The six line wrasse is one of the most colourful critters you’ll ever introduce into your aquarium. However, it does require a specific level of care and attention – as do all fish! This Labridae makes for a good starter to mid-point saltwater fish to place in your tank.
Here’s our complete guide on how to look after your six line wrasse, and why it might be one of the best picks for your tank.
- Fish Lifespan: 5 Years
- Tank Size: Minimum of 20 Gallons
- Water Temperature: Between 72F and 78F
- pH: Between 8.1 and 8.4
- Hardness: Between 8 and 12 dKH
- Compatibility: Compatible with Clownfish, Gobies and Damselfish
- Fish Size: Up to 3 Inches
How do you take care of six line wrasses?
Six line wrasses are colourful carnivores which, while tiny, can really liven up a tank. 3 inches tends to be the largest that this species grows to, on the whole, meaning that you will normally find wrasses smaller than this for adoption. Many tend to be no bigger than an inch.
Six line wrasses are generally very easy to look after. Their tank demands aren’t too straining, which means if you are completely new to the idea of a saltwater tank, these beasties shouldn’t give you too much of a headache. On the whole, they tend to be pretty peaceful, too, meaning that you shouldn’t have much difficulty getting them to co-operate with others in a community.
In fact, wrasses of this nature can live peacefully alongside some of the more aggressive saltwater tropical pets out there. For example, you can easily and comfortably arrange for damselfish to live with wrasses, and providing they are the same size and live in their own specific areas of the tank, they shouldn’t give you too many problems. As always, it’s probably a good idea to keep an idea on tank mixing regardless of whether or not you are a novice.
Six line wrasses tend to feast on meat, though fish flakes are also good to feed them on. When it comes to the best size of tank for your six line wrasse, you should probably look for at least 20 gallons. This should give you a good space for three or five fish in this species, though as with all tropical fish, a good rule of thumb is to go larger if you can.
Six line wrasses are very active and tend to dart about a lot! They can be territorial, though providing you give them enough space and lots of opportunities to dart in and out of various nooks and crannies, they will likely be very happy.
What do six line wrasse eat?
Six line wrasses are carnivores, which means you can’t expect this species to hoover up any algae in your tank!
It’s therefore a good idea to try and balance their diet with vitamin enriched food as well as marine flakes and pellets. A good balance is key here.
Of course, as carnivores, your six line wrasses are likely to prey on anything smaller than them in the same tank. They tend to enjoy hunting for crustaceans! They love sneaking around in hiding places, meaning that if you have any timid, smaller animals with shells in your aquarium, you many find that your wrasses cause them more than a little stress.
Therefore, you could give them a bit of a helping hand with their hunting and serve up mysis shrimp from frozen. This could be an excellent way for you to ensure that their meat-hunting tendencies are well-covered, and that you can effectively protect anything else likely to tantalise them. However, our advice would be to avoid putting anything with a shell that’s even slightly smaller than a six line wrasse in the same community. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Should I get a six line wrasse?
Why not? Six line wrasses are cheeky and energetic and are full of lively colour.
These are some of the main reasons why people choose to invest in them in the first place – they are fantastic fun to watch, and providing you make sure that they get enough food and have the best tank balance, there are no reasons why you can’t get a lot out of them.
If you are looking for saltwater fish likely to give more than a little activity to your tank, then a six line wrasse is going to be a great first choice. As mentioned, these saltwater fish won’t cause you much of a headache thanks to their easy tank demands and their general good natures.
You may find that some bigger wrasses can pick on smaller fish in the tank, and may even try eating them, too. Therefore, you should be careful to keep an eye on who’s picking on who! It’s a good idea to look for fish of a similar size and temperament.
Wrasses like these are unlikely to kick up a stink providing they are well-fed and have lots of hiding places, however. It really isn’t that much to ask!
Are six line wrasse jumpers?
Yes. On the whole, a good rule of thumb is to remember that a wrasse is always likely to try jumping at some point.
Some six line wrasse may never jump at all. Some may try and leap out of the water out of sheer boredom. However, others may choose to keep things on the mellow and to simply dart around the tank as it suits them.
In any case, it is never a good idea to host six line wrasses in a tank that doesn’t have a lid! A lid-free tank is going to be a recipe for disaster. If a wrasse decides it wants to plop out while you’re not looking, you might be heartbroken when you return.
So – set up a tank community that’s happy with a lid. This means no crustaceans that need to get out of the tank every once in a while! It’s generally a good idea to keep crustaceans away from wrasses on the whole in any case!
Will a six line wrasse eat cleaner shrimp?
It’s possible – sources agree and disagree on this, but if there is a creature smaller than your wrasse in the same tank, it’s always at risk.
Some fish keepers will claim, however, that wrasses tend to be very laid back and normally won’t cause much harm to your shrimp. That said, there isn’t anything to stop them taking a nibble!
You may wish to introduce a healthy and satisfying diet into the wrasse tank if you want to avoid them gobbling up your smaller critters. Otherwise, just avoid keeping shrimp and wrasses together. This means setting up a smaller tank and a separate community, of course, but if you’re serious about fishkeeping, it might just be worth your time and effort.
Do six line wrasse eat snails?
Yes. Depending on the size, snails are some of the six line wrasse’s favourite dinnertime treat.
Snails, along with various sea molluscs and crustaceans, tend to be on the end of the food chain when it comes to wrasses on the hunt. Generally, anything smaller than your wrasse could well become fish food, so it’s always a good idea to be cautious.
Again, it may be a good idea to keep these critters clear of your wrasse if you can, meaning that if you want to set up a smaller tank for your more vulnerable beasts, this might just be a good plan of action.
As a novice saltwater tank owner, it might simply be worth avoiding snails and other smaller creatures altogether until you have a little more experience. The six line wrasse shouldn’t give you too much of a headache in the long run, but it’s good to take things slowly to begin with.
Of course, bigger snails shouldn’t give you too much of a concern. Some six line wrasses can be seriously tiny at just one inch long, meaning it’s hardly likely to try and tangle with a big bruiser of a snail.
Are wrasse aggressive?
Wrasses can be aggressive in certain circumstances, but on the whole, they tend to be pretty peaceful and laid-back.
They will mix well with most common saltwater and reef safe fish. That even goes for damselfish, who are infamous for being some of the most boisterous saltwater beasties around!
However, there are occasions where wrasses are likely to get aggressive with each other. They can sometimes be territorial and will therefore lock horns with one another. However, providing you balance your tank community with fish of the same size and of similar temperament, you probably won’t have that much to worry about.
Wrasses work well with common fish such as the percula clownfish in the same tank, mainly because they tend to go about their own business. Mixing them with damsels may seem tricky to begin with, but providing your fish have plenty of hiding spots and corners to investigate, you likely won’t have much to worry you.