The Clown Wrasse (Coris gaimard) is a lively and attractive fish! As an adult it has a much different look than as a juvenile. The young are a general orange color marked with four white spots evenly spaced down the back. This fish can be great in a reef as they will not pick on corals. But they are a strong and large, 14- 16 inches in size, and have a very active behavior. They will flip anything they are strong enough to flip to look for food, so make sure your corals are snug! They will also need a large tank, 100 gallons or more, and to be fed at least 3 times a day.
Bird Wrasses are hyper fish, and the Green Bird Wrasse male reaches 12" in length! They will steal other fish's food and will eat any shrimp or crabs you have in your tank. They are absolutely beautiful, but need at least 100 gallons, with longer 6' tanks and taller 4' tanks being. The smaller females are brown and juveniles won't yet have the long beak which is their namesake.
At first glance they look like two very "in love", or bonded bird Wrasses. Actually Wrasses, especially Bird Wrasses are typically hyper fish and being motionlessness is their way of assessing their surroundings due to fright. These are behaving in a stressed manner, probably because they just were imported. In their final home they will like a dark tank with some rocks for hiding places. We had success bringing a large male around by darkening his holding tank and providing some live feeder shrimp after a day. He finally came out after 2 days, and looked well.
Three Leopard Wrasses of the Macropharyngodon genus, collectively called Morning Leopard Wrasses. A Black Black Leopard Wrasse (Macropharyngodon negrosensis) is hanging out at the bottom of the tank, and is in very stressed coloring. These types of wrasses are reef safe but have a high mortality rate in captivity. Initially they need live foods and must usually be treated for parasites. In the wild these parasites will not harm them, but stress from capture allows the parasites to spread. Once successfully treated and adjusted, Leopard Wrasses must have a very large tank with a deep sandy substrate.
This male Blue Headed Wrasse is trying to attract the yellow females below him. This is one of the FEW Thalassoma wrasses that work in a reef. They get to be about 6" and love to swim! They are great at getting rid of larger Bristle Worms and may eat small hermit crabs once they get older, but will not bother corals.
Typical behavior of a Blue Headed Wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum). They only grow to 6" in length, and work great in reef settings that need the Bristle Worm population taken down! Unlike Coral Shrimp, they don't completely decimate the populations by eating the eggs, rather they only eat the larger creepy crawlies.
Cleaner wrasses are very helpful in the wild. They perform a service to other reef fish by cleaning them of unwanted parasites, and that in turn provides them with food. As the local dermatologist they often will set up a "cleaning station" and have a large client base. Although this wrasse is reef safe, it is very difficult to keep. Sometimes you can get them to eat prepared foods in the aquarium, but there is something they get in the wild that we have yet to provide for a long life in captivity.
What a dramatic differences in coloring between the juvenile Choat's Wrasse and the adult. The Adult is silver/white with red splotches and specks. Clownfish aren't sure of what to make of this little guy! This is a type of Leopard Wrasse, and so tough to acclimate. Initially it will need live foods and probably must be treated for parasites. Once successfully treated and adjusted, it must have a very large tank and a deep sandy substrate.
Choat's Wrasses are very attractive Leopard Wrasses who have a dramatically different look as juveniles! They are very active and work great in a large reef as long as their is plenty of sand to bury themselves, without it they will stress to death. These beauties are best kept by advanced aquarists because they require special acclimation and ongoing specialized care to maintain them.