Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Radiant Wrasse, also known as the Iridis Wrasse, Orangehead Wrasse, or Radiant African Wrasse, is endemic to Africa. Like all wrasses in the genus Halichoeres, the Radiant 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. Radiant wrasses are quite unique in coloration with a dark reddish-maroon colored body, yellow face and green lines on their face that become more prominent with age. The Radiant wrasses not only makes for a vivacious presence in a reef aquarium, but also has 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. Radiant wrasses are one of the few that will tolerate being kept in small groups of their own kind, but we suggest adding all individuals at once. Radiant wrasses can reach a size of approximately 4-1/2″.
Diet Requirements: Radiant wrasses are carnivores, actively hunting tiny crustaceans (e.g., copepods, amphipods) throughout the day. A diet consisting of various meaty preparations such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, calanus 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 Radiant wrasse as it would feed in the wild. Radiant wrasses might 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 3″ sandbed at the very least is needed for a Radiant wrasse. A tight fitting lid is a must because these wrasses are known to jump out of aquariums. Radiant 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. Radiant wrasses are not nearly as hardy as some of the other Halichoeres species; they are very intolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes, and will not endure deteriorating water parameters. Weekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters pristine (Nitrates < 15 ppm). Given their peaceful nature, a Radiant wrasse should not be kept with overly aggressive species, especially those that can outcompete it in food resources. It is best to add a Radiant wrasse before larger or more active fish in order to allow it to acclimate to the environment. Radiant wrasses are compatible with other peaceful wrasses, including some other Halichoeres species, and fairy or flasher wrasses. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small 1-3/4″ to 2-1/4″, Medium 2-1/4″ 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.