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Cleaner Wrasse

(Labroides dimidiatus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific
• Family: Labridae   • Species: Wrasse   • Aquarium Type: Reef Compatible

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Cleaner Wrasse native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Cleaner Wrasse are a very popular, streamlined species with a simple, but attractive coloration on a cigar shaped body. Cleaner Wrasse are endemic to the warm, tropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific and are appreciated by most fish species that they encounter. Cleaner Wrasse get their name from their eating habits; they mainly feed on parasitic organisms which they continuously groom from other fish.

Their color form varies by location, but they are generally a combination of varying shades of blue, silver, black, and sometimes tan to yellow. Cleaner Wrasse are naturally peaceful and may coexist well with a wide variety of other marine species. Cleaner Wrasse are quite popular within the hobby and are usually readily available through local and online retailers.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Cleaner Wrasse in the home aquarium.

Cleaner Wrasse require an established aquarium of at least 55 gallons and they prefer open swimming space in addition to plenty of live rock for grazing and shelter. They should also be provided with a live sand substrate where they can sift for benthic zooplankton. They are generally a hardy species (once established), but should be provided with quality biological and mechanical filtration in conjunction with a protein skimmer.

Wrasse are known jumpers and their aquarium should be equipped with a sealed hood system in order to prevent injury or escape. They are a peaceful species that will get along well with other peaceful tank mates; many more aggressive fish tolerate them due to the cleaning services they provide. Cleaner Wrasse will do well in a reef or FOWLR environment as they will not harm coral species, sponges, or larger ornamental shrimp species.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Cleaner Wrasse.

Cleaner Wrasse are carnivores that mainly feed on parasites and zooplankton in the wild. In the aquarium, they will try to groom other fish for food, but can be supplemented with live planktonic life via grazing on live rock, live sand, and the addition to a colonized refugium. They may also accept live brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, black worms, and ghost shrimp as well as finely chopped or prepared meaty marine foods such as blood worms, krill, clams, and crab meat. Selcon may be used to further enhance the nutritional value and vitamin content of prepared foods. Feed 3 times per day and only what will be consumed within a few minutes.

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