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FAQs on Lined Wrasses, Genus Pseudocheilinus Compatibility

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

Wrasses are generally VERY compatible with larger fish tankmates. Cetoscarus bicolor

Diamond Goby 1st, Pair of O. Clowns 2nd, Sixline Wrasse <comp.> 3rd, Now What?! (Indeed) - 04/08/14
<<Hey Melissa!>>
I am wondering... I started my reef tank off with a diamond goby; a few months later added a pair of ocellaris clowns and have now added a six line wrasse. I am wondering if I have messed myself up by added the wrasse so soon??
<<Quite possibly…depending on your future piscine selections for this tank.>>
I have a 215g tank so I am hoping that the size will make up for such a rash decision to buy the little guy....
<<…Have seen them cause trouble in even larger systems.>>
Is it too late to add anything else?
<<Not “anything else,” no…but small fishes with similar body shape, habits, environment preferences et al will have a hard time of it…in my experience.>>
In the future my plan was to add a fairy or Christmas wrasse,
<<Likely an issue…>>
a couple pajama cardinals,
<<Probably fine…>>
a Firefish or gramma
(not sure which one or if they will be replaced with something else around the same size!), a mandarin goby,
<<A Dragonet, actually…and a hit-or-miss re the wrasse…feeding issues aside (do acquire a captive bred specimen). It likely will go ‘mostly unnoticed’ by the wrasse IME…but no guarantee>>
fox face, coral beauty angel, lemon peel angel, and/or a couple to a few tangs
<<All likely to co-exist fine with the Sixline>>
..... Not planning to add ALL of these, but this is what’s on my faves list. Open to suggestions on which ones to narrow it down to also!!
<<From your list…my preference would be the Foxface and one of the angels; likely the CB…though my fave for reef systems and “eye appeal” is the Flame (Centropyge loricula). If you still feel the “need” for a Tang then perhaps a Kole (Ctenochaetus strigosus) and/or the ubiquitous Yellow (Zebrasoma flavescens)…nothing getting too large.>>
Thank you so very much for your help in advance,
Melissa Nelson
<<Happy to share… Eric Russell>>
Re: Diamond Goby 1st, Pair of O. Clowns 2nd, Sixline Wrasse 3rd, Now What?! (Indeed) - 04/09/14

Thank you for responding!
<<Quite welcome>>
Does it matter how soon I add the smaller fish?
<<If the Sixline has been in the system more than a few days…is likely a moot point>>
I understand that if I wait an extended period of time the 6-line will become more comfortable, territorial and aggressive.
<<It likely already is all of these>>
So if I were to get the smaller fish added within the next few - 6 month period will that help?
<<Refer to my first comment>>
Also, what about Anthias?
<<A small group (5-7) of Anthias could do well here…though I would then limit adding any large and boisterous fishes if you should go this route. Do research/read up first>>
And are there any other small, medium, and large fish that you would recommend versus what I listed before?
<<Many possibilities (Cardinals, Wrasses, maybe even a Butterfly…more)…research and decide what you would like and then we can discuss>>
<<Welcome… Eric Russell>>

Mixing Halichoeres melanurus with Pseudocheilinus ocellatus in moderate confines     12/9/12
Hello again!
I contacted you guys awhile back when I had issues with a six line wrasse and wanted to substitute it with a melanurus wrasse.
<A much easier-going genus of Labrids>

 I have since done so and fallen in love with him (despite not being so kind to my clean up crew). The other day I saw my first Mystery Wrasse in person (I'm sure you can see where this is going) and wanted to know if mixing the two is feasible?
<Mmm, well, better than the Sixline, but still not easy... unless the system is very large; which yours isn't>
 I've rotated out a lot of stock with fellow reefers as issues arose but would rather not risk something foolish at the price of a mystery wrasse.
Plus, if I actually had to choose between the two it would be a difficult choice. I'd rather not put myself in that position either. Also, what kind of clean up crew do you think best works with a resident melanurus? All pertinent information to follow:
Tank: 60"X 22"X 20"
Current inhabitants:
1 yellow tang
1 O. clownfish
1 Flame Angel
1 Longnose Hawk
1 yellow tail damsel
1 beautiful melanurus
Hopefully I am not committing the crime of overstocking either!
<I'd not try another Pseudocheilinus here. Bob Fenner>

Fish Compatibility Question – 10/09/12
Hello Crew,
About 3 months ago I had to remove my established 6 line wrasse from my 55 gallon FOWLR tank because it was attacking 2 new ocellaris clownfish I added to the tank.
<<Not unusual…can be (is!) quite the nasty little fish>>

The wrasse is in my 10 gallon QT and I found a fish store that would take it and credit the money towards buying another fish.
In addition to the 2 ocellaris tank raised clownfish I have a yellow tang.
<<Mmm…this size tank is a “bit tight” for the Tang…do see WWM re>>
They get along very well with no issues. I was researching fish and I was thinking of adding either a Royal Gramma or a Red Flame Hawkfish. Do you have a recommendation on which of the 2 fish would be a better fit for my tank? After this addition I won't add any more new fish.
<<Depends much on the now-established Clowns, but either will likely work out… The Hawk will better handle any aggression from the Clowns (is likely at first), though the Basslet should fare okay too in my opinion, if given sufficient escape routes and hiding places to give it time to settle in. In this instance, I say pick the one you like best>>
<<Happy to share… EricR>>

Wrasse attacking clowns    8/15/12
Hi crew,
I have a 55 gallon FOWLR tank. A yellow tang and a 6 line wrasse have peacefully coexisted for about 1-2 years.
I finally added a couple of tank raised ocellaris clownfish (after their 30 day QT).
Much to my surprise my 6 line wrasse is periodically attacking my new clowns.   They are slightly smaller than the wrasse now but not by much.
<... see WWM re this Pseudocheilinus species... very common>
I didn't think wrasses were so territorial.
How can I stop this behavior by the wrasse?
<Not likely; no>
<Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Re: Flame and Coral Beauty, now...     3/24/12
First off, I really appreciate the advice and all you do. That little experiment did not end well... I decided not to add the Flame with my Coral Beauty. I have heard/read far to many horror stories to be gutsy enough to try that one. I did however have the nerve to add an orchid Dottyback.
Needless to say the Sixline wrasse did not like his new tank mate
. In an act of divine intervention, I managed to capture the wrasse and remove him from the display tank. I thought the space may have been enough but... as usual the personality of the fish is entirely unpredictable. As a result, I am in search of another, milder wrasse. I was thinking maybe a Hoeven's Wrasse (Halichoeres Melanurus). What is your opinion on this fishes hardiness and compatibility with the other tank mates?  <A beautiful fish.  Keep in mind that they can be predatory towards  your snails, crabs, and other types of invertebrate such as tube worms. Have you considered the Flasher or fairy types of wrasses from the Cirrhilabrus or Paracheilinus Genus? In either case, be wary of the Dottyback.  You may have traded one terror in the six line for another in the Dottyback>
 Tank recap:
110 gallon display tank (60" X 22" X 20")
1 Coral Beauty, 1 Yellowtail Damsel, 1 Longnose Hawkfish, 1 Ocellaris Clown, 1 Yellow Tang and now 1 Orchid Dottyback  I also have electric blue, Halloween and scarlet reef hermits in addition to large turbo snails and a couple colonies of Pulsing Xenia. The Wrasse would be my last addition.
 Thanks in advance!  <You are welcome>

compatibility of Sixline and trigger    3/23/12
Afternoon my ever-insightful friends!
<And a good afternoon to you!>
I have read  a good deal on your pages but can't find an answer to  my specific question.  I am upgrading my current 30 gallon FOWLR to a 75 gallon reef.  I currently have a Sixline wrasse, various inverts, cleaners and live rock.
Background:  The wrasse had previously tormented one clownfish to death and the other jumped out of the tank to his demise after being chased into an upper corner for weeks.<Sixlines tend to have a Napoleon Complex.>  He is well fed but clearly extremely territorial in the 30 gallon environment.<To be expected.>   My dilemma is how it may react to future tank mates in the larger reef tank?<They can be quite territorial but a 75 should provide enough room for all. I would add the wrasse last though.>  I am very interested in introducing a Clarkii clownfish pair,  and a Kole tang.  My plan would be to add the wrasse last in hopes that with the larger area, more rock work and existence of other fish he will cool his jets but am weary.<Good idea.>  My brother has a 150 gallon containing a Niger Trigger and a Beau Gregory that could possibly (hopefully) be a new home for the wrasse.<Temperament wise, it should work.>  Would you advise this?<The trigger may see the wrasse as a snack depending on the size difference. Stegastes sp. are feisty little buggers themselves and may bully the wrasse but a 150 should provide enough territory for all three.>
thanks for your help!
<Quite welcome.>

Keeping 2 mystery wrasses in a large aquarium    2/22/12
Hello my fish friends. I have an unruly Mystery Wrasse I need to move. I was wondering if you think I could put him in a lightly stocked 250 gallon former reef tank, with 250 pounds of live rock (to hide in), now a FOWLR, that has a larger, established Mystery Wrasse already there. My only other options are to put him in a 400 gallon aggressive tank, or a 75 gallon, that already has a 6 line, and a Masuda Hogfish. I appreciate any advice you can give me. I have him in a holding tank for the time being.
<Likely the 400 is your best bet; as long as there are no organisms there that can/will outright eat the Mystery Wrasse. IF you try the 250, be ready to dismantle the decor, drain the water down to remove one of them. Bob Fenner>
Re: Keeping 2 mystery wrasses in a large aquarium
Thank you, as always Mister Fenner, for your timely advice. My only true option was the 250. I placed the Mystery Wrasse in there, and it immediately began swimming side by side with the resident Mystery Wrasse, and hanging out with it.! They appear to be acting like a 'pair', as I have observed in the past with male and female wrasses.
<Great news!>
I will keep an eye on them, but as of now, none of the other multiple, assorted (peaceful) wrasses, nor the French Angelfish, or large Purple Tang, in the tank, are bothering him either. I just fed Mysis and Spectrum Pellet, witnessing no aggression, with the new Mystery Wrasse, eating right in the mix, with it's new tank mates. Have a wonderful day Mister Fenner.
<And you John. Thank you for this follow-up. BobF>

Advice needed, Wrasse/Pseudochromis Compatibility, 6/21/11
Dear crew
I have an 80 G reef tank that have a fish population that amongst others include a Six line wrasse and an Orchid Dottyback. I have had the wrasse for two years and the Dottyback for three years. The Six Line is often chasing the Dottyback ( The Dottyback has even lost an eye a few months back) but it is a tough fish and seems healthy and active. They can some times swim close to each other without anything happens.
<Things are probably happening, just not perceivable to us.>
And at other times it´s a war. Two days ago the Six line disappeared, and I couldn't find it anywhere, until today where I found it in my sump. So the question is this: is there any chance that when it (if it) returns to the tank it will behave any better or is that totally out of the question?
<Highly unlikely much will change here.>
I really like it but at the same time I really like the fridmani to.
<These fish will need to be separated, most likely the Pseudochromis since the gramma may be giving it a rough go too.>
So should I return to a LFS or give it another go.
<I would separate these fish.>
And if not, are there any other fish you could recommend instead of the Six Line that will be more suitable to be with the Fridmani?
<If the fridmani is getting bullied, which is generally the bully and not the victim, chances are the wrasse will pick a new target once the Dottyback is gone.>
The other fish in the tank is as follows: 1 Yellow Tang, 2 Chromis viridis, 1 Bicolor Blenny, 1 Royal Gramma, 1 Rusty Angel, 1 Banggai Cardinal, 2 Clownfish(Ocellaris) The fish have been in my tank for at least 2 years ( The Yellow Tang more than 4 years)
Thanks in advance
<Six-line wrasses can be very aggressive, as can the Dottybacks, these fish should be separated.>
Re: Advice needed, Wrasse/Pseudochromis Compatibility, 6/21/11
Hi Chris (Or Whoever may answer this)
<Hello again.>
I have decided to remove the Six Line (Even though it pains me)
<Probably for the best.>
Thanks for the advice
P.S Concerning the Dottyback/Royal Gramma issue I have never witnessed any trouble with these two fish. They occupy different parts of the tank.
<Hopefully this continues, will be interesting to see how things go once the current bully is removed.>
Re: Advice needed, Wrasse/Pseudochromis Compatibility, 6/22/11

Hi Crew (Chris)
Thanks for your reply
The Fridmani and the Gramma where together in the tank ( for about 6 months) before I introduced the Six Line. And there were no problems between them during that time.
<Good, hopefully this continues.>
Do you have any suggestions for a replacement for the Six Line that will be more appropriate with my current fish population?
<So many possibilities, depends on what you like.>

4/ 12 LINE WRASSE 1/13/11
Hello and thank you for the help.
I have a 125 gallon Flower <FOWLR likely> tank with a few cleaner shrimp and Blue Leg Hermit crabs along with other fish.. no need to mention as they are not part of the question. I would like to add a 4 line wrasse to the tank. I am not really afraid of the cleaner shrimp getting eaten because of the size they are compared to the fish, but I have some concern for the blue legs getting eaten, Does the 2 line
leave hermits a lone or well he eat them?
<All Pseudocheilinus species may go after Hermits>
I would hate to lose my little cleaner hermits that keep hair algae completely at bay. What would you say are the chances of success for getting one and leaving the hermits alone and do you normally hear of
people keeping them together without a problem?
<About half and half>
Thank you for your time
Learned here that Refugiums are the real way to go reef or just fish tanks... would adding a second one have better results with different macro algae or overkill? First Refugium is 50 gallons
<More the merrier!>
Paul (Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a Wet Web Junkie :) )
<BobF, San Diego, me too>

Trio of Sixstripe Wrasses? -- 01/08/11
I just introduced a trio of small Sixstripe Wrasses (P. hexataenia) into my 45 gallon tank.
<<Mmm'¦trouble ahead I feel>>
I am re-stocking so it's just them, a small tiger blenny (E. tigris) and a lot of invertebrates (hermits, worms, shrimps, etc) in the live rock and coral. I couldn't find much information about keeping groups of this wrasse species together.
<<Not generally done, especially in a system as small as yours. In my experience this feisty little wrasse barely tolerates fishes from other genera, with similar size/shape/habits -- much less 'conspecifics.'>>
Are they likely to kill each other, or just pester each other enough to keep busy so they don't bother other inhabitants?
<<If they don't do physical damage to kill each other outright, the dominate individual will likely kill through 'stress induced' complaints>>
It's Day 1, and they're still schooling peacefully together.
<<These are probably juvenile specimens, and like you stated, new to the system'¦for now. A much larger tank (10x what you have) 'might' have a chance with three of these little terrors, but even then I would be skeptical (have seen them wreak havoc in 300g+ systems). I truly do believe you are headed for trouble here with this trio of fish>>
My next planned addition is a Butterflyfish (still debating the best type) which I hope will be large enough to avoid harassment by the wrasses.
<<Your system really isn't big enough for a Butterflyfish in my opinion. But do please read here and among the associated links at the top of the page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm >>
I usually wait about a month between adding new fish, but in this case should I perhaps push and introduce the Butterflyfish before the wrasses become too established?
<<I think you would be best removing for now and adding P. hexataenia 'last' -- and then, only a single individual>>
Appreciate your thoughts.
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

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

Six Line Wrasse Eating Frogspawn? 9/21/10
<Hello Ivan and Carolyne>
We seem to have a problem that we can't find a solution anywhere! We looked all over your website and the interwebs, but nothing so far! Hope you could help. We have in our 65G tank a Six-Line Wrasse. Recently, we decided to start introducing some corals to the tank. The system has now a small Torch Coral, a Candy Cane frag, a small Brain and a "medium-large" Frogspawn. We bought the Frogspawn last weekend, and since then, it seems to have lost some feathers to the benefit of the Wrasse. We saw him picking at the coral today and seemingly getting fat! We isolated the coral, but we're not very willing to keep it that way forever! Do you have a suggestion (other than renaming him Steevie Coral Poker from Steevie Wonder), and have you ever heard of a Lined Wrasse eating a coral??
<Is more likely that the Six Line Wrasse is searching amongst the coral for live foods in the form
of small crustaceans (pods), snails, and worms. It's picking may be causing the damage to your coral, but very unlikely is actually eating it.
Once the food supply residing in the coral is gone, this eating behavior should subside. I might further add that these guys tend to eat as much as they can, as often as they can. >
Thanks a lot for you help!!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Ivan and Carolyne
PS: He hasn't eaten ANY of the other corals and isn't an aggressive fella overall. not attacking shrimps or anything.

Mystery Wrasse and Scotts Fairy Wrasse -- 09/09/10
I am stocking a 180 gallon mixed reef and am wondering if I will be able to keep a Cook Islands Scotts Fairy Wrasse with a Mystery Wrasse?
<Should be fine... though, having more than one (male with some number of females) Cirrhilabrus is a very good idea, rather than a sole (likely male)>
Would I be better off adding them both at the same time, or adding the Fairy Wrasse first since the Mystery seems to be labeled as more aggressive?
<Not much diff. either way... this species of Pseudocheilinus is not "that" aggressive generally>
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Six Line Wrasse/Compatibility 3/2/10
<Hello Adam>
I have a well established (running 2 1/2 years) 72 gallon bow front. I currently have a Yellow Tang, Orchid Dottyback, Flame Angel, Chromis and clownfish along with a Fire Shrimp and two cleaner shrimp. I was thinking
about adding a Six-Line Wrasse to my tank and found differing information on whether they would eat my shrimp. Do you feel the wrasse would be compatible with my system?
<Well, they are not entirely reef safe. They will search for live foods in the form of small crustaceans such as Pyramidellid snails (clam parasites), urchins, and commensal flatworms. They are also known to feed on unwanted pests on live rock, such as bristleworms, but your shrimp should be safe with this wrasse.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Pseudocheilinus evanidus, the Pin-Striped or Striated Wrasse sys. & Tridacnid comp.    2/26/10
Dear Bob,
Does Pseudocheilinus evanidus, the Pin-Striped or Striated Wrasse eat Tridacna clam?
<Mmm, is possible>
Is it wise idea to put them together in a 30 gallon tank?
<I would not... the "Disappearing Wrasse" is far too skittish to be kept happily in such a small volume>
I really want to be careful with my clam because a Tridacna clam is rare.
It is because it's illegal in Indonesia to sell it.
<? Really? A restricted species?>
Thank you for your information and attention.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Harlequin Tusk/Compatibility 2/18/10
Just wanted to get your opinions on adding an Aussie tusk to my system.
I have a standard 120g (4x2) thriving mixed reef (SPS, LPS, BTA) reef which is well established and mature. Current fish are Regal Tang (4"), Copperband Butterfly (4"), pair of Ocellaris clowns, and Yellow Watchman Goby (3"). I also have some enormous turbo snails (2-3"), a few hermits, emerald crabs, and a cleaner shrimp. I realize the shrimp and snails might become expensive snacks, but my main concern is compatibility with the Copperband ( a thriving specimen who consumes PE Mysis with gusto, and my favorite fish).
<The Harlequin Tuskfish (Choerodon fasciatus) is moderately aggressive and would not be a good choice mixing with some of your fish inhabitants. As an aside, your tank size is a little on the small side for keeping this fish long term as they can grow near 10" in length.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Harlequin Tuskfish/Compatibility 2/18/10

That is kind of what I was worried about as well. How about a Mystery Wrasse? Think that could fit in with my current crew.
<Should not be a problem keeping in mind that mature Mystery Wrasses may take a liking to ornamental shrimp, and not to be pals with. I might add a rather pricey fish also.
James (Salty Dog)>

Wrasse Compatibility 10/15/09
Hey guys!
I have a 75 gallon reef (about 80 pounds of LR) with assorted corals, snails, crabs, and shrimp. There are currently 4 fish in the tank...pink skunk clown, yellow watchman goby, possum wrasse, and a mystery wrasse.
The goby and possum wrasse were the first two fish, followed by the mystery wrasse. When I added the pink skunk a few weeks later, the mystery wrasse gave her a pretty rough time. Basically he kept her confined to one of the upper corners of the tank for a few days and attacked her if she tried to stray. I finally came home to a mystery wrasse with a torn up tail fin.
Although I haven't seen any more attacks, the mystery wrasse still postures a lot with her, and she still stays on the side of the tank that her "prison corner" was in.
<Even though you are not seeing any fighting, they can still be causing stress to one another, how would you feel living in a bedroom with a bully.>
The mystery wrasse has never looked twice at the possum wrasse, but seemed to be intimidating the yellow watchman the other day.
<That is a good thing, I wouldn't have mixed the two wrasses to begin with, but if they are getting along fine. Please understand that in a 75G tank,
the mystery wrasse probably will continue to be "in charge" of the tank.>
I'm ready to get a new fish or two, but I'm worried about aggression. I'd love to have a Sixline wrasse
<To: Carter, please no more wrasses. From: your other fish.>
and a yellow tail damsel, but wouldn't they fight with the mystery wrasse and pink skunk respectively?
<Eek, I would likely avoid the yellow tail damsel too, he's another tough guy, you have enough of those in the tank.>
I'd like to have an orchid Dottyback too,
<Nooo, please don't. Think about perhaps a royal gramma or something less aggressive, the Dottybacks are notoriously aggressive fish.>
but I fear it may be too similar to the mystery wrasse and I don't want to put anything in there that might be rough for the possum wrasse.
<I would avoid these additions you are considering.>
Any light that you would like to shed on the situation would be greatly appreciated!
<Carter, if you are really set on adding more fish to the tank, I would one of two things, the first option is to remove the mystery wrasse. The second option is to go with fish that occupy a completely different niche than the fish that are currently contained in you tank, perhaps some cardinals, no more wrasses.>
<Good luck,
Josh Solomon.>

Two Questions (Reef Compatibility/Lighting Suitability) -- 07/13/09
Hi guys,
I have two different problems.
First: Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus). Is it going to work in reef tank?
<<Depends'¦but generally, yes, they do fine with most other 'reef' inhabitants. Though like most any other wrasse, they can pose a threat to small crustaceans>>
I was about to buy that fish but seller warned me that it will go eventually after my shrimps (2 medium cleaner and blood shrimp and couple wurdemanni).
<<If the shrimp are very small, and the wrasse is mature/large'¦this is a possibility>>
So I backed off, but still can't get that fish out of head, beautiful
<<Ah, yes indeed>>
and very good priced. Any suggestions? Tank is 100gal, not overcrowded.
<<It is a gamble'¦and 'you' have to decide if it is 'worth it.' Personally, I would give the wrasse a go>>
Second: I have PC lightning over my 100g reef, 4x96watts. Two daylight and two actinic bulbs. Because it's soon time to change bulbs I was thinking about making it more blue, so it would be 2xactinic and 2x50/50bulbs. I know corals need more daylight, but since that tank is shallow (20inch), and I keep only LPSs (I can put them higher) and Zoas it might work. Or not? What do you guys think about more blue light in this case?
<<Well, I've seen some pretty 'blue' tanks before'¦ I think this is a bit much in this case but, if you are keeping deep/deeper water species it will probably be fine. At any rate'¦you can always keep an eye on your livestock and switch to more 'daylight spectrum' bulbs if anything looks to be suffering under all that blue light>>
Daniel P
<<Cheers, EricR>>

Leopard Wrasse, Pseudocheilinus incomp.  -- 04/12/09
We have an established reef tank, approximately 2 years old. We have a small six line wrasse in there... he is about 1.5 inches. He picks on nothing. Today we put a leopard wrasse in and he couldn't leave the poor
thing alone.
<Not atypical behavior... Unless you have a large system... more than a hundred gallons... you may have to separate them>
The leopard has now buried itself. Should we put the six line wrasse in another tank before the leopard decides to come back out or do you think the six line will just leave him be? I don't want the leopard
wrasse to get hurt. Thanks!
<See above... and WWM re Lined Wrasse Compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Six Line Wrasse and Inverts 08/04/2008 Hi guys. <<And gals I hope.. Andrew with you today>> Hopefully a quick and easy one for you: I am in the process of switching my current 30 gal FOWLR to a 55 gal. I currently have one six line wrasse and a clownfish - have had these for 8 months but would like to add a few more fish, possibly a dwarf angel, hence the upgrade. Water parameters are great, however algae is starting to become an issue and I have read numerous posts and advice columns about wrasse comp ability with snails and crabs. Some say they will eat hermit crabs and snails, some say they are safe. I would assume shrimp and possibly smaller crabs and snails would be lunch but would like some advice on whether I should pursue snails and hermits and what types would be safe, or does it just depend on the personality of the fish, i.e, how aggressive they are? I do have some pyramid snails which have not been eaten. any help would be appreciated. thank you so much! <<A 6 lined does certainly pose a potential thread to mainly shrimp, any size, and some crabs. The warning is there, so to speak, by their reputation. Please do read more here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudocheilinus.htm >> Melissa L. Hetzer <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

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

Six Line Wrasse Disappeared  5/29/08 I have a 29 gallon BioCube with 30 lbs of live rock, 20 lbs live sand assorted inverts including 6 hermit crabs, two turbo snails, two Nassarius snails, one green emerald crab, one strawberry emerald crab, one serpent starfish and assorted corals. The only fish I had in the tank was a six lined wrasse. He was very healthy, eating well and then he just disappeared. I am at a loss to explain what happened to him and have yet to find a corpse. <Mmmm> Is it possible that either the starfish or one of the emerald crabs got a hold of him while he was sleeping and ate him? <Oh yes> The green emerald crab has gotten fairly large, about 3" across from leg to leg. I have heard that wrasse can hide for several days at a time. Is it possible that he is just hiding? <Mmm, yes> I saw him yesterday before the lights went out, but today he is no where to be found. Do you have any ideas what may have happened? I also checked the chambers in the back of the tank and the floor around the tank. Its a real mystery! Thanks for any help you can give. <My first bet is on one/both of the Mithrax/Mithraculus... next the Ophiuroid... but could have jumped, be hiding... Please read on WWM re these crabs. Bob Fenner>

Re: Six Line Wrasse Disappeared 5/29/08 Thanks so much, I'll do that. I want to solve the mystery before I put anymore fish in. <Ah good... thank you for sharing, writing so well. BobF> Clownfish - possible fungus, Lined Wrasse comp.  5/1/08 Hello! I have a fairly new 29 gal FOWLR tank (4 weeks). Water parameters are great. I incorporated a small Ocellaris clown initially, then two weeks later a 6 line wrasse. I noticed almost immediately after I got the clownfish some white spots on his fin. Could have been there when I got him but it was hardly noticeable. Originally I thought it was a stress-induced secondary infection, or perhaps that he had been picked on in the LFS tank. Upon closer inspection, the bottom of the fin is feathered and ragged and there are some white, almost fuzzy areas. There has been little change over the past 4 weeks but it definitely isn't going away... maybe getting a tad worse. The fish seems totally healthy otherwise, eats, swims, sleeps normally and is energetic. I wondered if the wrasse was harassing it <Could well be... in such a small volume... this species can be a terror> however I have never noticed that type of behavior. I thought of treating with some MelaFix <Worse than worthless... may well upset the cycling of the system, alter pH... of no medicine value> but I am afraid of harming my beneficial bacterial. <You are wise here> Any suggestions? <Patience, observation... possibly the removal of the Wrasse. Bob Fenner> Melissa L. Hetzer

Blenny/ Wrasse Question... comp.  04/15/2008 Hi there! <<Hello, Andrew today>> My question is in regards to possible aggression between my bicolor blenny and Sixline wrasse. I have a 20g tank, all water parameters are good. They are the only fish in the tank. The blenny has been in there a while and had no issues. We went and purchased a Sixline from the LFS after researching various sites that said they were compatible. They have been together for about a month and the blenny has been increasing gilling more heavily and this morning is trying to hide under a rock to get away from the wrasse. <<I can quite understand this behaviour with a 6 lined wrasse in these confines>> I noticed the blenny has some flaking of his scales near his head and the wrasse came by and looked to be picking at him. The blenny has been fine until probably this last week and his color has been much paler than usual. The LFS said they would trade out the Sixline so that might be my option. Any insight you can give would be great. Thanks. <<Robin, i would certainly separate these two fish. The 6 line wrasse is an ok fish in larger confines, 50-60gals plus. I would trade the 6 line for maybe a shrimp goby / clown goby or if you have a good lid, a Firefish>> Robin <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Sociable Sixline Wrasses? (Compatibility Query) -- 03/22/08 Dear WWM crew. <Hey there! Scott F. in today!> I was wondering if you can keep two Sixline Wrasses together. Most people say you can't but the two I see are in the same tank and are inseparable. They wont leave each others side. <This is no as simple a question as you might think. I have a lot of personal experience with the genus Pseudocheilinus, and this species in particular, so I will offer comments based on what worked for me. Your results may vary! Although many wrasses are social animals, found in groups or "harems", these fishes in the wild are found in somewhat "looser" aggregations, spread out over sections of reef. This may be several square feet or event several dozen square feet. These are typically rather secretive fishes, that spend a lot of time swimming among coral branches and crevices in the reef structure. What this all means is that these guys are less likely to interact or get along with others of the same species in a more cramped captive setting. Sure, it is possible that you can keep more than one in an aquarium, but there are absolutely no guarantees of compatibility. I have personally kept a group of three in a 72"x30"x24" 225 gallon "rubble zone" biotope without problems. They were all added at the same time, and were approximately the same size.> I bought one and he looks lonely and the one at the pet store looks sad too. <Hmm...I understand that we all like to ascribe human personality attributes to fishes, but I will bet you that he's not really all that sad and lonely. As mentioned above, these fishes are not found in the wild in tight social groups, and they tend to be relatively shy. You're probably witnessing a perfectly normal behavioral pattern for this fish.> All of my local fish stores have tons together in big tanks and they don't bother each other. They are actually great friends. <Two thoughts on this. First, you mentioned "big tanks". That's really important! If the species is typically found in loose aggregations over the reef, they might do well in a large (as in several feet long) aquarium with lots of rockwork. I believe that this was instrumental in my success in keeping several together. My other thought is that you could have been witnessing a pair at your dealer, although I have no scientific facts to back up my assumption. To be honest, I'm not 100% certain how pair bonding works in the genus Pseudocheilinus (the genus to which the Sixline belongs), or if it even readily occurs, so I can only offer that as a theory.> Today, I wanted to go and buy the one that mine was with. Is this possible? <If you have the cash, it is! Seriously, if you really believe that they will do better together, I encourage you to try. Keep in mind that animals do not always comply with our expectations, so there could even be some conflict. Be prepared to intervene if there is any violence. With experimentation comes the responsibility to provide the best care possible for all of our animals, as you are no doubt aware, so keep this in mind should you try.> I have a 36 gallon and in a month it will be a 90 gallon reef. thanks <Oh. Well, that's a fairly small aquarium for more than one of these fishes, in my opinion! Could be asking for trouble. However, if you believe in your theory, proceed with extreme caution. If it were me, I'd purchase the other one and while it's in quarantine (about 3-4 weeks-you do quarantine new arrivals, right?), you can set up that 90 gallon system, and add both of your wrasses at the same time! Hope you follow this path, I think that it will give the fish the best chance for success. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Can I Put These Two Wrasse Together? -- 02/21/08 I have a Coris Wrasse and I want to add a Sixline wrasse. Can they go together in the same aquarium? Thank you, Renee <<Mmm, there are a couple dozen or so species of 'Coris' Wrasse'¦but generally speaking, yes, I think these two fishes could be kept together for a time given a large enough system to begin with for the Coris'¦and/or until the former grows large enough to eat the latter. Regards, EricR>>

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

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

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

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

wrasse question... Lined comp., Flashers sel.  -- 1/26/08 Hello Bob and Crew, A quick thank you for helping me so much with this hobby. Your site and books are invaluable. I have a 125g reef tank with 100 pounds of live rock, 130 pounds of live sand and miscellaneous corals. My question is, with a six line wrasse in the tank, could I add 1 male flasher wrasse and two females without the six line attacking them? <Likely so here in this volume, shape system> I've read that flashers get along with other wrasse and that you need a few females in order for the male to flash. <This is so... and possibly another male> I'm just uncertain about how the six line will behave. <Lined wrasses can indeed be "bullies", but you very likely have enough room here...> There are lots of hiding places and space in the tank as I hardly have much livestock to speak of. Thanks! Just incase you were wondering 3 chromis 1 scribbled rabbitfish 1 six line wrasse 2 pajama cardinals 1 juvenile orange shoulder tang <Interesting... will be the alpha animal here in time> 1 juvenile hippo tang 2 skunk cleaner shrimp basic small clean up crew, snails, crabs, etc. thank you, Alan
<Bob Fenner>

Wrasse Behavior Hello WWW Crew Member! Thanks for you insight on this one. <Okay> I am pretty familiar with the habits and care of the Six-line Wrasse, Pseudocheilinus hexataenia. However, are they known for doing a 'disappearing act?' <Ah, yes... temporarily or permanently... as in jumping out> This particular one is smaller, probably not quite 2 inches. His tankmates are a Foxface Rabbitfish, Tomato Clown, Azure Damsel, Royal Gramma and a Falco's Hawk. This group has lived peacefully together for about 3 months. The wrasse usually hides out in LR more than his mates but over the past couple of days, I've only spotted him twice -- once swimming freely, the other time wedge in a crevice. This is the first instance of this behavior. I am concerned because I have lost 2 of this species in similar fashion'¦.they become reclusive, never to reappear. David A. Bell <Maybe you have a predator here... Perhaps the Hawk or Clown. BTW, am glad you've written... I'd like to send you here: http://saltaquarium.about.com/od/marinelifeprofiles/ re the need for better marine livestock selection articles format/input... Particularly reef groups. Bob Fenner>

Re: Wrasse Behavior Thanks, Bob. - Will read the link info. I know the Wrasse did not jump - I'm sealed tight; no floor nuggets - but rather believe harassment. David A. Bell <Could well be... the A. frenatus likely, but the Gramma, Hawk... are candidates as well. BobF>

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.>

Six-line bullying anemone?!?! Little Hippolytid food item needs temp. protection   7/8/07 Hello to you! <And you> A bit of background: we have a six-line wrasse that has been in our 125 G tank for many months now, and a recently acquired bubble-tip anemone that has been with us for just over a week now, in the hopes that a pair of little Ocellaris clowns (currently in the QT tank) will take to it later. Unknown to us, a "sexy dancing shrimp" (that's what they're called in our LFS, anyway...) <Mmm, it their name if this is Thor amboinensis: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hippolytidae.htm> hitched a ride in the anemone at the LFS and continues to make its home in the anemone even now. <Is what they do... among other things, for needed protection> OK, on with the problem... As strange as this might sound, our six-line seems to be "bullying" the anemone. <Not strange... this species can be particularly pugnacious...> The six-line's behavior is so odd! For the last couple of days, he has been swimming around the anemone constantly; to the point that the anemone is frequently "shrunken" in the same way it is when it's expelling waste after eating. During the night, because the six-line is sleeping, the anemone gets some peace and swells back to its normal size; in the morning, it looks great...until the six-line starts in on it again for the day, that is! This can't be good for the poor anemone! <... or the Shrimp... which is HIGHLY likely what the Wrasse is after> My husband and I are wondering if the bullying revolves around the "sexy dancing shrimp," that lives in the anemone, in that maybe the six-line is trying to get at the tiny shrimp to EAT it, and the anemone is simply in the way. <Yes> Perhaps you have another, more possible explanation. Have you ever heard of such a thing happening, and do you have any ideas on how we can make life more enjoyable for the anemone again? <Yes... do place a structure over the anemone for now... that will allow circulation, light to get through (If the anemone is small perhaps a "strawberry basket" inverted... but something chemically inert) to separate/exclude the Wrasse for now... When you introduce the Clowns... this is going to sound a bit weird... do place a "clown shaped" algae clip (see your LFS re...) stuck to the tank inside near the anemone... this will hopefully prompt/stir your Clowns into more soon/readily associating with the Anemone... a useful technique, particularly w/ tank-bred/raised Clowns that often have little "clue" as to what an Anemone is. The Clowns will patrol, stave off the Wrasse> We don't want it to be so clearly distressed! It is a beautiful addition to our tank! Thank you so much in advance for your help and advice! We did already look on WWM and were unable to find anything related in the FAQ's or the articles. Have a great day! Beth <Thank you my friend. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Which Fishes To Go With My Sixline Wrasse In A 40-Gallon Reef?...Not Many -- 06/12/07 Dear Crew, <<Hello Eric>> I'm currently in the process of putting together a 40-gallon Breeder reef tank, with a 20-gallon long for a sump. At this point, I have a 20-gallon tall tank with just two fish: a six-line wrasse and an ocellaris clownfish. <<Mmm, yes...time for a larger system>> I'd love to add a couple of additional specimens to my larger tank and have my eye on a few different wrasses. <<Will be a problem...with the Pseudocheilinus>> I love flasher wrasses, and particularly the McCosker's and Blue Flasher Fairy wrasses. <<Indeed...wonderful little fishes>> I also love the Canary wrasse. << Halichoeres chrysus? A wonderful aquarium species...but needs a bigger tank than this>> Would any of these species be able to cohabitate with my six-line in the 40-gallon tank? <<The Canary Wrasse would likely be able to 'cohabitate' with the Sixline, but needs a larger system as stated. As for the Fairy or Flasher Wrasses, it is VERY likely they will be killed by the Sixline...I have seen this first-hand. Pseudocheilinus species are very territorial and very aggressive toward smaller tankmates...quite nasty little fishes really>> Or would quarters be a bit cramped for more than one wrasse? <<The 40g breeder is really too small to try to mix other wrasse species with the Sixline. You might try a pugnacious Cardinal such as the Banggai, being sure to place this in the new tank ahead of the Wrasse and Clownfish>> My current plans include introducing a firefish into this tank, as I really do love them. <<Mmm, another poor choice to go with the Sixline and the Clownfish. These sweet-tempered (conspecifics aside) and bashful fishes do very poorly in tanks with boisterous and/or aggressive tankmates. They will succumb to stress...or often slowly starve to death from being too 'frightened' to feed properly>> If none of these species would mix well with my six-line wrasse and/or my clownfish, what other species would you recommend that could add some color to my tank without stirring up trouble? <<As stated, possibly a Cardinal or two...that Sixline really limits your options, in my opinion>> I've looked into a yellow-headed goby, but am not interested in maintaining a deep sand bed in my display tank. <<Do best in a species specific system>> And I understand that blennies tend to nip at corals. <<Many do, yes>> Thanks so much for your help, in advance! Regards, Eric <<Mmm, don't know that I've done much other than pooh-pooh your fish choices here. If the Sixline and the Clownfish are important to you then I don't see many options. If they are not, then consider trading them in for store credit and research some small 'community' fishes to occupy this small reef system. A handful (5) of Longspine Cardinals (Apogon leptacanthus) would look dandy in a small, well-kept reef such as you plan. Eric Russell>>

Wrasse eating an abalone?   4/1/07 Just a short question today guys. I have recently purchased a lone 3 cm 6-lined wrasse for my 10 gallon tank. I was wondering if this fish would pose a problem to my hitch-hiking abalone (1cm Radius). Thanks <With this size ratio of the wrasse to abalone, it unlikely he will be able to consume the animal right "now." However as he matures and grows, and he will grow quickly at this size...the abalone will be fair game as will any other smaller invertebrate life like amphipods...it's only a matter of time. **AJ**> My not-so-reef safe Mystery Wrasse   3/14/07 Hi Guys, Great web site thanks! I have more of a comment than a question. I have a large adult mystery wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus) in my reef tank that I've had for the past 2 years or so. He started out small and timid but now certainly isn't either. He's a great fish though certainly not reef safe as an adult. <Mmm, have seen a few specimens in nice reef settings... the first, years back at Mike Paletta's in PA... but... "one can never be sure"> I have him in there with a yellow tang, copper banded butterfly (to control the Aiptasia), and a couple green Chromis. When he was immature he was fine. Now he eats any and all clean up crew including any shrimp (forget peppermint shrimp he can eat a dozen in an hour), crabs including hermit crabs, and snails. Last week he even decided to devour my 6-inch derasa clam (once he got going he got some help...).  He's a pig and is more like a harlequin wrasse in his eating habits. <Yikes!> He's still a great fish but just wanted to warn everyone. He's peaceful and basically friendly to the tankmates. He does leave the corals alone. But once these guys grow up they get hungry! Regards, Kris Hublitz <Thank you for this input... reminder. There is no life in the sea that is absolutely "reef safe" as a species, but more importantly as individuals... Some do "cross over" the line more readily than others... Bob Fenner>

Re: My not-so-reef safe Mystery Wrasse   3/14/07 Hi Bob, Thanks for the response. I've had him for 2 years now and he's a pet... OK an expensive pet with expensive eating habits... But still a pet. He stays its his home. <Yes> And he's very healthy and looks great too. Thanks for getting back to me. <Welcome> I had an idea for this tank. I'm in the process of setting up a much larger reef tank now (700 gal w/ 1000 lbs live rock). <Now that's a tank!> I'm thinking of using this older tank with my coral "cleanup crew" of my hungry mystery wrasse, yellow tang, and copper band butterfly as a coral quarantine tank. Is this a good idea? <Mmm, yes> If so, how long should I hold corals in here before moving each piece into the new tank? <A month or so> And if I do have a problem piece of coral, how long should I leave this tank empty of corals before I can assume its clean again? <A month or so...> This is a really stable tank now with healthy live rock so I certainly wouldn't want to break it down. Oh and once again your site is great! I absolutely appreciate all the helpful information and would certainly be much the worse without it! Regards, Kris <Glad to help! BobF> Fish compatibility family Labridae  12/23/06 Crew, <Bryan> From what I have researched, I have found nothing negative about the compatibility of a Sixline Wrasse and a Twospot Hogfish.  However if the hogfish is part of the wrasse family, could there be an issue here if the two were in the same tank?   <These two specimens both of the family Labridae should be able to be housed in the same aquarium if not overcrowded.>   I like both of the fish, but not sure if I can have them in the same tank.  Any advice on keeping the two together?   <Larger tank, smaller fish and introducing them at the same time would be the best recipe for success.  Good luck!>    Thanks, <Welcome!  -Mich> Bryan

Close quarters? Squeezing in a Sixline Wrasse   11/29/06 Hello, <Greetings, Mich here.> I have looked at compatibility charts and read articles online about mixing wrasses but I would like to ask someone with experience to give me some advice about my particular situation. I have two filamentous flasher wrasses (one has just changed into the male coloration, very exciting). These fish are housed in a 40 gal. breeder tank with one royal Gramma. The tank has an equal amount of space devoted to liverock and open swimming area. There is also a forty gallon sump an a ten gallon refugium on the system. If I add a sixline wrasse to this tank do you think there is enough space so that the wrasses will get along?  <I think it's asking for trouble.  Sixlines (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) can pester other peaceful fishes, especially other wrasses, I think it would be a mistake to add this fish.  Maybe consider a goby.  A shrimp goby (Stonogobiops sp.) and it's symbiotic shrimp Alpheus randalli are a very interesting combination to watch.  Hours of entertainment for a fish geek like me.  Jawfish (Opistognathus sp.) can also be very amusing.  However your tank must be completely covered as they will find the smallest crack to escape for a little carpet surfing and they require at least a three inch deep rubble/sandbed.  Hope that helps.>   Thanks, <You are quite welcome!> Caitlyn

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

Sixline Terror!  - 08/15/06 Dear WWM Crew, <Hi there! Scott F. with you tonight!> I have a situation on my hands and I'm hoping that you can give me some sense as to how serious it is and/or protracted it will become. I have a new (established in May, 2006) 72G tank.  The first fish were 5 Chromis viridis. Next came the Sixline Wrasse based on the recommendation of our LFS owner, who assured us of its docile nature.  By way of a "mea culpa" I must say that at that point in my involvement in this hobby, I didn't realize the importance of doing one's own research!! <Always a great idea!> About a week ago, we added a beautiful Purple Firefish after a peaceful month in the quarantine tank. Unfortunately, the Wrasse has made this poor fish its special object of hostility. <Too bad...Unfortunately, it's not all that rare with this fish. Sixlines, despite their diminutive size, tend to be a bit aggressive with more docile fish at times, often taking a particular dislike to one fish, as you are experiencing.> Currently, the Firefish has found a good home inside a piece of live rock into which it is forced to stay most of the time.  It still eats well, when it can, and has good color. <Well, there is still hope for the fish getting through this "hazing" period by the Wrasse. I had a small Sixline once that directed its aggression to a small Sailfin Blenny, and just made life miserable for this fish for about 3 weeks. Eventually, the Wrasse lost interest in this harassment, and peace was restored, with no hard feelings between the two fishes. Does it always end this happily? No! So, my recommendation is increased vigilance on your part. Keep a close eye on these fish to make sure that it doesn't get worse, and intervene if necessary.> My question is this: How long is this aggressive behavior likely to last, and will this Wrasse torment every fish we add? <As above, it's hard to say. It may just be that the Firefish is the "new kid on the block", or it could be that the Wrasse simply is intolerant of this guy.> Are there other peaceful fish we can add that will not be subject to this?  Also, I've heard that adding some coral might distract the Wrasse. Any truth to this? <I have not heard the coral thing before, myself. I would simply observe carefully and take action if necessary.> Thanks for your help. Ellen Peskin <My pleasure! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Sixline Terror (Cont'd.)   8/16/06 Dear Scott, <Hello again!> Thanks so much for your quick response!! <You're quite welcome> When you suggest a possible intervention (if time alone doesn't fix this), exactly what does that entail? <By intervention, I mean removing either the Wrasse or the Firefish.> I've actually tried to trap the offending Wrasse, first with a commercial fish trap & then with a modified 2L soda bottle (per the recommendation of Mr. LFS).  Neither worked as the Wrasse is way too slick for this. Never went near either. Short of removing all of the rock & completely disrupting the tank, what recourse have I? <Unfortunately, you hit it on the head. You do need to either remove the fish or the decor to get at the fish! Admittedly, either is a pleasant thing to do.> Granted, I only left the traps in for a couple of days.  If left in longer, might the Wrasse eventually be fooled? <Eventually, he may get used to the presence of the trap, which can, of course, work in your favor. You could keep placing food in the trap and the fish may get used to it over time.> Thanks again for all of your help!!! Ellen Peskin <My pleasure, Ellen. Regards, Scott F.>

Fishes not getting along... Pseudocheilinus and Liopropoma incomp.  - 05/22/2006 Hi   I just recently added a mystery wrasses to my reef aquarium. All was fine for the first two days, but now the mystery wrasses is chasing my swales Swissguard Basslet all around the tank. <Mmm, yes... occupy a similar niche...> I did my research before buying the wrasses and all the websites said they were compatible. <A relative term to put this mildly, simply> I don't want to lose either fish because they are both expensive, but the Basslet keeps swimming right through my anemone to try and get away. I can see the anemone having a very tasty treat at my expense. Is there any way to make the two get along. I have had the Basslet for about 8 months and he is probably twice as big as the wrasse. Can't we all just get along? <Mmm... no plagiarizing please...> There is also lots of overhangs, bolt holes, and rock levels for both fish. With the wrasse being the new edition you'd think the Basslet would chase him out of the territory. HELP ME PLEASE!       Jessica <It is possible that by temporarily isolating one of these two (not easy to catch... to put this mildly, simply...) and leaving in a perforated screw top container or a floating plastic colander in the system for a week or two, that such a change will be effected. Otherwise, I would be permanently separating these. Bob Fenner>

Peppermint shrimp to rid Aiptasia ? Or feed a wrasse?  - 2/4/2006 Hello to the crew !                           I have a relatively simple 50 gallon reef, which has slowly been over run with Aiptasia. I went to my LFS and was told peppermint shrimp should do the trick, so I purchased three of them. The following day I looked for them and they are no where to be found ? <Maybe> I'm wondering what could have happened to them. I only have two fish, one being a yellow tang and the other a six-line wrasse. <The last could have consumed them> Do either of these fish have shrimp on the menu ? <Yep> I also lost a cleaner shrimp about two months ago, which I had for approximately one year. One day he was there, the next gone. Any clues ? What about the possibility of a bristle worm ? If one of these guys is the culprit, what is the best way to deal with my quickly spreading Aiptasia problem ? <See WWM re... Bob Fenner>                                                                                                                     Thanks for the input.                                                                                                                                                    Trever from Santa Barbara, Ca. The Legend of the Predatory Six-Line  - 2/4/2006 Hello gang, <Hi Fred.> your site and books ;-) have been invaluable to me and I thank you again (and ahead of time). <Quite welcome.> My issue at hand is my skunk cleaner shrimp. He is wonderful and cool but he is constantly stepping on my zoos, mushrooms, yellow polyps and candy cane coral. <Sounds like normal Lysmata behavior to me.> This causes them to never be fully open for very long. In addition he steals whatever food they collect. <Ditto on the above comment.> I cannot use the inverted soda bottle method because my corals are far to spread out, it would be easier to place him in a soda bottle (which of course isn't happening). I've thought about giving him away and replacing him with a six line wrasse. <For what? These wrasses are not 'cleaners', they will not remove parasites nor dead tissue from your other animals. A neon goby would be a much better choice for this.> I've read that the six line would eat my only hermit crab and eventually eat my snails. <No they stay relatively small for wrasses, your hermits and herbivorous snails are safe generally speaking. The six-line wrasse is much more of a threat to your micro-fauna and 'pod population than it is your 'clean-up' crew.> So to those who keep six lines, what do you do about algae? <See above, and remember live animals are not the only way to keep algae at bay, look into refugiums and nutrient control in general.> I'm afraid that without my team of snails my tank will be over run with algae. Will the six line really eat 2" turbo snails? <No.> Or is he more of a danger to tiny snails? <Very tiny snails, such as those 'pyramid' snails that afflict Tridacnids'¦many clam keepers love six-lines for this reason.> I have a 55 with zoos, mushrooms, yellow polyps, candy cane and a short tentacle plate. Current inhabitants are a Coral Beauty, 2 Scissortail gobies, red legged hermit crab, few assorted snails. I'd like to add two ocellaris clowns a six line and a fridmani Pseudochromis sans the skunk cleaner shrimp of course. Any thoughts? <I would skip the fridmani, I'd say your full up after the addition of the clowns and the wrasse.> You guys ROCK!!!!! <Thank you.> Fred <Adam J.>

Mystery Wrasse and Masudes Hog... Incomp. of Pseudocheilinus and Bodianus spp.    4/8/06 I am getting a Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus) tomorrow and want to know if I can add him to a 90 gallon reef tank. <This is a very gentle species, genus...> I have a 4" Bodianus masudai in a 90 gallon along with a few other fish. <In the same tank?... Might be a problem> The masudai has only been aggressive to one other fish (a Halichoeres chrysus that is no longer in the 90 gallon.) Otherwise he seems to leave everything else alone. I also have a 58 gallon reef tank that is only 2 months old and has two Tangerine Skunk Clowns (Amphiprion sandaracinos) and a Candy Hog (Bodianus bimaculatus). <The genus Bodianus, Hogfishes can be quite territorial...> I would really rather put the Mystery Wrasse in my 90, it is much more established, and in a more prominent area of the house, but I hate to take a chance with a $200 fish. What is your advice? Thanks, Bill Edgel <... To place this fish in yet another system... not with a Bodianus/alpha fish present... too similar in appearance, users of similar niche... Likely to be trouble in either tank here. Research before you buy... Bob Fenner> Nasty Six-Line Wrasse - 5/2/2006 Hello to all the Wet Web Media Gurus- <<HA! Happy helpers, :).>> I have developed a problem with my two favorite fish- both wrasses.  After recently re-entering the hobby, I have been operating a 30 gallon reef tank for about a year.  Parameters of the tank are: 76 degrees F PH 8.1 SPG 1.024 All my tests show that ammonia, nitrite/trate, calcium, alkalinity, etc. are good and consistent. <<Numbers are always helpful.>> I do a 5 gallon water change every week. <<Good to hear.>> The tank has live sand and rock, a substandard protein skimmer (upgraded SeaClone 100), <<Ouch>> a power head for circulation, some air stones for aeration, and a three stage trickle filter with a sponge, carbon, and bio-balls (which I just heard are bad???). <<Not BAD, just not a favorite of many.>> The tank is crowded- residents listed are in the order added: 1 blue/green Chromis 1 cleaner shrimp 1 peppermint shrimp 2 small snails 1 fairy wrasse <<Many species possible.>> mushrooms 1 small clown fish (1 1/2") lawnmower blenny <<Tank is much too small for this guy.>> 2 turbo snails 1 hammer coral 2" bubble tip anemone 1 six-line wrasse 3 feather duster worms Also, looks like there are some zoos, small brittles, a hermit crab, and unfortunately a tree or colt coral that all came in as hitchhikers.  Now before you yell at me - I realize the errors of my ways and I am currently in the process of setting up a 72 gallon tank to house these guys. <<You read my mind!  Are you running proper light/feeding the anemone?>> Here's my problem:  The six-line has been bullying the fairy wrasse. <<Not uncommon.>> She has marks on her body and a small piece of her fin is nipped. <<Poor girl.>> I've pulled her out of the display and put her into a 10 gallon quarantine tank.  I've tried giving the six-line a "time-out" in the quarantine, rearranging the tank, etc.  Should I even attempt to put my poor beat up fairy into the 72 gallon with the six-line?  I suspect that the current crowded tank is exacerbating the bullying problem. <<I agree.>> I'd like to keep both of them if possible but I really don't want to keep the fairy in quarantine for the rest of her life. Please advise. <<Get the larger tank set up ASAP.  Introduce both fish at the same time, and watch them.  You may need to choose one over the other, but my guess is larger quarters will go a long way here.>> Thanks, Stephanie D. <<Glad to help.  Lisa.>>

Lined wrasses & compatibility Hi Bob, Thanks very much for your help earlier this week. I am broadening my search for my community tank, 65 gallon, (36 long x 18 wide x 24 deep), 40+ pounds live rock, etc as I emailed a couple of days ago. <Ah, good> Instead of Chalk basses, I am considering the Six-line and Four-line (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia and Pseudocheilinus tetrataenia) wrasses. I did not see any specific reference to these here. From what I have read, I should keep just one wrasse? <Yes, good fishes, a section for them (and most labrid genera of use to aquarists on the WWM site> Would they be compatible with a Coral Beauty Angel, Pearly Jawfish, maybe a Springer's Dottyback? Katherine Steichen Rosing <I would only place one of one or the other. Bob Fenner>

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

Marine Livestocking (Lined Wrasses, Angels) Hi guys, <Hello> I'm setting up a small reef tank in a 50G Uniquarium. I'm planning on making it a clownfish habitat minus the anemones. I'll be using leathers or hairy mushrooms as surrogates. My question is around fish compatibility. I'll have 3 ocellaris clowns and one small yellow or purple tang (he will be transplanted to a 125G later). Could I keep a four lined wrasse, a six lined wrasse, and an orchid Dottyback together? I'm using Live rock, a deep sandbed, and skimmer for filtration. Please let me know. <Mmm, not a good idea in this size system to have more than just one of these fishes. The Lined Wrasses don't mix by and large (except in very large systems), and too often Dottybacks and they will fight when crowded as well... I would leave off with all three here if your main desire is to have a peaceful "Clown tank", or if set on one of the three, look for a more easygoing tank-bred pseudochromid species.> Question #2 - I have some smaller bristleworms in the Fiji rock that I'm not concerned about, however I spotted a larger one the other night- 3-4". Does he need to go, or do I leave him in until I find a reason to remove him?  <The latter IMO> On a similar note, I have a hairy crab that came with the rock, and I don't believe he is an emerald. All he seems to do is graze algae. Go or stay? <Hold off on its removal for now as well> Final question, I'm setting up a FOWLR - 125G - 72X18X23. I'm looking for a large angel to serve as the center piece for this system. I'm evaluating scribbled, Map, Asfur, Imperator, and French. Which of these would I be able to keep, and which would grow too large for the system? <All listed could be kept for a while as young (till about six inches or so), the French the longest, but none could, will live to be full-size, age in this size system (need at least twice the gallonage). Look to the Angelfish genera Centropyge, Genicanthus instead> I will most likely set up a 30G refugium in addition to the existing Wet/Dry which I will convert to a plain sump. This should give me ~180G of capacity. <Lots of good ideas here. I encourage you to do a bit more delving, thinking over the stocking mix. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Chris

Pseudocheilinus ocellatus eating shrimp - 2/15/03 What should I do with a Pseudocheilinus ocellatus (5 bar mystery) wrasse that has an appetite for shrimp, particularly cleaner shrimp. <Yeah. A little research would have helped here as this is not uncommon with this fish. In any event, I think someone has to go.> I'm not sure he's worth it now after ordering it. <Sorry to hear that. Such a beautiful animal> Anyone at WWM possibly interested in a donation for the cost of shipping? <Wow. That is very nice of you. What about a nice LFS or a local aquarium which in turn might really need the donation? Maybe you can get money or credit for him? Maybe try trading him at a local reef/fish club? Thank you much for the offer, but I would definitely check around locally first. Make lemonade since you have a lemon, so to speak! If not, let us know maybe someone on the crew might want it. Thanks again, Michael.>

Wrasse And A Bass(let)! Would I be successful trying to put a Basslet in the same 75g reef tank with a Pseudocheilinus wrasse? I'm worried about potential conflicts, although the Basslet doesn't get out much! At times, the Pseudocheilinus wrasse seems to be somewhat of an aggressive little one. <Yep-some of those little P. hexataenia (Sixline Wrasses) can be feisty little guys! Make sure that the Basslet that you're putting in there, however, is one of the more "sociable" ones...As long as there is sufficient "territory" for everyone in there, things should be okay, in my opinion. I've kept this combination of fishes before without incident...Also, make sure that the fishes are within similar size ranges, this usually keeps a "balance of terror"! > Thank you so much for lending us aspiring wannabe marine biologists and zoologists a hand! <And thanks for thinking of us fish nerds! Hope that things work out great! Regards, Scott F>

Wrasse and Shrimp I recently purchased a Pseudocheilinus ocellatus and he is attacking my two cleaner shrimp. Is this normal? <Not uncommon> I expected cleaner shrimp to have anonymity from all fish. <Not so> Did I make a mistake by feeding him fresh cut up shrimp to start him feeding? He just bit one of the feelers off of one, and they are both hugging the side of the tank. <They should be separated post haste. Bob Fenner>

-6-lined wrasse problem- <Good morning, JasonC here...> Thank you for your time reading my mail, I have a question, couple days ago I bought a 6-lined wrasse from a LFS, very good looking (they all look the same, I know) and healthy, I bought him is because I have an outbreak of LOTS of little worms, looks like little brittle worm, around 5mm or so, and I caught 2 big brittle worm recently also. He is intended for my 2 months old 10G tank, all water parameters are normal, there are couple corals, a yellow watchman goby, a cleaner shrimp, an emerald crab, 2 red-legged hermit crab, and couple snails, all these are doing very good. My problem is, when the wrasse was introduced, he always like to swim near the goby's home, which is a LR cave, and the goby always come out to defend and I have seen the goby dash to the wrasse to try to bit him, after 3 days, I think they finally settle down, the size of the goby and the wrasse are pretty much the same, around 1.5"-2". But today I notice one of the eye on the wrasse have popped out a little bit and both fins have rot a bit also, looks like bite marks, so I believe those are caused by the fighting between both, btw the goby is totally fine, the wrasse still eat and swim around like normal, he likes to swim around the coral a lot. So I am wondering do I need to take him out and put into a QT tank and let him recover? <That is the 'best' choice but if things have genuinely settled down, would heal about the same speed in the tank where it is now, provided it's not getting picked on. You do understand that this system is small... perhaps too small for two territorial fish.> or just let him in there to recover slowly? I have read through your site about aggression and pop-eye symptom, and I know I can use Epsom salt to treat the eye, but is it necessary? <Not necessary... will just speed healing.> can I put the salt into the main tank without affecting the corals? <Hmm... again due to tank size, I would lean towards not adding any additional salts.> I don't want the wrasse to get worse, or with any secondary bacterial infections, but I was thinking if I take him out right now it will stress him out even more, coz I just bought him from the LFS couple days ago, and even if he recovered in the QT tank and once I introduce him back to the 10G tank again, will the goby attack him again? <Probably.> the wrasse seems don't even fight back, don't know why, and is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening? <Get a larger tank.> coz I am thinking to get a small clown also, I want to get this solved before another fish (last one) is added, I don't want it get into a war zone between them. <The [right] clown would be a safer bet as far as aggression goes, but this system is too small to house more than two small fish -take your pick.> Thank you for any suggestions that you can give and really great site that you have there, I read it a lot and I have learned a LOT, thanks again. Michael <Cheers, J -- >

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

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

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

Pseudocheilinus hexataenia Question: Hello, <Hi! Ryan Bowen helping you today> I'm new. <Great! Welcome> I've been reading a lot of your advice today. I noticed that someone contradicted something and now I'm not sure what's right and what's wrong. <So common in this hobby!> We need to buy a sixline wrasse to save our clam from Pyram snails. <Or you could quarantine your livestock prior to introduction!> The problem is Scott F. says their great fish usually very safe in a reef tank and may pick on shy fish like Firefish, however; one of the other guys said they are ferocious. So who is right? <Both, because they owned different wrasses.  Wrasses have lots of personality, and each fish is truly an individual.  Perhaps some careful observation of your new tenant prior to purchase will lend some insight into his personality.  With this fish, and some other marine fishes, you've just got to have a little luck with a good specimen.  I don't see this becoming a huge problem, but buy a youngan' to be certain.  Good luck, Ryan>   Thanx for any help you can send our way. Keep up the good work. Rina

Will His Hermits Become "Feeder Crabs?" (9/8/04) Hello All, <Hi. Steve Allen Today> Question as it is simple... I love my 100 plus blue leg hermit crabs. They keep the hair algae in control... well actually they removed it all. I wanted to buy a 12 line wrasse (looks like the 6 line but green in color) what will be the chance that it we decide that blue legs are taste? <Members of this genus are well-known as predators of crustaceans. I'd say there's a pretty good chance it will enjoy a hermit crab banquet over time.> I know anything can happen with fish... My Lemon Peel Angle suddenly took out my cleaner shrimp, weird hey? <Edible is edible.> Took me awhile to figure out what was killing them until I purchased another one and "BAM" took the eyes off <ouch!> and the dinner was served. I would like to know if I get the wrasse will the hermits days be numbered? <Quite probably.> Or am I better not going there and let my hermits keep the hair algae out of my tank... <If you love your hermits and appreciate their handiwork, why take a chance? Go with something that has a much lower probability of munching them.> Thanks much, Paul Six-Line and Micro Diversity I bought a JBL nano reef for my office and cycled it with live rock and live sand from my display tank. The rock was teeming with 'pods, bristle and other worms, and Mysis shrimp. The cycling is over and I have survived the cycle and the diatoms stage so it is time for stocking. Other than the above, the tank has some red mushrooms, assorted snails, and a peppermint shrimp. I purchased a tiny Percula and six-line for the tank and they have finished their 5 week quarantine. I just moved the Percula into the nano tank but am having second thoughts about moving the six-line. My question is simple will he/she wreak havoc on my micro-diversity or can some of it survive with him/her in the nano. The Percula and the six-line got along well with each other in the quarantine tank so I am pretty sure that they will get along in the nano but I am concerned about a loss of micro-diversity. My other option is to putting him/her into my display tank. What do the WetWebMedia sages recommend??? Thanks. Mark ***Hello Mark, The short answer to your question is yes, a sixline can and will wreak havoc on the creatures you mention. In a larger tank this is not always the case, however in such cramped surroundings it's a given. This fish is a micropredator! Secondly, I wouldn't put a six line wrasse in such a small tank due to space reasons. It may be a small fish, but it needs swimming room. Mine uses every inch of his 48x24x24 tank. 12 gallons is a bit to cramped for this fish, especially as an adult. Cheers Jim*** I would like some advice about the impact of a six-line wrasse on the worms, 'pods and Mysis shrimp in my nano reef.

Shrimp vs. wrasse 6/30/04 Hello-Question? My sixline wrasse ate most of my cleaner shrimps legs.  This all started right after he molted. <Shrimps and wrasses are like sheep and wolves.  Also, shrimp are very vulnerable post molt.> I have him in a net box to keep him out of harms way, but I was wondering-will the shrimps legs grow back?  I been trying to feed him by my hand, which is not working.  So I dunno if I should just keep him till he dies or take him back to the fish store. <If the shrimp is able to take food, it may grow some of the legs back, but you won't see them until the next molt.  I don't see any benefit to returning it to your LFS.> Also my firefish, although he is active and eats a lot, looks very malnourished. I feed him formula one frozen food. Is there anything else I can do? I am guessing that my wrasse is a very aggressive fish and my tank may be just too small. <Firefish really benefit from several feedings per day. They also don't compete well with aggressive feeders like wrasses.  You may have to give one or the other up.  Best Regards.  Adam C.> Wrasse Behavior Question Hi:) A quick question about the eight line flasher <?> wrasse.  If I order a male and a female can they be introduced together to the same tank without aggressive behavior?  In other words do they always get along or could one pick on the other?  Thanks for your time....... Janey <Hi Janey.  In any captive system, certainly the smaller ones (100 gallons or less) there is a chance that ANY fish can be tormented by another.  But, however, male and female wrasses can pair up.  I have kept a small harem of flasher wrasses myself.  In 150 gallons, one male and 5 females were peaceful. I'm not sure how large your system is, but I'd arrange the ratio similarly.   Thanks, Ryan> Sixline Wrasse Hi Bob, <Hi Pam, MacL here with you today.> We have a 20 gallon salt water tank, new to us (we have had it maybe 2 weeks) but the guy before us had it for 3 years. <Marvelous, Sounds quite lovely.>  It contains a 4 inch long maroon clown, a small green Chromis (spelling?), a HUGE brittle star (8 inch legs on a half-dollar sized body),<What color is the brittle star, if its Green that could be a  potential problem.>  1 red legged hermit crab, 2 black/white stripped leg crab, a few mushroom corals, and some other "stuff".  We were having a problem with flatworms on our coral, so we purchased a Sixline wrasse two days ago and tossed him in to take care of that.  We also have an abundance of bristleworms and hoped he would take care of that too. Ok so, problem is this -- The little cubby that the wrasse sleeps in at night... the bristleworms attack him!! We watch them sting him and he flinches and writhes, but he never moves to another spot. <Dang, how big are the bristles? Is he large enough to get them? I know Dottybacks will eat bristles but I have never heard of a six line eating them. I know that they will eat flatworms at leas some types. Most of the time the six lines will choose a place to stay for a night and then they will move the next day after finding another safe place.>   We are afraid the worms will kill him.  He looked so haggard this morning.  Any words of wisdom? <An arrow crab will also eat the bristleworms. Or you can catch them with tweezers and remove them from the tank. Normally bristleworms aren't bad creatures, they clean and remove detritus.> Thanks, Pam 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  >>

- Six-line Wrasse Question - Hi, just a quick question ... ( I know, they all start out quick) - anyway, I have a 90 gallon set up with good water parameters that has been up for 3-4 years.  I thought I was set - was happy with my little wet friends (and they with each other so I thought)  and had no plans on changing/adding anything.   I've been reading about the six lined wrasse - and was wondering if mine could have killed my small blue tang and dwarf angel?  I've read that they are normally "peaceful" with other species if not very outgoing and active fish (and really pretty too!) and recently learned can be a little crappy at times <Do you mean "crabby" as in grumpy? Then yes... six line wrasses can seem a little vindictive at times.> - I did notice that their fins were pretty chewed up just before my crabs got to make a meal out of them but have been trying to figure out why - no signs of disease (eating well, very active) - and since I do watch them off and on during the day (I work from home) - there didn't seem to be any conflict problems (though, who knows at night).  The tang was very small (the newest and was my planned last addition) - smaller than the six line ...  but my dwarf angel was larger (about 4 - 4.5") and had been in the tank for a about 5 months prior to the addition of the six line. <It is quite possible... certainly for the small tang, have seen six line wrasses hassle other fish to death, although never a pygmy angel. I suppose it's possible, but could have easily been from other causes.> I have a good amount of live rock - (not really sure just how much in lbs - but covers a good portion of the tank) - I just replaced the angel (it was a really nice multi-colored angel - silvery white with bright blue & yellow on it's head and fins...but don't have the funds for another one - a little pricey) - with a coral beauty.  Anyway, could this little guy (about 3" so about full grown now) - be the trouble maker? <At this size, very possible.> Suddenly deciding that he's "a grown-up" now? <Or perhaps just not to be trifled with.> One of my two Percs seems to be in the same boat now (the smaller of the 2)... I suspect the answer is yes, but just wondering your opinion and any suggestions if you feel he is the problem. <Would spend the weekend watching the tank from a small distance so you have a scope of most everything going on - being there with your face pressed against the glass may not reveal the behavior. If you see the aggression, then you'll know the truth.> They were all in the tank together for a while before any problems started to sneak up. <Attitudes change over time.> Thanks I currently have: lots of hermit crabs / snails 2 cleaner shrimp (I know - could be food someday ...) 1 blue damsel 3" 2 false percula clowns ( 1 @ 2" the other at about 3.5" ) 1 six lined wrasse (about 2.5 - 3" ) 1 yellow Coris (4-4.5") (not really the Coris species - and yes, the do get along just fine) 1 fridmani (??) Pseudochromis (about 3") 1 Coral Beauty (newest addition) (about 4") (PS - your site has helped me greatly in the past in my selection of fishes and really helped curb that impulse purchase before  researching - so my many thanks !) Oh, and what would you think about a Christmas wrasse in this mix?  I've read that they are also generally on the "peaceful" side - (the Halichoeres ornatissimus). <Yes, but they need space - tend to zoom from end to end of a system and will likely be cramped in this system. I would recommend against it.> I love their color and really like wrasse, but know that compatibility can be an issue with multiple of the same genus. <I have three wrasses in my tank - they don't cause each other any trouble, but still... space is a factor. If I were you I'd pick a smaller wrasse.> This will definitely max out my tank -  :-) <Cheers, J -- >

Tanks for the Marine Answers Thanks so much for your quick response and advice! I will definitely watch them more closely (from a distance) to see if there is a problem. Though I have noticed recently - which is exactly what you've said - that the little six line does seem to have the attitude of "don't mess with me!" but not outright harassing - anyway, many thanks - again!  < Not sure who helped you, but on their behalf I'll say "you're welcome" and we hope we helped. > < Blundell >

Evil Sixline Wrasse - 08/08/2005 I added a sixline wrasse to my 29 gallon reef a few months ago that contained a common clown, two skunk cleaner shrimps, an emerald crab, a handful of hermit crabs, some cerith snails, etc. <Sounds good....  so far....  The word "evil" in your e-mail's subject leads me to believe that all did not *stay* good....> Earlier this summer, when I returned from a week's vacation, I discovered that the sixline, after being in my tank for only two weeks, had killed both cleaner shrimps, the emerald crab, and most of my hermit crab population. <Yikes!  Though, I have heard/read of them taking out shrimp, on occasion....  I personally prefer the fourline, P. tetrataenia, which is reportedly less apt to mess with your crusties.> Also, my "pod" population has dramatically fallen, <Very much to be expected.> as well as the cerith and dwarf brittlestar numbers. <I'm a touch surprised at the snail, but the little brittles - yeah, I imagine they might be snacked upon.> I have seen my sixline nipping at snails and the surviving hermits and am sure that this other decline in microfauna can be attributed to him. These fish are supposedly reef safe, <Well, to a degree, yes.  Mandarinfish are "reef safe", as well, but will consume enough pods and such to wipe out all but very large systems in rather short amounts of time.  I think what is commonly meant by "reef safe" is that the animal is unlikely to harass corals.> and I have only heard of one other "bad" sixline that kills fish. <They do seem quite fish-safe.> Is it safe to say that my fish cannot be trusted around any other invertebrates? <I would say this is a correct assumption.> Mine seems to be best of buddies with my clownfish....   <And should continue to be so, should you choose to keep him.  I doubt you will see any aggression between these two.> A reef just isn't the same without invertebrates running around....   <Agreed.  For this reason, I am not considering a sixline in my system.> Thanks for your time. <And thanks for writing in.  Next time, do be certain to read as much as you can about a potential addition to your tank prior to adding it; there is much information on the web and even on WWM about this and other Pseudocheilinus' tastes for inverts.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Wrasse And Gramma Compatibility - 08/04/2005 Would a sixline wrasse and a royal Gramma likely be compatible in a 90 gallon tank?   <Yes, highly likely.  I have a pal with a fourline and a royal Gramma in a 55g, and over the past year that he's had them, there have been no compatibility issues whatsoever.  There are, however, exceptions to every rule.> Thanks. <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Fish Compatibility 8/4/05 Would a sixline wrasse and a royal Gramma likely be compatible in a 90 gallon tank?  Thanks. <Hi Jon... Provided your fish load is low, you shouldn't run into any serious situations with these two particular fish. Both do have the potential to be somewhat aggressive, therefore it would be best if you add them as juveniles simultaneously. - Ali> Six-line wrasse and crab compatibility 8/4/05 Hi, <Hello, Jed> I recently inherited a six-line wrasse from a friend getting out of the hobby. Being the fool I am I happily took the wrasse knowing little about it other than it was reef safe and moderately aggressive. The aggression should not be a problem but I now have learned that a few lined wrasses will eat hermit crabs. Now here is my problem I have a small number of scarlet hermit crabs (five to six) and I am worried about them being eaten. I can't give the fish back because it means a lot to my friend that I keep her favorite fish, and she wants visitation rights. The wrasse is only two inches long but I am still worried that the wrasse may eat the crabs which I also want to keep. So do you think a two inch six-line wrasse will pose a threat to my scarlet hermit crabs? <Jed, the six lined wrasse should be just fine with the crabs, they are reef safe.  James (Salty Dog)> Thank you very much,<You're welcome> Jed

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

Six Line and Pod Relationship  - 01/24/06 I have a 40 gallon reef tank (2 years old). <Cool.>   I recently added a small sixline wrasse (approximately 1 1/2 inches) which is the only copepod eater in the tank.  Tankmates are: hermit crabs, corals, 1 pair of percula clowns, and three bar gobies.  I am wondering how often I need to replenish the copepod population?  I have found a couple places that I can order them online.  Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. <Six-Lines are skillful pod hunters it could easily destroy your population every few weeks. The bottled products are great to seed tanks but they are expensive for regular usage. At this rate it will be quite pricey to keep buying culture pods, so why not spawn your own? Look into a refugium, a small hang on variety such as those offered by Eco-System and CPR would be a great addition for your tank.> Thank you, Pam Vlatas
<Adam Jackson.>

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