Canarytop Wrasse

Halichoeres leucoxanthus

(3 Reviews)

Canarytop Wrasse

Canarytop Wrasse

Halichoeres leucoxanthus

(3 Reviews)

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Canarytop Wrasse Care Facts

Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: Indian Ocean
Acclimation Time: 2+ hours
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 35 gallons
Max Size: 5 inches

The Canarytop Wrasse (Halichoeres leucoxanthus), also known as the Lemon Wrasse or Whitebelly Wrasse, can be found among rocky outcroppings and reefs in the Indian Ocean. They have a vibrant yellow body with a pearly-white underbelly and  spend the majority of the day searching rocks and crevices for small invertebrates, such as mollusks or crustaceans. At night, they bury themselves in the sand, or hide among rockwork until morning. They should be fed a variety of carnivorous preparations multiple times a day and do well in reef tanks, though they may eat smaller crustaceans. They should not be kept with larger, predatory fish, and do best if kept singly. They reach a maximum size of 5 inches and should be kept in an aquarium of at least 35 gallons.

Keeping the Canarytop Wrasse (Halichoeres leucoxanthus) in Your Saltwater Aquarium

The Canarytop Wrasse (Halichoeres leucoxanthus) is a captivating addition to your saltwater aquarium. In this straightforward and informative product description, we will provide essential information for seasoned hobbyists and those considering the Canarytop Wrasse for their marine tank. We'll cover crucial aspects such as the fish's habitat, reef compatibility, size, lifespan, dietary requirements in captivity, aquaculture availability, compatibility with other marine species, sexual dimorphism, coloration changes from juvenile to adult, temperament, tank requirements, and optimal water conditions For the Canarytop Wrasse. Additionally, we will list common names for this species, suggest suitable tankmates, and explain why purchasing the Canarytop Wrasse from is a practical choice.

Habitat For the Canarytop Wrasse

The Canarytop Wrasse is native to the Indo-Pacific region, where it prefers shallow reefs and lagoons with ample hiding spots and rock formations. To ensure its well-being in captivity, it's essential to recreate a similar environment within your aquarium.

Reef Compatibility For the Canarytop Wrasse

The Canarytop Wrasse is generally considered reef-safe. These gentle fish won't harm corals or invertebrates in your tank, making them suitable for reef aquariums.

Size and Lifespan For the Canarytop Wrasse

In captivity, Canarytop Wrasses typically reach a length of about 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) and can live for several years, averaging 5 to 7 years.

Diet in Captivity For the Canarytop Wrasse

Canarytop Wrasses are omnivorous and thrive on a diet that includes a variety of high-quality marine pellets, frozen foods, and live or frozen seafood.

  • Frozen Foods: Offer a variety of frozen foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and other small, marine-based offerings.
  • Dry Foods: High-quality marine-based dry foods, like pellets and flakes, should be included in their diet.
  • Live Foods: Occasional live foods like copepods can add variety and meet their nutritional needs.

Aquaculture and Availability For the Canarytop Wrasse

While not aquacultured, sustainably collected Canarytop Wrasses are often available to hobbyists through reputable suppliers and online retailers like This helps reduce the pressure on wild populations and ensures a sustainable supply of healthy fish. When purchasing from responsible suppliers like, you can confidently acquire well-sourced and acclimated specimens.

Compatibility with Other Fish and Invertebrates For the Canarytop Wrasse

Canarytop Wrasses are known for their peaceful nature, making them compatible with many tankmates. They get along well with other non-aggressive fish and invertebrates.

Sexual Dimorphism For the Canarytop Wrasse

Male and female Canarytop Wrasses exhibit differences in coloration. Males tend to be more vibrant and colorful, while females are often slightly smaller and less striking in appearance.

Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes For the Canarytop Wrasse

Juvenile Canarytop Wrasses typically display a muted appearance, transitioning to striking yellow and blue coloration as they mature into adults.

Temperament For the Canarytop Wrasse

Canarytop Wrasses are known for their docile and friendly disposition. They are peaceful fish that can coexist harmoniously with a variety of tankmates.

Tank Requirements For the Canarytop Wrasse

To ensure the well-being of your Canarytop Wrasse, a tank with a minimum capacity of 30 gallons (115 liters) is recommended. These fish appreciate live rock and ample hiding spots to explore.

Water Conditions For the Canarytop Wrasse

Maintaining stable water conditions is crucial for the health of your Canarytop Wrasse. The following are the recommended water parameters:

  • pH: 8.1 to 8.4
  • Salinity: 1.020 to 1.025
  • Water Temperature: 75 to 82°F (24 to 28°C)
  • Water Flow: Moderate, simulating the natural current of their native habitat.

Common Names For the Canarytop Wrasse

The Canarytop Wrasse is also known by various common names, including the Yellowhead Wrasse and the Canary Wrasse.

Five Compatible Tank Mates For the Canarytop Wrasse

  • Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto): These colorful fish are peaceful and add diversity to your aquarium.
  • Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica): Graceful and non-aggressive, these gobies coexist well with Canarytop Wrasses.
  • Orchid Dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani): A hardy and attractive dottyback that complements the peaceful nature of the Canarytop Wrasse.
  • Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis): These invertebrates contribute to the overall health of your tank by keeping fish clean and free from parasites.
  • Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus): These shrimps are not only beneficial for the aquarium but also visually striking.

Why Choose the Canarytop Wrasse from is a reputable source for obtaining marine fish and invertebrates for your aquarium. They are known for their stringent care and quarantine practices, ensuring that the fish they provide are healthy and free from diseases. When you purchase a Canarytop Wrasse from, you can have confidence in the quality of your new marine addition, knowing that it will thrive in your aquarium.

A beautiful friendly fish. Stays towards the bottom like most of these do. Very bright yellow and looks great under white and blue lights. Recommend to all!!

Reviewed by: Dale Pichelmayer on March 25, 2024

Very healthy hardy little wrass that went right to cleaning up Bristle worms.

Reviewed by: Sean Boyer on Jan. 23, 2024

Reviewed by: Jerry Duvinsky on Oct. 2, 2023

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