Care Level: Easy
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Grey Head Wrasse is native throughout the Indo-West Pacific with exceptional specimens coming from locations such as Fiji. Like all wrasses in the genus Halichoeres, the Grey head wrasse absolutely requires a moderately-sized 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 normal for your newly introduced wrasse to immediately bury themselves once released into the aquarium. Male Grey head wrasses have an overall blue-grey body with orange-red spots along its body, a yellow edged caudal fin and stripes only in its face which distinguishes it from the more common Melanurus wrasse (Halichoeres melanurus). Female or juvenile Grey head wrasse colors are more muted, but both of these are uncommon in the hobby as adult males are typically only offered. Grey head wrasses are sought after for not only their active and colorful presence in a reef aquarium, but for their incredible natural ability to control and eliminate nuisance red Planaria flatworms and pyramidellid snails that sometimes hitch hike on corals or live rock. This behavior is exhibited across most Halichoeres wrasses. Grey head wrasses can reach a size of approximately 6″.
Diet Requirements: Grey head wrasses are carnivores, actively hunting tiny crustaceans (e.g., copepods, featherdusters) throughout the day. A diet consisting of various meaty preparations such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, 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. Multiple, small feedings per day rather than one large feeding can also help and in turn create more of a natural environment for a Grey head wrasse as it would feed in the wild. Grey head wrasses will also accept high quality flake or pellet foods, which is great for nutritional gaps and variety.
Care Requirements: An established, minimum 90 gallon aquarium with a 3″ sandbed at the very least is needed for a Grey head wrasse. A tight fitting lid is a must because these wrasses are known to jump out of aquariums. Grey head wrasses enjoy a variety of rock work and crevices to swim through and around while they hunt. Such live rock arrangements can also help to make it feel secure and encourage more outgoing behavior. Given their peaceful nature, a Grey head wrasse should not be kept with overly aggressive species, especially those that can outcompete it in food resources. Grey head wrasses are compatible with other peaceful wrasses, including different species in Halichoeres, though it is best to add them all at once for the best chance at success. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2″ to 2-1/2″; Medium: 2-1/2″ to 3-1/2″; Large: 3-1/2″ to 4-1/2″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.