Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: No
General Description: The Dragon Wrasse, also known as the Rockmover Wrasse or Reindeer Wrasse, is native to the Indo-Pacific. This wrasse absolutely requires a medium to fine sandy substrate in order to be able to bury themselves at night for protection or if felt threatened during daylight. In fact, it is very common for your newly introduced wrasse to immediately bury themselves once released into the aquarium. Juvenile Dragon wrasses are very impressive to look at, with a white mottled pattern against their bodies that can vary from shades of dark green to maroon, and the first two dorsal spines that are extremely pronounced in which it gets its name. Adult Dragon wrasses do not have these pronounced dorsal spines, and their body coloration and pattern becomes darker overall. An adult Dragon wrasse can reach an impressive size of 12″ in the wild, but often does not exceed 6 to 8″ in the home aquarium.
Diet Requirements: Dragon wrasses are carnivores. A diet consisting of various meaty preparations such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, mussels, clams, krill and other mixed frozen foods that contain algae, such as spirulina, will maintain optimal health and coloration. We highly encourage soaking frozen foods in vitamin and fatty acid supplements, as these wrasses have very high metabolisms. Dragon wrasses will also accept high quality flake or pellet foods, which is great for nutritional gaps and variety.
Care Requirements: An established, minimum 75 gallon aquarium with a 4-5″ sandbed at the very least is needed for a juvenile Dragon wrasse. However, the tank may need to be upgraded accordingly as it matures, or for a larger adult specimen (125 gallon). A tight fitting lid is a must because these wrasses are known to jump out of aquariums. Dragon wrasses enjoy a variety of rock work and crevices to swim through and around while they actively hunt, but make sure to leave some open sandbed space for burying. Only one Dragon wrasse should be kept per aquarium. A juvenile should be kept with more passive tank mates, while an adult should be kept with species that match its energetic and aggressive disposition such as triggerfish, pufferfish, larger angelfish, and tangs. Tank mates can be larger than the adult Dragon wrasse itself. At any life stage, the Dragon wrasse is not reef compatible because of its temperament, and that it will eat various invertebrates and small fish. Furthermore, an adult Dragon wrasse can be very destructive as they are capable of reaquascaping some of the rock work. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Juvenile: Small: 1-1/2″ to 3″; Medium: 3″ to 4″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.