All About Reef Safe Wrasses

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish' started by evolved, Sep 12, 2011.

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  1. evolved

    evolved Wrasse Freak

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    This question is too good not to archive here:

    Heh, yes, the more beautiful the species, the more rare, and the more expensive. Wrasse collecting isn't for the budget minded. ;)

    We really need to start at the beginning to answer your real question here...

    All wrasses are born female. Wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning females transition to male in the wild as harem conditions and space require. Once a female beings to transition to male, they go through two primary phase, initial phase male and terminal phase male. And now those terms have probably been self-defined. At the terminal phase, a full transition has been completed and the fish is 100% male. Up until that point, they are in an initial phase. In a harem, they will only be one terminal phase male, which is essentially the alpha male. This is also what some people call a "super male". It's at this point, the coloration and pattern on the fish is the most vivid and vibrant. There often are other initial phase males in a harem, but they will not complete the transition unless the terminal male becomes absent. It is not impossible for an initial phase male to revert back to female in certain circumstances, but this is not the norm. However, as I've implied, the initial phase can be "paused" essentially, if need be. Therefore, the rate of transition is quite variable; it can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. The terms "initial phase" is sometimes substituted with "transitional phase". Also, most genera are sexually dichromatic, meaning there's a notable difference in color/pattern between the sexes. If you know your wrasses well, it's fairly easy to tell if they're female or male and in what state.

    Life expectancy is extremely variable and depends on so many factors it's not really definable. A terminal male can be quite young, or quite old. There's no real telling. Size can be somewhat of an indicator, but even that's not absolute. However, if the maximum size of the species is 5" and you've found a terminal male that's 5.5", chance are it's somewhat old. In that sense, I'd rather have a terminal male that's more near to 4". But regardless, I wouldn't bank on a wrasse living past 5-6 years.

    What you buy is personal preference. The best, most colorful specimens (terminal males) are most certainly older than smaller juvi's. However, a smaller juvi may never reach the coloration and beauty of a true terminal male in a closed system. What you choose in that trade-off is a personal decision.
     
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  3. elweshomayor

    elweshomayor Giant Squid

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    hey again, I remember a few months ago you giving me a link to a website that had the covers for the top of the tank. I'm looking at my threads but I can't find it.

    I remember that it came with the little sticks, the screen, the cable and the roller. Do you remember what website that was?


    EDIT: never mind, I found it.

    http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/diy-aquarium-screen-top-netting-kits.html
    I want to order the 6 foot version for my standard 150G tank, Do you think this is the correct one for me?

    I already have a Melenarous Wrasse and a Mc Cosckers flasher Wrasse on the to-get list.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  4. evolved

    evolved Wrasse Freak

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    Yes, that sounds like the appropriate choice to me. Looking at the details of the kit, I do see only 4 screen corners are included. If you have a center brace(s), you'll need more of those. They'll easy to find at any home improvement store, however. For that matter, all the screening material (except the mesh) is easy to find at a home improvement store. It might make more sense for you to simply buy the mesh via BRS and source the rest of what you need locally.
     
  5. Robsfishtank

    Robsfishtank Plankton

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    Can I have a Lubbock Wrasse with my filamented Flasher Wrasse?

    I have wanted a Filamented Flasher Wrasse for a long time and finally got one today. He is doing great and even came out for flaked food lunch. I was surprised to see him out of hideing just for flaked food, but that not the question. I always figured that you can only have one wrasse in a tank. Now I'm thinking I want the lubbock wrasse I saw yesterday. It would be fine if they "dance" as long as they don't hurt each other.

    So if I can get the lubbock wrasse should I get him now while the other one is still getting used to the place or wait till hes fully adjusted and happy? :confused:
     
  6. evolved

    evolved Wrasse Freak

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    What size tank? As long as we're talking about a tank of a decent size, you'd be fine to add a lubbocki. As far as doing it sooner or later, it doesn't matter much. Either way, I'd recommend an acclimation box for a couple days as I've outlined in the OP.
     
  7. Robsfishtank

    Robsfishtank Plankton

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    Its 70 gallons tall. Plenty of rock caves and a deep sand bed. Will they be avoiding each other all day or will they show off to each other? The Lubbock is a dark blue and the filamented flasher is a red. It would be cool like a fire and ice kind of thing.
     
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  9. evolved

    evolved Wrasse Freak

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    They shouldn't avoid each other, but they might not display to one another either. There's really no guarantees here at all; how they interact will be variable. They may stay right by each others sides, or they each might establish their own "area" in the tank.
     
  10. Robsfishtank

    Robsfishtank Plankton

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    Thats what i figured. All fish are different and such. Its always good to get a second opinion! Thx!
     
  11. FaceOfDeceit

    FaceOfDeceit Hockey Beard

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    In the case of any Wrasse purchase, I'd consider Hunter's opinion to be 'first', and yours to be the second opinion. ;D Good luck with your Wrasse purchases.
     
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  12. cowolf

    cowolf Plankton

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    Adding flasher wrasses?

    Wow, great wrasse info here! Thanks for that.

    I am hoping to add flasher wrasses but think I may be too late in my tank stocking to make it work so have quite a few questions. Thanks in advance for advice.

    My situation is I have a 65 gallon tank, its good width and height but just 3 ft long. I'd love to get some more open water swimming so flasher wrasses are particularly appealing but I'm pretty well stocked and seems they would have been best added early on if the tank is even big enough?

    Current community is peaceful though many semi-aggressive members. Only the angel occasionally badgers but always short lived and all can stand up well to it.

    Ocellaris clown
    Flame hawkfish
    Royal Gramma
    African flameback angel
    Pair of Bangaai Cardinals
    Yellow longnose butterfly

    Adding a wrasse or possibly a harem will definitely be the finale for fish going in.

    1) Research keeps indicating with flasher wrasses that they do much better with harems. With the 3 inch max size of many species I might be able to squeeze in a harem. As all my fish move toward full size I can upsize if the bio-load gets exceeded. Are there any species where a lone male can do really well or is it much better to get a trio?

    2) The Bluezoo aquatics site claims that with females being difficult to obtain that having two males from the genus but different species keeps them flashing and in full color. Is this true? Is it causing stressful conflict constantly or do they thrive with a little competition making it work well?

    I'm a bit torn. I'm a biologist and love to see natural behaviors so intrigued by the idea of a harem as well as competition. Best health of the fish is key.

    3) Based on the community that I have and that one fish might fit capacity better than three is there a better choice of a single wrasse that I should be considering. I want one that's likely to swim in open water frequently. Would one of the slightly larger fairy wrasses keep their color better as a solo fish and be better prepared to hold its own with the other fish? If not a fairy perhaps a Christmas wrasse.

    Thanks!