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FAQs on Wrasses of the Genus Halichoeres 2

Related Articles: Halichoeres Wrasses,

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

Established H. melanurus and new H. melasmapomus; stkg., comp.       9/14/18
Hi there! I have a long time established 4 foot long 80 gallon reef tank....I have an established male Halichoeres melanurus, he is about 3 inches. I was wondering if I could add a Halichoeres melasmapomus?
<Mmm; maybe. The genus does mix in the wild, but... a 4 foot long world of eighty gallons isn't much space; room to move>
Would there be aggression issues from the melanurus?
<Possibly; I'd go w/ one decidedly larger or smaller if trying this>
Would this size tank work for the melasmapomus? My long time residents include all Wrasses. One
pair of Macropharyngodon bipartitus, a pair of Macropharyngodon meleagris, and a Macropharyngodon moyeri. Thanks so much for your help! You are all great! I am also a huge fan of Mr. Fenner! I have most of his books!!
<Am a huge fan of Labrids as well Steph... As long as you have space to separate them should there be overt trouble, I'd likely go ahead w/ this mix; OR add one or more female/initial phase H. melanurus! Bob Fenner>
Re: Established H. Melanurus and new H. melasmapomus      9/14/18

Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly! I also have another thought. My LFS just called me to say he got in another M. Moyeri.
Instead of trying the H. Melasmapomus, do you think I might be able to pair my current M. Moyeri? Thanks again!
<I do give better odds w/ this Leopard Wrasse choice. BobF>
Re: Established H. Melanurus and new H. melasmapomus      9/14/18

Sounds great! Thank you so much! Do you think a Labrids book might be in
the works from you???
<Oh Steph! I have maybe a third of the pix I'd like to show/use. Am sure friends in the field would lend me theirs for publication... You do have the works by Rudie Kuiter, Helmut Debelius, Scott Michael?
Are you a Facebook user? Do ask Lemon Tyk to become a friend; and you'll encounter other wrasse investigators.>
I have both editions of your Conscientious Marine
Aquarist book. They have helped me for years! ��
<Ahh! Are you a dive traveler? Friend me on FB as well, and I'll add you to the FB Scuba Diving Friends page and what it has to offer. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Established H. melanurus and new H. melasmapomus       9/14/18

Hi!! Yes the Wrasse book I have the Scott Michael one! Very informative!
Yes we are avid divers.....we are going to Cozumel in a few weeks!
<Oh! A fave dive island. DO check out (and book if you haven't made reservations as yet) Iberostar (a resort to the south near the best diving); and the onsite dive service: Dressel Divers. Have stayed, used them several times. Very nice experience>
I can't
wait! Years ago before I had a reef tank, we were on a dive trip to Cozumel and saw blue headed Wrasses! They were so friendly and not afraid of us. I was in love with Wrasses after that.
<Ah ha!>
My highlight last year was seeing Caribbean Reef Squid. My husband has gotten pretty good at taking
video and pictures under water.
<A fun skill for sure>
So we have pictures framed all over the house....he he! I will for sure go onto Facebook! I would love to get your Wrasse book! If you need pictures of blue headed Wrasses I have plenty of those! LOL!
<Cheers! BobF>
Re: Established H. Melanurus and new H. melasmapomus       9/14/18

Thanks for that info! I know of the Iberostar on Cozumel! I haven't booked a hotel yet! I am checking them out now, and it looks like they have rooms available!!! ��
<The whole co. is a great value IMO/E; have stayed w/ their newer property in PV, Playa Mita as well. NOT a lot of diving possibilities there though. WOULD like to find someone/folks who want to haul out to one of their Cuba prop.s. Oh, do check the price on CheapCaribbean.com as well as direct>
The first time I was in Mexico, and the first time I saw the ocean was in 1986. I was 12 years old. We flew into Cancun and then drove to Akamul, we spent 10 days there at this mom and pop hotel right on the beach, the rooms were right on the sand.
<Ah yes; have done the drive all the way down to Chetumal; VERY nice still, but not a fan of the build up that is Playa (del Carmen)>
No pool, no TV, no AC. I loved it! Swam with Sea Turtles, snorkeled in unspoiled lagoons, it was great. I loved the culture, the people, and the ocean there. I have been going back almost every year. Thanks for taking the time to help me and give me excellent information about the Iberostar on Cozumel!
<Very glad to share w/ you. BobF>
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> 

Halichoeres trispilus   11/21/07 Hi Bob, <Peggy> I was sent a Halichoeres trispilus (didn't order it), and I'm having trouble finding any information on it. I presume it's not reef-safe and feeds on inverts based on the very minimal info I've found. Can you provide some insight to this fish please? <I wish I did know... this is indeed a rarity amongst this super-genus... I did read on Fishbase re... 9 cm. long... I suspect as you state that this is an easier-going member of this usually placid genus... Sort of like the "Yellow Coris" (H. chrysus)... I further speculate that its husbandry is similar to all Halichoeres. Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/halichoeres.htm and the linked files above> Many thanks. Peggy <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Re: Halichoeres trispilus  11/21/07 Hi Bob, <Peg> Many thanks for your response. I had already been to WWM and scoured the pages for info on this fish, and also the information on fish base. It is strikingly similar to the H. chrysus but is half white (entire bottom) and half lemon yellow (entire top) and has 4 black spots from caudal area through dorsal. I introduced this fish to a 125-gallon show tank with mostly peaceful fish (there is a Six-Line) that also has a nice deep sandbed. I haven't seen him yet this morning, but he did only enter the tank at approximately 8:00 p.m. last night. I pray he's ok. I take it very personally when I lose a fish. <Ahh!> It doesn't happen very often. Will let you know how or if he fares! <Thank you> One of my peeves is receiving fish I didn't order, especially those that are either rare and not much is known about their care or they're predatory in nature. <Ah, yes... A VERY poor practice in our trade. NOT one common amongst what I term the "A" players... the best of our industry. No one should make "free" unordered animals, NOR make summary substitutions... In turn, such suppliers SHOULD contact their collectors, transhippers... and DEMAND that non-ordered life NOT be sent, indeed, NOT collected. Pardon my rancor here, please> I know my vendor meant well, however, sending me this beautiful fish. They take extremely good care of their fish and provide my store with magnificent specimens. <Ahh, good> Thanks again Bob, and do enjoy your turkey dinner! Peggy <Thank you my friend. Peace and good life to you and yours. Bob Fenner> Re: Halichoeres trispilus  11/21/07 You sound like me when I open boxes of fish and find something I didn't order! I rant and rave all over the store about having gotten something I didn't order. I have limited fish space because everything I do is reef-oriented, so I'm VERY careful about what I order. I NEVER order anything that won't fare well in captivity, and I think perhaps I turn customers away because of it because I just tell them it's irresponsible and some don't like it. I also ALWAYS put NO SUBSTITUTIONS on my order forms. It's infrequent that I get them, for which I'm thankful. I suspect this was my rep thinking he was sending this fish to a place he knew would do its best to care for it. <I see... am sure both you and I "wish" (as in "if wishes were fishes we'd all have full tanks)... that such issues could/would be better communicated... Perhaps in a better universe> Many thanks again for your prompt response Bob. I must again remark on what a downright nice individual you are. You are a blessing to the entire industry and all hobbyists. Peggy <Thank you my friend. BobF>  

Re: Halichoeres trispilus 11/21/07 Oh joy Bob! The H. trispilus is out and about and swimming famously and picking at the rock in the 125! <It looks to be a very nice specimen indeed> He's sturdier than I thought in that he's taken a few shots from the Yellow Tang but simply dashes out of the way and goes right back to his business. He's a splendid fish! I've attached a couple pretty good pics of him for you. Also, I have an Australian Scott's Fairy Wrasse that I brought in to add to my 180 display (I did order this one), and he is finally out and about as well. What a relief. I've coveted this fish for ages and finally decided to bite the financial bullet and bring one in for display. He's stunning. When he gets more comfortable and shows himself more readily, I'll send a pic. <Thank you for this> Off to scrub mix containers. Sounds fun doesn't it? Actually, I love every minute of it. :O) Peggy www.all-reef.com <Will post the pix with credit to you Peggy. Thank you, BobF>

Re: Halichoeres trispilus 11/23/07 Hi Bob, <Peggy> In looking at the H. trispilus shown on WWM, there surely is a marked difference in the color morph. Do you think the fish I received is actually the trispilus? I know color morphs vary from different geographical areas, etc., but would it be this diverse? Just curious and thought you may know. Hope you are enjoying your holiday! Peggy www.all-reef.com <Thank you my friend. You've seen the graphics et al. on the general Net (Google images) and Fishbase.org for this species? Your pic does concern me... for its resemblance to an aberrant or cross twixt H. chrysus... and? And the stated distribution of this fish. VERY few organisms are collected in these areas that make their way into U.S. markets... And I see you are located in MN... Is possible... but... BobF>

Re: Halichoeres trispilus 11/23/07 I'm inclined to think it's a hybrid of the H. chrysus judging by what I've seen of the trispilus info. I guess I'll never know for sure unless someone else comes up with something similar and it was in fact collected in the likely area, etc. It is surely a beautiful fish, and I'm not disappointed. I love them all. He won't be for sale so there's no concern there. He's for display only and makes a wonderful addition. Many thanks Bob. Let me know if you happen to learn anything contrary to our latest discussion. www.all-reef.com
<Will do. BobF, now out in HI>

Can you ID the wrasse in the attached photo?  - 05/29/06 < I will try my best! > I've looked at your site and I think its a Coris venusta but its hard to tell. < It closely resembles a Halichoeres melanurus male, but I have been wrong before! > Also, when I put this three inch wrasse with a big mouth in the tank a month ago my coral goby disappeared, do you think the wrasse ate him? < I seriously doubt it. Not that it couldn't happen. I would expect the wrasse to eat anything small, but more along the lines of crustaceans and worms. > Thanks
< You are very welcome
  RichardB >
Wrasse ID  - 05/29/06 Hi <Hello there> Can you ID the wrasse in the attached photo? I've looked at your site and I think its a Coris venusta but its hard to tell. Also, when I put this three inch wrasse with a big mouth in the tank a month ago my coral goby disappeared, do you think the wrasse ate him? Thanks Matt <Is a Halichoeres species, see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/halichoeres.htm and yes, could have consumed the Gobiodon. Bob Fenner>

Radiant wrasse, Bailey's pod show  1/18/06 Dear WWM Crew, <Belinda> :) It is with a heavy heart I tell you I found our beautiful radiant wrasse dead in the tank today.  My guess is he died a day or so ago.  I am not sure why as he had been coming out regularly and was eating. Although he did not stay out all day he was coming out almost every day.  I did notice that when we saw him out last he was swimming sort of humped, with a humped back and I was afraid something might be wrong.  Any ideas? <Not a great answer, but "cumulative stress" likely> I really hate it as we have a yellow wrasse that really liked him.  At least I think it is a yellow wrasse - it is yellow on top white on bottom, with pretty green horizontal lines at his head and tail.   <Likely Halichoeres chrysus...> We would really like to get another one or similar for him because he became really excited and would try to get him to swim with him constantly. Looking on www.liveaquaria.com site it looks like they have a yellow wrasse, a neon wrasse, a Hoeven's wrasse, and of radiant wrasse that looks in the same family as our yellow and white wrasse. <See fishbase.org or WWM with the scientific names...> Do you have a suggestion as to which might be a better friend? <Many choices>   We have tried to pair up as much as possible.  Our sailfin tang and bicolor Rabbitfish seemed to have really hit it off and constantly swim around together. Also have you ever consider doing a radio talk show called "aquarium talk" - something like "car talk" :) <Yes... is done by two (quite) old friends, Nevin and Tom Bailey... and of all things, they live in the same town (San Diego). I should contact them to see if they have a spot. Bob Fenner> Thanks so much, Belinda

Has This Wrasse Passed? - 12/12/05 Hello all: <<Howdy>> Happy Holidays to the scholars of the deep! <<Mmm, more like "students"...but thank you.>> One week ago, I acquired a H. hortulanus and introduced it into the display tank after performing the precautionary acclimation procedures. <<No quarantine eh...>> The lights were turned off upon introduction.  The wrasse immediately swam to one of my live rock stacks and has not appeared since. <<Not atypical behavior.>> I realize that these wrasses bury themselves in the substrate, but I would think that I would have seen it after one week. <<One might think so, but I have a Macropharyngodon meleagris that has stayed buried/out of sight for more than a week at a time on more than one occasion...only to pop up again and resume browsing/hunting as normal.>> I was discussing this with a fellow aquarist and he volunteered the following hypothesis that he had read in some periodical.  The theory is that since these wrasses bury themselves so deeply within the substrate, they penetrate into the anaerobic portion and consequently are consumed by the bacteria and/or waste materials in the substrate. <<Um...if this were true, would they not be extinct in the wild?  Do you not think there are anaerobic bacteria on/in a reef/the reef floor?  I don't think is your issue.>> I would appreciate your feedback, as if this is the case, then my days of purchasing Halichoeres wrasses are over. Thanks, Mitch   <<Fear not Mitch, the Halichoeres genus are quite hardy (and personable) for the most part.  If the wrasse was not doomed from the start (poor collection/transport/handling) then it could pop up soon.  Though do be aware, your specimen will grow to be a bruiser at 12 inches.  Regards, EricR>>

Wrestling With A Wrasse!  9/22/05 I am considering getting a Radiant Wrasse to combat a problem with the Montipora Nudibranchs.  I've heard many reports of great success with these wrasses, and they are gorgeous fish. <Yes they are! I love Halichoeres species, and the H. iridis is one of my very favorites! They are a bit touchy, however, and I have known several people who have not been as lucky as I while acclimating them. Take it really slow and be sure to quarantine them carefully.> Only thing is, I worry about my cleaner shrimp (2) and my jumbo Tongan Nassarius snails in particular, and the other snails and hermit crabs in general.  What is your experience with these fish and their behavior towards these animals?  Thanks, Joel <Well, Joel, these guys have relatively small mouths, but they can and do pick on small snails. In fact, I've had other Halichoeres wrasses (H. melanurus, in particular) that have taken an almost sadistic dislike of snails, literally bashing them out of their shells before dispatching them! Generally, these guys are well behaved, but smaller shrimp, fanworms, and snails are potential snack items if the fish feels so inclined! I certainly feel that the potential risk is worth it for their utility and sheer beauty, but you'll have to make the final call. Good luck with this wonderful fish! Regards, Scott F.> Weird unexplained wrasse problem!  9/19/05 Hi WWM crew! <Samuel> I have used you archives many times in the past and they have never failed me, thanks for that! <Welcome> This time, I have found a few cases similar to mine but none were resolved or followed up!!! (uh-oh) I have a wrasse (Halichoeres melanurus) I think it is also called a Tailspot wrasse? <Yes, one common name> I have had it for 18 months or so and someone else had it prior to that for a year. I have never had any problems with it but recently introduced a bicolour angel straight into my tank after my quarantine tank sprung a leak after only a week of the angels quarantine. The angel is great (if a little shy and reluctant to take food amongst other fish) But my wrasse has several problems. It seems to have its mouth permanently half open and constantly head butts the front glass with its mouth (no visible damage yet!) But I have seen it quite a few times spontaneously shaking quite violently - one time for a few seconds (very distressing for me and him!) <Not good> It has also had some unusual swimming patterns - up and down up and down in the same spot. It is eating as piggishly as ever and still buries at night. There are no visible signs of disease or parasite within 4 - 5 days of the behaviour. My only thought is some internal parasite but I thought they usually affected appetite! AHH Help me please! Thanks so much crew! <Much more likely a degenerative condition born of nutritional deficiency... I would quickly start supplementing its foods by soaking in a prep. like Zoe, Selcon... 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>

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

Stocking A Super Reef Tank (Cont'.) Hi Scott, I'm so excited!  Today I added 3 Canary Wrasses to the tank. <Awesome! Great fish that can really add some color, personality, and excitement to a tank!> The LFS ordered them in.  All ate at the store and were swimming out in the open.  Apparently 3 more were hiding in the sand.  I brought the outgoing ones home, gave them a 5 minute fresh water dip and put them into the tank. The dip is good procedure, but do try quarantine next time...> To my surprise, they all simply started swimming in the water column.  They never hid in the sand or the rocks.  So far, 5 hours later, none of the fish seems bothered by the change.  The new wrasses are eating off the rock and ate some homemade fish food.   <Great to hear. They really are a pretty perfect reef fish. At night, they may bury themselves in the substrate for protection, but they will typically remain out in the open all day.> They're a beautiful addition and seem very gentle.  It was the perfect suggestion. <I'm really glad you like them! They'll just become more and more attractive and outgoing as they settle in.> Thank you!  Next fish is a Lyretail Anthias when a nice one shows up at the LFS.  Nancy <Keep me posted, Nancy! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

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