Aquarium Livestock Pet Care Guides

Wrasses - Fish-Only Aquariums


Pacific. Atlantic, & Indian Oceans

Tank Temperature




Specific Gravity



Some may be omnivorous, but most are carnivores. Feed a varied diet of frozen, fresh or prepared foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, clams, scallop, fish flesh and similar items. Food should be appropriately sized for the size of the fish and fish's mouth.


May be aggressive, especially toward smaller or docile fish & invertebrates. Some species may hide while others are more active and require open space to swim.


Safe with larger community fish. Should not be kept with small fish or aggressive fish as the wrasse may leap from the aquarium if stressed. Some species Reef Safe with extreme caution; most not recommended for aquariums with corals or inverts.

Species Overview

The group of fish known as "wrasses" is very large, currently containing 60 different genera and at least 500 species. These fish can range from tiny, peaceful fish to large and aggressive predators. While we can provide general care and requirements for some groups, there are always exception. Research your individual choices carefully.

The wrasses in our "Fish-Only" group include 5 groups common to aquariums - Bird Wrasses (genus Gomphosus), Hogfish (genus Bodianus), Maori Wrasses (genera Cheilinus and Oxycheilinus), Slingjaw Wrasses (genus Epibulus), and Tuskfish (genus Choerodon).

These wrasses are generally larger in size, robust and fairly aggressive, eating larger prey items than more peaceful groups like Fairy or Coris wrasses. They may be fairly active and bold, or may be more secretive and prone to hiding in caves, rockwork and crevices. Their appearance can range from brightly colored to cryptic and many species can even change color to blend in with their surroundings.

This group of wrasses are primarily carnivores, although some species may eat a small amount of plant matter. They will prey on some invertebrates like crabs and shrimp and may also prey upon small fish. Tankmates for all wrasses should be chosen carefully.

We always suggest that you do further research before adding a new pet to your tank. What we have provided for you are guidelines and suggestions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact our fish room at 717-299-5691 ext. 1213 or

Recommended Items

Frozen Aquarium Food
Salt Mix
Protein Skimmers
Live Rock
Feeding Tongs