aggressive towards anything else in the tank. Is he fully grown at 7" and will he continue to be a good chap in my tank? <alas... no. Lunare wrasses are magnificently hardy and beautiful fishes but the are notoriously aggressive...eating live feeder fishes and crayfish as adults! I have seen specimens over 30cm long> I am very fond of him because of his character!  <yes... a wonderfully personable fish> I also think my Pajama tang is not what you think of as a Pajama tang! looking on your site I got the idea that in the USA you call a Naso a Pajama tang is this right?  <not correct... perhaps a typographical error. We call Nasos "Naso" or "lipstick" tang> mine looks just like a Acanthurus Lineatus (Pajama surgeon) oh dear! what now? can he stay with his tank mates listed above or not? >> <indeed... you do have a "pajama/clown" tang which is a somewhat challenging fish to keep. Easy to feed but difficult to keep alive on a captive diet for many. Also needs large long tanks with very strong water movement and they can be quite aggressive> While I have your attention may I ask about my Carpet anemone's re housing? I have moved him ,his two clowns and a cleaner shrimp into a two foot tank which I know will not do for long term but thought this would be good for a while because of the chemical warfare you warned me of in the reef where he was. <agreed> He was stuck fast and would not budge, I dare not handle him without gloves because of his stinging. I had to use some pressure to force him to let go but I don't think I damaged him in any way except for stress.  <very good... and know that the edge of a credit card can be quite handy for extracting them> I didn't know they were so strong, He shriveled up to a fraction of his normal size and seemed to turn almost inside out, I was very worried for a while, he seems o.k. now though apart from a bit of mouth gaping which I know is not good but as his body has returned to normal (even bigger than before) and he is feeding I think he will be o.k. (I hope) . <agreed... perhaps just a little agitated> The problem is that he has wandered up to the very top of the tank near the lights and I'm worried he will get burned but I don't want to touch him again in case I stress him out again. What should I do if anything?  <nothing just yet... the movement is common on acclimation in trying to find good light or water flow. If it continues for weeks, consider that more light or water flow may be needed> How can you move a carpet without hurting/stressing him ?  <folks have also used a spoon or long thumbnail to slowly/gently peel them away from the substrate> I will need to know when he has to go into a big species tank. Also I bought 1 marine white and 1 actinic fluorescent lights for him but am wondering if this is enough light even though it is a small tank.?  <may not be enough... more daylight is better for most corals and anemones... the actinic light is more pleasing to us :) > it seems bright but ...what do you think? <they are very demanding for light... it sounds modest to me but you can compensate somewhat by extra feedings (fine meaty foods)> many thanks for you patience and help. Jenny <truly my pleasure... Anthony>

Canary Wrasse Woes Bob (Steve), <Actually- Scott F. this morning!> Nice to talk to you again. I have had some fairly good success with my reef tank (thanks in part to your assistance). I now find myself in a rather interesting problem. All reports I have read, people I have talked to, and internet sites visited (including yours), list the Canary Wrasse as fish and reef safe. Until recently, I have never had any problems with mine. He (I am guessing sex based on the number of dorsal spots) has never seemed to be very aggressive at all, sticking close to my banded goby on most occasions. This morning I noticed him nipping at my star polyps and chasing my banded goby. Have you heard of or noticed this type of behavior before in a canary wrasse? Is it possible that this is as a result of finally feeling comfortable in the tank (he has now been in the tank for about a month), and being close to full size, trying to establish dominance in the tank? Short of replacing the wrasse with a smaller version or a different fish entirely, what do you suggest I do to tame this apparent growing menace? Sincerely, Mark <First Mark- forgive me for this if I'm mistaken, but by "Canary Wrasse", I'm assuming you are referring to Halichoeres chrysus? Assuming this is the fish, here's my take on the situation: These wrasses are not known to eat corals, but they do pick on tubeworms now and then. Also, they are known predators of flatworms and pyramidellid snails, etc. Perhaps the fish was merely foraging for these prey items among the star polyps? Were the polyps actually damaged? Is he eating well, and have you been providing him with meaty foods? Finally, the chasing of other fish can sometimes be confused with the cleaning behaviour that these wrasses do engage in from time to time. My suggestion at this point (once again, assuming we're talking about the same species) is to observe him for a while longer to see if the undesirable behaviors persist. If he is truly nipping coral polyps and aggressively engaging your other fish, you may have to remove this individual to keep your aquarium a healthy, safe place for all of your specimens. Good Luck! Scott F.>

Compatibility Question for Daily Q&A Bob: Will a Paddlefin wrasse be able to hold its own among  aggressive tankmates such as triggers and the like? Thanks... >> I give you very good odds... the wrasses of the genus Thalassoma are a lot tougher than many folks know... and fast and smart. Bob Fenner

Lunare wrasse I was thinking of adding a lunare wrasse to my 125, the tank has- 1) Maculosus angel ( 6") 2) black durgeon ( 5 1/2") 3) panther grouper (6") the grouper should be leaving this tank (probably the same day the wrasse would come in) other possible tankmates would be - purple and/or Sohal tang I have looked at your website and have noted that the lunare is an aggressive species, would that aggression be OK in this system? <Should be> What and how often should I feed? I feed twice a day, prawns, angel formula and dried seaweed.  <All sounds fine. Avid eaters of most foodstuffs> how hardy is this fish?  <Very> Is their a better wrasse choice in terms of aggression and hardiness? <Not really... there are many "equals"...> thanks for the advice - Yaron Aronowicz >> <You're welcome, Bob Fenner>

Invertebrates hi bob, moving along on my aquarium and getting much enjoyment. question tank mates are pretty docile save a energetic lunare wrasse. any invertebrates simpatico with this guy? thanks much  pat >> Hmm, well, not a good gamble with mixing much in the way of invertebrates with this species (Thalassoma lunare) in general... but maybe you have an easygoing specimen? About the only route to go is the "bio-assay" of trying some hardy types of non-vertebrates and see if the Wrasse will leave them be... Maybe a Leather/Toadstool soft coral to start? Zoanthids? Not small crustaceans... Bob Fenner

Lunare Wrasse I recently added a 4-5" Red Sea Lunare Wrasse to my 90 gal. fish only tank. I have a 7" Majestic, a 5" Asfur, a 4" Yellow Tang, a Percula, a Three Stripe Damsel, and an Orange Tail Damsel. The wrasse has been doing great for about two months but he recently started to harass my two Angels! He is constantly picking away and destroying there beautiful fins. I removed the Wrasse for about ten days and then so the Angels could get a stress break. When I returned the Wrasse he continued to pick at the fins. Today I am removing him again. I thought that these were supposed to be peaceful community fish? Is there any hope that this behavior will change? There is plenty of hiding places in the tank and I even tried lowering the temperature by a few degrees over a seven day period. Maybe I'm not feeding enough? Thank you, Chuck >> Maybe the feeding will help... but this tank is actually a little small for all these "territorial" fishes... in the wild the two angels and the Thalassoma lunare would never put up with each others presence in such a small volume as 90 gallons... Bob Fenner, who would trade the wrasse in.

I have a comb wrasse, lionfish red volitans), panther grouper, and a clown  trigger in a 225 gal tank. I was thinking of adding a lunare wrasse. is there  any compatibility problems that you can foresee? matt...Tatto4u920@aol.com >> Hmm, the Lunare Wrasse (Thalassoma lunare) can become quite a bully with time/growth... if it were me, I'd look into an easier-going member of the genus or a Halichoeres wrasse (similar in looks, not as mean) instead... Maybe a H. hortulanus? A good looking fish these days. Bob Fenner

Painted fairy wrasse Could I keep a 4 inch painted fairy wrasse in a 75 gallon reef tank. Would it bother my cleaner shrimps. What should if feed it. is it easy to care for. I am thanking about buying one but I know nothing about wrasses.  >> Fairy Wrasses (genus Cirrhilabrus) are great for established, peaceful set-ups... they are ready feeders on most common aquarium fare... and though shy are easy to care for... and will leave your Cleaner Shrimps be. Bob Fenner, who has survey pieces on the wrasses (family Labridae), some of the principal genera and species of use in this large (600 species plus) family stored at the url: www.WetWebMedia.com. com that you can start on...

Wrasses and clowns I was at a local retailer's yesterday, and saw a "Velvet Wrasse", in fact, they called it a "Scott's Velvet Wrasse". It was absolutely beautiful! Is there another name for this fish? I have been unable to find any such fish on the FFExpress online catalog. I was assured that the wrasse would not eat my corals, but it is my understanding that some do. How about the Lunare wrasses? Specifically, I am interested in the Tonga Lunare advertised on FFExpress. I have many hard and soft corals, clams, and other inverts, and there are my #1 priority. One other question -- is there any known of speculated difference between the hardiness of different varieties of clownfish? I have lost both True and False Perculas in my reef. Are either hardier, or is another variety? Thanks for your help! >> Cirrhilabrus scottorum, Scott's (Velvet, Fairy) Wrasse... Eating corals? Not generally: More common in outer reef areas than sheltered lagoon reefs. Usually seen in small groups feeding a short distance above the bottom on zooplankton. These groups are composed mainly of females and juveniles. Males in courtship, actively swim up to 3 m or more above the bottom with fins fully erect. from FishBase... and BobBase. The Lunar Wrasse, Thalassoma lunare "Feeds mainly on small benthic invertebrates and fish eggs" but I have known them to pick on some stony corals in captivity.  There are definitely differences in the hardiness of species of Clownfishes... but much more important are contributing aspects of capture and handling... and the big one: whether the animals are wild-collected or tank bred/reared... the latter are by far the species and specimens with the highest index of survivability. Buy them. Bob Fenner

Compatibility I have a four inch lunare wrasse. He is extremely aggressive and quite hardy. He has killed in the past. I want to add some clownfish. I also want an anemone. I was hoping you could give me some species that could hold their own. My wrasse wants the place to himself. I would like around four clowns. If possible I would like all different species for variety, if not which can get along with own kind? I have had problems with ich in the past. My wrasse never gets it. I have tried everything from lowering the salinity to copper. I wish there was something else I could do so I won't have to take out all my liverock and invertebrates. Please Help! >> Umm, where to start... Yes the species, Thalassoma lunare can be a real territorial terror... Try taking it out (put it in your quarantine set-up... you're going to put up), and introduce your clowns (after freshwater dipping them)... and allow them to get situated for a few weeks before returning the Lunar Wrasse... and the number of species of clowns you can house and likelihood that they'll get along with each other and that wrasse is a function of the size and shape of your system... if it's small... like forty gallons. One species of clown... at 75, maybe two, one hundred.... you get the idea?

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