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Home > Marine Life > Saltwater Fish > Wrasses
Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse
Labroides phthirophagus
Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse
  Care Level
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Tank Stats
Size: 2-3 inches
Care Level: Expert
Temperament: Peaceful
Reef Safe: Yes
Diet: Pellet, Flake
Origin: Hawaii
Acclimation Time: 4+ hours
Coral Safe:
Invertebrate Safe:
Minimum Tank Size:
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The Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse is commonly referred to as the Cleaner Royal Wrasse. With its yellow front half and blue posterior half, it makes a captivating addition to any tank. The Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse needs a tank not less than 30 gallon along with plenty of live rocks for shelter. It requires care and needs to be kept by an experienced aquarist only. The Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse needs a diet of live brine shrimp or black worms. It thrives well in a temperature range of 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and pH of 8.1-8.4. The Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse flourishes well in high light intensity aquarium, and are peaceful in nature and should not be kept with highly aggressive fishes. It is obligatory parasite pickers and slime eaters and are virtually guaranteed to starve in the home aquarium. They often found pestering tank mates by incessantly attempting to groom their bodies and fins. Since it is carnivorous, it is difficult to feed in captivity but it may accept small meaty foods such as Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and zooplankton. The Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse prefers a thick sand bed to burrow at night and usually forms a balloon-like, mucous cocoon, and spends the night resting within it, but will burrow as well. When you are swimming the reef you will come across "cleaning stations" where you find other reef fish stopped for the Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse to pick them over to remove any parasites they may have on their bodies or in their gills.
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The Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse is a small Wrasse which serves as a cleaner for fish in the wild. These fish have markings that allow fish to know that they do not pose a threat, but have come to clean them of parasites. The Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse has a gold colored forebody with a black horizontal stripe beginning at its mouth and gradually widening to its tail. The rearbody of this fish is both violet and purple. These fish set up cleaning stations in the wild where fish will come to be cleaned. The Cleaner Wrasse will accept all fish foods. They may often lie on their sides and can be appear to be dying, but are actually in fine health. They can also spin a cotton-like substance to protect themselves while they rest, which can make them appear dead. These fish can be helpful in Reef tanks where some medications cannot be used to help control disease.Note: This item may spin a harmless cottony substance in its shipping bag. This does not negatively affect the health of the item in any way. These items are known to "play dead", so don't be misled by this behavior.The Wrasse family of fish is a large group of usually very colorful free swimmingfish. These fish are powerful swimmers using their pectoral fins to propel themthrough the water. Wrasses usually have powerful jaws that enable them to crushtheir food, which includes worms. These fish usually have long continuous dorsalfins and are found in groups in the wild. The Wrasses are one of the few fish thatwill bury themselves in the sand when sleeping or during flight. Wrasses are alsoable to change their sex during these phase changes.
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All sizes listed are only approximate representations. All pictures and descriptions are generalizations and cannot be exact representations.