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Harlequin Tuskfish

(Choerodon fasciatus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Semi-aggressive   • Maximum Size: 10"
• Minimum Tank Size: 110 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-80° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Indo-Pacific, Northern Australia
• Family: Labridae   • Species: Wrasse   • Aquarium Type: Fish Only

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Harlequin Tuskfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Harlequin Tuskfish, also commonly referred to as the Harlequin Tusk and Harlequin Tusk Wrasse, are a brilliantly colored, large wrasse species endemic to the reefs throughout Northern Australia and the tropical Indo-Pacific. Harlequin Tuskfish get their name from a combination of their harlequinesque coloration and their protruding blue teeth (tusks). The Harlequin Tuskfish is a curious species that is well equipped to defend itself as well as punch its "tusks" into invertebrates and crustaceans when hungry.

Despite its name, the Harlequin Tuskfish is a gentle species and will generally get along well with similar sized, heterospecific tank mates, but they are known to show territorial aggression towards other Tuskfish in their aquarium. Harlequin Tuskfish are an extremely beautiful, head-turning species that is ideal for large FOWLR aquariums; they can sometimes be pricey, but are usually readily available within the hobby via local and online retailers alike.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Harlequin Tuskfish in the home aquarium.

Harlequin Tuskfish should be housed in an aquarium of at least 110 gallons and provided with plenty of live rock utilized to form a large cave for them. In addition, they also appreciate a sandy substrate as well as moderate water movement. Their aquarium should be equipped with efficient biological and mechanical filtration as well as a quality protein skimmer. Like other wrasse species, Harlequin Tuskfish can be jumpers and require a system with a sealed top or tight fitting lid to prevent escape and injury. Finding tank mates for them is relatively easy, they can pretty much be housed with any species that is not another Tuskfish or so small that it looks appetizing (e.g.; small Gobies and Damsels).

Large triggers or angelfish may initially harass them if they are the newcomer to an established system, but they will be fine and settle in as long as they are getting enough food. Because of their voracious appetite for invertebrates and crustaceans, they are usually avoided by most reef hobbyists, being more ideal for a large FOWLR environment.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Harlequin Tuskfish.

Harlequin Tuskfish are carnivores that feed upon a wide array of invertebrates, crustaceans, and small fish in the wild. In the aquarium, they are not picky eaters and their diet should consist of a wide variety of meaty foods such as vitamin-enriched, live, frozen, and prepared brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp, krill, blood worms, chopped crab meat, chopped fish, and other meaty marine foods. They will also readily accept quality flakes and pellets for carnivores and omnivores. Feed 2 to 3 times per day and only what will be consumed within a few minutes.

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