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FAQs on Halichoeres Wrasse Behavior  

Related Articles: Halichoeres Wrasses,

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

Halichoeres chrysus
Randall 1981

Re new H. melasmapomus; beh.
Hi there! I had sent a email several weeks ago about the compatibility of a H. melanurus and a H. melasmapomus. I decided to get the H. Melasmapomus. He has been in my tank for two weeks today. He comes out of the sand every morning and stays out only 10 minutes or so. 
<A good start>
No aggression from any fish in my tank. He comes out at basically the same time every morning, so I make sure and have Mysis thawed and ready to go.
<Ah, good>
He eats really well, and then goes back into the sand. I stare at the tank for the 10 minutes or so he is out, and he is ignored by all of my fish, which consist of several Leopard Wrasses. Will this behavior continue, and do you think he will eventually get comfortable to come out for longer periods?
<Almost assuredly this fish will become more evident over time. Likely out most of the time w/in a month or two.>
I have never had a fish do this. Thank for any thoughts and info! I really appreciate it!
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Panicky canary wrasse following copper treatment     2/26/16
Hello WWM Crew,
Thank you for running such a helpful site. I have searched quite a bit and cannot find a link which relates to the issue I’m dealing with. I would be grateful for some advice concerning the behaviour of my canary wrasse who is now acting as if suffering from PTSD after 20 months year of bliss.
From Sept – Dec 2015, I ran my DT fallow and treated 3 fish (1 canary wrasse, paired Ocellaris clownfish) with Cuprazin
<Ooh; Labrids/Wrasses, and quite a few other fish families really suffer for copper exposure... stop eating...>
for 2 weeks in a HT where they lived for 80 days. I learned the hard way that a QT is necessary: a Molly Miller blenny brought Ich to my DT, rapidly died, and my coral beauty also died. This will never happen again. Of my paired Ocellaris Clownfish, the male though appearing stronger than the female, died on day 4 of copper treatment. The female clownfish is doing well, but my canary wrasse’s panic attacks scare her a bit.
<Panic? Wrasses are given to spontaneous... erratic bursts of swimming at times; even/including in the wild>
DT is a Red Sea Max 130D tank (130 litres) I have had for over 2 years. 20-30% water changes are done weekly, water parameters are sound. The survivors, my female clownfish and Saffron, the canary wrasse, are back in the DT since end of December 2015. It was very difficult to move Saffron to the HT and only once buried could he be moved with sand after I tried netting him for hours. Has remained scared of me since (understandably), so I stay out of his sight as much as possible and feed from a faraway corner.
My concern is that he is prone to panic attacks and will dart around to bury itself.
<Mmm/ what they do... >
This has caused him last week to hit the top of the aquarium and amazingly for a 4” fish, fall into the refugium from which I had to net him which was easy as there was nowhere for him to go and put him back in the DT. He has come out of this physically intact though has since managed to injure his tail (a cut in the middle) most likely against rocks in another one of those panics when I forgot to cover the tank the day house cleaners came by. I am concerned he will eventually kill himself through injuries no matter how careful I am. I feel he will do best in the DT with optimal diet and vitamins. Last thing I want to do is move him again. I understand fish can come out of copper treatment slightly different which he sure is.
He was and remains a fantastic fish and I feel terrible for him being so stressed. Is there anything else I can do to help?
<One thing that comes to mind is to add another one or two of this Halichoeres species. Turns out it is a social animal... I'd add more; which should result in calming the present one down; prompting all to be out and about much more>
Many thanks for your advice.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
RE: Panicky canary wrasse following copper treatment     2/26/16

Dr Fenner,
<Just Bob please; I have no doctorate>
I truly appreciate your replies, thank you so much. Saffron still eats voraciously and never stopped even in copper which he seemed to tolerate, but it has changed his personality from bold to suspicious/scared when humans stand near the tank. It’s evident transfers from DT to HT and back are fresh to his memory. He was like any other wrasse before, as you described, the odd mad sprint. Now definitely jumpier.
I’m sorry to trouble you for a few more details re. your comment about sociability of wrasses. So true, he loved his pal the coral beauty. My QT is ready. Are there species of Halichoeres you would recommend as a good match for an adult canary wrasse?
<Most all; but conspecifics (the same species) are best>
Or do you mean I should look at 1-2 juvenile canary wrasses (probably 1 as my tank is only 130 litres)?
<Yes; likely just one more in this volume>
I’ve read they can be competitive with another similarly coloured wrasse. Is it an issue to have 2 sand-dwellers in one tank?
<Not a problem here w/ H. chrysus>
Leopard wrasses appeal but the last thing I want to do is get this wrong.
<Macropharyngodon spp.? Not hardy. See WWM Re>
My female clownfish seems content. In such a scenario where the male died, would one look to offer a new companion or best to leave her be?
<Either way... up to you>
Last question I promise, their ‘body clock’ has changed since treatment, 2 less hours of activity each, 18:00 bedtime instead of 20:00. Light in the HT unnerved the wrasse so I let natural light dictate. Ongoing recovery from copper treatment or something summer will help?
<Time going by>
Again, thank you. We want Saffron to be serene once more.
<Cheers, BobF>
RE: Panicky canary wrasse following copper treatment     2/26/16

Bob, thank you again so much. You’ve put my mind at rest. We will provide another Halichoeres asap. WWM’s is such a great resource.
<Welcome Soph! B>

Wrasse aggression; beh.     9/2/2013
Hi WWM Crew:
Thanks for this wonderful website and all the help you have give me in the past.
<Ah, welcome>
I have a 75G saltwater tank with a 5-6 inch long pastel green wrasse, 2 small crown fish, 3 small blue green damsels, 1 coral beauty butterfly <angel?> fish, a four inch long panther grouper
<Will get much larger, eat your damsels, likely your clowns>

 and a 4 inch long Pinstriped Wrasse.  Recently I added a small Canary Wrasse into the mix.  Every since I added the Canary Wrasse into the tank, he had bury himself under the sand.  I only saw him swim out once but was quickly bury himself back under the sand after chased by the pastel green wrasse.  Is there anything I can do to help him come out more often.
<Really just be patient... and routine in your operating your system... Lights on/off at a regular time/schedule, feedings at same time/place... it will come out in time>
 I have not seen him eat for a week now and am very worry that he might not last long without eating.  I have tried to catch the pastel green wrasse out of the tank and rearranged my live rock, but catching the wrasse was proved to be next to impossible.  Will he eventually come out after a while?
<Ah yes; likely w/in a week mores' time>
  Please help!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

H. leucoxanthus in hiding 12/08/12
Dear WWM:
Four days ago, I purchased three H. leucoxanthus wrasses from my LFS.
<Halichoeres sp.>
 I had a QT prepped and ready
<Mmm, hopefully these were small specimens... Don't associate when large>
 with a large ceramic bowl of sand (approx. 2+ inches deep) for them to sleep/hide in, along with a couple pieces of curved PVC pipe for cover.  Following normal acclimation procedures, I released them into the tank and immediately one of the fishes buried itself in the sand. 
It hasnt come out at all (4 days and counting).  Since day one, the other two fishes have been active and eating frozen Mysis frequently.  I read your feedback about giving these wrasses time, but my question is: how many more days should I wait before stirring up the sand to find out if its dead?
<I'd wait another couple days. Bob Fenner>  

Halichoeres chrysus swim behavior   12/30/11
I have had my yellow Coris since April 17th of 2011. Today (12/30/2011)
she began swimming very strangely. Stays somewhat near the top/middle and tends to have her back end drop downwards. She has some faint patch spots on her left side (very faint). She is eating, but looks to be struggling to swim. She is a jumper at times.
<The last is natural, the observations before, troubling. Something is wrong w/ this specimen... genetic, nutritional, perhaps a physical trauma>
My tank is 210gal with 80gal sump. Stable parameters are 78.5 degrees, 0 Nitrate/Nitrite/Ammonia, pH 8.2. Only one change in the past two weeks (added some red kelp to the tank and four emerald crabs).
<These last... Mithraculus sp., can be/come predaceous>
 The rest of the fish are acting completely normal<ly>. Water changes are done weekly (most run about 8-10%). I did vacuum sand this week (done at least once a month). I had the chiller off for a bit to clean the pump and temp went to 80degrees for a short time two days ago.
I have video, but the instructions say not to post too large files.
<Can post elsewhere... e.g. YouTube, and provide a link>
She is not flashing as she usually does when I come to the tank. Especially in the shirt I am wearing. Is she injured? Swim Bladder? Should I get her out and hospitalize or wait and see?
<I would do the last... but augment foods w/ vitamins, HUFAs>
This is coming off a rough time with my fish order from 12/16. Had four fish die of Brooklynella and other two are in QT being treated. Oh, these guys were all in QT and never saw the main display. Just having some bad luck this holiday season. :(
<I see... and understand you to state that you did NOT treat the H. chrysus>
Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I have had to catch my blue-sided
wrasse from main display in past and treat for bacterial issue.
<Mmm, I'd wait on this move as well... Let's see what can be done to improve these fishes health nutritionally and by improving their environment>
 I can do it
again if needed.
Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Wrasse, beh.  11/1/11
Hi there,
I bought a yellow wrasse
<Mmm, Halichoeres chrysus? There are a few possibilities for this common name. This small species is the most aquarium-suitable Labrid fitting the colour-description>
about a year ago but its either very timid or just crazy, it kept flicking around the tank (I was scared it would knock the rocks down) and jumping out of the water until one day it just disappeared never to be seen again I thought! but six months later it just decided to reappear out of the blue �� still as mad as ever. I thought they buried themselves at night so therefore cant be nocturnal can they.
<Not usually, no>
Anyway is this normal �� darting about and burying itself for months on end ?
<Mmm, likely something doesn't suit it here... tank-mate wise, foods/feeding, size of system, depth/type of substrate...>
It looks perfectly healthy and obviously full of life.
<Ahh! Then enjoy it! Bob Fenner>

Yellow Wrasse, colour beh.   9/12/10
I have written in the past and you advice has been tremendous, unfortunately I am in need of some more assistance, in my 150 gallon reef tank I have 2 yellow wrasses
<Mmm, Halichoeres... chrysus? H. hortulanus? Other species?>
and 1 has developed a white colouring on his snout and head and I'm not sure if he is sick or ?? Any advice would be appreciated
Thank you
<Have seen white colouring on the head of both the above... in captivity and the wild. Not to worry.
Bob Fenner>

Christmas wrasse, beh.   9/27/09
<Bob... please send all your writing through the spellchecker before sending it to us>
I've had my Christmas wrasse for two months perfect fish no problems, recently it has started to do a rocking movement near the substrate then flicks its tail to send the substrate every were,
<Natural behavior>
I noticed if I come to the tank he would swim in front of me doing it if I move to the side he follows me still doing this sort of dance before flicking its tail, this activity has increased now there is a large crater in the substrate & it looks like its been snowing in my tank with corals & rock covered , do I need to be worried ? he looks healthy & eats well. bob Lloyd.
<Not to worry. Bob Fenner>

Canary Wrasse/Behavior 1/21/09 I recently purchased a small (1") Canary Wrasse and put it in a small 15gal tank with 2 Perculas, a small Magenta Dottyback, 1 very small Yellow Damsel, and 2 very young Yellow Tail Blue Damsels, 3 hermit crabs and 2 Trochus snails, a few soft corals and lots of different macroalgaes. Note this tank is not to be the final tank for all these fish..it is just a quarantine tank I use for new fish going into my 150 gal reef tank. <The Canary Wrasse isn't completely reef safe. It will eat Fireworms and Pyramidellid snails, protecting corals and clams. In addition, it may eat feather dusters, small shrimp, and tubeworms.> Immediately the wrasse dove into the fine sand at high speed...a few hours later he was out and swimming...and then buried himself again and then moved somewhere else. This was 4 days ago and I have not seen it since. It just does not appear to be in the tank at all. It never comes out to feed, etc. There is a small amount of live rock piled in the back. I understand that this type of wrasse will bury itself when sleeping or threatened...but is 4 days unusual? <Since most wrasses are jumpers, A tight fitting cover is needed. Have you checked the floor around the rear of the tank. You may find him there. This particular fish is a little skittish and more apt to jump than others, especially with damsels present. The Canary Wrasse should only be kept with peaceful fish.> I would think that if it had died I would see some remains--it would take more than 1/2 a day to be eaten by the tank's residence. So do I presume it dead? Or is this typical behaviour? <Can be but generally not for that long a period. You may want to stir the bottom, see if you can flush him out.> thanks <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Sleeping/Hiding Wrasse, Halichoeres beh.  10/13/08 Hello crew. <Hello Jessy here> I went by the fish shop yesterday and picked up my new wrasse and I am just wondering how long until I should begin worrying about it hiding/sleeping in the sand? The fish store said that it was a h. melanurus but I think it is a h. leucurus about 4" long. I acclimated her for 2 hours using the well-known drip method like I always do and she swam around for 5 minutes then bolted into the sand bed. <Normal> I know that this is normal for them to sleep or hide in the sand bed but it has been 24 hours now and she has not come out. I am pretty sure I know where she is hiding so I am not sure if I should disturb the area where she is to see if she is alive or just leave her be and not add to the stress. <Leave her be. I had a newly introduced wrasse stay hidden for an entire week> I have had my tank up and running for over 2yrs now. It is a 55gallon w/30gallon sump/refuge and houses a cinnamon clownfish, a sleeper banded goby, various mushroom corals and polyps and about 50lbs of live rock with a 4inch sand bed. Also I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction to find out information on the h. leucurus because I have found very little information on this particular fish. <Fairy & Rainbow Wrasses and their relatives by Rudie H. Kuiter is a GREAT reference book on wrasses.> Thanks for the help. <Regards, Jessy>

My Yellow Wrasse has ��Vanished�� �� 08/11/08 I recently bought a yellow wrasse or canary wrasse, banana wrasse. Whatever name you would use to refer to it. <<Mmm, Halichoeres chrysus maybe��and an exemplary aquarium species if so, in my opinion (can be seen here, about a third of the way down the page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/halichoeres.htm >> I made one big mistake I did not research well enough to know what to expect. <<Lesson learned then>> I acclimated my fish and released in him into my QT which is set up with live rock and sand. <<It��s good that you have some structure and substrate for this fish, but this is a species I feel does not warrant the QT and will do better if introduced directly to the display tank>> This is where I went wrong. I released him, watched him for about two minutes and went to get a soda from the kitchen. When I returned it was gone. Knowing that they can be jumpers and that I have a small gap near the skimmer I searched the floor. It didn't jump out and I knew that they sleep in the sand at night so I figured he was hiding. <<Indeed�� These wrasses will often dive in to the substrate straight-away upon introduction>> After 8 hours I decided it was time to look for him. <<Best to not disturb/further stress the wrasse. I have seen these and similar behaving species hide for ��days�� at a time, especially after a stressful event such as capture/transport/introduction to a new environment. The wrasse will emerge on its own in good time>> I picked up all my rock and tried to place it back where it was. <<If the rocks are large or heavy this may pose a problem if placed atop the fish��s burial spot��removing the rock and replacing it with a single short piece of PVC pipe for the fish to hide in once it emerges might be best now>> My concerns are these. I have very fine sand, is this a problem for them to breathe under? <<Not at all�� Though they can handle a variety of grain size, the larger sizes tend to abrade and can lead to damage and infection. Sugar-fine sand is to be preferred in my opinion>> Could I have set a rock or it has dug under a rock and got trapped? <<The former is a possibility if the rock is large/heavy��but even so, I think this possibility is remote>> Do you think a 4 day wait would be a good time to see if it comes out? <<I have seen them stay buried for longer periods with no ill effect, so��yes, give the fish some time to settle/adjust>> Thanks, Gary <<Happy to assist. EricR>>

Strange Fish Behavior (Halichoeres chrysus) �� 04/15/08 Hello. <<Howdy, Pam>> Is it normal behavior for a Yellow Coris Wrasse to hang out at the surface of the tank and splash like crazy? <<Well first off��judging by your photo��this is not a wrasse of the genus Coris, but is of the genus Halichoeres��Halichoeres chrysus to be exact. And as such is much more suitable to your reef tank than any ��Coris�� species. This wrasse has several misleading ��common�� names, such as the already mentioned ��Yellow Coris Wrasse�� and the ��Banana Wrasse�� (a Thalassoma species). Fishbase.org lists the common name for this fish as ��Canary Wrasse����much better, in my opinion. As for the behavior you describe, this is not atypical for this fish. H. chrysus often hangs/swims about in the upper levels of the water column, and yes, even dashes and splashes about from time to time (easily startled). In fact, do be aware that this fish will jump>> I've had this fish for about 6 weeks. Haven't added anything new. Fish looks great and is eating great. <<Indeed��a premier aquarium species>> I have an open tank. About a week ago, I noticed all kinds of dried salt on the outside of the tank, and the furniture nearby. Finally realized, it was one of the fish splashing. I thought it was my Longnose Hawkfish at first, but then all of a sudden noticed it was the Coris Wrasse. No one is harassing him at all. <<As stated this is not unusual behavior in my experience with this fish, but perhaps intensified in smaller systems>> Parameters in the tank are good (see below). He just started doing this during the past week. He's mainly staying at the top of the tank which he never did before, and swimming in place, but back and forth, really fast, and every couple of minutes, creates a big splash. <<Hmm��is there more current at this spot?...is there a sump or refugium return line flowing here that may be providing tasty morsels to be snatched before the other fishes get to them (thus the splashing)?>> I'm sitting about 5 feet away on the couch, and he just splashed me all the way over here. I can't have dried salt all over my furniture and carpet if he's going to splash constantly, so I guess I'll need to bring him back to the LFS if he continues this. <<Maybe so>> Wouldn't be an issue if it was a covered tank, but it's an open tank. <<Understood��and I am not a fan of ��covered�� reef systems>> The only thing that I can think of that changed, is I swapped out my T5's a few days ago with new bulbs (and shortened the photo period). I tried raising the light fixture an inch since I thought maybe it was the new bulbs, and he immediately stopped this behavior the second I raised the light. Tonight, about a week later, he started splashing like crazy again. <<I doubt this is related>> I thought maybe he was trying to get me to feed him. About 30 minutes went by, and he hadn't stopped splashing. <<Hmm, this ��does�� seem excessive. Perhaps this is a particularly ��playful�� specimen>> I fed the tank, but as soon as he finished eating, he went to the surface and started splashing again. I finally ended up shutting off the T5 lights and he went to his spot under the sand for the night and then I was able to turn the T5's back on. I'm wondering if he's just neurotic and if I should try another yellow Coris wrasse, or if they will all do this. <<Generally not to the extent you describe>> He looks perfect. No discoloration or problems with his fins or anything. None of the fish fight or anything. I attached a picture of my tank that I took last night that shows 5 out of the 6 fish. Tank: 53 gallons with 7 gallon sump Skimmer: Elos NS550 (rated for 80-130 gallons) 10% water changes faithfully every other week with RO/DI water Tank Parameters: Temp 79-80f Salinity 1.025 PH: 8.4 Alk: 7 Calcium: 400 Mag: 1170 Phosphates: undetectable Nitrates: 2.5 Nitrites and Ammonia: 0 Fish: Yellow Coris Wrasse Longnose Hawkfish Royal Gramma Pair of True Percula Firefish Thanks! Pam <<This may just be this fish��s ��personality.�� Do try another individual��this species is certainly worth the trouble to do so. Regards, EricR>>

Re: Strange Fish Behavior (Halichoeres chrysus) - 04/15/08 Thanks Eric. <<Quite welcome, Pam>> I will try another specimen if this one continues with this behavior. <<Excellent>> He really is a beautiful bright fish! <<Indeed��and quite hardy/easy to care for too!>> I appreciate you pointing out that he's a Canary Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus), not a Coris Wrasse. <<Ah yes, a big difference��though this is a very much used (misused!) common name for this fish>> Maybe he's splashing because he just wants my attention. ;) Have a good day. Pam <<Be chatting. Eric Russell>>

R2: Strange Fish Behavior (Halichoeres chrysus) - 04/15/08 Hi Eric. <<Hiya, Pam>> Sorry, forgot to respond to your question. <<Ah��no worries>> He sits at the center of the front pane of glass. The overflow is on the rear right hand corner. <<Hmm��I see��no real correlation then>> Strange how he didn't do this for the first 5 weeks, and now in the past week, he does it for hours on end it seems. Maybe he got more comfortable in the tank. <<Yes��or maybe just bored (really)>> Thanks again. Pam <<Always happy to share. EricR>>

R3: Strange Fish Behavior (Halichoeres chrysus) - 04/15/08 Hmmm....if he's bored...maybe he'd like a mate. I think I read you could house two together? <<Mmm��you need a bigger tank my friend. This fish ��is�� found in small groups in the wild, but housing more than one in a small captive system is a much different matter. Two or more of these fish may well coexist if introduced simultaneously to a large system��but introducing another to your tank, especially with one already established, will be trouble>> Thanks again Eric. Pam <<Always welcome. EricR>>

R4: Strange Fish Behavior (Halichoeres chrysus) - 04/16/08 Gotcha. <<Ah good>> I'll try just trading him in. <<Probably the better solution>> I'm sitting here on my computer as I type....getting splashed by him!! I cleaned all the salt off the tank from all of the splashing he did today, and a minute later, water is dripping down the front of the tank again while he sits there and laughs at me!! ;) <<Hmm��makes me think of an article I read somewhere a while back speculating on the ��real levels�� versus our perception of intelligence among our finny friends. I wonder if this fish only displays this behavior when (or because!) you are in the room�� Perhaps your little yellow friend has developed a crush on you and is vying for your attention [grin] >> Bye Pam <<B��bye�� EricR>>

R5: Strange Fish Behavior (Halichoeres chrysus) - 04/16/08 LOL Eric! <Hee-hee!>> I can tell he's been splashing when I've been at work all day, by the amount of dried salt on the outside of the tank. <<Ah��I see>> I go to bed with it sparkling clean, and come home from work finding the mess he's made. <<Ha! Just like being married, eh!>> Have a good one. Pam
<<And you, my friend. EricR>>

Missing Wrasse And Aggressive Yellow Tang (Environmentally Induced?) �� 03/21/08 Dusky Wrasse (Halichoeres marginatus) has disappeared. <<Ah! Halichoeres is among my top two favorite genera of wrasses (the other being Macropharyngodon)>> It was placed in the main tank 18 hours ago. <<Mmm, then this ��disappearance�� is neither uncommon nor unusual. These fish very often retreat to the substrate; sometimes for days at a time, when stressed��(as in being captured/transported to a new environment)>> I moved some upper layer rocks to try to find him, and then realized I could have crushed him in the sand. <<Is best to leave alone. Forcing the fish out of hiding only compounds the issue/the fish��s stress>>>> I then replaced all the live rock to it's original place. I checked the sand but could not find this fish. <<Again��not a good idea>> I checked behind the tank and the floor, but could not find it (I do have a dog who would have probably eaten a tasty little fish had she found it on the floor). <<The wrasse is likely still in the tank (though this genus ��will�� jump) and should (hopefully) reappear when ready>> A yellow tang was seriously harassing the wrasse, even with the lights out. <<Mmm��another stressor��>> This tang bullied three Banggai cardinals despite rockwork rearrangement. <<Hmm, not typical��you may have a ��mean�� individual��or the environment is just too small for the tang>> They died after two weeks. <<Stress��kills people too>> I would like to add four more fish; but should I be concerned that this tang is going to bully/kill all new additions? <<Does appear so>> I really enjoy watching "sunshine" as my children call him and do not wish to find him a new home. <<Perhaps just a bigger one�� And��is this fish well fed? A full belly can go far toward tempering aggressions>> Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. <<Am trying>> I currently have 1 yellow tang, 1 lawnmower blenny, 1 neon goby, 4 blue/green chromis, 1 Firefish goby, 1 cleaner shrimp, 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 serpent sea star, mushroom coral, green star polyp coral, various reef cleaners. I have a 75 gallon AGA, <<I consider this size tank as ��marginal�� for the Yellow Tang and likely has much to do with the fish��s aggressive behavior>> 125 gallon ProClear overflow and sump, 2300 ViaAqua pump, Corallife power compact lights; 260 Watts, 125 Corallife protein skimmer, Turbo Twist UV sterilizer, 2 power heads, 40 lbs. of live sand, sea shell rubble and aragonite, 75 lbs. of live rock. Running six months now. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, pH 8.0, Nitrates 5 - 10. <<Nitrates should be lower with the inverts in the system��5ppm or less>> Ten gallon water change 14 - 20 days (dechlorinated tap water, circulated about 24 hours). <<The tap water is possibly a source for Nitrates��but is easy enough to test>> One last thing, if I may. <<Certainly>> I am contemplating upgrading the pump, as I have discovered by actually measuring the output that the water turnover is only about 240 gallons per hour. <<I see>> Do you have any suggestions? <<Your overflow has only a single 1�� drain��upgrading the return pump still limits you to a maximum of 300gph. The 240gph you have running through the sump is quite adequate (and a lot less noisy than a higher flow rate will be). Unless you are having problems I suggest you leave the return pump as is, and look rather to adding some supplemental flow to the display with a powerhead or two>> Sincerely, Victoria <<Regards, EricR>>

Halichoeres chrysus... beh.  �� 10/30/2007 Hello, <Jason> Recently I purchased a Yellow Wrasse, and I am deeply in love with it (even though I��ve seen it twice in the last three days)! <Ahh... "absence makes the heart grow..."> Other than the disappearing acts, I have experienced other strange behaviours in my tank since adding this fish. My Blue Tang seems to have developed a great admiration for this fish, and seems to copy (almost synchronised) everything that it does, which it has never done with the other aquarium fish before. I��m worried that this might be keeping the Wrasse in hiding for longer. <Mmm, not likely... are just shy, retiring> Also with my purchase, I got a nice piece of live rock which is covered on many polyps. At a closer glimpse I��ve noticed a few what I think to be clams and fan worms. What are the chances of them surviving in my 8 month tank? <Some> Also on that live rock, I��ve noticed two clear anemone-like things, which have turned into three in two days. I��m afraid that it might be glass/Aiptasia anemones. <Maybe> How can I remove them with a Yellow Wrasse in the tank? Will it give hermit crabs any trouble? Or will the crab be able to fend it off? Thanks, Jason. <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm and the linked files at the bottom. Bob Fenner>

New slippery dick wrasse  9/12/05 We just picked up a juvenile slippery dick wrasse yesterday and put him in our quarantine tank (after a two hour acclimation period).  He immediately went to the bottom and was laying on his side breathing heavily but not gasping. <Not atypical... this is a very active species, that in shipping, runs out of oxygen easily> He would go upright but then slowly sag to the side again.  He eventually made his way into one of the pvc pipes where he spent the night. He is still there this morning, still on his side and still breathing rather heavily but not gasping.  Should we be worried about this behavior?  I know they like to bury themselves in the sand but had not heard about them lying on their sides like this. Thanks for your help, Sally <Need to be moved expediently, packed with oxygen (which also exerts an anesthetic effect)... in the dark... acclimated quickly... Hopefully yours will make a full recovery. Bob Fenner>

Hiding Christmas wrasse  9/5/05 Hello Everyone, <Hello>         I bought a Christmas Wrasse  on Friday. They had just gotten there shipment in an hour ago from Hawaii. When  I saw him he looked really healthy and active. I bought him and put him in  my 55gal. tank as my last fish. He swam around for about 15-20 minutes I  went away from the tank for a few minutes and when I came back he was gone. I do  have 25lbs. of live rock so there are places to hide. I have checked around the  tank and I know that he didn't jump. The tank is covered with crushed coral over  an undergravel filter. The crushed coral is about 1cm. in diameter with   lots of small shells in it.  This is the third day of hiding. I haven't  seen him since about 8pm.EST on Friday. I don't have any overly aggressive fish.  When I put him in none of the fish were really bothering him other than the  usual new tankmate curiosity. Thanks for your help <It's disturbing to hear from someone that purchases a fish without knowing all the requirements.  Wrasses like to burrow in the sand at night, not crushed coral, it's a little rough on the skin.  Please search "wrasses" on the WWM and read. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Hiding Christmas wrasse  9/7/05 I usually do lots of research on a fish before buying it. But I had a hard   time finding any information on it. I did know that it is reasonably easy to   keep and gets about 6". I completely forgot most wrasses like to bury   themselves. Mainly because I have a blueheaded wrasse and he doesn't bury  himself.     Do you know if sand would work with an undergravel  filter? <No, if you have live rock the UG isn't needed.  They are also potential nitrate factories if not cleaned regularly.> I was wondering if it would clog it. I still have not seen the wrasse.  Is it normal for new additions to hide for this long? <Very possible.  Try keeping the lights off for a few days, it aids in their ability to adapt.  Also, please reply to the original message in the future so we  know where to direct the mail.  James (Salty Dog)> thanks for your help  <You're welcome>

Halichoeres chrysus Good evening, <And you> Question re Halichoeres chrysus, Adult. I have a 120 gal reef tank with a few soft corals a mushroom and about 130 pounds of live rock. I have recently introduced this fine, apparently healthy specimen. Great depth of color, full, clear fins and tail. Eating like a horse. After a settling period of two days, it has started to act strangely, violently flicking itself, quick respiration and the middle black dot on it's top fin turns grey. The thing is, this fish seems to be reacting to me approaching the tank and putting on some type of defensive display? <Maybe> Is this fish known to perform this way? What else could be causing this? <"Adjustment" to the system, setting, tankmates> Water parameters are PH 8.23, Ammonia <.1, Nitrate and Nitrite are 0, temp. 25.5 centigrade, salinity 1.025. <These all are good. Bob Fenner> Many thanks, Jordon

Wrasse Follow-up with a Coral Question Hello there, <Good morning.> I think I solved the mystery. The wrasse was just hungry! I have been feeding sparingly as I am still in the initial month of stocking and had clearly underestimated this fish's appetite. This evening I fed it some large krill and it wolfed them down whole until it was bulging and calmed right down. <Glad to hear it.> On another note, a recently introduced Lobophyton keeps skirting after a day or so of opening (fully and apparently very healthy). It has now done this three or so times i.e.. Open for a day, closed for three/four days. I have tried to move higher/lower and into current and out but don't seem to get him settled? Should I just leave him in "a" position for a few weeks to see if this works or keep moving? Any other thoughts? Tank stats below. <Please stop moving him around. I know it is difficult to resist that urge to do something when things do not look right, but forcing a coral to keep adapting to changing light is a very good way to kill it. Patience is the ultimate virtue in this hobby.> Many thanks, Jordon <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Halichoeres chrysus Burying Habits The new Halichoeres chrysus is really going at the sand bed. I have a 1/2 inch of fine coral sand. Question is, does this guy NEED a deep/er sand bed? The LFS said no and I can't find any reference to any depth requirement. Should he be able to burry himself or just dig around? <It will need to bury itself. -Steven Pro>

Halichoeres chrysus Burying Habits I just answered my own question! I couldn't bear looking at him dive into the glass bottom any longer and so I pushed some sand into a heap and 10 seconds later he was buried in it and has been there ever since! I think I will leave this mound there and just stir it up every now and again so it doesn't go septic. <No need to worry about stirring the sand. The wrasse will take care of that himself. Best regards, Jordon <Have a nice weekend. -Steven Pro>

Disappearing Christmas Wrasse I also bought a small Christmas Wrasse and he always seems to disappear about 4 pm. Really weird and then I don't see him to the next day. Any info on him would be appreciated. <This is rather well documented. Many wrasses bury themselves at night for protection. You can begin further investigation/education here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/index.htm -Steven Pro>

Subterranean Yellow Wrasse Hello Fish Guy(s), Yesterday, we purchased a Yellow Wrasse for our 35 gallon tank.  The store clerk warned us that when they get scared, they burrow into the sand/rock in the tank.  So, we expected that he would do this when we added him to the tank, and he did.  Only, that was yesterday at about 4pm.  We have seen hide nor hair of him since.  No rocks moving, no head poking out, nothing.  We're starting to get worried.  Is this normal for the Wrasse?  How long will he be indisposed? <Is normal, may spend another day or so out of sight, most nights. Do you know what species this is? May be Halichoeres chrysus... or something much larger (too large for your size system). Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/halichoeres.htm and possibly the wrasses (diversity, in blue, at top) beyond. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Kerry

Re: Yellow Wrasse It is the Halichoeres chrysus.  Is this ok for a 35 gallon? Or is he one of the larger Wrasses? <One of the smaller species, but this is about the smallest system I would keep one in> Thanks for the help, hopefully our Wrasse will make an appearance soon. <Me too. Bob Fenner>

- Canary Wrasse Disappearance - Hello all: I just added 2 canary wrasses to my 125G FOw/oLR. As the tanks at the LFS did not have sand beds, both wrasses happily dove into the gravel when introduced on Sunday afternoon. Both made an appearance on Monday afternoon and both ate well. However, I have not seen either wrasse since Monday. I read the articles on the website that stated that these wrasses may hide for two or three days, but this time period seems unusually long. <Not for new introductions...> How are they surviving if I feed the tank while they are buried? <They are likely going hungry for the moment.> Do you think that they will appear in due course? <I do hope so, but you might also check the floor behind the tank. These fish can fly through the air with the greatest of ease... need to keep your tank well covered to prevent accidental loss.> As always, your input in valued. Thanks, Mitch <Cheers, J -- >

- Expensive Tastes - Jason: Thanks for your reply. <My pleasure.> The mystery has been solved... my porcupine puffer saw both of these fish as an opportunity to satisfy his hunger pangs. <Oh bummer... those puffers do things like that. Sorry to hear of your loss.> Mitch <Cheers, J -- >

Frightened Canary (4/21/04 Hello WWM crew, <Steve Allen with you this evening.> We have had a Canary Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus) in our tank for about 6-7 months now. He was doing great up until a couple weeks ago. He was really active, swimming around the entire tank, curious, and his feeding/sleeping schedule was like clockwork every day. But lately he's seemed out of sorts.  He disappears for a day or 2 at a time and doesn't come out at his normal time for feeding like he used to. If he does come out, it's usually later at night. We feed him when he comes out and he eats, so we're assuming being hungry isn't the problem. But also, now that he's been gone for longer periods of time we've noticed the other fish (a tomato clown, and a damsel <What kind?> that's being given up for adoption soon) will chase him around and pick on him when he does come out of hiding. They never had problems getting along before. <None that you noticed anyway. I have little doubt that they started at some point before he started to hide and you just didn't happen to be there at the right moment to see it. It does not take much to spook this Wrasse.> We've tested the water, and everything seems normal. His coloring still looks normal too. The Wrasse is our favorite fish, we don't want to lose him. Any idea what might be causing his strange behavior? <The Tomato and the Damsel. They are well known to grow more aggressive with age. This Wrasse is obviously afraid. Unless you have some other aggressive fish, they're the culprits.> How long can he stay in hiding before we should start worrying about him? <You probably have to choose between the Wrasse and the other two. One thing to try first would be to remove the Tomato and the Damsel to a quarantine tank and re-arrange the rocks in the display. Then put them back in after the Wrasse has had a couple of weeks to settle down. However, I fear they will start back up where they left off fairly quickly.> Thanks, Kerry <Hope this helps.>

Wrasse Impasse? (Missing Canary Wrasse) I recently bought a Canary Wrasse (4 days ago to be exact). I haven't seen him much, I am aware of wrasse behavior for the most part, but I think he has been hiding a little too long. I don't think he has been out much more than 2-3 hours since I brought him home. Should I be worried yet? I have a Neon Dottyback that seems to be a bit of a brat, a Longnose Hawk, and a Lyretail Anthias, This beautiful fish is new as well and seem to be doing well. Is it time to worry ???? Thank you, KJ <Well, KJ- I would not worry just yet. As you are aware, these guys are very adept at hiding in the sand or rockwork until they are ready to come out and be sociable! One of my favorite fishes! Even though the fish is in hiding, the fish can find food to eat in the rocks and sand. Halichoeres species wrasses can be a bit secretive, but will eventually spend lots of time out in the open where you can see their interesting behavior. I'd give him/her a little more time. If more than a week goes by without seeing the fish, then I'd start to get concerned. Although the Neon Dottyback can be a bit of a troublemaker, I'll bet that he is not harassing the clever and tough wrasse. These guys can hold their own! Hang in there, keep observing, and do be prepared to take action (removing a the fish if it is in distress, etc.) if it is required. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>  

Yellow Wrasse - 05/23/05 Hey, <Hey!> Yesterday I purchased a cleaner wrasse <Yikes! Take it back if you can...destined to starve to death.> and a yellow wrasse for my 90 gallon reef tank. The cleaner wrasse was real busy with the other fishes, and it eats about anything I feed with great pleasure. However, the yellow wrasse is a different story. As soon as I introduced him into the tank, he burst into the thick sand bed. I was worried that it died, but today it came out wondering for half an hour then disappeared. It missed out the feeding time. Is this fish hunting for food in the sand? Or does it just like to sleep all day long? Is there anyway to feed this fish or do I have to wait until it comes out of the sand? <If this is a Halichoeres chrysus this behavior is normal. The wrasse will eventually settle in and be seen more...and become a very capable bristle worm predator. These fish are actually quite personable and very hardy feeders...once acclimated to your tank. Try tempting it to feed with thawed frozen Mysis shrimp and/or glass worms (mosquito larvae).> Thank You

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