Care Level: Easy
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Melanurus Wrasse, also known as the Pinstriped Wrasse, Tail Spot Wrasse, or Hoeven’s Wrasse, is native throughout the Indo-Pacific with exceptional specimens coming from locations such as Fiji and Australia. Like all wrasses in the genus Halichoeres, the Melanurus 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 common for your newly introduced wrasse to immediately bury themselves once released into the aquarium. Male Melanurus wrasses have an overall blue-green body with many orange to yellow horizontal stripes that run the length of its body. Female or juvenile Melanurus wrasse colors are more muted, and adult female Melanurus wrasses will have a black spot on their tail that adult male Melanurus wrasses will not have. Melanurus 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. Melanurus wrasses can reach a size of approximately 5″.
Diet Requirements: Melanurus 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 Melanurus wrasse as it would feed in the wild. Melanurus wrasses will also accept high quality flake or pellet foods, which is great for nutritional gaps and variety.
Care Requirements: An established, minimum 55 gallon aquarium with a 3″ sandbed at the very least is needed for a Melanurus wrasse. A tight fitting lid is a must because these wrasses are known to jump out of aquariums. Melanurus 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 Melanurus wrasse should not be kept with overly aggressive species, especially those that can outcompete it in food resources. It is best to add a Melanurus wrasse before larger or more active fish in order to allow it to acclimate to the environment. Melanurus 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.