Wrasse Agression

jml1149

New member
Good Evening, and any help appreciated. Probably not much to be done.


I have a 120g reef tank with an Orange Back Fairy Wrasse, a Tomini Tang, a Perc. Clown, and a Diamond Goby. Everybody doing fine. Tonight, I picked up a Mystery Wrasse for quite some money from LFS. I've been watching this fish for at least two months, but couldn't justify the $$$. Today I splurged.

Bring home, drip acclimate for an hour, match pH and salinity, drop fish in tank. The Orange Back IMMEDIATELY starts brutalizing this poor mystery wrasse. Fish aggression like I've never seen before.

Aiight so I grab some food and the net but there's no way I can get either of these fish out of the tank. I don't have enough space, buckets, water etc. to take the tank apart. So my questions are:

a. Anyone have a similar experience? Is there hope?
b. I read up plenty on both wrasses, everything said both were peaceful.
c. Is the orange back agression only towards wrasses or what else should I avoid?


Thanks in advance.
 

Kendalljt

New member
Following.....

I have a similar problem with a Fairy Wrasse.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
 

Maritimer

New member
One trick to try is to set up a mirror on one end of the tank. The aggressor is likely to be so incensed at the appearance of a fish of his own species that he'll pay less attention to the newcomer. Another trick I've heard that some have good results with is to set some aquarium nets into your tank. They should have a chilling effect on fishy emotions . . .

For next time, maybe look into some kind of social acclimation box - it can be as simple and inexpensive as a "Kritter Keeper" suspended in the tank or set on the bottom, with the new fish inside. That might be especially important, as mystery wrasses don't have the reputation of playing nicely all the time.

My orange-back is one of the biggest fish in my tank, but generally isn't very aggressive. He's been known to chase a new wrasse, but not for too long. On the other hand, he gets bullied by my kole tang, who's not quite as long as he is - though taller, obviously . . .

~Bruce
 

Deinonych

New member
For next time, maybe look into some kind of social acclimation box - it can be as simple and inexpensive as a "Kritter Keeper" suspended in the tank or set on the bottom, with the new fish inside. That might be especially important, as mystery wrasses don't have the reputation of playing nicely all the time.

This. I always use an acclimation box with wrasses. That said, don't be surprised if the Mystery Wrasse turns the tables long term.
 

jml1149

New member
Thanks for the reply. One question though, does the mirror work outside the tank or does it have to be inside? I'd be hesitant to put it actually in there...
 

Maritimer

New member
Outside is fine.

I use one of the inexpensive "over the closet door" full-length mirrors from Wal*Mart, placed at one of the tank, outside the glass.

~Bruce
 

scooter31707

New member
I agree. It also may only last for about 2-3 days, be watchful though. I also agree in due time I think the Mystery Wrasse will come out on top.
 

AquaBogie

New member
Personal experience mystery wrasse are complete a holes. Kill shrimp and inverts, also seen them kill other fish. Long term, as long as the mystery doesn't die of something because of stress. He will likely be harassing instead of being harassed in the near future.
 

jml1149

New member
Well, heck. Time to buy a fish trap. I was at the LFS, they're going out of business unfortunately. He was marked down, I did a quick scan of the interwebs, LiveAquaria:

This hard to find species is suitable for a 55 gallon or larger aquarium with lots of live rock and a sandy bottom. It is an excellent fish for a reef aquarium and passive with most popular reef fish, including other wrasses. It is constantly searching for live foods in the form of small crustaceans like pyramidellid snails and commensal flatworms. When full grown, mature Mystery Wrasse may take a liking to smaller ornamental shrimp that are introduced after the wrasse is established in the reef aquarium.

and Advanced Aquarist:

This fish, which is known as the whitebarred or mystery wrasse ( Pseudocheilinus ocellatus ), has all the characteristics of an ideal aquarium fish. It is hardy, it is beautiful and it can be kept with a wide-range of tankmates, including many different invertebrates

so I pulled the trigger. He's a fast little guy, much faster than the orange back, so today, even though the orange back is still giving him the business, he darts away and can lose the orange back in the rockwork. He was even out and about eating when I fed a couple hours ago.

Should have checked here first, now that I continue reading on RC.

As an aside, the mirror worked like a charm. The orange back was obsessed with it, as well as the tomini tang. The tang was getting really worked up.

Thank you for the responses, much appreciated.
 

evolved

Wrasse Nut
Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation out there on a lot of species (and not just wrasses), but there is even less information out there about mixing wrasses.

My best advise (despite my biased opinion with my own writings): never rely on a single source.
 
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