Golden-striped Grouper

Goldline Grouper ~ Sixline Grouper ~ Sixline Soapfish

Family: Serranidae Picture of a Golden-striped Grouper, Goldline Grouper, or Sixline Grouper, Grammistes sexlineatisGrammistes sexlineatusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Ignatius Tavares
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I can't say enough about this grouper. I had one for 14 years. He was so friendly that as I would clean his tank, he would loved to be touched, then he would turn... (more)  Rudy Salinas

   The Golden-striped Grouper, Grouper,  Goldline Grouper, or Sixline Grouper is well known for producing a skin toxin, called grammistin, which dissuades predators. This toxin is given off when the fish is frightened or annoyed.

   The photo above shows the adult coloration of the Golden-striped Grouper, Grouper,  Goldline Grouper, or Sixline Grouper. The juvenile coloration is quite different. Basically six black and white evenly spaced stripes run horizontally the length of the fish. As it gets older, the white stripes get smaller until they become the dotted pattern and the black becomes lighter until the fish looks like the photo above.

   This grouper is well suited to aquarium life since it only get to be about 10 inches (25 cm) long. This is small for a grouper!

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium

Geographic Distribution
Grammistes sexlineatus
Data provided by
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Serranidae
  • Genus: Grammistes
  • Species: sexlineatus
Lined Soapfish, Sixline Soapfish (Grammistes sexlineatus) at Gold Coast Seaway
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Video of a juvenile Sixline Soapfish in the wild!

This video is the perfect visual as to why Sixline Soapfish do not play well with others that can fit into their mouths! These fish will eat a fish up to the same length as they are, along with shrimp and crabs. Add them to the tank first, and house with fish that are peaceful or semi-aggressive and larger than they are. They are quite peaceful and do not bother larger fish. The toxin that they carry in their slime coat can be expelled into the water to protect them from other fish. While in the ocean this is not an issue, in a closed system, this can cause death to itself and the rest of the tank. They will not bother corals or starfish and are great in an aggressive reef tank!

Zebra Moray, Soapfish, Stars and Stripes puffer (Golden-Striped Grouper Grammistes sexlineatus)
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Adult Sixline Soapfish or Golden-Striped Grouper in captivity.

This video shows the appropriate tank mates for a Sixline Soapfish. Zebra Morays are oddly peaceful for Morays and are typically not aggressive even to smaller fish! The Sixline Soapfish is not aggressive toward his tank mates and is probably full size, which is 11.7" (30 cm). Keeping a well filtered tank with lots of live rock to hide in will help them adjust. Add soapfish to the main display as the first fish in a community tank of large fish for best results.

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Maintenance difficulty:    The Golden-striped Grouper, Grouper,  Goldline Grouper, or Sixline Grouper is easy to keep. They are extremely hardy and have a voracious appetite.

Maintenance:    Feed all kinds of live and frozen protein foods. Try squid, clams, shrimp, chopped fish. Live foods like guppies and goldfish are also appreciated and can be fed occasionally.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    Golden-striped Grouper, Grouper,  Goldline Grouper, or Sixline Grouper are collected in the Indo-Pacific.

Foods:    Like most groupers it is a meat eater that preys on small fish.

Social Behaviors:    This fish is a solitary predator that hangs out among the rocks waiting for prey.

Sex: Sexual differences:    Unknown.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Breeding/Reproduction:    Unknown.

Temperature:    No special requirements.

Length/Diameter of fish:    Golden-striped Grouper, Grouper,  Goldline Grouper, or Sixline Grouper adults can grow to 25 cm (10 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 60 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    No special requirements. Provide rockwork large enough for the fish to hide.

Availability:    This fish is generally available from time to time.

Author: David Brough. CFS.
Lastest Animal Stories on Golden-striped Grouper

Rudy Salinas - 2013-04-26
I can't say enough about this grouper. I had one for 14 years. He was so friendly that as I would clean his tank, he would loved to be touched, then he would turn upside down to get his belly rubbed. He even came to me if I signaled him by rubbing my fingers. Be cautious about putting others with them, they are extremily territorial.

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-04-27
    I'm glad to hear a good story about the Golden Striped Grouper in the aquarium. They are such interesting looking fish, nice to know they can do well, even if they want to be the 'top dog', and sounds like 'the only dog' in their
Jennifer - 2007-11-12
We have two of these fish and they are absolutely incredible!
Tons of personality, very curious, and they exhibit the funniest behaviors. One always follows his best friend, a Blue-Spotted Grouper, around and they share the same sleeping spots. Another thing both like to do is always be in contact with the other fish and eel, they always rub against each other and try to keep touching something.