Care Level: Easy
Reef Compatible: With Caution
General Description: The Puddingwife Wrasse is endemic to the Caribbean Sea. Like all wrasses in the genus Halichoeres, the Puddingwife 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. Puddingwife wrasses are stunning, covered in yellow and electric blue sheen. These wrasses have an 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. The Puddingwife wrasse is a species that is infrequently encountered in the aquarium trade and because of this, little is known about its life history or success in aquaria. In our experience, the Puddingwife wrasse is a relatively hardy species but may be one of the few Halichoeres we’d label to add “with caution” in a reef aquarium. Given its natural diet includes preying on certain invertebrates (e.g., namely hermit crabs and small shrimp), this wrasse could pose a threat as it matures. Puddingwife wrasses can reach a size of approximately 8″.
Diet Requirements: Puddingwife 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 Puddingwife wrasse as it would feed in the wild. Puddingwife 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 Puddingwife wrasse. A tight fitting lid is a must because these wrasses are known to jump out of aquariums. Puddingwife 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 its nature, a Puddingwife wrasse should not be kept with overly aggressive species, but could be dynamic in an active peaceful to semi-aggressive fish only with live rock tank. Puddingwife wrasses are compatible with other wrasses that match its energy, 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″ to 2″; Medium: 2″ to 3″; Large: 3″ to 4″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.