Wrasses largest families of fishes

Wrasse Fish – Thalassoma duperrey picture

If the beautiful Wrasse that you just added to your display tank has suddenly vanished, don’t fret!. It is probably just buried under the sand, either sleeping or acclimating itself to its new surroundings.

Wrasses can be found all over the world and form one of the largest families of fishes, with over 600 different species. Many of them are eye-catching with their bright colors and intricate designs. Juveniles commonly sport different colors and patterns from the adults so don’t be surprised if you wind up with a completely different looking fish than the one you originally bought!

Wrasses dine on a wide variety of items including algae, plankton, fish, crustaceans and coral polyps.Some species are “cleaner” fish and provide grooming services by removing parasites and dead skin from larger fishes.

Wrasses range in size from a tiny 2 inches to the behemoth 7 foot Napoleon Wrasse.

Many types of Wrasses make for hardy and adaptable aquarium fishes but there are also many that are for expert marine aquarists only. Research the type of Wrasse you are interested in purchasing and make sure that you can meet its care requirements.

In general, most of these fishes need a large aquarium with very good water quality. They also should have some rockwork and several caves for hiding along with a fine sandy substrate. Wrasses are leapers so a secure tank cover is a must. Most require a varied diet of fresh and prepared meaty foods such as fish, shrimp, squid, clams, etc., though there are those that will only accept live food.

Some Wrasses should only be kept with small, peaceful fishes while others get along best with big, aggressive tankmates – again, depending on the species.

Wrasses are very difficult to breed in captivity. In the wild, they often live in harems consisting of a dominant male and several females. The males, in several species, are more brightly colored than the females. If the male should die, the most dominant female changes sex into a male and takes over the harem.

Like many other marine fishes, Wrasses are pelagic spawners and release their eggs into the water column where it is carried away by the ocean currents.

TankConditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12

Compatibility: Hogfish, parrotfish, pseudochromis, squirrelfish, puffers, tangs and surgeons, live corals, live rock, sand.

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