Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Pygmy Red Possum Wrasse, also known as the Tanaka’s Pygmy Possum Wrasse after the researcher, Hiroyuki Tananka, that described the species, is found across the Indo-Pacific. While it has a large natural distribution, this cryptic rock-dwelling species is infrequently seen in the aquarium trade. Much more colorful than the more common Yellow Banded Possum Wrasse (Wetmorella nigropinnata), the Pygmy red possum wrasse is a burgundy-red color accented with four white bands along its body. Additionally, this species has two attractive black eyespots; one at the base of the dorsal fin and the other in the anal fin. Possum wrasses can become very personable and are intriguing to watch, as they effortlessly move about the live rock hunting for prey. An adult Pygmy red possum wrasse can reach a size of approximately 2″.
Diet Requirements: Possum wrasses are carnivores, actively hunting tiny crustaceans (e.g., copepods) throughout the day. A diet consisting of various meaty preparations such as brine shrimp, calanus, 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 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 wrasse as it would feed in the wild.
Care Requirements: An established, minimum 30 gallon aquarium is required for a Pygmy red possum wrasse. A tight fitting lid is a must because these wrasses are known to jump out of aquariums. Pygmy red possum wrasses require a variety of rock work and crevices to swim through and around while they hunt, but such live rock arrangements can also help to make it feel secure and encourage more outgoing behavior. The Pygmy red possum wrasse is not tolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes, and an established tank also offers microinvertebrates and crustaceans that naturally accumulate over time as the aquarium ages for it to prey on. Given their peaceful and very timid nature, a Red pygmy possum wrasse can be easily bullied and therefore should not be kept with any species that could exhibit aggressive behavior toward it. It is best to add a Pygmy red possum wrasse before larger or more active fish in order to allow it to acclimate to the environment and begin feeding. A Pygmy red possum wrasse would thrive best in a reef environment. Pygmy red possum wrasses are best kept one per aquarium. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Medium: 1-1/4″ to 2″; Large: 2″ or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.