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Moon Wrasse

(Thalassoma lunare)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: 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
• Family: Labridae   • Species: Wrasse   • Aquarium Type: Fish Only

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Native Habitat and Species Information

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

The Moon Wrasse is a vividly colorful species that is endemic to the many tropical reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Moon Wrasse, also commonly referred to as Lyretail Wrasse, get their name from the mature form appearance of their crescent moon shaped caudal fins. Moon Wrasse are very popular with experienced hobbyists do to their streamlined, cigar shape as well as the vigorous activity and the bright violet, blue, green to chartreuse, and red coloration they bring to an aquarium.

Moon Wrasse are an aggressive species that will actively prey upon invertebrates, crustaceans, mollusks and small fish; therefore they are not considered to be reef compatible and should only be housed with other aggressive and large fish species within a FOWLR environment. The Moon Wrasse should be the last addition to an aquarium as it infamous for terrorizing new tank mates. As a popular species, the Moon Wrasse is readily available in the hobby and can be purchased locally or through an online retailer.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Moon Wrasse in the home aquarium.

Moon Wrasse are extremely active and prefer to constantly zip around the water column; they require an aquarium of no less than 110 gallons (150+ gallons would be ideal) and need to be provided with plenty of open, unobstructed swimming space in addition to moderate to strong water movement. They should also be provided with plenty of live rock to utilize as shelter and territory. Because they are a larger, predatory fish species and have a fast metabolism, they can have a large biological impact in an aquarium environment and require strong, efficient biological and mechanical filtration used in conjunction with a quality protein skimmer to ensure healthy and stable water conditions. Like most wrasse species, Moon Wrasse are well known to be jumpers and should be housed in a sealed enclosure with a tight fitting lid to prevent escape and injury.

Tank mates should be considered carefully with this species as they will become territorial (once established) and will not show any mercy to newcomers that infringe upon their space. They should be added to an aquarium as the last fish specimen and should be housed with other aggressive species that are too large to become food and will not put up with bullying of any kind. Ideal for FOWLR system, this species is not considered to be reef compatible as they will eat smaller fish along with invertebrates, crustaceans, and mollusks (the entire cleaning crew).

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Moon Wrasse.

Moon Wrasse are carnivores that generally feed upon benthic invertebrates, crustaceans, zooplankton, small fish, fish eggs, mollusks, and other meaty treats within their natural environment. Their aquarium diet should consist of a well balanced variety of meaty food items such as live, frozen, and prepared (preferably vitamin-enriched or "gut loaded") brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, ghost shrimp, krill, crab meat, blood worms, silver sides, squid, chopped clams, small fish, chopped fish, and other meaty marine food items. They will also accept a variety of high quality flake or pellet foods 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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