Care Level: Moderate
Reef Compatible: With Caution
General Description: The Snooty Wrasse is a relatively hardy, uncommon fish that ocassionally makes its way through the aquarium trade. Native to the Indo-West Pacific south to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, the Snooty wrasse can be quite variable in both coloration and patterning depending on the area it’s collected from. Snooty wrasse can come in mottled colors of reddish-brown, brownish, or greenish with few or many white spots. This wrasse is known for changing its coloration and patterning based on its mood or the environment. Reaching an adult size of approximately 7″, it is one of the smaller species within the genus. Snooty wrasse can be rather cryptic and timid; avoid housing it with overly aggressive species that will bully it. Cheilinus wrasses are known to blow jets of water at the sand bed in search of benthic prey.
Diet Requirements: Snooty wrasses are carnivores. A diet consisting of various meaty preparations such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, mussels, clams, krill, squid and other large chunks of frozen food (with some 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 high metabolisms. High quality flake or pellet foods may also be accepted with time. Snooty wrasses can be fussy at first; offering gutted live ghost shrimp or fidder crabs will encourage feeding behavior. Note: It is not unusual for your Snooty wrasse to consume large amounts of food in a single sitting and not feed again for a few days.
Care Requirements: An established, minimum 200 gallon aquarium is ideal for a Snooty wrasse. A tight fitting lid is suggsted because wrasses are known to jump out of aquariums. While a Snooty wrasse will appreciate some rock work and crevices to swim through and take refuge under, unobstructed open swimming space should also be provided. Snooty wrasses are to be added “with caution” into a reef tank because they will eat clean-up crew invertebrates and very small fishes typical of reef aquariums that can fit in their mouth; corals will be ignored. A Snooty wrasse would make an excellent addition to a fish only with live rock aquarium, and with tank mates that are of similar temperament and size. If you want to house a Snooty wrasse with more aggressive species, it should be added first to allow it time to acclimate to its surroundings. If you want to house a Snooty wrasse with more docile species, it should be added near last or last. Take into account the size of your Snooty wrasse upon purchase for appropriate tank mates. Only one Snooty wrasse, or any Cheilinus wrasse, per aquarium. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025.
Purchase Size: Small: 2″ to 3″; Medium: 3″ to 5″; Large: 5″ to 7″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.