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FAQs on Wrasse Stocking/Selection

Related Articles: Wrasses, Wrasses of the Cooks,

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

One of the three species of "Christmas Wrasses", Halichoeres ornatissimus.

Mixing Wrasses-Reef Tank      1/5/20
Hello Bob and Team!
Hope all is well. Wanted to ask about mixing different species of wrasses in a 180 gallon reef tank.
<Well; the Labridae are a huge and diverse assemblage... Some would/will likely mix, def. others would not>
Currently, my tank includes 2 Yellow Tangs, Blonde Naso, Purple Tang, Flame Hawkfish, Solar Fairy Wrasse, Black Fin Fairy Wrasse, Mystery Wrasse and a Ocellaris Clown.
I wanted to know if I would be able to add any more wrasses, my worry is and always has been the Mystery Wrasse. He’s been a model citizen, I’ve had him with other wrasses since he was about 1” big and now he’s about 2.5-3”; so I feel he’s been “raised with other wrasses” so he should be okay, but I still watch him close.
<Whatever you put in, labrid or not, you should look to the "mystery" to assure it is getting sufficient food>
I’d like to consider adding specifically fairy or flasher wrasses and maybe a Yellow Halichores and/or Melanurus?
<These should go/mix in fine>
I usually introduce the new wrasses with a partition for a few days so the new wrasses aren’t harassed. I’ve been able to limit aggression and they all coexist quite happily.
This time, I was thinking about introducing maybe 4-5 fish (my last fish adds) at the same time without partition; assuming they are large, healthy and boisterous. My thought is to add enough at once that the existing residents likely won’t be able to single out a lone target. Kind of overwhelm them with some “shock and awe”. I have a separate 60 gallon QT/holding tank that I use to get the new fish eating and stable before introduction to the display; so I’d buy and hold the new fish in there until they are ready to move together.
<Sounds good>
In the end, my question centres around aggression; I’d like to try and marginalize any possible targeted aggression from the mystery wrasse to any new adds.
Let me know what you think.
Thanks Team!
<If it were me, mine, I would go ahead w/ these introductions/additions. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mixing Wrasses-Reef Tank    1/6/20

Thank You Bob!
<Welcome Anik! B>

Final Stocking--Wrasse Confusion      3/3/19
Hi Bob and Crew,
I recently sold a 180 gallon tank along with the big tank fish (tangs, Foxface, etc.) I've downsized to a 90 gallon, which I've aquascaped into a bommie tower by using a PVC structure and a separate cave.
<I see this in your pic>
I think it will look really good once the coralline and Zoas grow in. Plenty of hiding places and rock to pick at. I've attached an image. I've kept Zoanthid colonies and the following inhabitants:
Banana Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus)Captive Bred Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani)Blue-Green Chromis (Chromis viridis) (The sole survivor if anyone wants to learn from my experience. Started with 9 in the 180 gallon. Maybe I didn't feed them frequently enough?)Flame Hawkfish
(Neocirrhites armatus)Captive Bred Orange Skunk Clown Pair (Amphiprion sandaracinos)Yellow Prawn Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus) and Pistol Shrimp Combo
All are getting along just fine. I'm seeking some color in the water column. I'm considering a Bristletooth tang, either the Yellow Eye Kole (Ctenochaetus strigosus) or the Two Spot (Ctenochaetus binotatus). It
seems they are similar in habits and care and okay in a 90 gallon.
<Yes; either one of these would make a good addition>
Or do you have opinions otherwise?
I'm experiencing much angst over wrasse choices. I've read myself in circles. Would I have room to place three wrasses in the 90 with the tang?
Without the tang?
<With or w/o depending on the species; there are several small/er labrid species that are easy going>
I've read that it's best to keep a male with a couple of females, but I'm not sure in a 90 gallon. Here are some of the choices:1. Three juvenile Whip Fin Fairy Wrasses (Cirrhilabrus filamentosus)--In some places I've read they are peaceful and others state they can become terrors. Will they get along with the Dottyback and Banana Wrasse?
<Yes; should>
2. Three Sub Adult/Male McCosker's Wrasses (Paracheilinus mccoskeri)--Not sure if they are placed together one will become a male and the two others revert to female?
<Likely only one will be/come a male>
3. A combo of any of the following: Male Carpenter's Wrasse (Paracheilinus carpenteri), Male Ruby Headed Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus cf cyanopleura), Multicolor Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus lubbocki), Scarlet Pinstripe Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus evanidus), Sub Adult/Male McCosker's--How
many and which combo would be most desirable?
<Just one Pseudocheilinus; a trio of the others/Cirrhilabrus>
Thanks for all you do to promote conscientious fish keeping. I hate to make mistakes and see others make mistakes that cause animals to suffer.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Final Stocking--Wrasse Confusion        3/4/19
Thanks for the quick reply! I was able to order the recommended fish
through Live Aquaria, which makes me happy as everything I've ever received
from them has been healthy!
<Ah, good. Most all their stock in turn is from Quality Marine; a paragon
of excellence in the trade.

Re: Final Stocking--Wrasse Confusion     3/8/19
Hello Again, I'm pretty sure Live Aquaria sent me 3 male Whip Fins. Their find are already long and colorful. I've attached a pic. Am I right?
<Mmm; yes; but not "very" male...>
And if they are all males, I'm assuming they can't be in the same 90 gallon aquarium, can they?
<I'd go ahead and place them... This species is often crowed together, all-males at wholesalers... and seems to get along... at least in the short/er term. Likely one of the trio will further develop into the
primary, alpha male, and one, two might revert to (more) female coloration, def. behavior>
Hope you are able to answer quickly because I'm afraid to put them all in the same tank. Thanks,
<Cheers, BobF, headed back home tonight for under a week>

Selecting a proper wrasse    1/3/19
I’ve already spent a bit of time reading and searching, but in doing so I’ve come full circle and confused myself. I have the dreaded Pyramidellid snails. I have a 30 gallon cube tank with peaceful inhabitants (pair of Perc clowns, Firefish, hectors goby, diamond watchman goby, pair of peppermint shrimp, misc CUC snails and hermits). My infestation is light and I’ve been manually removing as many as possible, but last night after lights out I saw why I’ll never get them all gone: the Pyramidellid snails are also feeding on the small army of Collonista snails that swarm the rocks after lights out. My thoughts are a wrasse May be my only hope to keep my desired - aka purchased - snails alive. I’m in a tough spot, however, to find a wrasse that is suitable in my relatively small community tank. It seems most wrasses which will eat Pyramidellid snails need a far larger tank, and those which fit my tank do not eat Pyramidellid snails (possum wrasses for example).
<This is so>
I’ve come up with a few options, and would like some thoughts and maybe help think of other options. First, Melarnus <Halichoeres melanurus?> wrasse. I know it gets too big, but for a Halichoeres wrasse which eats Pyramidellid snails, it also just might leave my shrimp alone. I would revoke this fish responsibly once it gets too big. Next, Pseudocheilinus evanidus - secretive wrasse. It is a better fit for the tank size, but more difficult to find and unfortunately it is not nearly as chromatically gifted as most other wrasses. It’s in the same family as the mystery wrasse which eats bugs like crazy, but a bit smaller so hopes are higher that it’ll leave my shrimp alone.
<I doubt this last...>
I do not want a 4, 6, 8, lined or a (name your color) chorus wrasse as far too many have become bullies. Maybe this is overly wishful thinking, but if the unicorn wrasse I’m looking for does not tank my pods, it will significantly help my hectors goby - whom I’ve never seen eat any food I’ve fed, yet remains fat from picking at the rocks all day.
Thank you in advance for any assistance you could give me to get rid of my scourge (DIP YOUR CORALS!!)
<Mmm; well, there are several hundred species of Pyrams... some larger/smaller; some more species/predator specific... I'd either stick with a regimen of removing what I found three nights a week, about an hour after lights off... or remove your Collonista snails to elsewhere in the hope that the Pyrams will die off due to starvation (months). Any Labrid is going to be too large (and are diurnal; whereas the Pyrams are nocturnal), and will eat your shrimp. Some crabs and hermits might eat your Pyrams, but would eat other desired organisms. Bob Fenner>
Re: Selecting a proper wrasse    1/3/19

Thank you for the very fast reply! Unfortunately, removing the Collonista snails is all but impossible. The little hitchhikers are not only tiny, but number in the hundreds. If I’m inferring correctly from your response, I should not look to a wrasse to fix my Pyramidellid snail problem for at least three reasons, 1) snails and fish are awake opposite light cycles, 2) any appropriate wrasse to eat the snails gets too big, and 3) any appropriate wrasse may also eat my ornamental shrimp.

Wrasses that eat Polyclad Flatworms     6/20/18
Hi Bob, Hope you are well? I PM'ed you on Facebook a while ago to see if you knew of any wrasses that will eat Polyclad flatworms, you suggested emailing you as I couldn't see any references to wrasses that ate them on the WWM website?
Look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards Julian
<Don't know if such are spelled out. My recollection of Labrids that might (individuals do at times, not all... and will eat other items deemed more palatable instead) includes genera Bodianus (when small), Pseudocheilinus, Coris. Bob Fenner>

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

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>

Fish Compatibility     10/17/14
I know that there are hundreds of charts telling you which species will get along with which other species, generally. However I have yet to find a site that will tell you which wrasse will get along with which other wrasse or which angelfish will get along with which other angel.
<Too many variables... size of system, size and sex of individuals, who's introduced in what order...>
I have a Melanurus (Hoevans) Wrasse and a Red Head Salon Fairy Wrasse right now. I was wondering if it would cause a problem if I added a McCosker's Flasher Wrasse, will they get along or fight? I have a 120
gallon mixed reef tank.
<In this size, shape system I'd stick with one of the species, mix in some initial phase or unsexed individuals of that one. Bob Fenner>

Re: Heniochus acuminatus Aggressive Towards Mate, and "reef safe" Labrid sel.      7/17/12
As follow up to my inquiry, I wanted to let you know that I have removed both fish from my display and have put them into good hands. Actually into a friend's 125 who will be monitoring them amongst the other tankmates there. The final destination will likely be a 210 gallon display for one of his clients.
I truly appreciate your input and advice here. I will begin vetting a new pair of a different species for a good show pair in the reef setup. Do you have any suggestions for reef "safer" wrasses?
<Mmm, well, even small ones will eat small shrimp, molluscs and worms...
but the genera Cirrhilabrus, Paracheilinus are faves>
My friend has a pair (sold as a pair from wholesaler) of Halichoeres ornatissimus. Would these be a possibility?
<One of the Christmas wrasses... and a key species I've been out w/ collectors for in Hawai'i... A good choice w/ the same predation proviso.
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Slingjaw Wrasse    4/17/12
Hey Bob, I never thanked you for the service you guys do for the people when you answered a question for me a while back.
Anyway, I'm looking at Epibulus insidiator for my 125 US gallon fish only with Liverock (6'x18"x22"). I saw one at a local fish store a long time ago, really cool fish, just figured out what it was. I have been able to find some literature on their oceanic life but so far nothing on their captive life. Any advice?
Josh of Canada
<Mmm, have rarely seen this species in captivity, though it's quite common (though not ever in large numbers) in its range... A bit shy... so getting yours to accept foods (crustaceans, worms, small fishes, hopefully pelleted/Spectrum...) should be a/the top priority... you can Google re the sci. name, see others comments re foods, system characteristics. Bob Fenner>

Peaceful Wrasse/Wrasse Compatibility 1/24/12
Hey WWM.
<Hello Ken>
I am looking for a peaceful but active wrasse for my 30g tank that will do fine on it's own (no harem) and will get along with an Ocellaris clownfish, Tailspot blenny, and Springeri Damsel. I have heard 6 <Six> Lines get too aggressive.
<Mmm, I have a Six Line Wrasse that gets along fine with everyone including two Ocellaris Clownfish.>
I was looking into a Possum Wrasse or a Pink Streaked (Cryptic Six Line) but am concerned that these will be so shy that I will never see them.
<The major Wetmorella drawback is that they are quite reclusive. They spend most of their time moving among the rock work. You might see them peeking out of a crevice or a cave or they may dart out to grab a passing food morsel, but they are not likely to cruise around the tank.>
Also, are there any Flasher/Fairy Wrasses that can be kept singly comfortably?
<I've had a Carpenter Flasher Wrasse that did very well without a mate until he decided to jump ship.>
Looking for a wrasse that is reef-safe (including inverts, cleaner shrimp).
Also would be nice if it liked swimming through the rock work.
<My Six Line Wrasse seems to enjoy swimming in and out of crevices/caves.>
Any ideas?
<May want to read here and FAQs re compatibility.
Anything I mentioned sound good? Thanks.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Largest Wrasse in a 55 gallon long 8/30/11
Hello there. My name is Felipe. I've had a 20 gallon tall for 2 years now with some corallimorphs, an Ocellaris Clown, and a Bicolor Blenny. They have both been with me for almost the 2 years. I am upgrading to a 55 gallon long. I would like to know what is the largest Wrasse species you would recommend for a tank of these dimensions.
<Just one of the smallest species. Perhaps a Halichoeres chrysus...
Peruse the second to last tray here:
I will be adding about 70-80 lbs of live rock. This is all of course just planning. Nothing put into effect yet except the buying of the tank. I prefer the carpenter's rule "measure twice, cut once". I am obsessed with Wrasses as they are amazing animals with beautiful colors and characteristics. I would like to know which is the largest species I can house in this size tank assuming that only the Clown and the Blenny will be in the tank with it and that it is going to be a fowlr tank. Thanks in advance. You guys are great by the way. Saved me a lot of trouble in the past. Keep it up.
<And do be/a/ware that several genera of small Labrids don't live well or long as individuals, but in haremic/shoaling associations; not appropriate for your volume/shape system. Bob Fenner>

Flasher wrasse pair. Sys., stkg./sel. 8/15/11
Hello! I am very interested in flasher wrasse. I saw one (male) at my LFS and have been interested in keeping one ever since. I have two aquariums which are both empty of fish at the moment: one is 30g and the other is an ADA 60-P tank (17.4g) attached to a 20g sump/fuge.
<These systems are both too small for this genus>
First, I am wondering if either would be large enough to house any flasher wrasse? I know that Hiroyuki Tanaka said a single adult could be kept in 60 x 30 x 30 cm (about 15g)
<Am surprised at this stmt. ascribed to Hiro>
and another site said they only need 10g while yet another said a minimum of 55g so as you can imagine I am clueless. Are there any that are particularly small or suitable for Nano-sized tanks like mine? Next, I am curious as to why it is always suggested to keep a single male with a minimum of 2 females. Are they like Anthias in the sense that the males harass females?
<Keep reading>
Or is it just because they are found with many in the wild? I am unable to find any information about this.
<? really>
Ideally I would like to keep a male+female pair but I don't know if that is possible.
Finally, as for my 30g tank, if I kept an active flasher wrasse, I am curious as to whether or not it would scare my (planned) yellowhead jawfish into hiding or if it would encourage it to come out more as a "dither fish"? Thanks! :)
<Please see/read on WWM re Pseudocheilinus. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flasher wrasse pair 8/16/11
Wow! Thanks for the quick response. I am curious to know if we are on the same foot, though, so I am sending this in hopes of confirmation. I am referring to the flasher wrasse (Paracheilinus) and not the lined wrasse (Pseudocheilinus)
<Ahh, I do apologize... was so jet-lagged/pooped that I sent the wrong genus. Actually yes to both genera's members... They don't do well in such small volumes. I would not place either in anything that was under four foot in length... the 55 "show" you mentioned minimal>
which you mention at the end. Is it possible that you could link me to where it says whether or not the males harass?
<Males do. Are you familiar w/ our search tool: Please read here:
it's linked on every page>
I searched through the flasher wrasse section but found nothing. I have read to keep groups in larger tanks together, but not a reason why.
<These species of Labrids live in loose associations, shoals (with dissimilar status of individuals as opposed to schools)... in sorts of "haremic" groups... with an alpha/dominant male, perhaps a/some upcoming semi-males (terminal individuals), a bunch of initial/females and sexually undifferentiated members... They (these species) are not colorful or interesting behaviorally, nor happy/long-lived kept as singles in captivity>
I was thinking it may be like Anthias but at the same time I see pairs offered on websites like Liveaquaria which makes me question why.
<Are a great deal like the Anthiines; yes>
Here is the tank size "ascribed" to Hiroyuki Tanaka:
<Thank you for this. I do see the comment under: Flasher Wrasses in the Aquarium
And here is confirmation:
<Thank you for this correction, follow-up. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fairy/Flasher wrasses, Labrid sel. for sm. vol. 8/17/11

Okay wow. I definitely want some type of wrasse though. What would you suggest?
<Please see/use WWM... B>
Maybe a Fourline wrasse? Also, just wondering if ALL fairies and flashers need larger tanks or are any suitable? Thanks for all the help.

Pink Streaked Wrasse (Pseudocheilinops ataenia), sel. 8/1/11
Hello. I am in the process of planning a reef aquarium for a pair of Pink Streaked Wrasse (Pseudocheilinops ataenia).
<Do search, see the bit on WWM archived re this sp.>
My local fish store is able to order them, but not as a pair. However, they are able to request certain traits for each specimen from the wholesaler. How would you recommend I make sure that the two fish are a male and female?
<You'll have to rely on the supplier who is holding them... THEY should try placing the two in mind together to assure they are not presently both in terminal stage... as males>
I have heard that males tend to have more pronounced orange stripes and blue gill markings.
<This is so, as well as being (all things equal... in development, genetics) a bit larger than initial phase/females>
I was thinking of requesting an individual that has a more dull coloration and another individual that has more orange and blue, but the differences seem to be very subtle in the photos I have seen of mated pairs. Instead, should I request 2 different sized individuals?
Or should I ask for 2 of the smallest individuals?
<Or this... both being female or less likely sexually undifferentiated>
I am somewhat leaning for getting 2 very small individuals,
<Mmm, not too small (under an inch and a half overall length), as these ship and adapt poorly>
because many wrasse are protogynous hermaphrodites (including members of the related Pseudocheilinus genus). However, I'm not sure about this particular genus (Pseudocheilinops),
<These have the same sexual life history>
because there isn't much information about them. What would you suggest?
Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Compatability of Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis in 55 gallon tank, sel./genus/sys. 3/4/10
Dear Wet Web Media Crew,
I'm new to the hobby and looking to put together my first 55 gallon tank.
I'm currently in the process of gathering supplies and reading like a mad fiend, including, of course, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. My goal is to create a reef tank (start with hardy soft corals and work my way up as I gain experience and confidence) with some small, peaceful fish making it their home.
I was thinking of adding 2 or 3 *Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis *to this tank. Originally, I thought to add only one, but from my reading, it sounds like they're much happier in a group. But, I'm not sure if 55 gallons
is simply too small for a small group of social wrasses.
<Is borderline too small. Velvet/Fairy wrasses are "zoomers", liking to cruise a bunch in the wild>
My dream stock list
currently looks like this:
1 Purple Firefish
2-3 Social Wrasse Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis
1 Chalk Bass
1 Royal Gramma Basslet
<Mmm, the Gramma and Firefish may not get along here... I'd get either one, or just two Firefish>
1 Mandarin Dragonet
I'm worried that's too long a list for a 55g, though most of the fish are very peaceful and seem more inclined to protect one small nook rather than carve out a large territory (at least from what I've read). How might you suggest adjusting or modifying this list? Is there a different velvet wrasse you might suggest or no wrasse at all?
<There are some other species, other than Cirrhilabrus, that are more suitable. See here for ex.: Oh, have just looked and my Labrids for small systems stocking piece hasn't run in the print 'zines... hence isn't posted on WWM. Do search through the Articles/FAQs files here:
at the bottom... and this pc.:
and...: http://wetwebmedia.com/StkgSmSWsysArt.htm
The fish I definitely want included
in my tank are the Purple Firefish and the Mandarin (once there are enough copepods to support one). The rest I'm willing to change, if you see any problems.
<Flexibility is a hallmark of a successful species... You will be successful Kacey>
Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your expertise!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Compatability of Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis in 55 gallon 3/4/10
Dear Bob,
Thanks so much for your reply! From reading over the suggested links, it looks like you'd recommend possibly a singular specimen of *Halichoeres chrysus* or perhaps a small harem of Paracheilinus.
<Yes; particularly the former would be a very nice choice here for you>
The 55 g tank I have is 4 feet long which sounds like it would offer an acceptable amount of 'zoom room' for a trio of smaller Paracheilinus.
<Are actually a tad "too touchy" for me to suggest for you at this juncture, this size, shape system>
Unless three would require a space more like nine feet long in which case never mind that thought so much. What would your opinion be on a trio of *Paracheilinus mccoskeri* in a 55g with a purple Firefish, a chalk bass and a mandarin dragonet?
Thank you once again!
<... go w/ the Yellow "Coris" from this choosing. BobF>

Re: Compatability of Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis in 55 gallon tank 3/4/10
Oh my dear lord, they sleep UNDER THE SAND! I am sold, a Canary Wrasse it shall be. Thank you!
<Welcome! B>

Question on Halichoeres ornatissimus behavior... Comp. 1/7/10
Dear WWM,
Thank you for all the help so far. I have an 8 month old 55 gallon tank up with DSB, skimmer, Reef Crystals, pretty stable parameters (just started with Kalk additions) and the following parameters:
Some problems still with Lobophora on the live rocks, but the "Jekyll and Hyde crab", Percnon gibbesi seems to be making progress against that alga.
<Heeee! Good prose>
My problem is that I have stocked the tank this way:
8 x Chromis
1 x Hal. ornatissimus
1 x Stonogobiops nematodes
1 x Ambly. randalli
1 x Randall's pistol shrimp (with S. nematodes right now)
1 x Tailspot blenny
1 x Percnon gibbesi, 1 x emerald crab (large now and not too useful imho)
<They/Mithraculus... are not>
...and the ornate wrasse terrorizes the gobies. He and blenny are "friends"
in the sense that they seem to forage together and "greet" each other or seem to recognize each other while swimming (it's so hard not to anthropomorphize!).
<I'll say! And my goldfish agree...>
But, ornate wrasse chases the gobies whenever he sees them out of their burrows to the point that the gobies rarely come out. I feed them by squirting food into the holes and they seem to survive this way. The Randall's goby had a severely shredded dorsal fin (which healed in a not too nice way).
Is this normal ornate wrasse behavior and can I expect it to continue?
<Some Halichoeres specimens of various species do "turn mean"... and not much one can do re... Placing an even more agonistic species won't help your other livestock... Putting this fish in a larger system might...>
He/she has two dorsal ocelli, perhaps suggesting it isn't sexually mature; will things get worse over time?
It's about 2.5" long right now in total length. I am realizing I wanted a more passive tank and now I have what appears to be a more aggressive member swimming in it. What to do?
Thanks for the advice.
<I'd likely trade this fish out... Use two nets! Bob Fenner>

Re: Question on Halichoeres ornatissimus behavior -- 01/28/09
Dear WetWeb,
Thank you! I did trap out the ornate wrasse, though it took over 3 weeks to get him!
<Ahh, good catch!>
I tried 2 nets and that just didn't work well in a tank with branchy corals (net gets hung up; corals get damaged) and the wrasse quickly learned to hide in the sand when it saw nets.
<I like to "scoop up" such sand-divers... with a coarse net... shaking the sand out underneath them>
In fact, after 2 tries at this, all I had to do was *approach *the tank with a net and into the sand he'd dive; very smart!
<Ah yes>
I resorted to a "Reef Gently" fish trap with a trap door held by fishing line.
<Very nice fellows who own and run this co.>
I had to starve the wrasse for 2.5 days and put a tasty morsel of seafood into the trap. This did not work the first or
second times, but finally worked. He could see the Chromis and the cleaner shrimps move in and out of the trap and the food just looked so good, he finally went in. He is successfully re-homed!
So, stocking question. Given my current denizens include 8 x Chromis, 3 tiny shrimp gobies and a Tailspot blenny, I believe I have some room now for more fish in my 55 (+15 gal sump). My thoughts:
1. I was thinking about a tiger watchman goby (Valenciennea wardii) both for beauty and because they "clean" the sand. I have diatoms that form on the sand daily. However, I did spend considerable time and money to populate
the sand bed with creatures. Will this fish be too much of a burden on them?
<Will likely be greatly diminished... but...>
Also, will it clean the sand surface like others in the genus? Or do they mostly home up in one place and just dig there?
<Will move about, pick up and mouth all reachable substrate>
2. Pair of pink streaked wrasse (Pseudocheilinops ataenia): Yes, I am a sucker for wrasses. I think these are quite small so wouldn't be much of a bioload. What do you think? Is it even possible to find a pair?
<Are very touchy... I'd pass>
Your opinions on these additions would be greatly appreciated. In some ways, I regret putting 8 Chromis in the tank since it limits my other choices (if they weren't there, fairy wrasse would be in the picture). However, they are
beautiful, no doubt about that! (and mine appear to get along, so far).
Thank you for the advice!
<There are just so many choices. Of other wrasses, perhaps Halichoeres chrysus... May be it's best to refer you to others stocking queries:
and the linked FAQs files in this series (above). Bob Fenner>

Bio-load and wrasse compatibility 1/11/10
Hello WWM crew!
I have been keeping freshwater aquariums for 10 years. Most recently I've had a 180 gallon planted community tank that I had to take down when I moved and a 50 gallon planted discus tank that remains one of the highlights of my day.
Last year, my partner and I purchased property to build what I can only describe as the house of our dreams and since a salt water aquarium has always been something I dreamed about, I couldn't resist including a fully built in, two sided, wall mounted tank as a focal feature of the main floor to the plans.
If construction stays on schedule we should be in in 9 months. However, I didn't want something that elaborate and expensive to be my first marine aquarium and began collecting the parts to construct a 'practice' tank in the mean time. I've read more than a few books and have logged more hours than I can count researching the hobby online. I regularly use your site as an awesome resource but I'm hoping I can get some specific advice on my current set up.
<Will offer what I can>
Here's the set up:
- 90 gallon main tank
- 750 watts of lighting (2x 250watt metal halide, 250 watts actinic, LED moonlight)
<Mmm, will likely have to run a chiller to keep water temperature constant, reasonable>
- 25 gallon refugium with live sand and 15 pounds of macro algae covered live rock, fed by drilled in overflow
- Coralife 220 superskimmer (finicky and prone to over flow, but effective if attention is paid) hanging on refugium
- Fluval Fx5 on it's own water circuit (not connected to refugium) - some people think canisters are evil I know, this one came from my 180 and it's always worked beautifully for me. Depending on how nitrates track I will probably use something else on the big tank - it's filled with mechanical, bio and phosphate absorbing media
<A fine component here>
- 80 pounds of live rock in the display
- 2.5 inches of aragonite fine grain sand in main display, inoculated with live sand
<I might add an inch or so>
- 600gph after head loss return pump on refugium, about 800 gph flow rate from Fluval
- 2 Vortech MP10s set opposite each other on reef crest mode ( very random, ever changing flow patterns in the tank)
- The tank is grounded with a titanium probe just to be safe
<Mmm, do read on WWM re... these "grounds" are almost always unnecessary... some induce current themselves...>
I don't have an RO system yet so the tank is filled with treated tap water.
Thankfully I live in Calgary, Canada so our drinking water travels about 150km between the glacier it melts off of and my faucet, is naturally very clean and has an outrageously high natural calcium level. There will be an RO system in the next tank.
tank was cycled first with dead sand and cocktail shrimp (a smell I hope to never experience again ever), then cured live rock and live sand was added.
specific gravity: 1.025
NH3+/NH4: 0
NO2: 0
NO3: around 5ppm
Calcium: 540 - 550 ppm (if I'm reading the test right)
<Mmm, magnesium concentration? You want/need this to be about three times [Ca]... I would mix in some RO water to lower the latter>
pH: 8.2
alkalinity: 11.7
phosphate: undetectable on my test
Corals: Still pretty sparse.
The tank is anchored on either side by a branching frog spawn and a gorgeous Australian elegance coral. 3 kinds of Zoanthid frags, 1 stag horn leather, one mushroom leather, 1 Acropora frag (unknown sp.) and one shelf form SPS that I'm still trying to get an ID on. it's green and glows under LED light. I plan on adding more corals very slowly so I can track calcium level changes.
<I would add all that you intend to soon... to reduce allelopathy. We can talk about this later if you'd like>
The tank finished cycling 4 months ago.
in order of addition I have:
1 neon Dottyback
2 cinnamon clowns (a male/female pair I believe)
1 female lineatus wrasse
1 yellow spotted sand sifting goby (though I haven't seen it since it went in)
1 cleaner wrasse
<Labroides? Not likely to live long>
1 medium sized sohal tang (6.5-7 inches).
<This last will likely get too big, perhaps mean here>
The tank isn't big enough for an adult sohal tang, so I only purchased it knowing that it will have a 240 gallon aquarium to move to as it grows.
The cleaner wrasse is the first time I didn't extensively research a fish on my own before purchase, taking only the LFS attendants word - and as a result my first major error (I hope). Since the damage is done and it comes down to whether it starves here or somewhere else, I'm going to keep it. I've been taking care to chop Mysis shrimp and krill pieces extra small for it and so far it's been eating ravenously twice a day, so we shall see how it goes. I won't buy another one.
I also have about 30 blue legged hermit crabs (which the Dottyback has developed an unfortunate taste for), about 25 various sand sifting and algae grazing snails and two peppermint shrimp. I get a few more custodians each time I go to the store. I would very much like to add one more wrasse, though I'm afraid with the big, dirty tang in there I might be approaching my bio load/space limit.
<Look to Labrid/wrasse species found in the same geographic range... Red Sea into the Gulf of Aden>
I'm hoping to acquire another lineatus wrasse, either a male, or another female if mine changes sex (which apparently they can do when kept alone)
before I track one down. I've been able to find lots of info on wrasse compatibility between other species of wrasse and with other fish, but I don't know if conspecifics of different sex will be an acceptable combination in this tank, or if that is too many fish for this tank.
<You have good odds that another medium sized species will go fine here>
I am ok with waiting till they have a bigger home, but lineatus wrasses are so uncommon and are sold so quickly I would be inclined to jump on the right one if it becomes available. I was initially concerned about the lineatus being to peaceful for such an active and typically aggressive tang, but in the 2 weeks since he came out of quarantine the only aggression I've seen from him has been to his own reflection. He was also at the LFS for 6 months before that with many less aggressive tank mates with no problems - I know because I have been admiring him for months. I certainly won't be adding another tang to a tank he's in however.
Any input you have would be greatly appreciated!
<Read on my friend. Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bio-load and wrasse compatibility 1/11/10
Hi Bob,
Thank you for your rapid response. You mentioned allelopathy with the corals, from readings on your site I have come across references to such chemical behaviour between anemones and some LPS stinging corals (like my
frogspawn and elegance coral), though I have to be honest I know more about allelopathy in garden plants than in corals.
<A good deal known re both>
I hadn't given much thought to that being an issue with SPS corals or LPS that aren't known to be so aggressive.
<!? Your Euphylliids, the Catalaphyllia and Zoanthids are to the extreme...
Please read a bit more re... even if just on WWM>
It seems every time I think I am getting a handle on all the elements of this hobby it's only because there is a whole new factor I don't even know enough about to research. I will read more about that, from the way you phrased it, it sounds like timing may be key to setting up stable chemical interactions.
<Is definitely the best time to "acclimate" all. Maybe my ppt. ref. here:
and the linked files above...>
I will try and track down a reasonably priced supply of R/O water for this tank as I have no where to place or plumb an R/O system until we finish building our new house. I will also work on the calcium situation.
<There are some very nice units available on-line for quite reasonable... and easy enough to install, operate>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Wrasse suggestion for bristol <Not the chicken> worm control and Compatability with neon gobies? 1/11/10
<Hello Gerald>
What's your experience with a wrasse in a 24g Aquapod tank with neon gobies?
<Mmmm my opinion is that 1) You should not be putting any more fish in your 24g and 2) There are many different types of wrasse. Some are suitable for small tanks, some get to 2 meters+ long. What type of wrasse are we talking about here?>
I've only 2 neon gobies and 2 Firefish.
Unfortunately I've several unwanted hitch-hikers. I've found a large bristol worm (and others)
<Not unwanted in my opinion. A beneficial scavenger>.
Will the wrasse definitely take care of a worm even though the worm is several inches long?
<Not likely at all, there are far more tasty things on offer in most tanks than bristleworms. And unless you have seen the worm do damage to anything (not likely) then I would just leave it be. These will scavenge unwanted food/ detritus in your tank and will also reproduce, creating real, living plankton in your system! This is the good stuff believe me>
What are the characteristics of the 4,6,8 line wrasse?
<Ahh, OK we're not talking Napoleon here! Potentially aggressive with your Firefish, and not worth the risk> thanks in advance for your advice?
<No problem Gerald. If your system is running peacefully and smoothly as it is I would not add anything else to it. By all means monitor your livestock and the worm, and if there is a problem remove it manually. If you have too many bristleworms this is usually down to overfeeding. Cut the feeding back and the Bristleworm populations will go back as well.>
Gerald <Simon>

Velvet wrasse swim pattern 12/19/09
Hi once again Bob. I am looking ahead, researching my next addition after these 2 Golden B'Flies. In my earlier e-mail I'd mentioned I wanted a harem of fairy wrasses. After reading here about their nervous behavior/swim
patterns, I no longer want that species.
<Oh? A shame really. In a system of your size, shape, with the other livestock you list, I do think Cirrhilabrus would be lovely>
I prefer a graceful back and forth pattern to my particular tank. I'm sure they are perfect for other set ups. I am
interested instead in getting a Halichoeres instead.
<Mmm, these are far more likely to "zoom" about>
Either a melanurus or a hortulanus.
<The last gets quite large>
They grow a bit bigger and need to only keep one singly.
<Mmm, well... not really. I am a long-standing "content provider" in both the ornamental aquatics (this) genre as well as the dive/travel-adventure (business) field... and have spent decades underwater trying to take pix, make video, observing nature... I will tell you that the genus Halichoeres is also haremic... with smaller numbers of females relatively>
I wanted a Coris, but am leery of their bold behavior possibly towards the butterflies.
<There are some (not often available) species of use here, but I would avoid Coris aygula...>
My last question to you then, do/does the Halichoeres swim in the same nervous up down around
in circle patterns as the bird wrasse?
<Mmm, no... not like Gomphosus spp.>
I have seen in the LFS, and looks like the fairy wrasse pattern you describe, as well. If they swim similar to the
bird wrasse, I will then have a clear picture of the Halichoeres.
<This genus members spend a good deal of the time "cruising" near the bottom, moving in/out of spaces in the hard-scape>
I am searching for the coloring and size of the Halichoeres, but with the slower more deliberate swim pattern of,
say, a Moorish Idol. Is there such a Halichoeres?
<Most all>
Sorry for 2 questions in one day,
Thanks dearly in advance.
<Do you scuba dive April? You are indeed a candidate for dive-adventuring. Bob Fenner>

Re: velvet wrasse swim pattern, Cirrhilabrus sel., RS biotope f's 12/20/09
Bob, I cannot thank you enough here. I had a horrendous problem in the past with a very aggressive Sailfin tang. He bullied my Pearl scale Butterfly to near death, chased around the Naso, and kept my Coral Beauty cowering in the rock work. It was like I had an Undulated Trigger in there. The Sailfin bit tank mates, chased and cornered others so they couldn't eat. It never bothered the Blue Hippo, the Bi-Color dwarf, or the Raccoon Butterfly though. My 300 gallon tank sits on a 42" high stand.
<Ahh! Pretty "high up"... I take it the placement is in an area where people stand, transit rather than sit>
The tank itself is 3ft. high on top of the stand. I need to get on a step stool just to feed them, and a ladder to move and adjust things around. Not bragging, just describing the display. I had to get that Sailfin outta there. I drained out 200 gallons to get the water level down as you'd suggested to another reader once, get on a ladder, reach in with plastic dividers, tear down one of the rock formations to get that bully out. And at 8 ft. long, that took a good 2 hours to finally net him. The other fish were stressed to the max, it was an absolute nightmare than I am terrified of re-living ever again. All that to say I am now frozen with indecision for suitable tank mates for the Naso---"Mama's Big Fat Sweet Girl"---and the 2 Golden B/F's soon to arrive, "Sunshine" and "SweetPea". That behavior is the deal breaker for so many beautiful, hardy species I'd love to have in that tank. I just cannot deal with bullying. So hard to watch. I want a colorful, peaceful, hardy wrasse that does not zoom about the tank. Thank you for the feedback on the Halichoeres' swimming pattern. That's off the list now.
Perhaps back to the Fairy wrasse harem I'd first planned?
<Am sure you will/would enjoy them>
I am just beginning to learn about this great family, thank you so much for your insight. I wanted a Pomacanthus, but am afraid of adding one due to their territorial trait, again, not wanting anyone chased away from an area in the tank they claim as their own.
<Oh! Had an inquiry today re a Mac or Asfur Angel... at first glance had thought this had come from you. I think your system would really be enhanced by one of these Arusettas... as THE show piece. Am VERY sure you and your family will enjoy this choice>
So I figured the beautiful Fairy would be safer in that regard. The Red Coris, wow, I wish! What a stunner. Your article on them states they have a penchant for aggressiveness. So what do you suggest? A Scott's fairy? A lined Fairy? A Cirrhilabrus solorensis?
Or a Cirrhilabrus exquisitus perhaps?
<Mmm... I hope to not confuse you, but after just finishing Greg Bear's "Moving Mars" book this AM am waxing more directional than usual. I want you to look, consider a nice grouping of Pseudanthias squamipinnis instead... if you can, collected from the Red Sea itself, but otherwise the Indian Ocean into the W. Pacific will be fine. As time goes by you'll understand, appreciate by kibitzing here>
I saw that photo here at WWM of another person's fairy who had that bump on its face from hitting its own reflection. It was in your response to them where I learned about their nervous darting around swimming pattern. I am (overly, I know) worried about my other fish feeling irritated by that. Which Fairy, if any, at 5-6" do you suggest for peacefulness, hardiness and a slower swim pattern?
<Take a look, Google re: Cirrhilabrus of the red sea... Perhaps rubriventralis will be the easiest to come by>
I used to also want the Coris aygula, thank you for the fair warning.
I've never scuba dived, but have snorkeled many times in Hawaii and Aruba.
Thank you for your valuable time with this. After dealing with a gorilla on steroids in my living room, I am so afraid to choose any fish now. Please help.
Again, just to refresh, it will only be the 12" Naso and 2 Golden B/F's in there.
<Best to do as you are April. "Take your time", savour the anticipation.
Your success will be commensurate with the care you put in here in advance of action. Be well, BobF>

Reef Safe Wrasse selection. 7/21/09
Hey guys,
Thanks in advance for the help. It's very much appreciated.
<Your very welcome.>
Just searching for some quick guidance here...
My original fish stocking list for my 75 gallon softy tank was (from first to last):
2x false Percs
1x yellow watchman
1x Sixline wrasse
1x Kole tang
1x orchid Dottyback
<Okay, within reason.>
But now I'm worried about the Sixline killing my inverts.
<It really depends on what inverts you have in your tank, and which ones you are worried about.>
I love most of the flasher wrasses (McCosker's in particular), but they're best kept in groups right?
Is there any smallish reef/invert safe wrasse that you would recommend in place of the Sixline (not something that would break the bank, mind you).
<Yes, do some reading on the Possum Wrasse, only gets to three inches, fairly invert safe as far as wrasses go. (Likely won't attack larger decorative shrimp, or snails.>
Thanks again!
<Welcome again.
Josh Solomon>

Re: Reef Safe Wrasse 7/21/09
Thanks for the quick reply, Josh.
<No problem, Carter.>
As far as inverts go, I'm going to try to stay away from crabs (unless you think that is unwise), but I would like to have a skunk cleaner shrimp and maybe some other decorative shrimps. In your opinion, how would the Sixline do with those?
<Not putting crabs into the aquarium if you don't want to is fine. No harm will come from that. There are no guarantees with wrasses and shrimp, but the Sixline will be a relatively safe choice.>
I had read that I should probably stay away from hermits and emeralds in this tank. I've had them in my FOWLR, but was under the impression that they might cause troubles with corals.
<They may be fine, they may not. But there is no telling what a crab will decide to eat when it is hungry.>
If you think crabs are a good idea, would the Sixline (or the possum for that matter) be trusted around them?
<Like I said there are not guarantees but both of these wrasses are relatively good choices around the inverts you mentioned.>
<Good luck.
Josh Solomon>

Recommend me a wrasse please - 7/30/08 Hey there "Crew". <Grant> Quick and hopefully easy question for you, I'm just wondering on what type of wrasse you personally would put in this tank if you had the choice. It is a 210g with 150 lbs of live rock and a 1 inch aragonite sand bed, 250w 14K MH light over the center, 55g sump with a 24" x 12" by 6" deep sand bed and Gracilaria, 40 lbs of live rock in the sump. My tank has the following fish... 5" Emperor angel 2 x 3" Semilarvatus B/F Purple tang Male blue throat trigger, the Hawaiian type, not the Red Sea endemic ones. Possibly getting a female in the next month or two, haven't decided yet. <Mmm, saw one washed up on the beach ayer at Mauna Kea> I'm wanting to add some sort of wrasse to the equation. I love the shape and activity of the fish, they don't look anything like my current fish. If this was your tank and you were able to pick a wrasse or multiple wrasse to put in your tank, which ones would you choose? I like the Canary wrasse (commonly called the Yellow Coris) quite a bit, but with only a 1" sand bed I don't know how they would do. I like the C. gaimard BUT I've heard they get real aggressive, I'd worry about my not too aggressive B/F. <Agreed... I would not use this species> Anyway, thanks for your help. This is purely just wanting an opinion from people who work with fish for a living, I'm hoping for an interesting, fun to look at and watch fish and you guys seem like you would be the ones who would be in the know! For what it's worth, I was trying to stick with a Red Sea theme but the triggers ruined that. If you know of a good Red Sea wrasse that wont cost an arm and a leg to purchase, I'd prefer that over a wrasse from another part of the globe. Grant <Mmm... if you could find a Maori/Splendour species this would be ideal... see WWM re the genera... but if not sticking with the Red Sea theme, maybe a Halichoeres hortulanus, Coris gaimard... even a Gomphosus (likely varius) though caeruleus would be great if you could find it... Otherwise, let me check... Mmm, nope, don't have posted my pc. on Labrids of this region... though you can/could peruse "Fishwatcher's Guide..." v. 1, or go over the bit of it on the Wrasses of the Red Sea archived on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Re: Recommend me a wrasse please, F' fixing, 7/30/08 Hey Bob, thanks for the reply. I actually have looked over your web page already dealing with wrasses. I read about the Maori/Splendor wrasses but to be honest, none of them really "do it for me" so to speak. <There are some beauts, and occasionally available in the west... but to each their own as they say> I do like the H. hortulanus, I'm glad you recommended that one as it was one I have already seen and thought was a pretty fish. As far as I could tell, there is no "Wrasses of the Red Sea" page on WWM. I've been reading over WWM on wrasses for the last 2 days and I just checked again after getting your email, I cant find it. <An outline here: http://wetwebmedia.com/redseafwgv1.htm> I'm looking on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm for it. BTW, there are two identical lines there under the wrasse section dealing with Maori. About a quarter of the way into the wrasse section, it says "The Maori or Splendor Wrasses, genera Cheilinus, Oxycheilinus by Bob Fenner & FAQs on: Oxycheilinus," And then about two thirds of the way down it says " The Maori or Splendor Wrasses, genera Cheilinus, Oxycheilinus by Bob Fenner & FAQs on: Maori Wrasses," <Thanks... some code troubles from years back... will try to fix... Oh! Tis the fact that this common name group includes both genera... can't think of a less-confusing way to list. RMF> You can see it is worded a little differently, but both links go to the exact same spot. Anyway, not a big deal but I saw it two days ago when I started researching wrasses and forgot to mention it in my last email to ya. Thanks again for the help, I'll probably end up with a H. hortulanus. I've seen those in LFS here in Alaska, I really did like the way they looked. They were only about 3" when I saw them, but the web sites I've read state they get up to about a foot. However, they are supposed to be peaceful when compared to something like say a C. gaimard, which sounds great to me. Do you think the H. hortulanus compares to a C. gaimard in personality? <Mmm, I do> I want a good, active fish that shows a fishy intelligence, but stays peaceful so my B/F don't stress out. My other question regarding that wrasse is that LiveAquaria states they need a 2-3" sand bed to hide in... I don't have that in my tank. Will the wrasse not survive well without a 2-3" sand bed? <Very likely so... not as much as a burrower as other genera, species of Labrids> I don't want to get a fish that will survive but basically wont be "happy" in the tank as I have it set up. Also, can I possibly keep 2 or 3 of these wrasse in the tank at the same time or is this a species that I need to keep only one to a tank. <If there's room...> I think I would like 2 or 3 of them swimming around in there. Grant <I really like the Checkerboard... BobF>

Re: Recommend me a wrasse please 7/31/08 Alright, well H. hortulanus (I'd hate to have the word anus in my name but oh well, I bet the fish are OK with it) sounds like the wrasse for me. <Ah, good> You said they would be OK kept as a pair IF there was enough room... How much is enough? <Hundreds of gallons> About 4 or 5 other medium to large fish in a 210 with a 55g sump and a refugium. I'd say around 250g total water volume, about 150 lbs of live rock in the 210. I'd really be OK with just one wrasse in there if you think there is potential for problems. <There is some... but starting them of discernibly different size should be fine> Would this wrasse be OK with a Candy Cane hogfish? <Yes> Or do you call it a Peppermint hogfish? <Either, both> Bodianus sepiacaudus I think is the scientific naming of it? <Mmm, there are a few: Bodianus izuensis is more common> This wrasse as a pair or else a single wrasse and a single hogfish would be the last 2 additions to my tank. <Okay> And lastly, do the H. hortulanus or the B. sepiacaudus not handle a 5-10 minute freshwater formalin dip well? <Yes> That is my standard procedure before placing fish into quarantine but I know some species have a harder time with it than others. <Yes... do provide aeration during. BobF> Grant Gray

Wrasse Selection 05/20/08 Big Fishes with Big Needs! (Stocking Considerations) Hi! I stumbled across this site by accident and have been reading it religiously ever since. <Funny- I stumbled on it intentionally 6 years ago and I've been working here ever since! Scott F. in today!> I just had a quick question about which wrasse to get. I recently set up a 75 gallon FOWLR. It has a 20 gallon sump, a powerful hang-on the back filter, and a hang-on protein skimmer. Currently, the only fish is a Volitans Lionfish. I am also planning on getting a Snowflake Eel soon to add to this tank (after spending a few weeks in quarantine of course!). <I'd reconsider this mix...Both fishes are rather messy, gluttonous predators and will severely tax the water quality in this sized system. In fact, the Volitans will easily outgrow your aquarium.> I love the colors of both the Lunar Wrasse and the Red Coris Wrasse, and just wanted to know which, if either, would be compatible with the Lionfish and the Eel? I have heard that Lunar Wrasses can be more aggressive than the Coris Wrasses, so I am not sure which would go better. I've been told that Volitans and Snowflake Eels are both relatively peaceful, but very willing to stand up for themselves. I am also concerned about size. Based on the size of the tank, would a lunar be a better pick (I think the are a little smaller than the coris.) Also, I heard that wrasses don't ship well. I have been purchasing fish on-line because I am not too thrilled with the conditions of any of my LFS. Would it be best to buy the wrasse in a store or on-line? If I do get a wrasse, should I add it last based on its tendency to be territorial? Thanks for the help! -CiCi <Well Cici- sounds like you did some of your homework. However, in my opinion, this is not a viable mix, if for no other reason than the large sizes tat these fishes can attain. Your aquairum cannot sustain fishes that reach such large sizes. I'd be more inclined to recommend a larger Halichoeres species, such as H. marginatus, which will manage to avoid being eaten by the Lionfish, but will still be an acceptable community member. However- here's the catch...That Lionfish simply gets to large for the aquarium that you currently have. I would not add ANY additional fishes into this aquarium. I'd wait until you obtain a larger aquarium (150- 200 gallons or more) before adding anyone else. Not trying to be a "buzz kill", but I do want to encourage you to make good long-term choices for your system. best of luck to you! Please think about the future, and consider a larger aquarium. Regards, Scott F.>

The Perfect Wrasse -- Which Halichoeres? 05/14/08 Hello all, I have a question about the Halichoeres wrasses and their commercial availability, as well as what might be the best choice for me. My system is a 34 gallon reef set up, ~45 lbs Fiji LR, ~2 inch LS bed, with a built-in fuge. At most, it would be the fourth (and final) fish in my tank, with one Ocellaris and two neon gobies. I was originally looking at the Melanurus Wrasse, <Mmm, no...> but after searching your site, I see that there are quite a few others of similar coloration. The species of the other Halichoeres I was interested in are binotopsis, kallochroma, leucurus, and vrolikii. <... not really suitable either. This volume is too small> I'm not sure if any of these are actually available to the trade or not. Is there any additional information or recommendations that you can provide me with? Thanks in advance, Lisa <Perhaps a small H. chrysus... about the best choice here. Bob Fenner>

Cirrhilabrus/Paracheilinus compatibility/harem size 2/16/08 Good morning WWM Crew, <RA> Well, I've been thinking a lot about what exactly I'm going put in my 86g (48"L x 16"W x 26"T). I've been thinking about getting a harem of the smaller (3") wrasses of either of the above genera. First off, would these fish be compatible with a pair of maroon clowns and a BTA? <Mmm, possibly... in a system of this size, shape... there's a very real poss. that a Premnas would kill other fishes in time> My tank is tall, and the top of the live rock barely extends past the bottom half of the tank, giving plenty of open room for the wrasse. Second, how large are harems in the wild generally? <Of the above genera, species? Usually dozens of individuals... some lower "caste" males perhaps only with a few females per> I'm trying to form a biotope, so I'm avoiding all fish that only school/group in very large numbers. How many wrasse could I keep in my tank? <Not many... perhaps a handful here> Well, thanks for reading this. Your crew has been very helpful with me and my countless hypothetical questions. TIA, Random Aquarist <Welcome. Less random BobF>

Re: Cirrhilabrus/Paracheilinus compatibility/harem size 2/17/08 So, I'm guessing it would be best to not mix maroons with wrasse. <We are in agreement> However, I still like the idea of mixing clowns and wrasse. What BTA-hosting clowns would be compatible with a harem of wrasse? <Smaller, easier-going species... particularly tank-bred/reared... Ocellaris, true Perculas... at the top of my choice list. Bob Fenner>

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¬ 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>>

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>>

Thinking Of Getting A Splendid Leopard Wrasse Macropharyngodon bipartitus) - 02/02/08 Dear Bob and Crew, <<Hello Dane&EricR here>> I am thinking of purchasing a Splendid Leopard Wrasse from Kenya from a local seller. <<Exquisite fish&rarely seen in the trade around my parts; and for the best really, considering their dismal survival rate&and quite "pricey" when they do show up>> However, I have researched and have found out they have very specialized feeding requirements i.e. copepods. <<Indeed&these fish require a dense and self-sustaining population of live natural prey>> My tank is 55g with 80 lbs live rock. <<Needs to be twice this size&with a "mature" in-line plankton-generating refugium of at least 30 gallons in size&along with a dearth of same-food-type competitors in the display>> Inhabitants currently are 2 Ocellaris clowns and 1 coral banded shrimp. <<Not the best tank mates, especially in this size tank>> While the tank has only been set up in my apartment for 2 months it was actually running continuously for 4 years prior to my purchasing it. I moved this tank with all substrate intact under a few inches of water and moved all live rock with the original water. I would say I used about 60% of the original water in the tank when it arrived it my apartment. <<Even all considered&this tank just doesn't have enough "real estate" to generate/sustain enough prey food organisms for the wrasse>> My question is, do you think the micro crustacean population will be sufficient for this wrasse? <<I do not>> Can it be supplemented with live brine shrimp and frozen brine and mysis? <<Some individuals may take to frozen foods (mysis preferred over brine shrimp)&and I would stress that anyone purchasing any wrasse from this genus ensure that/witness the fish eating in the store, first>> Lastly, re: quarantine, is it possible to do this for this fish as there would be no copepods in my quarantine tank. <<I do not recommend quarantine for these fish>> Thanks in advance for you help, Dane <<I do hope that you will reconsider purchasing this fish, Dane. One of the smaller Halichoeres species would be much more likely to do well/survive in a system the size of yours. In my experience the Halichoeres genus of wrasse will more readily take to prepared foods (frozen mysis and glass worms are good fare&and do also look in to new Life Spectrum pelleted food for these/all your fishes). There are also some spectacular specimens among this genus&perhaps H. ornatissimus or H. iridis would suit your fancy. One special requirement I need mention for these fishes, and which also pertains to Macropharyngodon species, is a soft and fine substrate of suitable depth. These fishes "bury" in the substrate to sleep and when startled or harassed. A substrate that is too coarse or too sharp, or even too shallow, will ultimately result in the fish's demise...either through physical damage and subsequent infection, or through psychological stress. A sugar-fine Aragonite of 4-inches or more in depth works nicely. Regards, Eric Russell>>

Thinking Of Getting A Splendid Leopard Wrasse Macropharyngodon bipartitus)&One Other Thing& - 02/02/08 One other thing I forgot to mention: I have a rocky substrate. Will this affect this wrasse adversely? <<Indeed&is totally unsuitable as explained in the previous reply>> Best, Dane <<Regards, EricR>>

Re: Thinking Of Getting A Splendid Leopard Wrasse Macropharyngodon bipartitus) - 02/02/08 Thanks for your advice Eric. <<Quite welcome&sorry it's not more in your favor>> I love all these wrasses, they are beautiful, it's such a shame that my substrate is rocky. <<Indeed>> Is there some way to remedy this, such as a patch of finer sand or even a tray of sand? <<I have heard of using a "tray of sand" as you mention. If it is large and deep enough, the fish will find and use it>> Thanks, Dane <<Happy to assist. EricR>>

Re: "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" Comments and Questions... Labrid sel. 1/5/08 Hello Mr. Fenner, Thank you for responding in a timely fashion, it is greatly appreciated. I did not know that anew "CMA" is coming out within a few months, that is extremely exciting and am hoping it will be sold on the Eastern side of the United States. <Will be sold most everywhere... including the large online etailers of books, petfish products> I am also unfamiliar with the website. <Methinks this won't be long lasting...> You are basically telling me to increase or decrease my sand bed due to the oxygen levels and potential poisonous gasses that could pass through it. <This is the basic premise, yes> I figured the maroon clown would get more "violent" as it grows but so far so good, and if I se any suspicious behavior I think the Maroon clown would have to go considering the two black Percs have established dominance between each other. <As you state, only time, experience can/will tell here> Thank you for the input on the cardinal fish they would be a good choice, unfortunately I want something more active. Is it possible to find a mated pair of wrasses that would be fine in this tank? If so, do you have any suggestions? <Again, that you read... Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm the second to last tray... Re Compatibility, Systems... of the various genera, species presented> Once again, thank you so much for your time, I realize you're a busy man and I want you to know that this is greatly appreciated. Thank you Sincerely, Aaron <Welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Red Coris Wrasse Or Dragon Wrasse...Which One? - 12/04/07 Hi guys, hope all is well. <<Hiya Josh>> Ok I am having a hard time making a decision on whether to get a Red Coris wrasse (Coris gaimard) or a Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus). <<I see>> I really enjoy the dragon wrasses behavior when it comes to flipping rocks, <<Indeed...and the juvenile phase with its markings and "antennae" is quite interesting...in my opinion>> but I personally believe the red Coris' colors are breathtaking. <<A beautiful fish, agreed>> My dilemma is that every time our LFS has gotten a red Coris they have been doomed. <<Mmm...sounds like this LFS may need to find another source for this fish. This wrasse should be rather hardy, if collected and handled correctly>> Would I have better success ordering from a reputable online dealer? <<Hard to say... The key is to find on that has survived in the dealer's tank for a few weeks and is healthy and eating well. I reckon you could call the online source and inquire re>> I have heard that the Dragon wrasses are pretty much tough as nails when it comes to shipping. <<Very hardy, yes>> So my question is in your personal opinion (which I respect greatly) which wrasse has a better chance of survival in my tank? <<Either, really... If collected/handled correctly, and once acclimated, I think the Coris Wrasse would prove every bit as hardy as the Dragon Wrasse. It sounds like you favor the Coris...but if patience is not one of your virtues and you can't wait/don't want to spend the time or expend the energy looking for a proper specimen, then the Dragon Wrasse is the better choice>> Sorry for the long question. <<Not a problem>> I look forward to your response, Josh <<I'm sure you are already aware these two wrasses are similar re environment, diet, adult size...but do have a look at these two articles on these species if you haven't already: (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/Coris/gaimard.htm) and (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rockmover.htm) Regards, EricR>>

Re: Red Coris Wrasse Or Dragon Wrasse...Which One? - 12/05/07 Thank you for your quick response. <<Quite welcome>> I like them both really I just don't want to take another red Coris out of the wild and have it not survive again... <<Understood... Though not as "flashy" as the Red Coris, the Dragon Wrasse will still be an attractive and interesting choice. <<Regards, EricR>>

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

Wrasse compatibility <Actually sel. to eat/control>, red bugs, <and comp. w/> Anthias 9/11/07 Hi Crew, Would you be able to help with the best choice for a small wrasse that likes to eat Acropora red bugs? <Um, this is not how one deals with red bugs.> From reading the FAQs it looks like the Six Line is an option, but I've seen them be aggressive and I have a trio of Bartlett's Anthias that I wouldn't want to be harassed. The tank is a 135G reef with 100+ lbs of live rock. Can you think of a small, red bug eating wrasse (or other fish/invert) that would tend to be less territorial than a Six Line? And do you think I would need more than one bug-eater in this size tank? <If you have a red bug infestation, you need to treat it with Interceptor. There's no aquarium fish (known to aquarists) that will solve this problem. See here: http://www.ericborneman.com/Tegastes-content/Dorton%20treatment.htm And maybe here too: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acrodisfaqs.htm> Thanks, Tom <De nada, Sara M.>

Re: Wrasse compatibility, red bugs, Anthias 9/12/07 Hi Sara, Thank you, I do like getting more than one opinion because I did see suggestions in the WWM FAQs to "consider stocking some small wrasses", or to try a "Red Sea pseudochromid, small wrasse" when I searched WWM for info on red bugs. <Yes, one of the cool things about WWM is that it stores queries spanning several years (and from many different people). The use of Interceptor for red bugs is still a very new idea. Dorton developed his protocol in 2004 (just 3 years ago). You must have read some of the responses of Eric R. who is not so warm to the idea of using of Interceptor or any such deadly (and largely under-studied) medication on whole systems. See here for his take on it: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/swmitefaqs.htm. Generally, I certainly agree with him. I do think aquarists often jump to extreme treatments too quickly. I even did it myself in my first response to your query. I jumped to the conclusion that you must have a pervasive and devastating infestation of the dreaded Tegastes acroporanus. But I did you a disservice in not explaining the very real possibility that these bugs you have might not be T. acroporanus. Regarding fish, many of them eat little bugs. And some fish are not so picky and could eat red bugs along with everything else they might be hunting. And so in that way, they might serve as a bit of a preventive measure. However, anyone who's ever had a really bad red bug infestation will tell you that the fish just don't eat them fast enough even when they do eat them.> Also saw replies that made me think these critters may not be that much of a problem, potentially being more commensal than parasitic. <Please accept my apologies for not thinking to mention this myself. It is a possibility. However, finding them on dying corals does make them a bit more suspect. Still, they could just be scavengers.> What has your experience been with red bugs...big problem, or not so big? <I've personally never had Tegastes acroporanus. However, I have been scared by many different hardly visible "bugs" I've seen crawling on my coral. I once had some that looked just like red bugs except that they were black. There are just soooo many different types of "bugs" that can get into our aquariums. See here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-10/rs/index.php Certainly there are people who can tell you all about how red bugs destroyed whole colonies of their corals. Others may tell you that they've seen them in their tank and they never became a problem. Personally, I wonder if the people who claim to have them but that the bugs never became a problem truly had red bugs (i.e. Tegastes acroporanus) and not some other kind of less aggressive copepod (like maybe my "black bugs" which disappeared as mysteriously and they came).> The red bug infestation in my tank seems to be limited to a few of the weaker-looking Acro frags/small colonies, at least so far. I'm not sure if the red bugs are causing these Acros to be slower growing and have poor polyp extension, or if it's the other way around. <very astute and good question to be thinking about> I do pay close attention to the water conditions and husbandry, and have several other Acros and other SPS (Stylophora, Montipora, Seriatopora) that show good color, polyps, and growth. I've just figured that some specimens don't do as well in aquariums as others do, or at least in mine. <This is possible. Or, you could have the dreaded red bugs. Hmm, this is where a picture could help.> Also, thank you for the Borneman link. If I do go with the Interceptor treatment, could you help clarify a couple of things for me? Since several of these Acros are growing on very large pieces of live rock that are integral to the support structure, removing them for treatment would be difficult...would you consider treating your whole tank if you were in my situation? <Actually, the protocol described on that site (developed by Dustin Dorton) calls for both quarantining of the corals AND treatment of the whole tank. However, as mentioned, the use of Interceptor is still a new idea. If you can confirm that you actually do have the predatory red bugs (and not just some kind of scavenging copepod), you could experiment with just treating the whole tank with a low dose (without removing the corals). However, you should definitely try to make sure you actually do have Tegastes acroporanus before trying this.> I don't keep any crabs or shrimp. I know the pods would suffer, but those could be re-seeded. Also, is Interceptor considered safe for Crocea clams? From what I've read, it appears to be safe but would like to get your view. <I don't see any reason to expect Interceptor to hurt clams. Clams are quite dissimilar from crustaceans biologically. But again [the disclaimer] we just don't know a lot about this medication when using it on an entire "ecosystem." > Thanks, Tom <Thank you for the thought provoking query, Sara M.> <<Well done Sara. RMF>>

Re: Wrasse compatibility, red bugs, Anthias Sara, thank you very much for your time and advice. I'll see if I can get my hands on a better camera, but here's the best picture I could get with the camera I have. The color of this 1.5" Acro frag is normally more yellow, but is lately a lighter shade. You can see what looks like small reddish "bugs" on it. <Ugh, yeah, it does look like these could be the bad guys. Have you tried to blow them off with a powerhead? ...because the bad ones tend to cling on hard to the coral and are difficult to remove. If the damage seems slow and confined to a few corals, you can still wait and see what happens with them. But if they start jumping to other Acropora colonies, I'd seriously start thinking about the Interceptor. You could always start off with a very low dose...> Tom <Best, Sara M.>

Halichoeres chloropterus acclimation/survival... Labrid Sel... 8/24/07 I wanted to ask for some input on maximizing the survival of a Green Coris wrasse, Halichoeres chloropterus. I've tried twice now to get one: the first was mail-order and dead when I opened the box. The second, a LFS got for me 2 days ago. They left it in the shipping bag, and I picked it up about 3-4 hours after they had gotten it from the airport. I drip acclimated it into my QT over about 2 hours, and it seemed to be fine the first evening. But all day yesterday, the fish did not look good, and by evening, I knew it was dying. It seemed lethargic and weak. No skin lesions of any kind, not staying at the top of the water, but breathing more labored than it should and lying on the bottom, having to constantly right itself from listing. <Mmmm> My QT currently has a carpenter's wrasse, which I acquired about 1 week ago, and it appeared normal the entire time and still does. The water never showed any ammonia or nitrite, but I added some Prime in case my test kit was off. I thought maybe it was from cyanide or something, so I dipped the fish in methylene blue (in salt water) for 4 minutes, and added an air stone to the tank to maximize oxygen saturation. It was to no avail, as the fish seemed to progressively have trouble breathing and finally died late last night. <Too much stress... better to place such "touchy" species, genera in their own darkened isolation system and leave them alone for a week or two...> The LFS is going to order another one, and I would like to ensure another one isn't killed. Any ideas on why the first would have died, and ways to minimize the risk again would be greatly appreciated! I've kept marine fish for 3 years now, and have a lot of fish and corals in 3 tanks, so the problem isn't purely my inexperience; I just am stumped as to what would have led to the 2nd fish's demise in 1 day like that, leaving the other unaffected. Thanks for your help and a greatly informative site. Scott <Well... these Labrids are on the "skittish" side and quite a few initial losses occur... as you've experienced. Again, really doing very little with them other than careful flushing of metabolites through acclimation... and leaving let be is a very good idea. Bob Fenner>

Re: Stocking Suggestions for the 34g Red Sea Max... Flasher wrasse sys. - 07/26/07 Affect the wrasse psychologically? Please elaborate if possible. Thank you. <The labrids of this (and most genera) genus are accustomed to a quite large lek territory... where they "dance", display... and can get away from potential predators... RMF>

Any Wrasses Less Likely To Jump? - 07/19/07 Hello. <<Hi Pam!>> Are any wrasses less likely to jump than others? <<Most all the small ornamental species offered/used in the trade have varying tendencies re.. in my experience>> I have an open tank, and I know most wrasses are jumpers, but I thought if they were put in with all peaceful fish, that they may not jump. <<This does help, but it is not just the other fishes that can/will cause a wrasse (any "jumper" species) to head for the open air. At one time I had a couple small groups of Flasher Wrasse species that would go "nuts" if the lights on the tank were to suddenly "black out" as from a power surge/outage...sounded like pinballs pinging around in the light hood!>> I have an Elos tank, and don't want to cover it with Eggcrate or screen. <<Neat!...and understood>> The beauty of the tank, is that it's rimless and open. <<Yes...very nice>> My fish are all very peaceful. Right now I have a Pygmy Possum Wrasse, a Purple Firefish and a Tailspot Blenny. I really wanted to add a Laboutei, but don't want to be irresponsible if it's definitely going to leap out of the tank and die. <<VERY likely with this species...and is the same pretty much with all the Flasher and Fairy Wrasse species. I have experienced, as well as very often hear of these fishes demise from leaping out an "uncovered" system>> I know Firefish can be jumpers, but my Firefish never goes beyond the bottom half of the tank, and if he gets spooked, he dives into the rock...never up. I have two good size caves in my rock and lots of crevices and swim-throughs. <<All good, though many of the wrasses tend to be more active in the upper-third of the water column>> So..... should I definitely nix the idea of the Laboutei? <<Logic would seem to dictate this...>> Are any other bright wrasses less likely to jump? <<Still no guarantee it won't end up on the floor, but the smaller Halichoeres species are quite colorful and would be "less likely" than the Laboutei to sail out of your tank...in my opinion. H. Chrysus is a premier aquarium species...and if you want something a bit less monochromatic, take a look at H. ornatissimus>> Thank you! Pam <<Regards, EricR>>

Re: Any Wrasses Less Likely To Jump? - 07/20/07 Thanks Eric. <<Quite welcome, Pam>> Ok, I'll take your advice and keep away from the Mystery Wrasses. <<I think you mean Flasher/Fairy Wrasses?...Probably for the best>> I took a look at the two wrasses you mentioned. <<Okay?>> I really like the ornatissimus. <<A gorgeous fish indeed>> I also was looking at the Five-barred Mystery Wrasse. <<Another beauty...love that "expression">> That's one of the only wrasses that LiveAquaria doesn't mention as a jumper. <<Am in disagreement>> Do you know if they are jumpers or not? <<I have known them to jump, yes...though "possibly" less prone than the previous mentioned species due to their tendency to stay/hide lower in the water column. And please do understand, I have seen Halichoeres spp jump as well...I just think these are the better "gamble" re >> Thanks, Pam <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>>

R2: Any Wrasses Less Likely To Jump? - 07/20/07 Whoops...you're right Eric. <<Hiya Pam!>> I meant I'd keep away from Fairy Wrasses. <<Ah yes, so I thought>> One more question for you. <<Okey-dokey>> LiveAquaria mentions that a Copperband Butterfly needs a 50g tank or larger, and another site mentions 30g, but I believe they can get up to 8". <<In the wild, yes&and maybe a bit larger even>> Aren't they way too big for a 50g? <<In my opinion, yes& Not so much because of the water volume as these fishes are not quite so active as say the Tangs, but rather the limits in "real estate" prohibit keeping this fish in such smallish systems. Chelmon rostratus is often a problematic feeder, having a larger system (100g+) with ample live rock/substrate and the associated infauna (along with an in-line refugium to help sustain populations) will go a long way towards sustaining this fish while it is being trained to other foods, as well as continuous contribution to the long-term health of this species>> Thanks. Pam <<Cheers, EricR>>

A Wrasse Impasse? (Choosing Another Wrasse) - 07/03/07 I have a 135 gallon reef tank with a McCosker Flasher Wrasse male and female along with an Exquisite Fairy Wrasse. Other occupants include a Blue Tang, Yellow Tang, Flame Angel, Diamond Goby, Bluespot Jawfish and 2 true Percula Clownfish. I really like the Flasher and Fairy Wrasses and would like to add one or two more without upsetting any of the other inhabitants. The ones I am thinking about are the Redhead Solar Wrasse, Radiant Wrasse, Melanurus Wrasse, Mystery Wrasse or a Linespot Flasher Wrasse. Which of these would be best suited to my tank as far as compatibility and hardiness? Jeff Storey <Well, Jeff, to a certain extent, any of them would work at some point. The Melanurus Wrasse, being a Halichoeres species, will typically occupy a different niche within the aquarium. Although it's a fantastic fish, this Wrasse can occasionally develop an "attitude" towards other fishes. Mine was a wonderful fish with a great personality. The Mystery Wrasse is just a little too timid for the mix of fishes that you have, IMO. A beautiful fish, but tends to be really slow to acclimate to captive life. If you want to add a Flasher or Fairy Wrasse into the mix, it's important to make sure that the fish that you're adding are larger than those in the mix already. This will assure a reasonable chance at keeping things peaceful. Choose your specimens carefully, quarantine them, and acclimate them carefully. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Wrasse for a Bare-Bottom Tank? - 04/20/07 Hello all! <<Cheers Fred!>> I write in today for some advice on a wrasse. <<Okey-dokey>> I used to have a Radiant Wrasse (Halichoeres iridis) which was easily my favorite fish of all time. <<Ah yes, a gorgeous fish>> Tons of personality, great "sheriff" for my reef, constantly on the lookout for pests of all types and what great color. <<Indeed...traits indicative of this genus as a whole I think>> Unfortunately Radiant Wrasse need sand so I was unable to move him into my new BB tank. <<Mmm, ok...not a fan of bare-bottom tanks myself>> I gave him to a friend with a large DSB and he is quite happy there. <<No doubt>> In my current 90 gallon BB tank I would love to have a wrasse or two but I know a Radiant would be horribly miserable in a BB tank. <<Agreed...as would all the species of this genus>> Are there any reef safe wrasse that would be happy in my tank? <<A few, yes...though finding one to match the color/brilliance of H. iridis may not be possible. There are a few species that sleep in crevices/caves in the rock by "spinning" a cocoon of mucus. One such species is Cirrhilabrus rubrimarginatus, the Red Margin Wrasse. I have found this wrasse to be quite tolerant of other fishes (much like the Halichoeres species), eats well, is active, and attractive to boot. A purposeful keyword search of the Net will likely turn up other choices too>> What would you recommend that is comparable to the radiant in terms of personality, color and ability to defend the reef from the evils of hitchhikers? <<I don't think it likely you'll find anything that meets "all" these requirements as well as the Halichoeres species (in other words, you have been spoiled [grin]), but do look in to/research the fairy and flasher wrasses. These are beautiful fishes and there may be a few that come close to meeting your "requirements" (they are considered chronic "jumpers"...though no more than the Halichoeres species in my opinion/experience)>> Thanks for the library of information, easily the best on the net!<<Quite welcome...is a collaborative effort>> Fred <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

P. mccoskeri For a Small Reef? (Oh Yes!) - 03/02/07 Hello, <<Howdy>> I would like to know if my 40 breeder tank would work for a male Paracheilinus mccoskeri Wrasse? <<Very neat little fish...yes it would>> My total water volume is 65 gallons. I have a 25 gallon sump/refugium. The male I would like is only 2in. I know, of course, it will eventually grow. <<Mmm...but not much more in my experience (to about 3~31/2 inches)>> I will upgrade my system in the future. Just wanted your thoughts on this. <<P. mccoskeri is an excellent little wrasse for reef systems. Very peaceable (conspecifics aside), generally very hardy, and quite attractive too!>> I have a nice stable reef right now. 66 pounds of LR/ not all in the main display, but a good amount for hiding, DSB, BM150 skimmer, LPS, Refugium, closed-loop with a Sequence snapper. <<Sounds very nice>> I haven't been able to find someone that asked this question about this particular Wrasse. Please let me know. <<I think I just did [grin]>> I currently have no other fish. I'm looking to get some and this one looked great and sounded like it has great personality, plus it's Gorgeous. <<Indeed>> Thank you. Gina <<A pleasure to share. EricR>>

Wrasse Addition to Semi-Nano Aquaria 3/1/07 Hi <Hello.> My name is Joe and I currently have a 3 months old saltwater aquarium that is 36 gallons, has a bunch of snails and hermits, <How much is a bunch?> 40 lbs of live rock, a Citrinus Clown Goby, and a flame Angelfish. <Tank is on the small side for a centropyge.> I was wondering if you had a suggestion for a type of wrasses to add to my aquarium. I am looking for something that will fit stocking wise, and aggression wise between the goby and angel. I know the angel may give him a hard time though, but was thinking wrasse are aggressive and tough enough to handle. Particularly one of the smaller sized ones that will fit in my tank, and will be a different coloration from the goby and angel if possible, but that is not primary. I like the four and six line wrasse fish, but never see the four or twelve line wrasse I think they call it around in stores. <The only wrasses I would find suitable would be a smaller member of the Pseudocheilinus genus (which the sixline is) or possibly a member of the Wetmorella genus (possum wrasse).> Also in the future I will be adding a 10g refugium to the side of the tank, and corals when my lighting upgrades. <Sounds good.> If you have suggestions or any comments it would be appreciated. <Just to stay diligent and keep reading, Adam J.>

Wrasse selection....with dragonet in tank 2/14/07 Dear WWMedia, I am very interested in adding a wrasse, but need some info and advice. I have room for a Mandarin goby and a Flasher/Fairy wrasse or two smaller wrasses. Leaning towards Mandarin w/wrasse. I have peaceful FOWLR system with shrimp. Need reef safe fish. Looking for a blue, green (or yellow) wrasse as I have plenty of oranges and reds in the tank currently. <I don't recommend the combination of a dragonet and a wrasse in this size tank...competition issues when it comes to the dragonets diet...> We love color. <Other routes to satisfy this....> I don't want to nuts as I saw the Lineatus over $250, but am willing to spend more than unusual for the right fish. We like the Scott's Fairy Wrasse, but know they come in different shades depending on origin. How do you feel about keeping one SFW and still maintaining decent color? Any assistance or info you think I need would be appreciated. <Am willing to give advice re: the wrasse but would like you to see my above comment about the mandarin/dragonet beforehand.> Thanks and have a good day. Steve <Adam J.>

Which Wonderful Wrasse? Red Coris, Australian Harlequin Tusk and Paddlefin Wrasse? - 1/22/07 Hi there! <Hello Gary, Mich with you today.> I've been in the process of trying to decide which wrasse to add to add to my 55 gal. FOWLR setup. The only current occupant is a 4" porcupine puffer. <OK.> The 3 candidates under consideration are: Red Coris, Australian Harlequin Tusk and Paddlefin wrasse. <All beautiful fish.> The Red Coris only recently became a candidate after I heard that this was Bob Fenner's favorite wrasse. It does have a lot going for it according to Bob. Its gorgeous, has a great personality and is highly intelligent. Not bad. <Yes, a beauty!> How does the Paddlefin and Aussie Tusk stack up with the Red Coris as far as looks, personality, intelligence and hardiness? <Different issues... The Red Coris (Coris gaimard) gets pretty big, 13.7 inches, and needs a good deal of room to swim, at least a 100 gallon tank, and requires a 2-4 inch sand bed to bury itself in to sleep at night. Harlequin Tuskfish (Choerodon fasciatus) reaches a max of 9.8 inches and may do OK in the long term in your 55 gallon tank. The Paddlefin Wrasse (Thalassoma lucasanum) stay pretty small, 4-6 inches max. They also need swimming room, but do not require a sandbed to sleep. They sleep and when scared, hide in the rock work. You obviously already read the first article, but there is more on each of these fish on the website. Please help yourself to the info... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/coris/gaimard.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/choerodon/faciata.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/thalassoma.htm I don't have much info on the Paddlefin. I've seen one at my LFS and it was quite a looker. <Yes, very colorful!> How compatible would any of these be with my puffer? <In theory OK, depends on the individual fish.> I would have to get a small or medium sized version of any of these wrasse since I only have a 55 gal. at this time. I will be upgrading to at least a 150 in the next year which should accommodate these growing boys. I do have a good sized sump and fuge and an excellent skimmer that should help out in the meantime. Your insight and advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks, <Hope this helps, -Mich> Gary

Re: Which Wonderful Wrasse? Red Coris, Australian Harlequin Tusk and Paddlefin Wrasse? - 1/22/07 Which Wonderful Wrasse? Red Coris, Australian Harlequin Tusk and Paddlefin Wrasse? Not the Red Coris with a Puffer. Thanks for the quick response Mich. <Welcome!> Just some quick follow up questions. How hardy are the Red Coris and the Paddlefin? <Both are quite hardy.> I understand that the Husk is quite hardy. What is the minimum tank requirement for the Paddle? I thought it was 50 gal. <This is appropriate.> My tank is 4 ft. long. <This should be fine.> In regards to the Red Coris, one concern I have is its rock flipping behavior. Since I have LR I would be concerned about a rock being toppled over and cracking my tank. What size rocks can this fish move? I would guess this would only be smaller rock. <Yes.> Thanks again! <Welcome! -Mich> Gary <PS. Gary, I presume you are no longer considering the Coris Gaimard. I just read the other query you sent, which I included below. I do apologize for not thinking of this issue.> Hi there! <Hey, Gary! JustinN with you today.> Can you please confirm or refute the following statement. It will go a long in deciding if a Red Coris wrasse would be compatible with my porcupine puffer. Thanks! <Ok> "Any fish or animal ( including a Red Coris) that buries in the sand can inadvertently be bitten by a puffer. It is their natural feeding/hunting instinct to blow the sand at night and look for food. Many buried wrasses have fallen victim to a puffer's teeth". <Confirmed, my friend. -JustinN> Gary Re: Which Wonderful Wrasse? Red Coris, Australian Harlequin Tusk and Paddlefin Wrasse? 1/27/07 Hi Mich, <Hello again Gary!> I'm going to take a chance, but I think the rewards are worth it. <I hope for all involved you are correct.> I think I'm going to get the Red Coris. I had some concern about keeping it with my Porc for the reasons which I had mentioned previously. <Yes.> However, there are people who I've spoken with who have kept these 2 fish together with no problems. <I am not sure how large the risk of potential problems is with this combination, certainly there are many variables which will factor in the equation, but you are at least there is a risk. Does your Porc blow the sand around at night?> Is it true that I need to feed the red Coris 3-4 times? <Yes, these fish are grazer.> Does it matter if I feed it more than once in the evenings when I get home from work? <Should be OK.> How much time needs to be spaced between meals? <I would space it out as much as you can while the lights are on.> Several hours or a couple of hours? Thanks! <Welcome! -Mich>

Yellow Candy Hogfish or Scott's Fairy Wrasse (7-26-06) Hi WWM crew sorry for all the questions. <Hi there you have Leslie in for the crew this morning. No worries, that's what we are here for.> I have a Ocellaris Clownfish( Amphiprion ocellaris) and a Fridmani Pseudochromis( Pseudochromis fridmani) which do you think would be better with these fish & a Yellow Candy Hogfish or a Scott's Fairy Wrasse? <I am not exactly which Hogfish you are referring to I am going to take a guess that it's the Bodianus bimaculatus& Twinspot or Yellow Hogfish. Have a look here to be sure we are talking about the same fish http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/bodianus/index.htm It's the 4th fish listed. If they are not one in the same just be sure you have chosen a fish that is appropriately sized for your tank and tankmates. If they are on in the same I think either would be just fine, so go with whichever one suits your fancy. I personally really like the Scott's Fairy Wrasse.> Thanks for your fast reply and helping aquarists with their probelms. <Your most welcome, Leslie>

Re: Yellow Candy Hogfish or Scott's Fairy Wrasse, cont. (7-26-06) Yep I was talking about the Bodianus bimaculatus <Good guess, I guess> thanks for your fast reply. <Your very welcome> I think I will get the Scott's Fairy Wrasse- Australia. <Great choice, I think you will be pleased. Best of luck to you and your new fish, Leslie.> 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.>

Pass on This Wrasse? (Wrasse Selection) 11/9/05 Hello, <Hello there! Scott F. with you today.> I would like to know if you can recommend the fairy wrasse Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura, or Ruby Head Wrasse. How hardy is this particular species? <The hardiness of this, or any Fairy Wrasse species is subject to a number of factors. The most important single factor, IMO, is the capture and handling techniques that the fish received along the chain of control from reef to LFS. It's generally a deeper water fish, which means that there is greater trauma associated with its capture. From that point, careful acclimation, quarantine and feeding will enhance the chances for success with this fish.> I have a 40 gallon tank with two percula clowns, so I doubt that there will be an aggression problem. <In my personal opinion, this fish would do better in a larger system, which affords more swimming area and the possibility of places to retreat if threatened. Also, greater environmental stability is a big factor in keeping these fishes, and larger tanks afford greater stability, in general.> How easy is this particular fish to feed? <No more difficult, or no more simple than any other Cirrhilabrus species, IMO> Is there an easier fairy wrasse that you would recommend? <I like the "Hawaiian flame Wrasse" (C. jordani). It's an attractive, easy-to-feed fish, in my experience, and seems to adapt well to captive life. However, it does get fairly large, and I wouldn't recommend one for your tank. Personally, I'd pass on most Fairy Wrasses in this sized aquarium, and opt for one of the smaller Halichoeres species, or even a "Sixline Wrasse", Pseudocheilinus hexataenia. Better suited for a smaller system, IMO.> I have received great help from you guys before, and I look forward from hearing you again. Thanks very much, Joe Marano <Glad to be here for you, Joe. Good luck on your choices. Regards, Scott F.>

Wrasse selection...Umm no, and NO html, PLEASE!!! - 10/28/2005 Hello to all, <Hi there.> I hope you all are well. <Fine, though I would rather not have to fix all of this HTML.> I have just a quick question: Are wrasses compatible with Niger triggerfish? <Is your tank compatible with this triggerfish? Up to 18 inches in the wild.> Lets say a red leopard wrasse. <Nope. If you mean Macropharyngodon geoffroy then really, really no.> Also do you know the adult size of this wrasse? <I believe 4-6 inches, and very delicate.> Any suggestions would be great. <No HTML, and lots of research re triggerfish care, compatibility, habitat; wrasse selection, compatibility, habitat. Good luck. - Josh>

Bristle (Polychaete worms) Overpopulation - 10/24/05 Hello all! <Greetings!> It has been some time since we have spoken so hope you are all well and happy. <I am, thank you for asking.> I would first like to forever thank you , both for myself , and for the other millions of reef keepers/farmers that you so diligently assist. We would often be totally lost w/o the information you provide. <Thanks for the kind words.> Now , on to my problem. I have a very small, but trying to get bigger, reef farm. I have had an on-going trouble with one of my sets of growth tanks and I believe that I have finally discovered the culprits...Bristle worms. I understand that normally they are beneficial and not to be concerned with , but my tanks are literally churning with them. If you feed at all the entire bottom comes to life . You can't even see the substrate. <Yes that would definitely define an overpopulation.> I am certain that I have found what is happening to my livestock! <Well an over population of bristles usually points toward a nutrient problem, its possible your livestock could be suffering from the nutrients and not the bristles. Though an overpopulation of these creatures can lead to undesired feeding behaviors including attacking sessile inverts.> <<Not just nutrient problem per se, but overpopulation of bristles means there is a great deal of excess detritus. Being detritivores they are doing you a favor. MH>> In these particular tanks I am raising both Clowns, with their corresponding Anemone, and multiple forms of coral, trying to stay diversified. <Ok.> I have tried to do all my parasite control naturally. I have taken this approach since the beginning of this undertaking. Tired of reefs being **destroyed**... <For posting purposes I changed that word. While I do agree some collectors are rather irresponsible in their practices of wild collection many more are conscientious and collect without much impact or damage to the area. Though you are right in the fact the aquacultured specimens are preferred.> for our enjoyment and I am hoping to put some back someday. <A good idea but you can do more damage to the ocean by introducing unknown pathogens, please don't release specimens back into the wild.> We must all do our part. I have been reading a lot about Wrasses on the site and am now thoroughly confused as to which I should try. I am tending towards either a Yellow Fin or a Sixline. Any recommendations. <I would go with the sixline wrasse but if you have a nutrient problem adding more fish may not be a good idea. Look into some sort of further nutrient control whether it be a refugium or extra water changes, larger protein skimmer&> I have lost untold dollars to these pests . Both in corals and in Anemones, and need to get them under control within reason. I don't want to destroy my ecosystem either. What are your recommendations in this matter? <See above.> I have even tried to fashion traps to assist in their removal. Please help! <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bristlewrmfaqs.htm , Adam J.>

Wrestling With A Wrasse! 9/22/05 I am considering getting a Radiant Wrasse to combat a problem with the Montipora nudibranchs. I've heard many reports of great success with these wrasses, and they are gorgeous fish. <Yes they are! I love Halichoeres species, and the H. iridis is one of my very favorites! They are a bit touchy, however, and I have known several people who have not been as lucky as I while acclimating them. Take it really slow and be sure to quarantine them carefully.> Only thing is, I worry about my cleaner shrimp (2) and my jumbo Tongan Nassarius snails in particular, and the other snails and hermit crabs in general. What is your experience with these fish and their behavior towards these animals? Thanks, Joel <Well, Joel, these guys have relatively small mouths, but they can and do pick on small snails. In fact, I've had other Halichoeres wrasses (H. melanurus, in particular) that have taken an almost sadistic dislike of snails, literally bashing them out of their shells before dispatching them! Generally, these guys are well behaved, but smaller shrimp, fanworms, and snails are potential snack items if the fish feels so inclined! I certainly feel that the potential risk is worth it for their utility and sheer beauty, but you'll have to make the final call. Good luck with this wonderful fish! Regards, Scott F.> Stocking A Super Reef Tank (Cont'.) Hi Scott, I'm so excited! Today I added 3 Canary Wrasses to the tank. <Awesome! Great fish that can really add some color, personality, and excitement to a tank!> The LFS ordered them in. All ate at the store and were swimming out in the open. Apparently 3 more were hiding in the sand. I brought the outgoing ones home, gave them a 5 minute fresh water dip and put them into the tank. The dip is good procedure, but do try quarantine next time...> To my surprise, they all simply started swimming in the water column. They never hid in the sand or the rocks. So far, 5 hours later, none of the fish seems bothered by the change. The new wrasses are eating off the rock and ate some homemade fish food. <Great to hear. They really are a pretty perfect reef fish. At night, they may bury themselves in the substrate for protection, but they will typically remain out in the open all day.> They're a beautiful addition and seem very gentle. It was the perfect suggestion. <I'm really glad you like them! They'll just become more and more attractive and outgoing as they settle in.> Thank you! Next fish is a Lyretail Anthias when a nice one shows up at the LFS. Nancy <Keep me posted, Nancy! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Controlling Pyramidellids 5/23/05 Hi whoever is there tonight, I have been doing some reading on keeping clams and a few aquarists suggest adding a six line wrasse to the tank to keep clams clear of parasites. <Six lines are about 50/50 for controlling pyramidellid snails. Other wrasses, including P. tetrataenia (four line), several Coris sp. and Halichoeres sp. are better but equally or more destructive as they grow larger.> I previously had a six line and it killed all my cleaner shrimps. Would a neon goby be as effective in keeping clams parasite free? I am reluctant to re-introduce a six line wrasse into my tank. Thanks, Sharon <A neon goby would be useless for this purpose. Your six line sounds like a particularly destructive specimen. If you don't want to add another one, I would suggest aggressive and persistent manual removal of the snails from your clams. After a few weeks of carefully removing adults and egg masses, it is often possible to eradicate them. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Wrasse Selection 4.3.05 Hi, I was wondering is the Green Wrasse - Halichoeres chloropterus safe to keep with a BTA and 2 clowns and also corals (if there is any corals to avoid when keeping this fish please inform me) <Although every fish on the reef eats SOMETHING, a wrasse of this type is especially hard on reef aquaria. Only in the largest aquaria is it a decent combination. A fairy wrasse would be a much better choice. Good luck, Ryan>

Halichoeres hoeveni vs. Halichoeres melanurus - Will the Real Wrasse Please Stand Up? >I wanted to get information on the Halichoeres hoeveni. Is it reef safe? And what abut feeding requirements and how big will it get? And lastly temperament? Yours, Mark >>Hello Mark, Marina this morning. It seems that a search using that name nets me a referral the Halichoeres melanurus. Once we get that far finding this fish on fishbase.org is pretty easy. To answer your question, in my experience most fishes of the Halichoeres genus are outgoing and won't be bullied around. However, this guy hits about 5" (12cm) in length, and is relatively small-mouthed, as it feeds on small invertebrates. Expect this fish to snack on the small stuff, and you'll need to treat it (re: feeding) as you would a mandarin dragonet. So, in general, yes, "reef-safe", though expect some snacking. A refugium or good supply of "pods" will be most helpful for this little fellow. Don't forget, now that you have the proper name of this species, please use our Google search to find more information on this fish.

Filling a Tank Up. Wrasse selection mainly Hi. First, thanks for the help in the past. I have questions about stocking. In my 72 gal (pH - 8.2, nitrite - 0, ammonia - 0, nitrate - 20ish, I am doing regular water changes) I have a 2ft Zebra Moray, Maroon Clown (3" hasn't grown in about a year - think he will?) <Should... but maybe not in your circumstances... is there just the one? Will grow if there are two.> and a new damsel (3" looks like a bluefin Paraglyphidodon mela I believe). Anyways, I would love to add a wrasse, but because of the huge variety I don't know what to choose! I would also like to add 3 cardinals (Pterapogon kauderni). Can my tank take this load? <Yes... though the Moray... will get larger (about twice)... take up a good deal of the physiological space> Also, what type of wrasse do you recommend. A medium sized peaceful/semi-aggressive would fit in great I think. <Maybe a Cirrhilabrus species... or a Lined wrasse...> I prefer fish that are easy to take care of and will take flakes, although I do feed my fish Mysis, krill, brine, Formula 1, and I'm sure I have some other frozen food in my freezer. The only thing is these can be messy. Also, right now I am feeding my eel (by long tongs for fish only use) squid, Mysis, and krill. What other meats should I add to his diet? <These are crustacean eaters in the wild... should be offered crabs, shrimps...> One of my LFS told me to feed him silversides, but I know they aren't good for him. Also how much (cube wise)? He will eat until he pops, so I try to limit his diet for the sake of water chemistry but I don't want to underfeed him. Thanks so much for your help. -Alex PS - A different LFS (Capitol Aquarium in Sacramento, CA) has 3 (1 male & 2 female) "long-term captive" ribbon eels. I believe they have been there for about a year, I just thought that was cool! <This is a very neat fish store... have been there many times over many years... VERY big clown loaches... Have friends in the area whose moms worked there... a ways back. Bob Fenner>

Juvenile purple wrasses? Bob, <Lee> I bought 3 juvenile purple wrasses, at my local wholesalers. Thinking they were Hawaiian cleaner wrasses. <?> I am now worried because I have 12 cleaner shrimps in my 240 gallon tank. I pray that these wrasses will not grow up and eat my shrimps. What do you think? Also do you know the scientific names of these wrasses?? Thanks again. Lee <Umm, not familiar with the common name "purple wrasses"... neither is fishbase.org... But, a few things to impart... I would NOT put three Labroides spp. wrasses in this size system... I would definitely research all purchases ahead of acquisition... and I WOULD definitely quarantine all new livestock... You're playing the petfish equivalent of Russian Roulette my friend. Bob Fenner>

The Mean Green Wrasse? (Halichoeres chloropterus) Hi, I have a Green Wrasse (Halichoeres chloropterus) and was wondering if the are compatible with corals and anemones ETC???? Thanks! Ryan <Hi Ryan. I'm a huge fan of Halichoeres species wrasses, and have kept many of them over the years. The H. chloropterus is one of the larger members of the family, and is every bit as compatible with corals as the others, IMO. Like most Halichoeres species, they will decimate any tubeworms, snails, feather dusters, and other small crustaceans that live in your system. They are not aggressive fishes, for the most part, but they can become "cantankerous" once they become acclimated to their new home. They have great personalities, but can become a bit of a behavioral problem in a smaller tank, or one that houses smaller fishes. All in all, I think that this is a great fish if you can accept their personality traits. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>

- Six Line, Eight Line, Who's Counting? - Hi crew, <Hi.> A few weeks ago, I bought what was supposed to be a 6-line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) from my LFS. After closer observation and a quick review at fishbase.org, it appears that this fish was actually an 8-line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus octotaenia). Unfortunately, the wrasse died mysteriously after 2 week in my QT so I was never able to see it swim in my 180g reef tank. Bob suggested a shorter QT period for wrasses (with a FW dip) in one of my previous emails so I will try this next time. My questions now are: 1. Are there advantages/disadvantages of an 8-line wrasse vs. 6-line? (I have read several WWM postings about aggressive 8-lie wrasses, but 6-line wrasse comments seem to be generally positive). <Not really... they both fill a very similar niche. Personally, I've found sixline wrasses to be just as pugnacious as eightlines... typically once they've been in the tank for a while. Either way, with some larger fish around they tend to stay in line, pardon the terrible pun.> 2. I would also like to add a flasher wrasse, such as a Paracheilinus carpenteri and a canary wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus). Would these wrasses live peacefully with a 6-line or 8-line wrasse? <I think so, sure. I have a mix of wrasses in my tank... they tend not to bother each other, although my Tuskfish does have its grumpy moments and chases the fairy and mystery wrasses around, nothing ever results from it [no damage].> (I also have a mixture of several tangs, a pair of maroon clowns, Banggai cardinals, mandarin and firefish - all established for nearly 2 years). 3. Since carpenter wrasses are difficult to find, could you recommend a similar flasher wrasse that would live peacefully in my tank? <Seems to me that these aren't all that hard to find... when working in a fish store in San Diego, we used to get these in pretty regularly and on demand. Depending on where you live, you may end up having to use The Marine Center or similarly well connected online supplier.> 4. Since the QT period should be cut short, how much QT time is adequate to catch any problems yet not over-stress the fish? <With these fish, you'd almost do best to just give them a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip and put them directly in the display. If you do quarantine, a week should do... would give the fish time to relax, not be hassled by other fish/competition.> Is iodine helpful in a dip for fish or is this only useful for corals? <Really best left to the corals.> I typically use Methylene blue for freshwater fish dips but, considering this reduced QT period, I am not sure is this is adequate. <The Methylene blue doesn't really provide much in the way of direct therapy in a dip - it's dark color and oxygenating properties help calm the fish, but you could just as easily go without this additive. A good long dip - five minutes plus should do the trick.> As always, thank you for taking the time to help all of us with our questions - There is a wealth of invaluable information on wetwebmedia.com! <Cheers, J -- >

Anampses: inappropriate fish for community tanks 12/16/04 Howdy crew! <howdy, dear :)> This is my first time writing to you, so thank you in advance for your time :o) <always welcome> First, let me give you the tank info: tank size = 100g NH3/NH4 = 0 NO2 = 0 NO3 = 0 Calcium = 450 <please go easy on Calcium here... no need to push the high end of the envelope. No higher than 450 please> Alk = 10 DKH sg = 1.024 temp = 81.5 (having some temp issue (fluctuation) due to new return pump and new skimmer pump) 10 - 20% water change weekly live rock 55lbs and adding more from holding tank new AquaC EV180 sump for mechanical filtration w/ bioballs (will remove once more live rock is in) Magnum 350 deluxe canister for mechanical/carbon filtration sea swirl on return pump and swivel powerhead for extra movement Inhabitants = 1 ocellaris (Oscar), 1 green Chromis (Lil' Dude), 1 skunk cleaner shrimp (Seymour), about 5 each of astrea snails and blue legged hermits, 2 bumble bee snails, <you do know that these bumble bee snails eat no algae? They do not have the mouthparts for it. They are carnivores and a burden on the life forms in your live sand bed like the blue leg hermits. Not great choices> 1 pipe organ (Bach), <hmmm.... a challenging coral :(> and lastly (but not least) Eleanor our new Red Tailed Tamarin (a week and a half new). <Arghhhh... the last entry is patently and categorically an inappropriate fish for any marine community tank. Few aquarists can keep these fishes alive for more than 2 years. In a community tank, I don't think yours will even live to see a year if even 6 months :(> I have read both internet information and book info on this species, and I personally would never have chosen this fish, but my husband wanted this fish more than anything, so there it is. <I am fairly certain he will watch it slowly starve to death too. Not chastising you per se... but it is what it is. And do remind hubby if he truly admires the beauty of this species... watching one die this way is a funny tribute> I do understand that their diet is best provided via live rock, and before the introduction of this fish, <this is a stretch at best. Only in huge tanks with huge refugiums and both mature and established (over one year old). Without a refugium, this and any such fish will decimate any number of zooplankton in the display tank in mere months> we had so many pods that our sand and rock were literally crawling with them both night and day. Not to mention a host of worm variety and other little inhabitants. I have no problem continuing to swap out/ reculture live rock to help sustain her, <very grateful to hear this... but it still will not help my friend. When forced to browse the same few square feet of live rock every day and share it with other creatures, these plankters will be quickly depleted> but I do need to consider supplementing her diet. She has been eating well on the rocks for now, and she also pecks at the glass (my other two fish do it as well... monkey see monkey do...hehehe). <the actual problem is that this fish like Anthiines or Dragonets on copepods literally eat several thousand individual particles per day in the wild. There is no way you can provide this unless you literally culture live copepods, rotifers, etc> I have tried different food to supplement her diet, but she has taken very little interest ( brine with HUFA, marine mix SF brand, blood worms, and formula one frozen) I cut off a small amount of each, mix in some formula one and two dry food, and add a few drops of Zoe. I let it thaw and then feed with turkey baster. My other critters love this but again, Eleanor shows little interest. <this is common... but even when they feed on brine shrimp, its a hollow food> I am considering trying scallops, mussels, squid from our seafood shop, but I have a few questions about that. I am assuming that it should be fresh raw, not cooked or frozen? Should I look at finding a way to "stick" it in the rock crevices or bind it to some small pieces of live rock rubble, since her preferred feeding method is to bite at the rock and substrate? <yes... browsing for benthic microorganisms> I would really like this fish to stay healthy since my husband loves her (as do I but reluctantly <grin>). Anyway, thank you again for your time, and your site and the forum are visited everyday by my husband and me. Best Regards, Erica <I truly am sorry to bear this news, but Anampses species are some of the most difficult species to keep alive still in the trade. Yours will almost certainly become a statistic unless you learn to culture copepods fast. There are a few online suppliers of live bottled copepods. You should also try feeding thawed frozen Cyclop-eeze (and freeze-dried ones if this fish will eat them). These are your best bets. When this fish does perish... please do resist the temptation to try another. A 2 year (or less) captive lifespan is just not a responsible use of living resources when the creature should live well over 10 years naturally. Best of luck, Anthony>

Sixline wrasse to consume bristle worms hi, I know bristle worms attack clams, so I intend to put a 6-line wrasse in the tank to protect it. Will he try to feed off from the clam also? << No, six line wrasse are very clam safe. You may want to keep the clam off the bottom of your tank if you are worried about worms. >> << Blundell >>

Question about Creole Wrasse Clepticus parrae Dear Bob, <Jake> I recently read your online article about Labridae wrasse family. In it you briefly mention the Creole Wrasse. I have seen these many times in the wild and think they are a beautiful and interesting fish. <Yes, and only infrequently seen in captivity... I've noticed them only a handful of times in public aquariums and the trade> Especially due to their schooling behavior. A friend of mine has a 400G reef and we have been trying to get our hands on a school of these guys for his tank. In my observations diving the males seldom reach 1 ft and most are around 8 inches with the females significantly smaller (~5 inches or so and much less full bodied). <Our observations agree> All my observations of them are from reefs in the Turks and Caicos Island chain. In your article a brief paragraph is devoted to the Creole wrasse that accompanies its picture. In the paragraph you state that it "(mis)enters" the trade and that most pass away in shipping. I get the feeling that you feel that these are ill suited for aquarium life. Have you had any first hand experience with these fish? <No first hand... and to be clear, it is not that the species is ill-suited, but rather the current practices in handling and shipping it are inappropriate> I have found few people that have kept them, but those I have contacted say they are large for the average reef but that they are hardy and eat almost any prepared food. One person contacted had kept them in a 300g tank and said they formed a polarized tight school in captivity and were wonderful to watch. <Neat> Considering the size of the tank (400G) that these are meant for and the much smaller size of the females would you think that these might be a good choice for a unique schooling fish in this large tank? <Yes, particularly if you can either go collect them yourself, or convince a diver/collector (there are some that deal, sell direct to the public) to pack them... and this is very different than virtually all marines... in one large double-bag per box, placing more than one individual (number will vary depending on size) together> Possibly one male with 6 or so females? <Sounds good> I have a contact at a local pet shop who was looking for these for me and has acquired a couple of 2.5 inch juveniles direct from a diver in the Caribbean he purchases from. <Perfect> They seem to be in remarkable health, very active and alert. I and my friend were planning on picking them up tonight and acclimating them to his sparsely populated reef and acquiring 4 more juveniles and a "Super male" for his tank as my contact is able to acquire them. Have you had any experience with these or know of any experiences with these that might be helpful to our keeping this fish or possibly knowledge that might discourage their purchase? <It has been many years since I dive-collected in the tropical West Atlantic and had first hand contact with folks in the trade there (John Noyes, Dave Vatter...), but there are many fine people in the industry you might try contacting re information. Forrest Young (Dynasty Marine), the folks at ORA... through the Net> Thanks you very much for any info you might be able to provide Regards Jacob Maki <Sounds like a very interesting project. Do report back your experiences, please. Bob Fenner> Thanks so much for the response. I will let you know how things proceed. Kind Regards Jake <Thank you. Bob Fenner> Pod control - wrassalicious 8/28/04 Which type of wrasse can be considered for cleaning all types of pods in the tank. <most wrasses prey heavily on microcrustaceans. Focus first on their sometimes aggressive personalities for find a species with an adult size and temperament that is compatible with your present tankmates> My tank is completely filled up with these tiny pods which sometimes irritates my fishes. <they do not irritate fishes, my friend. There must be something else at play here> Can u suggest me a suitable wrasse ( one which is found in Indian Ocean ). I stay in India and the one found in Indian ocean will be easily available. Regards Rajesh <Halichoeres species overall tend to be well behaved and good predators on pods. Best of luck, Anthony> Good Wrasse/Bad Wrasse? I just looked up info on the canary wrasse that you mentioned. It says it is also called a yellow wrasse and that only an expert should try to keep it. <I think that you are mistaken. The wrasse that I referred to is a Halichoeres chrysus, one of the easiest of the wrasses to keep. In fact, in Scott Michael's "Marine Fishes" (the classic pocket reference in the hobby), he rates it a "4" (on a 1 to 5 scale, 5 being the easiest to keep fishes). Do recheck. remember, several fishes my be known by the same common name, which is why I referred to it by the scientific name. I've kept these fishes for years with no troubles. They are hardy, fun to watch, and colorful. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

What wrasse should I get? Thank you for the reply. << No problem. >> The wrasse entered the next world on Tues. We also lost 2 clowns in the last week. Like so many others, one just disappeared, the other we found floating. We did clean the filters yesterdays as we noticed the water didn't seem to be flowing so fast. << Regular maintenance is a pain, but part of having an aquarium. >> Any suggestions now what we should get for the worms & small critters running about the sand & rocks (day & night)? << Yes, let them grow and live. >> I sure liked the looks of the wrasse. Are the 6 lined any hardier? << Yes, very hardy fish. Great reef tank fish. >> We have two small petstores about 40 mi from us so selection is limited. The live rock does have mosses growing on it, but no different then all the rest of the rocks except for a couple patches of red. At this time, the mosses are green & the white webby looking stuff. << Hopefully sponge, maybe a fungus. Either way you just want to make sure you keep the tank going and let the rock grow. >> Thanks again so much for your reply! Carol << Good luck, Blundell. >>

Napoleon wrasse Bob, <Paul in for Bob today> My LFS has a 6 in. Napoleon wrasse. <Oh no. These are wonderful fish but absolutely do not belong in aquaria. A public Aquarium is the only place I can advocate its use> I know they can get HUGE. <gets the size of your couch! To seven feet (2.3m) and more than four hundred pounds. Folks ought to leave this friendly giant in the sea.> But will this juvenile grow any bigger in my 240 gallon? <Why wouldn't it? Usually fish grow faster in closed systems due to the lack of competition for food and predators> I know fish don't really grow much in a closed system. <Not really true. Most fish may only have some small changes from their natural ocean state (coloration and rarely a slightly smaller size) but usually it is only a matter of a few inches. Fish tend to grow rapidly in closed systems for the reasons above> How about this wrasse?? <Encourage the owner to never bring another wrasse of this magnitude into the store, as it shows ignorance and apathy for the very business that gives 'em a living. I would not keep this fish> Thanks <Thanks for letting state my opinion through your question. ~Paul> Linstun

In Search Of The Perfect Wrasse... Hello Crew, <Hello! Scott F. here today> Thought I pop in another question for my mentors. I've been wanting to purchase a Rhomboid Wrasse for some time now. <Awesome fish!> However, I've seen pairs at the LFS but never of acceptable quality by my standards. I figured if I'm going to spend that kind of money, it should be in perfect condition. <I agree with you 100%!> Are Rhomboids really bad shippers? The ones I've seen were always pale, inactive, breathing heavy, white blotches on skin, and with a few nips here and there. They told me that is how they always come. <Well, these fish tend to suffer during the collection and shipping process. They are usually found in deeper water, and the initial collection often leads to trauma. Then, like other fishes, they have to endure a number of days without food, in poor water, while being shipped to the wholesaler, dealer, and then to you. Little wonder that they look to be in poor shape! My advice to you is to either place a deposit on some at the LFS, and see if they will hold them for a few days (to give them a chance to recover a it), or to pay the extra $$ and get them from a online source like Marine Center or LiveAquaria.com.> And when I try to wait out on them, they're always sold before I can get another look. Well, the LFS has another Rhomboid in, but no pair, just one male. Would the male lose color w/o the better half? <Quite possibly. With other species of wrasses to "flash" at, he might retain some color, though> And would it be wise to add just any non-pair female if they come along later on? <Ideally, you'd want one male to two or three females. These fish are "haremic" in nature, and display nicely when kept this way in the aquarium> Another thing is, if they are still in bad condition as before, which I expect, do you think I should take a risk in buying it based on the aforementioned conditions? <I'd see if they improve a bit in the dealer's tank, first, before taking them home. See if he/she accepts a deposit> I've waited and waited. Just don't know how long I would have to keep on waiting. The LFS says they probably won't be getting any of them soon after this one. <Trust me on this- I'm a huge wrasse fan. I've missed a bunch of rare fishes over the years 'cause I hesitated for various reasons (like the ones you describe), but they always seem to be available again down the line. Maybe not tomorrow, or even next month. But eventually...It took me almost a year and a half to find a "Peppermint" Hog Fish (B. masudai), but I eventually found a great specimen. The same is true for many fairy and flasher wrasses. There will be others out there. Unless the specimen is an absolute one-of-a-kind, I would wait for a good-quality one.> Tks for your advice always. Roy <My pleasure, Roy! Don't give up the search. It's part of the fun! Regards, Scott F>

- Comparing Wrasses - Which wrasse is a better choice as in being hardy, and less aggressive? A yellowtail Coris, or a dragon wrasse? <The Coris.> And out of the two can either be housed with a lunare wrasse? <In my view of the world, neither unless your tank is huge - in the 500+ gallon range.> Thanks for your time... <Cheers, J -- >

Blue cleaner wrasse on pyramidellid snails Hi! I have a giant clam which has pyramidellid snails on it. I introduced some blue cleaner wrasse knowing that wrasses eat these parasites. <wrasses do eat them but not cleaner wrasses. A six line or four line will do the trick> Is blue cleaner wrasse good in eating pyrams? <no> When is wrasse more effective? day or night? <depends on wrasse cleaner wrasses more active during day> I am planning to do a little experiment on the feeding habits of the blue cleaner wrasse that I bought. Do you know the rate of feeding of this wrasse on pyrams? <no feeding> I want to know if the result of my experiment will be correct. Thanks a lot! I want to be a marine biologist someday... <Thanks for the question Mike H>

- Harlequin Tusk - What do you Think? - What's your opinion of the Harlequin? <I love 'em - one of my favorite fish.> I would like to add a wrasse to my 200 gallon system that already houses a Naso (7"), maroon clown (2"), yellow tang (2"), Maculosus angelfish (5"), and a blue throat triggerfish (5"). I love the Harlequin's but are they hardy <Yes.> and will they do well with the existing tankmates? <Yes, I think so.> Thanks for your advice and opinion. <Cheers, J -- >

- Harlequin Tusk - What do you Think? Follow-up - Thanks for your help. <My pleasure.> I was thinking of getting one from Australia in the 3-4 inch range. <From my limited experience, I've never seen an Australian Tuskfish come in less than six inches - they seem to catch them big out there... but the colors are a real pay off, these fish are much more striking than their Indo-Pacific counterparts.> Sound ok with you? <Sure.> Thanks again. I appreciate you all! <Cheers, J -- >

Senorita wrasse availability WWM Crew, Is it a reasonable assumption that Senorita wrasses (Oxyjulis californica) are not a species that are available to the marine hobbyist? Bob Jones <Hmm... one of the three species of labrids found off our (California) coast. Well, they are collected by folks here for the Public Aquarium biz... you might ask your dealer... or maybe you will want to call some of the marine livestock wholesalers in the Los Angeles area (Quality Marine would be my first try) if they can put you in touch with specimens or the collectors. Bob Fenner>

Pseudojuloides cerasinus Hey Bob While on Maui over Xmas I saw an incredible wrasse-- my dive manual identified it as the Smalltail wrasse-- Pseudojuloides cerasinus. Is this fish suitable as an aquarium animal in either a f/o or a reef system and is it ever available from suppliers? I've not been able to find it on any of the online sources like ffexpress. Also, ffexpress has the dragon wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus) listed under their unsuitable list of animals. What about the adult form of Novaculichthys taeniourus (Rockmover wrasse)? Is it a decent aquarium species? and is it ever seen on the market? Thanks! Randy <<Do know of the fish, P. cerasinus... hard to approach, but it is caught and sold into the trade from Hawai'i on occasion (and more rarely Micronesia). Unfortunately, like other members of the genus it does not fare well in captivity... most dying in a week or so... from? Transport shock? Stress in general? They're always found in dense coral settings... so maybe you'll be the one to keep them successfully... Ask your suppliers if you're interested... and IMO, do try to get a pair... though the females aren't nearly as attractive. Of the other six-hundred plus species of wrasses (you can see why nobody lists them all), the Rock Mover or Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys) is generally a tough species for aquarium use if you get an initially healthy specimen... maybe too tough... for most systems. This species gets larger (to more than eight inches), quickly and is a voracious feeder that often becomes a bully of easier going tankmates... and is a prodigious digger... toppling decor... So, is really only suitable with other aggressive fishes. Oh, and it's on the market most times of the year. Just ask for it... in the west as a Dragon Wrasse. Bob Fenner>>

Wrasses For A Community Tank... I have a 200 gallon with live rock, a Naso tang, yellow tang, blue-throat trigger, maculosus angel, and a maroon clown. I would like to have a small wrasse to add to the tank. Could you recommend one? Thanks for your help. <I'd really recommend one of the colorful and hardy Halichoeres species, such as H. chrysus, H. iridis (my favorite), or H. melanurus. All are adaptable, fun to watch, and very attractive! Each would add a splash of color and interest to your tank! There are, of course, other species of interest, but this list of some of my personal "faves" may point you in the right direction...Enjoy the research; you can find tons of good information on wrasses right here on the WWM site! Regards, Scott F> Elizabeth K. Birdwell

Big Plans For A Small World! (Pt.2) Hi Scott. <Hello, again!> You're a top bloke and no mistake! I'm looking into these little beauties this very moment, the wrasse is stunning. <Excellent! I had a feeling that you'd like it!> I'm a bit bitter on wrasses though. As much as I love watching them 'fly' I can't get over a time I was visiting an LFS some years ago, who'd just placed A LOT of stock into their tanks for sale. I witnessed two lunar(?) wrasses teaming up and beating a young percula to death, eating and scoffing all the while, I'm sure. Okay so they were only doing what they know but the way they attacked each flank simultaneously (much like the Raptors in Jurassic Park) made me pity the poor creature and stare in amazement. I called the store owner over but by the time he'd moved 10 feet to the tank it was more or less gone. <Yep- the larger ones can be nasty...No problem with the sixline, though...They're good citizens, IME> Many thanks for your time and sharing of wisdom slash experience. There's no questions here just praise and a recount of something you've probably seen many many times (the wrasse thing). Best regards, Kendal McGuire <Thanks so much for the kind words, Kendal. I just paused to admire my own little sixline right now...Love the little guy! Good luck to you! Regards, Scott F>

I want the wrasse, but not the cyanide >Hi to all, >>Well HELLO Bry! Fancy meetin' you here. ;) >I haven't asked any questions for a while as I have been busy redesigning my tank and getting it set up. It has now been running for about 3-4 months this time around. I have a 55 gal corner bow, 20 gal sump 15-20 X turnover rate, 60 lbs of liverock, 4" DSB, and quite a few snails, blue leg hermit crabs, tons of bristle worms, brittle stars and various pods. >>I remember from your post on RDO. >I decided on the list of fish to keep before I set up the tank, and conferred with several of you on different choices. Here is the list that was decided on: 3 Carpenter Flasher Wrasses (2 female and 1 male) 2 PJ Cardinals 1 Fire Goby 1 Pearlscale Butterflyfish 1 Longnose hawkfish They were to be added in that order, with a minimum of a month quarantine. >>Sounds pretty good to me. But, I've become particular to Banggai cards, myself. >Now for my problem. The Carpenter Flasher Wrasses are hard to find. >>Oh yes they are! But GORGEOUS. >I have also heard a little bit of rumor that they are being caught with cyanide. So, I am wondering, >1.. Have any of you heard of a company that has Carpenters that are guaranteed to not be caught with cyanide? >2.. If not, is there any way to tell by looking at a live specimen if it was in fact captured using those means? I have not read of any kind of test that can be done by the time the end user (me) receives the fish, but I was wondering what your thoughts on this are. >>Well, IIRC, Budhaboy suggested going with Mary Middlebrook. Matt Wandell, as well as NKT (sorry, don't know his real name) seem to know of where to find the "hard to find" fishes, and the only places I know of are wholesale ONLY. (Sea Dwelling Creatures would be the first place I'd look, but they will not sell to you, and I've seen them at Quality Marine as well.) Have you Googled? Now, let's see if we can sort out whether or not cyanide caught. The issue is that the only test I know of requires the fish to be killed. Beyond that, we look to point of origin: Paracheilinus carpenteri hails from the Indo-Pacific, so we could surmise that there's a good chance that, even if not actually caught with cyanide, they may have been exposed. Check this link on http://www.fishbase.org (bookmark that!) http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=4843&genusname=Paracheilinus&speciesname=carpenteri >3.. If I can't find this fish, could you suggest a replacement that would go good with the other fish in my list? Thanks once again for your time and a great website. Bryan Flanigan >>Digging in my memory banks here, I recollect something called a "mystery wrasse" (our own JasonC has a very nice--and hard to come by--specimen), there are also picture wrasses, as well as other fairy wrasses. If you go for Red Sea animals you'll be more certain to avoid the cyanide issue, as well as with Australian animals. If you see that an animal hails from Indonesia or the Philippines, you might be concerned with cyanide exposure. IIRC, it's not as widespread in Fiji or Bali, two other areas to consider. I don't know if there's a wrasse site quite as dedicated as that Japanese goby site (that site is da bomb), but it's worth a Google, eh? Do feel free to contact Mary at http://www.seacrop.com because even if she can't supply you with the fish, she knows at least as well as anyone I can think of what the chances are of being able to determine whether or not an animal's been exposed. Talk to you soon! Marina

Don't Pass Up A Wrasse! Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I have a 125 reef with mainly soft corals, LPS corals. I have peaceful fish: 3 purple Firefish, 3 red Firefish, 1 green clown goby, 1 threadfin goby, 1 citron goby, 1 red head goby, 2 maroon clowns, 1 rose e quad. anemone, a green e. quad, 4 cleaner shrimp, 3 fire shrimp, 6 peppermint shrimp, 4 green Chromis, and two neon blue gobies in the mail as I write. <My kind of fish population! Small is beautiful, especially in a large tank!> I am very interested in ordering a fairy wrasse or a flasher wrasse. I have reviewed the marine center page and there are so many I am overwhelmed. I have tried to avoid difficult species. (I just don't like killing things.) <I can dig that!> Could you recommend some hardy, compatible, pretty species for me that stay small? <Well, there are, as you stated, many, many different species that stay small, are colorful, and are easy to care for. In my experience and opinion, you could do well with many Cirrhilabrus species. I really like C. solorensis, C. rubriventralis, and C. scottorum (heh, heh, heh!). If you're like me, and want to support the "home team", you could get a C. jordani (Hawaiian Flame Wrasse)...> (I prefer lots of small colorful fish, rather than a few big ones, although I am seriously considering setting up a fish only tank b/c dog face puffers and cow fish are just too cool.) <Diggin' this! My thoughts exactly, bruddah!> Are fairy wrasses and flasher wrasses really reef safe, or are they like Centropyge's where you're always taking a chance. <No- they really are "reef safe", being strictly planktivorous, and not interested in corals or sessile inverts at all. Maybe the only caveat with these fishes (and one that's frequently overlooked by most hobbyists, IMO-is that they are predominantly found in deeper water, and seem to behave more "calm" in less brightly lit tanks (or perhaps, 20000k would be a nice compromise)...Yes, they will adapt to brightly lit tanks just fine, but this is just something that you may want to think about when planning for these fishes. They can be kept individually, or in small groups- like 3 females to one male...or groups of 5 (3 females to 2 males)...> Thank you for your help, John Kim <Any time, John! Good luck with your tank(s)!>

Don't Pass Up A Wrasse (Pt. 2) Scott, <Good morning!> I forgot to mention that i have one blue mandarin. Will the wrasse compete with it for food. Again thank you for your help. John <Well, John, I'd have to say an unqualified "no". Fairy and flasher wrasses tend to pick food from the water column, whereas Mandarins generally confine their feeding to the substrate and rocks. Sure, the odd Fairy Wrasse might pick something off the rocks now and again, but the vast majority of their feeding does take place in the open water. Hope this alleviates any lingering concerns you might have. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Don't Pass On The Wrasse! Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I hear that fairy wrasses are reef safe but that they eat invertebrates. <to be honest with you, this is not the case at all, in my experience, and the experience of many fellow reef hobbyists who keep these fishes. Sure, there might be the one in 10,000 fairy wrasses who decides that an Acropora would be a nice snack, but that is very, very rare..> This is something I do not want in my fish- I would like to keep shrimp and maybe snails. I am setting up a 120 gal reef (mostly SPS) that I am planning fish for. However, I read that some of the fairy and flasher wrasses (for ex. Cirrhilabrus laboutei , Cirrhilabrus filamentosus, Paracheilinus carpenteri ) are reef safe, do not eat invertebrates, and may be kept in harems of one male to a few females. Would this be a possibility for my tank? <Sure- a group would make a colorful and lively addition to a reef tank. You have it right- definitely keep several females to one male, if you're doing the "group thing"> Could you give me a clear list for how to care for them? <Check out this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/cirrhilabrus/index.htm > I originally wanted to keep a small group of Anthias (Fathead Sunbursts) but they seem like a more demanding species than the wrasses. Must these fish really be fed more than one time a day? <On the whole, Anthias tend to be more difficult to keep, don't always acclimate well, and can be a bit more finicky to feed. Unless you are willing to devote considerable time to feeding and housing them properly, I'd pass on the Anthias> If you could clear up my thoughts I would really appreciate it. Thank you, Rafael Rodriguez <My pleasure, Rafael. These wrasses make amazing additions to your tank. Hope that you enjoy them! Regards, Scott F>

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

What about wrasses? Rather than pester you with ???? after ??? I read some stuff you wrote to others about Cleaner Wrasses and Hogfish! <Ah, good... the reason for posting all on the WWM site... in addition to hopeful inspiration> You did mention A cleaner shrimp, but I can not do that cause of my trigger. What kind wrasses would help my situation when I get my salinity back up? <Many choices... perhaps Larabicus, Bodianus when small... maybe some tank-raised Gobiosoma gobies... and you might be surprised to find that even Triggers can/will recognize Cleaner Shrimp as "helpers" rather than meals in some cases> How many would do the job? <One in the case of wrasses, perhaps two for Gobiosoma.> It seems to me there is no such thing as a parasite free tank. is this true? <There are such systems, culture facilities... they take great care in selection, quarantine, preventative measures> I feel the hole hobby is about fighting parasites and it is not an enjoyable experience. <Perhaps life in the larger sphere can be regarded this way... But, I entreat you, will this "reality" change? Or only our apparent attitude towards it? A very important issue here my friend. Bob Fenner> Thanks again Jason

Questions (Wrasse selection, Trumpetfish) Hey Bob, I have a couple of questions for you about my two tanks. In my 54 gallon tank I now have a flame angelfish, a Kole tank, a pair of true percula clowns, an algae blenny, a pair of cleaner shrimp, and some misc snails and hermits. I have about 40 lbs of live rock and a DSB in this tank. In my seahorse tank (20 gal) I have a DSB, about 15 lbs of live rock, 2 OR Mustang Sea Horses, and some snails that reproduced in my 54 gallon tank. My first question is about my 54 gallon tank. I would like to add another fish. I would like to add a small wrasse. I really like the 6-line wrasse and have herd some good things about them. Do you think I could add one without a problem? (Keep in mind I have 45 lbs of live rock curing in a tub in the basement and I want to add all the rock after it cures and let the tank settle for a while until I buy a new fish) Could you recommend another species of wrasse that would go well with my tank if any? <This is a good choice... and the ratings of all the species available to the trade can be found on the site... I'd check out these genera: Pseudocheilinus, Paracheilinus and Cirrhilabrus> My second question is about my seahorse tank. I have two seahorses in it now.. Do you think I could add another pair or 2 over time? <Mmm, not in my opinion... best to keep with just the two in a twenty gallon> Also, I saw a yellow Trumpetfish recently while diving in St. Thomas. Can these be kept in a home aquarium? <Some people have done this... members of the same Order (Syngnathiformes) as the Seahorses... need big systems though... hundreds of gallons. Bob Fenner> Thanks A Lot, Jonathan Pac

Stocking densities... (wrasse selection, and Centropyges, dipping, life) Bob, Thanks for the quick reply. I had a few follow-up and unrelated questions. In the smaller tank, I'm thinking of keeping a derasa clam. Which one of the three (Wrasses/dotty) would you recommend for parasitic snail and/or bristleworm control? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudocheilinus.htm and the FAQs linked beyond, the sections on Tridacnids...> In the larger tank, I was following the capacity outlines of M. Paletta in the new marine aquarium- 2" of fish /gallon of capacity. <I think this may be way off... Mike may have offered the "rule of thumb" of 1/2" maximum per gallon...> Given that I should easily be able to keep a 12" angel and tankmates. Is it a territory issue or is Paletta wrong with what he is saying? <You are interpreting a generality beyond it's utility... think of two versus three dimensionality... a given length of organism needs more space than its inches subdivided into increments... e.g. 12 one inch fishes are metabolically less than one 12 inch individual...> Also, with a six foot long tank, would I be able to keep 2-3 centropyge angels? <Likely so... of most species... they will interact, but given enough nooks, crannies, shouldn't cause any real damage to each other> I know they tend to fight, but I figured with that size tank, and enough rock work it should be O.K. I was thinking of a Hawaiian/Polynesian biotope with a flame and a potter's along with a Centropyge to be named later. <Sounds like you've been doing your investigating> I would add native tangs, butterflies, a Picasso trigger, and a snowflake moray- any general problems with the design so far? <Not as far as I'm aware> Now for the unrelated questions- Can you recommend a good livestock source in the St. Louis area? <Mmm, not familiar with the town, but do have a suggestion: post your question on the chatforum: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ under the "Internet/Local Fish Store" category> They all seem to contradict themselves, and I don't know who to believe. <Only yourself> One of them told me that you cannot use protein skimmer with the miracle mud product. Any truth to this? <No... no truth... as in "what has been done"... The owner of this company (Leng Sy) and I are friends and discuss this "to be or not to be" issue quite often... mud/muck systems can be run with skimmers... better to under skim, or run in a punctuated fashion (on/off a few hours per day) IMO/E> He also told me that he has never been able to carry out a successful fresh water dip, and that quarantining is a bad idea as you stress the fish out twice. <Some validity to these statements as exceptions... but, by and large, these techniques/practices are of tremendous utility. Put another way, the vast majority of cases, individuals benefit tremendously through their employ> So far, he's somewhat low on the credibility scale. However, another shop told me to always dip my live rock in fresh water to eliminate bristle worms, crabs, and other pests. I would think you would ruin the rock by doing this. As you can see, I'm in a bit of a quandary. <But you're thinking... very exciting. Do consider all these opinions and ours/mine... and look further at the base rationale, factual understanding to all's points in making up your own mind.> Thanks again, and the website is great! Chris <Thank you, Bob Fenner>

ID Pencil wrasse Dear Mr. Fenner, I hope that you can help with this concern. <Me too> I made a spontaneous decision last weekend. <Mmm, such lead-ins always make me nervous...> I know this is not a good idea in this hobby but I saw a really interesting fish and bought it without researching its care requirements. The only point in my defense is that I have a 60g tank that is almost empty so my new fish wouldn't really have any compatibility problems. <Okay...> The new fish is a 'pencil wrasse' (according to the LFS) and I promised myself that I would do the research while I was acclimating the fish and go back to the store if necessary to pick up any supplies that I would need. When I sat down with my books, I couldn't find anything about this fish. I looked online and found a few mentions but no solid info. Even worse - the only mentions that I found were on sites like PetsWarehouse that listed this fish on their restricted lists! <Yes... this genus of Labrids are not easily kept in captivity> I posted my concern on a message board and a response listed this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudojuloides_wrasses.htm. <Oh! Those know-it-alls! Wait, this is our site...> Unfortunately, this doesn't show any pics of my fish so I still can't be sure about the species but it does mention that this entire Genus is listed as 'ultra advanced'. <If you have time, patience, please look under the genus name on the www.fishbase.org site... many pix, references, albeit non-husbandry in nature there.> I do not consider myself ultra advanced by any means but I am hesitant to return the fish because the LFS couldn't even tell me about care requirements. Right now, he is eating very very well - ghost shrimp, guppies, and freeze dried krill. He lives with my snowflake eel and they appear to get along OK but I want to find more info. I have pics but I don't think I can get them through on hotmail due to the size. I'll try... <Mmm, resize them in another program... or post them to a site and send a link along...> Any suggestions to ID or find out more about this fish? <There may be very little written about this group of fishes... they're rarely caught (as you can/will find out should you have to net yours), shipped, sold in the trade... Perhaps you will add to the body of practical knowledge re Pseudojuloides care. Bob Fenner> Joel Heidecker

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