Fish of the week - Pseudocheilinus hexataenia - Sixline wrasse


Sir Brian The Lenient
Staff member
RC Mod
Pseudocheilinus hexataenia Six line wrasse

Easily one of the more popular reef safe fishes, this attractive species reaches about 3 inches and is very active. The six line wrasse is purple with orange lines which run horizontally down its body. It has a false eye on its tail with a white dot. A fascinating characteristic of this fish are its eyes, and their movement. The eyes have two lines that run parallel above and below the pupil and as the eye moves, these lines give great contrast to the rest of its body.

The six line wrasse does best in a tank with plenty of rockwork, as it loves to dart in and out. It will also feed off the rockwork. Therefore, a reef tank is normally the best environment for this fish. Although active, it must have its hiding places to acclimate properly.

At feeding time, the six line wrasse should be offered meaty foods, and due to its active nature it should be fed twice a day. In mature tanks with productive rockwork, once a day feedings will probably suffice. According to Scott Michael, it will also feed on pyramidellid snails and commensal flatworms. The wrasse will also prey on smaller ornamental shrimps.

While these are "community" fish, they may harass more peaceful inhabitants of the tank. More than one six line wrasse can be kept in the same tank, providing the tank is large enough and enough hiding places exist for each specimen.

Six line wrasses are relatively inexpensive, usually under $20 mail order, and a few dollars more at LFS.
Definitely a great reef fish. I have two in my 225 gal. reef. One at 3" the other at 2". The larger one picked on the smaller one badly early on, therefore I would suggest adding them together or a larger one as the second. Now they pal around about 75% of the time. I hadn't noticed them eating prepared foods until recently, just constant "rock hunting". Now they will take live and frozen brine. JME.
i had a six line for a while, till I found it on the carpet

dunno why..

anyway, I always fed my tank 2x a day - and I NEVER saw it come out to eat the food I fed the tank, and it was plump.


always in and out of rocks - those who want a fish to see all the time, a 6 line might disapoint you, it hides - peeks - comes and goes as it pleases..

but its a GREAT fish to have in tank - very nice colors, find a healthy one and it will live a long time (granted it doesnt jump)

its a wrasse..
idea for FOM

idea for FOM

FOM=fish of month, or FOTM i guess we could use also...

ANYWAYS< i think it would be neat to post a picture, or several pictures of the species of that partcular month...

maybe get some off of someones website, or some other site...but just an idea that would fit in well...
this could go along with COTM or coral of the month too # :)

just a suggestion..whatcha all think?

Agree about the part of the wrasse harrasing more peaceful fish! I have had two since Ive been in the hobby and they both were the bullys of the community. Regardless they are very enjoyable to watch swimming around the tank looking for pods.
Re: idea for FOM

Re: idea for FOM

I agree. Anyone have a picture?

rhwimmers said:
i think it would be neat to post a picture, or several pictures of the species of that partcular month...
include in the description:

"will try to kill Gobiosoma spp. at every opportunity"
"will keep firefish in hiding all the time"
"will pluck feather dusters"
"say goodbye to baby snails"

cool fish, but microfauna is cooler IMHO.
Say its not so. I currently have a six-line in quarantine with a firefish. The tank they will both end up in has a threadfin goby (stonogobiops nematodes). Am I making a big mistake?

I loved my little sassy wrassy... he was soo cool. i got him to eat flatworms and he did, he ate them all, and did such a good job of it! but he got to bold, and was beating up my poor little clowns :( so sassy had to be removed.

Note to self: 4line wrasses will kick the crap out of 6line wrasses over and over again. Poor little sassy only showed his cute little face once or twice, and has not been seen since.

lesson learned: while they sure are fiesty little buggers, there are nastier fish in the sea (or reef as this case may be) and 2 wrasses CANNOT share a tank that is not BIG. apparently a 125 is not big enough for a 4line and ANYthing else.

just my $0.02


I figured I'd chime in because it's my namesake ;).
Clyde, awesome picture-- film must be something like 1000 speed to catch these slippery little devils so perfectly.
A characteristic of this fish I enjoy often occurs in the evening--it'll transform itself into his 'Bad Boy' mode, his eyes will turn bright red, his dorals fins will extend and protrude upward; his pecs and pelvic fins will point downward and it'll go about harassing everyone, or at least try to. However, it seems like harmless play and it's quite amusing.
Another trait that some may not know about or witness, is that the wrasse tends to bed down in a webbing of sort, similiar to a mucous layer of spider web-like construction to protect itself while sleeping in it's nook or cranny in the reef. This makeshift shelter is thought to provide some protection from nocturnal predation by blocking off it's scent while dozing. Parrot fish are well know to exhibit this trait as well as other warsses--I just happened to notice it one night while flashlight viewing my tank.As far as consuming baby snails, I have hundreds--witnessed at night consuming clumps of Tang droppings, these tiny critters seem abundant at all times and they only appear at night--when my wrasse is sleeping (as well as cope/amphidpods, so I don't think my wrasse is depleting these critters completely.
Overall, a very beautiful, hardy, mostly peaceful (and inexpensive) addition to any tank.
dougc said:
Say its not so. I currently have a six-line in quarantine with a firefish. The tank they will both end up in has a threadfin goby (stonogobiops nematodes). Am I making a big mistake?

I have two A. Rainfordi and lots of dusters in my 225. The six lines never ever bother these gobies and I haven't noticed any duster attacks from them either. The raccoon butterfly however is constantly getting "dusty" ;).
I must have gotten a wimpy 6-line. Or the damsels and yellow tang are keeping him well behaved. I have observed my domino damsel (almost twice the size of the wrasse) harassing the others and then try to go after the little wrasse. The wrasse doesn't move. Then the domino just swims away. LOL. I also have a feather duster and the wrasse hasn't messed with it yet. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I also heard that they are good to keep with clams because they will pick the predatory snails or something off of the clam. I have a clam so I hope so.

btw...Great idea on fish and hopefully coral of the month.
The 6 line i had did eat the baby snails.Then after it had been in the tank with a solomon wrasse,for about 16 months it started chaseing the solomon so bad i had to remove it.Tried several times to trap the 6 line,with no sucess.Found him carpet surfing whem i returned from vacation.Even though he was cool looking and fun to watch,i'll NEVER have another 6 line.