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FAQs on Harlequin Tuskfish, Choerodon fasciata, Identification

Related Articles: Harlequin Tuskfish, Tuskfishes, Genus Choerodon,

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

Uh, no. Hippocampus ingens Girard 1858, the Pacific Seahorse.

Harlequin tusk throwing up 3/21/11
Sorry to bother you as I'm sure you are busy, but I am concerned about my new Tuskfish and I was hoping you could help.
I just brought him home from the LFS, acclimated him, and placed him in a 55 gallon quarantine. After being in the 55 for about 10 minutes, he appeared to throw up.
The material appears to be shrimp shell. He is very active and curious and he does not appear to be panicking at all.
<Then I would not either>
At the LFS, he readily ate pellets and the owner did state that the fish had shrimp earlier. Could this be the result of the stress experienced during the move from the store to his new home?
<I do think so, yes>
Would this be common with the consumption of shrimp shell?
<Mmm, not really>
As a side question, I am having trouble deciding if he is Australian or not. He displays characteristics of both. Can I send you a picture and get your opinion?
Thanks in advance,
<Welcome now and then. Bob Fenner>
Re: Harlequin tusk throwing up 3/21/11

Thank you for your response. I was hoping he was just a little shocked from the move and not really sick. I will be sure to keep a close eye on him though. He has had 2 feedings of shrimp ( without the shell ) without any problems since I wrote you yesterday. He is eating well and seems very happy. He spends most of his time pacing the tank and exploring his new territory.
<Mmm, actually, seems to be reacting to its reflection in the side panel.
I'd cover one end with some sort of non-reflective material. Paper will do>
I have enclosed a couple of pictures for your review. They aren't the best, but I couldn't convince him to pose for me. I guess it's much better to have an active Tuskfish then to have him motionless and easy to photograph.
The more I look at him, the more unsure I am of his origin. He does have the blue on his teeth if that helps any. Any input you have would be greatly appreciated. In your opinion, between the markings and his active and curious behavior, does it sound and look like I have a healthy specimen?
I know only time will really answer this question, but your educated guess sure means a lot to me.
Thanks again,
<Mmm, you may well be able to "tell" the origin or at least that this fish does not hail from Australia by the price. Was it hundreds of U.S. dollars retail? Bob Fenner>

Re: Harlequin tusk throwing up 3/21/11
He was actually priced really well, $60.00 US, and this was my largest clue that he is not Australian.
<Ah yes; totally agreed>
My only concern is having a healthy and happy fish. From hours of reading on your site I have learned that the Australian variety seems to do better than the others.
<In general, yes>
With the combination of the good price and the activity and personality of this particular fish, I figured I would give him a shot. As long as you think he looks\sounds good, then I couldn't be happier with him. I will cover the tank with paper and see if it helps him settle in. Thanks again for all of your help.
Hope to talk again soon.
<Thank you, BobF>

- Harlequin Tusk Eye Spots - I have just noticed on my harlequin tusk, that he has a spot on his bottom part of his tail and I tried looking up some stuff to see if it was what I thought, but do they get a fake eye spot on there tail? <Not that I am aware of - the more common place is on the anal fin and at the back of the dorsal fin, but these go away as they mature.> cause that is what it looks like. just wanted to make sure it wasn't anything bad <Probably not - there's always room for genetic variation and mutation. Could be you have a very unique Tuskfish.> thanks Angie <Cheers, J -- >

Harlequin Tusk Hi <Hello, JasonC here.> I just recently purchased a harlequin tusk fish from a local pet shop I have been dealing with for years. The fish is doing well in my 150 gallon fish only aquarium. It started eating the minute it got into the tank and takes Mysis, clams, brine shrimp and just about anything else I put in the tank. It is active and fairly bold at feeding times. <Ah, good.> Here is my question. I have been reading many articles saying that the best quality specimens come from Australia and are fairly pricey. I paid $60 for my two inch fish. These articles now have me concerned that the low price I paid may indicate that I have a low quality Philippine specimen that is most likely doomed. <Not necessarily so. My own tusk was not from Australia and is doing well after more than a year. You just want to keep this information in hand when selecting a specimen. It sounds to me like you got a good one, and in general, these are pretty tough fish.> Is there distinguishing features between the Philippine and Australian fish. <Ahh, someone asked this question the other day. Check out my answer at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/choerodon/faciatafaqs.htm > Can you point me to any detailed information on this fish. <Do also check on www.fishbase.org> Thank you AJ. <Cheers, J -- >

Tuskfish Hi Bob, I've been doing lots of research on the Harlequin Tuskfish. <Hello, JasonC here...> My question is do the Philippine version also have blue teeth? <Yes, they do.> What about the tooth coloring of a small juv Australian tusk? <In my experience, the blueness of the tusk teeth becomes more pronounced with age, and that juvenile's teeth have much less blue to them, to the point of being almost white. Again, this will change with time.> Do you have any recent pictures? <I do not, but Bob was recently in the GBR region and "thought" he had a photo of a tusk, but alas... with underwater photographs there are many, many variables which are often discovered once back home and examining your work. I believe his exact words were, "I used the wrong damn lens." Oh well, do check out http://www.wetwebfotos.com/ and use the search there to find the photos we do have.> Any help is appreciated. Thank you Ali Atapour <You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -->

Re: Tuskfish Thank you for the quick reply, very impressive.. hehe <Oh thank you. Perhaps not so when you realize there are three or four people answering this stream of email!> I have another question if you don't mind, How can you distinguish a Philippine small juv versus an Australian small juv. <Probably the price. Shipping out of Australia is nuts, so it adds significantly to the price. The Philippines has very regular cargo flights heading into LA so it's much cheaper - up here in Massachusetts, an Aussie tusk might run you $150-200 or more, where the Philippine tusk would be no more than $100. Juveniles would be just a little less.> My local fish store insists that he carries only the Australian version, but how do I know for sure? He wants 75 for the small 3 - 3 1/2" juv (supposedly Australian) tusk. <Well many people talk about the coloration as a clue, and typically the orange of an Aussie tusk is very deep and bold. That being said, I've also seen this same orange on non-Aussie tusks. The same is true with the blue that occurs on the back and near the caudal fin. Aussie tusks typically have more blue, or are darker. But again, this can also lighten and darken with mood, and my own non-Aussie tusk has a good deal of blue on its back. Color may not be your best guide. I would use price - I paid $75 for my Indo-Pacific juvenile tusk (3in), and I live in Massachusetts. If you live in or close to LA, you might get a small shipping break but not that small.> Any tips on identifying the young? <Again, I think price - they don't cost any less to ship because they're smaller. The smallest of small tusks aren't nearly as handsome as their full-grown-selves and look more like a big eyeball with fins - ok, maybe not that bad, but certainly not easy to distinguish at that size. Do check out Bob's page on these - he has pictures of both: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/choerodon/faciata.htm> Thank you again, Ali Atapour
<You are welcome. Cheers, J -- >

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