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· SoCal Reefer
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey everybody, i never owned a wrasse before and would like to hear your exp. with them. also i f you could recommend a type, i've been interested in the cleaner var. also are they reef safe?

i own a 45 gallon

· Premium Member
20,993 Posts
cleaner wrasse is not a good choice because eventually they starve to death because of there diet,I have not had good luck with wrasses,lets see if someone else can post that has had good luck.:)

· TRT Staff The Mominator
11,825 Posts
Agreed, cleaner wrasses in general do not have a good survival rate in home aquaria unless they have a large population of fish to clean and even then, it's chancey. I have seen a few that eat prepared foods and flourish but I wouldn't want to bet the fish's life on it.

In a 45 you could look at some of the fairy wrasses (although some like the Scott's, can easily get to 5-6"), some of the flasher wrasses, six-line wrasse, Pygmy arrowhead wrasse or possum wrasse (one of my new faves) wrasses in the Halichoere genus generally stay smaller as well.

Make sure you look up the scientific name of any of the wrasses you might want to purchase. Some of them get huge, as well as destructive, in a reef tank.

Scott Michael's Marine Fishes Pocket Guide is an inexpensive book and a "must have" when shopping for fish, IMO.


· Registered
190 Posts
As the others stated: Avoid the cleaner wrasse.

Six lines are interesting fish, great for a reef tank, but have been rumored to "beat up" shrimp. I've not witnessed this, but I've read many accounts.

I personally like fairy wrasses. I think a single specimen is ideal for a reef tank.

There are plenty of wrasses to avoid for a reef due to large size/spastic/predatory behavior...
Don't get:
Dragon (Reindeer), Red Coris, Paddlefin, Lunare, Sunset, Saddle, etc.

And for crying out loud... never buy a twin-spot wrasse. They're cute when they're small... but how many LFS's don't tell you they get 2-3 feet long in maturity!?!?!?!

1,608 Posts
With regards to the cleaner wrasses, I have had tremendous success now since I found a feeding regieme that seems to work for me, at least for the common cleaner wrasse.
I grind up beef heart in the blender till it's like baby food, and that gets the wrasses eating well. As they grow, I increase the size of the food and mix in other foods as well. If I don't sell them withing 8 months to a year, I can even get them eating spirulina flake food.
I used this prepared beef heart to feed to a Hawiian cleaner wrasse that an LFS brought in to sell, but it wouldn't even look at the beef heart, or any other food.
For sure, that's one cleaner wrasse I won't buy.
All the regular cleaner wrasses that I've purchased, eat beef heart with no exceptions.
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